Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 1:1

There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Job;   Perfection;   Sin;   Uz;   Scofield Reference Index - Job;   Parallelism;   Poetical Books;   Satan;   Uz;   Thompson Chain Reference - Job;   Piety;   Religion;   Religion, True-False;   Righteousness;   Righteousness-Unrighteousness;   True Religion;   Uz;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Fear, Godly;  
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Tempt;   Uz;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Perfection;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Eschew;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Uz;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Devil;   Fear;   Integrity;   Job, the Book of;   Uz;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Eschew;   Perfection;   Uz;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Quotations;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Uz;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Satan;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Uz;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ut;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Perfect;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Division of the Earth;   Job;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Children of the East;   Eschew;   Job;   Job, Book of;   Perfect;   Plain;   Uz (1);   Uz (2);   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Fear of God;   Job;   Johanan B. Zakkai;   Judaism;   Uz;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

In the land of Uz - This country was situated in Idumea, or the land of Edom, in Arabia Petraea, of which it comprised a very large district. See the preface.

Whose name was Job - The original is איוב Aiyob ; and this orthography is followed by the Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic. From the Vulgate we borrow Job, not very dissimilar from the Ιωβ Iob of the Septuagint. The name signifies sorrowful, or he that weeps. He is supposed to have been called Jobab. See more in the preface.

Perfect and upright - וישר תם tam veyashar ; Complete as to his mind and heart, and Straight or Correct as to his moral deportment.

Feared God - Had him in continual reverence as the fountain of justice, truth, and goodness.

Eschewed evil - מרע סר sar mera, departing from, or avoiding evil. We have the word eschew from the old French eschever, which signifies to avoid. All within was holy, all without was righteous; and his whole life was employed in departing from evil, and drawing nigh to God. Coverdale translates an innocent and vertuous man, soch one as feared God, an eschued evell. From this translation we retain the word eschew.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole 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 lived, see also the Introduction, Section 2.

Whose name was Job - The name Job (Hebrew איוב 'ı̂yôb Gr. Ἰώβ Iōb means properly, according to Gesenius, “one persecuted,” from a root (איב 'âyab ) 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 638. 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 23:22: But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak, then “I will be an enemy” אויב 'ôyêb “unto thine enemies” אויב את 'êth 'ôyêb participle איב 'oyēb is the common word to denote an enemy in the Old Testament, Exodus 15:6, Exodus 15:9; Leviticus 26:25; Numbers 35:23; Deuteronomy 32:27, Deuteronomy 32:42; Psalm 7:5; Psalm 8:2; Psalm 31:8; Lamentations 2:4-5; Job 13:24; Job 27:7; Job 33:10, “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 8:18), or subsequently, to denote some leading or important event in the life; compare Genesis 4:1-2, Genesis 4:25; Genesis 5:29; 1 Samuel 1:20. 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 ανκὼν ankōn 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. 619, ed. 8vo, Lond. 1779. 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 46:13, and in only two other places in the Bible except in this book; Ezekiel 14:14; James 5:11.

And that man was perfect - (תמם tâmam ). The Septuagint have greatly expanded this statement, by giving a paraphrase instead of a translation. “He was a man who was true ( ἀληθινός alēthinos ), blameless ( ἄμεμπτος amemptos ), just ( δίκαιος dikaios ), pious ( θεοσεβής theosebēs ), abstaining from every evil deed.” Jerome renders it, “simplex - simple,” or “sincere.” The Chaldee, שׁלם shālam “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 תם tâm as derived from תמם tâmam “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 20:5: לבבי בתם betām lebābı̂y “In the honesty, simplicity, or sincerity of my heart (see the margin) have I done this.” So 1 Kings 22:34, “One drew a bow לתמוּ letumô in the simplicity (or perfection) of his heart;” that is, without any evil intention; compare 2 Samuel 15:11; Proverbs 10:9. 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 9:20:

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

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

So also Job 42:5-6:

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 7:20.

And upright - The word ישׁר yâshâr from ישׁר yâshar 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 11:7; Psalm 37:14,; Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 33:4.

And one that feared God - Religion in the Scriptures is often represented as the fear of God; Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 1:29; Proverbs 2:5; Proverbs 8:13; Proverbs 14:26-27; Isaiah 11:2; Acts 9:31, “et soepe al.”

And eschewed evil - “And departed from (סוּר sûr ) evil.” Septuagint, “Abstaining from every evil thing.” These then are the four characteristics of Job‘s piety - he was sincere; upright; a worshipper of God; and one who abstained from all wrong. These are the essential elements of true religion everywhere; and the whole statement in the book of Job shows Job was, though not absolutely free from the sins which cleave to our nature, eminent in each of these things.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible




We have read twenty commentaries on this chapter and find no help in any of them; nor have we seen any other chapter in the whole Bible where we are any more certain that the interpretation of a chapter of God's Word by current scholars is any more erroneous and absolutely unacceptable than is the case here. Apparently, none of the scholars whose writings we have consulted thus far on Job have been reading the same Bible that we read.

They all say that the scene here is "laid in heaven." Ridiculous! Satan does not have access to heaven. Revelation 12:7-9 declares, regarding Satan and his angels, that, "Their place was found no more in heaven," and that, "Satan was cast down to earth," and this epoch event is revealed as taking place before the creation of Adam. That is why Satan had access to the Garden of Eden. Throughout the period of human history, Satan's theater of operations has been the earth, where Satan now is, along with his fallen angels, "Reserved in chains (pits) of darkness to the day of judgment" (2 Peter 2:7). See more on this under verse 12, below.

Regarding Revelation 12:7-9, I have written half a dozen pages regarding that key passage in Vol. 12 of my New Testament Series, pp. 265-271.

In this light, therefore, how can a score of Biblical scholars write that, "We have here a scene in heaven where Satan questions Job's motives"?[1] To explain such opinions, we must suppose (1) that they are made by men who never read the New Testament, (or if they had read it, did not understand it), or (2) that they accept this whole chapter of Job as merely a fanciful folk tale, invented by some unknown person as an allegory, or for the purpose of teaching some kind of a lesson. Some commentators, of course, freely admit holding such a position. We reject that notion out of hand.


(1) The word "heaven" is not in this chapter. However, it does state that the sons of God were there; and, of course, by falsely interpreting that expression as a reference to angels, advocates of the current error may exclaim, "And, certainly angels are in heaven." That's how they do it; and it sounds convincing until it is considered that the ordinary meaning of sons of God is simply, men who worship God. "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14). Likewise Hebrews 12:7,8 speaks of all Christians on earth as "sons" of God. Oh yes, but Job used the same expression in Job 38:7 in what is admittedly a reference to angels, not because the expression means angels (for it doesn't), but because the context requires a different meaning; and that is a condition that does not exist in chapter 1. Are there then two meanings of the expression sons of God? Certainly! There are dozens of words in the Bible that have more than one meaning. Note:

And the captain fell on his knees BEFORE Elijah (1 Kings 1:13).

And Haran died BEFORE ... Terah in Ur (Genesis 10:28).SIZE>

In the passage in Kings, the word "before" means "in the presence of"; and in the passage from Genesis it means "prior to." We could cite dozens of other examples of the same word standing in the Bible with diverse meanings.

Therefore, the use of the expression "sons of God" in Job 38:7 where the context forces a meaning different from its ordinary denotation, is no excuse whatever for forcing that meaning upon the expression in this chapter.

We are happy indeed to find one scholar who admits the dual meaning of the expression sons of God, and who gave it the proper interpretation in Genesis 6:2. pointing out that there, "The meaning of this phrase is men who worship God, for angels and men alike are, `sons of God,' as created in his image, to obey and serve him."[2] We have thoroughly researched the meaning of that passage in Genesis, which has no reference whatever to angels. (See my commentary on Genesis, Vol. 1, of the Pentateuchal Series, pp. 102,103.)

When the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, Satan also came among them (Job 1:6). Before Jehovah! Ah, there it is, doesn't that refer to heaven? No! The words before Jehovah generally refer to what men do on earth. "Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord" (Genesis 10:9). In heaven? Of course not. Where do men usually hunt? This morning at church, the deacon who led the prayer at the Lord's table began, "Father in heaven, we are assembled in thy presence ... etc."; nobody jumped to the conclusion that all of us had suddenly been transported into glory. That is, unless some of those Bible scholars who think God's presence is limited to heaven happened to be in the audience.

Note that this assembly of God's worshippers (that's what sons of God means) probably included Job; and the presence of Satan should also cause no surprise. There has hardly ever been an assembly of the saints when Satan was absent!

Let it be observed also that Satan's theater of operations in this passage was restricted absolutely to the earth. That is where Satan went up and down and to and fro, "seeking whom he may devour," (1 Peter 5:8); and, of course, that is his present occupation also.

What is revealed in this chapter is a typical gathering of God's people, with Satan usually, if not indeed always, present, ever looking for sins and shortcomings of God's people. Oh no, today we can not see the kind of repartee that took place between God and Satan in this chapter; but, without any doubt, the same thing is going on upon every occasion when the sons of God come before the Lord in worship; and it is the glory of this chapter that the inspired author, whom we believe to have been Moses, pulls aside the curtain of those hidden things that belong to God, enabling us to behold the merciless hatred of our cruel enemy (Satan) as he continually accuses the brethren "before God"; but absolutely not in heaven. Satan is not in heaven, but on earth; and God sees, hears and understands everything Satan does, for everything on earth is done BEFORE THE LORD.

Paul admonished Christians to, "Draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy" (Hebrews 4:16). Of course, "the throne" here is God's throne, which is in heaven; but Paul did not mean that we must go to heaven in order to pray. We come before God and his throne (in heaven) every time we pray right here on earth!

What an incredibly beneficial revelation is this inspired account! When we suffer unjustly, when life is cruel and merciless in what falls upon God's saints, when evil men are honored and promoted and the righteous reduced to poverty, disease, and dishonor, our Father in heaven is not to blame; our enemy, Satan, is the hidden cause of it.

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 turned away from evil."

"There was a man." Yes, Job is historical. See our introduction. We are not dealing with some folk tale.

How blind was that scholar who wrote, "The Book of Job should begin with, "Once upon a time," (like any other fairy tale)! One of the ancestors of Job was a son of Aram and the grandson of Shem (Genesis 10:23); and, from this connection, some believe that. "The land of Uz is that settled by the sons of Aram."[3]

"In the land of Uz." This place is unknown; but, "It lay somewhere east of Canaan near the borders of the desert that separates the eastern and western arms of the Fertile Crescent. It was an area of farms, towns and migrating herds."[4]

"That man was perfect and upright." This cannot mean that he was sinless, but that he was perfect in his generation, as was Noah. Sinless perfection is an attainment that does not lie within the perimeter of mortal man's ability. Only the blessed Saviour lived and died as a mortal man without sin.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole 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 10:23 but from Uz, a son of Nahor, brother to Abraham, Genesis 22:21 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 4:21, the Targum calls it the land of Armenia, but rather it is Arabia; and very probably it was one of the Arabias Job lived 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 PtolemyF21Geograph. l. 5. c. 19. ; and it is said to be near the land of CanaanF23Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 75. 2. , 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 2:13 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 10:34. 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 2:9 see the account he gives of himself in Job 29:7, 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 9:20 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 33:23, 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 19:28, 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"F24סר απεχομενος, Sept. "recedens a malo", V. L. Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, &c. ; and that with hatred and loathing of it, and indignation at it, which the fear of God engages unto, Proverbs 8:13, 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,

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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

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, (Ezekiel 14:14) and James sets out his patience for an example, (James 5:11).

(a) That is, of the country of Idumea, (Lamentations 4:21), or bordering on it: for the land was called by the name of Uz, the son of Dishan, the son of Seir (Genesis 36:28).

(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.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Job 1:1-5. The holiness of Job, his wealth, etc.

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-Petraea 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 Genesis 4:2, 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 (Genesis 46:13).

perfect — not absolute or faultless perfection (compare Job 9:20; Ecclesiastes 7:20), but integrity, sincerity, and consistency on the whole, in all relations of life (Genesis 6:9; Genesis 17:1; Proverbs 10:9; Matthew 5:48). It was the fear of God that kept Job from evil (Proverbs 8:13).

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

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, ἐν χώρᾳ τῇ Αὐσίτιδι ; and adds at the close of the book, ἐπὶ τοῖς ὁρίοις τῆν Ἰδουμαίας καὶ Ἀραβίας, 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 Αἰσῖται ( Αἰσεῖται ), 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 Οὖσος, 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. 1854, ii.) mention the East Haran fertile tract of country north-west of Têmâ and Bûzân, el-Bethenije, the district of Damascus in which Job dwelt;

(Note: Vid., Abulfeda, Historia anteislam . p. 26 (cf. 207f.), 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 (Gebâl). And the early historical genealogies (Genesis 10:23; Genesis 22:21; Genesis 36:28) 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 Têmâ and Dûma, 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 Gebâl, yet both from Lamentations 4:21, 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 25:20 one is warranted in supposing, that עוץ, with which the Arabic name of Esau, ‛yṣ ( 'l - ‛yṣ ), 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, איּוב signifies one hostilely treated, by Satan namely.

(Note: Geiger (DMZ, 1858, S. 542f.) conjectures that, Sir. xlix. 9 ( καὶ γὰρ ἐμνήσθη τῶν ἐχθρῶν ἐν ὄμβρῳ ), τῶν ἐχθρῶν is a false translation of איוב . Renan assents; but τῶν εχθρῶν 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 קטּול has never a properly passive signification, but either active, as יסּור, reprover (as parallel form with קטּל ), or neuter, as ילּוד, born, שׁכּור, drunken, also occasionally infinitive (vid., Fürst, Concord . p. 1349 s.), so that it may be more correct, with Ewald, after the Arabic ( אוּב, cognate with שׁוּב, perhaps also בּוא ), to explain the “one going of himself.” Similar in sound are, יוב, the name of one of the sons of Issachar (Genesis 46:13); the name of the Idumaean king, יובב, Genesis 36:33 (which the lxx, Aristeas, Jul. Africanus,

(Note: Vid., Routh, Relinquiae ii. 154f.: Ἐκ τοῦ Ἠσαῦ ἄλλοι τε πολλοὶ καὶ Ραγουὴλ γεννᾶται ἀφ ̓ οὗ Ζάρεδ, ἐξ οὗ Ἰὼβ ὅς κατὰ συγχώρησιν θεοῦ ὑπὸ διαβόλου ἐπειράσθη καὶ ἐνίκησε τὸν πειράζοντα. )

combine with Job); and the name of the king of Mauritania, Juba, which in Greek is written Ἰόβας ( Didymus Chalcenter. ed. Schmidt, p. 305): perhaps all these names belong to the root יב, to shout with joy. The lxx writes Ἰώβ with lenis; elsewhere the א at the beginning is rendered by asper, e.g., Αβραάμ, Ἡλίας . 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 Îob, also Îjob (not, however, Ijjob, which does not correspond to the real pronunciation, which softens ij into î, and uw into û), vid., Fleischer's Beitrâge zur arab. Sprachkunde ( Abh. der sâchs. Gesellschaft d. Wissenschaften, 1863), S. 137f. [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. תּם, with the whole heart disposed towards God and what is good, and also well-disposed toward mankind; ישׁר, in thought and action without deviation conformed to that which is right; אלהים ירא, fearing God, and consequently being actuated by the fear of God, which is the beginning (i.e., principle) of wisdom; מרע סר, keeping aloof from evil, which is opposed to God. The first predicate recalls Genesis 25:27, the fourth the proverbial Psalms (Psalms 34:15; Psalms 37:27) and Proverbs 14:16. 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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The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Job 1:1". 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Uz — Part of Arabia.

Perfect — Not legally or exactly, but as to his sincere intentions, hearty affections, 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 unblameable conversation.

Feared — One truly pious, and devoted to God.

Eschewed — Carefully avoiding all sin against God or men.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

land of Uz

A region at the south of Edom, and west of the Arabian desert, extending to Chaldea.

Uz See Jeremiah 25:20.

fear (See Scofield "Psalms 19:9").

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Job 1:1". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". 1917.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary


‘A man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job.’

Job 1:1

The authorship and date of the book of Job are problems yet unsolved. This only is certain, that it presents a picture of a very early civilisation. It is not Jewish. Its teaching is unlocalised, and is of all time, because it seems to be of no special time.

I. Hence it is that portions of this ancient book sound to us so strangely modern: and the first verse of the book is one in point. It is a height of spirituality for which we are not prepared in a civilisation so remote. There is a ring of enthusiasm in the words, the spirit of a mind possessed with the reality of a Divine world above and beyond this.

II. The moral of the book of Job is that there are lessons in suffering or loss as true and precious as those which are learnt from regarding it as punishment, and this truth is one which we are still far from having mastered.—In the problem presented here to Job was the dawn of that light which burst in all its fulness upon mankind in the Son of God. We have here a true foreshadowing of the Man of Sorrows, and acquainted with grief, of Him Who was made perfect by sufferings, not because of the Father’s hate, but because of His great love.

III. The instinct of sonship which was so strong in Job we, blessed with the great heritage of Christianity, are often slow to attain to.—For, however much the reason is convinced that suffering and sacrifice are necessary ministers of the kingdom of heaven, we, each for himself, have to make it our own by another path.

—Canon Ainger


‘Apart from all theories about its origin, “It is,” says Carlyle, “one of the grandest things ever written with pen. One feels, indeed, as if it were not Hebrew; such a noble universality, different from noble patriotism or sectarianism, reigns in it. A noble book—all men’s book.” For Tennyson it was “the greatest poem, whether of ancient or modern times,” and Luther deemed it “magnificent and sublime as no other book of Scripture.” “It,” says Froude, “hovers like a meteor over the old Hebrew literature.” It has been likened to Dante’s Divine Comedy. No doubt its scope is as great. It spans heaven and earth. Again, it has been compared with Goethe’s Faust. Faust has his Satan, his Mephistopheles, his temptation, his question, and his fall. But there is a difference. Faust has his problem, his greed of knowledge. And the tempter comes and weans him from the love of knowledge to the lust of flesh. But in Job Satan moves, as it were, on another plane. He does not corrupt man through lust; he threatens him through disaster and suffering. It is not for knowledge Job pants; it is for God Himself, Who only can give his restless soul rest.

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Job 1:1". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

Ver. 1. There was a man] A notable man, a man by an excellency, and with an accent (as it were), a man of high degree ( Animo virili praeditus), as the word Ish signifieth, Psalms 49:2; Psalms 62:9 (where it is opposed to Adam, utpote quem ex meliore luto finxit Titan), a manly man, every way excellent and eximious: Magnus et admirabilis vir, &c. A great and marvellous man, if it be fit to call him by the name of a man, as Chrysostom speaketh of Babylas the martyr. Basil, in his sermon of the forty martyrs, calleth them the stars of the world, and the flowers of the Churches, αστερας της οικουμενης, ανθη των εκκλησιων. Chrysostom, speaking of those that were praying for Peter, Acts 12:12, saith that Puriores caelo afflictione facti sunt, by their afflictions they were become clearer than the azured sky; and elsewhere, falling into speech of some religious men of his time, he doubteth not, for their holy and heavenly conversation, to style them Aγγελους, angels. That Job deserved this high title, as well as the best of them, we have here, and otherwise, God’s own testimony of him, and this whole Book, whereof he is the principal object, doth abundantly prove him a hero, Daemonium hominis et miraculum naturae, ut de Scaligero non nemo dixit, a supernatural man and of miraculous nature so that anyone said concerning Scaliger. τρισμακαρες τε κασιγνητοι τε, κασιγνηται τε (Hem. Odys.).

In the land of Uz] Which, what it was, and where situated, though our maps show us not, yet, by the consent of all, it was a country bordering upon Idumea in part, and part upon Arabia. See Lamentations 4:21, Jeremiah 25:20. Chrysostom testifieth that Job’s sepulchre hath been showed in Arabia; which might well have been called happy, if but for having such an inhabitant. Ptolemy placeth the Hussites in Arabia.

Whose name was Job] 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 14:14, the other apostolical, James 5:11, and such a well twined cord is not easily broken. What if Josephus make no mention in his history of such a man? it was beside his purpose to write anything but what concerned the Jews. Aristeus in his History of the Jews maketh Job to be descended of Esau, and to dwell in Idumea. The Jewish doctors and some of the fathers of the Church make him to be that Jobab mentioned Genesis 36:33. True it is that the words differ much in the Hebrew writing; but for that, while he prospered, he might be called Jobab; when in distress (which lasted twelve months, say the Hebrews, seven years, saith Suidas) contracted into Job. See the like Ruth 1:20, Genesis 17:5. Some make him to be much more ancient, viz. the same with that Jobab who was the son of Joktan, the nephew of Eber, 1 Chronicles 1:25-26, and that himself was penman of this Book. He doth indeed wish that his words were written in a book; and haply he and his friends, laying their heads together, might write this history; and that in hexameters for most part, as Jerome thinketh. But that it was by inspiration of God is testified not only by the divine grandeur and majesty of the style, together with the intrinsical excellency and efficacy of the matter, but also by the concurrent testimony of not a few other Scriptures, sufficiently asserting the authenticity and authority of this Book. The common opinion is that it was written by Moses, while he abode as a stranger among the Midianites, for the comfort of his poor countrymen, groaning under the Egyptian servitude; or else, that this history, written at first by Job and his friends in prose, was afterwards by Moses put into verse, and embellished with the most rich ornaments, and the most glittering figures of poetry. Sure it is, saith Senault (Preface to his Paraphrase), that there is no book in the world where the manner of speaking is more noble, the conceits more generous, the descriptions more rich, and the comparisons more natural. Sometimes the author reasoneth like an excellent philosopher, oftentimes like a profound divine; but always like an orator, and his eloquence never leaveth him.

And that man was perfect] That is, upright (as it followeth next) and sincere, without guile or gall, a pattern of patience, a standing rule to all ages; and therefore (in God’s acceptation and account) "perfect and entire, wanting nothing," James 1:4, because in him patience had her perfect work, as much as mortality would afford, Tamim de victimis perfectis et immaculatis dicitur. The upright, it is said concerning perfect and spotless victim. It was but an unsavoury speech of him, who when he was persuaded to be patient as Job was, replied, What tell you me of Job? Job never had any suits in Chancery. No, but he had far sharper trials; and if he had been judge in that court (as he was in his own country, Job 29:12; Job 29:17) he would have made as good despatch there as ever Sir Thomas More did, who calling once for the next cause, was answered, that there Was none.

And upright] More resembling Jacob, that plain hearted man, than Esau, his great grandfather. Of the word here used (Jesher) Israel was called Jeshurun, Deuteronomy 32:15; Deuteronomy 33:5; Deuteronomy 33:26, Isaiah 44:2, because God requireth uprightness (which he calleth perfection, Deuteronomy 18:13, and there is a great Tau in the word Tamim, {Hebrew Text Note} to show that an upright man keepeth the whole law from the first to the last letter thereof), and where he findeth it, reckoneth Jether, an Ishmaelite, 1 Chronicles 7:38, to be a very good Israelite, 2 Samuel 17:25, and Job, the Idumean, a very good Christian; such a one as Apelles was, Romans 16:10, approved in Christ (Buxtorf).

And one that feared God] With an amicable, not servile, fear, such as was that of those mongrels who feared him for his lions, and are therefore said not to have feared him, 2 Kings 17:32-34. Job so lived with men as if God saw him, and so spake with God as if men overheard him Sic vive cum hominibus, tanquam Deus videat. Sic loquere cum Deo, &c. So live with men just as to see God. so to speak with God … ( Sen.). Thence it was that seldom or never did any man see him doing or hear him speaking but what was good and godly, as Xenophon saith of Socrates; thence it was that be never did well that he might appear to do so, sed quia aliter facere non potuit (as Velleius saith of Cato), but because, acting by this principle of God’s fear, he could not do otherwise: for the fear of the Lord is pure, Psalms 19:9, and men do perfect holiness in the fear of God, 2 Corinthians 7:1.

And eschewed evil] He must needs do so that feareth God, the greatest good, since sin is the greatest evil, and stands in full opposition to him. Job, therefore, stands in awe, and sins not, he studiously declines evil, as he would do a serpent in his way, or poison in his food. And this he did, not in a land of uprightness, where the fear of God was in fashion; but among profane Esauites, in the midst of a crooked and corrupt generation, as Noah in the old world, Lot in Sodom, Joseph in Egypt, Elijah amidst the Baalites, or as an orient star shining with fulness of heavenly light, and fixed in the region of happiness, though seen sometimes in a well, in a puddle, in a stinking ditch.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 1:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible


THERE is, perhaps, no book of Scripture, that has so much divided interpreters, and afforded such a field of controversy, as the book of JOB: some supposing it of the remotest antiquity, written by Moses or Job himself; others bringing it down to a very low date; supposing it written by Ezra, at the time of the return from the Babylonish captivity. I shall not trouble my reader with a discussion of these various opinions: but, having given the matter the most impartial and mature consideration that I am able, shall lay before him the result of my inquiry, respecting the author, the time of writing, and the subject matter of this book. First, with respect to the author, I cannot help subscribing to their opinion, who believe him and his performance to be of the remotest antiquity, before Moses, and of the patriarchal age. That Job was a real person, and that his sufferings were real, I think, is universally agreed: but whether he himself, Elihu, or some other of his friends, were the relators of his sufferings, appears to me impossible to determine. Many learned men believe that Job himself was the writer: I am rather induced to think that it was some other person of his own age or time. That the book, secondly; is of the remotest antiquity; there appear, as I apprehend, many indisputable testimonies, which will occur in the course of our observations. Thirdly concerning the subject of this book in general, we agree with the learned Bishop Lowth, who determines it to contain the third and last trial of Job, which was made upon him by his three friends; the principal design whereof is, to teach men, that, considering the corruption, ignorance, and weakness of human nature, on the one hand; and the infinite wisdom and immense greatness of God on the other; they should renounce their own will, put their full trust in God, and submit themselves to him in all things with the deepest humility and reverence. This is the general end or argument of the poem: but the whole history, taken together, properly contains a high example of consummate and rewarded patience. We have called the book a poem; and such it is, of the dramatic kind, though by no means a complete drama. The interlocutory parts of the work are in metre. Respecting the place or scene of action, see the note on the first verse. Possibly we shall be thought not just to the argument, if we omit to mention, that Bishop Warburton has strongly endeavoured to prove this book a dramatic allegory, composed by Ezra for the consolation of the Jews returning from Babylon; wherein, under the characters of Job and his friends, are figured those Jews and their three great enemies, Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem. Attracted by the lure of this allegory, another writer has carried it so far as to allegorize those parts which the bishop wisely omitted to touch upon, and by his friendly efforts has done more, perhaps, to confute the bishop's system than any of his direct opposers. But on this head we refer our readers to the ingenious Mr. Peters's Critical Dissertation on the book of Job, and to Bishop Lowth's excellent 32nd and following Lectures.


The character of Job affords us such a spectacle, as Seneca, alluding to the shews of gladiators so common among the Romans, says, was worthy of the Deity himself to look upon; viz. that of a pious and good man, combating adversity; and, among other miseries of an extraordinary kind, vexed with the unjust suspicions and peevish accusations of his mistaken friends.

And here we find him using every argument that could be thought of in his own defence; to cure them, if possible, of their mistake, and to persuade them of his innocence; appealing to the general course of Providence, which, for the most part, deals out things promiscuously, and often involves the good and bad in the same common calamity; directing them to instances, within their own knowledge, of those who had been as wicked as they were great, and yet had lived a long course of years in prosperity, and died at last in peace, and been buried with great pomp; so that no visible judgment had overtaken them, in their lives, or in their deaths.

When this view of Providence, so true and evident to experience, still wanted force to remove an obstinate error, he puts them in mind of the future judgment, which was the proper season for reward and punishment; and declares, in the most solemn manner, his hopes of being acquitted there.

When all this would not do, but they still disbelieve and persecute him, he is driven to the last argument which a modest man would make use of, and appeals to his own public and private behaviour in the whole course of his life: and upon this occasion he displays such a set of admirable virtues, and shews the piety, the prudence, the humanity of his conduct, in so amiable a light, with such a noble freedom, and, at the same time, such an air of truth, that I question whether there be any thing of the kind more beautiful or instructive in all antiquity; perhaps a finer picture of a wise and good man was never drawn. How prudent and upright in his decisions, as a magistrate or judge! How just and benevolent in his domestic character, as a father of a family! How untractable to all the allurements of pleasure, in the height of his prosperity, and how sensible to the complaints and miseries of others! And, above all, how remarkably pious in his principles! How careful to build his virtue upon its own solid basis, religion, or the fear of God! If I were to produce the proofs of this, I must transcribe the whole 29th and 31st chapters. But with all these great and excellent qualities, we cannot but take notice of some little mixture of allay and imperfection. For, a perfect character, however it may have existed in idea, it is certain, never yet appeared above once upon the real stage of the world.

We must forgive this good man, therefore, the little excursions and passionate complaints which the extremity of his sufferings now and then forced from him. His despair and weariness of life; his often wishing for death; his eagerness to come upon his trial; his earnest requests, and even expostulations with his judge, to bring him to it, or, at least, to acquaint him with the reasons of these severe inflictions. These and the like, it must be owned, appear as shades and blemishes in the character of this great man, and may argue somewhat of impatience, even in this heroic pattern of patience.

A great deal, however, might be said in his excuse: as that his afflictions had something in them very astonishing, and beyond the common measure; that the distempers of the body have oftentimes a natural tendency to produce black thoughts, and a despondency of mind: to which may be added, the rash censures and suspicions of his friends, as they affected his reputation, which, to a generous mind, is the most valuable thing in the world, next to his integrity: it is no wonder that a treatment so inhuman, so undeserved, so unexpected, should provoke to an extremity a person borne down already with the weight of his misfortunes.

These things might certainly be offered in excuse for the little blemishes which appear in the speeches and conduct of this great man. But, after all, the best thing that can be pleaded in his behalf, and that which covers all his imperfections, is his own behaviour upon this occasion, and his making no excuse at all for them; but as soon as he was brought to recollect his errors, immediately confessing them with great simplicity, and the most profound humility and contrition. Chap. Job 40:3-4. Then Job answered the Lord, and said, Behold, I am vile, what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth:—And again, chap. Job 42:3, &c. I have uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. But now mine eye seeth thee: wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

The complacency and favour with which this humble acknowledgment was accepted by the Supreme Judge, and the bountiful reward bestowed upon this good man, as a present earnest of a still greater to be expected by him hereafter, will teach us this very acceptable and important truth: how ready God is to pass by the little weaknesses of human nature in one in whom there is a tried and resolute integrity still bent upon the doing of his duty, and determined, whatever may befal him, to adhere to God in all his trials and temptations.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, Job had begun his humbling acknowledgments, chap. Job 40:4-5.; but now his convictions, much deeper and stronger, produce lowlier abasement before God.

1. He submits himself entirely to God. I know that thou canst do every thing; these wondrous instances of thy power convince me, that it is madness to contend with the Almighty, and folly to despair of what his power can do: none are so high that he cannot abase, none so low that he cannot restore and exalt them; and that no thought can be withholden from thee; the secrets of the soul are known to him; not a corrupt, fretful, or unbelieving thought rises without his notice.

2. He confesses his ignorance, sin, and folly. Who is he that hideth consel without knowledge? pretends to be wise above God. Let him take warning, and be admonished by me; it has been my case, with shame I acknowledge it: therefore have I uttered that I understood not. I have not had a right knowledge either of God's purity, or my own pollution; of his power, or my own weakness; of his wisdom, or my own ignorance: things too wonderful for me, which I knew not, have I spoken concerning the dispensations of his providence, and the mysteries of his government, mistaking his designs, and finding fault with God foolishly; in which my presumption, wilfulness, and pride, have appeared to my guilt and confusion.

3. He resolves now to change his tone, and turn the voice of contention into the language of prayer, as his only proper method of approaching God. Hear, I beseech thee, though I own myself undeserving of thy notice and regard, and I will speak; not in self-defence, but in humbling confession; I will demand of thee or make my request to thee; and declare thou unto me, answer my petition in pardoning my sin, and instruct me in the right way, that I may not err again.

4. He feels and owns the deep sense he had of his sinfulness. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear; his parents and teachers had given him good instructions concerning the perfections of God; and he had probably received revelations from him; but now mine eye seeth thee; never before was such a discovery made to his mind, of the sovereignty, power, wisdom, and justice of God, in all his providential dispensations. Probably now also in the human form God appeared visible, while he opened Job's understanding to a clear view of his nature, glory, and infinite perfections, and manifested them to him in the appearance or figure of an incarnate Redeemer. Wherefore, I abhor myself, and all the hard speeches that I have spoken, and repent in dust and ashes, desiring to testify my grief and shame, and renounce henceforward every thought and deed contrary to thy holy will. Thus must every real penitent return to God, (1.) under a divine conviction, which no human arguments can produce without the spirit of God. (2.) This sense of sin will be deep and lasting, yea, increasing with clearer views of God's purity. (3.) We must come with heart-felt anguish for the dishonour we have brought on God, and heart-felt shame and self-loathing, which are the genuine expressions of true repentance. (4.) With an humble hope, that, vile and loathsome as we are, God will not reject us, but pity and pardon us, through the Redeemer of lost souls.

2nd, We must not think, because Job is first rebuked, that the cause is given against him, and his accusers justified. No. Though he deserved reproof, they deserved it more. God, while he brings Job to acknowledge what he had spoken amiss, will justify him from their unjust aspersions, and cover them with confusion.

1. Job is exalted. After the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, convinced and humbled him, pardoned and accepted him, then he appears to justify and honour him. [1.] He acknowledges him his servant, repeatedly calling him by this respectable title, as a testimony of his fidelity in the main, though through temptation and infirmity he had erred, and spoken unadvisedly. [2.] He declares, that in the controversy Job had come nearest to the truth, and spoken more wisely and honourably of him and his providences, than his friends; in denying that prosperity was the criterion of godliness, or affliction in this world of hypocrisy and wickedness; and extending his views to a future state, where the retribution of every man's work was to be expected. [3.] He appoints him to be their advocate; putting this honour upon him, well knowing the spirit of charity in his heart, and how ready he would be to pray for his persecutors. Note; (1.) Whom God pardons, he delights to honour. (2.) A faithful servant of Christ may err, or be overtaken with a fault; but God, who sees the heart, and the root of the matter in him, will not disclaim his relation to him. (3.) Where there is much wrong mixed with what is right, we must not condemn the whole for a part, any more than we should cast away the ore, because it comes from the earth mixed with dross. (4.) They who have tasted God's pardoning love to their own souls, will think no injury too great to be forgiven or forgotten; or refuse to open the arms of love to their bitterest enemy. (5.) Job was herein a lively figure of the Saviour of sinners, who alone could offer the sacrifice that God would accept, in his deepest distress prayed for his murderers, and ever lives to intercede for the transgressors.

2. Job's friends are cast down, and brought to his feet in abasement. Perhaps while they heard God's address to Job alone, they thought the verdict was for them; but now God would make them know, that, though Job had offended, they had exceeded in offence. He had spoken some things wrong, but they many more; laying down false hypotheses of his general dealings with men; condemning the righteous unjustly, and misinterpreting the rod of love into the stroke of judgment; making him sad, whom they should have comforted. For this, God's wrath was kindled against them; and, though they were good men, in this they had deserved to be punished; and therefore they must bring a sacrifice of atonement, as the expiation of their guilt. They must humble themselves, not only before God, but before Job, acknowledging their evil, desiring his prayers, and bringing their sacrifices to him, whose prayers for them should be accepted. Note; (1.) It is a dangerous thing to judge rashly of men's spiritual state, except in cases of open vice; and a high provocation against God, as well as an injury to our brethren. (2.) The best of God's saints are exposed to the severest censures, and even good men will be sometimes criminally severe. (3.) We must not expect forgiveness from God, unless we have, to the uttermost, made our brother satisfaction for the injuries that we have done him. (4.) It is a mercy that we have one Advocate to go to, who, highly as we have offended him, never rejects the suit of the humbled soul.

3. We see all happily reconciled. Job's friends, without delay, submit to the divine injunction: he heartily forgives them, and prays for them. They who were lately so sharp in contention, now lift up together the voice of humble supplication, and, united in love, surround a throne of grace. God, well pleased, accepts the offering, and perfect reconciliation ensues on every side. Note; (1.) It is a blessed thing to see differences thus ended, and friends, separated by mistakes or folly, forgetting, forgiving, and embracing. (2.) How much more agreeable were it, instead of warmth of theological dispute about opinions allowedly not essential to salvation, to unite in love, where all true Christians are agreed, in prayer and praise, and to labour to walk more holily and humbly before God! (3.) There is but one way of reconciliation for the sinner, the Blood of Atonement: unless we plead that, we must be undone. (4.) While we are waiting on God in his instituted ways, we may take the comfort of our services, and rejoice in are acceptance, through the sacrifice and intercession of our adored Jesus.

3rdly, Better, says Solomon, is the end of a thing than the beginning; and we see it in Job's case abundantly verified. The restoration and increase of his prosperity were as astonishing as the suddenness and depth of his afflictions.

1. God eminently appeared for him. When he prayed for his friends, blessings came upon his own head; the Lord turned his captivity, restored his body from Satan's bands, and his mind from the terrors and distress with which it had been agitated; and, withal, doubled the possessions of which he had been deprived. Thus his fidelity was rewarded in this life, his credit restored in the eyes of men, and his comforts secured on a more solid basis than before. Note; Though this life, to a faithful believer, may in temporal matters sometimes be compared with Job's situation in his afflictions, at least in some degree, yet he may expect a deliverance from his captivity, where his prosperity will be beyond even Job's here, unspeakable and eternal.

2. His friends and acquaintance, who had been estranged from him, returned to visit and to comfort him, sympathizing in his affliction; and, not content with empty pity, each, according to their ability, made him handsome presents. God now inclined their hearts to assist him: probably, the approbation that God had given of his character removed their suspicions of his integrity, which had led them to neglect him; and the fear of God's displeasure, testified against his three friends who had been so severe upon him, made them desirous of an interest in Job's prayers for themselves also. Note; (1.) God has all men's hearts in his hands, and can strangely incline them to execute his designs. (2.) True charity and friendship will not merely bring the kind wish, but the ready generous assistance.

3. A remarkable increase attended him. His cattle, from the stock with which his friends furnished him, soon doubled the number that he had lost; and, above all his riches, the blessing of God upon them made them especially valuable. And thus his latter end was greater than his beginning; more wealthy, more respected, and more happy. Note; (1.) God's blessing upon honest endeavours will make a little to afford great increase. (2.) Respecting outward prosperity, a good man often finds a provision made for him in his aged days beyond the most sanguine expectations of his youth; while his soul also, fraught with the riches of divine grace, which are the best portion, shines brighter as he draws to his end; till his glorious inheritance comes, and he leaves a perishing world for an everlasting kingdom.

4. His family was wonderfully restored; he had the same number of sons and daughters as before. The names of the latter are recorded: Jemima, the day; Kezia, a fragrant spice; Kerenhappuch, the horn of paint. It is remarked of them, that they were persons of singular beauty, like their names; fair as the day, fragrant as Cassia, and blooming brighter in their native hue than the tint of vermillion. And we may presume, that their mental accomplishments, and the exemplariness of their piety, were equal to the exquisiteness of their form, from the honourable distinction shewn them, in appointing them an inheritance with their brethren.

5. He enjoyed a long life, crowned with mercies. He saw his children to the fourth generation; an hundred and forty years he lived in a course of uninterrupted prosperity; and then gently bending to the grave, as the ripe corn in the time of harvest, he departed full of days, satisfied with life, and willing to exchange his possessions on earth for more enduring riches in the better world of glory.


Job, a just and a wealthy man, is accused by Satan before God, as if he worshipped God for reward. God delivers all the fortune of Job into the power of Satan; which being taken from him at once, he blesses God, with the most perfect submission.

Before Christ 1645.

Job 1:1. In the land of Uz Uz is Edom, as plainly appears from Lamentations 4:21. Uz was the grandson of Seir the Horite, Genesis 20:18. 1 Chronicles 1:38; 1 Chronicles 1:42. Seir inhabited the mountainous country called after him, before the time of Abraham; but, his posterity being driven out, the Edomites seized that country, Genesis 14:6. Deuteronomy 2:12. Two other persons are mentioned, of the same name of Uz; the one descended from Shem, the other the son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham; but it does not appear whether any country was named from either of these. Edom is part of Arabia Petraea, bordering upon the tribe of Judah to the south: Numbers 34:3. Joshua 1:18 and therefore the land of Uz is properly placed between Egypt and the Philistines in Jeremiah 25:20 where the order of places in enumerating the people, from Egypt even to Babylon, seems to be observed very accurately. The same people are placed in nearly the same order. Jeremiah 46.—l. See Bishop Lowth.

Whose name was Job The name of Job, in the Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic, may, with the greatest probability, be derived from a root that signifies to love or desire; and might be rendered, the beloved or desired one. As to the stock from whence he sprung, it is most likely that he was descended from Uz, the eldest son of Nahor, brother to Abraham; but how far removed 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 15:10 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 2499. The number of the years of the life of Job will be, according to this calculation, about 200; which, for that age of the world, and especially considering that Job was blessed with a remarkably long life as a reward for his suffering and integrity, will not appear very extraordinary; for Jacob lived 147 years; Levi, his son, 137; Kohath, his grandson, 133; and Amram, his great-grandson, and father of Moses, 137; Moses also lived 120 years. All these were his cotemporaries, some older, some younger than Job; so that this seems to agree extremely well with that circumstance of his history. Heath.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 1:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary


The Book opens with an account of Job, his piety, riches, integrity, and religious care of his children. Next follows, an account of Satan's malice against Job, and his permission to tempt him. The Chapter closes with the melancholy relation of the death of his children, and the calmness of mind Job manifested under these afflictions.

Job 1:1

(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.

The name of Job carries with it somewhat of signification, for, according to some writers, it is derived from an Hebrew root, implying love. And, no doubt, the character of Job made him eminently so. If the Reader be not much acquainted with the scripture relation of places, it may not be amiss to tell him, that Uz was situated to the East of Chaldea; and though it probably was not the same with Ur of the Chaldees, from whence Abram was called, yet it could not be far from it. So that, in the very opening of the book of Job, a sweet thought ariseth, both from his name, and the place of his birth; namely, in the gift of the Gentile church to the Lord Jesus by the Father, from the earliest ages souls were to be gathered from the heathen world, to form a numerous train in the throng of the redeemed. Psalms 2:8; Isaiah 49:6. By the expression of perfect and upright, is not meant sinless perfection, but a general sincerity of conduct.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible


Job's country, and sincere holiness: his children; their feasts; and his religious care for them, Job 1:1-5. Satan's appearance before God: God's character of Job, Job 1:6-8. Satan imputeth Job's goodness to his prosperity; and so obtaineth leave to afflict him in his goods, Job 1:9-12. Job's oxen, sheep, camels, and servants destroyed, Job 1:13-17. His sons and daughters perish, Job 1:18,19. Job, with his mantle rent, head shaved, and upon the ground, worshippeth; blesseth God; sinneth not, Job 1:20-22.

The land of Uz was either in Edom, called the land of Uz, Lamentations 4:21, 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, Genesis 36:28 Jeremiah 25:20.

That man was perfect; not legally or exactly, as he confesseth, Job 9:20; 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.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 1:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

Wells of Living Water Commentary

Job Challenged by Satan

Job 1:1 -Job 23:1-17


We begin today a series of studies on one of the most interesting characters of the Bible. He is Job, the man of patience.

We remember the comment which the Holy Ghost made concerning Job, and which is recorded for us in the fifth chapter of James.

"Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy."

Job was probably a contemporary of Abraham. One thing which we think worthy of mention is this fact: In the old days, far back before Christ, and even before the days of national Israel and her Prophets, God had good and great men upon the earth; men who trusted Him and served Him.

According to the Word of God, the heathen world of today is dwelling in darkness and superstition, simply because the world of old in its wisdom, knew not God. It was for this cause that God gave them over to a reprobate mind.

Returning to Job as a theme for study, we assure the readers that they will find, before we have completed our consideration, that there is much of faith, much of spiritual wisdom, and even much of prophetic vision bound up in the marvelous Book that relates the story of Job.

The answer to many questions, which puzzle minds today, will be found in the Book of Job.

The demands of God as He calls upon Job to stand up like a man, reveal visions of God in His creative power and inherent glory which are hardly surpassed in the Bible.

Let none deceive themselves by imagining that the Book of Job is an ancient story which crept into the Bible. The Book of Job portrays with historical accuracy a God-given record of a man who lived in the land of Uz.

His testings at the hand of Satan were real. The speeches of his three friends, who became more accusers than helpers, are real. Job's responses, where the sunshine and glory of undaunted faith is mixed with the darkness and despair of temporary doubt, are real.

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job. Let us begin our study of this man asking the Lord to illumine our minds to the message which He has for us.


1. Job was perfect and upright. This is saying a good deal, but God said it. Let us not think for one moment that Job was sinless. He was not that, but God said of him "that there is none like him in the earth" (Job 23:8 ).

Other men beside Job have been spoken of as perfect and upright. Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist (Luke 1:5-6 ), was one of these. Here is the record concerning Zacharias and his wife, "They were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."

Some people would have us to believe that all young men and young women in our day are corrupt. We do not accept this for a moment. Because we are living in a world dominated by sin does not mean that God does not have His true and tried ones, who are unsmirched by the filth of the flesh.

The unsaved may, like Cornelius, be full of prayers and of alms deeds. However, it is in the realm of the redeemed and of those empowered by the Holy Ghost, that we find large numbers of men who are living with a conscience void of offence toward God and men.

2. Spiritually Job feared God. Job's "fear of God," was the reason that he was perfect and upright. We know that the fruit of the Spirit includes all the beauties of moral perfection and uprightness.

The extent to which Job feared God, and followed Him, will be brought out as we proceed in our studies. Suffice it now to say that Job's fear encompassed a wide margin of spiritual vision and faith.

II. JOB'S FAMILY LIFE (Job 1:2 ; Job 1:4-5 )

Job was the father of seven sons, and of three daughters. Family life may have its temptations and testings, but there is nothing in the life of father or mother that makes it impossible to live acceptable to God.

We read concerning Enoch that he walked with God, after he begat Methuselah, for three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters. Mark you, that it was during the period of Enoch's family life that he walked with God.

A godly home is the nearest place to Heaven of anything we know. Job had such a home.

In Deuteronomy we are taught that the father shall teach all of God's statutes to his children. He shall talk of them when he sits in his house, and when he walks by the way. He shall bind them for a sign upon his hands, and they shall be as frontlets between his eyes. He shall write them upon the posts of his house, and upon his gates.

Along this line it is interesting to note that when Job's sons feasted in their houses, and called in their sisters to the feast, that Job afterward sent for his sons and sanctified them. He rose up early in the morning and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all. Thus did Job continually.

Would that we had more fathers today who kept up the family altar, more who watched diligently over their children, bringing them up in the nurture and fear of the Lord.

III. JOB'S WEALTH (Job 1:3 )

Job was the greatest of all the men of the east. His substance was seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household.

Job was rich. In another chapter we read something of his spirit of philanthropy, and of his love to the poor. He delivered the poor when they cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. He caused the widow's heart to sing for joy. He was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. He was a father to the needy.

The curse of riches is displayed by Christ in the parable of the rich man who had much goods laid up for many days, and who said unto his soul, "Eat, drink, and be merry." To this rich man God said, "Thou fool" Then He said, "So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God ."

The rich young ruler is another example of riches kept to one's hurt. Jesus loved the man, even though he was rich, but the rich man was unwilling to leave all and follow Christ, for he was wedded to his wealth.

With Job it was altogether different. In a succeeding study, we will learn that Job counted God more than money, and he could say, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."


There came a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said unto Satan, "Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth?" Satan quickly replied, "Doth Job fear God for nought?" Hast not Thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Then Satan said to God, "Put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse Thee to Thy face."

1. We have before us a loose devil, going about seeking whom he may devour. Satan is not chained as some would aver. He is the Prince of the power of the air. He is seeking to entangle every possible child of God, and to lead them into sin and disobedience.

2. Satan's complaint. When the Lord asked Satan if he had observed Job, Satan complained that God had put an hedge about Job so that he couldn't touch him; and, in addition, God had blessed the work of his hands. This admission on the part of Satan is very comforting to believers. Our security does not lie in our perseverance, but in His preservation. God may allow Satan sometimes to "sift us as wheat," as He did Peter; however, no matter what testing is permitted, God will prepare a way to escape, that we may be able to bear it. If the Lord had not said unto us, "I will be thy shield and thy strong tower," we know not what might have befallen us. Thank God, we are held in the hand of omnipotency.

3. Satan's insinuations. Satan insinuated that Job's obeisance to God was not genuine. He said that Job, in his heart, had no trust in Jehovah, that he was serving Him alone for what he could get out of it.


1. The challenge made. Satan said to God, "Put forth Thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse Thee to Thy face." The challenge had been made; Satan demanded that God should try out Job.

During the dark days which followed, if Job had only known of this challenge on the part of Satan, and the reason why he was being put to the test, it would have made it a thousand times easier for him to suffer.

On the other hand, if God had told Job the objective, and had smiled upon him as he suffered, it would have upset the whole purpose of the test.

The trial of Job's faith brought God honor, because it proved that Satan was a liar and a false accuser, and that Job did, in reality, serve God because he loved Him, and not because of what he profited thereby.

2. The challenge accepted. "And the Lord said unto Satan, behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand."

Many Christians have felt, at times, that God had forgotten them; and, perhaps, that He had set Himself against them. This could not be. God loves His own with an everlasting love, and every man, when he is tested of God, is tested for his good, and not for his harm. Satan's purpose in this temptation and trial was the utter undoing of Job. God's purpose was Job's ultimate enlargement.


1. The scope of Satan's power. There are many who underestimate the ability and strength of the devil. Michael, an archangel, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, and yet, there are many men, women and children who possess nothing of Michael's power and authority, who dare to jest about Satan. They call him the "Old Nick," or the "Old Scratch," and speak as though they had victory over him in some imagined personal combat.

It is with such an one that we have to deal, so if we would go forth to battle, we must be clothed with the whole armour of God that we may withstand in the evil day.

2. Satan's power at work. With God's permission obtained, Satan stretched forth his hand. In order to make his devilish work forceful and more trying to Job, he arranged matters so there would not be a long-drawn series of temptings, but one great stroke in which all of Job's substance would be swept from him.

(1) While Job's sons and daughters were feasting, a messenger came to Job, saying, that all his oxen and asses had been captured by the Sabeans, and the attending servants slain with the sword.

(2) While the messenger was yet speaking, a second one arrived, saying that all of Job's sheep had been burned, and his servants consumed with them.

(3) While the second messenger was speaking, a third came saying that the Chaldeans had fallen upon the camels, and had carried them away, slaying all the servants.

(4) While the third messenger spoke, a fourth arrived saying that all of his sons and daughters had been smitten and slain by a great wind from the wilderness.

No one need doubt, as this fourfold wreckage comes before them, the thoroughness of Satan's malicious maneuverings.


With everything swept away, and with Job in absolute darkness as to why God had permitted such a disaster, yet Job did not sin, nor charge God foolishly. The mighty man of the East 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 did not alone refuse to complain, but he even blessed the Name of the Lord. With everything gone, he said both Amen and Hallelujah.

All will agree that Job possessed a very high standard of Christian integrity. All will agree that Satan's words concerning Job were no more than a mere slander.


Dr. Howard Taylor tells of his yearning for holiness of life and power in service:

"All the time I felt assured there was in Christ all I needed, but the practical question was how to get it out. He was rich, truly, but I was poor; He was strong, but I, weak. I knew full well that there was in the root, the stem, abundant fatness, but how to get it into my puny little branch was the question. As gradually the light was dawning on me, I saw that faith was the only requisite, was the hand to lay hold on His fullness and make it my own. But I had not this faith. I strove for it, but it would not come; tried to exercise it, but in vain. Seeing more and more the wondrous supply of grace laid up in Jesus, the fullness of our precious Saviour, my helplessness and guilt seemed to increase. Sins committed appeared but as trifles compared with the sin of unbelief which was their cause, which could not or would not take God at His Word, but rather make Him a liar! Unbelief was, I felt, the damning sin of the world, yet I indulged in it. I prayed for faith, but it came not. What was I to do?

When my agony of soul was at its height, a sentence in a letter from dear McCarthy was used to remove the scales from my eyes, and the Spirit of God revealed the truth of our oneness with Jesus as I have never known it before. McCarthy, who had been much exercised by the same sense of failure, but saw the light before I did, wrote (I quote from memory):

"But how to get faith strengthened? Not by striving after faith, but by resting on the Faithful One. "

As I read, I saw it all! "If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful." I looked to Jesus and saw (and when I saw, oh, how joy flowed!) that He had said, " I will never leave you." Ah, there is rest, I thought. I have striven in vain to rest in Him. I'll strive no more, for has He not promised to abide with me never to leave me, never to fail me? And, dearie, He never will!"

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Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Job 1:1". "Living Water".

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible


PROLOGUE — Chaps. 1, 2.


1.There was a man — These first words point to an historical basis for the ensuing work. Job bears the noble title of אישׁ, man, in contradistinction to אדם, “mean man.” Isaiah 2:9; Isaiah 5:15, etc. A similar distinction occurs in Latin between vir and homo; in Greek between ανηρ and ανθρωπος. In our own language man — from the Sanscrit manu, originally a thinker, (man, “to think,”) — is, like אישׁ of the text, an honourable designation. “Human beings,” says Herodotus, “are many, but men are few.” Ezekiel (Ezekiel 14:14; Ezekiel 14:20) ranks Job, with Noah and Daniel, as highest types of our race.

The land of Uz — So called, probably, from Uz, a son of Dishan, (Genesis 36:28,) and grandson of Seir. The translation of the word Uz by the Septuagint into Αυσιτις, Ausitis, has led some, on account of a supposed resemblance to the word Αισιται, AEsitae, the name of a tribe mentioned by Ptolemy, (Geogr., Job 5:19,) and living in the Arabian desert west from Babylon, to fix upon the neighbourhood of Babylonia as the home of the patriarch. But little reliance, however, can be placed upon this fanciful philology, and as little upon Moslem traditions, which induce others to look for the country of Job in the Hauran, (Delitzsch,) or East Hauran, (Zockler,) a province east of the Jordan, and stretching southward from Damascus, being a part of the ancient kingdom of Bashan. The recent commentator Hitzig, after a long and laboured but unsatisfactory argument, based upon ancient idolatrous worship, locates Uz in the hill district of Tulul, which upon the west is bounded by the mountain range of Hauran.

We rather accord with the ancient opinion, according to which Uz lay in the northern part of Arabia, and, comprehending Edom, (as intimated in Lamentations 4:21,) extended toward the Euphrates, for the most part corresponding to the Arabia Petraea of classical geography. In support of this we may note, — 1. That Job was the greatest of all the men of the East; that is, of the bene Kedem, one of the nations of Arabia. “The sons of the East,” says Gesenius, (Thesaurus, page 1193,) “are the inhabitants of Arabia Deserta, which extends from the east of Palestine to the Euphrates.” (See note on Job 1:3.) The Scriptures help us in determining their residence, for we learn from Genesis 25:4; Genesis 25:6, that Abraham sent among others the sons of Midian “eastward unto the east country;” and from Judges 6:3, that subsequently the Midianites and the Amalekites were in confederacy with “the children of the East;” and from Isaiah 11:14, that God linked “them of the East” with Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon, in one common though dissimilar doom. From the remarkable association of these nations with “the children of the East” in these and similar passages, we are justified in concluding that Job must have lived somewhere between Egypt and the Euphrates, and to the south or south-east of Palestine. 2. The sole scriptures, other than that of our text, that speak of Uz as a country, associate it with Edom, (Lamentations 4:21, and Jeremiah 25:20,) though in the latter case other nations are also mentioned. The latter of these passages does not conflict with the conclusion from the former, that Uz was the more extensive country and included Edom. Then, too, the grandson of Seir the Horite, whose descendants dwelt in Edom, was called Uz. (Genesis 36:20-21; Genesis 36:28; Genesis 36:30-31.) As the neighbouring mountains received and transmitted the name of the grandparent, Seir, it stands in reason that the country of Edom should take the name of the grandson, Uz, though subsequently displaced by the name of Edom, (Idumea.) This view is strengthened by Deuteronomy 2:12, “The HORIM also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them [margin, inherited them] when they had destroyed them,” etc. The relatives of this Uz evidently dwelt in Seir and the adjacent country, until driven out by the children of Esau. 3. This position agrees better with that of the countries where Job’s friends lived than any other hypothesis; nor is the objection of its distance from Chaldaea a serious difficulty. (See note on Job 1:17.) It would also account for the great knowledge of Egypt displayed by Job, since it also lay not far from one of the most ancient caravan routes, whose starting point was Egypt. It harmonizes, also, with the mention of Jordan in Job 40:23, and of Canaanitish merchants in Job 41:6. 4. If tradition be appealed to, the statement in the supplement to the Septuagint, on the authority of the Syriac Book, that Job “dwelt in the land of Ausis, (Uz,) on the borders of Idumea and Arabia,” is worthy of quite as much consideration as the sites of monasteries, (J.G. Wetzstein,) or the fact that the sepulchre of Job is also pointed out in the Hauran, since four other places also lay claim to his tomb.

Whose name was Job איוב, iyyob. The origin of this name is exceedingly uncertain. The more general view is that of our older lexicographers, who rendered it persecuted, on the supposition that the word is a passive form of the verb איב, ayab, to hate, or attack. A serious objection against such a derivation is, that the kittol form, in which the word is, has an active or a neuter signification, and exceedingly rarely a passive meaning, (such as, for instance, yillodh, born, ) so that the probabilities would be quite as great that the word “iyob” would be rendered “persecutor” as “persecuted.” The more plausible view is that which finds in the word the idea of penitence, although Zockler (in Lange) thinks that both views are equally admissible. On the hypothesis that the book is of great antiquity, we should be justified in seeking the origin of the word in the Arabic, as in those ancient times this language was closely allied to the Hebrew, furnishing the latter language with many of its roots and archaic forms. The Arabic aba, to turn, return, is near akin to the Hebrew oub, (cognate with shoub, ) signifying also to turn; thence as a noun, one who turns back (to God) or repents. This view is held by Eichhorn, Rosenmuller, Ewald, Delitzsch, and Dillmann, among others. A somewhat similar name, יוב, Job, was borne by the third son of Issachar, Genesis 46:13; and an Edomite king, Jobab, is spoken of in Genesis 36:33. This name corresponds with the Greek name of Job, as cited in the supplement to the Septuagint.

Perfect and upright תם וישׁר. These words express, as nearly as possible, the sense of the original. The Jewish idea, (for instance that of Rabbi Solomon, reappearing in Ewald and Henry,) that the perfection of Job consisted simply in “sincerity” or “innocency of heart,” is incomplete, presenting but one side of a many-sided prism. The word “perfect,” like the crystal of the prism, is generic, and contemplates the moral being as a whole, rather than in specific traits. Wherever this work of faith manifests itself, whether amid the mountains of Idumea or the distractions of camp-life, as with the two Roman centurions, or under Christ’s direct disclosure of himself, as to a Saul of Tarsus, it is the work of God, deep, radical, and superinduced upon the nature of man by the Spirit of God. This perfection was not inconsistent with infirmities, errors of judgment, and perhaps derelictions of the heart, as is exemplified in Job’s own case; for which, through accepted faith, the unknown mediation of Christ may as truly avail in behalf of a Job, as the known, avails for us. Thus saints may ripen for heaven in other folds than that of Israel or of Christendom, and the words of Peter be verified: “In every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” Acts 10:35. Job’s perfection could not, more than ours, stand complete in the presence of the Absolute Perfection, and so needed, like ours, the mediation.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 1:1. 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 10:23, 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 4:21, that Edom was called Uz, probably from a grandson of Seir, the Horite, of that name. See Genesis 36:20; Genesis 36:28; 1 Chronicles 1:38; 1 Chronicles 1:42. 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 14:6; Deuteronomy 2:12, 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 25:20. 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 15:10; 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 2499. 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.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 1:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Hus. The land of Hus was a part of Edom; as appears from Lamentations iv. 21. --- Simple. That is, innocent, sincere, and without guile, (Challoner) in opposition to hypocrites and double dealers. (Calmet) --- Hebrew Tam, "perfect."

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"There was a man in the land of Uz": The land of Uz is often identified with the territory of Edom, which was southeast of the Dead Sea (Lamentations 4:21). Some suggest that Uz was in Bashan, south of Damascus; others say Uz lay east of Edom, in northern Arabia. From this book we learn that Uz was located on the edge of the desert (1:19), and included an area where farming could be carried on (1:3,13; 42:12). "Whose name was Job": In Hebrew the name Job is spelled Iyyob, from a root word that might mean the hated one or aggressor. Other verses confirm the fact that Job was a real historical person (Ezekiel 14:14; James 5:11). "And that man was blameless": Without moral blemish and morally whole. The word does not mean "sinless" (1 John 1:8-10), but rather refers to a person"s spiritual maturity, and the integrity or purity of their inner being. On the inside, Job was pure. "Perhaps our English word integrity adequately expresses the connotation" (Strauss p. 3). "Upright": His life and behavior measured up to a standard. The term means "straight" or "right", his conduct was in line with God"s ways. "Straight" in the sense of not deviating from God"s law. Please note that being "straight" is a good thing and a high compliment from God! "Fearing God": His relationship with God was based on a reverent respect. He was aware that he was obligated to submit to God"s authority (Ecclesiastes 12:13; 2 Corinthians 7:1). Remember, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7). "Awed by the power of God in creation, Job logically responds with fearful submission. Who would not want to be known as a complete and consistent person who fears God and shuns evil?"

"Turning away from evil": Job persistently chooses the good and shuns the evil, he has free will and is using it rightly (Romans ). This also means that "evil" and temptation existed in the culture that surrounded Job. Thus, when his friends accuse him having concealed a life of willful sin, the reader also knows that such an accusation is false. People who truly respect God, shun evil.

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

There was a man = A man came to be. This settles the question as to the historical fact. was = came to be. See note on p. 666.

man. Hebrew. "ish. App-14.

Uz. In Genesis 22:20, Genesis 22:21, immediately after the offering of Isaac, Abraham hears that his brother Nahor has eight sons, and among them two named Uz and Buz, and Kemuel the father of Aram. Uz gives his name to the land. Buz and Aram are connected with Elihu (Job 32:2). See App-62. The land of Uz is mentioned in Jeremiah 25:20 and Lamentations 4:21. South of Edom, west of Arabia, extending to the borders of Chaldea.

Job. In Hebrew. "Iyyob = afflicted.

that = this.

was = came to be, as in Genesis 1:2.

perfect = inoffensive. None are "perfect" in the English sense of the word. Hebrew. tam. See Genesis 20:5.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.

evil. Hebrew. ra"a. App-44.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

Uz - north of Arabia Deserta, lying toward the Euphrates; it was in this neighbourhood, and not in that of Idumea, that the Chaldeans and Sabeans who plundered him dwelt. The Arbas 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 north was on their left and the south on their right. Arabia Deserta was on the east: and so Job is called (Job 1:3) "the greatest of all the men of the east;" Arabia Petraea on the west and Arabia Felix on the south. (See Introduction, 'Where Job lived.')

Job. The name comes from an Arabic word meaning "to return (namely, to God), to repent", referring to his end (Eichhorn): or rather from a Hebrew word [ 'aayab (Hebrew #340), in the passive 'ayob] signifying one to whom hostility was shown, greatly tried (Gesenius). Significant names were often given among the Hebrews from some event of the after-life (cf. Isaiah 8:3-4, Mahar-shalal-hashbaz). So the names of David, 'Beloved,' and Solomon, 'Peaceful,' are names marking respectively the leading characteristic of their history, given presciently through God's overruling providence. The name Job may have been thus given at his birth, or else after his trials. 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 (Genesis 46:13).

Perfect - not absolute or faultless perfection (cf. Job 9:20 : "If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall prove me perverse." Ecclesiastes 7:20), but integrity, sincerity, and consistency on the whole, in all relations of life (Genesis 6:9; Genesis 17:1; Proverbs 10:9; Matthew 5:48). It was the fear of God that kept Job from evil (Proverbs 8:13).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

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 10:23, where Uz is said to have been one of the sons of Aram, who was one of the sons of Shem. (Comp. 1 Chronicles 1:17.) Another Uz (in the Authorised Version spelt Huz) is mentioned in Genesis 22:21 as the firstborn of Nahor, the brother of Abraham. A third form of this name is mentioned in Genesis 36:28 among “the sons of Seir the Horite. who inhabited the land” of Edom. (Comp. 1 Chronicles 1:42.) 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 4:21) and “the kings of the land of Uz” (Jeremiah 25:20), 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 46:13), and from the Jobab (Yovav) who was one of the kings of Edom (Genesis 36:33), 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 6:9). Abram was required to be so (Genesis 17:1), and Israel generally (Deuteronomy 18:13), 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 5:48), 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 28:28.) 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.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
Genesis 10:23; 22:20,21
Genesis 36:28; 1 Chronicles 1:17,42; Jeremiah 25:20; Lamentations 4:21
Ezekiel 14:14,20; James 5:11
8; 2:3; 23:11,12; 31:1-40; Genesis 6:9; 17:1; 2 Kings 20:3; 2 Chronicles 31:20,21; Luke 1:6
Genesis 22:12; Proverbs 8:13; 16:6; 1 Peter 3:11
Reciprocal: Genesis 20:11 - Surely;  Genesis 25:6 - east country;  Genesis 25:27 - a plain man;  Deuteronomy 18:13 - Thou shalt;  Joshua 24:14 - fear;  2 Samuel 22:24 - upright;  1 Kings 8:61 - perfect;  Nehemiah 7:2 - feared God;  Job 2:10 - shall we receive;  Job 4:6 - thy fear;  Job 9:20 - I am perfect;  Job 29:2 - as in months;  Psalm 26:11 - I will;  Psalm 37:37 - GeneralPsalm 119:1 - undefiled;  Proverbs 2:21 - GeneralProverbs 3:7 - fear;  Proverbs 14:2 - that walketh;  Matthew 5:48 - ye;  Matthew 19:21 - If;  Luke 2:25 - just;  Acts 10:2 - one;  1 Corinthians 2:6 - them;  1 Timothy 6:17 - rich

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 1:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".