I once mused that the Song of Songs might be best understood as a screenplay of sorts. Reading and meditating on it as such gave me new insights and a deeper appreciation of this often-overlooked book. It seems that the book of Job is similar in this regard.
As mostly dialogue, the book of Job could have been an early version of today’s screenplay (movie script) or stage play (theater production).
In the book of Job, we have eight characters:
- Job, the protagonist
- God, Job’s protector and overseer
- Satan, Job’s antagonist
- Job’s unsupportive wife, a bit part, albeit a painful one
- Job’s three “friends:” Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, (with friends like these, who needs enemies?)
- Job’s fourth friend, the initially quiet and then verbose, Elihu.
The book of Job opens with a prologue (chapters 1 and 2) that establishes the setting of the story. And it concludes with an epilogue (chapter 42) that provides for a satisfying ending. In between is all dialogue, mostly between Job and his four increasingly critical friends.
Aside from a brief ending summation by Job in the epilogue, the last oration is from God.
It’s fitting that God has the final word—and that Job listens.
May we do the same when we read the book of Job.
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.
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