The book of Job has been highly spoken of by many, both inside the Christian church and out. Thomas Carlyle, the nineteenth-century man of letters, wrote of it, 'I call it, apart from all theories about it, one of the grandest things ever written with pen¦ There is nothing written, I think, in the Bible or out of it, of equal literary merit.' Martin Luther described it as 'magnificent and sublime as no other book of Scripture'.
As a part of Holy Scripture, it is imbued with a far higher inspiration than any one of the worlds great classics. By it, God aims to instruct and encourage his people in their earthly pilgrimage towards heaven, just as he does in all the other books of the Bible. But the breadth of its appeal should not be forgotten. Set outside the life of Israel, the book of Job provides a ready-made point of contact with unchurched people. There are so many who have lost their way, either because they do not ask the big questions about life, or because they are swamped by the fact that there seem to be no real answers to them. By its presentation of both the grim realities of human existence and the wonder of divine grace, the book has something to say to any who would consult it seriously. It therefore supplies excellent material for lively and relevant preaching to people of every culture, not only by way of edification, but also evangelism. This commentary is written partly in the hope that such preaching will take place.