In most of the psalms of this period the poets who speak in behalf of the afflicted class, like the author of Malachi, expressed the hope that Jehovah would speedily come to their deliverance and signally vindicate and reward them. The heroism and fidelity that they represent can only be fully appreciated in the light of this discouraging period when evil was regnant. It was apparently at this time that the great poet, who speaks through the book of Job, presented, with the spirit and method of a modern philosopher, the lot of these innocent sufferers. He also proved for all time that misfortune is not always the evidence of guilt, and that the current doctrine of proportionate rewards and the explanations that were adduced to support it were in certain cases absolutely untenable.
Section XCVIII. THE PROBLEM AND TEACHINGS OF THE BOOK OF JOB
[Sidenote: Job 1:1-5] There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job. And that man was blameless and upright; he feared God and turned away from evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. His possessions also included seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred she asses, and an exceedingly large number of servants; so that this man was the greatest of all the peoples of Palestine. And his sons were accustomed to hold a feast in one another’s house each on his day. And they were wont to send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of their feasting were over, Job used to send and sanctify them, and he rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt-offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, Perhaps my sons have sinned, and renounced God in their hearts. Thus Job did continually.