Lectionary Calendar
Monday, July 22nd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Job 2

Dunagan's Commentary on the BibleDunagan's Commentary

Verse 1

2:1-3 We find the same scene repeated that we saw in the previous chapter. We should note that Satan does not give up easily, he is persistent, and he does not cry uncle when he fails. In addition, Satan shows absolutely no remorse for Job's suffering.

Verse 3

2:3 "Have you considered My servant Job….And he still holds fast his integrity": Yes Satan, remember what you said about Job and how you slandered him and accused him of being a fair weather friend. "Intruding into a meeting of heaven's council once again, he acts as if nothing has happened" (McKenna p. 43). "Still holds fast": "Indicates a strengthening of the grip he already had" (Gaebelein p. 884). "Although you incited Me against him to ruin him without cause": These words do not imply that Satan had used God, or that somehow God had been convinced to do things that are against His will. Remember, it had been God who had brought up the example of Job in the first place (1:8; 2:3). All of Job's sufferings are part of a Divine purpose (38:2). "Without cause": What a rebuke! Satan claimed he had a cause for attacking Job, but Job's integrity proved that Satan was the liar, and that all this energy had been in vain. Notice how God throws this matter back in the devil's face. Satan had argued that Job did not serve God for nothing, now God accuses Satan of bringing harm on Job for nothing.

Verse 4

2:4 "Satan answered the Lord and said": Satan does not apologize, he does not repent, and neither does he admit any fault whatever! "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life": Here is the terrible accusation that Job had been willing to part with his possessions and even the lives of his children in order to spare his own life. "Self-centeredness dominates all of Satan's thinking. He cannot believe that the loss of possessions and family really matters if the person himself is untouched. Satan's tactic is to probe and probe until he finds the fatal flaw in a person's character that leads to sin" (McKenna p. 43). Compare with Ephesians 4:27.

Thus the accusation is that Job's ultimate concern is not for possessions or family, but he is simply acting as a good man to save his own life. The expression "skin for skin" may have been a proverbial expression for bartering with the skins of animals. "Satan insinuated that Job had willingly traded the skins (lives) of his own children because in return God had given him his own skin (life). This again implied that Job was selfish" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 721). Satan's accusation should really make us think about ourselves. What is our level of conviction and dedication to God? Or, ultimately will we sacrifice everything and everyone in order to please ourselves? (Matthew 16:24ff).

Verse 5

2:5 "However, put forth Your hand now and touch his bone and his flesh; he will curse You to Your face": Satan argues that if Job were made to suffer physically, that he would curse God.

Verse 6

2:6 "So the Lord said to Satan, 'Behold, he is in your power, only spare his life'": Once again we see that Satan does not have unlimited power. Notice that God is not the actual agent that brings suffering upon God, yet He permits it to happen. In addition, Satan probably does not want Job dead either, because he could never prove that Job's faith rested in self-interest. A man who died faithful is hardly an appropriate example of radical self-interest.

Verse 7

2:7 "Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head"

Satan immediately caused Job to have painful sores all over his body. Compare this with the festering boils that came upon the Egyptians (Exodus 9:8-11). "The nature of Job's disease has been discussed at length by scholars. The two most common identifications have been leprosy and elephantiasis" (Jackson p. 721). Others claim that it may have been smallpox. The book reveals the associated symptoms with these boils: Itching (2:8), drastic change of appearance (2:12); difficulty in eating (3:24), mental depression (3:25), worms and running sores (7:5), shortness of breath (9:18), darkness of eyes (16:16), odorous breath (19:17), loss of weight (19:20), corroding bones and gnawing pain (30:17), blackened skin and fever (30:30). The indication is that this condition continued for months (7:3; 29:2).

Verse 8

2:8 "And he took a potsherd to scrape himself": So intense was the itching from the sores that Job took a broken piece of pottery to scrape himself. Yet note that Satan still has no avenue of attack in the character of Job. "His point of entry is physical" (McKenna p. 45). "While he was sitting among the ashes": "This describes the dunghill outside of town. Here the rubbish was thrown. When tragedy came, men came here to sit (Isaiah 47:1; Jonah 3:6), or roll in the ashes (Jeremiah 6:26; Micah 1:10); or to throw ashes on their heads (Ezekiel 72:30)" (Strauss p. 19).

Verse 9

2:9 "Then his wife said to him, 'Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!'"

This probably explains why Satan had not destroyed Job's wife previously with the rest of the family. Here she becomes a tool that the devil can use, and is another temptation that Job must face. "At the moment when he needed comfort from her, he received another terrible blow, evidence of her bitterness toward God" (Zuck p. 19). Job's wife is an example of the modern right to die movement. Here reasoning is that life has become so painful that it is not worth living anymore. Sadly, she is speaking from bitterness and complete ignorance.

Verse 10

2:10 "You speak as one of the foolish women speaks": "God intends that husbands and wives assist one another in their heavenward journey, but sometimes mates turn out to be more of a hindrance than a help" (Jackson p. 23). Sadly, at times the person who is tempted to curse God is not the actual person who is suffering, but the person who beholds a loved one suffering. The term "foolish women" refers not to intellectual stupidity, but to religious apostasy (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). Her thinking may have been that cursing God would bring a certain yet merciful death, but what about the eternity after such a death? Job's wife is an example of someone who was only willing to accept good and not harm in God's universe.

2:10 "Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?" Even in all his pain, Job is has the strength to teach his wife a valuable truth. "His willingness to receive adversity as well as blessing from God shows that he did not serve God for personal gain" (Zuck p. 19).

2:10 "In all this Job did not sin with his lips": Let us remember that we can sin with our lips. God does hold us accountable for rash and thoughtless words (Matthew 12:36).

Verse 11

2:11 "Now when Job's three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, they came each one from his own place": So far so good (Romans 12:15; James 1:27). "Eliphaz": (EL ih faz). "The Temanite": (TEE mum ite). Either a descendant of Teman or an inhabitant of the region occupied by the clan of Teman; in the land of Edom (Genesis 36:34). Eliphaz might have been the oldest of the three, for he is listed first (2:11; 42:9), speaks first, and his speeches are longer and more mature in content. God will also addressed him as the representative for the others (42:7).

2:11 "Bildad": (BILL dad). "The Shuhite": (SHOO hite). Possibly a descendant of Abraham and Keturah (Genesis 25:1-2). "Zophar": (ZOE fer). "The Naamathite": (NAY am a thite). Some have suggested that he came from a town mentioned in Joshua 15:41; which was located toward the border of Israel with Edom in the south. A fourth friend, Elihu, was present though he is not mentioned until later (chapter 32). "And they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and comfort him": "Even though their theology was greatly erroneous, and they proved to be physicians of no value (13:4), it is to their credit that they traveled from their homes to be with their friend in his time of grief. They were correctly motivated. They were sympathetic men who could be touched with the anguish of others, and that is refreshing in any age" (Jackson p. 24).

Verse 12

2:12 "When they lifted up their eyes at a distance and did not recognize him": The disease that afflicted Job had ravaged and disfigured his physical appearance, so much so that his closest friends did not even recognize him. Compare with Isaiah 53:3. "They raised their voices and wept. And each of them tore his robe and they threw dust over their heads toward the sky": They immediately express their grief, and they were not ready for what they saw. They tore their robes of nobility, wailed, and threw dust in the air.

Verse 13

2:13 "Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great"

The usual time for mourning for the dead was seven days (Genesis 50:10; 1 Samuel 31:13; Ezekiel 3:15). "For one of them to speak prior to the sufferer speaking would have been in bad taste" (Gaebelein p. 887). Some have noted that they were actually better comforters when they remained silent. "To their credit they do not turn away from their repulsive friend as others have done" (McKenna p. 48).

Bibliographical Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 2". "Dunagan's Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dun/job-2.html. 1999-2014.
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