The Book of Job: Annotated & Explained

This fresh translation and annotation of a celebrated classic of world literature captures some of the finest poetry in the Hebrew Bible and uncovers the original author's intent in a way that is accessible for modern readers and spiritual seekers.

Translation & Annotation by Donald Kraus
Foreword by Dr. Marc Brettler

5½ x 8½, 256 pp | 978-1-59473-389-5

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The poetical masterpiece that confronts the inexplicable mystery of good and evil can be a companion on your own spiritual journey.

The book of Job, celebrated as a classic of world literature and one of the glories of the Bible, can often be puzzling and frustrating: puzzling for its dialogue form and off-putting because of the many questions it leaves unanswered. The book was written in a world very different from our own, and yet the fundamental questions it raises are still ones we grapple with today: Is it worthwhile to act for the best? Does life have a meaning beyond itself? Why do the righteous suffer and the guilty prosper?

In this accessible guide to a spiritual masterpiece, Donald Kraus, the editor of the Oxford University Press Study Bible program, clarifies what Job is, helps overcome difficulties in the text, and suggests what Job may mean for us today. Kraus’s fresh translation captures some of the finest poetry in the Hebrew Bible and uncovers the original author’s intent in a way that is accessible for modern readers and spiritual seekers.

This inviting SkyLight Illuminations edition, with probing facing-page commentary, explores Job’s daring challenges to God’s goodness, asks questions about the basic fairness of existence, and offers compelling descriptions of the glories of the created world and the bitter sorrows of human life.

“Donald Kraus's exposition is eloquent, theologically sensitive and, like the book of Job itself, unflinching in its honesty. A masterpiece!”

Michael Coogan, lecturer on Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, Harvard Divinity School; director of publications, Harvard Semitic Museum

“A wise, insightful and clear guide to this fascinating book.... An excellent companion to reading Job, either on one’s own or in a group.”

Carol A. Newsom, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, Emory University; author, The Book of Job: A Contest of Moral Imaginations

“Kraus invites us to wrestle, like Job, with the hardest questions in life, about suffering, justice, fairness and the place of God in the midst of all of it. This is an excellent resource for adult education, personal enrichment, someone who wants more insight into a literary gem (Kraus’s translation is a wonder of beauty), or the seeker after Wisdom.”

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presiding Bishop, Episcopal Church; author, Gathering at God’s Table: The Meaning of Mission in the Feast of Faith

“The book of Job is one of the most honest books in the Bible, but readers need a guide ... familiar with its twists and turns who can help us ... to discover its wisdom.... Kraus ... brings the text to life and the meaning to light. By all means read it. By all means ponder it.”

Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author, Ecclesiastes: Annotated and Explained

Foreword vii
Introduction xi

The Prose Framework: Opening 1
Chapter 1 3
Chapter 2 9

Job's Curse 13
Chapter 3 15

The First Dialogue Cycle 19
Chapter 4 21
Chapter 5 25
Chapter 6 29
Chapter 7 35
Chapter 8 39
Chapter 9 43
Chapter 10 49
Chapter 11 53
Chapter 12 57
Chapter 13 61
Chapter 14 65

The Second Dialogue Cycle 69
Chapter 15 71
Chapter 16 77
Chapter 17 81
Chapter 18 85
Chapter 19 89
Chapter 20 95
Chapter 21 99

The Third Dialogue Cycle 105
Chapter 22 107
Chapter 23 111
Chapter 24 115
Chapter 25 119
Chapter 26 123
Chapter 27 125
Chapter 28 129

Job's Final Speeches 133
Chapter 29 135
Chapter 30 139
Chapter 31 145

The Elihu Explosion 151
Chapter 32 153
Chapter 33 157
Chapter 34 163
Chapter 35 169
Chapter 36 173
Chapter 37 179

The Answer of God from the Storm 183
Chapter 38 185
Chapter 39 191
Chapter 40 197
Chapter 41 201

Job's Final Reply 207
Chapter 42 (verses 1ж) 209

The Prose Framework: Closing 211
Chapter 42 (verses 7б7) 213

Acknowledgments 214
Suggestions for Further Reading 215