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Who wrote the book of Job? Who was the author of Job?

author of Job

The book of Job, an ancient book of wisdom, remains relevant to many modern readers grappling with the question of God’s sovereignty over suffering, especially the suffering of the innocent. Its wisdom-laden content enhances its enduring relevance. Job presents a hard reality of living in this world—sometimes, the righteous suffer for no apparent cause.

The book of Job is often considered the earliest written book in the Bible, but that would depend largely on the authorship. The text does not explicitly mention the author, and attributing it to Job himself is challenging, given the account of his death in the final chapter (Job 42:17) and the initial praise of Job’s uprightness, seemingly from a third-party observer (1:1). Job might have contributed portions of the text—his speeches can certainly be attributed to him.

Jewish tradition attributes the book to Moses. Other narratives set in the time of the patriarchs were written by Moses, so it is reasonable to assume Moses wrote Job, too. Another suggestion is King Solomon, who is credited with a large portion of other wisdom literature. Then there’s Elihu, a character in the text of Job. Elihu was the only one of Job’s friends who truly emphasized God and His greatness rather than focus on the human response to Job’s problems (Job 32—37). And he’s the only one who is not rebuked by the Lord at the end of the book. Some scholars suggest Elihu, an eyewitness to the events of Job, could have been the author of the book.

Ultimately, we have to conclude that the author of Job remains anonymous. What we do know is that he was a master at poetry. The Encyclopædia Britannica says that the book of Job is “often counted among the masterpieces of world literature” (, accessed 1/31/24). The poet Lord Tennyson said that Job is “the greatest poem, whether of ancient or modern literature” (quoted in “Introduction to Job,” Blue Letter Bible,, accessed 1/31/24). And novelist Victor Hugo said, “Tomorrow, if all literature was to be destroyed and it was left to me to retain one work only, I should save Job” (ibid.). The author of Job raises uncomfortable questions and challenges a formulaic view of life where things always go as planned. The author’s ultimate purpose is not to provide a five-step theodicy to explain the problem to evil, but to acknowledge the tension of living in a broken world and call readers to trust in God, whose wisdom surpasses our finite understanding.

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Who wrote the book of Job? Who was the author of Job?
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This page last updated: March 6, 2024