People don’t seem to understand the things God does, but they accept this mysteriousness. They don’t get to see him or talk to him because the only way God talks to people is “in a vision at night” or “in a dream” (Job 33:15). People just knew him as a powerful entity that “gives rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields” (Job 0) and “does great things beyond understanding’ (Job 9:10). He is an entity that just had to be worshipped and feared, otherwise bad things will happen to you. Something as simple asking God if he will answer you is “contending’ against him (Job 33:13).And “If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand” (Job 9:3), so there wouldn’t even be a point in contending against God.
This all powerful God figure is the one that rules over the people in the time and place of the Book of Job. The actions that were considered good and bad were judged by this figure. Their references then for things like that definitely aren’t like it is today where we have books and text for all our laws, religious awnings and such. So people had to go off their interpretation of these things and what they learned in their life.They learned things that are universally seen as bad in all societies like murdering, stealing (Job 24:1 4), and adultery (Job 24: 15). And as we discussed in class, these actions are worst during this time period against women and children that don’t have men in their lives (Job 22:9).
They also have values where a people are supposed to do work their whole lives (Job 7:1). So we can say a person that is known at this time is hard working person, who doesn’t steal, kill, and cheat. They must help out widows and orphans if they can.It can be said this is especially true for those who are rich.
In this time wealth is measured by having a lot of land, animals (Job 42:12), children bib 42:13), and servants. The wealth is considered increased if the daughters are beautiful (Job 42:15). Sons are always known as wealth in most societies and it is no different in this one. When God returned Job’s wealth and increased it, he was given seven sons. So you can see that males are had a high social tanning in this society. Not to mention that this story also has a male as the main character.So in this society where males are important and having tons of animals makes a person wealthy, their values are heavily influenced by what they believed God thought was just.
They knew God to be an immensely powerful entity that they certainly do not want to be punished by. People spent a lot of time and effort thinking about what God thinks is good and lives this way even if there is no real way to prove it. They have no texts to reference or rely on when arguments and big disputes happen.
So these thoughts and their experience in life is all they have to go off of.It made many many things in this society unclear and unknowable. They can’t even have a proper conversation with God who chooses who he wants to talk to and how (Job 38).
The people during this time do seem to have the some of the universal values of good that is in every society, like not killing, stealing, cheating and doing charity for those deemed to be less fortunate than yourself if you can. Other than those things, combined with worshipping and fearing God, nothing mess completely clear for the people of this time.