Commentary on job chapter 1

Commentary on job chapter 1 DEFAULT

Job 1 – Job Endures His Loss

A. Two stages for a great drama: earth and heaven.

1. () The earthly stage.

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. And seven sons and three daughters were born to him. Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East. And his sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day, and would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.

a. There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job: The Book of Job begins by introducing its central character and the man who perhaps wrote the book by recording his own experiences.

i. The Book of Job is rightly understood to be a masterpiece of Hebrew poetry and Western literature. As the first poetic book of the English Bible, Job introduces the reader to the idea of Hebrew poetry, which involves the repetition and combination of ideas more than sounds.

ii. The author, date, and place of the Book of Job are all uncertain. It may be that Job himself recorded his experiences in the book, or there may well have been another anonymous author. Judging by the style of the Hebrew it uses, some scholars judge Job to be the oldest book of the Old Testament. “Ancient it is beyond all dispute. It probably belongs to the period covered by the book of Genesis; and possibly, to the time of Abraham. Its lesson, therefore, is the oldest lesson we could have; and it takes us back to the first lesson taught in the Bible itself.” (Bullinger)

iii. The text of Job is so ancient that in some places we don’t really know the exact meaning of some of the words; yet the general meaning is clear. “The disgust expressed in Job’s remark that ‘ryr hlmwt is tasteless (Job ) can be appreciated, even though we still do not know what that substance is.” (Andersen)

iv. “It is fascinating to think that as we open this text we may be faced with the earliest of all written accounts of a human being’s relationship with Yahweh, the one true God.” (Mason)

v. The Book of Job is not primarily about one man’s suffering and pain; Job’s problem is not so much financial or social or medical; his central problem is theological. Job must deal with the fact that in his life, God does not act the way he always thought God would and should act. In this drama, the Book of Job is not so much a record of solutions and explanations to this problem; it is more a revelation of Job’s experience and the answers carried within his experience.

vi. “It is then, a true and real history that we here have of him, and not a fiction or a moral parable, as some have believed. See a double testimony, for this, the one prophetical, Ezekiel , the other apostolical, James , and such a well-twined cord is not easily broken.” (Trapp)

b. That man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil: The first look at Job shows him to be an exceedingly righteous man. The author gives an impressive description of a man who is not perfect, but certainly complete in his devotion, respect, and obedience to God.

i. Job’s connection with God seems to be independent of any other Old Testament character. He definitely seems to have lived before the time of Moses and the people of Israel; perhaps even before Abraham. Some believe that the Jobab mentioned in Genesis is Job, which would put him in the era between Noah and Abraham.

ii. If that was the era of Job, then we can say that Job’s deep and true relationship with God was no doubt passed on to him from his ancestors dating back to the time of Noah and his son. In this respect, he was somewhat like Melchizedek (as in Genesis ) who simply appeared on the scene as someone who was a worshipper and a follower of the true God.

iii. Others point to several reasons for dating Job later, perhaps in the generations after Jacob and Esau.

· Huz (Uz?) was Abraham’s nephew, the son of his brother (Genesis ). The land of Uz may be named after him.

· Eliphaz (Job ) was the son of Esau (Genesis ); this son of Esau had a son named Teman (Genesis ), and the descendants of Teman were known for their wisdom (Jeremiah ).

· Bildad is called a Shuhite (Job ), and Shuah was a son of Abraham through Keturah (Genesis ).

iv. This strong statement of the godliness of Job is important to understanding the rest of the story. Recognizing this righteousness of Job “will save us from the mistake of thinking at any point of those experiences as having their explanation in the man himself. Nor for himself did he suffer. His pains were not penalties for wrongdoing: they were not even chastisements for correction.” (Morgan)

v. “Job was ‘blameless.’ This does not mean Job was sinless, but blameless. There is a huge difference. Sin is vertical, blameless is horizontal&#; as Job lived before the watchful eye of his peers, no one could justly charge Job with moral failure. His reputation was impeccable.” (Lawson)

vi. “The insistence on Job’s uprightness should not be weakened in the interests of a dogma of universal human depravity. Job is not considered to be perfect or sinless. All the speakers in the book, including Job himself, are convinced that men are sinful. Job’s first recorded act is to offer sacrifices for sin. This is not the point. It is possible for sinful men to be genuinely good.” (Andersen)

c. Seven sons and three daughters were born to him: In a culture where status and wealth might be measured by the size of one’s family, Job was a man of impressive wealth and status.

d. His possessions were seven thousand sheep: By any measure, Job was a prominent and affluent man. His godliness, wealth, and status made it true that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.

i. “Much later in the book we will catch a glimpse of what Job actually did with his money, and with his time and energy: he rescued the needy; he cared personally for the handicapped and the dying; he brought orphans into his home; he even took the power barons of his day to court and argued the case for the underprivileged (see ; ).” (Mason)

e. His sons would go and feast in their houses, each on his appointed day: The idea of this description seems to be that Job’s family had a happy and close relationship. This reinforces the idea that Job and his family were greatly blessed and does not seem to indicate that they were unduly given over to festivity and pleasure-seeking. They happily celebrated special days (each on his appointed day), probably their birthdays.

i. “No disapproval of this pleasant life is expressed. We need not suppose that they spent all their time in roistering and did no work. There is no hint of drunkenness or licence or laziness.” (Andersen)

ii. “If he had condemned it he would never have offered sacrifice to God, lest they should have sinned, but he would have told them at once it was a sinful thing, and that he could give no countenance to it.” (Spurgeon) Spurgeon saw in Job a permission for feasting and celebration among believers; he preached a Christmas sermon upon this very text and used it as proof that God allows and enjoys such celebrations among His people.

f. Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings: Again, the idea seems to be much more that Job was a scrupulously godly man who served as a priest to his family, more than that his children were wicked people who needed constant atonement.

i. “What a beautiful example is furnished by Job to Christian parents! When your girls are going among strangers, and your boys into the great ways of the world, and you are unable to impose your will upon them, as in the days of childhood, you can yet pray for them, casting over them the shield of intercession, with strong cryings and tears. They are beyond your reach; but by faith you can move the arm of God on their behalf.” (Meyer)

ii. Bullinger on Job , cursed God in their hearts: “The word chalal, to curse, stood originally in the primitive text; but out of a dislike to utter with the lips such an expression as “curse God,” they put in its stead barach, to bless, relegating the original word chalal, to curse, to the Massoretic notes; and placed on record the fact of their alteration, thus protecting the original primitive text.”

iii. One would not know it from the first few verses, but the Book of Job is about an epic war. Yet no city is attacked or besieged or conquered; no battles are won or lost; no oceans are sailed, or nations founded, or adventures recorded. The whole conflict happens on an ash heap – virtually a garbage dump – outside a village. It is an epic war, but one of the inner life; a struggle to make sense of some of the deepest questions of life.

2. () The stage in heaven.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

a. Now there was a day: This reveals the scene in heaven; unseen to Job and others on earth, but absolutely real nonetheless. The story of Job can really only be properly understood by taking into account what happened in heaven, and by having more than an earthly perspective.

i. “Without this prologue the Job of the dialogues and monologues might justly be considered a man with an insufferable self-righteousness, and the reader would be left without a heavenly perspective.” (Smick)

b. When the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD: The phrase sons of God is used in the Old Testament to describe angelic beings (Genesis and Job ). Among this group of angelic beings, Satan also came among them.

i. The fact that Satan&#; came among them shows that Satan is himself an angelic being, and in no way equal to God. We often – to his great delight – inflate Satan’s status and importance, thinking of him as the opposite of God, as if God were light and Satan were darkness; as if God were hot and Satan were cold. Satan wishes he was the opposite of God, but God wants us to know that Satan is a mere creature and is in no way the opposite of God. If Satan has an opposite, it is not God the Father or God the Son; it would be a high-ranking angelic being such as Michael.

ii. The fact that they came to present themselves before the LORD shows that angelic beings – indeed, fallen angelic beings – have access to the presence of God (1 Kings , Zechariah ), but one day they will be restricted to the earth (Revelation ).

c. From where do you come: God allowed (and continues to allow) Satan and fallen angelic beings into His presence, but only for His own purposes. Therefore, He demanded to know what Satan’s business was.

d. From going to and fro on the earth: Though Satan has access to heaven, he also has free access to the earth, and roams about the earth as a roaring lion (1 Peter ). It can be said that Satan has an active interest in what happens on the earth.

e. Have you considered My servant Job: It was God who brought up Job as a subject for discussion, and God brought up Job in the sense of bragging about Job’s godliness and character. God was so impressed with Job that He affirmed the description of Job first recorded in Job

i. Of course Satan does consider the saints of God; yet what does the devil see when he considers the saints?

· He sees them and is amazed at the difference between himself and God’s people; he sees us and knows that though he has fallen, these earthen creatures stand.

· He sees them and is amazed at their happiness; he knows too well the misery of his own soul, but he admires and hates the peace in the soul of the believer.

· He sees them and looks for some fault, so that he may find some small comfort to his own black soul and hypocrisy.

· He sees them – especially great hearts among the saints – and sees those who block and hinder his foul work.

· He sees them and looks for opportunity to do them harm.

f. There is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil: This was God’s pronouncement of Job’s character. After these first two chapters of Job, almost everything we know of the man is colored by the perspective of the speaker. Later, when Job talks about himself and his situation, we must take into account that it is Job who speaks; when his friends speak likewise, they speak according to their own knowledge, ignorance, and bias. Only in the first two chapters do we have a truly objective viewpoint about Job. He really was a blameless and upright man, no matter what his friends would later say.

i. We know (and God knew) that Job was not sinlessly perfect; yet God called him blameless. “It means that no matter how horrible his offenses may have been, all the charges against him have been dropped. Absolutely no blame attaches to him, because the very one he offended has exonerated him.” (Mason)

ii. We know that Job was not sinlessly perfect; yet God unashamedly seemed to see him that way. The modern believer stands in the same place, completely justified in Jesus Christ.

iii. “If at any point in the ensuing struggle we are tempted to question the integrity of Job’s faith (as his friends do, relentlessly), it will not really be Job we are questioning, but the Lord.” (Mason)

g. Does Job fear God for nothing: Here Satan fulfilled the role described in Revelation – the accuser of the brethren. Satan accused Job before God, insisting that Job’s godliness was essentially false, and that Job only served God for what he could get from Him.

i. Satan’s reply to God first reveals his essential cynicism; he doubts every supposed good as being dishonest and hollow. “Cynicism is the essence of the satanic. The Satan believes nothing to be genuinely good – neither Job in his disinterested piety nor God in His disinterested generosity.” (Andersen)

ii. “If thou wilt be gracious, he will be pious. The exact maxim of a great statesman, Sir Robert Walpole: Every man has his price&#; No doubt Sir Robert met with many such and the Devil many more. But still God has multitudes that will neither sell their souls, their consciences, nor their country, for any price; who, though God should slay them, will nevertheless trust in him, and be honest men howsoever tempted by the Devil and his vicegerents. So did Job; so have done thousands; so will all do, in whose hearts Christ dwells by faith.” (Clarke)

iii. The accusation against Job was also an accusation against God, for it implied that God had bribed Job into obedience. “‘I myself,’ he seems to say, ‘could be as pious as Job, were I as prosperous as he.’” (Bradley)

iv. Satan’s accusation gave testimony to the fact that God had protected Job (Have You not made a hedge around him) and had also blessed him (You have blessed). Jesus indicated that Satan wanted to do much worse against Peter than God allowed him to do (Luke ) because of a similar hedge of protection.

v. But now, stretch out Your hand: “His language is abrupt; he commands God with imperative verbs: literally, ‘But now, you just extend your hand and damage all his property.’” (Andersen)

vi. Confident in his accusation against Job, Satan insisted to God that Job would surely curse You to Your face if this protection and blessing was withdrawn. Satan believed that adversity could make Job move from his standing in faith; that Job would be unable to stand against the wiles and the deceptions of the devil, as is given to the believer in Ephesians

h. Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person: In response to Satan’s accusation, God gave him great – though limited – permission to attack Job. God would let down the hedge without completely removing it.

i. Satan had the power and the desire to afflict Job all along; what he lacked was the allowance from God. When God allowed it, Satan was more than happy to attack Job up to the limit of the allowance.

ii. Though Satan was now able to attack Job in a much greater way than before, his power was not unlimited. God only allowed Satan to do what he wanted to do to ultimately serve His purpose.

iii. “But we must know, that God’s end in this large grant was not to gratify the devil, but to glorify himself, by making Satan an instrument of his own shame and infamy.” (Trapp)

i. Satan went out from the presence of the LORD: As he did, he continued a sequence of events in the spiritual realm that (as in Ephesians ) were real but not immediately apparent to Job as having their origin in a spiritual battle.

i. The revelation of the heavenly scene behind the earthly scene helps us to understand the later comment of James on Job: Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord – that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful (James ). The two great themes of the Book of Job, as explained by James, are the perseverance of Job and the end intended by the Lord, and it is important that we learn both themes. The end intended by the Lord (James ) connects with God’s eternal purpose as revealed in Ephesians – that God intends that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose. God used Job to teach angelic beings, especially to teach them about His own spectacular wisdom.

ii. Therefore, the Book of Job teaches us that there is an aspect of human misery that is not the penalty for sin, not correction in righteousness, not redemptive in itself, and not the noble bearing of persecution for righteousness’ sake. Job’s suffering was of this aspect; we might say that the reason for his suffering was as a tool to teach angelic beings. Job made known the manifold wisdom of God to the principalities and powers in heavenly places (Ephesians ).

iii. We might say that all the other reasons for suffering can also be used of God to reveal His wisdom to angelic beings. The man who suffers as the penalty of sin can, by the way he receives the suffering, be an important lesson of God’s wisdom. Yet Job’s case was unique; his suffering seems to be mainly or only concerned with this purpose of instructing angelic beings.

iv. In that process God used Satan himself, even as he went out from the presence of the LORD in all his evil design. “Satan may intend one thing, but God uses him for another. In all these things he is a minister – used for the ultimate blessing, comfort, and help of the people of God, and for their present spiritual profit&#; He was allowed to be the author of Job’s trials and losses: but all his labour was wasted; for it ended in Job’s receiving a double blessing for time, and for earth, and ‘the righteousness of God’ for ever and ever.” (Bullinger)

v. “Others have held it is immoral by any human standards that there should be a game between the Almighty and Satan using as their pawn the soul of Job. Such a view overlooks the possibility we have already mentioned, that God does not meaninglessly allow Job to be tormented. On the contrary, he is honoring Job by putting his full confidence in the genuineness of Job’s faith, which Satan has questioned.” (Smick)

vi. As good as Job was at the beginning of the book, he will be a better man at the end of it. He was better in character, more humble, and more blessed than before. “Foolish devil! He is piling up a pedestal on which God will set his servant Job, that he may be looked upon with wonder by all ages&#; Oh! how many saints have been comforted in their distress by this history of patience! How many have been saved out of the jaw of the lion, and from the paw of the bear by the dark experiences of the patriarch of Uz. O arch fiend, how art thou taken in thine own net! Thou hast thrown a stone which has fallen on thine own head. Thou madest a pit for Job, and hast fallen into it thyself; thou art taken in thine own craftiness.” (Spurgeon)

B. Job’s catastrophic loss and his reaction to it.

1. () Job’s tragic and sudden losses.

Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house; and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, when the Sabeans raided them and took them away; indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands, raided the camels and took them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another also came and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!”

a. Now there was a day: Given greater allowance to afflict Job, Satan maximized his work against the man of God by bringing the catastrophe to Job in the span of a few hours. In that limited time Job lost his oxen, his servants, his sheep, his camels, and his sons and daughters.

i. This shows us that Satan was focused on maximizing his advantage. If he were allowed to attack Job, he would do it in the most effective way possible, all the way up to what God would allow. Therefore, any foothold we give to Satan is dangerous. We should expect that he will maximize any advantage given to him.

ii. When his sons and daughters were eating and drinking shows us the great cruelty of Satan. “Satan is here revealed in startling light. His malice is seen in the choice of time. He strikes in the midst of festivity.” (Morgan)

iii. The catastrophe came upon Job’s sons and daughters as they were feasting in their oldest brother’s house. We know from Job that Job would specifically sacrifice for his sons and daughters on these days; yet these prayers-in-action of Job on behalf of his children did not prevent the catastrophe. This made the crisis all the more mysterious and problematic for Job.

b. The Sabeans&#; the fire of God fell from heaven&#; the Chaldeans&#; a great wind: The tragedies came to Job from many different causes; yet we know that the prior cause was the instigation of Satan.

i. In this we learn something of how Satan works. He did not force godly Sabeans and Chaldeans to do things against Job that they did not want to do. He accomplished his evil purpose by working through the evil character of fallen men.

ii. We also learn that in some way, Satan had some influence over the weather (a great wind) and could imitate a phenomenon usually associated with God (the fire of God from heaven). The servants of Job thought that God sent this fire, but that was only true in a very indirect sense, in the sense that God had allowed it by removing a prior restriction. This shows that at least at some times, Satan wants to work in such a way that what he does will be blamed on God.

iii. “We can only conclude that Satan swings great power over the weather. Not all power over all weather. But some power over some weather. To the extent that God allows, the Devil has supernatural power at his disposal to direct the elements to accomplish his evil purposes.” (Lawson)

iv. We also see that this attack was clearly focused against Job; yet others suffered because Satan attacked Job and God allowed him to be attacked. Job’s animals, servants, and children all perished because Job was the target. This can only be justified if we understand that:

· In allowing their lives to be ended, God did not allow these people to pass from an immortal state to a mortal state. Each of these unfortunates was born mortal and subject to death; the only surprise in their death was that they died sooner than expected, not that they died at all.

· The rightness or wrongness of what God either allows or actively does can only be finally judged by the measure of eternity, not the measure of this life. We can only say that God either did right or wrong by these unfortunates by the eternal picture. Until then we trust what Abraham knew of God: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? (Genesis ).

2. () Job reacts to his losses.

Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD.”

In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.

a. Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head: Quite appropriately, Job mourned his tremendous losses. He had lost his sons and daughters and servants and a great amount of material wealth. It was a time for mourning.

i. Job mourned, but he did not mourn as the heathens or the pagans mourned. He did not cut or gash or tattoo himself for the dead as was the common practice among those ancient peoples (Leviticus ).

b. He fell to the ground and worshiped: In the midst of his mourning, Job also decided to worship God despite his circumstances and feelings. We might say that this was indeed pure worship and greatly glorifying to God.

i. “Surely it has not come to this among God’s people, that he must do as we like, or else we will not praise him. If he does not please us every day, and give way to our whims, and gratify our tastes, then we will not praise him.” (Spurgeon)

ii. “But how blank (think we) was the devil, when, hoping to hear Job blaspheme God, he heareth him blessing God’s name in this sort.” (Trapp)

iii. Later in the book, as spiritual battle is fought in and all around Job, he will seem to move very far from these words of worship. Yet it is important to remember that a man’s first reaction is often very telling, and reveals what really dominates his heart. Worship was Job’s first reaction to his crisis.

c. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away: Job analyzed his situation in a godly and wise way. Job understood that:

· He came into this world with nothing, so everything he had was indeed a blessing from the bounty of God. If he now had less, it was still more than he came into this world with and more than he would take with him to the world beyond.

· His prior prosperity was not due to luck or mere human ingenuity; it was because of the great and powerful blessing of God upon his life. “I am so pleased to think that Job recognized the hand of God everywhere giving. He said, ‘The Lord gave.’ He did not say, ‘I earned it all.’ He did not say, ‘There are all my hard-earned savings gone.’” (Spurgeon)

· God was in control of his life, and no matter what the immediate source of adversity or tragedy was, it had to pass through the loving and wise hands of God before it could touch him.

· God was worthy to be blessed and praised in any and all circumstances of life.

i. “His words were of the profoundest philosophy. He recognized that man is more than the things he gathers about him.” (Morgan)

ii. “Job sees only the hand of God in these events. It never occurs to him to curse the desert brigands, to curse the frontier guards, to curse his own stupid servants, now lying dead for their watchlessness. All secondary causes vanish. It was the Lord who gave; it was the Lord who removed; and in the Lord alone must the explanation of these strange happenings be sought.” (Andersen)

iii. We can meditate on the implications of the words, the LORD gave:

· We should never think the good things of this world come to us from the earth; they come from heaven.

· They come to us as gifts; that is, they are undeserved.

· God gives His gifts with kindness and thoughtfulness.

· Knowing this sweetens the value of everything we have; things are more precious because they are gifts from a loving God.

· This prevents us from dishonesty; we want nothing in our hand except what God gives us, and do not want to mix what He gives with what the devil gives.

· It is foolishness to take pride in having more than what another has.

· It is easy to give back to God when we really understand that all we have comes from Him.

· We must always worship the Giver and not the gifts. The Giver is greater than the gifts He gives.

d. Blessed be the name of the LORD: This was the expression of worship mentioned in the previous verse. Job was able to bless the name of God even when he was specifically and severely tempted to curse the name of God.

i. “Remember the story of a man who was going to give a pound to some charitable institution. The devil said, ‘No, you cannot afford it.’ ‘Then,’ said the man, ‘I will give two pounds; I will not be dictated to in this way.’ Satan exclaimed, ‘You are a fanatic.’ The man replied, ‘I will give four pounds.’ ‘Ah!’ said Satan, ‘what will your wife say when you go home, and tell her that you have given away four pounds?’ ‘Well,’ said the man, ‘I will give eight pounds now; and if you do not mind what you are at, you will tempt me to give sixteen.’ So the devil was obliged to stop, because the more he tempted him, the more he went the other way. So let it be with us. If the devil would drive us to curse God, let us bless him all the more, and Satan will be wise enough to leave off tempting when he finds that, the more he attempts to drive us, the more we go in the opposite direction.” (Spurgeon)

e. In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong: This demonstrates that Job did not sin or wrongly blame God when he said, “the LORD has taken away.” He was right to understand that God was ultimately behind all things, even if the immediate responsibility for an event was not God’s.

i. We are impressed with Job’s perspective on material things. He truly understood what Jesus said: One’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses (Luke ). There are few in the world today who would endure the loss of such a fortune with such godliness and patient endurance.

ii. We are impressed with Job’s unshaken commitment to God, and his enduring love for God. Satan’s accusation – that if blessings were taken from Job, he would curse God – was proved to be a lie, and we might say that God was justifiably proud of His servant Job.

iii. In this first round of spiritual warfare, Satan was singularly unsuccessful in shaking Job from his standing in faith. Job successfully battled against spiritual attack and fulfilled the exhortation that would come many hundreds of years later from the Apostle Paul: that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand (Ephesians ).

· Job made his stand against fear and did not give in to panic.

· Job made his stand against make-believe pretending and appropriately mourned.

· Job made his stand against pride and humbled himself before God.

· Job made his stand against self and decided to worship God.

· Job made his stand against a time-bound mindset and chose to think in terms of eternity.

· Job made his stand against unbelief and did not give in to vain questionings of God.

· Job made his stand against despair and saw the hand of God, even in catastrophe.

· Job made his stand against anger and did not blame God.

iv. This wonderful triumph of faith did not come from Job acting alone, but only as Job reacted to these disasters filled with and connected to God. We are not told that the Spirit of God filled Job to react this way and say these things, but we know it to be true. Satan was acting; but so was God in heaven. “He saith to himself, ‘If Satan shall do much, I will do more; if he takes away much, I will give more; if he tempts the man to curse, I will fill him so full of love to me that he shall bless me. I will help him; I will strengthen him; yea, I will uphold him with the right hand of my righteousness.’” (Spurgeon)

v. Though we can say that God strengthened Job, there was no evident comfort from God; nor would there be for a long time. “Thirty-six chapters of agonizing soul-searching will elapse before the Lord so much as lifts a finger to begin comforting Job in these devastating losses.” (Mason)

vi. “In this Satan was utterly disappointed; he found a man who loved his God more than his earthly portion&#; He had been so often successful in this kind of temptation, that he made no doubt that he should succeed again.” (Clarke)

© David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission

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There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) There was a man in the land of Uz.—The first mention of this name is in Genesis , where Uz is said to have been one of the sons of Aram, who was one of the sons of Shem. (Comp. 1Chronicles ) Another Uz (in the Authorised Version spelt Huz) is mentioned in Genesis as the firstborn of Nahor, the brother of Abraham. A third form of this name is mentioned in Genesis among “the sons of Seir the Horite. who inhabited the land” of Edom. (Comp. 1Chronicles ) It is probable that each of these is to be associated with a different district: the first perhaps with that of the Lebanon—a district near Damascus is still called El-Ghutha; the second with that of Mesopotamia or Chaldea; and the third with the Edomite district south of Palestine. From the mention of “the land of Uz” (Lamentations ) and “the kings of the land of Uz” (Jeremiah ), where in each case the association seems to be with Edom, it is probable that the land of Job is to be identified rather with the district south and southeast of Palestine.

Whose name was Job.—The name is really Iyyov, and is carefully to be distinguished from the Job (Yov) who was the son of Issachar (Genesis ), and from the Jobab (Yovav) who was one of the kings of Edom (Genesis ), with both of which it has been confounded. The form of the name may suggest the signification of “the assaulted one,” as the root from which it appears to be derived means “was an enemy.”

Perfect and upright . . .—Noah in like manner is said to have been “perfect” (Genesis ). Abram was required to be so (Genesis ), and Israel generally (Deuteronomy ), though the adjective in these places is not quite the same as that used here; and our Lord required the same high standard of His disciples (Matthew ), while He also, through the gift of the Spirit, made it possible. The character here given to Job is that in which wisdom is declared to consist. (Comp. Job ) It has the twofold aspect of refusing the evil and choosing the good, of aiming at a lofty ideal of excellence and of shunning that which is fatal or opposed to it.

Benson Commentary

Job There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job — We have observed in the argument, that the firstborn son of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, was called Uz. It appears also from Genesis , that a grandson of Shem bore the same name, but it does not appear whether any country was named from either of these. But we find in Lamentations , that Edom was called Uz, probably from a grandson of Seir, the Horite, of that name. See Genesis ; Genesis ; 1 Chronicles ; 1 Chronicles This person, as the reader will recollect, inhabited the mountainous country, called Seir from him, before the time of Abraham; but his posterity being driven out, the Edomites seized that country, Genesis ; Deuteronomy , whence it afterward bore the name of Edom. It is part of Arabia Petræa, bordering upon the tribe of Judah to the south. Hence the land of Uz is properly placed between Egypt and the Philistines in Jeremiah See Bishop Lowth and Dodd. This, therefore, was probably the country of Job, “whose name,” Dr. Dodd says, “in the Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic, may, with the greatest probability, be derived from a root which signifies to love or desire; and might be rendered, the beloved or desirable one.” We have observed, that it is likely he was of the posterity of Uz, the son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham; but how far removed from him can only be conjectured from the age of his friends; the eldest of whom, Eliphaz the Temanite, could not be nearer than great-grand-son to Esau; for Esau begat Eliphaz, and the son of Eliphaz was Teman: so that supposing this Eliphaz to be the son of Teman, (and higher it will be impossible to place him,) he will then be five generations from Abraham; but as Eliphaz was very much older than Job, nay, older than his father, as appears from chap. Job ; and, considering that Abraham was very old before he had a son by Sarah, and that Rebecca, grand-daughter to Nahor, by Bethuel, perhaps his youngest son, was of an age proper to be wife to Isaac; we shall, probably, not be wide of the mark, if we allow Job to be at least six, if not seven generations removed from Nahor. The age therefore in which he lived must have coincided with the latter years of the life of Jacob, with those of Joseph, and the descent into, and sojourning in Egypt: his afflictions must have happened during the sojourning, about ten years before the death of Joseph, and his life must have been prolonged to within fourteen years before the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, that is, the year of the world The number of the years of the life of Job, according to this calculation, will be about two hundred; which, for that age of the world, and especially considering that Job was blessed with a remarkably long life, as a reward for his sufferings and integrity, will not appear very extraordinary; for Jacob lived one hundred and forty-seven years; Levi, his son, one hundred and thirty-seven; Koath, his grand-son, one hundred and thirty-three; and Amram, his great-grand-son, and father of Moses, one hundred and thirty-seven; Moses also lived one hundred and twenty years. All these, it seems, were his cotemporaries, some older, some younger than Job: so that this appears to agree extremely well with that circumstance of his history. See Heath and Dodd.

That man was perfect — Not exactly, or according to the law of innocence, but as to his sincere intentions, hearty affections, and diligent endeavours to perform his whole duty to God and men. And upright — Hebrew, וישׁו, vejashar, right, exact, and regular in all his dealings with men; one of an unblameable conversation. And one that feared God — One truly pious and devoted to God. And eschewed evil — Carefully avoiding all sin against God or men.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

Job was prosperous, and yet pious. Though it is hard and rare, it is not impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. By God's grace the temptations of worldly wealth may be overcome. The account of Job's piety and prosperity comes before the history of his great afflictions, showing that neither will secure from troubles. While Job beheld the harmony and comforts of his sons with satisfaction, his knowledge of the human heart made him fearful for them. He sent and sanctified them, reminding them to examine themselves, to confess their sins, to seek forgiveness; and as one who hoped for acceptance with God through the promised Saviour, he offered a burnt-offering for each. We perceive his care for their souls, his knowledge of the sinful state of man, his entire dependence on God's mercy in the way he had appointed.

Barnes' Notes on the Bible

There was a man - This has all the appearance of being a true history. Many have regarded the whole book as a fiction, and have supposed that no such person as Job ever lived. But the book opens with the appearance of reality; and the express declaration that there was such a man, the mention of his name and of the place where he lived, show that the writer meant to affirm that there was in fact such a man. On this question see the Introduction, Section 1.

In the land of Uz - On the question where Job 54ed, see also the Introduction, Section 2.

Whose name was Job - The name Job (Hebrew &#;&#;&#;&#; '&#;&#;yo&#;b, Gr. &#x;&#;ω&#;β Io&#;b means properly, according to Gesenius, "one persecuted," from a root (&#;&#;&#; 'a&#;yab) meaning to be an enemy to anyone, to persecute, to hate. The primary idea, according to Gesenius, is to be sought in breathing, blowing, or puffing at, or upon anyone, as expressive of anger or hatred, Germ. "Anschnauben." Eichhorn (Einleit. section 1,) supposes that the name denotes a man who turns himself penitently to God, from a sense of the verb still found in Arabic "to repent." On this supposition, the name was given to him, because, at the close of the book, he is represented as exercising repentance for the improper expressions in which he had indulged during his sufferings. The verb occurs only once in the Hebrew Scriptures, Exodus : But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak, then "I will be an enemy" &#;&#;&#;&#; 'o&#;ye&#;b "unto thine enemies" &#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#; 'e&#;th 'o&#;ye&#;b.

The participle &#;&#;&#; 'oye&#;b is the common word to denote an enemy in the Old Testament, Exodus , Exodus ; Leviticus ; Numbers ; Deuteronomy , Deuteronomy ; Psalm ; Psalm ; Psalm ; Lamentations ; Job ; Job ; Job , "et soepe al." If this be the proper meaning of the word "Job," then the name would seem to have been given him by anticipation, or by common consent, as a much persecuted man. Significant names were very common among the Hebrews - given either by anticipation (see the notes at Isaiah ), or subsequently, to denote some leading or important event in the life; compare Genesis , Genesis ; Genesis ; 1 Samuel Such, too, was the case among the Romans, where the "agnomen" thus bestowed became the appellation by which the individual was best known. Cicero thus received his name from a wart which he had on his face, resembling a "vetch," and which was called by the Latins, "cicer." Thus also Marcus had the name "Ancus," from the Greek word ανκω&#;ν anko&#;n, because he had a crooked arm; and thus the names Africanus, Germanicus, etc., were given to generals who had distinguished themselves in particular countries; see Univer. Hist. Anc. Part ix. , ed. 8vo, Lond. In like manner it is possible that the name "Job" was given to the Emir of Uz by common consent, as the man much persecuted or tried, and that this became afterward the appellation by which he was best known. The name occurs once as applied to a son of Issachar, Genesis , and in only two other places in the Bible except in this book; Ezekiel ; James

And that man was perfect - (&#;&#;&#; ta&#;mam). The Septuagint have greatly expanded this statement, by giving a paraphrase instead of a translation. "He was a man who was true (α&#;ληθινο&#;ς ale&#;thinos), blameless (α&#;&#;μεμπτος amemptos), just (δι&#;καιος dikaios), pious (θεοσεβη&#;ς theosebe&#;s), abstaining from every evil deed." Jerome renders it, "simplex - simple," or "sincere." The Chaldee, &#;&#;&#;&#; sha&#;lam, "complete, finished, perfect." The idea seems to be that his piety, or moral character, was "proportionate" and was "complete in all its parts." He was a man of integrity in all the relations of life - as an Emir, a father, a husband, a worshipper of God. Such is properly the meaning of the word &#;&#; ta&#;m as derived from &#;&#;&#; ta&#;mam, "to complete, to make full, perfect" or "entire," or "to finish." It denotes that in which there is no part lacking to complete the whole - as in a watch in which no wheel is missing. Thus, he was not merely upright as an Emir, but he was pious toward God; he was not merely kind to his family, but he was just to his neighbors and benevolent to the poor. The word is used to denote integrity as applied to the heart, Genesis : &#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#; beta&#;m leba&#;b&#;&#;y, "In the honesty, simplicity, or sincerity of my heart (see the margin) have I done this." So 1 Kings , "One drew a bow &#;&#;&#;&#;&#; letumo&#; in the simplicity (or perfection) of his heart;" that is, without any evil intention; compare 2 Samuel ; Proverbs The proper notion, therefore, is that of simplicity. sincerity, absence from guile or evil intention, and completeness of parts in his religion. That he was a man absolutely sinless, or without any propensity to evil, is disproved alike by the spirit of complaining which he often evinces, and by his own confession, Job :

If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me;

If I say I am perfect, it shall prove me perverse.

So also Job :

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear,

But now mine eye seeth thee;

Wherefore I abhor myself,

And repent in dust and ashes.

Compare Ecclesiastes

And upright - The word &#;&#;&#;&#; ya&#;sha&#;r, from &#;&#;&#;&#; ya&#;shar, to be straight, is applied often to a road which is straight, or to a path which is level or even. As used here it means upright or righteous; compare Psalm ; Psalm ,; Deuteronomy ; Psalm

continued

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

THE BOOK OF JOB Commentary by A. R. Faussett

INTRODUCTION

Job a Real Person.&#;It has been supposed by some that the book of Job is an allegory, not a real narrative, on account of the artificial character of many of its statements. Thus the sacred numbers, three and seven, often occur. He had seven thousand sheep, seven sons, both before and after his trials; his three friends sit down with him seven days and seven nights; both before and after his trials he had three daughters. So also the number and form of the speeches of the several speakers seem to be artificial. The name of Job, too, is derived from an Arabic word signifying repentance.

But Eze (compare Eze , 20) speaks of "Job" in conjunction with "Noah and Daniel," real persons. St. James (Jas ) also refers to Job as an example of "patience," which he would not have been likely to do had Job been only a fictitious person. Also the names of persons and places are specified with a particularity not to be looked for in an allegory. As to the exact doubling of his possessions after his restoration, no doubt the round number is given for the exact number, as the latter approached near the former; this is often done in undoubtedly historical books. As to the studied number and form of the speeches, it seems likely that the arguments were substantially those which appear in the book, but that the studied and poetic form was given by Job himself, guided by the Holy Spirit. He lived one hundred and forty years after his trials, and nothing would be more natural than that he should, at his leisure, mould into a perfect form the arguments used in the momentous debate, for the instruction of the Church in all ages. Probably, too, the debate itself occupied several sittings; and the number of speeches assigned to each was arranged by preconcerted agreement, and each was allowed the interval of a day or more to prepare carefully his speech and replies; this will account for the speakers bringing forward their arguments in regular series, no one speaking out of his turn. As to the name Job&#;repentance (supposing the derivation correct)&#;it was common in old times to give a name from circumstances which occurred at an advanced period of life, and this is no argument against the reality of the person.

Where Job Lived.&#;"Uz," according to Gesenius, means a light, sandy soil, and was in the north of Arabia-Deserta, between Palestine and the Euphrates, called by Ptolemy (Geography, 19) Ausitai or Aisitai. In Ge ; ; ; and 1Ch , 42, it is the name of a man. In Jer ; La ; and Job , it is a country. Uz, in Ge , is said to be the son of Nahor, brother of Abraham&#;a different person from the one mentioned (Ge ), a grandson of Shem. The probability is that the country took its name from the latter of the two; for this one was the son of Aram, from whom the Arameans take their name, and these dwelt in Mesopotamia, between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. Compare as to the dwelling of the sons of Shem in Ge , "a mount of the East," answering to "men of the East" (Job ). Rawlinson, in his deciphering of the Assyrian inscriptions, states that "Uz is the prevailing name of the country at the mouth of the Euphrates." It is probable that Eliphaz the Temanite and the Sabeans dwelt in that quarter; and we know that the Chaldeans resided there, and not near Idumea, which some identify with Uz. The tornado from "the wilderness" (Job ) agrees with the view of it being Arabia-Deserta. Job (Job ) is called "the greatest of the men of the East"; but Idumea was not east, but south of Palestine: therefore in Scripture language, the phrase cannot apply to that country, but probably refers to the north of Arabia-Deserta, between Palestine, Idumea, and the Euphrates. So the Arabs still show in the Houran a place called Uz as the residence of Job.

The Age When Job Lived.&#;Eusebius fixes it two ages before Moses, that is, about the time of Isaac: eighteen hundred years before Christ, and six hundred after the Deluge. Agreeing with this are the following considerations: 1. Job's length of life is patriarchal, two hundred years. 2. He alludes only to the earliest form of idolatry, namely, the worship of the sun, moon, and heavenly hosts (called Saba, whence arises the title "Lord of Sabaoth," as opposed to Sabeanism) (Job ). 3. The number of oxen and rams sacrificed, seven, as in the case of Balaam. God would not have sanctioned this after the giving of the Mosaic law, though He might graciously accommodate Himself to existing customs before the law. 4. The language of Job is Hebrew, interspersed occasionally with Syriac and Arabic expressions, implying a time when all the Shemitic tribes spoke one common tongue and had not branched into different dialects, Hebrew, Syriac, and Arabic. 5. He speaks of the most ancient kind of writing, namely, sculpture. Riches also are reckoned by cattle. The Hebrew word, translated "a piece of money," ought rather be rendered "a lamb." 6. There is no allusion to the exodus from Egypt and to the miracles that accompanied it; nor to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Patrick, however, thinks there is); though there is to the Flood (Job ); and these events, happening in Job's vicinity, would have been striking illustrations of the argument for God's interposition in destroying the wicked and vindicating the righteous, had Job and his friends known of them. Nor is there any undoubted reference to the Jewish law, ritual, and priesthood. 7. The religion of Job is that which prevailed among the patriarchs previous to the law; sacrifices performed by the head of the family; no officiating priesthood, temple, or consecrated altar.

The Writer.&#;All the foregoing facts accord with Job himself having been the author. The style of thought, imagery, and manners, are such as we should look for in the work of an Arabian emir. There is precisely that degree of knowledge of primitive tradition (see Job , as to Adam) which was universally spread abroad in the days of Noah and Abraham, and which was subsequently embodied in the early chapters of Genesis. Job, in his speeches, shows that he was much more competent to compose the work than Elihu, to whom Lightfoot attributes it. The style forbids its being attributed to Moses, to whom its composition is by some attributed, "whilst he was among the Midianites, about B.C." But the fact, that it, though not a Jewish book, appears among the Hebrew sacred writings, makes it likely that it came to the knowledge of Moses during the forty years which he passed in parts of Arabia, chiefly near Horeb; and that he, by divine guidance, introduced it as a sacred writing to the Israelites, to whom, in their affliction, the patience and restoration of Job were calculated to be a lesson of especial utility. That it is inspired appears from the fact that Paul (1Co ) quotes it (Job ) with the formula, "It is written." Our Savior, too Mt ), plainly refers to Job Compare also Jas and 1Pe with Job ; Ro , 35 with Job It is probably the oldest book in the world. It stands among the Hagiographa in the threefold division of Scripture into the Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa ("Psalms," Lu ).

Design of the Book.&#;It is a public debate in poetic form on an important question concerning the divine government; moreover the prologue and epilogue, which are in prose, shed the interest of a living history over the debate, which would otherwise be but a contest of abstract reasonings. To each speaker of the three friends three speeches are assigned. Job having no one to stand by him is allowed to reply to each speech of each of the three. Eliphaz, as the oldest, leads the way. Zophar, at his third turn, failed to speak, thus virtually owning himself overcome (Job ). Therefore Job continued his reply, which forms three speeches (Job ; ; ; ). Elihu (Job ) is allowed four speeches. Jehovah makes three addresses (Job ). Thus, throughout there is a tripartite division. The whole is divided into three parts&#;the prologue, poem proper, and epilogue. The poem, into three&#;(1) The dispute of Job and his three friends; (2) The address of Elihu; (3) The address of God. There are three series in the controversy, and in the same order. The epilogue (Job ) also is threefold; Job's justification, reconciliation with his friends, restoration. The speakers also in their successive speeches regularly advance from less to greater vehemence. With all this artificial composition, everything seems easy and natural.

The question to be solved, as exemplified in the case of Job, is, Why are the righteous afflicted consistently with God's justice? The doctrine of retribution after death, no doubt, is the great solution of the difficulty. And to it Job plainly refers in Job , and Job The objection to this, that the explicitness of the language on the resurrection in Job is inconsistent with the obscurity on the subject in the early books of the Old Testament, is answered by the fact that Job enjoyed the divine vision (Job ; ), and therefore, by inspiration, foretold these truths. Next, the revelations made outside of Israel being few needed to be the more explicit; thus Balaam's prophecy (Nu ) was clear enough to lead the wise men of the East by the star (Mt ); and in the age before the written law, it was the more needful for God not to leave Himself without witness of the truth. Still Job evidently did not fully realize the significance designed by the Spirit in his own words (compare 1Pe , 12). The doctrine, though existing, was not plainly revealed or at least understood. Hence he does not mainly refer to this solution. Yes, and even now, we need something in addition to this solution. David, who firmly believed in a future retribution (Ps ; ), still felt the difficulty not entirely solved thereby (Ps ). The solution is not in Job's or in his three friends' speeches. It must, therefore, be in Elihu's. God will hold a final judgment, no doubt, to clear up all that seems dark in His present dealings; but He also now providentially and morally governs the world and all the events of human life. Even the comparatively righteous are not without sin which needs to be corrected. The justice and love of God administer the altogether deserved and merciful correction. Affliction to the godly is thus mercy and justice in disguise. The afflicted believer on repentance sees this. "Via crucis, via salutis" ["The way of the cross, the way of deliverance"]. Though afflicted, the godly are happier even now than the ungodly, and when affliction has attained its end, it is removed by the Lord. In the Old Testament the consolations are more temporal and outward; in the New Testament, more spiritual; but in neither to the entire exclusion of the other. "Prosperity," says Bacon, "is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity that of the New Testament, which is the mark of God's more especial favor. Yet even in the Old Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you shall hear as many hearse-like airs as carols; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost has labored more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes." This solution of Elihu is seconded by the addresses of God, in which it is shown God must be just (because He is God), as Elihu had shown how God can be just, and yet the righteous be afflicted. It is also acquiesced in by Job, who makes no reply. God reprimands the "three" friends, but not Elihu. Job's general course is approved; he is directed to intercede for his friends, and is restored to double his former prosperity.

Poetry.&#;In all countries poetry is the earliest form of composition as being best retained in the memory. In the East especially it was customary for sentiments to be preserved in a terse, proverbial, and poetic form (called maschal). Hebrew poetry is not constituted by the rhythm or meter, but in a form peculiar to itself: 1. In an alphabetical arrangement somewhat like our acrostic. For instance, La 2. The same verse repeated at intervals; as in Ps ; 3. Rhythm of gradation. Psalms of degrees, Ps , in which the expression of the previous verse is resumed and carried forward in the next (Ps ). 4. The chief characteristic of Hebrew poetry is parallelism, or the correspondence of the same ideas in the parallel clauses. The earliest instance is Enoch's prophecy (Jude 14), and Lamech's parody of it (Ge ). Three kinds occur: (1) The synonymous parallelism, in which the second is a repetition of the first, with or without increase of force (Ps ; Isa ); sometimes with double parallelism (Isa ). (2) The antithetic, in which the idea of the second clause is the converse of that in the first (Pr ). (3) The synthetic, where there is a correspondence between different propositions, noun answering to noun, verb to verb, member to member, the sentiment, moreover, being not merely echoed, or put in contrast, but enforced by accessory ideas (Job ). Also alternate (Isa ). "Desolation and destruction, famine and sword," that is, desolation by famine, and destruction by the sword. Introverted; where the fourth answers to the first, and the third to the second (Mt ). Parallelism thus often affords a key to the interpretation. For fuller information, see Lowth (Introduction to Isaiah, and Lecture on Hebrew Poetry) and Herder (Spirit of Hebrew Poetry, translated by Marsh). The simpler and less artificial forms of parallelism prevail in Job&#;a mark of its early age.

CHAPTER 1

PART I&#;PROLOGUE OR HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION IN PROSE&#;(Job )

Job The Holiness of Job, His Wealth, &c.

1. Uz&#;north of Arabia-Deserta, lying towards the Euphrates. It was in this neighborhood, and not in that of Idumea, that the Chaldeans and Sabeans who plundered him dwell. The Arabs divide their country into the north, called Sham, or "the left"; and the south, called Yemen, or "the right"; for they faced east; and so the west was on their left, and the south on their right. Arabia-Deserta was on the east, Arabia-Petræa on the west, and Arabia-Felix on the south.

Job&#;The name comes from an Arabic word meaning "to return," namely, to God, "to repent," referring to his end [Eichorn]; or rather from a Hebrew word signifying one to whom enmity was shown, "greatly tried" [Gesenius]. Significant names were often given among the Hebrews, from some event of later life (compare Ge , Abel&#;a "feeder" of sheep). So the emir of Uz was by general consent called Job, on account of his "trials." The only other person so called was a son of Issachar (Ge ).

perfect&#;not absolute or faultless perfection (compare Job ; Ec ), but integrity, sincerity, and consistency on the whole, in all relations of life (Ge ; ; Pr ; Mt ). It was the fear of God that kept Job from evil (Pr ).Job's country, and sincere holiness: his children; their feasts; and his religious care for them, Job Satan's appearance before God: God's character of Job, Job Satan imputeth Job's goodness to his prosperity; and so obtaineth leave to afflict him in his goods, Job Job's oxen, sheep, camels, and servants destroyed, Job His sons and daughters perish, Job , Job, with his mantle rent, head shaved, and upon the ground, worshippeth; blesseth God; sinneth not, Job

The land of Uz was either in Edom, called the land of Uz, Lam , or in some part of Arabia, not far from the Chaldeans and Sabeans, as this chapter witnesseth; so called probably from Uz, one of Esau's posterity, Gen Jer

That man was perfect; not legally or exactly, as he confesseth, Job ; but comparatively to such as were partial in their obedience to God's commands, and as to his sincere intentions, hearty affections, and constant and diligent endeavours to perform all his duties to God and men.

Upright, Heb. right; exact and regular in all his dealings with men; one of an unblamable conversation, doing to others as he would have others to deal with him.

One that feared God; one truly pious, and devoted to God's worship and service.

Eschewed evil, i.e. carefully avoiding all sin against God or men.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job, Of the signification of his name, see the introduction to the book. The place where he dwelt had its name not from Uz, a descendant of Shem, Genesis but from Uz, a son of Nahor, brother to Abraham, Genesis unless it can be thought to be so called from Uz, of the children of Seir, in the land of Edom; since we read of the land of Uz along with Edom, or rather of Edom as in the land of Uz, or on the borders of it, Lamentations , the Targum calls it the land of Armenia, but rather it is Arabia; and very probably it was one of the Arabias Job 54ed in, either Petraea or Deserta, probably the latter; of which Uz or Ausitis, as the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin version read it, was a part; the same with the Aesitae of Ptolemy (u); and it is said to be near the land of Canaan (w), for in Arabia Felix the Sabeans lived; and certain it is that this country was near to the Sabeans and Chaldeans, and to the land of Edom, from whence Eliphaz the Temanite came: and as this very probably was a wicked and an idolatrous place, it was an instance of the distinguishing grace of God, to call Job by his grace in the land of Uz, as it was to call Abraham in Ur of the Chaldeans; and though it might be distressing and afflicting to the good man to live in such a country, as it was to Lot to live in Sodom, yet it was an honour to him, or rather it was to the glory of the grace of God that he was religious here, and continued to be so, see Revelation and gives an early proof of what the Apostle Peter observed, "that God is no respecter of persons, but, in every nation, he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him"; that is, through Christ, Acts Job, as he is described by his name and country, so by his sex, "a man"; and this is not so much to distinguish his sex, nor to express the reality of his existence as a man, but to denote his greatness; he was a very considerable, and indeed an extraordinary man; he was a man not only of wealth and riches, but of great power and authority, so the mean and great man are distinguished in Isaiah see the account he gives of himself in Job , by which it appears he was in great honour and esteem with men of all ranks and degrees, as well as he was a man of great grace, as follows:

and the man was perfect; in the same sense as Noah, Abraham, and Jacob were; not with respect to sanctification, unless as considered in Christ, who is made sanctification to his people; or with regard to the truth, sincerity, and genuineness of it; or in a comparative sense, in comparison of what he once was, and others are; but not so as to be free from sin, neither from the being of it, which no man is clear of in this life, nor from the actings of it in thought, word, and deed, see Job or so as to be perfect in grace; for though all grace is seminally implanted at once in regeneration, it opens and increases gradually; there is a perfection of parts, but not of degrees; there is the whole new man, but that is not arrived to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; there are all and every grace, but not one perfect, not knowledge, nor faith, nor hope, nor love, nor patience, nor any other: but then, as to justification, every good man is perfect; Christ has completely redeemed his people from all their sins; he has perfectly fulfilled the law in their room and stead; he has fully expiated all their transgressions, he has procured the full remission of them, and brought in a righteousness which justifies them from them all; so that they are free from the guilt of sin, and condemnation by it, and are in the sight of God unblamable, unreproveable, without fault, all fair and perfectly comely; and this was Job's case:

and upright; to whom was shown the uprightness of Christ, or to whom the righteousness of Christ was revealed from faith to faith, and which was put upon him, and he walked in by faith, see Job , moreover, Job was upright in heart, a right spirit was renewed in him; and though he was not of the nation of Israel, yet he was, in a spiritual sense, an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile, the truth of grace and the root of the matter being in him, Job , and he was upright in his walk and conversation before God, and also before men; upright in all his dealings and concerns with them, in every relation he stood, in every office and character he bore:

and one that feared God; not as the devils, who believe and tremble; nor as carnal men, when the judgments of God are in the earth, hide themselves in fear of him; nor as hypocrites, whose fear or devotion is only outward, and is taught by the precept of men; but as children affectionately reverence their parents: Job feared God with a filial and godly fear, which sprung from the grace of God, and was encouraged and increased by his goodness to him, and through a sense of it; it was attended with faith and confidence of interest in him, with an holy boldness and spiritual joy, and true humility; and comprehended the whole of religious worship, both public and private, internal and external:

and eschewed evil, or "departed from it" (x); and that with hatred and loathing of it, and indignation at it, which the fear of God engages unto, Proverbs , he hated it as every good man does, as being contrary to the nature and will of God, abominable in itself, and bad in its effects and consequences; and he departed from it, not only from the grosser acts of it, but abstained from all appearance of it, and studiously shunned and avoided everything that led unto it; so far was he from indulging to a sinful course of life and conversation, which is inconsistent with the grace and fear of God,

(u) Geograph. l. 5. c. (w) Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 2.((x) Sept. "recedens a malo", V. L. Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, &c.

Geneva Study Bible

There was a man in the land of {a} Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and {b} upright, and {c} one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

The Argument - In this history the example of patience is set before our eyes. This holy man Job was not only extremely afflicted in outward things and in his body, but also in his mind and conscience, by the sharp temptation of his wife and friends: who by their vehement words and subtle disputations brought him almost to despair. They set forth God as a sincere judge, and mortal enemy to him who had cast him off, therefore in vain he should seek him for help. These friends came to him under pretence of consolation, and yet they tormented him more than all his afflictions did. Even so, he constantly resisted them, and eventually succeeded. In this story we must note that Job maintains a good cause, but handles it badly. His adversaries have an evil matter, but they defend it craftily. Job held that God did not always punish men according to their sins, but that he had secret judgments, of which man knew not the cause, and therefore man could not reason against God in it, but he should be convicted. Moreover, he was assured that God had not rejected him, yet through his great torments and afflictions he speaks many inconveniences and shows himself as a desperate man in many things, and as one that would resist God, and this is his good cause which he handles well. Again the adversaries maintain with many good arguments that God punishes continually according to the trespass, grounding on God's providence, his justice and man's sins, yet their intention is evil; for they labour to bring Job into despair, and so they maintain an evil cause. Ezekiel commends Job as a just man, Eze and James sets out his patience for an example, Jas

(a) That is, of the country of Idumea, La , or bordering on it: for the land was called by the name of Uz, the son of Dishan, the son of Seir Ge

(b) Since he was a Gentile and not a Jew and yet is pronounced upright and without hypocrisy, it declares that among the heathen God revealed himself.

(c) By this it is declared what is meant by an upright and just man.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Ch. Job Job’s name and abode; his piety, and consequent family felicity and worldly prosperity

1. the land of Uz] This word occurs several times in the Old Testament: (1) as the name of a son of Aram, Genesis ; (2) as the name of the eldest son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham, Genesis ; and (3) as that of a descendant of Seir, Genesis These references would point either to Syria on the north-east of Palestine or to the region of Edom, further south. From the Book itself we learn that Job’s flocks were exposed on the east to inroads on the part of the Chaldeans, the tribes between Syria and the Euphrates, Job ; and in another direction to attacks from the Sabeans, Job The most prominent man among his friends was from Teman, which belonged to Edom, Job (comp. Genesis ; Jeremiah ; Jeremiah ), and he himself is named the greatest of all the children of the East, Job In Lamentations it is said: Rejoice O daughter of Edom that dwellest in the land of Uz. These words do not imply that Uz is identical with Edom, but they imply that Edomites had possession of Uz, which could not have been the case unless the lands bordered on one another. The land of Uz, therefore, probably lay east of Palestine and north of Edom. This general position is already assigned to it in the Sept. which, in some verses added to the end of the Book, and embodying the tradition of the time, says that the land of Uz lay “on the borders of Edom and Arabia.”

There is nothing in Scripture that defines the position of Job’s home more precisely. An interesting tradition, as old at least as the early centuries of the Christian era, has been investigated by Wetzstein. This tradition places the home of Job in the Nukra, the fertile depression of Bashan at the south-east foot of Hermon. Near the town of Nawa, about 40 miles almost due south of Damascus, a little to the west of the pilgrim route from this city to Mecca, and about the latitude of the north end of the sea of Tiberias, there still exist a Makâm, that is, place, or tomb, and monastery of Job. Wetzstein assigns the building to the end of the third century. See his Excursus at the end of Delitzsch’s Comm. on Job.

whose name was Job] The Heb. form of the name is Iyyôb, which does not occur again in the Bible. There is no play on the name or allusion to its significance in the Book. It does not seem, therefore, to have been coined by the Author of the Poem, but probably came down to him with other fragments of the tradition on which he worked. The way in which Ezekiel alludes to Job, in company with other renowned names such as Noah and Daniel, seems to imply that this prophet drew his information regarding Job from a more general source than the present Book: “Though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in it (the sinful land), they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness,” Job The tradition regarding Job and his sufferings was probably well known in the East, and the name of the suffering hero was part of the tradition. It is of little consequence, therefore, to enquire what the name means of itself. If the word be Hebrew it might mean the “assailed” or “persecuted,” that is, by Satan (or God). In Arabic the form of the word is Ayyûb, and if derived from this dialect the name might mean the “returning,” that is, penitent, or more generally, the “pious.” Job is several times spoken of in the Kor’an. In Sur. he is called awwâb, which means “ever returning to God,” i. e. pious rather than penitent, but there seems no allusion in the term to the etymology of his name, for in the same chapter both David and Solomon receive the same epithet.

that man was perfect] The term “perfect” means properly “complete,” without defect. It does not imply that the man was sinless, for Job never puts forward any such pretension, but that he was a righteous man and free from specific sins such as were held to bring down the chastisement of heaven. That he was so is the very foundation of his trial and the first principle of the Book. Job’s “perfection” is affirmed in heaven: “Hast thou considered my servant Job … a perfect and an upright man?” Job , Job ; it is understood by his wife: Dost thou still hold fast thy perfection? Job ; and it is persistently claimed for himself by Job, not only in moments of excitement when stung by the insinuations of his friends: I amperfect, Job (see notes), but also when the heat of the conflict is over and under the most solemn oaths: As God liveth who hath taken away my right, … I will not remove my perfection from me; my righteousness I hold fast, Job ; Job The word occurs again, Job , and in another form, Job The just, perfect man is laughed to scorn. Even the three friends admit Job’s perfectness in general, although they are under the impression that he must have been guilty of some serious offences to account for his calamities, and they urge it upon Job as a ground of confidence in his ultimate recovery: Is not thy hope the perfectness of thy ways? Job ; and again: “God will not cast away a perfect man,” Job One of the objects the writer of the Book had in view was to teach that sufferings may fall on men for reasons unconnected with any sin on their own part; and using the history of Job for this purpose, it was necessary that he should lay emphasis in all parts of the Book upon Job’s perfection. The term “perfect” is used of Noah in the same sense: Noah, a just man, was perfect in his generation; that is, he was righteous and exempt from the sins of his contemporaries, Genesis

feared God] Job was not only just and upright, with a high morality, he was also godfearing. These two things are never separated in the Old Testament. For as God was the author of all the movements in the world and human history, so right thoughts of Him and right relations to Him lay at the foundation of all right human conduct. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and wisdom includes both just thinking and right conduct.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse There was a man. This opening presents to us the Book of Job as a detached work, separate from and independent of all others. The historical books are generally united each to each by the youconnective. In the land of Us. Uz, or Huz (Hebrew, עוּץ), seems to have been originally, like Judah, Moab, Ammon, Edom, etc., the name of a man. It was borne by a son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham (Genesis ), and again by a son of Dishan, the son of Seir the Horite (Genesis ). Some regard it as also a personal name in Genesis But from this use it passed to the descendants of one or more of these patriarchs, and from them to the country or countries which they inhabited. The "land of Uz" is spoken of, not only in this passage, but also in Jeremiah and Lamentations These last-cited places seem to show that Jeremiah's "land of Uz" was in or near Edom, and therefore south of Palestine; but as Uzzites, like so many nations of these ports, were migratory, we need not be surprised if the name Uz was, at different times, attached to various localities. Arabian tradition regards the region of the Hauran, north-east of Palestine, as Job's country. The other geographical names in the Book of Job point to a more eastern location, one not far remote from the southern Euphrates, and the adjacent parts of Arabia Sheba, Dedan, Teman, Buz, Shuah, and Chesed (Casdim) all point to this locality. On the other hand, there is a passage in the inscriptions of Asshur-banipal (circ. B.C. ) which, associating together the names of Huz and Buz (Khazu and Bazu), appears to place them both in Central Arabia, not far from the Jebel Shnmmar ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 2. p. ). My own conclusion would be that, while the name "land of Uz" designated at various periods various localities, Job's "land of Uz" lay a little west of the Lower Euphrates, on the borders of Chaldea and Arabia. Whose name was Job. In the Hebrew the name is "Iyyob," whence the "Eyoub" of the Arabs and the "Hiob" of the Germans. It is quite a distinct name from that of the third son of Issachar (Genesis ), which is properly expressed by "Job," being יוב. Iyyob issupposed to be derived from aib(אָיִב), "to be hostile," and to mean "cruelly or hostilely treated," in which ease we must suppose it to have been first given to the patriarch in his later life, and to have superseded some other, as "Peter" superseded "Simon," and "Paul" superseded "Saul." According to a Jewish tradition, adopted by some of the Christian Fathers, Job's original name was "Jobab," and under this name he reigned as King of Edom (Genesis ). But this kingship is scarcely compatible with the view given of him in the Book of Job. The supposed connection of the name of Juba with that of Job is very doubtful. And that man was perfect. Tam(תָּם), the word translated "perfect," seems to mean "complete, entire, not wanting in any respect," It corresponds to the Greek τέλειος, and the Latin integer(comp. Horace, 'Od.,' 1, "Integer vitro, scelerisque purus'). It does not mean" absolutely sinless," which Job was not (comp. Job ; Job ). And upright. This is the exact meaning of yashar(יָשָׁר). "The Book of Jasher" was "the Book of the Upright" (βιβλίον τοῦ εὐθοῦς, 2 Samuel ). One that feared God, and eschewed evil; literally, fearing God and departing from evil. The same testimony is given of Job by God himself in ver. 8, and again in Job (comp. also Ezekiel , 20). We must suppose Job to have reached as near perfection as was possible tot man at the time. Job

Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

The lxx translates, ε&#;ν χω&#;ρα&#; τη&#;&#; &#x;υ&#;σι&#;τιδι; and adds at the close of the book, ε&#;πι&#; τοι&#;ς ο&#;ρι&#;οις τη&#;ν &#x;&#;δουμαι&#;ας και&#; &#x;&#;ραβι&#;ας, therefore north-east from Idumea, towards the Arabian desert. There, in the Arabian desert west from Babylon, under the Caucabenes, according to Ptolemy (v. 19, 2), the &#x;ι&#;σι&#;ται (&#x;ι&#;σει&#;ται), i.e., the Uzzites, dwelt. This determination of the position of Uz is the most to be relied on. It tends indirectly to confirm this, that Ου&#;&#;σος, in Jos. Ant. i. 6, 4, is described as founder of Trachonitis and Damascus; that the Jakut Hamawi and Moslem tradition generally (as recently Fries, Stud. u. Krit. , ii.) mention the East Haran fertile tract of country north-west of Tm and Bzn, el-Bethenije, the district of Damascus in which Job dwelt;

(Note: Vid., Abulfeda, Historia anteislam. p. 26 (cf. f.), where it says, "The whole of Bethenije, a part of the province of Damascus, belonged to Job as his possession.")

that the Syrian tradition also transfers the dwelling-place of Job to Hauran, where, in the district of Damascus, a monastery to his honour is called Dair Ejjub (vid., Volck, Calendarium Syriacum, p. 29). All these accounts agree that Uz is not to be sought in Idumaea proper (Gebl). And the early historical genealogies (Genesis ; Genesis ; Genesis ) are not unfavourable to this, since they place Uz in relation to Seir-Edom on the one hand, and on the other to Aram: the perplexing double occurrence of such names as Tm and Dma, both in Idumaea and East Hauran, perhaps just results from the mixing of the different tribes through migration. But at all events, though Uz did not lie in Gebl, yet both from Lamentations , and on account of the reference in the book of Job itself to the Horites, a geographical connection between Idumaea and Ausitis is to be held; and from Jeremiah one is warranted in supposing, that &#;&#;&#;, with which the Arabic name of Esau, &#;ys&#; ('l-&#;ys&#;), perhaps not accidentally accords, was the collective name of the northern part of the Arabian desert, extending north-east from Idumaea towards Syria. Here, where the aborigines of Seir were driven back by the Aramaic immigrants, and to where in later times the territory of Edom extended, dwelt Job. His name is not symbolic with reference to the following history. It has been said, &#;&#;&#;&#;&#; signifies one hostilely treated, by Satan namely.

(Note: Geiger (DMZ, , S. f.) conjectures that, Sir. xlix. 9 (και&#; γα&#;ρ ε&#;μνη&#;σθη τω&#;ν ε&#;χθρω&#;ν ε&#;ν ο&#;&#;μβρω&#;), τω&#;ν ε&#;χθρω&#;ν is a false translation of &#;&#;&#;&#;. Renan assents; but τω&#;ν εχθρω&#;ν suits there excellently, and Job would be unnaturally dragged in.)

But the following reasons are against it: (1) that none of the other names which occur in the book are symbolically connected with the history; (2) that the form &#;&#;&#;&#;&#; has never a properly passive signification, but either active, as &#;&#;&#;&#;&#;, reprover (as parallel form with &#;&#;&#;&#;), or neuter, as &#;&#;&#;&#;&#;, born, &#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;, drunken, also occasionally infinitive (vid., Frst, Concord. p. s.), so that it may be more correct, with Ewald, after the Arabic (&#;&#;&#;&#;, cognate with &#;&#;&#;&#;&#;, perhaps also &#;&#;&#;&#;), to explain the "one going of himself." Similar in sound are, &#;&#;&#;, the name of one of the sons of Issachar (Genesis ); the name of the Idumaean king, &#;&#;&#;&#;, Genesis (which the lxx, Aristeas, Jul. Africanus,

(Note: Vid., Routh, Relinquiae iif.)

combine with Job); and the name of the king of Mauritania, Juba, which in Greek is written &#x;&#;ο&#;βας (Didymus Chalcenter. ed. Schmidt, p. ): perhaps all these names belong to the root &#;&#;, to shout with joy. The lxx writes &#x;&#;ω&#;β with lenis; elsewhere the &#; at the beginning is rendered by asper, e.g., &#x;βραα&#;μ, &#x;&#;λι&#;ας. Luther writes Hiob; he has preferred the latter mode, that it may not be read Job with the consonantal Jod, when it should be Iob, as e.g., it is read by the English. It had been more correctly Ijob, but Luther wished to keep to the customary form of the name so far as he could; so we, by writing Iob with vowel I, do not wish to deviate too much from the mode of writing and pronunciation customary since Luther.

(Note: On the authorizing of the writing Iob, more exactly ob, also job (not, however, Ijjob, which does not correspond to the real pronunciation, which softens ij into , and uw into ), vid., Fleischer's Beitrge zur arab. Sprachkunde (Abh. der schs. Gesellschaft d. Wissenschaften, ), S. f. [The usual English form Job is adopted here, though Dr. Delitzsch writes Iob in the original work. - Tr.])

The writer intentionally uses four synonyms together, in order to describe as strongly as possible Job's piety, the reality and purity of which is the fundamental assumption of the history. &#;&#;&#;, with the whole heart disposed towards God and what is good, and also well-disposed toward mankind; &#;&#;&#;&#;, in thought and action without deviation conformed to that which is right; &#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;, fearing God, and consequently being actuated by the fear of God, which is the beginning (i.e., principle) of wisdom; &#;&#;&#; &#;&#;, keeping aloof from evil, which is opposed to God. The first predicate recalls Genesis , the fourth the proverbial Psalms (Psalm ; Psalm ) and Proverbs This mingling of expressions from Genesis and Proverbs is characteristic. First now, after the history has been begun in praett., aorr. follow.

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Turn in your Bible to the book of Job.

We’ll be studying just the first chapter of Job today.

Now, the message that the book of Job teaches us is When We Can’t Understand God’s Ways, We Must Trust His Wisdom.” And Job starts off this book in the first chapter pretty well understanding God’s ways. And he even expresses that he trusts God’s wisdom. But all of that is seriously tested later on – especially starting in chapter 3.

So, let’s study Job, chapter 1.

To begin with, we read of Job’s location, name, and personal character in relation to God in verse 1.

Intro to Job

KJV Job  ¶ There was a man in the land of Uz [ngutz],

whose name was Job;

and that man was [perfect/blameless/pure] and upright, and one that feared God, and [eschewed/turned away from] evil.

So, Job’s location is Uz. This was apparently just north of Edom – which was southeast of Israel. That is to say – outside of Israel. The men we’ll hear from then are Gentiles rather than Jews.

And this verse doesn’t say, but it’s likely that the events of this book take place in the patriarchal period – the time when Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived.

And then the author of this book focuses on Job’s character that we always need to keep in mind as we study this book. Job is blameless and pure. He really fears God. He really does turn away from evil.

As we see Job’s friends later on impugn Job’s character and assert that Job’s sin causes his suffering – we know better. We know that the divine author of this book testifies to Job’s blamelessness.

So, now that we have a glimpse into Job’s whereabouts and character, we’ll hear about the possessions that God blessed him with in verses 2 and 3.

Possessions

KJV Job And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

KJV Job His [substance/possessions] also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred [she asses/female donkeys], and a very great household;

so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

So, when it came to children, Job was blessed with many. When it came to livestock, Job had an abundance of sheep, oxen, camels, and donkeys. And when it came to the overall homestead – which would have included servants – Job’s was “very great.”

He had it all. To the point where he was considered the greatest. The greatest. Everyone in the area would have known about Job in his day. His would have been something like a household name. And he would have been world-renowned – not just for his stuff, but for his godliness.

And this intersection of wealth and piety is a pretty lonely one. Many times those who are godly are poor. Those who are wealthy tend to be ungodly. It’s hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

But that’s not the case with Job. He was righteous and rich.

And so, we’ve seen his riches. Now – in verses 4 and 5 we see his righteousness.

Job’s Piety

KJV Job [And/Now] his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.

KJV Job And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and [sanctified/consecrated] them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all:

for Job said,

It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.

Thus did Job continually.

So, apparently Job’s sons would have all of their siblings over to eat. And this was a regular pattern. Each of the seven sons would have the nine other siblings over. I’m not sure if this was happening every day of every week or if it was spread out throughout a month – but the point is that they would be eating at each other’s houses. They liked each other! They had a good family relationship.

But the even bigger point is that Job was concerned for them. Yes – they had a really good relationship with one another. But you know what Job was more concerned for? That they had a good relationship with God.

He would sacrifice for them – just in case they sinned. He was acting as a priest for them – which reinforces the idea that they were outside of Israel and before the Mosaic Law. If they lived in Israel under the Mosaic Law, then the law prescribed priests in a Tabernacle or Temple. Job here is just sacrificing to the true God – but he’s doing it by himself outside any Temple. He’s a priest for his family.

He could be happy enough with his riches and his family. But he’s most concerned about the spiritual aspects of life.

This man is commendable to all of us. Now, I read a commentary that said that Job was basically a little overwrought in his spiritual activities. Like, basically, Job is showing an unhealthy level of concern for his family’s spiritual state. Perhaps Job – said this commentator – is showing that his view of God is deficient. Like, Job is driven into an almost slave-like mentality where he’s basically operating under fear of God’s reprisal for the least pretense of sin.

But I just don’t think that’s the right way to interpret Job’s actions. That’s surely not the way that the narrator wants us to view Job’s activities. I mean – we’ve already been told that Job is pure and upright. He fears God. He turns from evil. I just don’t think that the way we’ve been introduced to Job allows us to think of his activity as superstition or driven by an unwholesome fear.

So, with that, we have the end of the first little section in this book where we’ve been introduced to Job. Without question, we walk away from that with a real sense that Job is a totally righteous and blessed man.

But that righteousness will be tested in the rest of this book – and especially in the rest of this chapter and chapter 2.

Angelic Gathering #1

Because beginning in chapter 1 and verse 6 we have God calling together a gathering of angelic beings.

Setting the Scene

The scene is set for this in verse 6.

KJV Job  ¶ Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

This phrase “sons of God” is basically equivalent to “angels.” And we don’t hear a thing about any of these beings beyond the fact that Satan is there with them.

And this is in Hebrew “the Satan.” The adversary. He’s Job’s adversary – but even more foundationally – he’s God’s adversary.

If God is for something…he’s against it. If God loves something…the Satan hates it.

And God has a question for this enemy of his in verse 7.

God’s Question to Satan #1

KJV Job And the LORD said unto Satan,

Whence comest thou?

God is asking Satan where he came from – not because he didn’t know. God knows all things. But God wants Satan to tell him where he’s been. And Satan responds.

Satan’s Response to God #1

Then Satan answered the LORD, and said,

From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

OK, Satan was on the earth. He wasn’t in another galaxy. He wasn’t anywhere else in God’s creation besides on earth. I would imagine that Satan doesn’t spend much time anywhere else besides on this earth. But I suppose he could be somewhere else – otherwise God wouldn’t need to ask him.

At any rate, we might wonder why God – knowing that Satan was walking around on the earth – why he asked Satan where he was.

It’s because God was leading into this question.

God’s Question to Satan #2

KJV Job And the LORD said unto Satan,

Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

It’s like – Oh, OK, since you were there, Satan – since you were visiting the earth where so many centuries ago, you tempted Adam and Eve and were so influential in the marring of everything there – hey, have you considered one man who isn’t going your way? Have you thought about Job, Satan – you old rebel? He fears me, whereas you don’t. He turns from evil, whereas you embrace it all the time. He puts you to shame.

But – of course – the adversary is not going to just let God shine light on his own rebellion. As is his custom, he’s going to accuse and insinuate falsehoods against Job.

Satan’s Response to God #2

KJV Job Then Satan answered the LORD, and said,

Doth Job fear God for nought?

Satan’s insinuation? No, of course Job doesn’t fear God for nothing.

Well, then, why – according to Satan – does Job fear God?

KJV Job Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

In other words, Yahweh – you’ve bought Job off! That’s the only reason he serves you – you make his life easy and you bless him in every way!

So, in Satan’s mind – here’s the real test that will prove that this man Job doesn’t serve God for nothing.

KJV Job But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

Now, Satan proposes that Job will do exactly what Job was so fearful that his own children would do – curse God. Only, Job was afraid that his kids had cursed God secretly – in their heart. But Satan is hopeful that Job will curse God publicly and unashamedly – to his face.

So, if you take away all that a righteous man has, will he still worship God? Satan says no.

And I think he’s right for a number of people in American Christianity. The whole premise of a lot of what passes for Christianity today is that you worship God because he makes you wealthy and he gives you perfect health. And when those things are taken from these so-called Christians, it’s inevitable that they say goodbye to God. They were really only worshipping the money anyway – the stuff that God gave them.

But what about us? If this heavenly interaction were going on right now about you, is there something that Satan could suggest that would cause you to “curse God?” What if he took all your stuff? What if he made your home life difficult? What if he let your health deteriorate? Would you abandon him?

Well, God allows Job to be tested.

God’s Response to Satan #3

KJV Job And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand.

Satan’s Departure

So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Now, it’s interesting and something to watch and consider that Satan told God to put forth his hand against Job. But then God tells Satan that everything Job has is in Satan’s power.

So, who is the one inflicting the injury upon Job? Is it Satan or is it God?

The answer actually isn’t so clear. Last time in our study I made a statement that basically Satan was the one who harmed Job – not God. But I think that we’re going to see in the second chapter of the book of Job that God actually takes some responsibility for harming Job.

I think it goes like this – Satan can’t do anything apart from the Lord’s permission. And sometimes the Lord permits Satan to harm people. And when he does, God himself takes some responsibility for the results.

Calamitous Results #1

And so, now, starting in verse 13 we’re going to see some of the calamitous results of this heavenly wager. God is saying that Job will keep his integrity and still worship him even if he doesn’t bless him materially. Satan believes that the only reason Job is worshipping God is because of the material blessings that God has given him.

Setting the Scene

The scene is set in verse

KJV Job  ¶ And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother&#;s house:

OK, there they are all together – happy and healthy and enjoying God’s blessings. Blessings of family and of food and drink.

But then – tragedy strikes in four separate incidents that are too much to be coincidental.

Sabeans Take Oxen and Donkeys, Kill Servants

KJV Job And there came a messenger unto Job, and said,

The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:

KJV Job And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away;

yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword;

and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Now, I’m not sure where Job might be physically at this point. Probably at his home, taking care of his household. He would have just finished sacrificing for his children – since they’re back with their oldest brother and I’m just kind of assuming that they went from oldest to youngest in the order of their visiting.

But wherever Job was, this messenger came to him and told him what happened to his oxen and donkeys. And recall that he had yoke – or pairs – of oxen and female donkeys.

But these Sabeans took them all in one shot. These are likely marauding groups from Sheba or the desert area east of Edom. Oxen would have been plowing around winter time. And when the servants of Job’s “very great” household rose up to defend their master’s oxen and donkeys, the Sabeans killed them.

And now out of all that stuff – numerous people, or so oxen, and or more donkeys – only this one messenger is left.

I’d say that that’s great loss.

But at least Job still has 7, sheep… Or, does he?

“Fire of God” Kills Sheep and Servants

KJV Job While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said,

The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them;

and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

So, first it was the Sabeans. Now it’s this “fire of God” – that is, lightning. Lightning came down from heaven and burned up all of Jobs’ 7, sheep plus many more of his servants.

And it’s one thing to have human agents inflicting suffering. It’s another thing to have a natural occurrence bring the suffering. You can blame the Sabeans for dong you wrong – but whom do you blame when lightning strikes?

Yeah, God. And that’s of course what Satan was wanting Job to do – blame God and let bitterness get a hold in his life to the point he abandons God.

Well, the sheep, oxen, donkeys, and many servants are gone.

At least Job has the 3, camels…

Chaldeans Take Camels, Kill Servants

KJV Job While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said,

The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away,

yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword;

and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Now, we saw in the book of Jeremiah that the Babylonians were also called Chaldeans. And so, these people from the far east in Babylon came and divided into three groups in order to catch Job’s 3, camels. Maybe 1, camels for each group.

And of course, Job’s loyal servants would have risen up and defended their master’s property, but the Chaldeans overpowered them and killed them.

Wow, all of Job’s stuff is gone – camels, sheep, oxen, donkeys, and probably almost all of his servants.

I don’t know how you would compare this to modern life – but it’s something like all of your retirement and personal savings accounts somehow just totally become emptied by a stock market crash – and just then your car stops working – while you also find out that you’ve been fired from your job – oh, and it just so happens that a bunch of your friends and co-workers have died in a terrorist attack.

Well, at least Job still has his family.

Winds Kills Children

KJV Job While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said,

Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother&#;s house:

KJV Job And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young [men/people], and they are dead;

and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

All dead. All 10 of his children in an instant – gone.

And that leaves Job with almost nothing in this life. The Sabeans, lightning, Chaldeans, and wind from the wilderness east of Edom took everything from him. And behind all of that is… a sovereign God.

Almost everything that God had given Job – he now took away from him in an instant.

What’s Job’s response? Remember what Satan thought? Cursing God to his face. Does that happen?

Job’s Response #1

KJV Job  ¶ Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and […] worshipped,

KJV Job And said,

Naked came I out of my mother&#;s womb,
and naked shall I return thither:

the LORD gave,
and the LORD hath taken away;

blessed be the name of the LORD.

So, Job grieves. That’s what he’s doing when he tears his clothing and shaves his head.

But then he worships. He worships God “for nothing.” Job recognizes that he entered this world with absolutely nothing. And he also knows that’s exactly how he’s going to leave this life. He can’t take anything with him. He knows that.

He also knows that everything he had – God gave him.

And at the same time – Job recognizes that it’s ultimately God who has taken those things away. Satan played a part – and Job doesn’t know anything about that at this point. But it’s God whom Job acknowledges as taking these things from him. And God himself will also acknowledge that in chapter 2.

Well, how’s that for a response to this kind of suffering? Here’s what God thinks of it.

KJV Job  ¶ In all this Job sinned not, nor [charged God foolishly/did he blame God/did he charge God with moral impropriety].

Literally, Job did not “give unseemliness or unsavoriness to God.” He did not consider that what God had done was wrong or inappropriate in any way.

That’s a good response. Job can’t understand God’s ways. But he is trusting God’s wisdom. And next time, we’ll see if Job can continue to hold his composure in the face of more heart-rending suffering.

Sours: https://www.explainingthebook.com/jobcommentary/
Job 1-42 - The Bible from 30,000 Feet - Skip Heitzig - Flight JOB01

Prologue (Job )

Bible Commentary / Produced by TOW Project

Job’s Prosperity Acknowledged as God’s Blessing (Job )

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At the beginning of the Book of Job we are introduced to an exceptionally prosperous farmer/rancher named Job. He is described as “the greatest man among all the people of the East” (Job ). Like the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, his wealth was measured by his many thousand head of livestock, numerous servants and large family. His seven sons and three daughters (Job ) are both a personal joy to him and an important foundation of his wealth. In agricultural societies, children supply the most reliable part of the labor needed in a household. They are the best hope for a comfortable retirement, the only pension plan available in the Ancient Near East, as is in many parts of the world today.

Job regards his success to be the result of God’s blessing. We are told that God has “blessed the work of Job’s hands, and his possessions have increased in the land” (Job ). Job’s recognition that he owes everything to God’s blessing is highlighted by an unusual detail. He worries that his children might inadvertently offend God. Although Job takes care to remain “blameless and upright” (Job ), he worries that his children may not be so fastidious. What if one of them, addled by too much drink during their frequent days-long feasts, should sin by cursing God (Job )? Therefore, after every feast, to forestall any offense to God, “Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all” (Job ).

God recognizes Job’s faithfulness. He remarks to his Satan (a Hebrew word meaning simply “accuser”), “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man who fears God and turns away from evil” (Job ). The accuser spots an opening for mischief and replies, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” (Job ). That is, does Job love God only because God has blessed him so richly? Is Job’s praise and his burnt offerings “according to the number of them all” just a calculated scheme to keep the goods flowing? Or to use a modern image, is Job’s faithfulness nothing more than a coin fed into the vending machine of God’s blessing?

We could apply this question to ourselves. Do we relate to God primarily so that he will bless us with the stuff we want? Or worse yet, so that he won’t jinx the success we seem to be achieving on our own? In good times, this may not be a burning issue. We believe in God. We acknowledge him — at least theoretically — as the source of all good things. At the same time, we work diligently, so God’s goodness and our work go hand in hand. When times are good, and we do in fact prosper, it is natural to thank God and praise him for it.

God Allows Satan to Destroy Job’s Prosperity (Job )

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The problem of pain comes when times are hard. When we are passed over for promotion or lose a job, when we become chronically ill, when we lose people we love, what then? We face the question, “If God was blessing me during the good times, is he punishing me now?” This is a hugely important question. If God is punishing us, we need to change our ways so he will stop. But if our difficulties are not a punishment from God, then changing our ways would be foolish. It might even oppose what God wants us to do.

Imagine the case of a teacher who gets laid off during a school budget cut and thinks, “This is God’s punishment because I didn’t become a missionary.” Taking her layoff as a sign, she enrolls in seminary and borrows money to pay for it. Three years later, she graduates and begins trying to raise support for her mission. If indeed God caused the layoff to punish her for not becoming a missionary, she has ceased the offense. She should be in good shape.

But what if her layoff was not a punishment from God? What if God actually has no intention for her to become a missionary? While in seminary, she may miss an opportunity to serve God as a teacher. Worse yet, what happens if she fails to raise support as a missionary? She will have no job and tens of thousands of dollars of debt. Will she then feel abandoned by God if her mission plan doesn’t work out? Might she even lose her faith or become bitter towards God? If so, she would not be the first. Yet it would all be because she mistakenly assumed that her layoff was a sign of God’s punishment. The question of whether adversity is a sign of God’s disfavor is no light matter.

The accuser — Satan — hopes to set just such a trap for Job. Satan says to God that if he removes the blessings he has so richly bestowed on Job, “He will curse you to your face” (Job ; ). If Satan can get Job to believe he is being punished by God, Job may be caught in either of two snares. He may abandon his righteous habits in the mistaken assumption that they are offensive to God. Or, better yet from the accuser’s point of view, he will become bitter at God for his undeserved punishment, and abandon God altogether. Either way, it will be a curse in the face of God.

God allows Satan to proceed. We are not told why. One harrowing day, nearly everything Job treasures is stolen and the people he loves — including all his children — are murdered or killed in violent storms (Job ). But Job neither assumes God is punishing him nor becomes bitter over God’s treatment. Instead he worships God (Job ). At his lowest moment, Job blesses God’s authority over all the circumstances of life, good or bad. “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord”(Job ).

Job’s finely balanced attitude is remarkable. He rightly understands his previous prosperity as a blessing from God. He does not imagine he ever deserved God’s blessing, even though he recognizes he was righteous (implicit in Job ,5 and stated explicitly in Job , et al.). Because he knows he didn’t deserve his former blessings, he knows he does not necessarily deserve his current sufferings. He does not take his condition to be a measurement of God’s favor. Consequently, he doesn’t pretend to know why God blessed him with prosperity at one time and not at another.

Job is a rebuke to the so-called “prosperity gospel,” which claims that those in right relationship with God are always blessed with prosperity. This is simply not true, and Job is Exhibit Number- One. Yet Job is also a rebuke to the “poverty gospel” which claims the opposite, that a right relationship with God implies a life of poverty. The idea that believers should intentionally emulate Job’s loss is too far-fetched to appear even on the fringe of discussion in Job. God might call us to give up everything, if doing so were necessary under the circumstances to serve or follow him. But the book of Job makes no suggestion that God inherently desires anyone to live in poverty. Job’s original prosperity was a genuine blessing of God, and his extreme poverty is a genuine calamity.

Job can remain faithful under adversity because he understands prosperity accurately. Because he has experienced prosperity as a blessing from God, he is prepared to suffer adversity without jumping to conclusions. He knows what he doesn’t know, namely why God blesses us with prosperity or allows us to suffer adversity. And he knows what he does know, namely that God is faithful, even while God allows us to experience great pain and suffering. As a result, “In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong-doing” (Job ).

God Allows Satan to Destroy Job’s Health (Job )

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Job is able to endure overwhelming loss without compromising his “integrity” or blamelessness(Job ). But Satan does not give up. Perhaps Job merely hasn’t faced enough pain and suffering. Satan now accuses him of serving God only because he still has his health (Job ). So God allows the accuser to afflict Job with every matter of loathsome sores “from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head” (Job ). This is especially galling to Job’s wife, and she asks him, “Do you still persist in your integrity? Curse God, and die” (Job ). She accepts that Job is blameless in God’s eyes, but unlike him, doesn’t see the point in being blameless if it doesn’t bring God’s blessings. Job responds with one of the classic verses of scripture, “Shall we receive the good from the hand of God, and not receive the bad?” (Job ).

Once again we find Job ascribing every circumstance of life to God. Meanwhile, Job is unaware of the heavenly activity that is behind his situation. He cannot see inner workings of heaven, and it is only the integrity of his faith that prevents him from cursing God. How about us? Do we recognize that like Job, we do not understand the mysteries of heaven that shape our prosperity and adversity? Do we prepare for adversity by practicing faithfulness and thanksgiving during good times? Job’s unwavering habit of prayer and sacrifice may have seemed quaint or even obsessive when we encountered it in Job But now we can see that a lifetime of faithful practices forged his capacity to remain faithful in extreme circumstances. Faith in God may come in an instant. Integrity is formed over a lifetime.

Job’s adversity arises in his workplace, with the loss of his means of income. It spreads to his family and eventually attacks his health. This pattern is familiar to us. We can easily become so self-identified with our work that workplace setbacks spread to our family and personal lives. Workplace failures threaten our self-identity and even our integrity. This, plus the practical strain of losing income and security, may severely disrupt family relationships. Though they seldom cause violent death, work-related stresses may lead to a permanent destruction of families. Eventually we may experience debilitating physical and mental health issues. We may be unable to find peace, rest or even a good night’s sleep (Job ).In the midst of this, Job maintains his integrity. It might be tempting to draw a moral such as, “Don’t get so wrapped up in your work that its problems affect your family or your health.” But that wouldn’t do justice to the depth of Job’s story. Job problems did affect his family and his health, in addition to his work. Job’s wisdom is not about how to minimize adversity by maintaining wise boundaries, but about what it looks like to maintain faithfulness through the worst circumstances of life.

Job’s Friends Arrive to Comfort Him (Job )

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With Satan having done his worst, Job could really use some support. Job’s three friends enter the story and are depicted as sensitive, pious and sympathetic men. They go so far as to sit with Job for seven days and nights (Job ). They are wise enough — at this point — not to say anything. Comfort comes from the friends’ presence in adversity, not from anything they might say to make things better. Nothing they can say could make things better.


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Sours: https://www.theologyofwork.org/old-testament/job/prologue-job

Chapter commentary on 1 job

About the Book of Job

Job, a servant of God

An EasyEnglish Commentary ( word vocabulary) on the Book of Job

www.easyenglish.bible

Keith Simons

Words in boxes (except for words in brackets) are from the Bible.

This commentary has been through Advanced Checking.

The Book of Job tells the story of a man called Job. Job was a good man. Job trusted God. But Job had terrible troubles.

The devil caused Job’s troubles (Job ; Job ). But Job did not know this fact. So Job thought that God caused the problems (Job ). In fact, God did not cause Job’s troubles. God merely permitted Job to suffer. Still, Job trusted God. And Job refused to insult God (Job ).

Job’s friends tried to help Job. But their advice was wrong. They did not think that God would allow an innocent person to suffer. So they thought that Job was guilty. They guessed that Job had done many wicked things (Job ).

Job argued with them. He explained that he was innocent (Job ). Job thought that God should help him. But Job was still suffering. So Job supposed that God was unfair (Job ). But this idea was wrong. Nobody should accuse God. God is always fair (Job ).

God was kind to Job, even when Job was suffering. God taught Job many things. Job learned that death is not the end of everything (Job ). Job discovered that God would rescue him (Job ). And Job knew that God is wonderful (Job ).

Then a man called Elihu spoke. Elihu was wiser than Job’s other friends were. Elihu told Job not to accuse God. And Elihu was angry that the other friends had been cruel to Job (Job ).

Then a storm approached the men. And the men heard God’s voice (Job chapter 38 to chapter 41).

God reminded the men that he is very great. He told them about the world, the stars and the sea (Job chapter 38). He described many strange animals (Job chapter 39 to chapter 41). And God explained that he created all these things. So nobody should accuse God. Nobody should say that God is not fair. Instead, we must respect God. And we must be humble.

Then Job was sorry that he said the wrong things about God. And Job’s friends were sorry too. They asked Job to pray for them. And God forgave them all (Job chapter 42).

After Job prayed for his friends, God made Job successful again (Job ).

A good man called Job

v1 A man called Job lived in a country called Uz. This man was good and honest. Job respected God. And Job refused to do evil deeds.

v2 Job had:

·     7 sons and 3 daughters;

·     v3 sheep;

·     camels;

·     pairs of oxen; (Oxen look like cows. But oxen pull the plough.)

·     donkeys (small horses);

·     and many servants.

Job was the greatest man in the east.

v4 Job’s sons used to hold birthday parties in their houses. They would eat and drink together, with their three sisters. v5 Afterwards, Job prayed for them. At dawn, he took one animal for each child. He killed the animals. Then, he burned the animals as a gift to God. Job did this because he was worried about his children. He said, ‘Perhaps my children did something evil. Perhaps they insulted God.’ So, Job did these things often.

Chapter 1

Verses

Job was a successful man. He was rich. And he was important. Everybody respected Job, because Job was wealthy.

Job did deserve honour, but not because of his wealth. Job deserved honour because he respected God. Job always tried to do the right things. And Job refused to do evil things.

Job did not pretend that he was perfect (Job ). Everybody does some evil deeds (Romans ). This is why Jesus died for us (Romans ). Jesus suffered the punishment for our evil deeds. We should invite God into our lives. Nobody on earth is perfect. But, if we trust God, God will make us perfect in heaven (1 Corinthians ).

Job did trust God. Job was sincere. Job’s attitudes (Job 31) prove this. Even God spoke well about Job (verse 8).

In Ezekiel , God mentions Job. God also mentions Noah and Daniel in this passage. Here, God explains that the people in some countries are very wicked. God will punish these people severely. Even a good man like Job could not save such people. And even Noah and Daniel could not help them. This passage in Ezekiel shows us that God really considered Job a good man.

Verse 4

Job was unhappy about the behaviour of his children. Job wanted his children to respect God. Job wanted them to help poor people. But Job’s children preferred to hold parties. They were greedy. They drank plenty of wine. They did not think that Job’s religion was important.

Later, in Job , Bildad said that Job’s children were evil. Job agreed with Bildad – see Job

Verse 5

Job prayed for his children. Before Jesus died, holy people often killed animals as a gift to God. The Bible taught the people to do this (Leviticus chapters ). The people knew that an animal cannot take the punishment for our evil deeds (Psalm ). They knew that only God can forgive us (Psalm ). But the death of an animal reminded them that evil deeds are serious matters. And this tradition taught them that Jesus would die for us all (Genesis and John ).

Job was afraid that his children would insult God. This would be terrible because we must always respect God. God created us. And God is our judge. In fact, the author of the Book of Job did not even want to write the words: ‘insult God’. In the language called Hebrew, he wrote the words: ‘praise God’. He did not mean ‘praise’ because of course we should praise God. But the author knew that his readers would be able to work out the meaning of his words.

The accuser called Satan

v6 On one particular day, the angels (servants of God) gathered in heaven to see God. And the accuser called Satan was also there.

v7 God said to Satan, ‘Where did you come from?’

Satan replied to God, ‘I have travelled across the world. I have been to many places.’

v8 God said to Satan, ‘I have a servant called Job. Nobody else in the world is like Job! Job is good and honest. He respects God. And Job refuses to do evil deeds.’

v9 Satan replied to God, ‘Job respects you because you help him. v10 You are his guard. You protect him, as if a hedge surrounds him. You protect his family. You protect all his possessions. You have helped that man to succeed. Now, he is very wealthy. v11 But if you destroy Job’s property, then Job will really insult you.’

v12 God said to Satan, ‘I permit you to attack everything that belongs to Job. But you may not hurt Job himself.’

So, Satan left God.

Verses

The book of Job teaches us many things about the devil. The devil’s name is Satan. ‘Satan’ means ‘the accuser’.

Job’s friends did not blame Satan for Job’s troubles. Even Job did not blame the devil. Job and his friends thought that God made Job suffer. But they were wrong. God is good. God wants us to have wonderful lives. God is preparing a beautiful home in heaven for his people (John ; Revelation chapter 21).

The Book of Job explains that Satan caused Job’s troubles. Many Christians think that Satan was once an angel (a servant of God) – Isaiah But Satan refused to obey God. Satan thought that he would be as great as God. Other angels joined Satan. These evil angels are called ‘evil spirits’. (See Mark )

Satan causes the troubles in the world. God created a beautiful world (Genesis ). But Satan used a snake to test the first people (Genesis 3). The snake told the first people that they should not obey God. Then they would become like God (Genesis ). The people obeyed this terrible advice. Since then, everybody has done evil deeds. This is why our lives are difficult (Genesis ).

Satan even tested Jesus (Matthew ; Hebrews ). But Jesus did not behave like us. Jesus did nothing that was evil (1 Peter ; Hebrews ). When Jesus died, he destroyed Satan’s work (Genesis ; Hebrews ). When we invite God into our lives, we become friends of God, because of Jesus’ death (Ephesians ).

But the devil continues to test us. He wanders across the world (1 Peter ). He tries to tempt us. He wants to accuse us. We must not follow his advice (James ). He hates us because we love God. And God will protect us (Ephesians ).

In the Book of Job, Satan visited heaven. We do not expect to see the devil in heaven! The devil is God’s enemy. The devil belongs in hell.

Jesus’ work was complete when Jesus died for us (Hebrews ). But God’s enemies still have some power (Luke ; 1 Corinthians ; Hebrews ). In the future, God will punish all his enemies. And Satan will suffer the punishment that he deserves (Revelation ).

Verse 8

God was proud of Job. Job was special to God.

Every Christian is special to God. God knows his people (2 Timothy ). God knows everything about us (Matthew ). He sees our secret actions (Matthew ). He hears our quiet prayers (Matthew ). He is better than a friend (John ). He is closer than a brother (Proverbs ). God loves his people. (See the Song of Solomon, or read Revelation and 1 John )

Verses 9–10

Satan is the accuser. Firstly, he accused God. Satan said that God was not fair. God was protecting Job so Satan could not attack Job!

Satan was wrong to argue that God is not fair. God is always fair.

But Satan was right that God protects his people. God rescues us when we have troubles (Psalm –3). God saves us from our enemies (Psalm 59). God helps us when we pray (Psalm 61). God is like a castle where we are safe (Psalm –2). We can always trust God (Psalm 71).

Verse 11

Then Satan accused Job. Satan thought that Job was not really loyal to God. Job served God because Job respected God. Satan thought that Job preferred wealth instead of God. Satan was wrong. Job was still loyal to God even when Job lost all his possessions.

Verse 12

In verse 11, Satan wanted God to destroy Job’s property. But God did not agree to this request. God is not evil. God does not do terrible things to his people. God is never cruel. God refused to destroy Job’s property.

However, sometimes God allows the devil to test us. God allows such troubles so that we learn to trust God more (1 Peter ). Even when we suffer, we love God deeply. And God gives joy to us (1 Peter ).

Terrible things might happen to us (Matthew ). But we can be glad. God has a wonderful reward for us in heaven (Matthew ). Stephen knew this. Stephen’s enemies killed him because he spoke boldly about Jesus. But when Stephen was dying, he did not care about his pain. God showed heaven to Stephen. Stephen even saw Jesus in heaven (Acts ). So Stephen was not afraid (Acts ). He knew that God would reward him. And Stephen knew that heaven was his real home. (See 1 Peter )

We must not be afraid of troubles. God knows us. And he cares about us. God decided what troubles Job would suffer. In verse 12, God did not allow Satan to hurt Job. In Job , God did not allow Satan to kill Job. Satan might cause many troubles, but God controls our lives.

We can trust God. He will not allow us to suffer troubles that are too difficult for us. And God will help us when we have troubles. See 1 Corinthians We are not alone when we suffer troubles. God will help us. God will make us strong. We do not need to be afraid. Paul suffered many troubles (2 Corinthians ). But he wrote that these troubles were slight. He knew that God is preparing a wonderful reward for us in heaven (Romans ). So Paul was always glad (Philippians ).

Job’s troubles begin

v13 On the birthday of Job’s oldest son, that son invited his brothers and sisters for a party. They were eating together in his house. And they were drinking wine.

v14 On that day, a servant came to Job. The servant said, ‘Your oxen (farm animals) were ploughing. And the donkeys (small horses) were eating together. v15 But then, people from the nation called Sabea attacked. They took the animals. And they killed all your servants. I alone escaped to tell you.’

v16 While that servant was still speaking, another servant arrived. This other servant said, ‘Fire came down from God in heaven! The fire burned your sheep. And the fire burned your servants. I alone escaped to tell you.’

v17 While this servant was still speaking, another servant arrived. This next servant said, ‘People came from the nation called Chaldea. There were three groups. They stole your camels. They killed your servants. I alone escaped to tell you.’

v18 While he was still speaking, one more servant arrived. This last servant said, ‘Your sons and daughters were in your oldest son’s house. They were eating together. And they were drinking wine. v19 But then, a great wind blew from the desert. It was so strong that the house fell down. Everybody died. I alone escaped to tell you.’

Verse 13

A birthday should be a happy day. But this birthday was a terrible day. On this day, Satan attacked Job. Job’s troubles came suddenly.

Job’s children were not ready for that day. They were behaving quite as they always behaved. They were not trusting God. They were not ready to meet God. Instead, they were ‘eating and drinking’.

Before Noah’s flood, people were ‘eating and drinking’. These people were not ready for the flood. The flood drowned them. And they were not ready to meet God (Matthew ). People will also behave in this manner before Jesus returns. We must not behave like this. We must always be ready to meet God (Matthew ). So we must invite God into our lives. And God will teach us to live in a way that pleases him.

Verses

The servants in verses announced that Job had lost all his possessions. Job’s sheep died in a terrible fire. Enemies stole Job’s camels. Other enemies took Job’s oxen (farm animals) and his donkeys (small horses). In the morning, Job was the wealthiest man in the east. But in the evening, Job was a very poor man.

Sometimes troubles happen suddenly. Each new trouble makes us weaker. We think that we have no strength. But then, a worse trouble comes. Jeremiah knew this. When Jeremiah’s enemies attacked Jerusalem, the people in Jerusalem suffered terribly. The enemies destroyed the city. They killed many people. They took other people to be their slaves. But Jeremiah still remembered God’s love. Jeremiah still knew that God is kind. So, Jeremiah was patient. And Jeremiah knew that God would still answer prayer (Lamentations ).

Habakkuk wrote about this. Habakkuk could still feel joy even if his crops failed. He was glad because God would protect him. He was happy because God gave strength to him (Habakkuk ).

Verses

Then, Job’s troubles became even worse. Job’s children were having a party. They were greedy. Perhaps the party was evil. Perhaps they drank too much wine. Job was worried about them. And Job was right to be worried. Job’s children were not ready to meet God. They did not know that they would die.

The servant’s news was terrible. Job’s sons died. Job’s daughters died. His servants died. Only the four servants in Job were still alive. Satan was very cruel to Job. Job did not realise that Satan caused Job’s troubles. Job thought that God had caused these troubles.

Job’s reaction to the terrible news

v20 Then Job stood up. He tore his clothes to show that he was very sad. He shaved his hair to show that he had lost everything. Then, he knelt to praise God. (That is, Job bent his body to the ground.)

v21 Job said, ‘I had nothing when I was born. And I will have nothing when I die. God gave many things to me. Now, God has taken these things from me. But I will still praise God.’

v22 Although Job’s troubles were great, Job’s words were not evil. And Job did not accuse God.

Verse 20

Satan did these terrible things to Job because Satan wanted Job to insult God (verse 11). Satan thought that Job would hate God because of these troubles. So Job’s reaction was important to Satan.

Job’s reaction was also important to God. God was proud of Job (verse 8). God said that Job was God’s ‘servant’. Like a servant, Job did God’s work on earth (Job ). As Christians, we are also God’s servants (Romans ; Philippians ; James ; 2 Peter ). God has given great responsibility to us (2 Corinthians ). So, when we have troubles, God wants us to behave wisely.

Job suffered very terrible troubles. We would not be surprised if Job was angry. We should have sympathy when people suffer.

Job was very sad. He carried out the traditions of his people. The sad news upset him greatly. But Job was not angry with God. Instead, Job praised God.

In one day, Job lost everything that he owned. But Job still praised God.

On that day, Job’s sons and daughters died. But Job still praised God.

Job had been rich. Now he was poor. But Job still praised God.

Verses

Job knew that his possessions really belonged to God (Psalm ).

Job thought that God had taken Job’s possessions. And Job thought that this was fair. God gave him those things. And Job supposed that God had taken those things away. Job did not know that really Satan had done these terrible things. But Job did not accuse God. Job did not say that God was evil. Job continued to praise God.

Job was patient (James ). Job did not know why these terrible events happened. But Job trusted God. Job continued to praise God. Job was still a servant of God. So Job was careful always to respect God.

Perhaps Job supposed that the most terrible things had happened to him. But soon he would suffer even more troubles.

We can learn many important lessons from Chapter 1:

·     God is good. He protects us. He provides for us.

·     The devil is cruel. The devil causes our troubles.

·     Sometimes God allows the devil to test us. At these times, God is still protecting us. God will help us.

When we have troubles, we should still trust God. We should continue to respect God. And we should praise God in every situation.

Satan opposes Job again

v1 On another day, the angels (servants of God) gathered in heaven to see God. The accuser, called Satan, came with them to see God.

v2 God said to Satan, ‘Where did you come from?’

Satan replied to God, ‘I have travelled across the world. I have been to many places.’

v3 God said to Satan, ‘I have a servant called Job. Nobody else in the world is like Job! Job is good and honest. He respects God. And Job refuses to do evil deeds. And he is still a good man, although you opposed him. He is still good, although you tried to destroy him without any reason.’

v4 Satan replied to God, ‘But you did not allow me to hurt the man. A man will do anything to save his life. v5 If you hurt Job’s body, that man will really insult you.’

v6 God said to Satan, ‘I permit you to hurt Job. But you must not kill him.’

v7 So, Satan left God. And Satan caused Job to have spots on his body. The spots were sore. And the spots were on every part of Job’s body. v8 Job took a piece of pot, which he rubbed against the spots. And Job sat on the ground, on the ash heap.

Chapter 2

Verse 1

In chapter 1, Satan (the devil) wanted Job to insult God. Job refused to obey Satan. So Job was still a good man. Job had many troubles. He lost everything. His children were dead. But Job still respected God. And Job continued to praise God. This was bad news for Satan.

Then Satan decided to oppose Job again. Satan is a powerful enemy, but he can also be stupid. Satan thought that illness would make Job insult God. But Job was a good man. Job trusted God. Job would not obey Satan.

Verses

These verses are similar to Job But God also accused Satan at the end of verse 3. God said that Satan had no reason to oppose Job.

Satan is cruel. He hates everyone who trusts God. But Satan is even cruel to the people who do Satan’s work. And those people will suffer with Satan in hell (Revelation chapter 20).

Verses

Satan wanted God to hurt Job. But God does not want people to be ill. And nobody will be ill in heaven (Revelation ). So, God did not hurt Job. But God allowed Satan to test Job.

Verses

Satan made Job ill. Job’s skin was very painful.

This was a terrible test. Job had suffered very many troubles in chapter 1. And now, Job was ill.

Job made a tool that he rubbed against the spots. This made the spots less painful. Job sat on the ash heap. This was the tradition of Job’s people. A very sad person would sit on the ashes (Jonah ; Luke ). Then everyone would know that something terrible had happened.

Job’s wife’s advice

v9 Job’s wife told Job, ‘You cannot continue to be a good man now. Insult God! Then, you will die.’

v10 But Job told her, ‘Your words are foolish words. God gives good things to us. So, we must expect to suffer some evil things.’

Although Job’s troubles were great, Job’s words were not evil.

Verse 9

Satan wanted Job to insult God (Job ; Job ). Here, Job’s own wife also wanted Job to insult God. She was like Eve, who told Adam not to obey God (1 Timothy ).

We should not listen to evil advice. Sometimes our best friends speak terrible advice. We should not obey anyone whose advice is evil (Galatians ).

Perhaps Job’s wife thought that Job should kill himself. But Job would not do this. Our lives are a gift from God. We should sympathise with people who want to die. We should care for them. And we should show them that life is God’s gift. Life is precious.

Or, perhaps Job’s wife thought that God would punish Job with death. But, this idea is also wrong. We should never do evil things. And many evil people insult God, but they continue to live. After death, God will punish every evil person (Revelation ). This is why everybody should trust God. God will forgive each person that invites God into his or her life (Acts ).

Verse 10

Job meant ‘evil’ by the word ‘foolish’. Only an evil person should say such things.

Job thought that God had done evil things to Job. Job thought that this was fair. He knew that God did many good things. So, Job would not hate God if God did some evil things. But Job’s ideas were wrong. God is good. He never does any evil things.

Job’s words were not evil because Job was sincere. Job was still trying to respect God. Job still gave honour to God.

Compare Job and Job In chapter 1, Job did not accuse God. But in chapter 2, Job accused God. Job said that God had done something evil.

Job’s three friends arrive

v11 Job had three friends. Their names were:

·     Eliphaz, who belonged to the people called Temanites;

·     Bildad, who belonged to the people called Shuhites;

·     Zophar, who belonged to the people called Naamathites.

These men heard about Job’s troubles. So, they left their homes. They agreed to go to Job. Then, they would sympathise with Job. And they would comfort him.

v12 But when the three friends saw Job, they could not even recognise him. They cried out. They tore their clothes. They put dust on their heads. v13 For a whole week, they sat with Job. They sat on the ground, even during the night. And they said nothing to him. They saw that Job was suffering greatly. So, they were silent.

Verse 11

Job’s friends came from three nations. They were intelligent men. Their speeches were clever. And they cared about Job. They wanted to sympathise with Job. They thought that they could encourage Job. And they wanted to comfort him.

Verse 12

Job’s illness was very severe. The spots were so bad that the friends did not recognise Job. The friends wanted to show Job that they too were very sad. Like Job (Job ), they tore their clothes. They also put dust on their heads. This was a tradition to show that they were very sad.

Verse 13

The three friends were careful not to upset Job. They sympathised with him.

They did not even leave him during the night. They sat on the ash heap with Job.

They were polite. Perhaps they expected to talk with Job. But Job was not ready to speak. His pain was too great. His troubles were too terrible. Job just wanted to remain silent. His friends respected this. So they were silent until Job spoke.

The friends’ actions in chapter 2 were good and right. Later, they would say many foolish things. But in chapter 2, they really cared about Job. They were patient. They were kind. They wanted to help their friend. And we can learn many things from them.

A week later, Job and his friends began to speak. They tried to explain Job’s troubles. They made many mistakes in their speeches. But they also learned many wonderful things about God. In the end, God forgave the friends. And God made Job successful again. But first, we will study their speeches.

Job’s first speech

Job regrets his own birth

v1 Afterwards, Job spoke. He regretted his own birth. v2 He said:

v3 I regret my own birth. I am sorry that I was ever born. v4 I would prefer if that day never existed. I would prefer if the sun never appeared on that day. I wish that God did not count that day. v5 I would prefer if a dense cloud had covered the sun. I would prefer if the daylight was darkness.

v6 (And I regret the night when my life began.) I would prefer if darkness destroyed that night. I would prefer if that night was not in the calendar. I wish that such a night did not belong in any month. v7 I am sorry that anyone’s life began on that night. I wish that no family were happy on that night.

v8 People should curse that day. They should curse it, if they waken a crocodile! (A crocodile is a very strong animal.) v9 I should not have seen the morning stars on that day. I should not have seen the dawn. I should not have seen the daylight. v10 I should have died on that day.

Then, I would have avoided my troubles.

Chapter 3

Verses

Job’s friends waited for Job to speak. They waited for an entire week. At last, Job spoke. Job explained that he was very sad. His life seemed to have no value. He felt as if he was waiting to die.

Job’s people thought that a birthday was a happy day. They had parties (Job ). They were happy when a child was born. But Job was not happy about his own birth. He felt as if his troubles began on that day. He thought that his entire life had no purpose. Job supposed that his life achieved nothing.

But Job was wrong. Job had done many good things (Job ). Job was a genuine servant of God (Job ). And God was proud of Job’s life (Job ). Job’s life achieved many good things.

Job lost all his wealth. Job’s children had died. Job became ill. But Job still praised God. Job still trusted God. Nobody who trusts God wastes his or her life. See Mark

Verses

Job wished that he had never lived. He used many words to explain this thought. He imagined that the skies were dark on the day of his birth. Such a day would be a terrible day. But the day would still exist. And Job would still have been born.

Jesus died on a day when the skies really were dark (Luke ). That day was a terrible day. Jesus suffered for our evil deeds. Jesus was innocent. He suffered because we are guilty.

Verse 6

So Job then thought about the night when his parents came together. On that night, Job’s life began, so Job regretted that night also. Of course, every night belongs in the calendar. But Job did not want that date to be in the calendar. Job wished that he had never lived.

Verse 7

If that night never existed, no baby’s life could begin then. And Job would not be born. Job’s parents would not be glad about his birth. But Job thought that their happiness was stupid. He thought that their happiness caused his pain.

Verse 8

Job was angry about the day when he was born. He wanted people to curse that day. He did not care if they woke a crocodile! A crocodile is a strong animal. If you wake a crocodile, it will attack you!

God spoke about the crocodile in Job chapter The crocodile is like a terrible enemy. The crocodile is like Satan (the devil). Satan always accuses the people who trust God. Satan wants to attack us. Satan is very evil.

Verses

People are glad to see light in the early morning. Then, they know that daylight is beginning. Then, their troubles in the night will not continue. Perhaps they were afraid during the night. But they would be safe during the daytime. But Job was not glad that he saw the light. He wished that he was dead.

Job’s original ideas about death

v11 I would be happier:

·     if I died at birth;

·     v12 if my mother never looked after me;

·     if my mother’s breasts had no milk.

v13 (If I had died,) I would not suffer now. Instead, I would be lying down. And I would be like someone who sleeps. v14 I would rest, with the world’s great kings and advisers. Their great buildings are now heaps of stone. v15 Or, I would rest with the rulers who collected gold and silver.

v16 My mother should have buried my body in the earth. I would be like a child who was born dead.

v17 In their graves, wicked men do not cause trouble. And tired people rest. v18 Slaves are free. They hear no commands from their masters. v19 Everyone is there, whether that person was important or not. And nobody serves anyone else.

Verses

Job imagined that he had died as a child. Job thought that death was beautiful because of his terrible troubles. He thought about dead bodies. Dead bodies seem to be asleep. And Job wished that he could sleep too.

Job’s ideas about death were not wholly right. Later in the Book of Job, Job would learn many more things about death. For example, Job learned that he will live after his death (Job ). But Job did not yet know about heaven and hell.

Verse 13

Job thought that his body would sleep after his death. He would not suffer then, he thought.

Verses

These men worked hard. They built palaces. They led great armies. They achieved many things. But now, they must sleep. Their palaces are heaps of stone. Someone else owns their gold and silver now. And their bodies lie near the body of a child whom nobody knew.

If we do not trust God, we waste our lives. Our greatest possessions will be worth nothing when we die. We will lose all our wealth on this earth. So we should live our lives to prepare for heaven. See Matthew ; Luke ; Luke

Verses

In this world, some people are important. And other people are not important. But when they die, God will be the judge of everyone. And God will be fair to everyone (Revelation ).

Nobody can enter heaven because that person was rich. Nobody can enter heaven because that person was famous. Nobody can enter heaven because that person was important.

Nobody can enter heaven unless that person is born again (John ). This means that we must invite God into our lives. God will change us if we trust him.

People whose lives are terrible

v20 I do not know how sad people continue to live. Their spirits suffer such bitter pain. v21 They want to die. But they are still alive. They would prefer to die, than to discover gold. v22 When, at last, they are dying, they are glad.

v23 I do not know what will happen to me. It is as if God has placed a hedge round me. v24 Food and water do not help me. Instead, I cry because of my pain. v25 I have suffered the most terrible troubles. The things that made me afraid have happened. v26 Instead of rest and quiet, I have trouble.

Verses

Job was able to sympathise with other people because of his own troubles. Job always cared about other people (Job ). But now Job knew how they suffered.

Verse 23

The devil complained that God was protecting Job. The devil said that God was like a hedge round Job (Job ).

Job was also aware of this. But Job did not realise that God was protecting him. Job was saying that his troubles were like a hedge round him. So Job could not escape from his troubles.

Verses

Job wanted rest and quiet. He even wanted to be dead, so that he could sleep. But instead, he was always suffering. Nothing seemed to help him. And nothing comforted him.

Job’s friends were sad when they heard Job’s speech. They did not want Job to suffer. And they did not think that Job deserved to suffer. Eliphaz spoke first. He was sure that God would help Job. So, Eliphaz tried to encourage Job. Eliphaz wanted to give hope to Job.

Eliphaz’s first speech

v1 Then Eliphaz, who belonged to the people called Temanites, replied. He said:

v2 Job, I do not want to upset you. But I want to say something. And this is an important matter.

Chapter 4

Verses

Job’s words upset Eliphaz. And Job’s troubles also upset Eliphaz.

Eliphaz simply believed that a good person should have a good life. And Eliphaz thought that an evil person should have a terrible life.

So, when Eliphaz saw Job’s troubles, Eliphaz had no explanation. Eliphaz was sure that Job was a good man. But Job was suffering the troubles that an evil person deserves.

Eliphaz did not know that the devil caused Job’s troubles. And Eliphaz did not realise that God permitted the devil to test Job.

A good man should have hope

v3 Think about this point! You have taught many people. You have helped weak people. v4 By your words, you have saved people from great dangers. And you have encouraged weak people.

v5 But now, you yourself suffer many troubles. And you become weak. Troubles affect you. And your troubles upset you. v6 But you are a holy man. So, you should be confident. And you are a good man. So, you should have hope.

Verses

At first, Eliphaz believed that Job was a good man. (Later, Eliphaz would change his opinion (Job chapter 22).) Perhaps Eliphaz heard about Job’s good deeds (Job ). Perhaps Job had even helped Eliphaz.

Verses

Job’s speech in Job chapter 3 was a very sad speech. And this speech upset Eliphaz. Eliphaz wanted Job to be happy. Christians are glad people, because we have good news (Philippians ). But sometimes we cannot be happy (Ecclesiastes ; Mark ). We need God’s help and comfort (James ; Matthew ).

Eliphaz was a patient man (Job ). But he spoke too soon. Job needed Eliphaz’s sympathy. And Job needed Eliphaz’s friendship. Instead, Eliphaz told Job to be happy. And Eliphaz’s words seemed cruel to Job (Proverbs ).

But Eliphaz’s advice in verse 6 was sensible. In chapter 3, Job hardly thought about God. Job was only thinking about himself. So, Job had no hope. Instead, Job wanted to die. Job could be confident because he was a holy man. And Job could have hope, because God cares for good people.

Eliphaz’s ideas about the fate of evil men

v7 Think about this! An innocent man does not suffer. A good man does not die. v8 I have seen that evil men suffer. In fact, they suffer from the troubles that they themselves cause. v9 So, God punishes them. God is angry. So, he kills them.

v10 These men are like old lions, without teeth. Such lions may roar. v11 But the lions will die, because they cannot attack other animals. And the young lions will wander away.

Verses

Eliphaz was partly right. God punishes evil people. And God protects good people. But Eliphaz’s thoughts were too simple.

Job was suffering. But Job was an innocent man. So, Eliphaz’s words could not help Job. Instead, Eliphaz’s words upset Job.

Many good people suffer now, on this earth. But they will not suffer in heaven (Revelation ). Some evil people are successful on this earth. But nobody will be successful in hell. God knows everybody’s thoughts. God sees our secret plans. And God is a fair judge.

God does not always punish evil people immediately, because God is kind. God does not want anybody to suffer in hell. God sent Jesus to suffer the punishment for our evil deeds. And God will forgive us. So, we must confess our evil deeds to God. And we must trust God.

God does not always rescue good people immediately. Sometimes a good person will suffer, like Job. That person should be patient (James ). Perhaps God is testing that person. Or perhaps God is teaching that person. God is like a father who teaches his children (Hebrews ). Or perhaps that person’s troubles are the work of evil people (Matthew ). God knows about all these things. God cares about us. And God is making us perfect (Job ; 1 Corinthians ).

Verses

Eliphaz argued that God punishes evil men. Eliphaz said that evil men are like angry lions. These lions seem terrible. But really, they are hopeless, because they have no teeth. So evil men seem terrible, but really, they are hopeless.

God did not agree with Eliphaz’s opinion about lions. In Job , God reminded the men that he created lions. And God provides food, even for lions. The lions do not need to search for food. The lions can wait in their home. God will provide their food.

God even cares about evil people. God provides rain, so that their crops will grow (Matthew ). And God sent Jesus to die for evil people, so that God can forgive their evil deeds (Romans ).

Eliphaz’s strange dream

v12 I heard a secret whisper. v13 And I saw a strange dream. It happened by night, when men sleep deeply. v14 I was so afraid! Even my bones were shaking!

v15 I saw a spirit. My hairs stood up. v16 The spirit stopped. But I could not recognise it. I saw its shape. And I heard its quiet voice.

v17 The spirit said, ‘Men are so weak! Nobody is better than God. Even strong men are not innocent. God, who made them, is their judge.

v18 God does not trust his servants. God even accuses his servants in heaven. v19 And men are much worse. The bodies of men are like mud huts. And their bodies belong in the earth. Men die like insects. v20 Men, like insects, die in a single day. Nobody notices their deaths. And they will not live again. v21 They fall, like a tent with no strings to hold it. And they die without wisdom.’

Verses

Eliphaz described a strange dream. This dream frightened him. We do not know whether the dream came from God. The dream taught an important lesson to Eliphaz. But the dream seems only partly correct. Many people have strange experiences. And these experiences may impress these people greatly. But such people should test their experiences (1 John ). Such people must not believe everything. Some strange experiences come from God. Other experiences may come from our own minds. And some are from the devil.

Our experiences should teach us to love God. They should encourage us to trust the Bible. And they should teach the truth about Jesus (1 John ).

Verses

The Bible describes good spirits and evil spirits.

Good spirits come from God. They teach us the truth about God. God sends them to help us. Good spirits are probably the same as angels (God’s servants in heaven).

Evil spirits come from the devil. They are also called demons. Like the devil, demons are enemies of God.

Perhaps Eliphaz did see a spirit. But perhaps he imagined it. Most dreams mean nothing.

Verse 17

This verse is correct. God is the judge of everyone. A person may be weak or strong. But everyone is guilty in God’s opinion. Everybody refuses to obey God’s law (Romans ; Psalm ; Proverbs ; Isaiah ; 1 John ). But the good news is that God still loves us. God sent Jesus to die for us. We must confess our evil deeds to God. Then God will forgive us.

Verse 18

Eliphaz heard the words in verses The spirit in his dream spoke these words. But this verse is wrong. God does trust his servants. God trusted Job in Job And God was proud that Job still served him (Job ).

Verse 19

See Genesis and Genesis God made man’s body from the soil. And the body returns to the soil when the man dies.

Verses

This is wrong. God knows when a man dies. And God cares about his people (Psalm ). God even notices when a little bird dies (Matthew ).

A dead man will live again. Death is not the end. The Bible teaches this lesson clearly. Everybody who trusts God will go to heaven. Heaven is a wonderful place (John ; Revelation chapter 21). Jesus became alive again after his death. And we will also live again in heaven, always (1 Corinthians chapter 15).

But people who refuse to obey God will also live after their death. God will be their judge. Their fate will be terrible (Revelation ). See Luke This passage is important. Trust God now! The Bible teaches that you must invite God into your life now. Do not delay!

Eliphaz continues his first speech

The end of an evil man who was successful

v1 If anyone will answer you, Job, then call! See whether a holy person will reply!

v2 An evil man dies because he is angry. But a stupid man dies because he is jealous.

v3 I have seen an evil man who was successful. But his troubles came suddenly. v4 His children are in danger. They are in court, and nobody will help them. v5 Hungry people eat that man’s harvest. They even take the crops that grow between the weeds. And other people claim that evil man’s wealth.

Chapter 5

Verse 1

Eliphaz heard when Job complained (in Job chapter 3). But Eliphaz thought that Job’s words achieved nothing. An angel (servant of God from heaven) would not help Job.

Eliphaz’s words were partly correct. God does not listen if we merely complain to him (Job ). Nobody should complain about God (Job ). God is good! God is fair! We must respect God.

But God’s servants will help a man (Job ). In fact, the angels (God’s servants in heaven) are always helping Christians (Hebrews ). Daily, the angels work to protect us (Psalm ).

Verse 2

This is a clever verse.

An evil man is angry because he hates God. So, God punishes the evil man for his behaviour. This is why the evil man dies.

A stupid man might not hate God. This man does not really know about God. And this man has not learned to do the right things. But the stupid man is jealous of other people. So, he copies their evil behaviour. Then God punishes the stupid man for his evil behaviour. This is why the stupid man dies.

Verses

Eliphaz saw these events. So, Eliphaz thought, ‘God is punishing this man.’ And Eliphaz thought that this was fair. Eliphaz was sure that this evil man deserved these troubles.

Perhaps Eliphaz was right about this particular man. But perhaps Eliphaz was wrong. Some people, like Job, suffer although they are not evil. Even if the man was evil, God does not always punish evil men immediately.

Eliphaz thought that every evil person would suffer like this man. The idea was wrong. Some evil people are successful for their whole lives. But God will punish them when they die.

People cannot avoid troubles

v6 The soil does not cause our problems. The ground does not cause our troubles. v7 But, from his birth, a man will suffer troubles. He cannot choose to avoid trouble. A flame does not choose to burn upwards.

Verses

Here, Eliphaz linked his dream (Job ) with his story (Job ). If nobody is innocent, then everybody deserves troubles! So, Job could not be an innocent man. And Job deserved his troubles. Eliphaz thought his reply explained Job’s troubles. So Eliphaz felt ready to advise Job.

Eliphaz’s mistake was that his speech was too simple. He thought that God punishes every error immediately. So, Eliphaz thought that God was punishing Job for some evil deed.

But God is not cruel. God does not watch us so that he can punish us. God wants to forgive us. God loves us.

God is great

v8 So, I would ask God to help. v9 God does so many great things. We cannot count his wonderful deeds. v10 He sends the rain. He provides water for the fields. v11 He makes humble people important. And he protects people who are very sad. v12 He causes evil plans to fail, so that evil people cannot succeed. v13 He stops clever people who have evil schemes. And their plans fail. v14 They will think that the day has become the night. At midday, they will trip and fall like blind people.

v15 God saves poor people from death. And he protects them from the evil schemes of powerful people. v16 So, poor people have hope. And cruelty must end.

Verses

This is true. These words are wonderful words. Verse 11 is like James and Luke

Verses

These words are also true. But we can see Eliphaz’s mistake again. Eliphaz did not realise that some evil plans succeed. And Eliphaz thought that God would punish these evil people immediately.

Verses

God cares about poor people. Rich people might be cruel to poor people. But God defends poor people. And Christians should help poor people too (Proverbs ; Galatians ; Matthew ).

Eliphaz’s advice to Job

v17 But a man should be glad when God shows to that man his errors. Job, do not hate the discipline that God is teaching to you.

v18 God causes you to suffer. But he will also cure you. v19 He will rescue you if you have 6 terrible troubles. You will even be safe if you have 7 terrible troubles.

v20 When other people are hungry, God will save you from death. And in a battle, God will protect you from the swords of your enemy. v21 People’s words will not hurt you. You will not be afraid when terrible things happen. v22 You will laugh when other people suffer loss or hunger. You will not be afraid of dangerous animals. v23 You will have good crops. And wild animals will not cause problems for you. v24 You will be safe in your home. You will not lose anything that you own.

v25 You will have many children. And your grandchildren will have so many children that you cannot count them. v26 You will die at a good age. So, you will have a successful life, which will end at the right time. You will be like ripe grain at harvest.

v27 We have checked this advice and it is right. So, Job, listen to this advice! Do the things that I advise you.

Verse 17

Eliphaz thought that God was teaching Job about Job’s errors. So, Eliphaz urged Job to learn discipline from God.

Sometimes we might have problems for this reason (Hebrews ). But this was not the reason for Job’s troubles. Job was a good man (Job ). Job suffered because the devil opposed him.

Verse 18

God did not cause Job to suffer. The devil caused these problems.

Verse 19

This verse is right. God cares for the people who trust him. He will rescue them, even if they suffer many terrible troubles (Psalm ; Psalm ; Proverbs ).

Verses

Eliphaz promised many good things if Job would trust God. And Eliphaz was right. God cares about his people. See Deuteronomy God promises us many wonderful things. But we may not receive all these things until we arrive in heaven (Revelation ). In our lives on this earth, we may suffer many troubles (Mark ). God will provide for us (Matthew ). But we should not imagine that we must be wealthy to be successful (Luke ; Proverbs ; James ).

Verse 25

This is like God’s promise to Abraham. See Genesis ; Genesis ; Hebrews

Verse 26

A farmer must collect his grain at the right time. Then the grain will be useful and valuable. But grain is not useful if the farmer collects it too early.

Eliphaz wanted Job to live until he was old. Job would achieve many good things. And Job would have a large family. So Job would be like the harvest.

Eliphaz was not careful with his words in verses Job was probably already an old man. And all Job’s children were dead (Job ). Eliphaz wanted to encourage Job. But Eliphaz’s words could only upset Job. Before these troubles, Job had a good life. But now Job’s life was terrible.

Verse 27

Eliphaz thought that his advice was good. Job’s other friends agreed with Eliphaz. But Eliphaz’s advice was too simple. He made many mistakes. He upset Job.

So Job was very sad. He even wanted to die. And Job was sure that his friends could not help him.

Job replies to Eliphaz’s first speech

Job is very sad

v1 But Job said:

v2 I am so sad. My sad feelings seem like a terrible weight. v3 And that weight feels heavier than all the sand at the seaside. So, forgive me if I spoke too soon.

v4 I feel as if God shot me with arrows. There is poison on the arrows. And the poison enters my spirit. God has caused me many troubles. v5 I do not complain without a reason. You do not hear an animal’s call (noise) when that animal has enough food. v6 But food does not help me. You can put salt on food that has no flavour. v7 But I cannot accept this food. It makes me sick.

Chapter 6

Verse 1

In chapter 3, Job described his feelings. His friends listened. But Eliphaz did not answer wisely. Eliphaz’s explanation in chapters was too simple. So, Job spoke again.

Verses

A heavy weight is a great strain for the person who must carry it. And Job’s troubles were a terrible strain for Job. Job spoke because of this strain. And Job was not sure that his words were correct.

Verse 4

Job thought that God caused Job’s troubles. Job did not realise that the devil caused these troubles.

Verses

A farm animal might be noisy when it needs food. Such an animal is complaining because it is hungry. When Job spoke, he too made a noise. When he spoke, Job was complaining like the hungry animal. But Job was not hungry. He was ill. And if he ate food, he was sick.

Job prays to God

v8 So, I pray to God. And this is my prayer. v9 I pray that God will allow me to die. v10 If so, I would be glad, although my pain was great. I would be glad because I did not deny the words of God.

v11 I have no strength. So, I am hopeless. And I have no hopes for the future. v12 I am not strong, like metal or a stone. v13 I am unable to help myself, because I cannot succeed.

Verses

Job was weak. Both his body and his spirit were weak (see verse 12). Job felt as if he could not even control his own words (verse 3, verse 5). So, Job prayed a sad prayer. He prayed that he would die.

Verse 10

Job did not want to die because of his pain. He totally trusted God to do the right things (Job ).

In fact, Job wanted to die because he was afraid about his own words. Job did not want to insult God (Job ). Job could not control his words (verse 3, verse 5). But Job did not want to deny God’s words. So Job prayed that he would die. Job wanted to die so that he did not say an evil word about God. And then, Job would be glad. God is great. We should always respect God. We should be careful with our words (James ).

Verses

Job explained that his body and his spirit were weak. Job used to be a great man, whom everybody respected (Job ; Job ; Job ). He was a leader of his people. But now, Job needed help. And his friends were not helping him.

Job cannot trust his friends

v14 When a man has many troubles, his friends should support that man. They should even help a man who does not respect God.

v15 You are like brothers to me. But I cannot trust you. You are like streams that are dry in hot weather. v16 When ice and snow melt, these streams are full. v17 But when the weather is dry, these streams are empty. The weather is hot, and there is no water.

v18 People who trust these streams are in danger. People leave the roads to find the stream. These people wander. And they will die (because they cannot find any water). v19 Merchants travel from distant countries. They search for the water. v20 They are confident until they arrive at the stream. But they are sad when they cannot find any water.

v21 You are like those streams. You cannot help me. You have seen my troubles. But you are afraid.

v22 But I have not asked you to help me. I have not requested your money. v23 I have not asked you to rescue me from my enemy. And I have not asked you to save me from a cruel man.

v24 If you teach me, I will be quiet. Tell me, if I am wrong. v25 If your words are honest, then your words might upset me. But your speeches prove nothing. v26 Perhaps you just want to argue with me. You see that my situation is hopeless. So perhaps you think that my words mean nothing, like the sound of the wind. v27 You do not even care about a child who has no father. You prefer to play games than to help your friend.

v28 But now, be kind to me! Look at me! I do not lie to you. v29 Be fair! Think about these matters again. I am an innocent man. v30 My words are not wicked. I know the difference between right deeds and wrong deeds.

Verse 14

We ought to support someone who suffers (Galatians ). We should help everyone who needs our help (Matthew ). We should sympathise with them. But Job’s friends did not do this. These friends were close friends. Job thought that they were like brothers to him (verse 15). But Eliphaz’s words were too simple. His advice was wrong. In chapter 22, Eliphaz would accuse Job. So, Job could not trust his friends.

Verses

There are some streams that travellers can always trust. The water is always plentiful, even in the driest weather. When the travellers arrive at these streams, there is water for them. And there is water for their animals.

But there are other streams that travellers should not trust. These streams might seem good. During many months, such streams are full of water. But these streams are dangerous. In the driest weather, there is no water. Men might travel far to reach these streams. But the stream is dry. And the men will die, because they are too tired to travel further.

Job’s friends seemed like those dry streams. When Job’s life was good, his friends were good friends. But when Job had troubles, they could not help him. When Job needed their help (verse 13), they did not support him.

God is a closer friend than a brother (Proverbs ). God will always support us in our troubles (Proverbs ). God cares about us (1 Peter ).

Verses

Job knew that his friends could not help him. His troubles were too great. His friends’ money could not help him. And they could not defend him. They were too late. Job’s trouble had already happened before they arrived.

Job was starting to realise that he needed God’s help. Only God could rescue him. But Job did not yet know that God was already helping him. In fact, Job thought that God was his enemy (verse 4).

Verses

Job thought that his friends were not sincere. Perhaps they wanted to argue. Perhaps they enjoyed their conversation. Perhaps they were playing games with their words.

But Job was not playing games. His troubles were great. Job’s friends could not feel Job’s pain. And they did not know the answers to Job’s troubles.

Verses

Job said that he was innocent. He did not pretend that he was perfect (Job ). But Job was a genuine servant of God (Job ). Job respected God. And he refused to do evil deeds. But Job’s friends did not believe this (Job chapter 22).

Job continues his reply to Eliphaz

Job wants to die

v1 But in this world, men must work so hard. We are like the workers that other people employ for the day. v2 And I am like a slave who waits for the evening. Or, I am like a worker who must wait for his pay. v3 So, I have been sad for months. And I am miserable every night. v4 At night, I lie down. I think, ‘My nights are so long.’ Then, I wait until dawn. But my body is not still. v5 My body is painful. And my skin is sore.

Chapter 7

This is a very sad chapter. Often we do not realise when our friends are sad. Perhaps our friends are brave, so they do not want to upset us. Or perhaps they do not know how to explain their troubles. But God knows our friends’ worse feelings. And God cares about our friends when they suffer. So we too should care about them.

Verses

A worker waits to receive his wages for his day’s work. But Job thought that he would receive no reward for his good deeds.

A slave waits for the evening, when he can sleep. His master cannot control the slave by night. And sleep is the only reward that the slave receives for his day’s work. But Job could not sleep because he was too ill (verse 4).

Like the worker and the slave, Job waited. But Job was waiting to die. Job’s death was the only reward that Job expected. Then, at last, Job would not suffer.

Job did not yet realise that God would reward Job in heaven (Revelation 21). But God would soon teach this fact to Job (Job ).

Verses

Job could not sleep by night, because of his pain. Instead, he waited for the dawn. This is very sad. But perhaps Job was starting to have some hope.

Daylight begins to shine at dawn. And light has a special meaning in the Book of Job. Job said that the grave would be dark (Job ). Bildad said that a wicked man does not belong in the light (Job ). Job said that some evil people love the darkness (Job ). And God described how he creates the light each morning (Job ).

So, in the book of Job, ‘light’ means good things. And ‘darkness’ means bad things.

In verse 4, Job said that he was waiting for the dawn. So, he waited for the light to shine. God created the light so that darkness will not last always (Job ). And God created the morning so that the activities of evil men would end (Job ).

Job’s sad prayer

v6 But my days are short. And they will soon end, because I will die soon. v7 God, remember my weakness! My life lasts only while I am able to breathe. I shall never be happy again. v8 You can see me now. But (when I die), you will not see me again. You will look for me. But you cannot find me then. v9 A cloud disappears; and a dead man does not live again. v10 He will never return to his house. The people who knew him will forget him.

Verses

Job was very ill. He did not know when he would breathe for the last time. But God controls our lives. Job would not die until the time that God chose (Job ).

Verses

Job had many wrong ideas about death. He thought that a man was like a cloud. A cloud simply disappears. So, Job thought that a man could not live after his death. Job even thought that God could not see a dead man.

Later, Job realised that these ideas were wrong. In Job , Job thought about trees. Even if a tree seems dead, a tree can sometimes grow again. And in Job , Job realised that he would see God after his death. In Job , God explained that he knows every place. God knows where dead people belong.

Job complains because of his troubles

v11 These facts upset me; and I cannot remain silent. So, I shall speak. My spirit is angry. So, I will complain.

v12 Perhaps God must control the sea, so that it does not flood the land. Perhaps God must guard the great animals in the sea. But God, you do not need to control me.

v13 I think that I should sleep. Perhaps some rest will bring me relief. v14 But if I sleep, I see terrible dreams! So, I am afraid. v15 I would prefer to die. v16 I hate my life. I do not want to live always. God, let me be alone! My life means nothing.

Verse 11

Job thought that a dead man would not live again. But Job did not think that this was fair. Job loved God (Job ). Job wanted to meet God (Job ). Job wanted to be really wise (Job chapter 28). Job wanted to read God’s words (Job ). Job wanted to be like a prince, who would meet God (Job ).

Job did not think that these things could happen. He just wanted to die so that he would not insult God (Job ). He did not think that dead people could be wise (Job ).

Job did not realise that God would answer Job (Job ). Job did not expect to see God (Job ). These things happened during Job’s life. Heaven will be much better than this life (1 Corinthians ).

Verse 12

Job was right. God controls the sea. See Job And God controls great animals, like the crocodile (Job and Job chapter 41).

Job thought that God was using these terrible troubles to control Job. But Job was wrong. God was not Job’s enemy. Job’s enemy was the devil, called Satan. Satan is like the crocodile. Satan is a strong enemy. And Satan is always trying to attack us.

Verse 13

Job could not sleep because of his pain – see verse 4.

Verse 14

Job was referring to Eliphaz’s dream. See Job Eliphaz thought that this dream would help Job. But really, the dream only frightened Job. Job had enough troubles already! He did not want to think about Eliphaz’s terrible dream!

Verses

Job did not want to suffer always. So, he did not want to live always. He did not realise that nobody suffers in heaven – Revelation He did not realise that heaven is like a wonderful party – Isaiah Heaven is the home that God prepares for us – John

But we should trust Jesus, so that we can go to heaven (John ). This is why we should invite God into our lives.

Job asks why God watches him

v17 God, I do not see why a man is special to you. You watch that man. v18 You test him daily. In fact, you are always testing him. v19 I wish that you would look away from me. But you do not even leave me for a second. v20 If my actions were evil, they could not hurt you. You watch all men. So, I do not see why you chose me to suffer.

Surely, I do not cause trouble for you, like a workman’s heavy load.

v21 You could excuse my evil deeds. And you could forgive my errors. But soon I will die. You will look for me. But you will not find me when I am dead.

Verse 17

Job was special to God (Job ). Job knew this. But Job did not know why. God watched Job because Job was God’s servant (Job ). But Job supposed that God had become Job’s enemy. Job thought that God was attacking Job. So, Job was afraid of God.

Christians are special to God. God chose us to be his people (1 Peter ). God is not our enemy. God is our friend (John ).

Verse 18

God allows our troubles so that we will learn to trust God more (Hebrews ). Later Job realised this (Job ).

Verse 19

God watches us, because he cares about us. He is always helping us. If God did not watch us, we would die immediately. See Job But Job wanted to die (verse 15).

Verse 20

God watches everybody. But Job was God’s servant. So, Job was special to God. Job supposed that God chose Job to be God’s enemy. But in fact, God was Job’s friend.

Verse 21

Job supposed that God would never excuse Job’s errors. Job thought that, perhaps, God was punishing Job for some evil deed. Job was a good man (Job ). But nobody is perfect (Romans ). However, God was not punishing Job. Job was suffering because Satan attacked Job (Job ).

Job said that God could forgive Job’s evil deeds. And Job was right about this. In fact, God wants to forgive us (Isaiah ). This is why Jesus died. Jesus died to suffer the punishment for our evil deeds (Romans ). So we must invite God into our lives (John ).

Bildad’s first speech

The ancient advice that God is always fair

v1 Then Bildad, who belonged to the people called Shuhites, answered. He said:

v2 Job, I cannot allow you to continue. Your words are not right. I would prefer to listen to the sound of the wind.

v3 God is always fair. God only does the right things.

v4 So, your children died because they were evil. God punished them for their evil deeds.

v5 (But you are not an evil man.) So, ask God to help you. Pray to God! v6 If you are sincere, he will help you. If you are honest, he will assist you. And you will receive the good life that a good man deserves. v7 You will be much more wealthy than you were before these troubles.

v8 Our grandfathers knew that this advice is right. And their fathers discovered this wisdom. v9 We were only born recently. So, we hardly know anything. We are like the shadows (of our fathers). v10 Their ancient advice will teach you, Job.

Chapter 8

Eliphaz heard Job’s reply. But Eliphaz chose not to answer. Instead, Bildad spoke.

Eliphaz had talked about his strange experience with a spirit. His ideas were new ideas. But Bildad’s ideas were traditional ideas. A new idea is not always right. And a traditional idea is not always right.

Verses

Job’s words upset Bildad greatly. Job seemed to have no hope. Bildad understood Job’s words. But Bildad was sorry that Job had even spoken. Bildad would prefer to listen to something that had no meaning, like the sound of the wind.

Verses

Verse 3 is right. We all should agree with this verse. But verse 3 leads to an awful idea in verse 4. These are terrible words to say to a man whose children have recently died. We might expect Job to complain about such words. But in fact, Job agreed with Bildad (Job ). Job knew about his children’s behaviour (Job ). And perhaps Job realised that we all deserve to die because of our evil deeds (Romans ). We are alive because God is kind and patient (2 Peter ). And God wants to forgive us (John ).

Verses

Bildad advised Job to pray. This is always good advice (1 Thessalonians ). And Bildad was right to say that God helps sincere people (Matthew ). But this does not mean that every Christian should be wealthy. Many people who serve God have many troubles during their lives. But God will reward them greatly in heaven (see Matthew ).

Later, the three friends spoke very cruel words to Job. They accused him of many evil deeds (Job ). They thought that Job was suffering as a punishment for his evil deeds. But in chapter 8, Bildad was not yet thinking such things. Bildad still thought that Job was a good man. (The words in brackets (…) are not in the Bible. I have added these words to help us to understand this passage.)

Verses

Ancient advice can be good. But it can sometimes be wrong. Job was not suffering for any evil deed. And Job’s problem was not that he failed to pray. (See Job and Job ) Job was suffering because the devil opposed him.

People who do not obey God are hopeless

v11 Plants that grow near the river need plentiful water. Otherwise, they become dry quickly. v12 You do not need to cut those plants. Without water, they will die more quickly than grass. v13 If people do not obey God, they will die like those plants. Such people are hopeless.

v14 Such a person thinks that he trusts in good things. But he is wrong. He is like someone who leans on a spider’s web. (A spider is like an insect. A spider makes a net, called a web, from silk.) v15 If someone leans on a spider’s web, the web breaks. If someone grasps the web, the web breaks.

v16 The person who does not obey God, is like a plant. This plant has plentiful water. And the plant is in the sunshine. So, the plant grows well in the garden. v17 The plant’s roots descend to the rocks. v18 But if someone tears the plant out of the garden, the plant will die. Such a plant has no place in the garden. v19 That plant can only hope that other plants will grow there.

Verses

Bildad explained his ideas with three stories.

·     The first story is about plants that grow near the river (verses ). Without water, such plants die quickly. Such plants are like people who do not obey God. Without God, such people are hopeless. They forget that their lives are God’s gift (John ).

·     The second story is about a spider’s web (verses ). (A spider is like an insect. A spider makes a net, called a web, from silk.) A web might seem to be strong. But really, it is weak. People who forget God may seem to be strong. But they have no security. So their lives are weak. Jesus said that such people’s lives are like buildings without a proper base (Matthew ).

·     The last story is about a plant in a garden (verses ). This plant has everything that it needs. So it grows well. Then the gardener removes the plant. He leaves the plant to die. This story was rather like Job’s life. Formerly Job had been successful. But now, like the plant, Job was dying. Bildad told this story because he did not want Job’s life to be like that plant. The plant was like a man who does not obey God. Job’s prayer (Job ) caused Bildad to think that Job was turning away from God. So Bildad warned his friend.

God does not oppose an innocent man

v20 God does not oppose an innocent man. And God will not help evil men. v21 So you, Job, will be happy again. You will laugh and you will be glad. v22 You will see the shame of your enemies. And wicked men will lose everything.

Verses

Bildad was sure that God is fair. So he was sure that God would help Job. Bildad’s advice was simple. Job should do the right things. God would rescue Job. But Bildad’s answer was simply words. It was not a solution to Job’s problem. Job was still suffering greatly.

Job replies to Bildad’s first speech

God is very great

v1 Job replied:

v2 Bildad, I know that your words are correct. But man is weak, and God is strong. So I do not know how any man could be really good. v3 A man might want to argue with God. But the man could not answer when God accuses that man.

v4 God is wise. And God is powerful. Nobody who opposes God can succeed.

v5 God can suddenly move mountains. And God can destroy a mountain when he is angry. v6 God can cause the earth to shake. And the deepest parts of the earth move. v7 God’s words can order the sun not to shine. And he can order the stars not to shine.

v8 God designed the sky. He rules the sea. v9 He made the constellations (arrangements of stars). v10 We cannot discover all his great works. And we cannot count his wonderful deeds.

v11 God passes me. But I do not see him. He walks near me. But I am unaware. v12 If he takes something away, nobody can prevent him. Nobody can say to him, ‘Stop!’

v13 When God is angry, he destroys his enemies.

Chapter 9

Job did not disagree with Bildad’s speech. But Job thought that Bildad’s advice was too simple. Bildad seemed to think that a man, by his good behaviour, can force God to help him. But nobody can control God.

Verses

Job repeated here Eliphaz’s idea in Job People are weak. That is, everybody does wrong things against God. Bildad had said that God would help a good man (Job ). But Job knew that nobody is perfect. Nobody deserves God’s help. We should be humble when we pray to God.

Verse 3

Job himself wanted to argue with God about his situation. Job discusses this further in verses

Verses

Some people may think that they are strong or powerful. But God is much more powerful than any person. The Bible says that God made everything (Genesis chapter 1). He made our wonderful world. He placed the stars in the sky.

So nobody should suppose that they could control God. We see his great deeds, so we are humble. We should respect him and obey his commands. Especially, we should confess our evil deeds to him. And we should invite Jesus into our lives.

Verses

Often we are not aware of God’s work. We do not realise what he is doing. But God is not far away from us. God’s Holy Spirit is working in our world. And he will work in our lives too, if we allow him.

Verse 13

No enemy can successfully oppose God. See Psalm 2.

A man cannot argue with God

v14 So, I cannot argue with God. I cannot even choose the right words to say to him. v15 Even if I am innocent, I cannot oppose him. But God is my judge. So, I must ask God to be kind to me.

v16 Suppose that I called God. And suppose that God answered me. I would not believe that he would listen to me. v17 He would send a storm to oppose me. And he would make my pain worse. v18 I would be unable to breathe. And I would be even sadder.

v19 I cannot force God (to hear me), because he is very strong.

And I cannot ask him to be my judge. There is no opportunity for me to speak. v20 Even if I were innocent, I would accuse myself. And I would say that I am guilty.

Verses

Job realised that God is the greatest judge. Job wanted to explain his problems to God. But Job did not know what to say to God.

Verses

In these verses, Job did not realise that God cared about him. Job did not know about the events in Job or Job So Job did not know that Satan (the devil) caused Job’s troubles. And Job did not realise that God knew Job personally.

Jesus taught that God knows everything about us. God knows each person. And he cares about us all. See Matthew

Here, Job could not even imagine that God might speak to him. Or, that God might help Job with his troubles. But God did these things in Job chapters

Job thought in verse 17 that God might use a terrible storm to punish him. And there was a storm before God spoke in Job But this storm was not a punishment for Job. Instead, God used the storm to teach Job about God’s great wisdom (Job ).

Verse 19

Job would not have said such things if he knew God’s words in Job The truth was that Job would not need to explain his troubles to God. God already knew Job’s problems. God cared. And God would rescue Job in the end (Job ).

Verse 20

God is so perfect that even an innocent man would feel guilty. This is partly true. God is so holy that even his special servants in heaven cover their faces (Isaiah ). But, in the future, we shall live with God (Revelation ). We shall know him perfectly, and we shall be glad to see him (1 Corinthians ).

Job thinks that God causes people to suffer

v21 I am innocent. But I am not trying to prove this. I hate my life. v22 Everybody suffers in the same way. This is why I say, ‘God kills both good people and evil people.’ v23 God laughs at innocent people when they are sad. This is why illness causes many people to die.

v24 When wicked people rule a country, the judges are unfair. And I think that God causes this. I do not think that anyone else is responsible for this.

v25 Every day ends so quickly. My days seem as fast as a man who runs. And my days are never good. v26 My days seem as quick as a sailing boat. Or, as quick as a bird that descends to its food. v27 But sometimes I pretend to be happy. I smile. And I try to forget my troubles. v28 But my troubles still worry me.

And, God, I know your thoughts. You do not think that I am innocent. v29 You are already sure that I am guilty. And I am too tired to defend myself. v30 I am like a man who cleans himself with soap. v31 And you are like someone who drops that man into a muddy hole in the ground. And even that man’s clothes smell terrible.

Verses

In this life, good people often suffer. But God is not responsible for their troubles. Sometimes the devil caused the troubles (as in Job ). Sometimes evil people are responsible. And sometimes natural events cause troubles.

We might ask why God seems slow to help us. 2 Peter answers this question. God is not slow, but he is patient. At the right time, God will destroy this world. He will replace it with a new heaven and a new world. There, everything will be good and right (2 Peter ). But now God is patient. He is waiting for people to confess their evil deeds to him. He is waiting for us to invite him into our lives.

Verses

Job could hardly remember the time when he was successful. And he thought that he would die soon. So his life seemed very short.

Verses

Job knew that God was his judge. But Job did not think that he could defend himself. Job thought that his situation was hopeless.

Job needs someone to help him

v32 God is not a man like me. I cannot answer his speeches. I cannot meet God in court. v33 I wish someone, like a lawyer, could meet us both. v34 That person could persuade God not to punish me. Then, I would not be afraid of God. v35 I could speak to God without fear. But, at the present time, I cannot do this.

Verses

This is a wonderful passage. Job wanted someone, like a lawyer, to help him to speak to God.

These verses describe Jesus’ work (1 Timothy ). Jesus is God (Hebrews ). But he became a man (Hebrews ). He suffered like us (Hebrews ). He is the great priest who helps us to meet God (Hebrews ).

Job lived centuries before Jesus was born. But even while Job was suffering, God was teaching Job about Jesus’ work.

The books of the Bible are not the result of the authors’ imagination. God showed them these things by his Holy Spirit (2 Peter ).

Job prays to God

Job prays, ‘Do not punish me’

v1 I do not want to live. So, I will complain. I will speak, because my spirit is sad.

v2 This is my prayer to God:

Do not punish me. Tell me why you accuse me. v3 Tell me why you oppose me. You seem to oppose your own work. But you allow the plans of wicked men to succeed. v4 You are not like a man. You can see things that we cannot see. v5 And you do not have a short life, like a man. v6 But you check my errors. And you discover my evil actions. v7 You know that I am not wicked. And nobody can rescue me from you.

Chapter 10

In this chapter, Job was not thinking about himself. Rather, he was thinking about God.

Job could not explain God’s attitudes. God carefully designed Job’s body. But now God seemed to be punishing Job without any reason.

In fact, as we saw in Job , God was not punishing Job. Really, God was proud of Job. The devil caused Job’s problems. But Job did not know this fact.

Verse 1

Job did not know what to say to God (Job ). He was afraid of God’s great power (Job ). But Job was not afraid that God might kill him. Job’s troubles were so great that he wanted to die.

Verses

God created Job’s body. So Job was God’s ‘own work’. But now God seemed to oppose Job. And God seemed to help wicked men. This did not seem sensible to Job. But Job did not have any other explanation. Job did not know that the devil caused Job’s troubles.

Verses

Job tried to work out another explanation. Perhaps God had a plan that people could not see.

Verses

Job knew that God is not like a man. But in these verses, Job realised that God knows all about each person. God knows everything. So God knew Job’s character. This was a wonderful thing for Job to realise. But this fact still did not explain Job’s problem.

God designed our bodies

v8 God, you designed my body. You made me. But now you attack me. v9 You made me from the earth, like a pot. Soon my body will die, and it will become dust again. v10 As a man makes cheese from milk, you made my body. v11 You provided skin to cover my body. And you made bones to join my body’s parts together. v12 You caused my body to live. You were kind to me. You protected my spirit.

Verses

Job could see that God designed the human body. And Job could see that this was not a simple task. God acted carefully when he made Job’s body. God did not cause Job to live by accident. Rather, God showed great kindness to Job.

These facts made Job’s problem seem even stranger. Surely, God would not cruelly destroy the person that he made so carefully.

Job thinks that God is punishing Job

v13 But you had a secret plan. I know that you did this. v14 You watch my behaviour. You punish my evil actions. v15 If I am guilty, I shall suffer your punishment. But even an innocent man must suffer. I suffer shame. I suffer troubles. v16 If I am proud, you hunt me like a lion. And you show that you are powerful.

v17 Now witnesses accuse me. Your anger increases. And you attack me again and again.

Verses

Job suggested a more complex explanation. Perhaps God had a secret plan. Perhaps God wanted to prove that all people were evil. So God made Job. God watched Job’s actions. Job was much better than other people; but everybody does some wrong things. So God punished Job in public to warn everyone about their evil deeds.

This idea was also wrong. In fact, the devil wanted to show that Job was evil (Job ). God wanted to show that Job was a genuine servant of God (Job ).

In verse 15, Job too realised that this idea was wrong. Job was an innocent man. He served God. And he refused to do evil things. But he still had to suffer.

Verses

Job’s troubles seemed constantly to increase. And Job thought that God caused those troubles.

Job wants to die

v18 God, I do not know why you permitted my birth. I wish that I never lived. v19 I wish that I never existed. Or, that I was dead at birth. v20 My short life will soon end. Leave me! Then I will be happy for a moment. v21 Then I will die. And I will never return from the darkness of my grave. v22 There, it is always night. There is confusion. Even light and darkness seem the same.

Verses

Job realised that he could not explain his troubles. His pain was great. He wanted to die. He returned to the subjects that he discussed in chapter 3.

Verse 20

Job knew that all life comes from God (Acts ). Without God, Job would die. So Job prayed that God would leave him. Then, Job’s troubles would end for a brief moment. And so Job would die.

Verses

Job had some wrong ideas about death. He thought only about the death of the body. He saw how dead bodies slowly disappear into the earth. Nobody can disturb a person who has died.

But Job did not think about the spirit. When our bodies die, our spirits continue to live. If we serve God, then God has a wonderful home for us in heaven (John ). Our troubles will not frighten us there. And we shall not cry there. We shall not suffer or die (Revelation ). There, we shall see God’s face (Revelation ).

God himself will give us constant light in heaven. And there will be no night there (Revelation ).

Zophar’s first speech

God is kind

v1 Zophar, who belonged to the people called Naamathites, replied. He said:

v2 I must answer Job’s many words. I cannot agree that his long speech was right.

v3 Job, no man should be silent when he hears your foolish words. Someone must stop you when you laugh (at our words). v4 You claim that you are innocent. You claim that you are right. v5 But if God spoke, he would accuse you. v6 He would tell you the secrets of wisdom that are hard to discover. You need to realise this:

·     God does not punish you for all your evil behaviour.

Chapter 11

Zophar was unhappy when he heard Job’s words. Job’s explanation in Job suggested that God may be cruel. So Zophar wanted to remind Job that, in fact, God is kind. Zophar was not sure that Job was a good man. So, Zophar encouraged Job to stop any evil behaviour. Then, Zophar said, God would help Job.

Verses

Zophar’s words seem angry. Job’s speech upset Zophar. Eliphaz wanted to encourage Job (Job ). Bildad wanted to correct Job (Job ). But Zophar wanted to warn Job.

Verses

At the start, Job’s friends believed that Job was a good man. But they could not explain why God would allow an innocent man to suffer. So they started to think that Job might, in fact, be evil. In the end, Eliphaz would accuse Job clearly (Job ).

Zophar’s explanation shows his doubts about Job’s character. Zophar said that he was wise enough to understand a secret about God. This secret was that God was really kind, even to Job. This seems a strange statement because Job was suffering so much. Zophar explained that Job deserved punishment for his evil behaviour. But God was kind. The punishment would be much worse if God punished Job for every evil deed.

When Job heard this, his attitudes changed. He became bolder. He realised that his friends’ words were in fact evil (Job ). He warned them not to accuse him unfairly (Job ). He told them about God’s deeds (Job ). And Job realised that he needed to trust God (Job ). Job knew now that nobody else would help him.

God is very great

v7 You cannot search for God. And you cannot find him.

You cannot measure his greatness. v8 You would need to measure heaven and hell. So, you know nothing. v9 You cannot even measure the sea and the land.

v10 Suppose that God comes to arrest you. In his court, nobody could oppose God. v11 God knows when people lie. God watches evil men.

v12 But a stupid man will not become wise. A wild donkey (animal) is not born tame.

Verses

Zophar’s words in verses are like God’s words in Job and Job God said these things to teach Job about God’s greatness. But Zophar wanted to frighten Job. Zophar was saying, ‘God is very great. He would not do anything wrong. Job, you are suffering. So, you are clearly an evil man. You have no right even to speak to God. You do not deserve to ask God why you are suffering.’

Verse 12

Zophar did not even think that Job would learn anything. You can read more about wild donkeys (animals) in Job Nobody controls such animals. And Zophar thought that Job’s attitudes were entirely wrong.

Zophar’s advice to Job

v13 So, change your attitudes! Pray to God! v14 Stop all evil behaviour! Even in private, do not do anything evil!

v15 Then, your face will have no spots. You will be confident. You will not be afraid. v16 In time, you will forget your troubles. Your troubles will go by, like water in a river. v17 You will feel stronger than the sunshine at noon. Even the night will seem like the morning. v18 You will have hope. So, you will be safe. You will see that it is safe to rest. v19 When you lie down, nobody will make you afraid. And people will want to be your friends.

v20 But wicked people will suffer. They will not understand what is happening. They will be unable to escape. They will wish that they could die.

Verses

Job was well-known for his good character (Job ). So Zophar thought that Job’s evil deeds must be secret. Jesus also taught that God sees our private behaviour (Matthew ).

Verse 15

Zophar’s words here were clever. Job had spots on his face because of his illness (Job ). But the first sentence also means, ‘Then, you will not be ashamed.’

But this sentence also shows Zophar’s errors. Zophar only spoke about Job’s face. Job had spots over his whole body. In other words, Zophar was too simple. He thought that good people suffer no troubles. And he thought that evil people suffer great troubles. Job’s other friends believed Zophar. They liked his simple explanation. But his explanation was not correct.

Verses

These are beautiful words. In heaven, our lives will be like this. But in this world, sometimes good people must suffer, like Job. And sometimes our friends, like Job’s friends, will give us the wrong advice.

When we suffer troubles, we, like Job, must trust God. Even when our troubles are terrible, we must continue to praise God (Job ). We must be careful that our troubles do not cause us to do evil things (Job ). Even when we have no food, we should still praise God (Habakkuk ). He will give us the strength to continue to serve him (Habakkuk ).

Perhaps, even in this world, God will rescue us from our troubles. This happened to Job (Job ). We know that God is able to help us in any situation.

But even if God does not rescue us, we should still serve him (Daniel ).

Even if death seems likely, God will be with us. And he will help us (Daniel ; Acts ). God will have a wonderful reward for us in heaven (2 Timothy ).

Verse 20

Zophar thought that wicked people always have terrible lives. In fact, this was his explanation for Job’s troubles.

Job’s troubles were so terrible that he wanted to die (Job ). Job did not know about heaven (Job ). He only knew about this earth. He had not seen that God’s servants gather in heaven (Job ). He did not realise that God made many wonderful places as well as this earth (Job chapter 38).

And Job did not even realise that God was proud of Job (Job ). The three friends also did not realise this. When God told them about their error, they asked Job to pray for them (Job ).

Job replies to Zophar’s first speech

Job says that his friends’ speeches were too simple

v1 Job answered:

v2 You think that you are the greatest people ever! You think that nobody else is wise!

v3 But I am intelligent, too. I know the things that you know. In fact, everyone already knows the things that you have said.

Chapter 12

In chapter 4, Eliphaz told a story about a spirit. And he explained that nobody is perfect. In chapter 8, Bildad preferred traditional ideas. He explained that God only punishes evil people. In chapter 11, Zophar chose to speak about secret wisdom. He thought that Job deserved an even worse punishment for his evil deeds,

All Job’s friends agree that God would not punish a good man. So when they saw Job’s troubles, they accused Job. They did not realise that Job was a good man. They did not know that God was proud of Job. And they did not understand that the devil caused Job’s troubles.

Verses

Zophar said that he knew some secrets about wisdom (Job ). But Job did not agree. He thought that Zophar’s advice was too simple. Job even said that everybody knows such things. Anybody can say that God is kind. Or, that God is great. But such words did not help to explain Job’s problem. Job had terrible troubles, and his friends were not helping him.

Job’s friends laugh at him

v4 My friends laugh at me. I pray, and God answers me. I am a good, innocent man. But you laugh. v5 Because you are comfortable, you laugh at me. You cause even more trouble for me.

Verses

People often say stupid things to someone who is suffering. Perhaps they do not try to understand the problem. Or perhaps they talk too much. Sometimes it is better just to listen. Often our prayers achieve more than our advice. Sympathy is better than arguments. We should aim for an attitude of quiet friendship with someone who suffers.

Job’s friends did not think that Job was trusting God. But Job’s words show his confidence in God.

Many unfair things happen

v6 But thieves do not have troubles. They might upset God. But God still makes them strong.

v God himself behaves this way. The animals know this. The birds in the sky know this. The fish in the sea know this. Even the animals in the soil know this. v10 But God gives life to every animal. And people can only live while God allows them to breathe.

Verses

Many evil people do not seem to suffer. Job thought that this was God’s plan. Job saw that birds and animals also suffer troubles without any reason. But this was not in fact God’s plan for the world.

When God made the world, it was perfect. Animals did not attack each other. God gave them the plants to be their food (Genesis ). But men and women did not obey God. So, the whole world suffered (Genesis ).

The Bible first refers to a death when an innocent animal had to die because of man’s evil deeds (Genesis ). Everything in the world still suffers because of man’s evil deeds (Romans ). The Bible says that, in the future, God will rule the world again. Then, the animals will not attack each other (Isaiah ).

Job teaches his friends about God

v11 You taste food before you eat it. So, test my words as you listen. v12 You must be wise, because you are old! You must be intelligent, because of your age!

v13 God is wise and powerful. His knowledge is very great. v14 When God destroys something, nobody can repair it. When God punishes a man, nobody can rescue that man. v15 When God does not send rain, the land is dry. When God sends plentiful rain, there are floods. v16 God is strong and skilful. One man might lie to another man. But both men belong to God.

v17 (When God punishes rulers,) he leads them away (like prisoners):

·     Their advisers become naked prisoners;

·     their judges become fools;

·     v18 kings lose their power. And a chain holds them as prisoners;

·     v19 priests are naked;

·     God overcomes powerful men;

·     v20 God causes the kings’ wisest men to be silent;

·     God causes the old men to give wrong advice;

·     v21 God insults the rulers of the people;

·     God makes strong men weak.

v22 God shows everyone the things that nobody knew. He causes light to shine in the darkest places. v23 God makes a nation great. And God destroys a nation. He makes nations larger. And he causes nations to divide.

v24 God causes the leaders of the people to be foolish. He sends them into the desert, away from the roads. v25 They are like men who wander in the darkness without light. Or, they wander like drunks.

Verses

The people in Job’s time respected a man’s old age. They thought that an old person was wiser than a young person (see Job ).

Verses

God is powerful. He is much greater than any person. He even controls the weather (verse 15). He knows when we lie (verse 16). And he is our judge (verse 14).

Verses

God is much more powerful than any ruler. God gives power to rulers (John ). And God causes their power to end (Daniel ). God appoints new kings (1 Kings ). God makes proud people humble (Luke ).

Verses

These were powerful men. But God has made them humble. God did this and so he shows everyone his greatness. Perhaps God did this to teach the rulers to obey him (Daniel chapter 4). Or perhaps he did it to rescue his people who were suffering (Exodus ).

Job continues his reply to Zophar

Job warns his friends to be careful about their words

v1 I myself have seen that God does this. I have heard about this, and I know it. v2 I know the things that you know. v3 But I want to speak to God. I want to argue with God about my situation.

v4 But you tell lies to hide the truth. You are like doctors who cannot cure anyone. v5 So, be silent! Then, you would be much wiser! v6 Listen to my speech! Think about my words!

v7 Do not speak evil words on behalf of God! Do not lie on his behalf! v8 Do not speak unfairly in order to protect God! Do not argue on his behalf! v9 If God tested you, you might not pass his test. You can insult another man with a lie. But you cannot lie to God. v10 God will punish you if you are unfair.

v11 God is very great. So you should be afraid. v12 Your clever words do not help anybody. Your words are like ashes. And your speeches are poor. They are like cheap pots.

Chapter 13

Verse 1

Job knew that God makes proud people humble (Job ). But this did not explain Job’s situation. Job had been a good man. But Job had never been a proud man. He was humble even when he was wealthy.

Verse 2

Zophar thought that he had superior wisdom (Job ). And Eliphaz’s advice came from a spirit (Job ). But they did not explain anything that Job did not already know.

Verse 3

Job trusted God. Job believed that God is fair. God could explain Job’s situation.

Verses

‘A fool should be silent. Then people will think that he is really a wise man.’ (Proverbs ). The friends’ advice was not helping Job. It is better to be silent than to speak foolish words (Job ).

Verses

Job was right about his friends’ unfair words. Later, God told them that he was angry with them (Job ). When God told them this, they obeyed him. They asked Job to pray for them. And God forgave them.

Verse 12

Job and his friends were sitting on ashes. And Job was using a piece of pot to rub against his spots (Job ). Ashes are not useful for any purpose. And cheap pots are weak. So Job meant that his friends’ speeches were hopeless.

Job tells his friends that he is ready to speak to God

v13 So, be silent! Let me speak! Whatever happens, will happen. v14 There is a reason why I put myself in danger. There is a reason why I risk my life. v15 If God kills me, I have no hope. But I will reason with God himself. v16 And God will rescue me, because an evil man would not dare to meet God.

v17 Listen carefully! Think about my words! v18 I am ready to speak to God. And I know what God’s decision will be. God will say that I am innocent. v19 Nobody can accuse me! But if you can accuse me, then speak! Then, I shall be silent. And I shall die as a punishment.

Verses

An evil man is afraid to meet God. God will punish that man for his evil deeds.

Job’s friends thought that Job was evil. They warned him not to argue with God. They told him to change his behaviour.

But Job was not evil. Job was a good man. Whatever happened, he wanted to speak with God. Job was not afraid to reason with God. And Job was confident that God would rescue him.

Verses

If Job was guilty, he deserved punishment. But a good man, who trusts God, does not deserve any punishment. Job’s friends were not his judges. God alone was Job’s judge. Job knew that God would make the right decision. Job trusted God.

Job prays to God

v God, I pray that you would stop punishing me. And I pray that you would stop making me afraid. Then I would not try to hide from you.

v22 Then call me! And I will reply after you accuse me. Or, I shall speak, and then you will answer me.

v23 God, explain my errors! Show my evil behaviour to me. v24 Explain why you do not help me. Explain why you consider me your enemy. v25 (I am not important.) I am like a leaf that the wind blows. But surely God does not punish the hay!

v26 But you record my errors. I suffer because of my behaviour when I was young. v27 You control me like a prisoner. Or you watch me wherever I go. Even my feet leave a mark on the ground.

v28 So a man’s body falls apart, like soft, wet wood. Or, like old clothes that insects eat.

Verses

Job was still suffering greatly. He asked God to take the pain away. Then Job would be ready to speak to God as his judge.

Verses

Job was a good man. But he sometimes had doubts. And nobody is perfect. So Job asked God whether Job had done something wrong. If so, Job should confess his evil deed and he should ask God to forgive him. But Job could not see why such an evil deed would cause God to attack him. Job did not consider himself important to God.

Verses

Zophar said that God forgets some of our evil deeds (Job ). Job did not agree. God sees all our actions. And God knows everything about us (Psalm ). This is wonderful, because God wants to forgive us. God wants us to confess our evil deeds and to trust him. But Job did not think that this fact was wonderful. Job asked if God was punishing him for some evil deed in the past.

Verse 28

Perhaps Job was thinking about his illness. He had painful spots on every part of his body (Job ). Perhaps insects were attacking his spots. His body seemed so weak. He was sure that he would die soon.

Job continues his prayer

Job thinks that he will die soon

v1 I am just an ordinary man. My life is short. And my troubles are constant.

v2 I am like a flower that will soon die. Or, like a shadow that cannot last. v3 But, God, you watch me. And you are my judge. v4 I am not holy. So I cannot make myself holy. v5 You have decided the length of my life. I cannot live longer. v6 So, do not watch me! Let me be calm until my time on earth ends.

Chapter 14

This is a wonderful chapter. In this chapter, Job starts to have a new hope for his future.

Verses

Our lives on earth are short. Job said that we are like flowers. Some flowers are very beautiful. But they may last only for a few hours. Or, Job said that we are like shadows. A shadow has a clear shape. And it moves like a person. You could almost think that your shadow was alive. But your shadow disappears in a moment.

So our lives may be beautiful, like the flowers. And they may be active, like shadows. But we shall soon be dead.

Verses

God is our judge. He knows all our deeds. And we are not holy. We do many wrong things. Our good deeds cannot make us holy. We deserve God’s punishment. Job did not yet realise that God loves us. Or, that God would send Jesus to die for us.

Verses

God decides how long we shall live. Job thought that he would die soon. But in fact, God had a different plan for Job (Job ).

Job asks whether a dead man can live again

v7 A tree is better than a man. If someone cuts down a tree, the tree grows again. Its new branches will grow. v8 Its roots may be old. And the tree may seem dead. v9 But when rain starts to fall, new leaves appear. Then, the tree grows like a plant in a garden.

v10 But a man becomes weak and he dies. He breathes for the last time. Then he is dead. v11 A man is like a lake that becomes dry. Or, like a river without water. v12 The man’s body lies in its grave. While heaven remains, a dead man will not wake from sleep.

v13 God, I wish that you would hide me. Bury me in my grave! But when you are not angry with me, select a date. And then, remember me! v14 A man who dies cannot live again. But I will wait until that date, when you will give me relief. v15 Then you will call me. And I will answer you. You will desire me, because you made me. v16 Although you will watch me, you will not record my evil actions. v17 You will remove my evil actions. You will lay my evil actions aside, like something in a bag.

Verses

When Job thought about flowers and shadows (verse 2), he felt hopeless. But then Job remembered that God also created the trees. And trees seemed mysterious to Job.

You can cut down a tree. Its branches become mere wood. And the tree has no leaves. The tree many seem dead for many months. But that tree can grow again. You might expect such a tree to be very weak. But in fact, the new branches may be very strong.

The thought about the tree gave new hope to Job (verses ).

Verses

At first, the tree did not seem like a man to Job. Job thought about the death of a man’s body. That body simply returns to the earth. Job thought that such a body could never become alive again. Perhaps Job did not remember that God created man from the dust (Genesis ). The Bible teaches that even our dead bodies will live again (1 Corinthians ).

Then Job thought about sleep. A person who sleeps will wake. A dead body does not wake. But Job wished that his dead body would wake. And this thought gave him hope that he would meet God.

Verses

Job thought that God caused his troubles. So, Job thought that God was angry. In fact, God was not angry with Job. God was pleased with Job. And God did not cause Job’s troubles. The devil caused Job’s troubles.

The Bible teaches that our spirits do not sleep after death. When we die, our spirits go to heaven or to hell. And this happens immediately (Luke ). In heaven or hell, we are conscious (Luke ).

But Job thought that, perhaps, God would allow him to sleep. And he thought that, in the future, God would meet with Job. The Bible says that God will change us in the future (1 Corinthians ). Then our bodies will not be like the bodies that we have now (1 Corinthians ). In that day, Job could speak with God (verse 15). Paul also taught this (1 Corinthians ). And in that day, God would forgive Job’s evil deeds (verse 17). This idea was also right. When we confess our evil deeds to God, he forgives us because of Jesus.

This paragraph contains many ideas that Job did not really understand. But Job said these things because God showed him what to say (1 Peter ).

The end of a man

v18 But even a mountain can fall. Even a rock can move. v19 And a river can carry stones and soil away. So men have no hope. v20 God overcomes a man. God sends that man away. Even the man’s face changes. v21 That man does not know if his sons receive honour. And that man does not know if his sons suffer.

v22 Such a man feels only his own pain. And only that man’s spirit will know his despair.

Verses

Job’s thoughts about a tree gave him hope (verses ). But then he thought about the earth itself. Even mountains do not last always. Job saw how rocks can fall from mountains. The rain takes the soil from the mountains. And the soil goes into the sea. This process is called erosion. The soil never returns to the mountains.

So again Job thought that men could never live again after death. A man’s face would change in death, but this would be hopeless (verse 20). A dead man would not know what happened to his children (verse 21). The dead man would not be glad about their honour. And he would not be sad about their shame.

Job supposed that a dead man had a spirit. But that spirit would not feel anything good.

Job felt hopeless again.

Eliphaz’s second speech

Eliphaz says that Job is wrong

v1 Eliphaz, who belonged to the people called Temanites, answered. He said:

v2 A wise man should not speak foolish words. He should not make sounds that mean nothing, like the wind. v3 He should check that his words are helpful. His speeches should always be good.

v4 But, Job, your speeches do not respect God. You suggest that prayer has no value. v5 You have spoken evil words. Your words are clever (but they are not right). v6 I do not accuse you. But your own words prove that you are wrong.

Chapter 15

Verses

Job said that he was as wise as his friends (Job ). He even said that they could learn from his words (Job ). But Eliphaz thought that there was a terrible error in Job’s beliefs.

Verses

Job said that good men often have awful lives. And he said that evil men have good lives (Job ). Eliphaz could not agree. He believed that God rewards a good man. Eliphaz also believed that God punishes an evil man. So Job’s words seemed not to respect God.

But Eliphaz was not right. Job did respect God. Job continued to praise God even when terrible things happened (Job ).

Job has no special knowledge

v7 You were not born before everyone else. You are not older than everyone else. v8 You do not hear God’s words in heaven. You are not the only wise man. v9 You know nothing that we do not know. You have no special knowledge that is unknown to us. v10 The old wise men agree with us. They are older than both you and your father.

v11 But God comforts you. You should be glad to hear such gentle words. v12 But instead, you allow your emotions to control your behaviour. v13 You are angry with God. And you speak such terrible words.

Verses

Job’s friends believed that an older man was wiser (Job ). Eliphaz said that many old people believed the same ideas as Eliphaz himself. And many people who lived long ago had the same ideas. They thought that an ill person must be an evil person. Even Jesus’ disciples (special students) had such an idea (John ). But Jesus did not agree (John ).

Verses

Job said that he wanted to meet God. And Job wanted to reason with God. Job was sincere when he said this. He could not explain why God had not rescued him from his troubles. But Job still trusted God.

Eliphaz thought that Job was angry with God. So Eliphaz did not realise that Job’s words were sincere. Eliphaz wanted Job to be calm. Then Job could listen to sensible advice.

Nobody is innocent

v14 Nobody is innocent. Nobody is good. v15 God does not even trust his holy servants. God even sees that heaven is not perfect. v16 So, a man cannot be innocent. Man is evil. A man even prefers to do evil things than to drink water.

Verses

Eliphaz repeated the same lesson as in Job He said that nobody is perfect. So he thought that Job must be evil too.

Eliphaz was right to say that nobody is perfect. We must all confess our evil deeds so that God will forgive us. But Job was a sincere man. He often prayed that God would forgive people (Job ).

And Eliphaz was wrong to say that God does not trust his servants in heaven. God even trusted his servant Job (Job ; Job ).

Verse 16

In fact, many people do not prefer to do evil things. Job always tried to do the right things (Job ).

An ancient lesson

v17 Listen! I will teach you. I will explain the things that I have seen. v18 Wise men taught this lesson. And their fathers taught this lesson to them. v19 God gave them this country when no foreigners lived here.

v20 A wicked man always suffers pain. Such a man is cruel, so he suffers for his whole life. v21 He hears sounds that cause fear. If he is successful, a terrible enemy will attack him. v22 The wicked man does not think that he will ever escape. His enemy waits with a sword. v23 So the wicked man wanders to look for food. And the birds wait for his death, so that they can eat his body.

That wicked man knows that he will soon die. v24 He suffers terrible fears. And his troubles seem to him like a powerful king who is ready to attack.

v25 Such men suffer because they oppose God. They dare to fight against God. v26 They even attack God, like an enemy.

Verses

Eliphaz repeated the friends’ main idea. Wicked men always suffer a terrible fate. They will have an awful life and a terrible death.

Verses

Eliphaz warned Job here. Job should not accuse God. Nobody can oppose God. So Job should not argue. Job should agree that he is guilty, like everybody else.

A wicked man cannot avoid God’s punishment

v27 A wicked man might be successful. He might be greedy and fat. v28 But the inhabitants of his town will leave. His house will fall down. But he will live there, although his house is only a pile of stones. v29 That man was rich. But he will lose his wealth. He had great possessions. But he will lose his possessions.

v30 That man cannot avoid God’s punishment. He will die, like a tree that burns. A word from God will order that the man must die. v31 That man should realise that he cannot trust his foolish ideas. The only reward that such things give is foolish. v32 The man will die while he is still young.

v33 And that man will have no children. He will be like a tree without any flowers or fruit. v34 Wicked men will have no children. Even the home of a man who loves bribes (secret gifts) will burn.

v35 Wicked men will not have children. Instead, they will have trouble. And they will create foolish things. And they will make up lies, too.

Verses

Job thought that many evil people are successful (Job ). Eliphaz argued that their success was temporary. Their wealth would not last. Soon, they would lose everything (verse 29).

Job had spoken about a tree that someone had cut down (Job ). This idea gave hope to Job. Perhaps God would allow Job to live, even after death. Eliphaz thought that this was a foolish idea. If someone burns a tree, that tree will not live again (verse 30).

Eliphaz seemed to think that a person’s spirit dies with that person. He thought that the only new life after death was in our children. In other words, our children live after we are dead. They are our only hope for the future. And a wicked man would have no children (verse 33). A tree without fruit has no future after that tree dies. As Job’s children were dead, Job’s own death would be his end.

Many people believe such ideas. But the Bible does not teach this. The Bible says that heaven and hell are real places. Unfair things often happen in this world. But, in the future, God will be the judge of everybody (Philippians ). If we trust God, we should not be afraid of death. God has prepared a wonderful home for us in heaven (Philippians ).

Job replies to Eliphaz’s second speech

v1 Job answered. He said:

v2 I have heard many such things. You are all hopeless comforters. v3 Stop your long speeches! You have no reason to go on. v4 If you suffered like me, I could speak like you. I could oppose you with many words. And I could insult you. v5 (But I would not behave like you.) Instead, I would encourage you. And I would comfort you with my words.

v6 But now, when I speak, I have no comfort for my pain. Or, if I am silent, I still suffer.

Chapter 16

Verses

Job’s friends wanted to help him. They tried to teach him about God. They tried to show Job his errors. And they wanted to encourage him.

But their words did not help Job. They never understood the real reasons for Job’s problems. And the friends did not believe that Job was a good man. So they blamed Job, although Job was innocent.

People who advise must be careful. They should make sure that they know the true facts. They should sympathise with someone who suffers. And they should pray carefully before they advise.

Job’s enemy

v7 I am weak, because of my enemy. He has ruined my family. v8 My troubles are like a witness who accuses me. My thin body seems to be evidence against me.

v9 My enemy hates me. He is like a wild animal that attacks me. He causes injuries. He stares at me. v10 But men insult me. They hit my cheek. They laugh at me. Together, they oppose me. v11 God handed me over to wicked men. v12 I was well, until he attacked me. He is like an enemy, who grasps my neck. v13 Or, he is like an army that shoots arrows at me. Or, he is like a soldier who cuts my body with a sword. I feel as if a knife is in my body. And the inside parts of my body spill out. v14 My enemy attacks me again and again. He is like a bold soldier.

v15 So, I wear poor clothes to show that I am sad. And I put ashes on my face. v16 But my face is red, because I cry. And dark marks surround my eyes. v17 But I am innocent. I do not suffer because of any evil deed. And so, I pray.

v18 Everybody should know that I am innocent. Even after I die, people should still know this. Nobody should forget this!

Verses

In these verses, Job described his troubles. He blamed his enemy for these troubles.

Job thought that God caused these troubles. Job did not know that the devil was responsible. But Job was very careful about his words. He knew that he should always respect God. So Job did not want to accuse God unfairly. And Job did not want to blame God. So Job only mentioned God once, in verse

Job said that his enemy attacked him like a wild animal. Animals like dogs and lions are fierce. They do not just kill when they attack. They also cause terrible injuries and great pain.

And Job said that his enemy was like a bold soldier. Soldiers did not have guns at the time of the Bible. Instead, soldiers used swords to kill their enemies. If the sword was not sharp, it might be difficult to kill someone. The soldier might need to use the sword many times before the enemy died.

Job thought that God was attacking him. But Job also realised that wicked people caused his troubles (Job ; Job ). So, in verse 11, Job said that God allowed these wicked people to attack Job.

Verses

Job’s troubles seemed to prove that Job was guilty (verse 8). Job’s friends believed this (Job ). But the Bible does not teach this idea (John ). Job was sure that he was innocent. And God agreed (Job ).

Job’s friend

v19 Listen!

Now, I have a witness in heaven. I have a lawyer in heaven. v20 He is my friend. He speaks to God on my behalf. And I cry to God. v21 Even now, my lawyer speaks to God. And my lawyer is my true friend.

v22 But I shall soon die. Only a few years of my life remain.

Verses

Job’s words in verses 7–18 seemed hopeless. But then Job spoke about his ‘friend’. Job did not say who this friend was. But Job did not mean Eliphaz, Bildad or Zophar. This friend was in heaven. He was like a lawyer, because he spoke to God on Job’s behalf.

Job lived centuries before Jesus was born. But we think that these words describe Jesus. Jesus sympathises with our troubles (Hebrews ). He prays for us (Hebrews ). He is our priest (Hebrews ). Because of Jesus, we can be friends of God. Job did not know anything about Jesus. But Job thought that God was his friend. God would hear Job’s prayer. God would help Job. And God would prove that Job was innocent.

So Job thought that God was not merely Job’s enemy, but also his friend. This thought confused Job (Job ). Job knew that God does many good things. So Job thought that God might also do some bad things (Job ). God had given many good things to Job. So God could take these things away (Job ). But Job believed that God would still deserve honour. And Job would continue to praise God, whatever happened. Job had this attitude because he was a genuine servant of God (Job ).

But Job’s ideas were not all correct. God is our father in heaven. He looks after us (Matthew ). Ordinary fathers look after their children. But God is much better than a human father (Matthew ). God is kind and generous (Matthew ). God does not do evil things. God loves us (John ).

Job continues his reply to Eliphaz

v1 My spirit suffers. My life is short. Soon, I must die. v2 Everybody insults me. And I watch their cruel actions.

Chapter 17

Verses

Job thought that he was dying. His friends were with him. But they did not speak kind words to him. Instead, they accused him of many evil deeds.

Job prays

v3 God, promise to be fair to me! Nobody else will protect me. v4 You have caused the people not to know the truth. So, you will not allow them to succeed. v5 Nobody should oppose his friends for a reward. Even the children of such a person deserve to suffer.

Verse 3

Job’s friends could not help Job. And Job thought that God was attacking him (Job ). But Job still respected God. And Job still trusted God. So Job asked God for help (Job ).

In fact, God did not cause Job’s problems. The devil was responsible for Job’s troubles.

Verse 4

Job’s friends did not know that Job was innocent. And Job thought that God had caused this situation. So Job prayed that God would declare him innocent.

Verse 5

Job was right to say that such a person is very evil. But we do not believe that the person’s children should suffer. Each person is responsible for his own evil deeds. (See Ezekiel chapter ) So each person must confess his own evil deeds to God. And each person must invite Jesus into his life (John ; John ).

Job suffers

v6 When people curse, they use my name. They spit at me. (That is, they splash me with water from their mouths.) v7 My eyes are weak because of my tears. My whole body seems as weak as a shadow.

Verses

Job was innocent, but he suffered greatly. Jesus was also innocent, and he too suffered greatly. Sometimes Job’s words remind us about Jesus’ death. See also Psalm 22 and Isaiah chapter The authors of these books wrote these passages before Jesus was born. But these chapters describe well the troubles that Jesus suffered for us. Jesus died so that God would forgive our evil deeds (1 Peter ).

The effects of Job’s troubles

v8 Good people are surprised to see this. But my troubles cause innocent people to act against evil people. v9 Good men continue their good behaviour. And innocent people become stronger and stronger.

Verses

Job’s situation impressed other people powerfully. Good people admired Job’s attitudes. Job’s troubles did not frighten them. Instead, their determination to do the right things increased.

Paul had a similar experience when he was in prison. See Philippians

Job says that his friends are not wise

v10 But speak again! Try to prove that I am guilty! And I will prove that you are not wise.

v11 My life is short. My plans have failed. And I have no hope.

v12 These men (Job’s friends) pretend that the night is the day. It is so dark. But they say, ‘The light will come soon.’

v13 But my grave will become the home for my body. I will be like someone who sleeps in the darkness. v14 My family will not surround my body. Instead, the tiny animals that destroy dead bodies will surround me. v15 I have no hopes for the future. You can see that my situation is hopeless. v16 There is no hope for a dead man. So, my body will lie, without hope, in my grave.

Verse 10

As Job spoke about other good people, he himself felt more confident. He was not afraid of his friends’ speeches. He knew that they supposed him to be an evil man. So he told them to speak their opinions clearly. He felt ready to reply.

Verses

Job accused his friends. They said that his life would get better (Job ). But Job’s troubles were real troubles.

Verse 13

Job expected to die soon. He did not realise that his spirit would then go to heaven. Later, he would start to understand this (Job ).

Verses

Job knew what happens to dead bodies. And he thought that he was almost dead. He had no hope for the future. He did not know that God would rescue him (Job ). Job simply wanted to prove that he was innocent. He wanted to show that he did not deserve these troubles.

Bildad’s second speech

Bildad warns Job not to be angry

v1 Then Bildad, who belonged to the people called Shuhites, replied:

v2 Eliphaz and Zophar, you should answer Job!

Job, be sensible! Then, we will speak. v3 You insult us as if we were stupid animals. But you should not think that we are evil. v4 You might hurt yourself when you are angry. But the world will not change because of your troubles. The rocks will not move because of you.

Chapter 18

Verses

It seems that Job did not speak quietly. He felt strong emotions. Bildad thought that Job was angry. But Bildad thought that his own opinion was important. He did not want Job to interrupt. So Bildad told Job to be calm.

Verse 4

In other words, Job could not change the world. Bildad thought that Job needed to learn about reality.

A wicked man will suffer a terrible death

v5 A wicked man will die. He is like a lamp that is off. Or, he is like a fire that does not burn. v6 His tent will be dark. A candle will not burn there.

v7 If a wicked man is strong, he will become weak. His own schemes will cause his troubles. v8 He is like a man who walks into a net. v9 Or, like a man who steps on a hunter’s trap. v10 Or, like a man who falls into a well.

v11 There is danger in every direction for that wicked man. v12 His trouble is like a wild animal. That animal chases him! That animal is hungry! That animal waits for someone to fall! That animal will attack! v13 That animal will eat a man’s skin. And that animal will kill the man.

v14 In his tent, the wicked man was safe. But his death will be terrible. v15 His tent will burn. His possessions will become ashes.

v16 That wicked man will be like a dead tree. He will be like a tree with dry roots and dead branches. v17 Nobody will remember that wicked man. Nobody will record his name. v18 He must leave this bright world. He belongs in the darkness of his grave. v19 He will have no son. He will have no grandson. Nobody will live in the place where that wicked man lived.

v20 The wicked man’s terrible death will upset everyone. v21 But a wicked man deserves a terrible death. These things ought to happen to a man who does not know God.

Verses

Bildad’s only idea in this chapter was that a wicked man is never successful. Bildad did not actually say that Job was wicked. But Bildad clearly had this opinion.

Verses

Bildad was sure that the wicked man could not continue to live. A candle can only burn for a few hours. Then, there is darkness. Bildad thought that a wicked man would only live for a short time. Job expected to die soon (Job ). So Job seemed to be like this wicked man.

Verses

The wicked man tries to make trouble for other people. But he himself suffers from his own evil schemes. He is like a stupid hunter who walks into his own trap.

Job said that God caused his troubles. Perhaps Bildad thought that Job caused his own troubles.

Verses

Bildad described something terrible that chases the wicked man. Bildad did not actually say that he was thinking about a wild animal.

So the wild animal is just a description of the wicked man’s troubles. His troubles seem to be everywhere. And the troubles become worse and worse. In the end, the man dies because of his troubles. And his death is a terrible death.

Job had terrible skin troubles (Job ). His troubles seemed impossible to escape from (Job ). And these troubles were getting worse and worse (Job ). So Bildad thought that Job must be a wicked man.

Verses

When Bildad talked about the man’s tent, he did not simply mean a home. He also meant the man’s life. A tent may seem to be a good home. But a tent is temporary. So a wicked man’s life is like a tent. His life cannot last for long. He will soon die.

Verse 16

The thought about a tree gave comfort to Job (Job ). A tree that seems dead can live again. But Bildad thought that Job’s idea was not reality. He reminded Job that a tree can really die.

Verses

Bildad thought that Job was wicked. So Bildad warned Job. Nobody would remember Job after his death. Job had no children alive (Job ). Job trusted God to prove that Job was innocent (Job ). But Bildad thought that Job’s situation was hopeless.

Verses

Job thought that his troubles had some good effects (Job ). Bildad did not believe this. A wicked man’s death may upset everyone. But a wicked man’s death would not help anybody.

Bildad said these things because he wanted to help Job. Bildad wanted Job to confess his evil deeds to God. If Job did this, then God would forgive Job (Job ). But Bildad never really understood that Job was a good man (Job ).

Job replies to Bildad’s second speech

Job thinks that God caused Job’s troubles

v1 Job replied. He said:

v2 You continue to upset me. Your words make me sad. v3 You have insulted me many times. You accuse me unfairly, but you are not ashamed. v4 I alone am responsible if I have done evil things. v5 You think that you are great. You accuse me because I suffer. v6 So, know this fact! God has caused my troubles. This is why I cannot escape from my problems.

v7 I shout, ‘Help!’ But nobody hears me. I call aloud. But nobody is fair to me. v8 My life is like a dark path. My troubles are like a fence across this path. v9 God removes my honour. Nobody respects me still. v10 God attacks me. He destroys me, like a tree without roots. v11 He is angry with me. He considers me to be an enemy. v12 God has sent his army to oppose me. God’s army surrounds me. And the army is ready to attack.

Chapter 19

Verses

The friends upset Job because their speeches were not correct. The friends suggested that Job was a wicked man. But Job was a good, honest man (Job ).

Verse 4

Job knew his own conscience. The friends did not need to accuse him. And they did not need to speak so many times. They were trying to force Job to agree with them. But Job was suffering. They ought to have shown more sympathy.

Verse 5

The friends accused Job so often because they were proud. They wanted to prove that they were right. But Job’s troubles did not prove that they were right.

Verse 6

In fact, the devil caused Job’s troubles. But Job did not realise this fact.

Verse 7

Job felt as if a robber was attacking him. But when Job called for help, nobody came to assist.

Verse 8

If a path is dark, the traveller cannot see the way ahead. If there is a fence, the traveller must stop. Job felt like that traveller. The traveller could not continue his journey. And it seemed that Job’s life could not continue.

Verse 9

Before his troubles, Job was a great man (Job ). But nobody respected him now.

Verse 10

Job continues Bildad’s story about a tree (Job ). If Job was like a tree with dry roots, God caused this situation. Job was not responsible, because Job was innocent.

Verses

Job was sure that God was attacking him. But we know from Job that God was not angry with Job. God was proud of Job. God considered Job to be a loyal servant.

Nobody cares about Job

v13 My brothers leave me. My friends leave me. v14 My family leave me. My close friends forget me. v15 My guests think that I am a stranger. Even my maids think this. They consider me to be a foreigner. v16 If I call my servant, he does not answer me. He refuses to help me. v17 My wife hates the smell of my breath. My brothers hate me. v18 Even the little children insult me. They laugh at me. v19 My friends, whom I love, hate me. v20 I am very thin. My body is just skin and bones. I am hardly alive.

v21 Comfort me, my friends! Comfort me! God has attacked me. v22 But you are not God. So you do not need to attack me. You do not need to make me suffer.

Verses

Other people are often not loyal when someone suffers. Job’s family left him alone. Job’s servant did not answer Job. Even Job’s wife advised Job to insult God. She thought that it would be better for Job to be dead (Job ).

Verses

Job loved his three friends. They came a long way to comfort him (Job ). And they sat with him silently for a long time (Job ). But their speeches did not help him. The friends accused Job. And they warned Job. Perhaps Job thought that it was God’s duty to punish him. But Job’s friends did not need to punish him. And Job really wanted them to comfort him.

Job knows that he will see God

v23 Record my words! Write my words in a book! v24 Or use an iron tool to record my words on rock.

v25 There is somebody who will rescue me. I know that he is alive. In the end, he will stand on the earth. v26 My body will disappear in my grave. But, in my body, I shall see God. v27 I, myself, will see him. Yes, my own eyes will see God. I desire that day with my whole heart.

v28 Do not say, ‘We will oppose Job. He caused his own troubles.’ v29 If you think this, then you ought to be afraid yourselves. God will be angry with you. He will punish you severely. Then, you will know that God is a judge.

Verses

Bildad said that everyone would forget the wicked man (Job ). But Job did not want anyone to forget that he was innocent (Job ). So Job wanted someone to write his words in a book. Then people would remember them always. And, of course, we still have the Book of Job today. It may be the most ancient book that still exists. Job wanted a permanent record of the things that he and his friends discovered about God.

Verses

These verses may be the most important verses in the Book of Job. Elsewhere Job explained his troubles, fears and doubts. But in these verses, Job explained the reasons why he still had hope.

Elsewhere Job had been doubtful whether he could ever prove himself innocent. He prayed. But he was not sure that God would ever help him. But in these verses, Job felt confident again.

Elsewhere, Job argued that death would be the end of everything. He did not think that a dead person could ever live again. But in these verses, Job was sure that God could make a dead person live again. And Job believed that he himself would meet God.

These are very important verses. But they are not easy verses to translate. Bible students are unsure about the exact meaning of many phrases.

But we understand enough to be confident about Job’s main ideas here:

·     Firstly, Job was developing his thoughts in Job There, Job said that somebody in heaven was helping him. He described that person as a lawyer or a friend. Job probably meant God himself. With our knowledge of the whole Bible, we can add that these passages describe Jesus well.

·     In Job , Job remembered about trees. A tree that seems dead can often live again. And in Job , Job prayed that this would happen to Job himself. Here in chapter 19, Job seems confident that God will answer that prayer.

·     Job used a special word in verse In the original language of the book (called Hebrew) this word is GOEL. A GOEL frees someone by either of two particular methods. Either the GOEL may pay a debt for that person. Or the GOEL may fight to free the person. The English word for GOEL is a redeemer. So:

(1) In the Book of Ruth, Boaz freed Ruth. He loved her. So he paid her debts and he married her. He was her redeemer or GOEL.

(2) God is often called a GOEL or redeemer. For example, Psalm and Isaiah

(3) The Bible teaches that Jesus is our redeemer (1 Peter ). When he died for us, he freed us from the devil’s power. The price for our freedom was Jesus’ death.

(4) In Job , Job uses this special word to describe God. At last, Job trusts God completely. God will rescue Job, even if God has to take Job from the grave to save him. God will rescue Job, even if God must pay to rescue him. And God will rescue Job even if God must fight for Job.

·     Job realised that his body would die. But Job now knew that death would not be the end. In verse 26, the words ‘in my body’ might mean ‘without my body’. The translation is difficult but the meaning of Job’s words seems clear. After Job’s death, Job would see God. And Job desired that day, like Paul in Philippians

Verses

Bildad argued this in Job Job warned the friends not to be unfair. God would punish them if their words were evil.

Zophar’s last speech

An ancient principle

v1 Zophar, who belonged to the people called Naamathites, answered. He said:

v2 Job, your words upset me. So, I need to reply now. v3 Your reply does not respect me. But I will answer you wisely.

v4 There is an ancient principle, which you must know. This principle has been true since the first people lived:

·  v5 A wicked man is only happy for a short time. An evil man is only happy for a moment.

v6 That man might be very proud. He might suppose that he is like God. v7 But that evil man will disappear like his own dirt. He will die. And nobody will see him again. v8 He is like a dream. When the morning comes, the dream vanishes. So nobody will remember that evil man. v9 The people who used to see him will not see him again. He will not enter the place where he used to live. v10 His children must return his money to poor people. They must give back his money. v11 His body was young and strong. But his children must lay it in his grave.

Chapter 20

Verses

The three friends were sure that Job was guilty. They did not think that God would punish an innocent man. And even Job wrongly agreed that God caused Job’s troubles. But Job insisted that he was innocent.

So Zophar brought a new subject into the argument. Job seemed to think that evil people had successful lives. Zophar wanted to prove that this idea was wrong.

Verse 4

When Job lived, people respected older people and their ideas (Job ). So the people believed that ancient wisdom was very important (Job ).

Verse 5

Zophar did not argue that wicked people are never happy. Everybody can see that wicked people often enjoy their evil deeds. But Zophar said that his happiness could not last.

He was partly correct. An evil life does not really satisfy anyone (Luke ). Only the things that God gives can really satisfy us (John ). So we need to believe Jesus (John ). Moreover, in the end, God will be the judge of everyone. God will punish evil people who have not confessed their evil deeds to him (Revelation ).

But Zophar argued his ideas for a particular reason. Zophar wanted to prove that Job was not innocent. So Zophar imagined the things that might happen to a wicked man. Zophar wanted Job to realise that similar things had happened to Job.

Verse 6

God opposes proud people – Proverbs ; James ; Luke This proud attitude is very evil. This man does not respect God.

Verses

This wicked man may be powerful while he is alive. But when he dies, nobody will even remember this man.

Verses

Perhaps the wicked man was proud because of his wealth. But he cannot keep his wealth after he dies (Luke ). When the man dies, other people will take his money (Proverbs ).

A wicked man will suffer because of his evil deeds

v12 The wicked man’s evil deeds are like fine food. That food tastes so good. It is so sweet in his mouth. v13 He does not even want to swallow. v14 But in his stomach, the food becomes sour. The food becomes like a snake’s poison. v15 So the man is sick. And God will take that man’s wealth away from him. v16 That food was really a snake’s poison. And that poison will kill the man.

v17 So an evil man will not enjoy the good things that God gives to his people. God gives milk and honey that are as plentiful as the rivers. v But that man suffers because he caused poor people to suffer. That man stole houses that did not belong to him. That man must give back his wealth. He cannot enjoy his wealth. And he must not enjoy his profits.

Verses

The man’s evil deeds are like poison. Poisonous food may taste very good. And the man’s evil deeds seem to bring pleasure. But poisonous food makes a man ill. And evil deeds spoil a man’s life. In the end, the poison may kill a man. And a man whose life is evil may die because of his behaviour.

Verses

This man lived in luxury. He stole his wealth. But he will not continue to enjoy his wealth. God gives good gifts to his people. But this man will not receive these gifts. Instead he will die. And Zophar believed that death is a fair punishment for such a man.

God punishes evil people

v20 An evil man will always desire the wrong things. He cannot use his money to save himself from his punishment. v21 He took everything. But his wealth will not last. v22 When he is successful, he will have great troubles. Then, he will be sad.

v23 When that man becomes rich, God will be angry with him. And God will cause that man to suffer. v24 If that man avoids a sword, then an arrow will hit him. v25 If that man pulls the arrow from his back, he will suffer terror. v26 So, that man must die. Fire will burn his body. Fire will burn his home.

v27 In heaven, everyone will know that man’s evil deeds. On earth, everyone will oppose that evil man. v28 God, when he is angry, will send the floods. The water will destroy that evil man’s house.

v29 Wicked people deserve such terrible punishments. And God has decided that this is their fate.

Verses

Money cannot save anyone from death. We all shall die. And the wicked man’s money cannot save him from God’s punishment.

Verses

God is a fair judge. He will punish a wicked man. A man might be able to escape from his enemies. But nobody can escape from God.

Verses

Zophar thought that everybody would agree with him. But, as Job would explain in chapter 21, Zophar had forgotten one important point. Many wicked people are very successful during their lives on earth. They do not die when they are young. It is true that God will punish them in the end.

Zophar was wrong to suggest that Job was a wicked man. Job had a terrible life, but he was still a good man. And a wicked man may have a successful life. But that man is still evil.

Job replies to Zophar’s last speech

v1 Job replied. He said:

v2 If you listen carefully to my words, then you will comfort me. v3 Listen carefully while I speak! Do not insult me before I have finished my speech!

v4 I am not complaining to any man. (I am complaining to God.) So, I am right to be unhappy. v5 My situation will astonish you. When you have heard my speech, you will not want to say anything.

v6 Whenever I think about these things, I am afraid. I tremble because of my fear.

Chapter 21

Verses

In chapter 20, Zophar insisted that the happiness of wicked people could not last. He thought that everybody would agree with him. But Job could not agree.

Job knew that many wicked people are successful. Moreover, they seem to be successful for their whole lives. Such people may have loving families. Even when wicked people die, their graves may be beautiful.

Of course, the Bible teaches that God will punish evil people (Jude 13). Sometimes he punishes them during their lives on earth (Deuteronomy ). God does this because he is kind. He is warning such people about their evil deeds (1 Peter ). He wants everyone to confess their evil deeds to him. But if they do not confess their evil deeds now, God will not forgive them. And their punishment will be terrible after they die.

Verses

Job was unhappy when he thought about the success of wicked people. He could not explain why he was suffering. And he could not explain why wicked people may be successful.

Verse 6

This idea made Job afraid. Job did not suppose that it is better to be evil than to be good (verse 16). Job was a holy man. He always tried to do the right things. He wanted to please God.

But Job had to explain this idea in order to answer Zophar.

Wicked people succeed

v7 Wicked people live successful lives. They grow old. They become powerful. v8 They see that their children are successful. v9 The houses of wicked people are safe. They are not afraid. God does not punish them. v10 Their animals mate. Their cows give birth without problems.

v11 And wicked people have many children. The little children dance. v12 And the children enjoy music. The children enjoy musical instruments, like the harp, tambourine and flute.

v13 So, wicked people have good lives. And, wicked people die without pain. v14 They say to God, ‘Go away! We do not want to obey your laws. v15 We do not care about God. We do not want to serve him. If we pray, we gain nothing.’

v16 But they did not deserve to be successful. This is why I refuse to obey a wicked man’s advice.

Verses

Job described the good lives of some evil people.

Previously, Job had lived a good life like this. He had many animals. And he had many children. And Job’s own children enjoyed their parties. Job was a good man. But thieves had taken his animals. And his children were dead.

Job knew that many evil people still enjoyed such good lives.

Verses

Evil people do not want to serve anyone. Especially, they do not want to serve God. They only care about their own pleasure. They do not pray because they say, ‘We will not benefit if we pray. Prayer is a waste of time.’

Job did not behave like them. He was glad to serve God (Job ; Job ). He would pray even if he received no benefit from his holy life. And he did not care if evil people lived better lives than him. He would not obey wicked people’s advice (Job ; Psalm ). Job respected God. And Job loved God. God mattered more to Job than Job’s wealth. In fact, God mattered more to Job than anything else.

Wicked people do not often suffer

v17 But wicked people do not often suffer for their evil deeds. God does not often punish them. v18 God does not often scatter them, like dust in a storm.

v19 Perhaps God will punish a wicked man’s children. But God should punish the wicked man himself, so that the man learns to behave better. v20 Then, the wicked man will suffer his own punishment. And the wicked man will know that God is angry with him. v21 When the wicked man is dead, he does not care about his family.

v22 But I cannot teach God. God is the judge of even the most important people. v23 One man died when he was strong, safe and happy. v24 Even his dead body seemed as if it was healthy. v25 Another man had a bitter life. He never enjoyed anything good. v26 But the two bodies lie together in the grave. And the tiny animals in the soil destroy both bodies.

Verses

God mattered more to Job than anything else. But Job would still complain about his situation. He agreed that God should punish evil people. But Job did not realise when God will punish them. Job already knew that good people would live again, after the death of their bodies (Job ). But he did not yet know what would happen to evil people after death (Revelation ).

Verses

This is like Job’s earlier words in Job Job described well the death of the body. But he did not describe what happened to the men’s spirits. See Luke

The reports of travellers

v27 I already know your reply. I know the ideas that you plot against me. v28 You will say, ‘There are no successful men who are evil. You cannot find such a man.’

v29 But I have spoken to the travellers. I have heard their reports. v30 They say that evil men do not suffer troubles. When God is angry, the evil man is safe. v31 Nobody accuses an evil man. Nobody makes an evil man suffer for his evil deeds. v32 Even when he dies, men guard his grave. v33 There is a great procession at his funeral. And even his grave seems a pleasant place.

v34 So, your nonsense cannot comfort me. And your answers are wrong.

Verses

Perhaps Job’s friends did not know any evil people who were successful. Today we often read about such people in the newspapers. Then, people would hear the news from travellers.

Verses

In verse 26, Job thought that an evil man’s death was very much like the death of a good man. The bodies of both men would lie next to each other in the grave. But as Job thought more, he was not sure about this. Even the death of an evil man seemed better. He would have good funeral, and many people would be there. Perhaps even his grave would be better. Men might guard it, so that his body was not alone. Even the soil in the grave might seem pleasant to his dead body.

Verse 34

Zophar supposed that a wicked person would soon suffer terrible troubles. But Job proved that many wicked people have successful lives. Neither Job nor Zophar thought about such people’s spirits, which continue to live after death. Both men said many true things. But neither could explain the whole truth.

When Eliphaz heard this discussion, he wanted to reply to Job. Eliphaz thought that he could now explain Job’s problems. Job did not say that anyone should ever be evil. But he did say that wicked people have successful lives. So Eliphaz thought that Job approved of an evil life. And Eliphaz decided that Job must really be evil. The three friends had already suggested this. But they were too polite to accuse Job clearly. And they had no evidence.

Now, however, Eliphaz would blame Job for all the troubles that Job suffered. Eliphaz would accuse Job clearly.

Eliphaz’s last speech

God gains nothing from a man’s behaviour

v1 Eliphaz, who belonged to the people called Temanites, answered. He said:

v2 Nobody can assist God. Even a wise man cannot advise God. v3 God does not benefit if you are a good man. God does not gain anything if you are perfect.

Chapter 22

Verses

In Job , Job spoke about the attitudes of wicked people. Such people will not serve God because there is no benefit for them. But Job would not behave like them.

Even when Job lost all his possessions, he praised God (Job ). Job was still loyal to God when his children died. And when Job became ill, he still trusted God (Job ).

Job was a good man because he respected God. So Job did not expect to benefit from God (Job ). But Eliphaz had made a list of many benefits that God gives (Job ). And Eliphaz believed that prayer has real value (Job ).

They were both right. God gives many good things to us (Matthew ). But we should not serve God merely for the benefits that we receive (Habakkuk ). Whatever happens, we should still trust God (Matthew ).

Job thought that good behaviour brought no benefits for the good man (Job ). Eliphaz thought that this was nonsense. Eliphaz thought that our good behaviour cannot benefit God. Eliphaz thought that God is too great to care about anyone’s behaviour. But Eliphaz was wrong. God knew Job personally. God was proud of Job’s good behaviour (Job ). In fact, Satan opposed Job because Satan wanted a reason to accuse God (Job ; Job ).

Eliphaz decides that Job is really an evil man

v4 God does not accuse a holy man. v5 God accuses you, Job, because you are very evil. You have done so many evil deeds.

·  v6 When you lent even a small loan, you forced your brothers to hand over their property. You even took their clothes, so that they were naked.

·  v7 You did not provide water for people who were weak. You did not provide food for hungry people. v8 But you were a powerful man, who owned much land. You were a man whom people respected.

·  v9 You gave nothing to widows.

·  You caused children to suffer. And those children had no fathers to protect them.

v10 This is why you have so many troubles. This is why you are suddenly afraid. v11 You are like a man who cannot see in the darkness. Then a flood drowns that man. v12 But God is in the highest heavens. His home is even higher than the stars. v13 But you say, ‘God does not know about me. He cannot see me because of the darkness. v14 Thick clouds surround God, so that he does not see us. He belongs in heaven.’

v15 These are ancient ideas, but they are the ideas of evil men. v16 Such men died when they were still young. The flood killed them. v17 They said to God, ‘Go away! God does nothing that affects us.’ v18 But God filled their houses with good things. This is why I refuse to obey a wicked man’s advice.

v19 A good man is glad when evil men suffer. An innocent man laughs. v20 He says, ‘God has punished our enemies. So, fire burns their possessions.’

Verses

At last, Eliphaz accused Job clearly. He said that God was punishing Job for his evil deeds. But Eliphaz was wrong. Job was a good, honest man (Job ).

Verses

Eliphaz began his list of Job’s evil deeds. Job did not really do any such things. Eliphaz had no evidence, so he was guessing.

Many people today would say that such deeds are not evil. These people would agree that it is wrong to steal. Or to murder. Or even to lie. But they think that a businessman should be clever. And they think that a wealthy person does not need to be generous. And that an important person does not need to use his power to help other people.

Verses

Job’s friends realised that such behaviour is evil.

They thought that such behaviour was the reason for Job’s troubles.

Verse 12

God is in heaven, so he sees all our actions (Psalm ). And his knowledge is perfect. So he knows our errors.

Verses

Evil people imagine that God cannot see their evil deeds (Psalm ).

Verse 15

The three friends told Job to learn from ancient advice (Job ; Job ; Job ). But Eliphaz knew that some ancient advice is wrong.

Verses

Perhaps this refers to Noah’s flood (Genesis chapters ). God destroyed the ancient world by a flood, because its people were very evil.

Verse 18

Eliphaz agreed that God gave good things to these evil people. But they would not serve God, so God punished them.

In the second line, Eliphaz repeated Job’s words in Job Eliphaz refused to obey the advice of wicked men because they do not appreciate God’s good gifts. But Job refused to obey their advice because he respected God.

Verses

Job was afraid when he thought about the lives of wicked people (Job ). But Eliphaz was glad to think about their troubles. He was sure that God would soon punish them.

Eliphaz tells Job to stop his evil behaviour

v21 Learn from God! Do not oppose him! Then you will be successful again. v22 Allow God to teach you! Learn his words! v23 Trust God again! He will help you. Stop your evil behaviour!

v24 Do not trust in money! Return your gold to the rocks where you found it! v25 If you do this, God will defend you. And he is better than gold or fine silver.

v26 Then you will be pleased with God. You will be glad that God sees you. v27 When you pray, God will hear you. And you will give the gifts that you promised to God. v28 You will achieve the things that you decide to do. You will be successful.

v29 When someone is sad, you will pray, ‘God, help that person!’ And God will help that person. v30 You will even pray for someone who is guilty. And God will rescue that person. God will answer your prayer because you will be innocent.

Verses

Eliphaz did not accuse Job in order to upset him. Eliphaz wanted to help his friend. So Eliphaz hoped that Job would confess his evil deeds to God. Then God would forgive Job. And Job would have a successful life again.

But Eliphaz was still wrong. Job was an innocent man. And Job already was a true servant of God.

Verses

These are good words. Eliphaz realised that real success is not money. Nobody should trust their wealth. We should trust God. Eliphaz emphasised his ideas with humour. Men used to find gold in the rocks (Job ; Job ). So Eliphaz told Job that his gold belonged in the rocks. Job should return his gold and trust God instead.

Verses

Job wished that God did not watch him (Job ). But Job hoped for the day when he could speak with God (Job ).

Eliphaz promised a good life to Job, if only Job would confess his evil deeds. And Eliphaz’s advice would be good advice if Job were an evil man. But Job was a good man. Job already trusted God.

Verses

Eliphaz’s words were sincere. But they had a meaning that Eliphaz did not expect. Job was already a good man (Job ). And Job’s prayers mattered to God (Job ), although Job did not yet realise this.

In fact, Job’s troubles would end when Job prayed for his friends (Job ). In the end, God told the three friends that he was angry about their unfair words. God told them to ask Job to pray for them. And God forgave them when Job prayed. God forgave them because Job was a true servant of God.

Job speaks again

Job wants to discuss his troubles with God

v1 Job answered. He said:

v2 Even today, I still complain. I am miserable. God still punishes me, although I protest. v3 I would like to find God. I would like to go to his court. v4 I would explain my situation to him. I would reason with him. v5 I would discover his explanation. I would think about his words. v6 I do not suppose that he would oppose me. He would listen to me. v7 In that place, a good man can explain his problems to God. So, God would always rescue me from my punishment.

v8 But I cannot go to God. I cannot find him in the east or in the west. v9 I cannot see him when he works in the north. And I do not know when he begins to work in the south.

Chapter 23

Verse 1

Job’s final speech begins here. It continues to the end of chapter Bildad interrupts briefly in chapter Some people think that there are other interruptions too. For example, they think that Job is by Bildad. And they think that Job and Job are by Zophar. But the Bible does not name these speakers. And elsewhere the Book of Job always names the speakers. So we think that the complete speech in Job chapters 23 to 31 (except chapter 25) is by Job.

Verses

In Job’s society, if somebody needed help, that person would go to the judge’s court. The person would explain their problems to the judge. The judge might not only act as judge, but also as the policeman. So he would be an important man, and everybody would respect his judgement.

Job was confident that God is a fair judge. Job could not explain why God seemed to be punishing him. But Job knew that God’s answer would be right.

Verses

God is not like a human judge, whom Job could visit. God rules heaven and earth. He works everywhere (Psalm ). And nobody can control him (John ).

Job trusts God

v10 But God knows where I am. God knows my actions. He tests me, so that I will be like pure gold. v11 I choose to live in the way that God wants me to live. I refuse to do evil deeds. v12 I obey God’s law always. Each day, God’s words are more precious to me than bread.

Verse 10

Job did not know where God was (verses ). But God knew where Job was.

Job was starting to understand the reason for his troubles. His troubles were like a test (Job ; Job ). Job had been a wealthy man. Now he was poor. The purpose of the test was to see whether Job would still serve God. But the test would also improve Job. Job was learning to trust God more and more. See 1 Peter

Sometimes men test whether gold is pure. They use a very hot fire. The fire burns away anything that is not gold. And only the pure gold remains.

Verses

These are wonderful words. Job did not behave as Eliphaz supposed (Job ).

Job’s attitudes were good. Job loved God’s law. Job always wanted to obey God. See Psalm 1.

Job is worried about God

v13 But nobody is like God. And nobody can oppose God. God does whatever he wants to do. v14 He decides my fate. And he has many such plans for me. v15 So, I am worried about God. I think about these things. Then, I am afraid of God. v16 God made me weak. God frightens me. v17 But I will not be silent, even if I cannot see anything.

Verses

Job loved God. But Job was still worried. He did not know God’s plans. And Job was afraid of the future.

Job did not need to be afraid. God’s plans for Job were wonderful (see Job chapter 42).

And God’s plans are wonderful for everyone who trusts him (Revelation 21).

God wants to help us (Mark ). He wants to do good things in our lives (Acts ). He gives us good gifts (Matthew ). And he will always provide for us (John ). So we should trust him (John ).

Job continues his speech

The actions of cruel men

v1 God sees what is happening. But his servants wait in vain for the day when he is judge.

v2 Men move fences so that they can steal fields. Such men look after farm animals that they stole. v3 They lead away a donkey (small horse) that belongs to a child without parents. They take a widow’s cow because the widow owes them money. v4 Such men send poor people away, so that poor people must hide.

Chapter 24

Verse 1

Job was patient (James ). He suffered greatly. But he was waiting for the day when God would help him. On that day, God would be like a judge. He would listen to Job. And God would rescue Job (Job ).

Verse 1 explains Job’s main idea in chapter God’s servants are the people who trust him. They are waiting for the day when God will help them (James ). And many are suffering like Job. But God does not always rescue them immediately (1 Peter ).

There are also many wicked people. Such people cause other people to suffer. Zophar thought that God would punish them quickly (Job chapter 20). But often, these evil people will continue to be evil until they die.

Verses

Some evil people steal things. But other evil people are just cruel. The widow in verse 3 owed money. The lender thought that it was right for him to take her cow. But that lender was cruel and evil. The widow needed to have a cow in order to look after her land. Without the cow, the widow will become very poor. The lender has taken her strongest animal away from her.

Poor people suffer greatly

v5 Poor people are like wild donkeys (small horses) in the desert. For such people, their work is to find food. They find their children’s food in wild places. v6 They collect any grains that remain in the fields. They take any fruit that the wicked man leaves in his garden.

v7 They have no clothes to wear by night. So, these poor people must sleep naked. They have nothing to wear when the weather is cold. v8 They are wet whenever rain falls on the mountains. They hug the rocks because they have no shelter. v9 But a rich man will even steal a baby that has no father. That rich man will take that child to be his slave, because the mother cannot pay her debt.

v10 Poor people wander about naked because they have no clothes. Although they harvest the crops, they themselves are still hungry. v11 They make the oil. They make the wine. But nobody allows them to drink it. v12 They scream as they are dying in the city. Their spirits cry out for help. But God does not accuse the man who caused these poor people to suffer.

Verses

This passage is very sad. These people struggle to find food (verse 5). They get cold and wet (verse 6). They have nowhere to live.

Job said that they are like wild donkeys (animals). God answered Job in Job God reminded Job that he knows about wild donkeys. And God provides their food. We know that God cares about poor people. They are his people (Proverbs ). So Christians should care about them too.

Verses

Many poor people suffer because of the evil actions of rich people.

People who oppose every good thing

v13 Some people oppose everything that is good. They do not know how they should behave. Or, they choose to do evil deeds. These people hate the daylight:

·     v14 The murderer gets up at night. He kills poor people. And he is a thief by night.

·     v15 A married man wants to have sex with a woman who is not his wife. So, he waits for nightfall. He thinks, ‘Nobody will see me.’ He covers his face.

·     v16 Thieves enter houses by night. But they stay inside during the day. They hate the daylight.

v17 These people are afraid of the daylight. They are familiar with the terrors of the night.

Verses

This behaviour is the opposite of normal behaviour. Normally, we work during the day. And we do our other activities during the day. Before people had electricity, this was especially important. People needed light to see what they were doing.

But the people that Job described hate daylight. They prefer darkness. They carry out their evil deeds in secret. See 1 Thessalonians

In time, evil people will die

v18 Such people are like bubbles on the surface of water. They do not deserve anything that is good. There should be no fruit in their gardens.

v19 When the weather is dry and warm, snow just disappears. In the same way, these evil people will die. v20 Even their mothers will not remember these evil people. Instead, the tiny animals in the grave will eat their bodies. These people are like a tree that has fallen down.

v21 They were cruel to women who had no children. They were unkind to widows. v22 But God is strong. When he opposes these powerful men, they will die. v23 God might allow them to think that they have security. But he is watching their actions. v24 They are successful for a short time, but then they die. They must die, like everyone else. They are like corn during the harvest.

v25 If I am wrong, then show my error to me!

If you can, prove that my words are wrong!

Verses

Wicked people may continue their evil behaviour for a long time. But in the end, they will die. And then, they cannot continue their evil deeds. They will not return from hell. They will never carry out their cruel activities again.

Verses

God decides how long a person will live. And God decides when these wicked people will die.

A wicked man may be powerful. And nobody may dare to oppose that man. But when God acts, that man will die. Nothing can prevent that man’s death.

Such men are like corn during the harvest. A farmer decides when he will collect the corn. On that day, the corn plant cannot remain in the field. Its end is certain.

Bildad interrupts

God is great!

v1 Bildad, who belonged to the people called Shuhites, answered. He said:

v2 God is the greatest ruler. You should be afraid of him. He causes heaven to be at peace. v3 You cannot count his armies. God made the light, so he sees everyone.

v4 God does not imagine that any person is good. He knows that nobody is innocent. v5 The moon does not seem bright to God. He can even see that the stars are not perfect.

v6 So, God thinks that a man is like a tiny animal in the soil. In fact, men are like the tiny animals that eat dead bodies in the grave.

Chapter 25

Verse 1

Bildad interrupted Job.

Bildad was not pleased to hear about the troubles of poor people (chapter 24). He knew that God is very great. So Bildad thought that God controlled everything.

Bildad also thought that people are unimportant. And he thought that people do not deserve God’s help.

Verses

These verses are correct. God is powerful. He is the ruler of heaven. Everybody should respect him. He has a vast army of angels. (Angels are God’s servants from heaven.) The angels obey God’s commands. They oppose the devil and his servants.

Verses

Bildad repeated the ideas in Eliphaz’s first speech (Job ). Bildad was right that every person does wrong things against God (Romans ). But Bildad did not say that God wants to forgive us (Romans ). God forgives us when we confess our evil deeds to him.

So nobody is really perfect. But Job was a good man (Job ). In fact, God himself said this (Job ). So we know that Job confessed his evil deeds to God (Job ).

Job trusted God. And God forgave Job’s errors.

Verse 6

These words are not correct. God appointed men and women to rule the animals. God made them in the ‘image of God’ (Genesis ). This is, God wanted people to share his special character.

So Bildad did not really care about the poor people whom Job described in chapter But God does care about them.

God protects people who are poor and weak (Psalm ). Even the animals are special to God. But Jesus taught that people are more valuable to God than animals (Matthew ).

Jesus became a man like us (Hebrews ). He did this so that people could become the children of God. And he did it so that people can become members of God’s family (Hebrews ).

Job replies to Bildad’s interruption

v1 Job answered. He said:

v2 I am weak! Say something that will help me! Try to rescue me! v3 I need wisdom! So advise me well! Show your great knowledge! v4 But you have spoken. And I do not suppose that God helped you to speak such words. I do not think that you spoke by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Chapter 26

Verses

Bildad’s interruption did not impress Job. Such words would not help Job, who was still suffering. And Job thought that Bildad’s description of God was very poor. Job had studied wisdom (chapter 28). So Job believed that words about God should not merely come from the human mind. Rather, such words should come from God’s Holy Spirit (2 Peter ).

Bildad’s words about God were not accurate. Instead, Bildad was confusing the facts to make his own ideas seem correct. This is a terrible thing to do (2 Peter ; Revelation ). People who explain about God to other people must be very careful (James ).

Job then showed Bildad what Bildad should have said. And we think that Job spoke the words in Job by the power of the Holy Spirit.

·     In chapter 25, Bildad’s speech seemed to describe vast spaces. He spoke about heaven. He spoke about the moon and stars. He spoke about the soil. And he referred to graves. But Job’s reply seems to describe even more vast spaces. Job spoke about hell as well as heaven. He spoke about the sky and the clouds. He spoke about mysteries, for example the horizon and the rain. (Although we understand these things today, they seemed to be strange mysteries then.)

·     Job also spoke about some events in verses We do not know much about these events. We may not even be sure whether these are past or future events. But the Bible seems to mention the same events elsewhere.

·     Some people think that Job was referring to stories from other ancient societies. For example, stories from the region called Mesopotamia. We do not agree. There were many ancient societies and they all had stories about their false gods. Job did not believe in these false gods. So he would refuse to listen to such stories.

God is powerful

·     v5 Dead people tremble painfully in a place that is deeper than even the sea. v6 But God sees that place. God even sees hell.

·     v7 Beyond the north, there is an empty space. God balances the earth on nothing.

·     v8 God puts the water in the clouds. The clouds do not burst, even when there is a great weight of water.

·     v9 God covers his throne (royal seat in heaven). He places clouds in front of his throne (so that men cannot see him).

·     v10 God placed the horizon on the sea. He separates light and darkness.

·     v11 When God is angry, the heavens tremble.

·     v12 God is powerful! He makes the sea calm.

·     God is wise! He kills his proud enemy.

Sours: https://www.easyenglish.bible/bible-commentary/job-lbw.htm
Overview: Job

Bible Commentaries

Verses

Job's Resignation

March 11, by C. H. SPURGEON ()

"Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, and said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." Job .

Job was very much troubled, and he did not try to hide the outward signs of his sorrow. A man of God is not expected to be a stoic. The grace of God takes away the heart of stone out of his flesh, but it does not turn his heart into a stone. The Lord's children are the subjects of tender feelings; when they have to endure the rod, they feel the smart of its strokes; and Job felt the blows that fell upon him. Do not blame yourself if you are conscious of pain and grief, and do not ask to be made hard and callous. That is not the method by which grace works; it makes us strong to bear trial, but we have to bear it; it gives us patience and submission, not stoicism. We feel, and we benefit by the feeling, and there is no sin in the feeling, for in our text we are expressly told of the patriarch's mourning, "In all this Job sinned not." Though he was the great mourner I think I might truly call him the chief mourner of Scripture, yet there was no sin in his mourning. Some there are who say that, when we are heavy of heart, we are necessarily in a wrong spirit, but it is not so. The apostle Peter saith, "If need be ye are in heaviness through manifold trials," but he does not imply that the heaviness is wrong. There are some who will not cry when God chastiseth them, and some who will not yield when God smiteth them. We do not wish to be like them; we are quite content to have the suffering heart that Job had, and to feel the bitterness of spirit, the anguish of soul which racked that blessed patriarch. Furthermore, Job made use of very manifest signs of mourning. He not only felt sorrow within his heart, but he indicated it by rending his mantle, by shaving off the hair of his head, and by casting himself prone upon the ground, as if he sought to return to the womb of mother-earth as he said that he should; and I do not think we are to judge those of our brethren and sisters who feel it right to wear the common tokens of mourning. If they give them any kind of solace in their sorrow, let them have them. I believe that, at times, some go to excess in this respect, but I dare not pass sentence upon them because I read here, "In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly." If the crepe should be worn for a very long while, and if the sorrow should be nursed unduly, as others judge, yet we cannot set up a standard of what is right for others, each one must answer for his conduct to his own Lord. I remember the gentleness of Jesus towards mourners rather than his severity in dealing with them; he hath much pity for our weakness, and I wish that some of his servants had more of the same spirit. If you who are sorrowing could be strong, if the weeds of mourning could be laid aside, it might indicate a greater acquiescence in the divine will; but if you do not feel that it should be so with you, God forbid that we should rebuke you while we have such a text as this before us, "Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground;" and "in all this Job sinned not." I want you, however, to notice that mourning should always be sanctified with devotion. It is very pleasant to observe that, when Job had rent his mantle after the Oriental custom, and shaved his head (in a manner which, in his day, was not forbidden, but which under the Mosaic law was prohibited, for they might not cut their hair by way of mourning as the heathen did), and, after the patriarch had fallen down upon the ground, he "worshipped." Not, he grumbled; not, he lamented; much less that he began to imprecate and use language unjustifiable and improper; but he "fell down upon the ground, and worshipped." O dear friend, when thy grief presses thee to the very dust, worship there! If that spot has come to be thy Gethsemane, then present there thy "strong crying and tears" unto thy God. Remember David's words, "Ye people, pour out your hearts,"-but do not stop there, finish the quotation, "Ye people, pour out your hearts before him." Turn the vessel upside down; it is a good thing to empty it, for this grief may ferment into something more sour. Turn the vessel upside down, and let every drop run out; but let it be before the Lord. "Ye people, pour out your hearts before him: God is a refuge for us." When you are bowed down beneath a heavy burden of sorrow, then take to worshipping the Lord, and especially to that kind of worshipping which lies in adoring God, and in making a full surrender of yourself to the divine will, so that you can say with Job, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." That kind of worshipping which lies in the subduing of the will, the arousing of the affections, the bestirring of the whole mind and heart, and the presentation of oneself unto God over again in solemn consecration, must tend to sweeten sorrow, and to take the sting out of it. It will also greatly alleviate our sorrow if we then fall into serious contemplations, and begin to argue a little, and to bring facts to bear upon our mind. Evidently Job did so, for the verses of my text are full of proofs of his thoughtfulness. The patriarch brings to his own mind at least four subjects for earnest consideration, out of which he drew great comfort. In like manner, you will do well, not merely to sit still and say, "I shall be comforted," but you must look about you for themes upon which to think and meditate to profit. Your poor mind is apt to be driven to and fro by stress of your sorrow; if you can get anchor-hold of some great clearly-ascertained truths, about which you can have no possible doubt, you may begin to derive consolation from them. "While I was musing," said David, "the fire burned," and it comforted and warmed him. Remember how he talked to himself as to another self, "Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God." There are two Davids, you see, talking to one another, and cheering one another! A man ought always to be good company for himself, and he ought also to be able to catechise himself; he who is not fit to be his own schoolmaster is not fit to be schoolmaster to other people. If you cannot catechise your own heart, and drill a truth into your own soul, you do not know how to teach other people. I believe that the best preaching in the world is that which is done at home. When a sorrowing spirit shall have comforted itself, it will have learned the art of consoling other people. Job is an instance of this kind of personal instruction; he has three or four subjects which he brings before his own mind, and these tend to comfort him. I. The first is, to my mind, THE EXTREME BREVITY OF LIFE. Observe what Job says, "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither." He came forth, and he expected to go back to mother-earth, and there to lie. That is Job's idea of life, and a very true one it is, "I come forth, and I go back again." One asked a man of God, one day, "Will you tell me what life is?" The man of God stopped just a moment, and then deliberately walked away. When his friend met him, the following day, he said to him, "Yesterday, I asked you a question, and you did not answer it." "But I did answer it," said the godly man. "No," rejoined the other "you were there, and you were gone." "Well, you asked me what life was, and that was my answer. Could I have answered your question better?" He answered and acted wisely, for that is a complete summary of our life here below, We come, and we go. We appear for a brief moment, and then we vanish away. I often, in my own mind, compare life to a procession. I see you, dear friends, going by me one by one, and vanishing, and others come on behind; but the point that I am apt to forget and you do the same, is that I am in the procession, and you are in it, too. We all count all men mortal but ourselves, yet all are marching towards that country from whose bourn no traveler returns. Well now, because life is so short, do you not see where the comfort comes? Job says to himself, "I came, and I shall return; then why should I worry myself about what I have lost? I am going to be here only a little while, then what need have I of all those camels and sheep?" So, brethren, what God has given us, is so much spending-money on our journey, to pay our own fares, and to help our fellow-travelers; but we do not, any of us, need as much substance as Job had. He had seven thousand sheep. Dear me! what a task it must have been to drive and to feed such a large flock! "And three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen!" That is, a thousand oxen. "And five hundred she asses, and a very great household." Our proverb says, "The more servants, the more plagues;" and I am sure it is true that the more camels, the more horses, the more cows, the more of such things that a man has, the more there is to look after, and to cause him trouble. So Job seems to say to himself, "I am here for such a little time, why should I be carried away, as with a flood, even when these things are taken from me? I come and I go; let me be satisfied if other things come and go. If my earthly stores vanish, well, I shall vanish, too. They are like myself; they take to themselves wings, and fly away; and by-and-by I too shall take to myself wings, and I shall be gone." I have heard of one who called life, "the long disease of life"; and it was so to him, for, though he did a great work for his Master, he was always sickly. Well, who wants a long disease? "There's the respect that makes calamity of so long life." We want rather to feel that it is not long, that it is short, and to set small store by all things here below, and to regard them as things which, like ourselves, appear but for a time, and soon shall be gone. Further, Job seems especially to dwell with comfort upon the thought, "I shall return to the earth, from which all the Particles of my body originally came; I shall return thither." "Ah!" said one, when he had seen the spacious and beautiful gardens of a wealthy man, "these are the things that make it hard to die." You recollect how the tribe of Gad and the tribe of Reuben went to Moses, and said, "If we have found grace in thy sight, let this land be given unto thy servants for a possession, and bring us not over Jordan." Of course, they did not want to cross the Jordan if they could get all their possessions on the other side. But Job had not anything this side Jordan, he was cleaned right out, so he was willing to go. And, really, the losses that a man has, which make him "desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better," are real gains. What is the use of all that clogs us here? A man of large possessions reminds me of my experience when I have gone to see a friend in the country, and he has taken me across a ploughed field, and I have had two heavy burdens of earth, one on each foot, as I have plodded on. The earth has clung to me, and made it hard walking. It is just so with this world, its good things hamper us, clog us, cling to us, like thick clay; but when we get these hampering things removed, we take comfort in the thought, "We shall soon return to the earth whence we came." We know that it is not mere returning to earth, for we possess a life that is immortal, we are looking forward to spending it in the true land that floweth with milk and honey, where, like Daniel we shall stand in our lot at the end of the days; therefore, we feel not only resigned to return to the womb of mother-earth, but sometimes we even long for the time of our return to come. A dear servant of God, whom you would all recognize if I mentioned his name, was talking with me concerning our dear departed brother, Hugh Stowell Brown, and he said, "All the brethren of my age and yours seem to be going home; they are passing away, the fathers and the leaders are going, and I could almost wish," he added, "that our Heavenly Father would put my name down as the next to go." I said that I hoped the Lord would not do so, but that our brother might be spared to labor a while longer here; but that, if I might put in another name, I would plead for my own to go in there instead of his. Happily, we have nothing to do with the date of our home-going, it is out of our hands; yet we are glad to feel that, when the time of our departure shall arrive, it will be no calamity, but a distinct advancement, for the Master to bid us to return to the dust whence we came. "Return, ye children of men," he will say, and we will joyfully answer, "Yes, Father, here we are, glad to stretch our wings, and fly straight to yonder world of joy, expecting that even our poor bodies, by-and-by, at the trump of the archangel, shall come back to thee, and we shall be like thine only-begotten Son, when we shall see him as he is." II. Secondly, Job seems to comfort himself by noticing THE TENURE OF HIS EARTHLY POSSESSIONS. "Naked," says he, "came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither." He feels himself to be very poor, everything is gone, he is stripped; yet he seems to say, "I am not poorer now than I was when I was born." I had nothing then, not even a garment to my back but what the love of my mother provided for me. I was helpless then; I could not do anything for myself whatever." One said to me, the other day, "all is gone, sir, all is gone, except health and strength." Yes, but we had not as much as that when we were born. We had no strength, we were too weak to perform the least though most necessary offices for our poor tender frame. David often very sweetly dwells upon his childhood, and still more upon his infancy; and we shall do well to imitate him. Old men sometimes arrive at a second childhood. Do not be afraid, brother, if that is your case; you have gone through one period already that was more infantile than your second one can be, you will not be weaker then than you were at first. Suppose that you and I should be brought to extreme weakness and poverty, we shall neither be weaker nor poorer than we were then. "But I had a mother," says one. Well, there are some children who lose their mother in their very birth; but if you had a mother to care for you then, you have a Father to care for you now; and, as a child of God, you surely feel that your mother was but the secondary agent to watch over you in your weakness; and God who gave that love to her, and moved her to care for you, will be sure to find that same love which flowed out of him into her still stored up in his own bosom, and he will see you through. Do not be afraid, my brother, my sister, the Lord will see you through. It is wonderful that, after God has been gracious to us for fifty years, we cannot trust him for the rest of our lives; and as for you who are sixty, seventy, or eighty years of age, what! has he brought you thus far to put you to shame? Did he bear you through that very weakest part of your life, and do you think he will now forsake you? David said, "I was cast upon thee from the womb," as if then he had none but God to help him; and will not he who took care of us then take care of us even to the end? Ay, that he will; wherefore, let us be of good courage, and let the poverty and weakness of our infancy, as we think of it, cheer us if we are weak and poor now. Then Job adds, "However poor I may be, I am not as poor as I shall be, for naked shall I return to mother-earth. If I have but little now, I shall soon have still less." We have heard of a rustic who, when dying, put a crown-piece into his mouth, because he said that he would not be without money in another world; but then he was a clown, and everyone knew how foolish was his attempt thus to provide for the future. There have been stories told of persons who have had their gold sewn up in their shrouds, but they took not a penny with them for all their pains. Nothing can be taken with us; we must go back to the earth, the richest as poor as the poorest, and the poorest no poorer, really, than the richest. The dust of great Caesar may help to stop a hole through which the blast blows, and the dust of his slave cannot be put to more ignoble uses. No, poor and weak as we may be, we are not as poor and weak as we shall be by-and-by; so let us just solace ourselves with this reflection. The two ends of our life are nakedness; if the middle of it should not always be scarlet and fine linen, and faring sumptuously every day, let us not wonder; and if it should seem to be all of a piece, let us not be impatient or complaining. I want you to notice, also, what I think really was in Job's mind, that, notwithstanding that he was but dust at the beginning, and would be dust at the end, yet, still, there was a Job who existed all the while. "I was naked, but I was; naked shall I return thither, but I shall be there." Some men never find themselves till they have lost their goods. They, themselves, are hidden away, like Saul, among the stuff; their true manhood is not to be seen, because they are dressed so finely that people seem to respect them, when it is their clothes that are respected. They appear to be somebodies, but they are nobodies, notwithstanding all that they possess. The Lord brought his servant Job to feel, "Yes, when I had those camels, when I had those she asses, when I had those sheep, when I had those men-servants, they were not myself; and now that they are gone, I am the same Job that ever I was. The sheep were not a part of myself, the camels were not a part of myself; I, Job, am here still, lying in my wholeness and integrity before God, as much a servant of Jehovah, in my nakedness, as I was when I wrapped myself in ermine." O sirs, it is a grand thing when God helps us to live above what we have, and above what we have not! Then it is that he brings us to know ourselves as we are, in our God, not dependent upon externals, but maintained and strengthened by food of which the world knoweth nothing, which cometh not from milk of kine. Then are we robed in a garment that cometh not from fleece of sheep, and we possess a life that dependeth not on the swift dromedary, a true existence that is neither in flocks, nor herds, nor pastures, nor fields, but delights itself in God, and stays itself on the Most High. "Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither," says Job, but "still it is I, the blessed of God, his same devoted servant, who will trust him to the end." That was good talk for Job's heart, was it not? Though it may not all have been said in words, I doubt not that something like it, or something much better, passed through the patriarch's mind, and thus he solaced himself in the hour of his sorrows and losses. III. But now, thirdly, and perhaps the most blessed thing, is what Job said concerning THE HAND OF GOD IN ALL THINGS: "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." I am so pleased to think that Job recognized the hand of God everywhere giving. He said, "The Lord gave." He did not say, "I earned it all." He did not say, "There are all my hard-earned savings gone." "Ah, me!" he might have said, "all the care for those sheep, and the dreadful expense of those camels, and the trouble that I have been at with those oxen; and now they are all gone, it does seem hard." He does not put it so, but he says, "The Lord gave them to me; they were a gift, and though they are gone, they were a gift from him who had a right to take them back, for all he gives is only lent. 'A loan should go laughing home;' and if God lent me these things, and now has called them back, I will bless his name for having let me have them so long." What a sweet thing it is, dear brothers and sisters, if you can feel that all you have in this world is God's gift to you! You cannot feel that, you know, if you came by it dishonestly. No, it is not God's gift then, and it brings no blessing with it; but that which is honestly the result and fruit of your cheerful industry, you may consider has come from God; and if, in addition, you have really sanctified your substance, and have given your fair proportion to help the poor and the needy, as Job did, if you can say that you have caused the widow's heart to sing for joy when you relieved her wants, then all that you have is God's gift. God's providence is man's inheritance, and your inheritance has come to you from God's providence. Look at it all as God's gift; it will sweeten even that little loaf of bread and that tiny pat of butter, which is all you will have to eat to-day or to-morrow, if you regard it as God's gift. It will soften that hard bed upon which you lie, wishing that you were somewhat better covered from the cold, if you think of it as God's gift. A slender income will give us much content if we can see that it is God's gift. Let us not only regard our money and our goods as God's gifts; but also our wife, our children, our friends. What precious gifts they often are! A man is truly rich who has a good help-meet; he is really rich who has godly children about him. Even though they may cost him much care, he is abundantly repaid by their affection; and if they grow up in the fear of the Lord, what a choice gift they are! Let us look at them all as God's gifts; let us not see them or anything else about the house without feeling, "My Father gave me this." Surely it will tend to draw the teeth of every sharp affliction if, while you have enjoyed the possession of your good things, you have seen God's hand in giving them to you. Alas! some of you do not know anything about God. What you have, is not counted by you as God's gift. You miss the very sweetness and joy of life by missing this recognition of the divine hand in giving us all good things richly to enjoy. But then, Job equally saw God's hand in taking them away. If he had not been a believer in Jehovah, he would have said, "Oh, those detestable Sabeans! Somebody ought to go and cut to pieces those Chaldeans." That is often our style, is it not? finding fault with the secondary agents. Job has nothing to say about the Sabeans or the Chaldeans, or the wind, or the lightning. "The Lord, "said he, "the Lord hath taken away." I believe that Satan intended to make Job feel that it was God who was at work when his messenger said, "The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep." "Ah!" said Satan, "he will see that God is against him." The devil did not succeed as he thought he had done, for Job could see that it was God's hand, and that took away the sting of the stroke. "The Lord hath taken away." Aaron held his peace when he knew that the Lord had done it, and the psalmist said, "I was dumb with silence, I opened not my mouth, because thou didst it;" and Job felt just that. "It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good." Never mind the secondary agents, do not spend your strength in kicking against this bad man or that; he is responsible to God for all the evil he has done, but at the back of these free agents there is a divine predestination, there if an over-ruling hand, and even that which in men is evil may, nevertheless, in another light, be traced up distinctly to the hand of the Most High. "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away." Will you recollect that with regard to your children? If Job had lost his eldest son alone, he might have needed much grace to say, "The Lord gave him, and the Lord hath taken him away." Job had lost his eldest son, but he had lost six more sons, and he had lost his three daughters as well. I have known a mother say, "My two dear boys sickened and died within a week; I am the most tried woman who ever lived." Not quite, not quite, dear friend; there have been others who have excelled you in this respect. Job lost his ten children at a stroke. O Death, what an insatiable archer thou wast that day, when ten must fall at once! Yet Job says, "The Lord hath taken away." That is all he has to say about it: "The Lord hath taken away." I need not repeat to you the story of the gardener who missed a choice rose, but who could not complain because the master had plucked it. Do you feel that it is just so with all that you have, if he takes it? Oh, yes! why should he not take it? If I were to go about my house, and take down an ornament or anything from the walls, would anybody say a word to me? Suppose my dear wife should say to the servant, "Where has that picture gone?" and the maid replied, "Oh, the master took it!" Would she find fault? Oh, no! If it had been a servant who took it down, or a stranger who removed it, she might have said something; but not when I took it, for it is mine. And surely we will let God be Master in his own house; where we are only the children, he shall take whatever he pleases of all he has lent us for a while. It is easy to stand here and say this; but, brothers and sisters, let us try to say it if it should ever come to us as a matter of fact that the Lord who gave should also take away. I think Job did well to call attention to this blessed truth, that the hand of God is everywhere at work, whether in giving or in taking away; I do not know anything that tends more to reconcile us to our present sorrows, and losses, and crosses, than to feel, "God has done it all. Wicked men were the agents, but still God himself has done it. There is a great mystery about it which I cannot clear up, and I do not want to clear it up. God has done it, and that is enough for me. 'The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.'" IV. Job's last comfort lay in this truth, that GOD IS WORTHY TO BE BLESSED IN THINGS: "Blessed be the name of the Lord." Dear friends, let us never rob God of his praise, however dark the day is. It is a funeral day, perhaps; but should not God be praised, when there is a funeral, as well as when there is a wedding? "Oh, but I have lost everything!" And is this one of the days when there is no praise due to God? Most of you know that the Queen's taxes must be paid; and our great's revenue has the first claim upon us. Let us not rob our King of the revenue of his praise. "From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the Lord's name is to be praised." "Oh, but I have lost a child!" Yes, but God is to be praised. "But I have lost my mother." Yes, but God is to be praised "I have a bad headache." Yes, but God is to be praised. One said to me, one evening, "We should have family prayer, my dear sir, but it is rather late; do you feel too tired to conduct it?" "No," I said, "I never was too tired yet to pray with my brethren, and I hope I never shall be." If it is the middle of the night, let us not go to bed without prayer and praise, for we must not rob God of his glory. "There is a mob in the street," but we must not rob God of his glory. "Our goods are getting cheaper and cheaper, and we shall be ruined in the market," but let us not rob God of his glory. "There is going to be, I do not know what, happening by-and-by." Yes, but we must not rob God of his glory. "Blessed be the name of the Lord." Job means that the Lord is to be blessed both for giving and taking. "The Lord gave," blessed be his name. "The Lord hath taken away," blessed be his name. Surely it has not come to this among God's people, that he must do as we like, or else we will not praise him. If he does not please us every day, and give way to our whims, and gratify our tastes, then we will not praise him. "Oh, but I do not understand his dealings," says one. And are you really such a stranger to God, and is God such a stranger to you, that, unless he enters into explanations, you are afraid that he is not dealing fairly with you? O sir, have you known the Lord for twenty years, and cannot you praise him for everything? Brethren, some of us have known him forty years now, perhaps some of you have known the Lord for fifty years; are you always wanting to have chapter, and verse, and explanations from him before you will praise him? No, no, I hope we have gone far beyond that stage. God is, however, specially to be praised by us whenever we are moved by the devil! to curse. Satan had said to the Lord concerning Job, "Put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hash, and he will curse thee to thy face;" and it seemed as if God had hinted to his servant that this was what the devil was aiming at. "Then," said Job, "I will bless him." His wife suggested afterwards that he should curse God, but he would do no such thing, he would bless him. It is usually a wise thing to do the very opposite to what the evil one suggests to you. If he says, "Curse," do you bless. Remember the story of a man who was going to give a pound to some charitable institution. The devil said, "No, you cannot afford it." "Then," said the man, "I will give two pounds; I will not be dictated to in this way." Satan exclaimed, "You are a fanatic." The man replied, "I will give four pounds." "Ah!" said Satan, "what will your wife say when you go home, and tell her that you have given away four pounds?" "Well," said the man, "I will give eight pounds now; and if you do not mind what you are at, you will tempt me to give sixteen." So the devil was obliged to stop, because the more he tempted him, the more he went the other way. So let it be with us. If the devil would drive us to curse God, let us bless him all the more, and Satan will be wise enough to leave off tempting when he finds that, the more he attempts to drive us, the more we go in the opposite direction. This is all meant to be sweet, cheery talk to suffering saints; how I wish that everybody here had an interest in it! What will some of you do, what are some of you doing, now that you have lost all, wife dead, children dead, and you are growing old, yet you are without God? O you poor rich people, who have no interest in God, your money must burn your souls! But you poor, poor, poor people, who have not anything here, and have no hope hereafter, how sad is your case! May God of his rich mercy, give you even a little common-sense, for, surely, common-sense would drive you to him! Sometimes, in distributing temporal relief, we meet with persons who have been out of work, and full of trouble, and have not had bread to eat, and we say to them, "Did you ever cry to God for help?" "No, sir, we never prayed in all our life." What are you at? Here is a child, crawling about a house, shivering for want of bread and clothes. "Did you never ask your father for anything?" "No, never." Come, friend, did God make you, or did you grow without him? Did God create you? If he made you, he will have respect unto the work of his hands. Go and try him, even on that low ground. Go and seek his face even as his creature, and see whether he does not help you. O unbelief, to what madness dost thou go, that even when men are driven to starvation, they will not turn to God! O Spirit of God bless the sons of men! Even through their fears, and sorrows, and losses, bless them, and bring them in penitence to the Savior's feet, for his dear name's sake! Amen.

Bibliographical Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Job 1". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/spe/jobhtml.
Sours: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/spe/jobhtml

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Bible Studies and Highlights in the Book of Job

Job Chapter 1: Job - From riches to rags


by I Gordon

Ecclesiastes 'No man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them'.

Introduction

The book of Job is unique. Believed by many to be the oldest in the Bible, it is a poetic [1] dialogue between Job and his 'friends' through the most troubling and mysterious of circumstances. But we'll get to that later! Being arguably the oldest book in the Bible, it explores the most ancient and puzzling themes. Consider some of the following questions that emerge from the book of Job:

Þ Why do the righteous suffer?
Þ Why does God allow pain?
Þ How can a man be righteous before God?
Þ How does a man come to learn more about God?
Þ What relationship exists between God and Satan?
Þ Is Satan bound by the laws of God?
Þ Does man have hope beyond the grave?

All of these themes and more are explored in this book. And better still, these questions actually have answers! Not bad for the Bible's oldest book now is it?

This study series is going to be a 'highlights of Job' series. In short, that means that I'm not going to comment on every verse as it is a long book with a lot of dialogue! But God has recorded it in length for its message is important [2] and there are many hidden gems through this book which I'll try to uncover and bring to light. This first study will look at Job chapter 1 and, as we'll soon see, the action will not take long in coming!

Outline

Before we begin, I'll just draw your attention to the following brief outline, modified slightly from an outline given in the Believers Bible Commentary, on the book of Job.

I. THE TESTING OF JOB (Chaps. 1, 2)

A. Scene I: The Land of Uz ()
B. Scene II: Heaven - the Lord's Presence ()
C. Scene III: The Land of Uz - Calamity to Job's Property and Posterity ()
D. Scene IV: Heaven - the Lord's Presence Again ()
E. Scene V: Uz - Calamity to Job's Person ()

II. THE DEBATE BETWEEN JOB AND HIS THREE FRIENDS (Chaps. )

A. Job vs his friends: Round 1 (Chaps. )
B. Job vs his friends: Round 2 (Chaps. )
C. Job vs his friends: Round 3 (Chaps. )

III. THE INTERVENTION OF ELIHU (Chaps. )

A. Elihu's Speech to Job's Three Friends (Chap. 32)
B. Elihu's Speech to Job (Chap. 33)
C. Elihu's Second Speech to Job's Three Friends (Chap. 34)
D. Elihu's Second Speech to Job (Chaps. )

IV. THE REVELATION OF THE LORD ()

A. The Lord's First Challenge to Job ()
B. Job's Response ()
C. The Lord's Second Challenge to Job ()
D. Job's Humble Response ()

V. EPILOGUE: THE TRIUMPH OF JOB ()

A. Job's Friends Rebuked and Restored ()
B. Job's Prosperity Restored ()

A quick intro to Job, his family and times

Job in the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. (2) He had seven sons and three daughters, (3) and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. (4) His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. (5) When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom.

So in the land of Uz there lived a man called Job. Argh, yesthe good old land of Uz! Heard of Uz? Not ringing many bells? Lam associates Uz with the land of Edom saying ' Rejoice and be glad, O Daughter of Edom, you who live in the land of Uz.' Now Edom is south-east of Israel in the present nation of Jordan. And the Bible says that Job was blameless and upright. Please note that this doesn't mean he was sinless. The Bible is clear that save Jesus Christ, none have been sinless. But he was blameless and upright which implies that he was a man who had a tender heart before God, walking in the ways and truth of God as best he was able. We read above that he feared God and had a regular custom to sacrifice burnt offerings for any possible sins committed in his family.

Now we don't find out a lot about his children. In fact their little cameo in this story seems to always have them feasting, drinking and, well, having a bit of a party. Argh kids aye? What is it with the youth and parties? It seems that the reverence that Job had for God may not have extended to his kids so, as mentioned above, Job acted as a priest within his own family offering sacrifices for anything that they may have said or done during this time. [3] So in all of this we can see that Job was a righteous man, as dedicated as one can be to God. And he was wonderfully blessed, with scripture recording that he was the greatest man in the east. He had thousands of sheep and camels, hundreds of oxen and donkeys and ten kids. Um, that's not exactly in the order of importance. So anyway, so far so good we could say. He got life sorted. It's all just as he wants it. He works hard cares for his family lives a thoroughly righteous life well respected by all. Life's good and he's earned it. What could possibly go wrong?

Meanwhile, in an invisible realm not so far, far away

Job One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it."

Now we see something else that was happening at the same time. Although it wasn't happening on earth but in Heaven! And what an interesting insight it is that we have here. Job was totally unaware what was occurring in the heavenly realms, but Satan and the fallen angels were coming before God to give a report about what they had been doing on this earth. Now let's just pause for a second. What a strange thing this is! The Bible gives us little glimpses from time to time into what occurs in heaven [4] but none give greater insight on this than the book of Job! And remember that it is probably the first Biblical book ever written. Did you know that Satan, though fallen, though wicked, still has to give an account of his activities to God? Did you know that he repeatedly has to come before God? Did you know that there are still laws that operate in the spiritual realm, governing the relationship between God and Satan (and the fallen angels) which Satan though fallen and wicked, has to obey? As we shall see in the next few verses, Satan cannot just do what he wants. What he wants is to kill, steal and destroy. He would like to kill all those that love God if he could. But he cannot. One of the key thoughts coming out of the book of Job, as early as a few verses into the first chapter, is that God reigns as sovereign over his universe and that includes the rebellious and fallen angels.

So the Lord asks Satan where he has been. It is worth noting where that is. It is the earth. Might even be in your neighbourhood! He is the god of this world and, as 1 Peter tells us, 'our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.' (1 Peter ) This is his domain and he has the nations and inhabitants deceived. But thankfully, not all!

God zeros in on Job

Job 'Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil." (9) Does Job fear God for nothing? Satan replied. (10) Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. (11) but stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."

We need to say right from the get-go that it is God who brings up the person of Job with Satan. It is God that introduces the subject and, like a red flag to a bull, gives Job a glowing report card before Satan at the same time! So the question is why? Knowing all that is about come, why would God do this? Does He not care for Job? Job would come to question that big-time, and it will be explored in detail, but for now let's just say that if God introduces the subject of Job, and He knows all things that will transpire, then He has a beneficial eternal plan and purpose in mind for His servant Job. And he will use Satan for that purpose. Satan, whether he sees it or not, is a tool in the workshop of God.

Now notice how Satan responds concerning Job's blameless report card. He says 'Does Job fear God for nothing?' To me, this indicates that Satan has a VERY good understanding of mankind. Satan has not been able to find anything wrong with Job's righteousness so he questions (and casts doubt) upon his motivation for living such a godly life. Satan says, in so many words, 'what Job does, he does for what he can get out of it. Take that away and he'll be like everyone else, quickly shaking his fist at you! ' Unfortunately, that is very perceptive of the heart of man. Even within 'Christianity' there are so many who follow the Lord for what they can get in temporal earthly blessings (having believed a preacher that tells them this very thing!) and when this is found wanting or is removed, so too, the 'Christian' shakes his head and wonders what good it is to follow the Lord. [5]

There are two last points that I would like to make from this very important passage. The first is that it shows that God has placed a 'hedge' around His people that Satan cannot break. Satan complained that God protected Job and his family to the extent that he couldn't touch Job. I believe that this 'hedge' is around all believers. Through our faith we are 'shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time' as 1 Peter tells us [6] . The second point is that God can allow Satan to buffet and test us when it is seen as necessary in the eternal plan and purpose of God. And you don't even have to have done something wrong to cause it! In fact living a righteous life might make you a target. [7] It is this second point that will test Job for large portions of this book, leaving him pondering and confused.

The power of Satan and the green light of God

Job The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. (13) One day when Job's sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, (14) a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were ploughing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, (15) and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" (16) While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" (17) While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" (18) While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, (19) when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"

So God gives the green light for Satan to test Job. But note it is only so far. The Lord instructs Satan as to what he can, and cannot, do. As we said above, Satan is bound by these commands. He is not a totally free-agent. 'Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him." (vs. 12 NASB) 'All that he has is in your power' That is interesting. Have you ever thought about the power of Satan? Have you ever considered what he is able to do given the green light by God? Well, what did you see in the passage above? You read it right? Here is what we see:

  • Satan can have power over the actions of men. He is able to stir up both the Sabeans and the Chaldeans to come and make a raid against the property of Job. This leads to the loss of Job's oxen, donkeys, camels and servants.
  • Satan can have power over the forces of nature. In the first incident fire fell from heaven (possibly lightning) killing Job's sheep and his remaining servants. In the second and most terrible incident, Satan caused a great wind to level the house of Job's children, killing all ten.

So obviously Satan's power and control over forces is immense. But it is about now in the proceedings that I need to remind you again Satan CANNOT just do what he wants. God is in control! Satan is on a lead. I'm thankful of that and I have a sneaky suspicion that you might be as well!

But the other point that should be raised from this is that God obviously can allow some things to happen that, quite frankly, seem awful from our earthly perspective. Dreadful! In one day Job has just lost his entire wealth and possessions and all of his children. All ten children gone in one day. Can you imagine that? God allowed that. We shouldn't try to gloss over it. There are many hard thoughts and questions that are posed in the book of Job and this is certainly one of them. [8]

Job's response - Unbelievable What a man he is!

Job At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship (21) and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." (22) In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

You may remember from verse 11 above that Satan declared that if he was able to strike everything that Job had, Job would curse God to His face. That was the charge. You can imagine Satan looking on, waiting for Job's response, thinking that he is about to demonstrate to God the truth of his words. 'See!' He is about (and desires) to say to God, 'Mankind hates you as well. Take away what you give them and they'll rebel just as I did. All of your creation will curse you. Man is no different.' So he sits and waits for Job to respond. As the reality of what has just happened in one day takes its toll, Job falls to the ground anddid what? Yelled at God? Cursed God? Shook his fist at God? No. He fell to the ground andworshipped! That is amazing. That really is amazing. You can imagine the look on Satan's face. It is one of pure hatred. And listen to the words that Job spoke for they are some of the greatest in the Bible:

'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD."

If ever there was a song in the night, here it is. Faced with the reality of such great loss, Job praised the name of the Lord. He didn't sin, he didn't blame God and he didn't doubt the goodness of the Lord. He simply blessed the Lord's name. Amazing! What about you? Are you going through any trials at the moment? Does it seem like you are being tested? There are many in these uncertain times that are losing their savings through the financial and banking collapses. How would you react if you were to suffer loss to even a fraction of what Job did? Would you still praise the Lord?

So Satan had failed in his prediction of what Job would do in the face of such a challenge. So he gave up and focused his attention on somebody else right? Mmmmnot yet, and nor for that matter, is the Lord through with testing His servant Job as we shall soon see.

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord by Matt Redman

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Sours: https://jesusplusnothing.com/series/post/Job1


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