For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God,” (Job 19:25–26, ESV)

Interesting words from Job here which continue to divide Bible commentators right on down to the present day.  Who is “My Redeemer?”  A good friend of Job’s?  God?  Jesus Christ?  Various commentators give each of these as answers.

What is a Redeemer?  Warren Wiersbe says:

The Hebrew word translated “Redeemer” in verse 25 refers to the kinsman redeemer, the near relative who could avenge his brother’s blood (Deut. 19:6–12), reclaim and restore his brother’s property (Lev. 25:23–24, 39–55), and set his brother free from slavery (25:25). The kinsman redeemer could also go to court on behalf of a wronged relative (Prov. 23:10–11).

Perhaps the best analysis comes from the Old Testament Survey Series:

Concerning his redeemer (God) Job was confident of three facts. First, his redeemer would arise, i.e., he would appear, he would come forward. Heaven’s inactivity would end in that great moment when God would intervene in human history. Second, his redeemer would arise upon the dust. The context here speaks of Job’s body. The idea seems to be that there will be a coming of God to the soil in which Job’s body lies buried. Third, his redeemer would appear on the earth as “the last.” The God of the Bible is the first and the last (Isa 44:6; 48:12). He existed before all things; he shall survive after the present order has been swept away (19:25).

It seems best to think of Job’s Redeemer as God himself with the passage pointing forward to our Ultimate Redeemer: Jesus Christ.  Let’s see if he fits the three criteria that Job lays out:

  1. Has Jesus Christ come forward?  Has he appeared?“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14, ESV)
  2. Has Jesus Christ come to the soil in which Job/Others/Us are laid?“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16–17, ESV)

    Answer:  Not yet, but he is promised to.

  3. Will Jesus Christ appear on the earth as the last?“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” (Hebrews 1:1–2, ESV)

It would appear that Jesus fits perfectly everything that Job says about his Redeemer.  Whatever Job meant, it seems pretty clear that Jesus is our Ultimate Redeemer, so we can sing the Song of Job and be sure that our Redeemer lives and that he will vindicate/rescue us at the last and that we will see him, even if we must be raised up from the grave in order to do so.  Soli Deo Gloria!