Proverbs in Job. In 17:5, Job may have been quoting a proverb to warn his friends not to make false accusations against him. Proverbs are an effective and memorable way of stating a truth. The book of Proverbs is a rich resource of such wisdom.
Sackcloth (16:15) was an outward sign of grieving. It was a coarse fabric used for grain sacks. It was very uncomfortable to wear and thus showed that the person was truly grieving. It was also worn to show repentance.
The book of Job includes three cycles of conversations in which the friends of Job offer their comfort and advice, and then listen as Job responds. The first cycle covers chs. 4–14.
Clay was one of the most readily available materials in ancient times. It was used to construct buildings and to make everyday household items. Job describes himself as having been made “like clay” (10:9) and says that he will someday return to dust. This should remind readers of Genesis 2:7, where the Lord created man […]
In the literature of the ancient Near East, the sea (9:8) is often seen as a threat to the order of nature. People looked upon the sea as something that could not be contained or conquered.
What is Sheol? In the OT, Sheol (7:9–10) is where the dead reside. It is a place of rest for believers (1 Sam. 28:14), but a place of punishment for the wicked (Isa. 14:3–23).
Was Job a real person? It is not known exactly when Job lived, but he was a real person. Ezekiel 14:14, 20 and James 5:11 refer to him as a historical figure.
Seven days and seven nights was a traditional period for mourning in the ancient Near East (2:13).
Comfort is a key word in the book of Job. When faced with personal tragedies, Job receives no comfort from his friends (16:2). But when God answers him (see chs. 38–41), he finds the comfort he needs.
Hanging on nothing? Although he didn’t have all the tools of modern science, Job understood that God “hangs the earth on nothing” (26:7). His infinite power keeps every planet, moon, and star in its appointed place (Col. 1:15–17).