How Long Was Job Suffering?
The book of Job in the Bible is an extraordinary account of the trials and tribulations of one very patient and loyal servant of God. Job is known for his patience and determination to remain faithful in the face of seemingly insufferable suffering, leaving readers wondering; just how long was Job suffering?
Suffering for 10 Years
The text of the book of Job does not explicitly mention the duration of his trials, but a careful reading of the text reveals that it lasted approximately 10 years. In Job 7:3, Job says “so I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of misery have been appointed to me.” This suggests that the suffering extended beyond a single month and endured until the Lord finally spoke in the past tense in Job 42:7, saying “after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz.”
Rise of Job After 10 Year Cycle
After this period of 10 years, Job experiences a remarkable turn of events which erase all the painful memories of his suffering. The Lord appears to him and replays Job with double his former possessions and restores his physical health, giving him a total of fourteen children, seven sons and seven daughters. This rise from degradation to prominence and having his all lost possessions restored serves to nullify the suffering that he endured for over 10 years if not longer.
Understanding the Purpose for Suffering
The purpose of Job’s suffering was to prove to Satan that Job was a loyal and faithful servant of God, and that he was enduring in his faith even through suffering. According to James 5:11, “you have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, because the Lord is compassionate and merciful.” Luckily, Job endured and was rewarded in the end.
Job’s suffering teaches us the importance of endurance and faith in the midst of adversities. As the Lord patiently waited in the wings, Job endured 10 long years of trials – proving to all of us that with faith and perseverance we too can experience a victorious rise.