patience of Job

being able to withstand extreme suffering without complaining
—How can you stand in line for so long and still be smiling? You must have the patience of Job.

Like Noah, Job was called a “blameless” man. But Satan told God that Job was good only because he enjoyed God’s blessings. Remove your protection and Job will curse you, Satan told God. God allowed Satan to test Job with many disasters, and even though Job did complain, he refused to turn away from God and renounce him:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return there. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. May the name of the Lord be blessed!” In all this Job did not sin, nor did he charge God with moral impropriety. (Job 1:21,22)

While the Book of Job is in the Old Testament, the phrase patience of Job comes from the King James translation of the New Testament, where James writes about the example of Job:

As an example of suffering and patience, brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name. Think of how we regard as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job’s endurance [the patience of Job—KJV] and you have seen the Lord’s purpose, that the Lord is full of compassion and mercy. (James 5:10,11)

During Job’s trials, some of his friends came to talk to him, but instead of giving him comfort, they tried to convince him that God was punishing him for some sin. Therefore, such people, whose words actually do more harm than good, are called “Job’s comforters.” When Job defended himself, one of the friends argued with him, saying,

Were you the first man ever born?
Were you brought forth before the hills?
Do you listen in on God’s secret council?
Do you limit wisdom to yourself?
What do you know that we don’t know?
What do you understand that we don’t understand? (Job 15:7-9)

This is probably where we get the phrase as old as the hills, meaning, of course, “very old.” Another phrase with the same meaning is as old as Methuselah. In Genesis, the genealogy from Adam to Noah lists many people who lived to great ages, but Methuselah’s life was the longest:

The entire lifetime of Methuselah was 969 years, and then he died. (Genesis 5:27)

 

Comments are closed.
  • All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://bible.org. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

    Scripture in brackets is from the King James Bible.

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed by Craig Thompson under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

    Any reproduction of this content using passages from the NET Bible must follow NET Bible's copyright policy for use of those passages.

    For information on creating translations of Putting Words in Our Mouths, please go here.

  • Visit My Blog: Clearing Customs

    What Ever Did We Do before the Invention of Empathy? and Prince Philip’s Confession in “The Crown”

    Did you know there once was a time when empathy didn’t exist in the English-speaking world. During that time, all those poor souls lived in a “Dark Age” of feelings in which they had only sympathy to rely on when faced with others’ pain. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that the word empathy was […]

    When in Rome . . . or Santiago or Nairobi or Chiang Mai [—at A Life Overseas]

    When in Rome, sometimes we do as the Romans do just to fit in. Sometimes it’s out of necessity. Sometimes it’s because their way is actually better. And sometimes it’s because, well—Why not give it a shot? Has your host culture offered you ways of doing things different from what you’re used to, ways you’ve […]