The Story of Job Notes by Dr. Honora M. Finkelstein The story of Job begins with the Adversary, which is what the name "Satan" means, who makes a bet with God that his servant Job will blaspheme him if all his possessions are taken away. So God allows the Adversary to beset Job with all manner of ills just to see what will happen. Job loses all his property, his sons and daughters, and is afflicted with boils all over his body. One reason for the writing of the story might have been to explain why bad things happen to good people. Among the Hebrews, there was a tendency to interpret any negative event as a warning from God; everything that happened was a message. But Job has done nothing to warrant this kind of punishment, so he is a good man beset with afflictions for no apparent reason. Hence, the idea of the bet as a reason. The construct of the bet in heaven as a frame for the story was used by later writers, most notably by Goethe in his poetic telling of the Faust legend. Made with Xara Website by Susan Smily