Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 1:17

While he was still speaking, another also came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and took them and slew the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Armies;   Camel;   Job;   Resignation;   Temptation;   Thompson Chain Reference - Job;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Armies;   Camel, the;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Poor;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Animals;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Robbery;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Chaldaea;   Robbery;   Uz;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Job;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Chaldeans, Chaldees;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Satan;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Babylon;   Chald a;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Ut;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Band;   Chaldea;   Chesed;   Eden;   Number;   Uz (1);   Uz (2);   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Job;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The Chaldeans made out three bands - The Chaldeans inhabited each side of the Euphrates near to Babylon, which was their capital. They were also mixed with the wandering Arabs, and lived like them on rapine. They were the descendants of Chesed, son of Nahor and brother of Huz, from whom they had their name Casdim, which we translate Chaldeans. They divided themselves into three bands, in order the more speedily and effectually to encompass, collect, and drive off the three thousand camels: probably they mounted the camels and rode off.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 1:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The Chaldeans - The Septuagint translates this, αἱ ἱππεῖς hai hippeis ), “the horsemen.” Why they thus expressed it is unknown. It may be possible that the Chaldeans were supposed to be distinguished as horsemen, and were principally known as such in their predatory excursions. But it is impossible to account for all the changes made by the Septuagint in the text. Tho Syriac and the Chaldee render it correctly, “Chaldeans.” The Chaldeans (Hebrew כשׂדים kaśdı̂ym ) were the ancient inhabitants of Babylonia. According to Vitringa (Commentary in Isa. tom. i. p. 412, c. xiii. 19), Gesenius (Commentary zu Isaiah 23:13), and Rosenmailer (Bib. Geog. 1,2, p. 36ff), the Chaldees or Casdim were a warlike people who orignally inhabited the Carduchian mountains, north of Assyria, and the northern part of Mesopotamia. According to Xenophon (Cyrop. iii. 2,7) the Chaldees dwelt in the mountains adjacent to Armenia and they were found in the same region in the campaign of the younger Cyrus, and the retreat of the ten thousand Greeks. Xen. Anaba. iv. 3,4; v. 5,9; viii. 8,14.

They were allied to the Hebrews, as appears from Genesis 22:22, where כשׂד keśed (whence “Kasdim”) the ancestor of the people is mentioned as a son of Nabor, and was consequently the nephew of Abraham. And further, Abraham himself emigrated to Canaan from Ur of the Chaldees כשׂדים אוּר 'ûr kaśdı̂ym “Ur of the Kasdim”), Genesis 11:28; and in Ezekiel 1:3 “the land of the Chaldeans;” Jeremiah Jeremiah 5:15 calls them “an ancient nation;” see the notes at Isaiah 23:13. The Chaldeans were a fierce and warlike people, and when they were subdued by the Assyrians, a portion of them appear to have been placed in Babylon to ward off the incursions of the neighboring Arabians. In time “they” gained the ascendency over their Assyrian masters, and grew into the mighty empire of Chaldea or Babylonia. A part of them, however, appear to have remained in their ancient country, and enjoyed under the Persians some degree of liberty. Gesenius supposes that the Kurds who have inhabited those regions, at least since the middle ages, are probably the descendants of that people. - A very vivid and graphic description of the Chaldeans is given by the prophet Habakkuk, which will serve to illustrate the passage before us, and show that they retained until his times the predatory and fierce character which they had in the days of Job; Job 1:6-11:

For lo I raise up the Chaldeans,

A bitter and hasty nation,

Which marches far and wide in the earth.

To possess the dwellings which are not theirs.

They are terrible and dreadful,

Their judgments proceed only from themselves.

Swifter titan leopards are their horses,

And fiercer than the evening wolves.

Their horsemen prance proudly around;

And their horsemen shall come from afar and fly,

Like the eagle when he pounces on his prey.

They all shall come for violence,

In troops their glance is ever forward!

They gather captives like the sand!

And they scoff at kings,

And princes are a scorn unto them.

They deride every strong hold;

They cast up

d mounds of - earth and take it.

This warlike people ultimately obtained the ascendency in the Assyrian empire. About the year 597 B.C. Nabopolassar, a viceroy in Babylon, made himself independent of Assyria, contracted an alliance with Cyaxares, king of Media, and with his aid subdued Nineveh, and the whole of Assyria. From that time the Babylonian empire rose, and the history of the Chaldeans becomes the history of Babylon. - “Rob. Calmet.” In the time of Job, however, they were a predatory race that seem to have wandered far for the sake of plunder. They came from the North, or the East, as the Sabeans came from the South.

Made out three bands - literally, “three heads.” That is, they divided tbemselves, for the sake of plunder, into three parties. Perhaps the three thousand camels of Job Job 1:3 occupied three places remote from each other, and the object of the speaker is to say that the whole were taken.

And fell upon the camels - Margin, “And rushed.” The word is different from that which in Job 1:15 is rendered “fell.” The word used here פשׁט pâshaṭ means to spread out, to expand. It is spoken of hostile troops, 1 Chronicles 14:9, 1 Chronicles 14:13; of locusts which spread over a country, Nahum 3:15; and of an army or company of marauders. Judges 9:33, Judges 9:44; 1 Samuel 27:8. This is its sense here.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 1:17". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-1.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

While he was yet speaking, there came also another,.... Another messenger from another part of Job's possessions, where his camels were, and this before the last messenger had told his story out:

and said, the Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away; these were the 3000 camels, as in Job 1:3 and perhaps they were in three separate companies and places, 1000 in each, and therefore the Chaldeans divided themselves into three bands; or "appointed three heads"F6שמו שלשה ראשים "posuerunt tria capita", Montanus, Bolducius, Schmidt; "duces", Pagninus, Vatablus. , as it may be rendered; there were three bodies of them under so many leaders and commanders, and this was done, that they might the more easily take them; and they "diffused or spread themselves"F7ויפשטו "et diffuderunt se", Mercerus, Schmidt "effuderunt se", Cocceius. , as the word signifies, upon or about the camels; they surrounded them on all sides, or otherwise, these being swift creatures, would have run away from them: these Chaldeans or Chasdim were the descendants of Chesed, a son of Nahor, who was brother to Abraham, Genesis 22:20, who settled in the east country, not far from Job: and this agrees with the character that XenophonF8Cyropaedia, l. 3. c. 11. gives of the Chaldeans, at least some of them, in later times; that they lived upon robbing and plundering others, having no knowledge of agriculture, but got their bread by force of arms; and such as these Satan could easily instigate to come and carry off Job's camels:

yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword, and I only am escaped alone to tell thee; See Gill on Job 1:15.

Copyright Statement
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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 1:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-1.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Chaldeans — not merely robbers as the Sabeans; but experienced in war, as is implied by “they set in array three bands” (Habakkuk 1:6-8). Rawlinson distinguishes three periods: 1. When their seat of empire was in the south, towards the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates. The Chaldean period, from 2300 b.c. to 1500 b.c. In this period was Chedorlaomer (Genesis 14:1), the Kudur of Hur or Ur of the Chaldees, in the Assyrian inscriptions, and the conqueror of Syria. 2. From 1500 to 625 b.c., the Assyrian period. 3. From 625 to 538 b.c. (when Cyrus the Persian took Babylon), the Babylonian period. “Chaldees” in Hebrew - {Chasaim}. They were akin, perhaps, to the Hebrews, as Abraham‘s sojourn in Ur, and the name “Chesed,” a nephew of Abraham, imply. The three bands were probably in order to attack the three separate thousands of Job‘s camels (Job 1:3).

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
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 1:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-1.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

The Third Messenger:

17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans ranged themselves in three bands, and rushed upon the camels, and carried them away, and slew the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Without any authority, Ewald sees in this mention of the Chaldeans an indication of the composition of the book in the seventh century b.c., when the Chaldeans under Nabopolassar began to inherit the Assyrian power. Following Ewald, Renan observes that the Chaldeans first appear as such marauders about the time of Uzziah. But in Genesis we find mention of early Semitic Chaldeans among the mountain ranges lying to the north of Assyria and Mesopotamia; and later, Nahor Chaldeans of Mesopotamia, whose existence is traced back to the patriarchal times (vid., Genesis, p. 422),

(Note: This reference is to Delitzsch's Commentar über die Genesis, 1860, a separate work from the Keil and Delitzsch series. - Tr.)

and who were powerful enough at any time to make a raid into Idumaea. To make an attack divided into several ראשׁים, heads, multitudes, bands (two - Gen. Job 14:15; three - Judges 7:16, 1 Samuel 11:11; or four - Judg. Job 9:34), is an ancient military stratagem; and פּשׁט, e.g., Judges 9:33, is the proper word for attacks of such bands, either for plunder or revenge. In לפי־חרב, at the edge of the sword, à l'epée, ל is like the usual acc. of manner.

Copyright Statement
The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
Bibliographical Information
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Job 1:17". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/job-1.html. 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Chaldeans — Who also lived upon spoil, as Xenephon and others observe.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 1:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-1.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 1:17 While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Ver. 17. While he was yet speaking] See on Job 1:16.

The Chaldeans] A base and obscure people from the beginning, subject to the Assyrians, but yet more potent than the Sabeans, as appeareth by the three bands they made out. The Sabeans are noted by Strabo to be an idle and effeminate people. The Chaldeans are set forth in the Scripture to be a bitter and hasty nation, terrible and dreadful, fiercer than the evening wolves, &c., Habakkuk 1:6-8. Satan proceeds by degrees to afflict Job, that he may at length overturn him; but beyond expectation, he held out all assaults, Instar rupia quae in mari vadoso horridi Iovis, et irati, ut ita dicam, Neptuni fervidis assultibus undique verberata non cedit aut minuitur, sed obtendit assuetum fluctibus latus, et firma duritie tumentis undae impetum sustinet ac frangit (Joan. Wower Polymath).

Made out three bands] Which were marshalled and set in array by the devil, who was their commander-in-chief. Sic saepe loricatus incedit Satan, et cataphractus, as Luther speaketh; he hath his legions among men also, who (like those vulturine eagles, Job 39:30) do glut-glut blood, as the Hebrew word there soundeth and signifieth.

And fell upon the camels] Heb. Spread themselves over them, rushed and ran violently, making an impression upon the camels.

And have carried them away] Heb. Have taken them to themselves, though Job had never dealt discourteously with these Chaldeans, nor had his camels trespassed them, but were carefully kept by the servants. Innocence is no target against injury; neither doth victory always argue a just cause.

Yea, and slain the servants, &c.] {See Trapp on "Job 1:15"}

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 1:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-1.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The Chaldeans, who also lived upon the spoil, as Xenophon and others observe.

Made out three bands, that they might come upon them several ways, and nothing might be able to escape them.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 1:17". 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

THIRD MESSENGER.

17.The Chaldaeans — Or, Chasdim. They appear to have been one of the many Cushite tribes inhabiting the great alluvial plain lying far to the north-east of Idumea, known as Babylonia or Chaldaea — the latter, according to Ptolemy, forming the south-western portion of the former. From the earliest times the people occupying this land, though of the Hamite race, have been distinguished for their cultivation of science and their discoveries in the arts. Their principal tribe was the Accad.

Genesis 10:10. “With this race originated the art of writing, the building of cities, and the institution of a religious system.” — RAWLINSON, Herodotus, 1:256. When the Semitic tribes established themselves in Assyria, in the thirteenth century before Christ, they adopted the alphabet of the Accad. The tablets found at Nineveh are exclusively in the Accadian language. (See Rawlinson, ibid., and “Five Great Monarchies,” vol. i, ch. 3.) Yet these are the people who are moved to a merciless foray against the unoffending man of God. In later times they are described as “terrible” — “a bitter and hasty nation” — whose “horses are swifter than the leopards,” and “more fierce than the evening wolves.” Habakkuk 1:6-11. The distance from Chaldaea to Idumaea is not far from five hundred miles. Yet “scarcely a year passes during which the border of Syria is not ravaged by plundering parties from Mesopotamia, and sometimes even from the shores of the Persian Gulf.’ Raids are now, also, as they were in Job’s days, sudden, rapid, and unexpected.” — J.L. Porter. “Once at least in every year the Teyaheh [a tribe of the Bedawin] collect in force, often mustering as many as one thousand guns, and set off on camels for the country of the ‘Anazeh, a distance of more than twenty days’ journey. Having chosen for their expedition the season of the year when the camels are sent out to graze, they seldom fail to come across some large herd feeding at a distance from the camp and watched by a few attendants only. These they drive off, the men who possess guns forming a guard on either side and in the rear, and the rest leading the beasts. It sometimes, though rarely, happens that they get off clear with their booty before the owners are aware of the invasions; but in many cases they are hotly pursued, and compelled to relinquish their prey and take to their heels. In the last of these excursions the Teyaheh carried off more than six hundred head of cattle.” — PALMER, Desert of Exodus, 295.

Three bands — They formed themselves into three columns, (Judges 7:16: 1 Samuel 11:11,) according to the ancient tactics of war; literally, “set three heads (bands ) and spread out,” (פשׁשׂ,) that they might encompass the three thousand camels, which are easily affrighted and then exceedingly difficult to take. These three bands, according to Jahn, were probably the center, left, and right wing. In illustration of the availableness of the camel, Wellsted (Arabia, 1:300) states that the usual pace of the Oman camels, when the Bedawin mount them for a desert journey, is a quick, hard trot from six to eight miles an hour. They will continue this for twenty to twenty-four consecutive hours, but increase their speed, on occasions which require it, to thirteen or fifteen miles an hour. Laborde tells us (Arabia, 264) that his camel carried him from Suez to Cairo (thirty-two leagues) in seventeen hours. Burckhardt (Notes, 2:79) describes a wager which the camel lost, but he had traveled one hundred and fifteen miles in eleven hours, though twice crossing the Nile in a ferry-boat.

FOURTH MESSENGER.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 1:17". "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 1:17. There came also another — Bringing tidings still more afflictive than either of the two former; and said, The Chaldeans — Who also lived upon spoil, as Xenophon and others observe; made out three bands —

That they might come upon their prey several ways, and that nothing might be able to escape them; and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away — The three thousand camels which Job had; (see Job 1:3;) a prodigious loss indeed! slaying, at the same time, the servants that tended them. If the fire of God, and the sword of the plunderers, which fell upon Job’s honest servants that were in the way of their duty, had fallen upon the Sabean robbers that were doing mischief, God’s judgments therein would have been like the great mountains, evident and conspicuous; but when the way of the wicked prospers, and they carry off their booty, while just and good men are suddenly cut off, God’s righteousness is like the great deep, the bottom of which we cannot find, Psalms 36:6.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 1:17". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-1.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Chaldeans. Some copies of the Septuagint read "horsemen." These nations inhabited the other side of the Euphrates, but made frequent incursions to plunder their neighbours. (Calmet)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 1:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-1.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"The Chaldeans": "Were fierce, marauding inhabitants from Mesopotamia" (Zuck p. 16). At this point in history the Chaldeans are a marauding tribe. "From the ninth century B.C.., when they first appear in the Assyrian records, to the period when they provided the rulers of the neo-Babylonian empire of Nebuchadnezzar the Old Testament is aware of the presence of the Chaldeans" (Strauss p. 11). "Formed three bands and made a raid": That is made a three-pronged attack. The raids by two of the groups might have been a surprise attack.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 1:17". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-1.html. 1999-2014.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Chaldeans - not merely robbers, as the Sabeans; but experienced in war, as is implied by "they set in array three bands" (Habakkuk 1:6-8). Their original seat was in the region of the Carduchian mountains, north of Assyria (Xenophon 'Cyrop,' 3: 2, 3; and 'Anab.' 4: 3, 4), and near Armenia, whence they proceeded southwards in wandering bands before they were established in a settled empire namely, the Babylonian (cf. the note of Isaiah 23:13). Rawlinson distinguishes three periods:

(1) When their seat of empire was in the south, toward the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates. The Chaldean period, from 2300 BC to 1500 BC In this period was Chederlaomer (Genesis 14:1-24), the Kudur of Hur or Ur of the Chaldees, in the Assyrian inscriptions, and the conqueror of Syria.

(2) From 1500 to 625 B.C., the Assyrian period.

(3) From 625 to 538 B.C. (when Cyrus the Persian took Babylon), the Babylonian period. Chaldees in Hebrew-Chacdiym. They were akin, perhaps, to the Hebrews, as Abraham's sojourn in Ur, and the name Checed (Hebrew #2617), a nephew of Abraham (Genesis 22:22), imply. The three bands were probably in order to attack the three separate thousands of Job's camels (Job 1:3).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 1:17". "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

(17) The Chaldeans.—Literally, Chasdim, or descendants of Chesed (Genesis 22:22; see Note on Job 1:1). This name reappears in the classic Carduchia and in the modern Kurdistan, as well as in the more familiar Chaldæa; it being a well-known philological law that r and l and r and s are interchangeable. It is to be noted that this calamity arose from the opposite quarter to the last, illustrating the well-known fact that troubles never come alone, and that causes of a widely different nature seem to combine to overthrow the falling man.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 1:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
The Chaldeans
Genesis 11:28; Isaiah 23:13; Habakkuk 1:6
fell
Heb. rushed. I only am.
15; 2 Samuel 1:3
Reciprocal: Genesis 10:22 - Elam;  2 Kings 24:2 - the Lord;  Job 5:5 - the robber;  Job 18:9 - robber;  Job 19:16 - my servant;  Job 20:22 - every hand;  Job 24:2 - violently;  Psalm 119:61 - The bands;  Jeremiah 50:1 - the land;  Ezekiel 23:23 - the Chaldeans

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 1:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-1.html.