To some extent the shape of the book depends on one’s predisposition, but three different ways of viewing the structure commend themselves. Readers may emphasize (1) the diction, (2) the dramatic movement, and (3) the individual components in outline form. By discounting brief prosaic introductions and observations, the first approach yields two parts, prose and poetry. The second perspective uses narrative introductions—and to some extent conclusions—to distinguish three divisions, specifically 1:1–2:10; 2:11–31:40; 32:1–42:17. The third approach divides the book into five discrete sections: chapters 1–2; 3–31; 32–37; 38:1–42:6; 42:7–17.
Crenshaw, James L. Old Testament Wisdom: An Introduction. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998. Print.