And therefore it behoved that blessed Job also, who uttered those high mysteries of His Incarnation, should by his life be a sign of Him, Whom by voice he proclaimed, and by all that he underwent should show forth what were to be His sufferings…

Gregory the Great, Moralia on Job, § 14 (26)

While messianic hope and messianic prophecy had been distinctive features of the Jewish faith, they were in no way the exclusive property of the Israelite community. Even within the Hebrew Bible itself, there appear individuals like Job, Jethro the father-in-law of Moses, and Balaam the prophet, who were not Jews but had received a divine dispensation. For the early church, these "Gentile saints" were, like the Jewish kings, prophets, and priests, fingers pointing the way to Christ. The remarkable story of Job, the righteous man afflicted with unimaginable suffering testing his faith in God, was of particular importance for the Christian theologians and saints, Jerome (d.420), Augustine (d.430), and Gregory the Great (d.594). As a saintly and righteous man, a model of Christian forbearance through suffering, and a premonition of the terrible agonies visited upon the innocent Jesus, Job was seen as a paradigmatic expression of God’s presence within the pre-Christian Gentile community.
Canadian Heritage Information Network, The Provincial Museum of Alberta,

© 2000, CHIN. All Rights Reserved.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans