What words of God did Job treasure?


Job 23:12 “I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food”
In this context, I am curious about the words or God that Job treasures so much. So much that they sustained him through horrific trials!
How was the word of God passed down at this time? It seems a lot of people adhere to the idea that ‘Job’ was one of the first books written…

I don’t exactly know how to form the essence of my main question but I will try: How did Job know how to honour God? Did God give him the Holy Spirit at times? Since the commandments only came later in time through Moses in Exodus, how would he have known he was following God?
It makes me so curious to think about Jobs relationship with God! How did he know God?

Thank you :slight_smile:


This is a great question!

I wonder if @SeanO might have some thoughts?

1 Like

@Hailey Great question :slight_smile: I think it is important to remember that Abraham and Moses were not the first people to walk with God or to receive commandments from God. God gave Adam and Eve a very specific command and both Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to God on an altar. The line of Seth in Genesis traces the line of godly men who followed the true God down through the ages even as wickedness spread upon the earth. And in Abraham’s day Melchizedek was a priest of God Most High. In the words of Jesus, “Before Abraham was, I AM”.

No doubt the godly people who lived before Moses often talked about the importance of obeying God and walking in His commandments, without referring specifically to the law of Moses. I do not think this reference presents any fundamental difficulty no matter what period of history Job lived in if we remember that God has always been at work among the human race. God has spoken at many times and in various ways throughout all of history.

Hebrews 1:1 - In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.

Hope that helps :slight_smile:

Verse 12. - Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips. Professor Lee rightly observes that this declaration “takes it for granted that, at least, some precepts of God had been revealed before this time” (‘Book of Job,’ p. 370). Them were “commandments” which Job recognized as having proceeded from God, and “words” which he looked upon as being the utterances of his mouth. This is strong evidence of a primeval revelation which, if not reduced to writing, had, at any rate, been handed down by tradition to Job’s day. Genesis 3:14-19 and Genesis 9:1-7 may afford the true explanation of this difficulty. I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. This is scarcely strong enough. Job says, “I have treasured up taken to myself, and preserved the words of his mouth,” either “more than my necessary food” or “more than my own law.” If the former rendering be preferred, there is no need of explanation; if the latter, we must regard “my own law” as meaning “the law of my own mind, my own will, the will of the natural man” (Cook). Pulpit Commentary

1 Like

What a great question, Hailey!
The settings of Job, both cultural and historical seem to reflect the times of Genesis 12 to 50. Some people believe Job‘s account could be orally passed down from generation to generation before it was put into writing.

Reasons to suggest that Job lived during the times of early patriarchs before Moses:

  1. The kesitah, a unit of money was used during the times of the patriarchs (Job 42:11)
  2. Job’s daughters received an inheritance together with his sons (Job 42:14). After Moses, inheritance commonly given to sons. Genesis 27.
  3. Job’s wealth was determined by his flocks, not money. ( Job 1:3, Job 42:12) compare this to Abraham ( Genesis 12:16) who was rich in livestock.

So in conclusion, the words Job treasured might be spoken to him in ways similar to what the early patriarchs experienced, since the law of Moses was not given then.

So maybe the Lord spoke to Job directly like He did to Abraham, Isaac & Jacob.

In Job 38-40, the Lord spoke to Job out of a storm.
I am not sure whether it was audible, but possibly because Job said “now my ears have heard” ( Job 42:5)
I believe Job treasure all the words of God spoken directly or indirectly, through creation, conscience, dreams, and Holy Spirit coming upon him or oral traditions.

1 Like