In the NIV, there is a note associated with word ‘Redeemer’ which indicates ‘Vindicator’ could be used. In the on-line NET Bible, the note for ‘Redeemer’ (#59) contains: “The word is well-known in the OT because of its identification as the kinsman-redeemer (see the Book of Ruth). This is the near kinsman who will pay off one’s debts, defend the family, avenge a killing, marry the widow of the deceased. The word “redeemer” evokes the wrong connotation for people familiar with the NT alone; a translation of “Vindicator” would capture the idea more.”
To help get the context, we read Job 19:23-24 where Job wants his words etched into something so permanent that they would last forever. In Job 19:25, the verse in question, Job is not questioning who that vindicator will be or if there is one yet to come. Job already knows his Redeemer and that his Redeemer lives but his distress is that his Redeemer is presently hiding His face from him. In the NIV, this verse reads: “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.”
Job wants his words written down and saved throughout history until his Redeemer comes and stands on the earth and can read them and vindicate Job for what has happened to him. Job thought God had turned His face from him and no longer knew what was going on. Job thought if God knew what was going on, He would have stepped in and done something about it as He had in the past. With what happened to him ‘etched in stone’, Job could even die but would still be vindicated. He had a problem believing God would not be doing something if He already knew.
This is not a messianic prophecy but the cry of a servant trying to understand why everything was happening to him and wanting vindication for it. I left a link below to an article that shows how this suffering brought Job to the point of humility where such an attitude of vindication was no longer necessary. As Job learned, “I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear but now my eyes have seen You” (Job 42:5) and “I know you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted” (Job 42:2). In humility Job came to realize his suffering was but momentary intended to do what it accomplished, drive him closer to God. He no longer needed vindication, he had God.
Job 19:23-29 (NIV - www.biblegateway.com)
Job 19 (on-line NET Bible - net.bible.org)
Go to www.bible.org and search for: "The Ideal of Submission (Job)"
Messianic Prophecy is scripture recording future events related to Messiah.
Messianic prophecy is recorded evidence produced by many people disconnected across time or distance that finds complete fulfillment in the life of Jesus Christ. It is never an interpretation or idea just thought up by an individual or group or somehow passed down through tradition. It is not possible for all the different people to record different prophecies with such coherency and accuracy without guidance in what they were recording. Messianic prophecy is revelation from a single source, the Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 1:20-21 - "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." (NKJV)
Throughout the Bible there is other prophecy recording future events that are not necessarily related with Messiah. Yet this too carries the distinction that it is not thought up by an individual or group but was revealed by the Holy Spirit.
As we analyze the book of Job, we do not see the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit like we do in Isaiah 53. There the suffering servant is described in such detail and in a number of ways that the only one who can fit is Jesus Christ. For example: as one who will be marred so badly he didn’t look human (speaking of the beating Jesus Christ received); as one who people would question if God’s power really was revealed through him (speaking of the leaders who did not want to believe his miracles were of God); or as one who would be elevated, lifted high, and greatly exalted (speaking of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to the right hand of God). In all of this, Isaiah could have written all of these only if the Holy Spirit was revealing them to him.
Job 19:25 reads: I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
But if we add the context around the verse we find an indication that Job wanted to be vindicated by God but thought he was going to die before that happened. As a result, he desired a permanent record of the events so they could be on hand when God would stand on this earth. As I ponder this, what I think it is referring to is the final judgement before God that all people will go through in the future. Hebrews 9:27 refers to judgment after one dies. But what I think connects better is Revelation 20:11 thru 22:5. This is where the Great White Throne Judgement takes place followed by the New Jerusalem descending to the earth and lit up with the glory of the Almighty God and his Lamb, Jesus Christ.
If Job knew something of what is recorded in Revelation, then that would be when he would be able to plead his case and that would be when God would stand on the earth. But nowhere else in the book of Job do I see an indication that the Holy Spirit was leading Job to record a revelation. If we care to assign a revelation to Job 19:25, I think it must be a revelation of the Great White Throne Judgement and New Jerusalem being setup rather than Messianic.