Most people think of Job as someone who endured unusual suffering, yet
remained faithful to God. I will argue that Job was someone sheltered
from the suffering happening all around him, who then experienced
that suffering for himself.
In Genesis 10:23 we find that Uz descended from Shem through Aram. Job lived
in the land established by Uz. (Job 1:1)
The Family and Times of Job
The Hebrews are descended from their namesake, Eber (Genesis 10:24). Eber had
two sons, Peleg and Joktan. Peleg was named after the dividing of the earth.
(Note, you can deduce quite a bit about the early history of mankind from
the names of the kids). This
could refer to the dividing of the people following the tower of Babel,
as Nimrod was the same generation as Eber. But it could also mean that
continental drift was much more recent and rapid than modern geologists
believe. Since they are wrong about Noah's flood, they are likely wrong
about the drift also. Although not necessarily - there was also the flood
of Genesis 1:2 (or 1:9 if you don't believe 1:2 refers to water), which is not
Jobab, or Job, was the nephew of Peleg, and the book of Job is full of
references to the rapid changes in the earth, including Tsunami's (Job 12:15,
7:12), Vulcanism (18:15), Violent winds (1:19,27:20-21), Rapid Climate Change
(6:15-18,38:29-30), Earthquakes (9:5-6) rapidly decreasing lifespans (8:8-9).
Was Job the nephew of Peleg the Job of "Job"? There is much debate, but
we can place when the Job of "Job" lived thanks to the decreasing lifespans
after the flood. Job lived 248 years, similar to sons of Peleg. If Peleg's
nephew was not the Job, he was a least a contemporary of Reu - and so the
point is moot for my argument. Job lived around 1787 AM, a little
over 100 years after the flood.
History or Fiction
Note that many people, including C.S. Lewis, consider the book of Job to be
a work of fiction (I don't). It is quite obviously written as a stylized
play, and real people do not talk like the characters of Job. However, a play
can still be about real people. Even if the characters are fictional and the
dialog is stylized, the play is set in a time period - and the imagery of the
play is taken from the setting.
In general, much of the imagery of Job describes the aftershocks of the
upheaval that exposed the earths mantel to release its water to flood the
earth. The earths mantel today has enough water dissolved in ringwoodite
(under tremendous pressure underground) to fill the oceans at least 3 times.
When ringwoodite is brought to the surface, the water escapes as steam.
Large amounts of steam would, of course, condense as rain.
Widespread Natural Disaster
Thanks to these unheavals (which may include rapid continental drift),
the people of Job's time were constantly threatened by natural disaster.
For instance, Tsunamis were a constant threat, so that a 24hr watch had
to be kept on the sea. (Job 7:12) Far from being unusual, Job's disasters
were actually quite common. Many were losing everything to winds,
earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, climate change. And just as the Vikings
began raiding and pillaging when climate change destroyed their farms, so many
in Job's time resorted to the same. (Job 1:15) Others were reduced to
living in caves, and Job despised them. (Job 30) Disaster was falling
on the righteous and the wicked alike. (Ecclesiastes 9:3)
What was unusual, was how Job remained unscathed by all this. The reason
is given in Job 1:10 - he had special protection. Satan's accusation was
based on truth (as is every effective lie): Job lived a sheltered life.
So in Job 1:12, God lifts his hand of protection.