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Bible Insights

When Was the Book of Job Written?

Earlier I wondered if Job was real person or a fictional character. Despite support for both perspectives, my conclusion was that it doesn’t really matter. We can learn from him regardless if his life is a fictitious or historical account.

Another debated question, which is without definitive answer, is when was Job written? While some say that it was an early book of the Bible—perhaps even the first—this conclusion is more speculative than evidentiary.

Regarding this, let me make two observations:

First, there are significant thematic parallels between the books of Job and Ecclesiastes, specifically regarding the brevity of life and futility of living.

Second, the books of Job and Song of Songs have a similar construction, which is not found anywhere else in the Bible. Each is heavy in dialogue—almost exclusively so—reading like a screenplay.

The books of Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs were both written by King Solomon. Because the book of Job shares a similar construction and theme, perhaps Solomon also wrote Job.

Knowing when Job was written doesn’t really matter either, but it is an intriguing thought to consider that perhaps King Solomon is the author.

Discover more about Job in Peter’s book I Hope in Him: 40 Insights about Moving from Despair to Deliverance through the Life of Job. In it, we compare the text of Job to a modern screenplay.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.