Book of Job - 01 Prologue
Type of Spiritual Experience
It appears that the very first versions of this story described Job’s family and servants being destroyed by some sort of cataclysm
16 And while he was yet speaking, another came, and said, The fire of God is fallen from the heaven, and hath burnt up the sheep and the servants, and devoured them: but I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
18 And while he was yet speaking, came another, and said, Thy sons, and thy daughters were eating, and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house, 19 And behold, there came a great wind from beyond the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, which fell upon the children, and they are dead, and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
In our section on the Ages of Man, you will find that at times of great change when archetypes are changing or civilisations are being destroyed as part of the Great Work, the prophets are intended to help smooth the way between these major often catastrophic changes. Job's role in the Great Work was as a prophet, except by the sound of it he hadn't actually fulfilled much of that role up to that point.
This was a punishment, a wake up call to get him to describe what lay ahead.
When was the book written?
The first extract by J B Hale attempts to use astrological references.
Hale's "Chronology," vol. ii, p. 55
The cardinal constellations of spring and autumn, in Job's time, were Chima and Chesil, or Taurus and Scorpio, of which the principal stars are Aldebaran, the Bull's Eye, and Antare, the Scorpion's Heart. Knowing, therefore, the longitudes of these stars at present, the interval of time from thence to the assumed date of Job's trial will give the difference of these longitudes, and ascertain their positions then with respect to the vernal and equinoctial points of intersection of the equinoctial and ecliptic; according to the usual rate of the precession of the equinoxes, one degree in seventy-one years and a half.
A careful calculation, based on these principles, has proved that this period was 2338 B. C. According to the Septuagint, in the opinion of George Smith, the book of Job was written, from 2650 B. C. to 2250 B. C.
It appears, therefore, that the current book of Job was written, even according to the calculations of the orthodox, long before the time of Abraham, the founder of the Jewish nation, and hence could not have been the work of Moses or any other Hebrew.
Magee "On the Atonement," vol. ii, p. 84:
"If, in short, there be on the whole, that genuine air of the antique which those distinguished scholars, Schultens, Lowth, and Michaelis, affirm in every respect to pervade the work, we can scarcely hesitate to pronounce, with Lowth and Sherlock, that the book of Job is the oldest in the world now extant."
Actual events coinciding with this
In 2001, scientists found evidence that a ‘devastating’ meteor impact in the Middle East might have triggered the mysterious collapse of civilisations more than 4,000 years ago.
Meteor clue to end of Middle East civilisations - By Robert Matthews, Science Correspondent
Studies of satellite images of southern Iraq have revealed a two-mile-wide circular depression which scientists say bears all the hallmarks of an impact crater. If confirmed, it would point to the Middle East being struck by a meteor with the violence equivalent to hundreds of nuclear bombs. Today's crater lies on what would have been shallow sea 4,000 years ago, and any impact would have caused devastating fires and flooding.
The catastrophic effect of these could explain the mystery of why so many early cultures went into sudden decline around 2300 BC. They include the demise of the Akkad culture of central Iraq, with its mysterious semi-mythological emperor Sargon; the end of the fifth dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom, following the building of the Great Pyramids and the sudden disappearance of hundreds of early settlements in the Holy Land.
So in summary, Job's role in the Great Work was as a prophet, but at the time of the meteor strike that caused the fireball and violent winds, he hadn't actually done anything other than make himself rich. This catastrophic event was a wake up call - and of course had a huge effect on a number of cultures about whose demise Job should have been warning.
A description of the experience
Job 1 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.
4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.
7 And the Lord said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
8 And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
9 Then Satan answered the Lord, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12 And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.
13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
14 and there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:
15 and the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:
19 and, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
21 and said,
Naked came I out of my mother’s womb,
and naked shall I return thither:
the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord.
22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.