The book of Job has been hailed as a literary masterpiece. Yet it poses one of the most difficult literary problems in the Old Testament: how to understand the order of speeches and speakers from chapters 26 through 37.
In this second volume of his commentary on Job, Professor David J. A. Clines addresses the problem directly with a sweeping proposal. He argues that chapter 26 continues Bildad's speech from the previous chapter. Job's ninth speech is shorter than usually recognized, only 27:1-6, 11-12. Clines finds Zophar's missing third speech in 27:7-10, 13-17; 24:18-24; and 27:18-23, thus completing the last cycle of speeches by the three friends.
Finally, Professor Clines solves the mystery of the wisdom poem in chapter 28 by crediting it to Elihu and showing that it should follow Elihu's other four speeches (chaps. 32-37) as their climax. This new reconstruction allows Job's final speeches (29:1-31:40) to end the cycle and lead into God's response (chaps. 38-41).
Through it all, Professor Clines guides readers through the intricacies of Job's language as well as the sweep of the book's theology. He concisely summarizes the views of other commentators, but also notes the choices that readers can and must make in order to evaluate Job's honesty and judge the character of one of the most vivid personalities in biblical literature.