Are Job and Jobab the Same Person?
In Genesis 10: 26-29, Joktan's thirteen sons are listed. Joktan was Peleg's brother, and it was in Peleg's time the continents were divided. Joktan's thirteenth son was Jobab. Later on, in the Bible, we have the earliest completed book of the Bible, Job. Is Job Jobab? The evidence we have found in the Bible says that yes, he is. In the ancient Alexandrian Septuagint, from 300 years before Christ, there is a part of the book of Job that later translators left out. It states that Job lived a total of about 248 years. Although other Jobs and Jobabs are mentioned in the Bible, only someone who lived at approximately the time of Peleg or a little after would have this age expected. Before Peleg (and after Noah's Flood) the age expectancy was more like 400 or 450 years. After the time of Peleg we see a fairly rapid drop in life expectancy from over 400 years (Peleg's father and grandfather, in Genesis 11) to Peleg, 239 years, then Reu at 239 years, then 230 years for Serug, 148 years for Abraham's father, then Abraham's 175 years and finally to Moses' 120 years, which is the maximum life expectancy today.
Read something Bildad said about these lifespans in Job 8:8-9:
In other words, many older people were still around who had very long lifespans, but Bildad knew their own lifespans were not going to be that long.
The book of Job states that Job lived in the land of Uz. We find Uz mentioned in Genesis 10:23. He was the son of Aram, and thus a great great uncle to Jobab. There are other Uz's mentioned in the Bible, so let's look at more evidence.
If Job lived during the couple of hundred years when the continents were 'unzipping' along the Atlantic rift and other places, there would have been mammoth tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain building and overturning, and other disasters. When we look at the book of Job, we find exactly that mentioned. Here are some examples:
During Eliphaz's first answer, he says something interesting:
We can understand an old lion dying because he cannot catch prey, but when this blast of God also causes the young lions to be scattered away from the pride or the mother, we have to wonder what kind of thing was going on.
The fact that the earth was undergoing a number of startling changes, even in the weather systems, is hinted at in Job 6 and is much more explicit later on. Here is the Job 6:15-18
Many modern translations insert the word 'thawing' before 'ice.' But that word is not there in any of the old manuscripts. What would cause streams to ice over in the Middle East and then not only thaw, but disappear in the heat of summer? There is evidence of an axis tilt of the earth at the time of the splitting of the continents, a tilt even further than what happened at the time of Noah's Flood. The tilt at the time of Peleg (in atomic dating about 65 million years ago, a little more than three thousand years before Christ in terms of orbital years), caused the ice age which crept down over Europe and into the Middle East. This appears to be what Peleg and his contemporaries witnessed.
Later, when God answers Job in 38:29-30, God Himself seems to be referring to the advancing ice:
In one of Job's earlier responses to his friends, in chapter 9, he refers to something God can do and evidently has done in their lifetimes (verses 5-7)
Pillars of the earth? Each of our continents is formed around a large granite mass called a craton, or shield area. They extend to depths of ten miles or more. Thus, calling them 'pillars' is not a bad picture. And the fact that whatever is happening is so violent that the cratons themselves are trembling means some kind of massive series of earth movements is taking place. The sun not rising? When the earth wobbles, there are records of very long days in some parts of the world in the past and very long nights in others. Sealing up the stars? Volcanic ash in the air will do that. It is wise to remember that these are not scientific explanations, but descriptions of what had been observed.
In 12:15, Job refers to what appears to be tsunami activity:
If we look back to chapter 7, verse 12, suddenly that has new meaning in light of this:
Why a watch on the sea, or a sea monster (a more literal translation)? Because before the tsunami hits, the sea first draws far back, exposing the sea floor. Then the wave hits. If Job/Jobab were living at the time the continents were dividing, during those hundred or two hundred years, the tsunami activity would have been massive and repeated. Men would have to keep watch over the sea; and the evidence of the rapid withdrawal of the water could easily leave some very large creatures stranded, and thus easily seen.
In 14:11, there is another reference which may well be to this kind of wave activity:
When Job begins what we have as chapter three, look at what he says:
Job and his friends were eyewitnesses not only to the working of the Lord in the lives of men, which is the primary topic of their discussion, but of the catastrophes they were witnessing in their time.
In 14:18-19, we read
In 18:15, Bildad makes reference to brimstone being scattered upon the habitation of a man. That is a direct reference to volcanism.
In chapter 27 there is another interesting comparison Job makes. Look at verses 20-21:
In Job 28:5-6, then 29, we read
In other words, these men were witnesses of the fact that magma was producing precious stones and gold. There were places where they could witness large cracks and see the molten, seething, burning rock below.
The evidence mounts. Mentions of cave men in Job 24 and 30 possibly define who they were and places them in this time as well. For all these reasons, and more, we have found ourselves agreeing that Job is indeed the Jobab of Genesis 10.
Here is Barry's reply:
There has been a question asked about our comment that the word Job is a contraction or nickname for Jobab in related languages. The questioner doubted this because of the difference the spelling of Jobab and Job in Hebrew. The word Job appears in the Book of Job as well as in Genesis 46:13, Ezekiel 14:14 & 20 and James 5:11. The word Jobab appears in Genesis 10:29; 36:33 & 34; Joshua 11:1 and 1Chronicles 1:44, 45.
In answer to this question, let us first point out that the Alexandrian Septuagint Greek translation, the LXX, gives us a clue here. This translation was made about 280 BC by Jewish scholars who were fluent in both the Hebrew and Greek languages as well as being scholars of the Hebrew Scriptures. Their translation was made from the old paleo-Hebrew text which appeared script-like when compared with the later Hebrew text with is square characters. In all cases where our English word Job is used in the references above, the Greek word “Іωβ” (Iob) appears in the LXX. In all cases where Jobab appears in our English version, the Greek word “Ιωβαβ” (Iobab) is used in the LXX. Remember that the Jewish scholars who translated these verses gave the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew. The result was that the root of both names is “Іωβ” (Iob) in the Greek. As a result, the LXX strongly supports the contention that the word Job is a contraction or nickname of the full name Jobab. If the Jewish translators of the LXX had something different in the paleo-Hebrew text, these two names would certainly have been different in this Greek version.
This leads us to the Hebrew text we call the Masoretic which originated around 100 AD at the Council of Jamnia. This is the text that is usually used for translations into English today. In this version, the word Job appears in the Hebrew as (יו ב ) or (reading from right to left) Yod Vav Bet pronounced “Yowb”. This is also how it appears in Strong’s Concordance under reference number 3102. This concordance comments that this word is a form of Reference 3103 which is Jobab spelt (יובב ) or Yod Vav Bet Bet pronounced “Yowbab”. The root of the word is certainly Yod Vav Bet so the concordance agrees that Jobab and Job are related words. Finally, the other form of Job appears in the Masoretic text as (איו ב ) or Aleph Yod Vav Bet pronounced “Iyowb” as in Strong’s Reference number 347. It can be seen that the root of this word is once more Yod Vav Bet or “Yowb”.
As a consequence, it can be stated that the names Jobab and Job are closely related. Indeed, it was the conviction of Dr. Bernard Northrup, a translator of both Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, that the Jobab of Genesis 10:29 was exactly the same person as the one featured in the Book of Job. We agree with that assessment for both linguistic and scientific reasons.
From Barry: In answer to your question about the ending of the Book of Job in the Septuagint, we first note that the LXX ends with chapter 42 verses 16 and 17 where we are given Job's age. This is part of the Alexandrian Septuagint. However, there is a rather lengthy paragraph which is NOT numbered that appears separately after the close of verse 17. This is an addition, and we are plainly told where this addition came from. The opening of this additional paragraph reads "This man [Job] is described in the Syriac book [version] as living in the land of Ausis on the borders of Idumea and Arabia..." This, and all that follows, is clearly an editorial comment about the Syriac version of Job.
The first Syriac version of the Old Testament originated about 180 AD, which is well after the Council of Jamnia in 100 AD where the Masoretic Text originated. It therefore has nothing to do with the Alexandrian Septuagint Text which originated about 280 BC or over 450 years earlier. This inclusion therefore originates with the later Septuagints. This term Septuagint has come to mean any Hebrew to Greek translation. That is why we specify the Alexandrian LXX which was the most ancient. The time of 180 AD was about the time of Origen when he produced a number of Greek versions that conformed to the Masoretic text of 100 AD.
It is also possible to knock out this spurious comment another way. They have taken the Jobab of Genesis 36:33-34, from the line of Esau, and made him the Jobab of the book of Job. In doing that, they have acknowledged that the name Jobab and Job are the same name in related languages. However they have chosen the wrong Jobab! They should have chosen the one from Genesis 10:29. You then ask why? The reason is that, at the time of Jacob and Esau, the maximum age that was attained according to Scripture was 147 for Jacob and 175 for Abraham. These numbers are concordant. But the Alexandrian LXX tells us Job died aged 248 years or about 100 years longer than the Scriptural norm for the time of Esau. In fact we have to go back to the days of Peleg before we find people living about 250 years as a typical lifespan. Therefore, the choice of Jobab between the descendant of Esau or the nephew of Peleg is made plain by the mathematical consideration of their ages.