1. What is Job’s original status? Why do you think such a man is chosen as the protagonist of this tale?
  2. What is the point of Satan’s accusation? Can you think of contemporary analogues? From a literary or dramatic point of view, why do you think the Lord accommodates his request?
  3. What are the causes of Job’s afflictions? How are they representative of possible sources of pain?
  4. In chapter 3, what attitudes does Job express? What metaphors does he use to express his deepest emotions?
  5. What opinions are advanced by Eliphaz the Temanite? Does he have any evidence in support of his views? What experiences does he recount?
  6. What do you think of Eliphaz’s tact? His use of language? Do his views in any way resemble those of Job? In the end what does he recommend?
  7. What answer does Job give Eliphaz? (chapter 6) Of what does he complain in chapter 7? Do you recognize any passages as especially famous? For what does he pray to the Lord?
  8. What in Job’s speech seems to have irritated Bildad the Shuhite? What does he add to the discussion? Do his claims resemble any of those in the Psalms we read?
  9. What are new qualities in Job’s next speech? (chapters 9 and 10) Of what does he accuse God?
  10. Why do you think Job cannot confront God fairly? What situation does he imagine? What does he consider inconsistent about God’s behavior?
  11. How does Zophar the Naamathite differ from the others? Are the statements of the three “friends” arranged in any dramatic order?
  12. In chapters 12-13, how does Job undercut their arguments? Of what does he accuse them? What is the effect of his turning directly to God?
  13. What attitude about himself does Job maintain? What two things does he ask God to grants?
  14. What argumentative purpose is served by the lament in chapter 14? Are there especially poignant passages? Why is human life worse than that of the plants? What reprieve does Job wish?
  15. What is the substance of Eliphaz’s answer? What seems especially to anger him?
  16. In chapters 16 and 17, what does Job say of his friends? Does he consider himself among the righteous? (12:9)
  17. In chapter 18, does Bildad the Shuhite add anything to his earlier remarks?
  18. What new regrets does Job express in chapter 19? For what does he yearn? In what future justice does he express faith?
  19. Does chapter 20 indicate that Zophar has changed his opinion? Are any new insulting comparisons contained in his speech?
  20. In chapter 21, what especially galls Job? What defense of God’s behavior is advanced in chapter 22 by Eliphaz? What advice does he give?
  21. In chapter 23, what does Job expect from an encounter with God? What is his attitude at the thought of confrontation? In 24, of what more general injustices does he complain?
  22. What is the relation between Bildad’s remarks in chapter 25 (and perhaps in chapter 26) and those later made by Job? What does Job answer in chapter 27?
  23. What new motif is added in chapter 28?
  24. What roles and relationships does Job remember fondly from his past? (chapter 29) What has happened since? (chapter 30) What sins hasn’t he committed? (chapter 31)
  25. Why has Elihu waited until now to speak? What reasons does he give in chapter 32 for beginning his monologue? What ideas are represented by him which have not previously been considered?
  26. When God appears to Job in the whirlwind, does he justify his decision? What is the substance of his response to Job? On what grounds does Job find this satisfactory?
  27. Do you believe this book has resolved all the issues it has raised? Are there any arguments which God might have made but didn’t?
  28. What purpose is served by the epilogue? Do you think it adds to the book’s final argument?
  29. What attitudes toward divinity, morality and social relationships are implicit in this book?
  30. What are some of the more striking dramatic, poetic and philosophic features of this tale?
  31. Why do you think the book of Job has remained one of the most respected of Biblical books over the centuries? What differentiates it from some of the other non-historical sections of the Bible?
  32. Can you think of any more recent literary works based on the book of Job? Any recent or contemporary literary works which deal with the same themes, and/or any recent popular books which address the topic of the “justice” of loss?