How Old Was Job?
The biblical story of Job is filled with intrigue and mystery, but one of the most intriguing questions about Job is his age at the time of the events described in the Bible. Knowing the answer to this question is essential for understanding the context of the story, for the trouble that Job suffered could have been mitigated or even avoided had Job been older, or a certain age.
Biblical Accounts of Job’s Age
The Bible does not state Job’s exact age, but there are several passages that imply his age. Here are some of the most likely age indicators:
- The Book of Job mentions that Job had lived to “an old age”: In chapter 5, verse 26 of the book of Job, Job himself acknowledges that he had lived to “an old age”. This implies that he was no longer young, and that he had quite possibly lived a long life.
- Job was “the greatest of all the people of the east”: According to Job 1:3, Job was “the greatest of all the people of the east”. This implies that he had achieved a great deal despite his advanced age and that he was respected by his peers.
- Job had seven sons and three daughters: Job 1:2 states that Job had seven sons and three daughters. In those times, for a man to have children so late in life would have been extraordinary, thus adding to the notion that Job was indeed advanced in years.
- Job had time to amass wealth: In Job 42:12, we learn that Job had “acquired 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys”. This would imply that Job had enough wealth that it could not have been accumulated in a short period of time, and thus was likely gathered over the years.
In conclusion, it is difficult to determine exactly how old Job was at the time of his troubles, but it is likely he was prosperous and respected, and of advanced age.