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When did Job live?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Torah » The Bible » The Prophets | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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In the Talmud (Baba Batra 15a-b) there are different opinions when Job lived:


1. During the lifetime of Jacob.

2. During Moses' lifetime (in fact, according to this opinion Moses authored the Book of Job). Some say he was one of Pharaoh’s advisors, together with Jethro and Balaam.

3. During the Era of the Judges.

4. During the reign of Solomon.

5. During the reign of Nebuchadnezzar.

6. During the reign of Ahasuerus and Esther.

7. At the onset of the Second Temple period.

8. There is even an opinion that Job never physically lived at all; rather the Book of Job is a parable which is meant to teach us about suffering and its meaning.1

Footnotes

  • 1. There is also an opinion, cited in the Seder Hadorot, that Job lived in Abraham's times.

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Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
Esther
1. Jewish wife of Persian King Ahasuerus in the 4th century BCE. Foiled the plot of Haman, the prime minister, to exterminate all the Jews. The holiday of Purim commemorates this miraculous salvation. 2. One of the 24 Books of the Bible, which chronicles the abovementioned story.
Ahasuerus
King of the Persian Empire in the 4th century BCE. Husband of Esther, heroine of the Purim story.
Moses
[Hebrew pronunciation: Moshe] Greatest prophet to ever live. Led the Jews out of Egyptian bondage amidst awesome miracles; brought down the Tablets from Mount Sinai; and transmitted to us word-for-word the Torah he heard from G-d's mouth. Died in the year 1272 BCE.
Jacob
Third of the three Patriarchs and father of the Twelve Tribes. Lived most his life in Canaan and died in Egypt in 1505 BCE. Also known by the name of "Israel."
Jethro
Moses' father-in-law.
Balaam
An evil sorcerer employed by the king of Moab to curse the Israelites as they were on the verge of entering Canaan. Although he desired to curse, G-d ensured that only blessings came from his mouth. He was eventually killed by the Israelites in the course of their battle against Midian.
Solomon
Son of King David, and succeeded him on the throne of Israel in the year 836 BCE. he was the wisest man to ever live. He built the first Holy Temple and authored several books of the Bible.
Temple
1. Usually a reference to the Holy Temple which was/will be situated in Jerusalem. 1st Temple was built in 825 BCE and was destroyed in 423 BCE. The 2nd Temple was built in 350 BCE and was destroyed in 70 CE. The 3rd Temple will be built by the Messiah. 2. A synagogue.