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Bible Commentaries
Job 1

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

Verses 1-12

Job 1:1-3 Introduction Job 1:1-3 serves as an introduction to the book of Job. We find a similar opening statement in the book of Samuel (1 Samuel 25:2).

1 Samuel 25:2, “And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.”

Job 1:1 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.

Job 1:1 “There was a man” Comments - The phrase “there was a man” is used as a parabolic phrase throughout the Old and New Testaments. Nathan began his parable to King David with the phrase “There were two men…” (2 Samuel 12:1) Jesus used this phrase to introduce some of His parables, saying “There was a certain rich man…” (Luke 16:1; Luke 16:19), and “There was a certain judge…” (Job 18:2).

2 Samuel 12:1, “And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.”

This phrase is also used to introduce narrative material as well as parables.

Judges 13:2, “And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.”

Judges 17:1, “And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.”

1 Samuel 1:1, “Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:”

1 Samuel 9:1, “Now there was a man of Benjamin, whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Bechorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of power.”

Acts 8:9, “But there was a certain man , called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one:”

Acts 9:33, “And there he found a certain man named Aeneas, which had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy.”

Acts 10:1, “ There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,”

Job 1:1 “in the land of Uz” Comments - Since it was a common practice for the ancients to name their land and cities after themselves and their forefathers, the Hebrew name Uz ( עוּץ ) (H5780) probably refers to the region of land settled by the descendents of Uz. If we search the Scriptures, we find three people of antiquity by this name.

1. Uz, the Son of Aram - The first was the son of Aram, a great grandson to Noah through Shem (Genesis 10:23, 1 Chronicles 1:17).

Genesis 10:23, “And the children of Aram; Uz , and Hul, and Gether, and Mash.”

1 Chronicles 1:17, “The sons of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram, and Uz , and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech.”

2. Uz, the Son of Nahor - The second individual by the name of Uz was the son of Nahor, Abraham’s brother (Genesis 22:20-21).

Genesis 22:20-21, “And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she hath also born children unto thy brother Nahor; Huz his firstborn , and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram,”

3. Uz, the Son of Dishan - The third individual was the son of Dishan (Genesis 36:28, 1 Chronicles 1:42).

Genesis 36:28, “The children of Dishan are these; Uz , and Aran.”

1 Chronicles 1:42, “The sons of Ezer; Bilhan, and Zavan, and Jakan. The sons of Dishan; Uz , and Aran.”

It is impossible to verify which of these three descendents were associated with the land of Uz. The fact that this location is placed parallel to Edom in Lamentations 4:21 suggests that its location is in the land of Edom, a region southeast of Canaan.

Lamentations 4:21, “Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz ; the cup also shall pass through unto thee: thou shalt be drunken, and shalt make thyself naked.”

The ancient land of Uz was referred to as late as the Babylonian captivity (Jeremiah 25:20).

Jeremiah 25:20, “And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod,”

The LXX gives additional text to the closing verse of Job 42:17, which describes the land of Uz on the borders of Idumea and Arabia.

Job 42:17 “And Job died, an old man and full of days: and it is written that he will rise again with those whom the Lord raises up. This man is described in the Syriac book [as] living in the land of Ausis, on the borders of Idumea and Arabia: and his name before was Jobab; and having taken an Arabian wife, he begot a son whose name was Ennon. And he himself was the son of his father Zare, one of the sons of Esau, and of his mother Bosorrha, so that he was the fifth from Abraam. And these were the kings who reigned in Edom, which country he also ruled over: first, Balac, the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dennaba: but after Balac, Jobab, who is called Job, and after him Asom, who was governor out of the country of Thaeman: and after him Adad, the son of Barad, who destroyed Madiam in the plain of Moab; and the name of his city was Gethaim. And [his] friends who came to him were Eliphaz, of the children of Esau, king of the Thaemanites, Baldad sovof the Sauchaeans, Sophar king of the Minaeans.” ( Brenton)

Josephus tells us that Uz, the son of Aram, founded the cities of Trachonitis and Damascus.

“Shem, the third son of Noah, had five sons, who inhabited the land that began at Euphrates, and reached to the Indian Ocean. For Elam left behind him the Elamites, the ancestors of the Persians. Ashur lived at the city Nineve; and named his subjects Assyrians, who became the most fortunate nation, beyond others. Arphaxad named the Arphaxadites, who are now called Chaldeans. Aram had the Aramites, which the Greeks called Syrians; as Laud founded the Laudites, which are now called Lydians. Of the four sons of Aram, Uz founded Trachonitis and Damascus : this country lies between Palestine and Celesyria. Ul founded Armenia; and Gather the Bactrians; and Mesa the Mesaneans; it is now called Charax Spasini. Sala was the son of Arphaxad; and his son was Heber, from whom they originally called the Jews Hebrews. Heber begat Joetan and Phaleg: he was called Phaleg, because he was born at the dispersion of the nations to their several countries; for Phaleg among the Hebrews signifies division. Now Joctan, one of the sons of Heber, had these sons , Elmodad, Saleph, Asermoth, Jera, Adoram, Aizel, Decla, Ebal, Abimael, Sabeus, Ophir, Euilat, and Jobab. These inhabited from Cophen, an Indian river, and in part of Asia adjoining to it. And this shall suffice concerning the sons of Shem.” ( Antiquities 1.6.4)

Job 1:1 “whose name was Job” Comments - The Hebrew name Job “ ’Iyowb ” ( איּוב ) (H347) is popularly interpreted to mean, “ hated (i.e. persecuted)” ( Strong), “persecuted” ( Gesenius), and “hated, persecuted” ( PTW). Strong says this word is derived from the primitive root ( אָיַב ) (H340), meaning “to hate.” However, David Cline understands it to mean, “where is my (divine) father,” perhaps derived from the word ( אָב ) (H1), meaning “father.” [11]

[11] David J. A. Clines. Job 1-20, in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD-Rom, vol. 17, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc., 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), 11.

Job 1:1 “and that man was perfect and upright” Comments - Job was not the only individual in Scriptures to be called perfect and upright. Noah is described as just and perfect (Genesis 6:9). Abraham was also called to be perfect before God (Genesis 17:1).

Genesis 6:9, “These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”

Genesis 17:1, “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.”

The virtues ascribed to Job as perfect and upright do not only refer to his character before his trial, but also to the man Job after his affliction; for we know from James 1:2-4 that perfection is the product of patience.

James 1:2-4, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

If he was perfect before his trial, then he was more mature after his trial and able to be faithful with twice the blessings from God; for it was God’s intent to bring Job into a greater blessing by allowing this trial to come.

We see in this passage how God will allow us to go through periods of testing so that we will learn to place our faith in Him and become more mature than before. Note these words from Frances J. Roberts.

“My people, heed My words; yea, walk not carelessly; neither lay out thine own paths on which to travel. Ye cannot know what lieth in the distance, nor what adversity ye may encounter tomorrow. So walk closely with Me, that ye may be able to draw quickly upon My aid. Ye need Me; and no matter how well-developed is thy faith nor how mature is thy growth in grace, never think for a moment that ye need My support any less. Nay, but the truth is that ye need it even more. For I shelter the new-born from many a trial and testing such as I permit to confront those who are growing up in spiritual stature. Yea, verily, ye cannot grow unless I do bring into your lives these proving and testing experiences. So hold thee more firmly to My hand as ye journey on in thy Christian walk. Trust not in thine own increasing strength; for verily, it is not thy strength but rather My strength within thee that ye feel. Ye are as vulnerable to the treachery of the enemy and as frail as ever; but thy knowledge of Me has deepened, and because of this thy trust in Me should come easier.” [12]

[12] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 17.

Job 1:2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

Job 1:3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

Job 1:3 Comments - Alexander Theroux, writing about the Arabian camel in ancient and modern times, says, “To possess fifty (camels) is to be considered rich.” [13]

[13] Alexander Theroux, “How Curious the Camel,” in Reader’s Digest (February 1983), 91.

Job 1:3 Comments - One pastor likened the oxen to modern day plows which were used to plant a harvest, and the asses to today’s combines which were used to gather in the harvest, and the camels to trucks which transported this harvest to the markets. Together, these three animals were used to produce a harvest from the field, while the sheep were used to produce a harvest from the livestock, such as wool and meat.

Job 1:4 And 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.

Job 1:5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified 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.

Job 1:5 “that Job sent and sanctified them” Comments - How did Job sanctify his children? He did so by his righteousness and his prayers. According to 1 Corinthians 7:14 these children were considered holy in God's eyes.

1 Corinthians 7:14, “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.”

Job 1:5 Comments - A lady once said that when her children are with her, she talks to them about Jesus; and when they are away, she talks to Jesus about them. This statement characterizes Job's attitude towards his children.

Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

Job 1:6 Comments - The sons of God are celestial beings, as opposed to the sons of men, who are human beings (Genesis 6:2, Job 38:7).

Genesis 6:2, “That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.”

Job 38:7, “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

Job 1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

Job 1:8 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?

Job 1:8 Comments - Job’s name came up before God’s throne because of his righteousness. In a similar manner Cornelius’ name came up before the Lord because of his prayers and alms (Acts 10:4).

Acts 10:4, “And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.”

Job 1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

Job 1:10 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.

Job 1:10 “Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side?” Comments - I believe that Job’s hedge was God’s host of angels, or even just one angel, encamping about Job and all of his household, as in Psalms 34:7, Psalms 91:11-12, and 2 Kings 6:17.

Psalms 34:7, “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.”

Psalms 91:1-16, “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.”

2 Kings 6:17, “And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.”

Isaiah spoke of a hedge of protection that had been place around the people of Israel (Isaiah 5:5).

Isaiah 5:5, “And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:”

The angels of the Lord are sent forth by God for our protection today (Matthew 18:10, Hebrews 1:14).

Matthew 18:10, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

Hebrews 1:14, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

Job 1:10 “thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land” - Comments - Or, “thou hast commanded a blessing upon him…”

Job 1:10 Comments - When we serve the Lord, He will protect every area of lives. He will protect our physical health, the health and well-being of our family, our possessions, our endeavours, and our spiritual journey. The Lord will watch over every area of our lives.

Job 1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

Job 1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

Job 1:12 Comments - We know from the book of Job that at one time God chose to make known to Satan Job’s loyalty to God through a trial. We read in Ephesians 3:10 that God has chosen to reveal His manifold wisdom to the spiritual principalities and powers in heaven by using the Church of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 3:10, “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,”

Verses 1-22

Prologue Job 1:1 to Job 2:13 serves as a prologue to the book of Job, providing the setting for the speeches that are to follow. This opening story describes Job’s prosperity and righteous standing before God. Satan comes before God’s throne and challenges God’s standard of righteousness upon the man Job. God allows Satan to take everything away from Job, his possessions and his children, but requires that Satan spare his life. Still, Job exhibits God’s standard of righteousness.

In the prologue to the book of Job (Job 1:1 to Job 2:13), God reveals His predestined divine plan and purpose for mankind (Job 1:1-5), which is prosperity for those who walk upright before Him; and God calls Job to demonstrate righteousness and prosperity to his generation (Job 1:6 to Job 2:13). Regarding God’s predestination, Job’s godly character and prosperity serves as a testimony of mankind’s divine predestination upon earth, which reflects God’s original divine commission in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1:26-28), which is to be fruitful, multiply, and take dominion upon the earth. Regarding man’s divine calling, after prospering Job, God then called this man to demonstrate to his generation the fact that Job’s prosperity was a result of divine blessings, rather than from Job’s own abilities. Thus, it was necessary for God to remove Job’s prosperity entire, and restore it two-fold as a sign to his generation that Job’s prosperity came from God because of his right standing before God. Job’s suffering and restoration of blessings was intended to establish righteousness in the heart of the men of his generation so that He could prosper them as well. Unfortunately, it was necessary for Job to suffer in order to serve as a testimony to his generation.

God reveals His divine destiny and calling to establish righteousness, or full redemption, for mankind through the testimony of Job’s prosperity in every area of his life. However, the method that full, eternal redemption is obtained for mankind will be through suffering, and God called His Son Jesus Christ to suffer loss by divesting Himself of His heavenly prosperity, and taking on the seed of man, born of a virgin, and suffer on the Cross (Philippians 2:5-8), to be resurrected and seated at God’s right hand, and enjoying a greater prosperity by bringing many sons of men to glory (Philippians 2:9-11, Hebrews 2:10). Thus, Job serves as a type and figure of Christ’s redemption for mankind. For this reason, the issue of suffering is immediately presented to the reader in this opening passage of Scripture (Job 1:6 to Job 2:13). Job is called by God to go through a season of intense suffering beyond what any righteous man has endured in the past. However, he will be redeemed by God in the closing scene and be used to redeem his three friends. Thus, we see Job as a type and figure of Christ, who endured suffering so that He might redeem his generation. As we serve the Lord in this way we become like Christ in that we are used as divine instruments to bring about redemption for our generation.

Satan’s Access to God’s Throne The opening narrative text to the book of Job (Job 1:1 to Job 2:13) tells the story of Satan coming before God’s throne and accusing one of His saints named Job. The question is often asked if Satan still has access to God’s throne today as in the days of Job. Revelation 12:10 tells us that Satan, the accuser of the brethren, spends day and night accusing Christians of their faults before God.

Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”

We also find in Romans 8:33-34 a description of how Jesus Christ stands at the right hand of the Father to intercede for those whom Satan has accused.

Romans 8:33-34, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”

Paul also warned Timothy about the adversary’s opportunities to speak reproachfully against those with sin in the lives (1 Timothy 5:14). We ask the question, “To whom is Satan speaking reproachfully?” The implied answer in this passage of Scripture is that he is speaking to God about the faults of the saints.

1 Timothy 5:14, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

This tells us that when we sin, we must be quick to confess our sins so that Jesus Christ is given the authority to intercede in our behalf to the Father. We also have the story in Job 1-2 of how Satan stood before God and accused Job of being unrighteous in his heart. The Lord said, “…and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.” (Job 2:3) Thus, we see that Satan’s accusations have the potential to move God against us. Job cried out for a redeemer to plead for his innocence, but there was none before Jesus’ First Coming (Job 9:33). However, today we have an intercessor.

Job 9:33, “Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.”

The Work of Satan in Scripture Job 1:1 to Job 2:13 serves as the prologue to the poetic book of Job. This prologue is written as a narrative, and the actual poetic parallelism does not begin until Job 3:1.

Note the destruction caused by the Adversary in chapters 1 and 2 of Job. When comparing this to John 10:10, which refers to Satan as the “thief” that “cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy”, we see that Satan's works are the same then as they are today.

John 10:10, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Verses 13-22

Scene 3 : Job’s Calamities in land of Uz Job 1:13-22 gives scene three of the prologue to the book of Job in which Satan is allowed to destroy all of Job’s children and wealth. Note how many people died during this ordeal while Job was being tested and proven righteous by God (Job 1:15-17; Job 1:19 during all four catastrophes).

Examples of Modern-Day Calamities Against God’s Children - In the mid-1980's stormy winds came thru Panama City, Florida. A friend of mine named Jack Emerson had just purchased a new car, which was parked in his driveway. The strong wind blew a telephone pole on top of the car and damaged it. Earlier that night, the Lord had quickened Jack to get up and pray. He had failed to do so. The next morning, he went out to find his car with a telephone pole laying on top. In frustration, he asked the Lord why the pole fell on his car, and not next door, onto the property of his very, lost and sinful neighbor. The Lord quickly spoke to him these words, “A king does not war against a city that he has already conquered.” The incident was then understood.

In March of 1995, Calvary Cathedral Int'l of Fort Worth, Texas launched a 24-hour a day prayer ministry. Two days before the ministry began, a terrible hailstorm came thru that area of town. The hail was as large as a softball. It destroyed cars in the parking lot of the church. It knocked out stained glass windows, and caused much damage through the area. Then, two days later, on a Sunday morning, the prayer ministers went up the tower to the prayer room, but the lock would not work on the door. The door had to be broken down. For the next five years, this church continued in 24-hour prayer, without ceasing. Then, on 28 March 2000, a tornado hit that part of town and the church building. The walls of the tower were blown off while prayer ministers were in the room in prayer. They hid under a bench as the wall beside them was blown off. No one was killed. The devil has tried his best to stop this prayer ministry, just as in this passage of Scripture.

Job 1:16 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.

Job 1:16 “The fire of God is fallen from heaven” Comments - The fire of God fell in Elijah’s time (1 Kings 18:38, 2 Kings 1:10).

1 Kings 18:38, “Then the fire of the LORD fell , and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.”

2 Kings 1:10, “And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven , and consumed him and his fifty.”

Job 1:21-22 Comments - Job saw God’s hand in every thing that happened to him.

Job 1:21 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.

Job 1:21 “the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away” Comments - Had these losses taken place in one event, Job could have wondered if it was by chance. However, the fact that three tragic events happened together in consecutive order testified to divine intervention. There was no doubt in Job’s mind that this was orchestrated by God. Thus, Job could say, “The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”

Although Satan worked this destruction against God’s servant Job, God said that Satan had moved Him against Job (Job 2:3). So, this statement is correct in that God used Satan as an instrument to bring this destruction and loss in Job’s life.

Job 2:3, “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? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause .”

Job 1:22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Job 1". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/job-1.html. 2013.
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