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Is there anywhere in the bible that says Job and Jobab is the same person?

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Is there anywhere in the bible that says Job and Jobab is the same person?

Yes and no.

Roman Catholic and Protestant Bibles finish the Book of Job with the death of Job at a great age in chapter 42 verse 17.

However the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, has an additional passage known as the Postscript. This additional passage is also in the Russian Orthodox Bible.

and it is written that he will rise again with those whom the Lord raises up. This man is described in the Syriac book living in the land of Ausis, on the borders of Idumea and Arabia: and his name before was Jobab; and having taken an Arabian wife, he begot a son whose name was Ennon. And he himself was the son of his father Zare, one of the sons of Esau, and of his mother Bosorrha, so that he was the fifth from Abraam. And these were the kings who reigned in Edom, which country he also ruled over: first, Balac, the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dennaba: but after Balac, Jobab, who is called Job, and after him Asom, who was governor out of the country of Thaeman: and after him Adad, the son of Barad, who destroyed Madiam in the plain of Moab; and the name of his city was Gethaim. And friends who came to him were Eliphaz, of the children of Esau, king of the Thaemanites, Baldad sovereign the Sauchaeans, Sophar king of the Minaeans.

According to this Postscript Job and Jobab were one and the same person.

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  • I made a slight edit, thanks for an enjoyable answer. – KorvinStarmast May 7 at 0:03
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The evidence points to: yes

@davidlol's answer presents more direct evidence. There is other, less direct evidence.

I read one archaeological article that says that the trade routes described in Job put Job in the area of Edom.

The rest of this answer is an excerpt from chapter 15 of my book, Job Rises: Thirteen Keys to a Resilient Life. This draws on multiple lines of inquiry to show that the time when Job lived and the place where Job resided is consistent with identifying Job with Jobab.

. . . . .

Wealth

Job’s wealth is described solely in terms of livestock, not gold or silver. Nomadic herdsmen were more common before the major kingdoms with their minted coinage rose up, suggesting Job lived before the time of the Judges, and likely even before the Exodus.

Worship

No reference is made to temple worship, a major preoccupation after Israel conquered the Holy land. The religion of Job is monotheistic, but other Jewish distinctives, such as references to the Exodus from Egypt or the Decalogue, the sacrificial system, the observance of the Sabbath, or to the covenant with Abraham, are absent. This is evidence that Job lived before Moses.

Longevity

In the days of Noah, the Lord said, “My Spirit will not remain with mankind forever, because they are corrupt. Their days will be 120 years.” (Genesis 6:3, HCSB) Some translations say “contend” instead of “remain”. The creator was getting tired of fighting with his creations. There are three common understandings of this curse.

  1. The first is that it was a prophecy that the flood would arrive in 120 years.
  2. The second is that the maximum lifespan of humankind would henceforth be reduced (with exceptions for certain elect godly persons) from nearly a millennium to twelve decades.
  3. The third is that both are correct.
    That is the interpretation that I accept.

Look at the genealogies of Genesis and you will see a steady decrease in the lifespan of the patriarchs following the flood. When we meet Job, he has ten adult children, all living in their own homes. Due to this, it is unlikely that he was less than sixty, and likely eighty years old.

Eliphaz and the other friends are presented as being his elders and were fit enough to make a long journey, so it is unlikely that Job was older than eighty. After his trials end, he lives another 140 years, leaving us to presume that he lived between 200 and 220 years. (Since the Lord doubled his possessions, it suggests that He also gave Job twice as many years after his ordeal as before. That would mean that Job lived seventy years, then another one hundred forty, for a total of 210.) If you insert this age into the numerical sequence of the genealogies, Job fits in around Terah, who lived 205 years. Terah was Abraham’s father, so this would put Job between the Tower of Babel and the calling of Abraham.

On the other hand, consider how Sarah gave birth in her old age. It was a striking miracle, a departure from the pattern of those days. Job was on the verge of death, and then was blessed with twice as much wealth and a greatly extended lifespan. For this to be as remarkable a miracle as Sarah’s delivery, Job’s lifespan must have been an outlier, longer than the trend of steadily shortening lengths. That would suggest that he lived after Terah and Abraham, but not by much. (Many thanks to Todd Beal for acquainting me with this line of reasoning, which I found in his web article from 2011, “The Biblical Book of Job – Is It Old or Real Old?”)

Prominence

Let us revisit the Lord’s commendation:
Then the LORD said to Satan,

“Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” (1:8, NIV)

God is sparing in his superlatives. Abraham was commended for his faith, Moses his humility, Joshua his courage, David his heart, Solomon and Daniel their wisdom, Josiah his reforms, and Hezekiah his godly rule. Seldom, if ever, did two people’s lives overlap who were awarded such a title from the King of Heaven. One commentator suggested that if we want to know when Job lived, we should look for a time in the Bible when there are no records of an exceptionally faithful servant to be found, otherwise God would be exaggerating to say there was only one. The two largest gaps are between Noah and Abraham, and between Abraham and Moses.

Apocrypha

In a web article titled “Wife of Job: Apocrypha” by Hananel Mack, the author summarizes an apocryphal story from the Septuagint. The story holds that Job’s first wife died and that the children of his life’s epilogue came from a second wife, whom he married after his trials ended. In this story, Job marries Dinah, the daughter of Jacob, which joins him to the house of Israel. This would mean that Job lived between Abraham and Moses.

Genealogy

An article by Dr. John Osgood from 2014 delves into the Biblical genealogies to narrow down when Job might have lived. In “Job? Who was Job, when did he live, and where did he live?”, the author finds his best correlations between Job and the rest of Scripture not with Job, but with his friends.

Eliphaz is introduced in chapter four as “the Temanite”. This would make the oldest of the friends a descendant of Teman, first son of Eliphaz, a son of Esau, as stated in Genesis 36:9-19. This means that he likely hailed from the kingdom of Edom. This connection consequently places Job after Esau, in the time of the patriarchs between Abraham and Moses.

Bildad is introduced in chapter eight as “the Shuhite”. The tribe of the Shuhites descended from Shuah, son of Abraham via his concubine Keturah, as revealed in Genesis 25:2. The Assyrians called them the Suhu, and they lived east of the Syrians on the south bank of the Euphrates. Their location would thereby have been just north of Edom, home of Eliphaz. Shuah was born after Sarah’s death, approximately 1813 BC, after Abraham married Keturah. So Bildad may have been the great-great-grandson of Shuah.

Zophar was identified as a Naamathite, but that trail runs cold. However, the Septuagint calls him the King of the Mineans, in southern Arabia, or modern day Yemen. Centuries later, this kingdom would be overrun by the same Sabeans who oppressed Job, who then founded Saba, also known as Sheba, famous because of the Queen of Sheba, who visited King Solomon.

Elihu is introduced in chapter thirty-two as being younger than Job. His ancestry is given as the son of Barachel the Buzite, hence of the kindred of Ram. Buzites were descended from Buz, a son of Abraham’s brother Nahor and maybe from the city of Nahor in the Balih valley north of the Euphrates, beside a tributary of the Euphrates. (Genesis 22:20-24) He was therefore an uncle of Aram (v 21), whose name could also have been Ram. Buz would have been born somewhere around 1850 B.C., with his descendant Elihu born generations later. To make things clear, Elihu lived near both Eliphaz and Bildad.

Job is harder to place, as he is identified solely by his country of origin – Uz, not his family. Two people named Uz appear in Genesis. The first is the son of Aram (in Genesis 10:23) who lived shortly after Noah. The ancient Jewish scholar Josephus wrote that his descendants the Aramites (aka Syrians) settled south of the Euphrates, a geographical possibility.

The second Uz (in Genesis 36:28) was a grandson of Seir the Horite (or Hivite) and gave his name to the region of Mount Seir captured by the Edomites (Genesis 36:8 and Lamenations 4:21). This better fits with the time period and locations in which the ‘friends’ lived. Did Job have a rank or title of nobility? In Job 1:3 he is called “Greatest of all the men of the East”. In chapter twenty-nine, Job’s habit of resolving disputes before the city gate and having the respect of princes suggests that he was a nobleman. Especially telling is this verse:

I directed their course and presided as chief. I lived as a king among his troops, like one who comforts those who mourn. (Job 29:25, HCSB)

Job may have been Lord over a city state or even a king. His proper name may have been the longer name Jobab, abbreviated to Job to emphasize the persecution he suffered. If Jobab was his full name, there are two associations possible.

Jobab, son of Joktan, an ancestor of the south Arabian people and the Chaldeans, (Genesis 10:29), was born close to 2200 B.C. – near the dispersion from Babel. That is too early to be consistent with much of the other information we have about him and his companions.

Jobab, son of Zerah, on the other hand was the second king of Edom. (Gen.36:33) From Genesis 36 we find this Jobab was the great grandson of Esau through son Reuel, via grandson Zerah. Assuming Esau was born 1790 B.C., and using thirty years to approximate a generation, this second Jobab would have been born approximately 1730 B.C. and reached maturity in 1700 B.C. If the idea of linking Jobab to Job is correct, and Job lived 140 years after his ordeal (as per Job 42:16), then he died after 1560 B.C.

If Jacob and his family went down into Egypt circa 1660 BC and Moses fled Egypt to Midian north of Edom in 1485 BC, it would put Moses in Midian less than 75 years after Job died. If so, the story of Job could have been known by Moses when he lived in Midian. This is important, because tradition holds that Moses was either the one to write the story down, or at least edit it by adding the epilogue and prologue and incorporate it into the sacred writings of Israel. Or, if not Moses, then Joshua, his scribe, who used some phrases found only in Job and his own book.

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  • Edit for formatting, and a standing ovation for the post. Thank you, Paul. – KorvinStarmast May 7 at 0:10
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    Thanks for the edit. I sort of buried the lede. – Paul Chernoch May 7 at 12:40

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