Commentaries on Job

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Order of Contents

Best  9
More
.      Puritans  3
.      Devotional  2
.      Intermediate  13
.      Advanced  7
Less Helpful  5
On Job Generally  9
Early Church  2
Medieval Church  1
Jewish  1
In French  1
Translation of  1
Paraphrases  2
Job in Poetry
Chapters in Job

 

 

The Best Commentaries on Job

Reformer

Calvin, John – Sermons on Job  d. 1564

***“Not the same as the commentary, but equally rich.” – Spurgeon

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Puritans

Caryl, Joseph 

Exposition of Job  Buy

Ch. 1-3
Ch. 4-7
Ch. 8-10
Ch. 11-14

Ch. 15-17
Ch. 18-21
Ch. 22-26
Ch. 27-31

Ch. 32-34
Ch. 35-37
Ch. 38-42

Caryl was a Westminster divine.

*** – ‘Who can pretend to biblical learning who has not made himself familiar with the great writers who spent a life in explaining some one sacred book?  Caryl on Job will not exhaust the patience of a student who loves every letter of the Word.’  ‘Caryl must have inherited the patience of Job to have completed his stupendous task.  It would be a mistake to suppose that he is at all prolix or redundant; he is only full.  In the course of his expounding he has illustrated a very large portion of the whole Bible with great clearness and power.  He is deeply devotional and spiritual.  He gives us much, but none too much.  His work can scarcely be superseded or surpassed.’ – Spurgeon

An Exposition of Job: A one volume Abridgment  Buy 

**“We do not believe in abridgments of a book which is good throughout.  think of twelve large volumes condensed into one small one!  An ox in a gallipot is nothing to it.” – Spurgeon

Durham, James – Job  HTML  Buy  †1658

*** – ‘This is a small book, and we have been unable to procure it.  [William]Orme [†1830] only mentions it upon the authority of Watt’s Bibliotheca.  It is certain to be good, for Durham is always admirable.’ – Surgeon

Hutcheson, George – An Exposition of the book of Job being the Sum of 316 Lectures  ToC  PoD  1657

*** – ‘Whenever the student sees a commentary by Hutcheson let him buy it, for we know of no author who is more thoroughly helpful to the minister of the Word.  He distills the text, and gives his readers the quintessence, ready for use.’ – Spurgeon

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1800’s

Barnes, Albert – Notes on Job

*** “Exceedingly good.  One of the best of this author’s generally valuable productions.  The student should purchase this work at once, as it is absolutely necessary to his library.” – Spurgeon

Fry, John – A New Translation and Exposition of the Very Ancient Book of Job, with Notes Explanatory and Philological  1827

***“Written in a devout, enquiring spirit, with due respect to learned writers, but not with a slavish following of their fancies.  Fry’s work is somewhat of the same character as [John Mason] Good’s.  We greatly esteem this exposition for its own sake, and also for the evangelical tone which pervades it.” – Spurgeon

Gibson, Edgar C. – The Book of Job, with Introduction and Notes  Buy  1899  308 pp.  Reprinted by Klock & Klock

‘A valuable exposition.  Deserves a place in the library of every pastor!’ – Cyril J. Barber

Green, William H. – The Argument of the Book of Job Unfolded  1874  380 pp.

Green (1825–1900) was an imminent Old Princeton, Hebrew scholar.  This has been reprinted by the Banner of Truth.

‘Recently republished under the title of Job’s Triumph Over Satan, this excellent study ably expounds the theme of this book.  A most valuable study.’ – Cyril J. Barber

Hulbert, Charles A. – The Gospel Revealed to Job, 30 Lectures with Notes  1853

Hulbert (1804–1888) was an Anglican clergyman.

***“An unusually good book; exceedingly comprehensive and helpful in many ways.  The author aimed at usefulness and has succeeded wonderfully.  We wonder that his work has not been better known.” – Spurgeon

Lange’s Commentary – The Book of Job

***“Contains a large collection of available material, and, if within a minister’s means, should be a foundation book in his library.  We are very far from endorsing all Zuckler’s remarks, but the volume is an important one.” – Spurgeon

 

 

 

More Commentaries on Job

Puritans

Beza, Theodore – Job Expounded, partly in manner of a Commentary, partly in manner of a Paraphrase  1589

** – “Beza was the great friend and assistant of Calvin.  As a commentator he lacked the profound insight and comprehensive grasp of Calvin, but as a critical scholar he is said to have been his equal if not his superior.  This work on Job is rare.” – Spurgeon

Jackson, Arthur – Annotations upon Job, the Psalms, the Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon  1658

“In 1653, Arthur Jackson, Preacher of God’s Word in Wood Street, London, issued four volumes upon the Old Testament, which appear to have been the result of his pulpit expositions to his people.  Valuable his works would be if there were no better, but they are not comparable to others already and afterwards mentioned.  You can do without him, but he is a reputable author.” – Spurgeon

Leigh, Edward – Annotations on Five Poetical Books of the Old Testament: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles  1657

**  ‘Good, brief notes.  Antique, but still prized.’ – Spurgeon

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Devotional

Blackwood, Andrew – A Devotional Introduction to Job  Buy  1970

Van Hagen, Mrs. Henry – Evenings in the Land of Uz; a Comment on Job  1843

**  “Isaac Taylor commends this volume as one which ‘disclaiming all purpose of critical exposition aims only under the guidance of Christian feeling and experience to follow and to unfold the spiritual intention of this rich portion of Holy Scripture.’  Such an introduction must have helped to sell the work and carry it speedily to the second edition.” – Spurgeon

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Intermediate

Aitken, James – The Book of Job  n.d.  in Hand-books for Bible Classes, ed. Dods & Whyte

Allen, John – A Spiritual Exposition of the Old Testament: from Joshua to the end of the Psalms  1816

‘Spiritual reflections after the high Calvinistic school.  Some preachers cannot see Christ where He is, but Allen finds Him where He is not.  There is in these reflections much godly savor, but very little exposition.’ – Spurgeon  

This Allen was not the one that translated Calvin’s Institutes.  James Darling said that Allen was an Antinomian (one who believes that Christians are not bound by moral injunctions).  Antinomians, not believing that moral injunctions should be derived from God’s Word, often replaced this large aspect of Scripture’s teaching with finding Christ everywhere in the Bible, especially the Old Testament. 

Coleman, J. – The Book of Job, translated from the Hebrew, with Notes Explanatory, Illustrative and Critical  1869

**  “We do not value this so much as the same author’s ‘Psalms’, but it is serviceable in its own way.” – Spurgeon

Conant, Thomas – The Book of Job… with an Introduction and Philological Notes, for the American Bible Union 1857

**  “An excellent translation.  The design did not allow of more than slender notes, but those notes are good.” – Spurgeon

Cox, Samuel – A Commentary on the Book of Job, with a Translation  1880  600 pp.

Cox was an English non-conformist minister, baptist and a universalist (not recommended).  He was an editor for the magazine, The Expositor.

‘An exemplary treatment!’ – Cyril J. Barber

Davidson, A.B. – The Book of Job, with Notes, Introduction and Appendix  in The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, ed. Perowne

Davidson was a liberal.

‘A capable exposition by a renowned Scottish Hebraist.  Easier to obtain than Gibson’s masterly work.’ – Cyril J. Barber

Fenton, Thomas – Annotations on Job and the Psalms, collected from several Commentators, and Methodized and Improved  1732

**  “All that will be found here is taken from others, but well selected.” – Spurgeon

Penn-Lewis, Jessie – The Story of Job  Buy  1902

ed. Ralph, E.H. – The Voice out of the Whirlwind: The Book of Job  Buy  1960

Robinson, Thomas – A Homiletical Commentary on the Book of Job  1875

**  “This we hope will be of use to preachers, but we have hardly enough before us to judge of it.” – Spurgeon

Smith, Elizabeth – The Book of Job translated from the Hebrew, with a Preface and Annotations  1810  Smith’s notes are sparce, but F. Randolph’s comments on Smith’s translation, starting on p. 147, are more frequent and in-depth

**  “A good English version of Job, produced chiefly by the aid of Parkhurst’s Lexicon.” – Orme, as quoted by Spurgeon

Strahan, James – The Book of Job Interpreted  1914   New College, Edinburgh.  Cunningham Lecturer

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Advanced

Carey, Cateret Priaulx – The Book of Job translated from the Hebrew… explained in a large body of Notes, Critical and Exegetical, and Illustrated by extracts from various works on Antiquities, Geography, Science, etc., 1858

**  “Purely critical and exegetical.  The author has grappled manfully with all difficulties, and has stored up a mass of precious materials with which to illuminate a book dark from antiquity.” – Spurgeon

Davidson, A.B. – A Commentary, Grammatical and Exegetical, of the Book of Job with a Translation, vol. 1 (Intro-ch. 14), 2  1862

Davidson was a liberal.

**  “Strict grammatical treatment of Scripture is always commendable, and in this case the results are valued by advanced scholars.” – Spurgeon

Delitzsch, Franz – Biblical Commentary on Job, vol 1 (chs. 1-3), 2 (4-42)

** “Unquestionably the most valuable work on this inexhaustibly interesting Scripture that has reached us from Germany” – Nonconformist, as quoted by Spurgeon

Durell, David – Critical Remarks on the Books of Job, Proverbs, Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and Canticles  1772

Durell (1728–1775) was an Anglican O.T. scholar.

Good, John Mason – The Book of Job Literally Translated from the Original Hebrew, and Restored to its Natural Arrangement, with Notes Critical and Illustrative, and an Introductory Dissertation on its Scene, Scope, Language, Author and Object  1812  The commentary begins on p. 217

**  “A very valuable contribution to sacred literature.  Dr. Good’s learning was, however, more extensive than accurate, and it would be dangerous to accept his translations without examination.” – Spurgeon

Lee, Samuel – The Book of the Patriarch Job Translated… to which is Prefixed an Introduction on the History, Times, Country, Friends and Book of the Patriarch, with some Strictures on the statements of Bishop Warburton, and of the Rationalists of Germany on the same subjects , and to which is appended a Commentary, Critical and Exegetical  1837

Lee was an Anglican and a professor of Hebrew at Cambridge.

**  “Barnes says, ‘This work is not what might have been expected from the learning and reputation of Prof. Lee.  It abounds with Arabic learning which is scattered with ostentatious profuseness through the volume, but which often contributes little to the elucidation of the text.  It is designed for the critical scholar rather than the general reader.” – Spurgeon

Umbreit, Friedrich – A New Version of the Book of Job; with Expository Notes, and an Introduction on the Spirit, Composition and Author of the Book, vol. 1 (1-18), 2 (19-End)

Umbreit (1795-1860) was a professor of theology in Heidelberg.

**  “Useful philologically; but [Albert] Barnes [see under Whole Bible Commentaries] would supply far more in that direction, and spiritual exposition besides.” – Spurgeon

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Less Helpful Commentaries on Job

Bellamy, D. – A Paraphrase on the Sacred History, or Book of Job, with Observations from Various Authors  1748

*  “A collection of notes from other authors.  Original works are far better.” – Spurgeon

Chappelow, Leonard – A Commentary on the Book of Job, in which is Inserted the Hebrew Text and English Translation, with a paraphrase from 3:3-42:7, vol. 1, 2 (the Paraphrase) 1752

*  “Chappelow is great upon Arabic etymologies, but he is dreadfully verbose, and really says nothing of any consequences.  Chappelow and several other authors follow Schultens in the belief that the Hebrew can only be read by the light of the Arabic; they even imagine that the Book of Job was originally composed in Arabic by Job himself and then translated by some one else into the Hebrew tongue.  This opened a fine field for parading their learning.” – Spurgeon

Garden, Charles – An Improved Metrical Version attempted of the Book of Job; a Poem, with preliminary dissertation and notes  1796   The poem is on pp. 5-75 after the preliminary dissertation.

*“This author has not attempted a Commentary, but he has consulted a vast array of authors, and from them gathered a large number of notes.  His work is of very moderate value.” – Spurgeon

Peters, Charles – A Critical Dissertation on the Book of Job… and a Future State shown to have been the Popular Belief of the Ancient Hebrews  Buy  1751

*  “Of a controversial character; mainly written against Warburton and Le Clerc, and as those authors are now almost forgotten, answers to them have lost their interest.  Peters was an eminently learned man, and well versed in argument; but his work is of very small use for homiletical purposes.” – Spurgeon

Stather, W.C. – The Book of Job, in English Verse… with Notes, Critical and Explanatory  1859

*  “We do not like Job in rhyme.  We know of no rhyming version of any part of Scripture, except the Psalms, which can be called a success.  Certainly this is not one.  The author’s notes deserve consideration.” – Spurgeon

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On Job Generally

De Graaf, S.G. – ‘Job’  1977  19 pp. in Promise and Deliverance, vol. 1: From Creation to the Conquest of Canaan, pp. 149-168

De Graff is a Dutch Reformed author who focuses on the unfolding of the Covenant through history.  He writes in an easy to read, but insightful style.

Evans, Alfred Bowen – Lectures on the Book of Job  1856  250 pp.

**  “Discourses from fourteen single verses from different parts of the patient patriarch’s history.  They are quite out of the run of Church of England preaching, and are full of thought and originality.  They would have been all the better for a little gospel, for even if his text does not look that way, we do expect a Christian minister to have something to say about his Master.” – Spurgeon

Godet, Frederic – ‘The Book of Job’  1882  57 pp. in Studies in the Old Testament, pp. 183-240

Hengstenberg, E.W. – The Book of Job: a Lecture  1860  33 pp.

**“Scholarly of course, and also more vivacious than is usual with Hengstenberg.” – Spurgeon

Kitto, John – Daily Bible Illustrations: being Original Readings for a Year, on subjects relating to Sacred History, Biography, Geography, Antiquities and Theology, vol. 5 (Job-Song) pp. 13-253

***  ‘Worthy of attentive reading’  ‘They are not exactly a commentary, but what marvelous expositions you have there!  You have reading more interesting than any novel that was ever written, and as instructive as the heaviest theology.  The matter is quite attractive and fascinating, and yet so weighty, that the man who shall study those eight volumes thoroughly, will not fail to read his Bible intelligently and with growing interest.’ – Spurgeon

Morgan, G. Campbell – The Answers of Jesus to Job  Buy  1950  118 pp.

Morgan (1863–1945) was the predecessor at Westminster Chapel in London to Martin Lloyd Jones.

‘Contains an enlightening analysis.  One of the better volumes in this series.’ – Cyril J. Barber

Wagner, George – Sermons on the Book of Job  1860

**  “Wagner’s sermons are simple and plain, devout and instructive.  We have here nothing very fresh, but everything is sound and good.” – Spurgeon

Wemyss, Thomas – Job and his Times, or a Picture of the Patriarchal Age during the Period between Noah and Abraham as regards the state of Religion and Morality, arts and Sciences, Manners and Customs, etc. and a New Version, accompanied with Notes and Dissertations  1839

**  “[Albert] Barnes says: ‘This is designed to be a popular work.  It is not so much of the nature of a Commentary as a collection of fragments and brief essays on various topics referred to in the Book of Job.  It is chiefly valuable for its illustration of the religion of the time of Job, the arts and sciences, the manners and customs, etc.’  It lacks lucid arrangement, and furnishes comparatively little illustration of the difficulties of the text.” – Spurgeon

Whyte, Alexander – Job  in Bible Characters  d. 1921 

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The Early Church on Job

Simonetti, Manlio & Marco Conti – Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: Job  Buy 

Gregory the Great, Pope – Morals on the Book of Job, vol. 1 (1-12), 2 (12-31), 3 (32-37), 4 (38-42)

**“The Fathers are of course beyond criticism, and contain priceless gems here and there; but they spiritualize at such a rate, and also utter so many crudities and platitudes, that if they were modern writers they would not be so greatly valued as they are.  Antiquity lends enchantment.” – Spurgeon

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The Medieval Church on Job

Aquinas, Thomas – Commentary on the Book of Job

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A Jewish Commentary on Job

Gordis, Robert – The Book of God and Man: a Study of Job  Buy  1965

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Commentary in French

Senault, J.F. – Paraphrase sur Job  1648 

Senault (1599-1672) was a Roman Catholic in Paris.

*  “Senault was a famous preacher of the Oratory in Paris, who, from the character of his works, would seem to have been almost a Protestant.  His writings were highly esteemed in their day, and translated into English.” – Spurgeon

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A Translation of Job

Many of the commentaries above have their own translation as well.

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Noyes, George – Job: a Translation in the Hebrew Rhythm  1915

**  “We have been informed that Dr. Noyse belongs to the Unitarian body, but we fail to see any trace of Arian or Socinian views in this volume.  We do not agree with all that he says, but he strikes us as being an honest, able, and accurate translator and commentator, worthy to stand in the foremost rank.” – Spurgeon

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Paraphrases of Job

Abbott, George – The Whole Book of Job Paraphrased, or, Made Easy for any to Understand  1640

*“This is not by Archbishop Abbott, neither is the work of any value.  This Abbot was a member of Parliament, and his paraphrase is better than we could have expected from an M.P., but still it is a heavy performance.” – Spurgeon

Chappelow, Leonard – A Commentary on the Book of Job, in which is Inserted the Hebrew Text and English Translation, with a paraphrase from 3:3-42:7, vol. 1, 2 (the Paraphrase) 1752

*  “Chappelow is great upon Arabic etymologies, but he is dreadfully verbose, and really says nothing of any consequences.  Chappelow and several other authors follow Schultens in the belief that the Hebrew can only be read by the light of the Arabic; they even imagine that the Book of Job was originally composed in Arabic by Job himself and then translated by some one else into the Hebrew tongue.  This opened a fine field for parading their learning.” – Spurgeon

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Job and Paraphrases thereon in Poetry

See the subsection on Job on our Bible in Poetry page for 12+ works.

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Chapters in Job

Dickson, David – An Exposition of the 10th Chapter of Job  d. 1662  75 pages

Fuller, Andrew

Mystery of Providence on Job 12:6-25  in Works, vol. 1, pp. 620-1

Wisdom Proper to Man  on Job 28  in Works, vol. 1, p. 622 ff.

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Related Pages

Whole Bible Commentaries

Old Testament Commentaries

New Testament Commentaries