This essay examines the Book of Job via a narrative critical lens and demonstrates that contemporary treatments of the text portraying Job’s suffering as the central concern and the theophany as either insensitive or irrelevant to Job’s plight neglect the narrative elements at play. Rather, read as a story, the main conflict of the book concerns whether God’s claim regarding Job’s righteousness can be trusted. The main protagonist of the story is God, while the role of the antagonist passes at different points from the Satan to Job’s friends, and finally—but least significantly—to Job himself. The theophany is therefore addressed to each of these parties simultaneously, and primarily back to the Satan. As such, the theophany constitutes not only the climax of the story, but the center of a narrative chiasm wherein challenges resulting from the Satan’s machinations are decisively resolved by God’s self-revelation.
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