This concluding section of the Book of Job, usually called the epilogue, produces as many questions as the prologue (Job 1:1-2:13), not to mention the entire dialogue with Job’s so-called friends.
Why is there no mention of the Satan at the end of the book? Why was the young friend, Elihu, who spoke last (Job 32:1-37:24) not mentioned? Weren’t his words in as much need of God’s anger as the other friends? Who was the mother of the second ten children reported as Job’s “reward?” Was it Job’s first wife? Why are the daughters named and the sons nameless? Why the unusual statement of the daughters receiving inheritance as well as the sons? This was not the custom very often in antiquity.
Interpreters have debated whether or not Job repented. What do you think of what Job says in Job 42:4-6?
Most translations take Job to have repented but it is quite possible to translate that line, Job rejected and regretted in dust and ashes. And even if we take the more standard translation, “I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes,” what is Job actually repenting of? Was it arrogance, a little bit of blasphemy, or merely as one interpreter called it Job made God too small.
I think it is fine to come away from Job dissatisfied with the way the book begins, goes on seemingly forever, and ends with what seems to be a quick fix. What we should not be dissatisfied with is the point that we do not have all of the answers. Job acknowledges this just as we learn to live with burdens both of our own making and the making of others. AND we have come to know that there is a saving grace emptied out for us not in simple quick fixes but in a sustained, enduring way.