The Bible doesn’t say precisely when Job’s trial of faith happened, or even how old he was at the time. There are some hints that might help us narrow down the time frame. Within the Biblical possibilities, we have then chosen dates that make for a good story.

There are several factors that undoubtedly place the events after the flood. To narrow it down further, we can look at clues about Job’s age, plus some tribal and geographic references. Considering that Job had ten children, and all seven of his sons had homes of their own, it seems that he must have been at least 60 at the time of his trial of faith.

“After this Job lived 140 years …” The way this phrase is used in other parts of the Bible, it always means that these were additional years after the event, so it was not his total life span. Also, Job was doubly blessed in several other ways after his trial, so maybe he had lived 70 years, before the time of the trial, then lived twice as many years after, to a total of 210.

Those living before the flood generally lived over 800 years, after the flood over 400 years, after the dispersion from Babel over 200 years, then life spans tapered down from there to the time when Moses said men generally lived about 70 or 80 years. The Bible seems to give the impression that grandchildren were only a part of Job’s family after the trial. So, it doesn’t really fit if Job was among those who lived over 400, since you would think he would have had grandchildren long before the final 140 years of his life. So, “being old and full of days” at 210 would put Job in the post dispersion generation.

Also, he was the “greatest of the men of the East” and he lived in “the land of Uz,” plus he was attacked by the Sabeans and the Chaldeans. These regional and tribal references all assume geographically dispersed and tribally segregated groups of people. This also places the events after the dispersion. But, the time frame is not likely many centuries after the dispersion, since “the East” would have been much farther, as significant civilizations developed in Asia. The land of Uz has its western border at the Jordan River. Also, God mentions the Jordan River when He is speaking of behemoth. So, it doesn’t seem possible that enough time had passed, so that “the East” would refer to, say, India.

For the story, it seems fitting that God might single out Job as having no equal in the Earth, as a servant of God, shortly after the death of Noah.

ChronologyOfTheOldTestamentWhile on the topic of Bible chronology, I must mention “The Chronology of the Old Testament” by Floyd Nolen Jones, published by Master Books. This book receives my highest commendation.

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