One theme that has intrigued me recently is the multiple references to past events by the various speakers in Job. I have read many articles defending the literal history found in the book of Genesis, especially the first eleven chapters, by showing how the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (God manifest in the flesh) and the various New Testament writers (ie. the apostles, their associates, and Jesus' half-brothers) often quoted these passages as literal, historical events. I believe the book of Genesis can stand on its own - but it is worthwhile to see how all the rest of the Bible (and its writers) refers to and comments upon these events/passages.
My belief is that the author of the book of Job is Elihu, one of the eyewitnesses of what transpired during this difficult and troublesome time in Job's life. Consider how Elihu refers to himself in the first person - this was not something spoken during the conversations between Job and his friends, but stated by the person recording them:
Job 32:15-17 They were amazed, they answered no more: they left off speaking. When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;) I said, I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion.
Earlier in the same chapter, we read this about Elihu:
Job 32:2 Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God.
Elihu, being a Buzite, would have been a descendant of Nahor, Abraham's brother.
Genesis 22:20-23 And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor; Huz his firstborn, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram, And Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel. And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight Milcah did bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother.
The reference to being the kindred of Ram (assuming it is the same Ram that is in the lineage of Abraham), implies that he (or his family) intermarried with Abraham's line (Ram being Judah's great-grandson):
Ruth 4:18-22 Now these are the generations of Pharez: Pharez begat Hezron, And Hezron begat Ram, and Ram begat Amminadab, And Amminadab begat Nahshon, and Nahshon begat Salmon, And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed, And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.
1 Chronicles 2:9-10 The sons also of Hezron, that were born unto him; Jerahmeel, and Ram, and Chelubai. And Ram begat Amminadab; and Amminadab begat Nahshon, prince of the children of Judah;
Nahshon was the prince of the tribe of Judah during the Exodus and the years of wandering in the wilderness; therefore we have the events of the book of Job occuring sometime between the time of Jacob (and his children) and the time of Moses. A studying out of the lineage of the other principal characters in the book of Job will also clearly show that they lived during the time of the patriarchs (see also Job 1:1; 2:11; Genesis 25:2; 36:11, 28; and Lamentations 4:21).
I believe that Job was familiar with the history of Abraham's family - including that of Jacob - because of the following passage, spoken by him:
Job 31:35-37 Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty would answer me, and that mine adversary had written a book. Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me. I would declare unto him the number of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto him.
In a passage about pleading/contending with God (ie. praying to Him and presenting his case before the Lord), Job compares himself to Jacob and his time of wrestling with the Angel of the Lord (a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ):
Genesis 32:24-30 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.
The references to this and other past events in the book of Job are spoken of as common knowledge - Job and his friends knew these things as part of history - not as fables - as their arguments are in part based on the FACT and certainty of each of these things having happened (notice in all their disputing with one another, these events were not questioned, but used as the basis for some of the points they were making).
For ease of study, I have decided to cover each of these events in the order they occur in the book of Genesis.
1) God laying the foundation of the earth (on day three), and ALL the angels rejoicing together (thereby indicating sin was not yet in the universe):
Stated by God Himself: Job 38:4-7 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
I believe the passage quoted above actually gives us the order of events, as they happened at creation. We can see this by comparing the following two passages:
Genesis 1:9-10, 13 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good... And the evening and the morning were the third day.
Psalms 104:1-5 Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire: Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
Notice that the light was created first (day one), the separation of the waters (day two), the creation of the angels (day two or three), then the foundations of the earth were laid (day three). I know many people have their tradition that the angels were created BEFORE the earth, and that Satan fell before the creation of the earth or in between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis chapter one - but the Scriptures DO NOT bear that out. And shouldn't the Bible be where we get all of our doctrine from, after all?
Reasons why I believe the angels were created on day two or three of the creation week, and why they did not fall until sometime AFTER that point in time:
A) The Bible teaches that all that is in the heavens and the earth were created and made during that time - and that includes angels - see Exodus 20:11; Nehemiah 9:6 (note especially the last clause); Genesis 2:1 (host in the Bible can refer to either stars, angels or both - I believe both are referred to here).
B) Angels were created to be ministers to mankind; therefore it does not make sense for God to create them untold years before creating the world He would place man on - see Hebrews 1:7, 14.
C) Satan/Lucifer fell sometime after the creation of water, stars, and the Garden of Eden (which was created on day six of creation week!) - see Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:13-17.
D) Seven times in Genesis one, God's Word states that "God saw that it was good," but the seventh time, the Bible says this in verse 31: And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Seven represents fullness, completion, perfection - God's finished work of creation was perfect, with no sin or blemish anywhere in it to mar it - then He rested.
2) God directly, personally creating man out of the dust of the earth, breathing into his nostrils the breath of life, and placing him in the Garden of Eden:
Spoken by Job: Job 10:8-13 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me. Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again? Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit. And these things hast thou hid in thine heart: I know that this is with thee.
Mix some water with a bit of dust/earth - and voila, clay!
Spoken by Elihu: Job 33:6 Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay.
Genesis 2:5-7 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Spoken by Job: Job 12:9-10 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
Job 27:3 All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;
By Elihu: Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
Job 33:4 The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.
Spoken by Zophar: Job 20:4 Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth,
Genesis 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
3) Satan and 1/3 of the angels rebelling against God (though not recorded in Genesis, this would have happened between Genesis chapters 2 and 3 - sometime shortly after the creation of man):
Job chapters 1-2 start off with the assumption that Satan was a fallen creature, an adversary to God and to His people, though in the book of Job we are not told how he became that way.
Spoken by Eliphaz: Job 4:17-19 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
Job 15:14-16 What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?
Revelation 12:7-9 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Luke 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
4) Adam's sin and his hiding from God:
By Elihu: Job 31:33 If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom:
Genesis 3:8-10 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
5) Man (ie. his body) going back to the dust when he dies, as part of God's curse upon sin:
Spoken by Eliphaz: Job 4:19 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
By Job: Job 7:21 And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.
Job 10:9 Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?
Job 17:16 They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust.
By Zophar: Job 20:11 His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust.
By Job: Job 21:25-26 And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth with pleasure. They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.
Job 34:14-15 If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.
Genesis 3:17-19 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
6) Abel's blood crying from the ground:
Spoken by Job: Job 16:18-19 O earth, cover not thou my blood, and let my cry have no place. Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.
Genesis 4:8-10 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.
The blood of Abel cried for vengeance; Job desired his blood to cry for justice; but the New Testament shows us something better than both of these:
Hebrews 12:22-24 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
Jesus' blood cries for forgiveness and grace.
7) A worldwide flood destroying the wicked inhabitants of the earth:
Spoken by Job: Job 12:15 Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.
Spoken by Eliphaz Job 22:15-17 Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden? Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood: Which said unto God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?
By God: Job 38:8-11 Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
Genesis 6:5-7 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
Genesis 7:11-12 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
Genesis 7:17-23 And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
2 Peter 3:5-7 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
8) The promise from God to man that He would never destroy the whole earth again with a flood:
By Job: Job 28:11 He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light.
Genesis 8:20-21 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Genesis 9:8-11 And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
Psalms 104:5-9 Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.
I hope this study was a help and blessing to you - and that it strengthened your faith in God's Word. It is wondrous to see that the Bible is all one grand Book, where each portion fits together like clockwork, and each part upholds the others.