Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 1:12

Then the Lord said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him." So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord .
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Satan;   Temptation;   Scofield Reference Index - Satan;   Thompson Chain Reference - Adversary;   Limitations of Satan;   Power;   Satan;   Satan's;   Satan-Evil Spirits;   Serpent;   Tempter;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Devil, the;   Temptation;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Satan;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Angels;   God;   Healing;   Poor;   Satan;   Suffering;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Touch;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Satan;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Affliction;   Devil, Satan, Evil, Demonic;   Devil;   Job, the Book of;   Prophecy, Prophets;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Devil;   Sin;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Demon, Demoniacal Possession, Demoniacs;   Devil ;   Fall;   Presence;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Satan;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Job, Book of;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Angelology;   Job;   Job, Testament of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

All that he hath is in thy power - Satan cannot deprive a man even of an ass, a sheep, or a pig, but by especial permission of God. His power and malice are ever bounded, and under control.

So Satan went forth - The Targum adds, with authority from the presence of the Lord.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 1:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

All that he hath is in thy power - Margin, as in Hebrew “hand.” That is, all this is now committed to thee, for it is manifest that hitherto Satan had no power to injure even his property. He complained that God had made a hedge around all that Job possessed. Now it was all entrusted to him in order that he might make full trim of the faith of Job. The grant extended to his sons and daughters as well as to his property.

Only upon himself put not forth thine hand - Job himself was not to be visited with sickness nor was his life to be taken. The main accusation of Satan was, that Job was virtuous only because God encompassed him with so many blessings, and especially because he had endowed him with so much property. The trial, therefore, only required that it should be seen whether his piety was the mere result of these blessings.

So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord - That is from the council which had been convened; see the notes at Job 1:6.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 1:12". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-1.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the Lord said unto Satan, behold, all that he hath is in thy power,.... This he said not as angry and displeased with Job, or as entertaining any ill opinion of him through the suggestions of Satan, nor as gratifying that evil spirit; but in order to convince and confound him, and to try the grace of Job, that he might shine the brighter; and it may be observed, that the Lord alone had the sovereign dispose of all that Job had, and that Satan could have no power over him or his, but what was given him:

only upon himself put not forth thine hand; thus the Lord restrained Satan, who could do nothing without his leave, and limits and bounds the present affliction of his servant to his family and estate; reserving his person and the health of it for another temptation and trial:

so Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord; the Targum adds, "with power", authority, liberty of acting; not from his general presence, which is everywhere, from whence there is no going; nor from his gracious presence, in which he had not been; and much less his glorious presence in heaven, from whence he had been cast long ago; but from the place where the sons and people of God worshipped, and where he granted his presence to them, and from conversing with God there: as soon as Satan had got leave, he at once went forth to execute what he had permission to do, glad at heart he had so far succeeded; and eager upon doing all the mischief he could to a man that was the butt of his malice, and the object of his envy and hatred; the sad effects and consequences of which follow.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 1:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is] in t thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the u presence of the LORD.

(t) God does not give Satan power over man to gratify him, but to declare that he has no power over man, but that which God gives him.

(u) That is, went to execute that which God had permitted him to do for else he can never go out of God's presence.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 1:12". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-1.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

in thy power — Satan has no power against man till God gives it. God would not touch Job with His own hand, though Satan asks this (Job 1:11, “thine”), but He allows the enemy to do so.

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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.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 1:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-1.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

12 Then Jehovah said to Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy hand; only upon himself put not forth thy hand. And Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah.

Notice well: The divine permission appears at the same time as a divine command, for in general there is not a permission by which God remains purely passive; wherefore God is even called in Scripture creator mali (the evil act as such only excepted), Isaiah 45:7. Further, the divine arrangement has not its foundation in the sin which still clings to Job. For in the praise conferred upon Job, it is not said that he is absolutely without sin: universal liability to sin is assumed not only of all the unrighteousness, but even of all the righteousness, of Adam's race. Thirdly, the permission proceeds, on the contrary, from God's purpose to maintain, in opposition to Satan, the righteousness which, in spite of the universal liability to sin, is peculiar to Job; and if we place this single instance in historical connection with the development of the plan of redemption, it is a part of the conflict of the woman's seed with the serpent, and of the gradual degradation of Satan to the lake of fire. After Jehovah's permission, Satan retires forthwith. The license is welcome to him, for he delights in the work of destruction. And he hopes to conquer. For after he has experienced the unlimited power of evil over himself, he has lost all faith in the power of good, and is indeed become himself the self-deceived father of lies.

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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 1:12". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/job-1.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

Behold, … — It seems strange, that, God should give Satan such a permission as this. But he did it for his own glory, for the honour of Job, for the explanation of providence, and the encouragement of his afflicted people in all ages.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 1:12". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-1.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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

Ver. 12. And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power] Here God in appearance condescendeth to the devil’s desires. But we must know, that God’s end in this large grant was not to gratify the devil, but to glorify himself, by making Satan an instrument of his own shame and infamy, when, by all that he could do, Job would not be drawn to think or speak amiss of God; though Satan left him his wife (who was within his commission) to tempt him to it; and afterwards left him his tongue untouched (when all his body besides was smitten with sore boils), as hoping haply he would have cursed God therewith.

only upon himself put not forth, thy hand] Meddle not with his outward or reward man. He would fain have been doing with both, and had done it now, but for this merciful restriction, which to the devil was (no doubt) a very great vexation. But how could he help it, otherwise than as horses digest their choler by biting on the bridle? The will of the Lord must stand; and Job, though he shall have his back burden of crosses of all kinds, yet they shall not be laid upon him all at once, but piece meal, and at several times. Fidelis est Deus, God is faithful, saith the apostle (and father Latimer died in the flames with those sweet words in his mouth), God is faithful, who will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, &c., but will surely proportion the burden to the back, and the stroke to the strength of them that shall bear it. See his gracious dealings with the apostles at their first setting forth into the world; and how by degrees he inured them to bear the cross of Christ, Acts 2:1-13; Acts 4:5-22; Acts 5:17-42; Acts 12:1-19.

So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord] As thinking every hour two till he had sped his commission; the devil descended like lightning upon the earth, to search occasions to ruin Job, aud to triumph over his patience, to touch all that he had, and to touch him to the very quick. This diligence of the devil in evil doing, how happy were it, saith Mr Beza, if we could imitate in doing well? But, behold, while Christ’s enemies watch, and in the night set themselves in readiness to take him, his chief disciples do not only snort and sleep, but cannot so much as be awaked in the garden.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 1:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-1.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

All that he hath is in thy power; I give thee full power and liberty to deal with his wife, children, servants, and all his estate, whatsoever thy wit or malice shall prompt thee to do.

Upon himself; his person, body or soul.

From the presence of the Lord, i.e. from that place where God was represented as specially present, being forward and greedy to do the mischief which he had permission to do.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 1:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-1.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

12.All that he hath is in thy power — As in the margin, hand. Job is now delivered into the hand of Satan. His piety is to be put to the sorest test. All virtue is conditioned upon trial — the higher the virtue the severer the ordeal. The stroke is a bold one, even for the empire of the world. For God had declared Job the best man then living. (Job 1:8.) If Satan should succeed in showing Job to be a hypocrite, he will practically demonstrate that there is no substantial virtue in the world.

So Satan went forth — Not so much to his roaming “to and fro,” as in a straight and definite line to execute his permitted “mission” of evil. By that mission he would seek to destroy virtue; but God shall so overrule him that he will only furnish the conditions by which hardy and tried virtue is made possible and demonstrated. A like remark is made of Cain, (Genesis 5:16,) and of Judas, that “he went immediately out” to his deed of treachery. There is no delay: evil nature recoils from the constrained presence of the pure and good to its own congenial work of ruin. He goes with alacrity and with vast resources, and in high expectation of encompassing the fall of one saint, which better pleaseth him than of many unbelievers.

From this we learn that trials are proportioned to the strength of the soul. The intensity of the kindling flames declares the estimate God puts upon the virtue of Job. On the one hand, all temptation at the hand of Satan sets forth the value of the soul, and its high destiny in another life: on the other, the saying is no less true, that “in every temptation to sin the devil cheapens our immortal souls,” and in every way endeavours to depreciate them before the soul itself. “God tries men, that they may rise: Satan tempts them, that they may fall.”

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 1:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-1.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 1:12. The Lord said, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power — I give thee full power to do with his property, his servants, his children, and his wife, whatsoever thy craft or malice shall prompt thee to do; only upon himself put not forth thy hand — Meddle not with his own person, with his body or soul. It seems strange that God should give Satan such a permission as this. But he did it for his own glory, for the honour of Job, for the explanation of providence, and the encouragement of his afflicted people in all ages. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord — From the place where God is represented as having been especially present, glad of the permission he had obtained to do mischief to a good man; and resolved to lose no time, but immediately to put his project in execution. Schultens observes, that יצא, jatza, to go forth, is used here in a judicial way; comprehending the office of an executer of justice; as Isaiah 37:36, the angel of the Lord יצא, jatza, went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians. Thus did Satan go forth to execute the judgments wherewith he was permitted to afflict and try Job.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 1:12". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-1.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Hand. God permits evils. (Worthington) --- The devil can do nothing without leave. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 1:12". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-1.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"Then the Lord said to Satan, "Behold, all that he has is in your power, only do not put forth your hand on him". So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord"

Some stumble over this verse and wonder, "Doesn"t God already know the motives of His children? Why does He need to find them out?" Yet, the purpose for this test is far more than revealing true motivation. God accepts Satan"s challenge (in fact, God was the one who introduced the challenge), "not on a whimsical dare or because His character is threatened" (McKenna p. 38). The reader needs to understand that God is not being set up and neither is Job, Satan is the one being set up. From this trial, the faith of Job will be refined and he will reach a deeper level of spiritual maturity (chapter 42). In addition, until the end of time, millions and billions of people on the earth will have access to this book and the loser in the whole story is Satan.

"Only do not put forth your hand on him": Note that Satan, though in rebellion, is still under God"s authority. Even Satan cannot do anything he wants to do! He is restricted by divine decree, he can touch anything except Job"s person.

"A note of high truth rings through God"s response to Satan"s cynical challenge. God does not accept Satan"s terms that He stretch His hand over Job and touch all he has. God does not do evil. Rather, He draws the boundaries within which evil may work in the world. God permits evil within limits (because he gave man freewill), until the great and terrible day of judgment. This is good news, even for those of us who live with the reality of sin and its consequences" (McKenna pp. 38-39).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 1:12". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-1.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

power. Hebrew "hand". Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for power exercised by it.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 1:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/job-1.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

In thy power - Satan has no power against man until God gives it. God would not touch Job with, His own hand, though Satan asks this (Job 1:11, "put forth thine hand"), but allows the enemy to do so.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 1:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-1.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(12) All that he hath is in thy power . . .—Mighty as the principle of evil is in the world, it is nevertheless held in check by One who directs it to His own ends. Such is the uniform teaching of Scripture. We are not under the uncontrolled dominion of evil, strong as the temptation may be at times to think so. (See 2 Corinthians 12:7; 2 Corinthians 12:9; 1 Thessalonians 2:18, &c.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 1:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
Behold
1 Kings 22:23; Luke 8:32; 22:31,32; John 19:11; 2 Corinthians 12:7
power
Heb. hand.
Genesis 16:6; Jeremiah 38:5; John 3:35,36
only
2:4-6; Psalms 76:10; Isaiah 27:8; 1 Corinthians 10:13
So Satan
2:7; Luke 8:33
Reciprocal: Genesis 4:16 - went;  2 Chronicles 18:21 - Thou shalt;  2 Chronicles 32:31 - to try him;  Job 1:11 - But put;  Job 2:6 - Behold;  Job 23:10 - he hath;  Psalm 78:49 - by sending;  Daniel 4:24 - come;  Jonah 1:3 - from;  Matthew 4:10 - Satan;  Mark 4:37 - great storm;  Mark 5:13 - gave;  Luke 12:23 - General2 Timothy 2:26 - at;  Hebrews 11:17 - when;  Revelation 9:4 - that they

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 1:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-1.html.

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Job 1:12. Yahweh gives permission to try Job, conceding the Satan's right to have the matter cleared up, though Himself knowing that the Adversary is wrong. The Satan having obtained this leave, loses no time before he acts upon it.

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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Job 1:12". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/job-1.html. 1919.