Job is one of the poetic portions of the Old Testament of which very little is confirmed. Ancient Jewish scholars cite Moses as the author, but that Job himself is the true author is a more widely agreed speculation. Some scholars even propose two different unknown authors.
As for the actual dating of Job’s life, most believe it predates everyone after Adam and Eve, supposing Job to be among the people of the land of Nod (Gen. 4:16). But the first two places Job’s name is found (aside from the book of Job) is in Ezekiel There the prophet stated:
“Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness, says the Lord God” – Ezek. 14:14, 20.
Ezekiel’s point in both verses was that the ungodly conditions in the land were such that even if Noah, Daniel, and Job lived in that city, no one else would be saved. Ezekiel spoke of all three of these men as being real, historical people, not legendary characters.
As to his genealogy, neither Job nor his ancestors are ever mentioned in any of the original Hebrew biblical genealogies. However, as time progressed and newer translations became available new information appeared.
Some Greek and mostly Latin versions of the Book of Job state that Job dwelt in Ausitis on the confines of Idumea and Arabia. Further, his original name was Johab. He married an Arabian woman and fathered Ennon. Job’s father was Zerah who was from the lineage of Esau – five generations from Abraham. They were natives of Bozrah. The Latin text continues that Job reigned in Edom succeeding Balak, the son of Beor. But in the Hebrew Bible, Balaam is the son of Beor.
The Latin continues to report that after Job were Husham and then Hadad, who was the son of Bedad and who defeated the Midianites in the fields of Moab. His city was named Arith. His three friends were Eliaphaz, a descendant of Esau and king of Teman, Bildad, king of the Shuhites, and Zophar, king of the Naamathites. Those that attest to the reliability of this are exclusively catholic scholars.
Other theological scholars suggest that Job was contemporaneous with Moses (1300 BC). In the Pseudepigrapha, one finds The Testament of Job. It claims Job was a king in Egypt. It also tells us the name of his wife, Sitidos. One Talmudic Tractate claims the Book of Job was written by Moses. Another claims it dates back to the time of Jacob, and that Job is the son of Uz who was the son of Nahor, who was the brother of Abraham.
Still others claim that Job was one of the advisors to Pharaoh during the time of Moses; indeed, he was present when Pharaoh decreed that all the male Hebrew infants should be drowned. Even though he did not agree with the decree, he said nothing to dissuade Pharaoh from implementing it. This was, presumably, the sin for which he would be punished – the sin of silence.
According to the book that bears his name, Job was a uniquely righteous man, yet he was subject to all forms of distress. Because of this many have thought that Job was introduced as an Old Testament ‘parable’ similar to the New Testament parables of Christ, where the characters (the Good Samaritan, the Rich Young Ruler, etc.) were fictitious., rather than actual persons. As a work of fiction, like Christ’s parables, the story promotes the moral of faithfulness in spite of all opposition.
It should be obvious that scholars are not in agreement on any of these possible records.
Warning should also be heeded wherever characters mentioned with Scripture are further referred to in extra-biblical texts or nefarious newer translations. Perhaps it is best to accept the deliberate anonymity presented by the author of Job and to acknowledge that certain things cannot be known. Certainly, to postulate that any story is sufficient for sound doctrine is naïve at best.