We’ve all heard about Job’s patience and lengthy suffering, but how long did Job suffer? In this post, we’ll look at Job’s narrative to see if we can solve the puzzle.
The Bible does not specify How long did job suffer. We know that his agony began with the death of his servant and the loss of his cattle and worsened with the deaths of his children and bodily ailments. However, we do not know when all of these diseases occurred.
How long did Job suffer? This is a question that has been asked by many people who have read the book of Job in the Bible. While there is no definite answer, we can make some educated guesses based on what we know about Job’s story. First, let’s take a look at how long Job lived before his Suffering began.
Job lived to be 140 years old. This means that he likely suffered for quite some time before he died. However, it is impossible to say for sure how long he actually suffered. The book of Job doesn’t give us a timeline of his Suffering, so we can only speculate based on other clues in the story.
Based on what we know about job’s story, it is safe to say that he suffered for quite some time before he passed away. We can only imagine how much pain and suffering he endured during that time period. If you have ever read the book of Job, then you know that his story is one of great tragedy and sorrow. Despite all that he went through, however, job remained faithful to God until the end. That is truly remarkable and inspiring.
However, it does provide us with a few intriguing hints, particularly in Job 7:3: “So am I destined to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are assigned to me.”
So it appears to have lasted at least two months, but it may have lasted much longer.
To get more details, just continue to read this article.
The first period of unknown time during the suffering of Job
We know that on day one (Job 1:13-22), the following occurrences occurred:
- He has lost all of his cattle.
- He has lost all of his asses.
- His whole workforce (servants) was murdered.
- He has lost all of his livestock.
- He misplaces all of his camels.
- All of his sons and daughters perish.
So there was Job’s first day of misery.
Because no one knows the time span between the events of that first day and what occurs to Job in chapter 2, estimating the precise length of Job’s sufferings is difficult. Days, weeks, months, or even years might have passed.
So, in Job 2:7, Satan went forth and – struck Job with severe boils from the sole of his foot to his crown.
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The second period of unknown time during the suffering of Job
While Job 2:8-10 is a short read, it does not imply that it did not occur over a lengthy period of time. Job’s wife advises him to blaspheme God and die. One would hope she didn’t give up on him too quickly.
It is merely an assumption, but I imagine this would have gone on for days, if not months, before she became irritated and told him to get it over with.
Of course, she had just lost all of her children, so the breaking point may have come sooner rather than later.
The third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth periods of unknown time during the suffering of Job
When Job’s three friends learned of all the misery that had befallen him, they each arrived from their respective place: Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, because they had made an arrangement together to come to grieve with him and console him. (Job 2:11)
The preceding passage raises several doubts concerning the duration of Job’s suffering. We don’t know anything about three time periods.
- How long did it take them to learn of Job’s plight?
- How long did it take them to schedule the meeting?
- Then how long did it take them to travel and convene for that meeting?
- How long did it take them after that appointment to return home and gather their belongings so they could travel and meet up again?
- How long did it take them to get to Job?
As you can see, there are so many time periods in this equation that determining how long Job endured is difficult.
The ninth period of unknown time during the suffering of Job
We don’t know how long the conversation between Job, his friends, and God lasted. Was it all done in a single day? Or did these debates go on for days?
So, if you exclude all unknown periods of time, the very smallest amount of time may have been 10 days, which is exceedingly doubtful, especially given Job’s statements about months of vanity.
However, with 9 spans of time that may have lasted days or weeks, determining how long Job endured is impossible. Nobody knows how long it took for him to lose his belongings and his family before succumbing to boils.
Does Job Suffer After His Wife Tells Him to Cure God and Die?
Several months after his wife tells him to curse God and die, Job suffers from pain and suffering. God allows his suffering to continue for a long time, and even allows Satan to take his health and possessions.
God allowed Job’s sufferings to drag on for several months
Despite being a godly man, Job had to undergo a test of faith. He experienced a series of calamities. He lost his children, servants, and livestock. He was also afflicted with a loathsome disease. He suffered for months. It is a testimony of God’s love and mercy. However, Job did not know why he was suffering. He was unaware that God allowed Satan to test him.
Job was a judge in a town. His friends thought that he was a bad man who did not fear God. They believed that he had done something wrong to deserve punishment. Nonetheless, Job still had faith in God. He did not curse God, despite the many criticisms from his friends.
While he was suffering, Job was able to show that he was truly in love with God. He also proved that God was sovereign and he could worship Him even without getting anything in return.
Satan took Job’s health and possessions after his second trial
During the course of his second trial, Satan takes Job’s health and possessions. He also challenges God. During this time, Job is afflicted with terrible skin disease. He is also plagued with fevers and chills. He even has maggots invest his sores. He even has to sit on an ash heap to ease his itching.
Although Job is plagued by illness and suffering, he remains faithful to God. God lowered a hedge of protection for Job. He also allowed Satan to afflict Job with a leprosy-like disease.
Job asks God why He does what He does. God gives Job the answer he needs. His friends come to comfort him. However, Job cannot effectively plead his case to God.
Job’s wife encourages him to curse God. She has witnessed the death of ten children, her husband’s disease, and the disappearance of their family fortune. She does not hate Job, but she does not believe that a blameless life is worth living without God’s blessings.
Qur’an claims that God healed Job’s pain and suffering
During the Qur’an’s narrative of Job, there is one place where it is affirmed that God healed Job’s pain and suffering. But it is also emphasized that Job’s suffering and pain are not a result of God’s anger.
The Qur’an mentions Job as one of the “guided” and one of the “elected”. It is stated that Job is righteous, yet he has experienced severe pain. This suffering is ascribed to God because it shows the value and worth of Job. The suffering was also intended to refine Job’s righteousness.
Job prayed in a devout and committed manner. He did not ask for physical restoration. He knew that his condition could only be healed by God’s self-disclosure. Despite the admonishment of his wife, Job remained faithful and devout.
After his wife tells Job to curse God and die
Whether or not Job suffers after his wife tells Job to curse God and die is not exactly clear. However, the story does provide an answer to this question. It is clear that Job suffers, but the extent of his suffering depends on his reaction to his wife’s suggestion.
The wife’s suggestion is part of a longer conversation between Job and his three friends. During the course of the dialogues, Job makes many statements. The most notable is his declaration that he does not know enough to plead his case to God.
In the first part of the dialogue, Job and his wife discuss their relationship. Job reveals that he does not understand his own heart. He is also unclear as to why God punishes people by their actions. In addition to this, Job is unaware that he is being tested by God.
Job’s Friends Spoke
We are also told that when Job’s friends (Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar) learned about his suffering, they came to him (Job 2:11ff). However, we do not have answers to the following questions:
- How long did they wait to learn of Job’s suffering?
- How long did they spend preparing for their trip?
- And how long did it take them to get to Job’s location?
When Job’s friends arrived, they sat with him in silence for seven days. They then conversed. Job 3-31 has a record of their statements. We know they waited seven days before speaking, but we don’t know how many days they spoke.
When Job’s three companions stopped speaking, another (Elihu) spoke up. His statements can be recorded in Job 32-38, although we don’t know how long he talked for.
Then all of Job’s buddies stopped talking. God spoke after Job finished his final statement. But we don’t know if He spoke right away or if there was a pause.
When God began to speak, He first questioned Job (Job 38-41) before rebuking Job’s three friends. Before delving deeper into Job’s time of adversity, notice how Job reacted to the Lord:
Job 42:2-6 “I know You can do anything, and no purpose of Yours can be denied to You.” ‘Who is this who conceals wisdom without knowledge?’ you inquired. As a result, I spoke things I didn’t understand, things that were too amazing for me to comprehend. Please pay attention and let me to speak; you said, ‘I will question you, and you must answer Me.’ I’ve heard about You via my ears, but now my eyes see You. As a result, I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”
Some have speculated that the sequence of events might have lasted up to two years, implying that Job endured during that period. Others have speculated that it may have been 42 months, as a foreshadowing of the Great Tribulation. However, there is no way of knowing how long Job endured. Simply said, the Bible does not state. This might explain why the book of Job is included among the writings rather than the historical books. It is hard to date the book or calculate the length of events and Job’s suffering without any particular reference of dates or historical events.
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