Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 1:5

When the days of feasting had completed their cycle, Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, "Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did continually.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Amusements and Worldly Pleasures;   Children;   Dissipation;   Family;   Intercession;   Job;   Parents;   Worship;   Thompson Chain Reference - Children;   Devotional Life;   Early Rising;   Family;   Home;   Morning Devotions;   Parental;   Prayer;   Religion;   Worship;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Amusements and Pleasures, Worldly;   Burnt Offering, the;   Families;   Parents;   Patriarchal Government;   Prayer, Social and Family;   Sacrifices;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Purity;   Sanctification;   Worship;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Holocaust;   Prayer;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Priest;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Sacrifice;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Irony;   Job, the Book of;   Mediator;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Atonement;   Mediator, Mediation;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - New moon;   Satan;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Sacrifice;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Birthright;   Job;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Intercession;   Job, Book of;   Mediation;   Priesthood;   Relationships, Family;   Sacrifice;   Text of the Old Testament;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Burnt Offering;   Euphemism;   Family and Family Life;   Job;   Job, Testament of;   Sacrifice;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

When the days of their feasting were gone about - At the conclusion of the year, when the birthday of each had been celebrated, the pious father appears to have gathered them all together, that the whole family might hold a feast to the Lord, offering burnt-offerings in order to make an atonement for sins of all kinds, whether presumptuous or committed through ignorance. This we may consider as a general custom among the godly in those ancient times.

And cursed God in their hearts - אלהים וברכו uberechu Elohim . In this book, according to most interpreters, the verb ברך barach signifies both to bless and to curse; and the noun אלהים Elohim signifies the true God, false gods, and great or mighty. The reason why Job offered the burnt-offerings appears to have been this: in a country where idolatry flourished, he thought it possible that his children might, in their festivity, have given way to idolatrous thoughts, or done something prescribed by idolatrous rites; and therefore the words may be rendered thus: It may be that my children have blessed the gods in their hearts. Others think that the word ברך barach should be understood as implying farewell, bidding adieu - lest my children have bidden adieu to God, that is, renounced him, and cast off his fear. To me this is very unlikely. Mr. Mason Good contends that the word should be understood in its regular and general sense, to bless; and that the conjunction ו vau should be translated nor. "Peradventure my sons may have sinned, nor blessed God in their hearts." This version he supports with great learning. I think the sense given above is more plain, and less embarrassed. They might have been guilty of some species of idolatry. This is possible even among those called Christians, in their banquets; witness their songs to Bacchus, Venus, etc., which are countless in number, and often sung by persons who would think themselves injured, not to be reputed Christians. Coverdale, in his translation, (1535), renders the passage thus: Peradventure my sonnes have done some offense, and have been unthankful to God in their hertes.

Thus did Job continually - At the end of every year, when all the birthday festivals had gone round.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-1.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about - Dr. Good renders this, “as the days of such banquets returned.” But this is not the idea intended. It is, when the banquets had gone round as in a circle through all the families, “then” Job sent and sanctified them. It was not from an anticipation that they “would” do wrong, but it was from the apprehension that they “might” have sinned. The word rendered “were gone about” (נקף nâqaph ) means properly to join together, and then to move round in a circle, to revolve, as festivals do; see the notes at Isaiah 29:1: “Let the festivals go round.” Here it means that the days of their banqueting had gone round the circle, or had gone round the several families. Septuagint “When the days of the entertainment (or drinking, πότου potou ) were finished.” A custom of feasting similar to this prevails in China. “They have their fraternities which they call the brotherhood of the months; this consists of months according to the number of the days therein, and in a circle they go abroad to eat at one another‘s houses by turns. If one man has not conveniences to receive the fraternity in his own house, he may provide for them in another; and there are many public houses well furnished for this purpose.” See Semedo‘s History of China, i chapter 13, as quoted by Burder in Rosenmuller‘s Morgenland. “in loc.”

That Job sent - Sent for them, and called them around him. He was apprehensive that they might have erred, and he took every measure to keep them pure, and to maintain the influence of religion in his family.

And sanctified them - This expression, says Schultens, is capable of two interpretations. It may either mean that he “prepared” them by various lustrations, ablutions, and other ceremonies to offer sacrifice; or that he offered sacrifices for the purpose of procuring expiation for sins which they might actually have committed. The former sense, he remarks, is favored by the use of the word in Exodus 19:10; 1 Samuel 16:5, where the word means to prepare themselves by ablutions to meet God and to worship him. The latter sense is demanded by the connection. Job felt as every father should feel in such circumstances, that there was reason to fear that God had not been remembered as he ought to have been, and he was therefore more fervent in his devotions, and called them around him, that their own minds might be affected in view of his pious solicitude. What father is there who loves God, and who feels anxious that his children should also, who does not feel special solicitude if his sons and his daughters are in a situation where successive days are devoted to feasting and mirth? The word here rendered “sanctified” (קדשׁ qâdash ) means properly to be pure, clean, holy; in Pihel, the form used here, to make holy, to sanctify, to consecrate, as a priest; and here it means, that he took measures to make them holy on the apprehension that they had sinned; that is, he took the usual means to procure for them forgiveness. The Septuagint renders it ἐκάθαριζεν ekatharizen he purified them.

And rose up early in the morning - For the purpose of offering his devotions, and procuring for them expiation. It was customary in the patriarchal times to offer sacrifice early in the morning. See Genesis 22:3; Exodus 32:6.

And offered burnt-offerings - Hebrew “and caused to ascend;” that is, by burning them so that the smoke ascended toward heaven. The word rendered “burnt-offerings” (עולה ‛ôlâh ) is from עלה ‛âlâh “to ascend” (the word used here and rendered “offered”), and means that which was made to ascend, to wit, by burning. It is applied in the Scriptures to a sacrifice that was wholly consumed on the altar, and answers to the Greek word ὁλόκαυστον holokauston “Holocaust.” See the notes at Isaiah 1:11. Such offerings in the patriarchal times were made by the father of a family, officiating as priest in behalf of his household. Thus, Noah officiated, Genesis 8:20; and thus also Abraham acted as the priest to offer sacrifice, Genesis 12:7-8; Genesis 13:18; Genesis 22:13. In the earliest times, and among pagan nations, it was supposed that pardon might be procured for sin by offering sacrifice. In Homer there is a passage which remarkably corresponds with the view of Job before us; Iliad 9:493:

The gods (the great and only wise)

Are moved by offerings, vows, and sacrifice;

Offending man their high compassion wins,

And daily prayers atone for daily sins.

Pope

According to the number of them all - Sons and daughters. Perhaps an additional sacrifice for each one of them. The Septuagint renders this, “according to their numbers, καί μόσχον ἕνα περὶ ἁμαπτίας περὶ τῶν ψυχῶν αὐτῶν kai moschon hena peri hamartias peri tōn psuchōn autōn - a young bullock for sin or a sin-offering for their souls.”

It may be that my sons have sinned - He had no positive or certain proof of it. He felt only the natural apprehension which every pious father must, that his sons might have been overtaken by temptation, and perhaps, under the influence of wine, might have been led to speak reproachfully of God, and of the necessary restraints of true religion and virtue.

And cursed God in their hearts - The word here rendered curse is that which is usually rendered “bless” ברך bārak It is not a little remarkable that the same word is used in senses so directly opposite as to “bless” and “to curse.” Dr. Good contends that the word should be always rendered “bless,” and so translates it in this place, “peradventure my sons may have sinned, “nor” blessed God in their hearts,” understanding the Hebrew prefix ו (v ) as a disjunctive or negative participle. So too in Job 2:9, rendered in our common translation, “curse God and die,” he translates it, “blessing God and dying.” But the interpretation which the connection demands is evidently that of cursing, renouncing, or forgetting; and so also it is in Job 2:9. This sense is still more obvious in 1 Kings 21:10: “Thou didst “blaspheme” ברך bārak God and the king.” So also 1 Kings 21:13 of the same chapter - though here Dr. Good contends that the word should be rendered “bless,” and that the accusation was that Naboth “blessed” or worshipped the gods, even Moloch - where he supposes the word מלך melek should be pointed מלך môlek and read “Molech.” But the difficulty is not removed by this, and after all it is probable that the word here, as in Job 2:9, means to “curse.” So it is understood by nearly all interpreters. The Vulgate indeed renders it singularly enough, “Lest perhaps my sons have sinned, and have blessed God (et benedixerint Deo) in their hearts.” The Septuagint, “Lest perhaps my sons in their mind have thought evil toward God” - κακὰ ἐνεόησαν πρὸς Θεόν kaka enenoēsan pros Theon The Chaldee, “Lest my sons have sinned and provoked yahweh (יהוה וארגיזדקדם ) in their hearts.” Assuming that this is the sense of the word here, there are three ways of accounting for the fact that the same word should have such opposite significations.

(1) One is that proposed by Taylor (Concor.), that pious persons of old regarded blasphemy as so abominable that they abhorred to express it by the proper name, and that therefore by an “euphemism” they used the term “bless” instead of “curse.” But it should be said that nothing is more common in the Scriptures than words denoting cursing and blasphemy. The word אלה 'âlâh in the sense of cursing or execrating, occurs frequently. So the word גדף gâdaph means to blaspheme, and is often used; 2 Kings 19:6, 2 Kings 19:22; Isaiah 37:6, Isaiah 37:23; Psalm 44:16. Other words also were used in the same sense, and there was no necessity of using a mere “euphemism” here.

(2) A second mode of accounting for this double use of the word is. that this was the common term of salutation between friends at meeting and parting. It is then supposed to have been used in the sense of the English phrase “to bid farewell to.” And then, like that phrase, to mean “to renounce, to abandon, to dismiss from the mind, to disregard.” The words χαίρειν chairein in Greek, and “valere” in Latin, are used in this way. This explanation is suggested by Schultens, and is adopted by Rosenmuller and Noyes, who refer to the following places as parallel instances of the use of the word. Virg. Ecl. 8,58. “Vivite Sylvoe ” - a form, says the Annotator on Virgil (Delphin), of bidding farewell to, like the Greek χαίρετε chairete - “a form used against those whom we reject with hatred, and wish to depart.” Thus, Catull. 11. 17: Cum suis vivat, valeatque moechis. So Aesch. Agam. 574:

Καὶ πολλὰ χαίρειν ξυμφοραῖς καταξιῶ polla chairein cumforais kataciō Plutarch, Dion. p. 975. So Cicero in a letter to Atticus (Psalm 8:8), in which he complains of the disgraceful flight of Pompey, applies to him a quotation from Aristophanes; πολλὰ χαίρειν εἰπὼν τῷ καλῷ polla chairein eipōn tō kalō - “bidding farewell to honour he fled to Brundusium;” compare Ter. And. 4:2. 14. Cicero de Nat. Deor. 1. 44. According to this interpretation, it means that Job apprehended they had renounced God in their hearts. that is, had been unmindful of him, and had withheld from him the homage which was due. - This is plausible: but the difficulty is in making out the use of this sense of the word in Hebrew. That the word was used as a mode of “parting salutation” among the Hebrews is undoubted. It was a solemn form of invoking the divine blessing when friends separated; compare Genesis 28:3; Genesis 47:10. But I find no use of the word where it is applied to separation in the sense of “renouncing,” or bidding farewell to “in a bad sense;” and unless some instances of this kind can be adduced, the interpretation is unsound, and though similar phrases are used in Greek, Latin, and other languages, it does not demonstrate that this use of the word obtained in the Hebrew.

(3) A third, and more simple explanation is that which supposes that the original sense of the word was “to kneel.” This, according to Gesenius, is the meaning of the word in Arabic. So Castell gives the meaning of the word - “to bend the knees for the sake of honour;” that is, as an act of respect. So in Syriac, “Genua flexit̂ procubuit So “Genu the “knee.” Then it means to bend the knee for the purpose of invoking God, or worshipping. In the Piel, the form used here, it means

(1) to bless God, to celebrate, to adore;

(2) to bless men - that is, to “invoke” blessings on them; to greet or salute them - in the sense of invoking blessings on them when we meet them; 1 Samuel 15:13; Genesis 47:7; 2 Samuel 6:20; or when we part from them; Genesis 47:10; 1 Kings 8:66; Genesis 24:60;

(3) to “invoke evil,” in the sense of “cursing others.” The idea is, that punishment or destruction is from God, and hence, it is “imprecated” on others. In one word, the term is used, as derived from the general sense of kneeling, in the sense of “invoking” either blessings or curses; and then in the general sense of blessing or cursing. This interpretation is defended by Selden, de jure Nat. et Gent. Lib. II. 100:11:p. 255, and by Gesenius, Lexicon. The idea here is, that Job apprehended that his sons, in the midst of mirth, and perhaps revelry, had been guilty of irreverence, and perhaps of reproaching God inwardly for the restraints of virtue and piety. What is more common in such scenes? What was more to be apprehended?

Thus did Job continually - It was his regular habit whenever such an occasion occurred. He was unremitted in his pious care; and his solicitude lest his sons should have sinned never ceased - a beautiful illustration of the appropriate feelings of a pious father in regard to his sons. The Hebrew is, “all day;” that is, at all times.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "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 it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about,.... When they had been at each other's houses in turn; when the rotation was ended: something like this is practised by the Chinese, who have their co-fraternities, which they call "the brotherhood of the month"; this consists of thirty, according to the number of days therein, and in a circle they go every day to eat at one another's house by turns; if one man has not convenience to receive the fraternity in his own house, he may provide it at another man's, and there are many public houses very well furnished for this purposeF5Semedo's History of China, par. 1. c. 13. : Job's sons probably began at the elder brother's house, and so went on according to their age, and ended with the younger brother; so when they had gone through the circuit, as the wordF6הקיפו "cum circulssent, vel circulum fecissent", Vatablus; "circulum absolverent", Bolducius. signifies, and the revolution was over, and they had done feasting for that season, or that year:

that Job sent and sanctified them; not that he did or could make them holy, by imparting grace, or infusing holiness into them; at most he could only pray for their sanctification, and give them rules, precepts, and instructions about holiness, and exhortations to it; but here it signifies, that being at some distance from them he sent messengers or letters to them to sanctify and prepare themselves for the sacrifices he was about to offer for them; either by some rites and ceremonies, as by washing themselves, and abstinence from their wives, which were sometimes used as preparatory to divine service, Genesis 35:2, or by fasting and prayer; or, perhaps, no more is intended by it than an invitation of them to come and attend the solemn sacrifice which he, as the head of the family, would offer for them; so, to sanctify people, is sometimes to invite, to call and gather them to holy service, see Joel 2:15 and so the Targum renders it. "Job sent and invited them:"

and rose up early in the morning of the last of the days of feasting; he took the first opportunity, and that as early as he could; which shows the eagerness of his spirit for the glory of God, and the good of his children, losing no time for his devotion to God, and regard for his family; this being also the fittest time for religious worship and service, see Psalm 5:3, and was used for sacrifice, Exodus 29:39,

and offered burnt offering according to the number of them all either of his ten children, or only his seven sons, since they only are next mentioned, and were the masters of the feast: this was before the law of the priesthood was in being, which restrained the offering of sacrifice to those in the office of priests, when, before, every head of a family had a right unto it; and this custom of offering sacrifice was before the law of Moses, it was of divine institution, and in use from the time of the fall of man, Genesis 3:21, and was by tradition handed down from one to another, and so Job had it; and which was typical of the sacrifice of Christ, to be offered up in the fulness of time for the expiation of sin; and Job, no doubt, by faith in Christ, offered up those burnt offerings for his sons, and one for each of them, thereby signifying, that everyone stood in need of the whole sacrifice of Christ for the atonement of sin, as every sinner does:

for Job said, it may be that my sons have sinned; not merely as in common, or daily sins of infirmity; for Job so full well knew the corruption of human nature, that a day could not pass without sin in thought, word, or deed; but some more notorious or scandalous sin; that, in the midst of their feasting and mirth, they had used some filthy, or frothy, and unsavoury and unbecoming language; had dropped some impure words, or impious jests, or done some actions which would reflect dishonour on God and true religion, and bring an odium on themselves and families: now Job was not certain of this, he had had no instruction or intelligence of it; he only surmised and conjectured it might be so; he was fearful and jealous lest it should: this shows his care and concern, as for the glory of God, so for the spiritual welfare of his children, though they were grown up and gone from him, and is to be considered in favour of his sons; for by this it is evident they were not addicted to any sin, or did not live a vicious course of life; but that they were religious and godly persons; or, otherwise Job would have had no doubt in his mind about their conduct and behaviour: the particular sin he feared they might have been guilty of follows:

and cursed God in their hearts; not in the grossest sense of the expression, so as to deny the being of God, and wish there was none, and conceive blasphemy in their hearts, and utter it with their lips; but whereas to bless God is to think and speak well of him, and ascribe that to him which is his due; so to curse him is to think and speak irreverently of him, and not to attribute to him what belongs unto him; and thus Job might fear that his sons, amidst their feasting, might boast of their plenty, and of the increase of their substance, and attribute it to their own diligence and industry, and not to the providence of God, of which he feared they might speak slightingly and unbecomingly, as persons in such circumstances sometimes do, see Deuteronomy 32:15. Mr. Broughton renders it, "and little blessed God in their hearts" not blessing him as they should was interpretatively cursing him; the Hebrew word used properly and primarily signifies to blessF7ברכו אלהים "benedixerint Deo", V. L. Piscator. , and then the meaning is, either that his sons had sinned, but took no notice of it, nor were humbled for it, but blessed God, being prosperous and successful, as if they had never sinned at all, see Zechariah 13:1, Sanctius adds the negative particle "not", as if the meaning was, that they sinned, and did not bless God for their mercies as they should, Deuteronomy 8:10, but this is too daring and venturous to make such an addition; though this is favoured by the Targum, as in some copies, which paraphrases it,

and have not prayed in the name of the Lord in their hearts: and because the word is used at parting, and taking a farewell of friends, Cocceius thinks it may be so used here, and the sense to be, that they sinned, and took their leave of God, and departed from him; but rather, as the word Elohim is used of strange gods, of false deities, Exodus 18:11. Job's fears might be, lest his sons should have been guilty of any idolatrous action, at least of blessing the gods of the Gentiles in their hearts, since feasting sometimes leads to idolatry, Exodus 32:6, but the first sense seems best, with which the Septuagint version agrees,

"it may be my sons in their mind have thought evil things against the Lord:'

thus did Job continually; or "all those days"F8כל הימים "cunctis diebus", Pagninus, Montanus; "singulis diebus illis", Junius & Tremellius; "omnibus diebus illis", Piscator, Cocceius. ; that is, after every such circuit and rotation of feasting, or after every feast day kept by them, he offered sacrifices for them; or every yearF9"Singulis annis", Schmidt, Schultens; see 1 Sam. xx. 7. , as some interpret the phrase, the feasts, and so the sacrifices, being annual; all this is observed, partly further to describe the piety of Job, his affection for his family, and concern for their spiritual good, and the glory of God, and partly as a leading step to an later event, Job 1:18.

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Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-1.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And it was so, when the days of [their] feasting were gone about, that Job sent and f sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and g offered burnt offerings [according] to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and h cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job i continually.

(f) That is, commanded them to be sanctified: meaning, that they should consider the faults that they had committed, and reconcile themselves for the same.

(g) That is, he offered for each of his children an offering of reconciliation, which declared his religion toward God, and the care that he had for his children.

(h) In Hebrew it is, "blessed God", which is sometimes taken for blaspheming and cursing, as it is here and in (1 Kings 21:10), (1 Kings 21:13).

(i) While the feast lasted.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-1.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

when the days of their feasting were gone about — that is, at the end of all the birthdays collectively, when the banquets had gone round through all the families.

Job  …  sanctified — by offering up as many expiatory burnt offerings as he had sons (Leviticus 1:4). This was done “in the morning” (Genesis 22:3; Leviticus 6:12). Jesus also began devotions early (Mark 1:35). The holocaust, or burnt offering, in patriarchal times, was offered (literally, “caused to ascend,” referring to the smoke ascending to heaven) by each father of a family officiating as priest in behalf of his household.

cursed God — The same Hebrew word means to “curse,” and to “bless”; Gesenius says, the original sense is to “kneel,” and thus it came to mean bending the knee in order to invoke either a blessing or a curse. Cursing is a perversion of blessing, as all sin is of goodness. Sin is a degeneracy, not a generation. It is not, however, likely that Job should fear the possibility of his sons cursing God. The sense “bid farewell to,” derived from the blessing customary at parting, seems sufficient (Genesis 47:10). Thus Umbreit translates “may have dismissed God from their hearts”; namely, amid the intoxication of pleasure (Proverbs 20:1). This act illustrates Job‘s “fear of God” (Job 1:1).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-1.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

When — When each of them had had his turn.

Satisfied — He exhorted them to examine their own consciences, to repent of any thing, which had been amiss in their feasting, and compose their minds for employments of a more solemn nature.

Early — Thereby shewing his ardent zeal in God's service.

May be — His zeal for God's glory, and his true love to his children, made him jealous.

Cursed — Not in a gross manner, which it is not probable either that they should do, or that Job should suspect it concerning them, but despised or dishonoured God; for both Hebrew and Greek words signifies cursing, are sometimes used to note only, reviling or setting light by a person.

Hearts — By slight and low thoughts of God, or by neglecting to give God the praise for the mercies which they enjoyed.

Thus — It was his constant course at the end of every feasting time, to offer a sacrifice for each. Parents should be particular in their addresses to God, for the several branches of their family; praying for each child, according to his particular temper, genius and disposition.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-1.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 1:5 And it was so, when the days of [their] feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings [according] to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

Ver. 5. And it was so, that when the days of their feasting were gone about] Such was his holy care of them, and jealousy over them, that he would defer the work no longer; as knowing that sin will rankle in the conscience, and harden the heart, like poison in the body, it must be quickly cast up, ere it get to the vitals.

That Job sent and sanctified them] Though they were grown up, yet he kept them in awe, as appears by his command to sanctify themselves against the sacrifice, Ut se parent et purgent. So he nourished and purified theme. So did not Eli, but honoured his untoward sons above God, even then when those lewd lowlies kicked at his sacrifice, and at his offering which he had commanded in his habitation, 1 Samuel 2:29. Job knew that he was bound as well to the preservation, as to the observation, of God’s commandments, to see that others (those especially of his familiarity and family) keep them as well as himself. When, therefore, the circle of days and feasting was finished, he waited not till the eighth day came, but at the end of the seventh he summoneth all his children to come before the Lord in holy duties, with the best preparations they could make; to wash their hands in innocence before they compassed God’s altar, Psalms 26:6; to repent of their immoderations in mirth, or whatsoever other guilt they had any way contracted; lest he cast back their services as dirt upon their faces. The heathens, by the light of nature, saw that God was not to be served slightly and slubberingly. The Pythagoreans would not have men worship by the by, but make it their business, and prepare for it aforehand. And Numa Pompilius, second king of Rome, commanded that men should not worship God for fashion, carelessly, and as doing somewhat else; but freed from all other cares and cumbers, ουκ ες παραδω προσκυνειν, αλλα οικοθεν παρασκευασαμενοι. ουκ εν παρεργω και αμελως, &c. (Plut.). The Jews had their preparation and their forepreparation to the passover ( παρασκευη, προπαρασκευη): and as any man measureth to God in preparation, God will measure to him again in blessing.

And rose up early in the morning] Sanctificat, sanat, ditat quoque surgere mane. Sanctify, heal, enrich also to rise in the morning. The morning is the best time for holy duties. God should have the first of everything; then, also, men are freshest and freest from worldly businesses. The Philistines arose early to do sacrifice to their Dagon, or Tritan, as other heathens called him. They generally took the top of the morning ( utpote quod παν εργον οφελλει) to offer to their dung hill deities, as holding that then they sat in their temples, and took notice of morning salutations. Homer brings in Nestor sacrificing in the morning; so do the Roman historians their Potitii and Pinarii, offering to Hercules upon their greatest altar of all. Argonauts do the like in Apollonius; and the Persian magi were wont to worship the rising sun with their early hymns.

And offered burnt offerings] Whole burnt offerings, not sacrifice only (as the Greek interpreter hath it), nor peace offerings, whereof himself might have had part; but burnt offerings, that were offered in fire unto God, and that according to the number of his sons; not one general family sacrifice only, but for every one, one. It appeareth, then, that Job was no penny father, no niggard in God’s service, but lavished money out of the bag, and thought all too little that way. So did Solomon in that greatest sacrifice that ever we read of, 1 Kings 8:63, and his father David, when, out of his poverty, as he calleth it, he had prepared for the house of the Lord a hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver, &c., which Sir Walter Raleigh casteth up to be more than any king in the world is worth; this is check to our tenacity and baseness (Hist. of the World, Part II., cap. 17, sect. 9).

For Job said] viz. In his heart, for God understandeth the language of the heart also, Psalms 139:1, Genesis 20:11.

It may be that my sons have sinned] Or, lest haply. He well knew the corruption of man’s nature, wherein there is a πανσπερμια, seed place of all sins. He knew also how easily we overshoot ourselves at merry meetings, and give too much liberty to our tongues and appetites to run riot. He, therefore, seeks pardon for his children’s suspected sins; he knew, besides unavoidable and involuntary infirmities (such as none are free from), they might be called to an account by a just and jealous God for their other men’s sins, which they had not bewailed, 1 Corinthians 5:2, or not rebuked, at least by their countenance, as God doth, Psalms 80:16. Job was a man of a tender conscience, and therefore propounds to himself the worst; neither was it against charity in him to suspect ill of his children, while he intended their good, and turned his suspicion into a supplication. That his children were godly is put out of question, by his being at a question whether they had sinned. But how then doth it follow?

And cursed God in their hearts] And not blessed God, so Calvin rendereth it; not done him right, and therefore wrong, so Sanctius; they have not high and honourable conceptions of him, answerable to his excellent greatness; but, by base and bald thoughts, cast him, as it were, into a dishonourable mould, and not giving him the glory due to his name, that holy and reverend name, Psalms 111:9; great and dreadful among the heathen, Malachi 1:14. In the Hebrew it is, And blessed God, for cursed, by an euphemismus or antiphrasis; as when a harlot is called Kedesha, a holy woman, by contraries. So auri sacra (i.e. execranda) fames. sacrifice of gold (i.e. a curse) famine, The Hebrews so abhorred blasphemy against God, as they would not have the sound of it to be joined to the name of God, whom they commonly call Baruc-hu, the blessed one. So they would not take the name of leaven (that prohibited ware) into their mouths all the time of the feast of the passover (Elias Thisb.). So in their common talk they call a sow dabhar achar, another thing, because they were forbidden to eat swine’s flesh.

Thus did Job continually] Heb. all the days; that is, in the renewed seasons, he was not weary of well doing, but steadfast and unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, always renewing his repentance, and faith in Christ, figured by those sacrifices; for the ceremonial law was their gospel.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 1:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-1.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Job 1:5

After the days of his sons' feasting were over, Job offered sacrifices of atonement for them, lest in the midst of their enjoyment they might have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. He was afraid lest their pleasures had done them harm, and he wished, if it were so, to remedy it.

I. "It may be," said Job, "that my sons have cursed God in their hearts." The blasphemy of the heart is the natural child of prosperity where man is corrupt and God is pure. Prosperity makes a man feel strong in himself and confident, but it does not make him feel grateful, because, knowing God to be a holy God, and himself to be alienated from Him, he cannot think that his good things are God's gift, but rather that they are enjoyed in spite of Him. So then he learns to hate God; and the more he enjoys his earthly good things, the more he hates Him.

II. The first beginnings of this feeling are a sense of weari ness and impatience when any pleasure is interrupted, or for a short time deferred, by a call to offer up our prayers to God.

The two things seem to us unsuitable to one another. Whenever we find our duty dull, then the thought of God becomes dull to us also; we are in the first beginnings of cursing Him in our hearts.

III. If we believe that our pleasures are the gift of God, that God loves us, and that these, as well as all other things which we enjoy, are the fruits of His fatherly affection, then we need no sacrifice of atonement to sanctify our joys to us, and to save us from the punishment of inward blasphemy; all is atoned for, all is peace and safety; for we have received the Spirit of adoption, and cry, "Abba, Father," and the Spirit itself witnesseth with our spirit that we are the sons of God through Jesus Christ.

T. Arnold, Sermons, vol. vi., p. 93.


References: Job 1:5.—C. J. Vaughan, Memorials of Harrow Sundays, p. 385; Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 362; E. Monro, Practical Sermons, vol. i., p. 347. Job 1:6.—Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes: Genesis to Proverbs, p. 115.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/job-1.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 1:5. When the days of their feasting were gone about As the days of their feasting went about. By sanctifying them is meant, his preparing them, by lustrations and other ritual ceremonies, to perform divine service with him, and to render God propitious to them; see Exodus 19:10 and 1 Samuel 16:5 where to sanctify, or cleanse, is used for the care of approaching to sacred rites, washed and clean. The Hebrew word כרךֶ barek, signifies, to bless; but it here implies, to renounce, or bid adieu to, because we bid adieu to, or take our leave of, those things which we abandon or renounce. It is therefore used with great elegance in this sense, to signify, they renounced God; and this signification is still softened, and rendered more elegant, by the addition of the words in their hearts. Thus did Job continually, means every year; that is, on every annual return of each of his sons' birth-days. See Schultens.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 1:5". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-1.html. 1801-1803.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

(5) And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

How truly amiable doth Job appear in this short, but most interesting account of him. Observe the piety manifested towards God in this religious act. And observe the tenderness of affection manifested towards his children. Parents cannot command grace for their children: but gracious parents will pray for ungracious children. And observe that this was a daily act of Job's. He presented them thus continually before the Lord. And observe, moreover, that the burnt offerings he presented for them had an eye to everyone of them, according to the number of them all. Oh! ye parents of ungodly children, how are ye here taught to make personal and particular supplication before the mercy-seat daily, hourly, that each child may have a separate remembrance at the throne; that, like another Hannah, at a future day, when a gracious God hath heard and answered prayer, ye might be able to say, it was for this child I prayed, and the Lord hath given me my petition. 1 Samuel 1:27. But, Reader, when you have paid due attention to this lovely part of Job's character, as the pious man and the tender father, I pray you to look at him in a still more exalted view, as a true believer in Christ Jesus. For, surely, Job's sacrifices were all with an eye to Jesus. Nay, doth not the Holy Ghost intend to represent Job himself as a type of the ever blessed Jesus, who thus acted as a Priest in his family, and presented them all with sacrifice? Oh! how blessed it is thus to trace thee, thou glorious great High Priest, typified and shadowed forth in those early ages of the world.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/job-1.html. 1828.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae

DISCOURSE: 449

JOB’S ANXIETY FOR HIS CHILDREN

Job 1:5. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt-offerings according to the number of them all: for M said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

WHO Job was, or at what precise period he lived, or who wrote the book that is called by his name, is not certainly known. It is probable that he was a descendant of Nahor, Abraham’s brother [Note: Genesis 22:20-21.], and that he lived previous to the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, because there does not appear to be any direct reference to that event, which there would in all probability have been, if it had taken place, and Job or his friends had been acquainted with it. The Book of Job, with the exception of the two first chapters, and part of the last, is written in verse; and this has given occasion to some to imagine, that the whole book is a kind of poetic fiction: but there undoubtedly was such a man as Job [Note: Ezekiel 14:14.]; and the events referred to in the Book of Job did actually occur [Note: James 5:11.]; and the record of them was most assuredly inspired [Note: It is referred to by St. Paul in this view. Compare Job 5:13. with 1 Corinthians 3:19.]. Though therefore we admit that the conversation which passed between him and his friends is not recorded in the precise words used by the different speakers, yet it is certain that the substance of their respective speeches is correctly given, and that the record of them was written under the direction of God himself; so that it is, as much as any other part of the inspired volume, the word of God. The scope of the book must be clearly understood, and be borne in mind throughout; for, if we lose sight of that, the whole will be a mass of confusion. The friends of Job conceived, that his extraordinary calamities proved that his former professions of piety had been hypocritical: and Job maintained, that the trials which a man might be called to endure were no just criterion whereby to judge of his state; since the most upright of men might be deeply afflicted, and the most ungodly of men might enjoy uninterrupted ease and prosperity. And it will be found in the sequel, that, though Job in some instances was unguarded in his expressions, his views on the whole were right, and those of his friends erroneous. But we must not therefore conclude, that his friends uttered nothing that was good: their general sentiments were just; but their application of them to Job’s particular case was incorrect: their premises were often right; but their conclusions wrong. Their great error was, that they thought such extraordinary dispensations of God’s providence towards a man must be sent on account of some extraordinary wickedness committed by him. Conceiving themselves to be correct in this, they concluded Job to have been a hypocrite, and that God had now exposed his hypocrisy to the view of all: and Job, on the contrary, maintained that he had been upright in all his conduct, and that the judgment of his friends was uncharitable, erroneous, and wicked.

But it is not our intention to enter any further into the general question between Job and his friends at present: we have now only to consider the private character of Job, and that more particularly in reference to his family. He is represented as a man of most eminent piety, as being “perfect and upright, and one that feared God and eschewed evil [Note: ver. 1.]:” and from what is said of him in our text, he evidently deserved that high character. Let us consider then,

I. His conduct in relation to his family—

God had blessed him with a numerous family, whom he had reared to manhood, and placed around him with separate establishments. But, notwithstanding he had thus liberally provided for them, and was evidently most indulgent towards them, (promoting to the uttermost a brotherly union among them, and permitting his daughters to enliven the innocent conviviality of their domestic circles,) he was exceeding watchful and jealous over their eternal interests. His seven sons had been entertaining each other in succession: and, though Job knew not that any thing contrary to God’s will had passed amongst them, yet, conceiving it possible that they might in their mirth have been transported too far, he called them to prepare themselves for a solemn attendance upon God, whilst he should offer for every one of them a burnt-offering unto the Lord.

Now consider this as an act,

1. Of magisterial authority—

[It is manifest that he was, if not a king, yet a magistrate, possessing very high authority, and occupied to a great extent in judicial proceedings [Note: Job 29:5-10.]: yet he did not therefore think himself at liberty to neglect religion, or to confine his attention to private duties: he felt that the more exalted his station was, the greater was his responsibility, and the more urgent his duty to honour God before men. What a blessing would it be, if all people of wealth and dignity would use their influence in this way! But the generality of great men think there is no need for them to stand forth as patrons and patterns of religion: they suppose they have a dispensation from such open acts of piety as would attract observation, and make them appear particular; and that, if they countenance by their presence the public institutions of religion, it is quite as much as can be required at their hands. But we must declare to all, that, if Job, with the small measure of light which he enjoyed, accounted it his duty to exert all his influence for the honour of his God, much more should we, who profess to have received the full light of the Gospel, feel it our duty to devote all our faculties and all our talents to the honour of Christ, and the extension of his kingdom upon earth.]

2. Of parental love—

[Many who have been careful of their children in their earlier days, cast off all concern about them, or at least decline all interference with them as to religious matters, when they have arrived at years of discretion. But so did not Job: though he was an indulgent parent, he did not give up all parental authority, but sought to use it for the eternal welfare of his children. He called them all to self-examination and prayer, previous to his offering for them the sacrifices in which he commanded them to join [Note: This is the meaning of the word “sanctified” See Exodus 19:10; Exodus 19:14.]. Yea, we are told, “Thus he did continually;” continually watching over their eternal interests, and using all his influence, both with them and with God, to bring them to the enjoyment of the divine favour. in this he is a pattern for parents in every age, and in every place. As long as God shall continue to them the possession of their intellects, so long should they improve their authority for the enforcing of an attention to religious duties, and for the cultivating of a spirit of piety in the hearts of their children.]

The peculiarity of his conduct naturally leads us to inquire into,

II. The grounds and reasons of it—

Had any great evil been committed by his sons, to call forth that particular exercise of parental authority, we should have ascribed to that the conduct of this holy man: but, as no evil existed but in his apprehensions, we must look for the grounds of his conduct in some general views and principles to which it is to be traced. It was founded in Job’s views of,

1. The extreme depravity of our nature—

[Though he had trained up his children in pious principles, he knew that they were by nature prone to evil, and that there was not any sin which, if left to themselves, they might not commit. He knew that they might even go so far as to speak lightly of God and his dispensations, whether of providence or grace; yea, through an evil heart of unbelief they might depart from God altogether, and actually renounce their allegiance to him. Hence he was desirous to obtain mercy for them, that, if they should have committed so great a sin, they might be brought back again to repentance, and not be left to perish for ever in their iniquity.

Now in this respect the views of Job were just: for the heart of man by nature is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked;” and, whatever education he may have received, and whatever eminence in piety he may have attained, he has reason to pray, “Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not!” yea, he has reason to fear, “lest, having preached to others, he himself should become a cast-away.” And every person in the universe should bear this in mind, in reference both to himself and others: for it is “God alone that is able to keep us from falling,” and it is only whilst “he holds us up that we can be safe.”]

2. The corrupt tendency of carnal mirth—

[Mirth may be very innocently enjoyed: but there is great danger, especially when indulged to any extent, that it may become an occasion of evil. It certainly tends to stupify the conscience, and to deaden our affections towards God. When we are rejoicing much in earthly things, we are apt to languish in our desire of heavenly things; and to feel less ardent longings for the glory that shall be revealed. Moreover, when “we are full, there is danger lest we deny God, and say, Who is the Lord [Note: Proverbs 30:8-9.]?” It was against this that God cautioned his people of old [Note: Deuteronomy 8:10-11.], and this effect Job saw as likely to be produced in his own children. Hence he called them to a particular recollection of their spirit and conduct during their days of feasting: he urged them to examine well their own hearts, and to implore help from God, that they might be enabled to discover any secret evil which might have lurked in their bosoms. Now in this he set an admirable example unto us. The world is apt to fascinate our carnal hearts; and it is extremely difficult to “use the world without abusing it.” Whenever therefore we have been mixing in its company and participating of its pleasures, it becomes us carefully to examine our own hearts, lest we should have offended God by our forgetfulness of him, or contracted any stain that may render us odious in his sight.]

3. The universal need of an atonement—

[Had Job offered one burnt-offering for them all, it would have sufficed to shew them what judgments they merited at the hands of God, and that nothing but the Great Sacrifice could ever avert his wrath from them; but when he offered a separate burnt-offering for each of them, these lessons were inculcated with double force. In truth, whether the young men had transgressed, or not, to the extent that their father feared, it was still necessary that they should apply to the blood of atonement to cleanse them from their sins. We need one to “bear the iniquity of our holiest actions,” and much more to expiate the guilt which we contract in an hour of conviviality and mirth: “Without shedding of blood there can be no remission” of any sin whatever: and a most important lesson we shall learn from this history, if we take occasion from it to get this truth deeply impressed upon our hearts.]

Let us learn from hence,

1. To exercise a jealousy over ourselves—

[If it was right in Job to be jealous over his sons, it must surely be right for all to maintain a similar disposition in reference to themselves: nor is it only after a season of conviviality that we should exercise it, but at all times. Not a day should pass without diligent self-examination how we have passed our time, and how we have performed our several duties in the world, the family, and the closet; what tempers we have manifested towards man, and what affections we have exercised towards God, Have we received every thing, whether good or evil, as from him, and endeavoured to enjoy him in our comforts and to bless him for all our trials? In a word, let us especially inquire from time to time whether we have under all circumstances walked as in his immediate presence, and laboured to glorify his great and glorious name? “This, like Job, we should do continually:” and, like him also, we should occasionally set apart a day for more than ordinary self-examination, for deep humiliation on account of our innumerable short-comings and defects, and for a more earnest application to the blood of our Great Sacrifice to expiate the guilt of all sins, whether deliberate or unintentional, whether known or unknown.]

2. To seek above all things the eternal welfare of our children—

[It is undoubtedly a parent’s duty to seek the comfortable settlement of his children in some good and useful occupation: but it is his duty also to seek above all things the salvation of their souls. Consider, ye who have families, that from you has been transmitted to your children a corrupt nature, which, if not changed by divine grace, will hurry them on to everlasting perdition. Surely then ye are bound to seek this grace for them: ye are bound to pray for them night and day: ye are bound to restrain them also, and to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord [Note: 1 Samuel 3:13.].” Nor is it only in their earlier years that you are thus to watch over them, but in after life: and if you neglect to do so, you will involve yourselves in the deepest guilt, and be justly answerable for them in the day of judgment: “their blood will be justly required at your hands.” In particular, be careful to instil into their minds high and reverential thoughts of God, and adoring gratitude to Christ for the atonement which he has made for sin and sinners. Teach them to go to that Saviour continually, and to wash in the fountain of his blood, which alone can cleanse them from their sins. Thus, whatever may be the issue of your labours with respect to them, you will stand acquitted in your own conscience, and have a testimony from God in the last day that you have done the things which were pleasing in his sight; “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”]

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Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

When the days of their feasting were gone about; when each of them had had his turn, which peradventure came speedily, though not immediately one after another; and there was some considerable interval before their next feasting time.

Job sent and sanctified them, i.e. he exhorted and commanded them to sanctify themselves for the following work, to wit, by purifying themselves from all ceremonial and moral pollution, as the manner then was, Exodus 19:10, and by preparing themselves by true repentance for all their sins, and particularly such as they had committed in their time of feasting and jollity, and by fervent prayers to make their peace with God by sacrifice.

Rose up early in the morning; thereby showing his ardent zeal in God’s service, and his impatience till God was reconciled to him and to his children.

It may be that my sons have sinned: his zeal for God’s glory, and his true love to his children, made him jealous; for which he had cause enough from the corruption of man’s nature, the frailty and folly of youth, the many temptations which attend upon feasting and jollity, and the easiness of sliding from lawful to forbidden delights.

And cursed God; not in the grossest manner and highest degree, which it is not probable either that they should do, now especially when they had no provocation to do it, as being surrounded with blessings and comforts which they were actually enjoying, and not yet exercised with any affliction, or that Job should suspect it concerning them; but despised and dishonoured God; for both Hebrew and Greek words signifying cursing, are sometimes used to note only reviling, or detracting, or speaking evil, or setting light by a person. Thus what is called cursing one’s father or mother, Exodus 21:17, is elsewhere called setting light by them, as Deuteronomy 27:16 Ezekiel 22:7. See also 2 Peter 2:10 Jude 1:8, and many other places.

In their hearts; by slight and low thoughts of God, by neglecting or forgetting to give God the praise and glory of the mercies which by his favour they enjoyed, by taking more hearty delight in their feasts and jollity than in the service and fruition of God; for these and such-like distempers of heart are most usual in times of prosperity and jollity, as appears by common experience, and by the many Divine cautions we have against them, as Deuteronomy 6:11,12 Ho 2:8, and elsewhere. And these miscarriages, though inward and secret, Job calls by such a hard name as usually signifies cursing, by way of aggravation of their sin, which peradventure they were too apt to slight as a small and trivial miscarriage.

This did Job continually, i.e. it was his constant course at the end of every feasting time.

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Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

5.Sanctified them — The Septuagint renders יקדשׁם, “purified them.” Not being present himself at their festivities, Job sent some messenger who should summon them to cleanse themselves, perhaps their garments, (Genesis 35:2; Exodus 19:10,) by some unrecorded process of lustration. Thus they would become ceremonially pure; for thus only would they be prepared to participate in the benefit of the sacrifices he proposed next day to offer. Jacob pursued a similar course with his family prior to the erection of an altar unto God. St. Chrysostom (quoted by Wordsworth) says, “that he purified their hearts, and not their bodies, by prayers; and that this lustration resembled an apostolic purification, not a Levitical one.” Job regarded himself as responsible for his family. Its very constitution points to higher ends than the mere training of children for the present life. The family circle is a divinely constituted section of our race, severed from all others, intrusted to the two who stand at its head; and God holds that head to stern responsibility, according to the enlarged views of the patriarch Job. (On the entire absorption of the family in the person of the father under the patriarchal system, see Maine on “Ancient Laws.”)

Burnt offerings עלה, ‘holah, a whole burnt offering — a sacrifice to be wholly consumed by fire, hence called holocaust. This word first appears in the sacrifice by Noah, (Genesis 8:20,) and denotes, as in the text, a primitive institution of this the most imposing of all the forms of sacrifice. As a whole victim was offered for each of the sons, the thoughtful family must have read in the ascending flames (‘halah, to go up) the enormity of sin against God, the doctrine of vicarious sacrifice, and the necessity of entire consecration to him. In the substitution of one for one, they may have descried afar off the One Being who should die for each sinner. In the Levitical economy the offering of sacrifices devolved upon a distinct tribe. Here Job discharges the duties of a priest, which could have been proper only among a people distinct from the Jewish, (compare Exodus 18:12; Numbers 23:3; Numbers 23:15,) or in an age antedating the Jewish economy. “Besides, the Levitical law required in such cases as these the offering of a sin offering or a trespass offering, but Job offered a burnt offering.” — Wordsworth. The indications are, that this sacrifice preceded those of the Levitical dispensation, and belonged rather to those of the patriarchal. It serves also casually to show the antiquity of this book. Under the light, then, of a primeval revelation whose one chief rite was apparently that of sacrifice, Job appears before us the peer of Melchisedek — like him without father and mother — of no known lineage, but highly honoured to shadow forth the One Priesthood, greater than all others, and which, though not of the house of Aaron, was to abide forever.

Cursed God — Rather, renounced God. The word ברךְ, translated curse, primarily means to “bow” or “bend the knee;” thence it came to signify to “pray,” “praise,”

and to “bless,” since the knee was bowed in these respective acts. From the custom of pronouncing blessings upon occasions of separation the word in time assumed another meaning, that of “bidding farewell.” In like manner our own word farewell, fare (thee) well, pronounces a blessing upon the act of parting. A like change took place in the Greek χαιρειν and in the Latin valere, until, like the Hebrew barak, they were used in the sense of “renouncing.” Job’s fear of God led him to apprehend that his sons, in the excess of pleasure, might have deemed the thought of God intrusive, at least unessential to their joys, and thus in their hearts have been guilty of renouncing God. Comp. Job 21:14. “It is curious that the sin which the father’s heart dreaded in his children was the sin to which he himself was tempted, and into which he almost fell.” — Davidson.

In their hearts — Job’s view of the heart partly anticipates that of Christ: “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts.” Job evidently regarded the heart as the seat of evil, the source of moral action, and the fountain-head of responsibility. A dominion is thus betokened not only over overt action, but the more mysterious realm of thought. Job knew that evil thoughts needed an atonement. The senseless and practically Epicurean maxim, “Thought is free,” found no favour in that earnest age. The flames of whole burnt offerings “continually” proclaimed, as with solemn tongues of fire, man’s responsibility for all his thoughts. See note on Romans 10:10.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "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 1:5. When the days of their feasting were gone about — When each of them had had his turn, and there was some considerable interval before their next feasting-time; or, as the Hebrew כי הקופו ימי, chi hikkipu jemee, may be rendered, As the days went about, Job sent and sanctified them — Exhorted and commanded them to sanctify themselves, not merely by changing or washing their clothes, (Genesis 35:2; Exodus 19:14,) and performing other ablutions, and acts of ceremonial purification then in use; but by examining their own consciences, repenting of every thing that had been amiss in their feasting, and composing their minds for employments of a more solemn nature. And rose up early in the morning Thereby showing his ardent zeal in God’s service. And offered burnt- offerings according to the number of them all — Well knowing himself, and hereby teaching them, that all sin, even secret unbelief, ingratitude, and vanity of mind, merited condemnation from God, and could only be expiated by the shedding of blood, and offering of sacrifice, in a spirit of true penitence, and humble, lively faith. It may be my sons have sinned — His zeal for God’s glory, and his love to his children, made him jealous; for which he had sufficient cause, from the corruption of human nature, the frailty and folly of youth, the many temptations which attend feasting, and men’s proneness to slide from lawful to forbidden delights. And cursed God — Not in a gross manner, which it was not probable either that they should do, or that Job should suspect concerning them, but despised or dishonoured God; for both the Hebrew and Greek words which signify cursing, are sometimes used to denote only reviling, or setting light by a person. Thus, what is called cursing one’s father or mother, Exodus 21:17, is elsewhere called setting light by them, as Deuteronomy 27:16; Ezekiel 22:7. In their hearts — By slight and low thoughts of God, or by neglecting to give him the praise of the mercies which they enjoyed. It may be proper to observe, that the word ברךְ, barack, here rendered to curse, usually signifies to bless; but it is evident it is here to be understood in a bad sense, as it is 1 Kings 21:10, where Naboth is accused of cursing or blaspheming God and the king, as it is also Job 2:5; Job 2:9, of this book. It has been thought by some, that it was substituted instead of the word ארר, arar; קבב, ka-bab; or קלל, kalal, (one or other of which is usually put for cursing, or vilifying,) out of reverence for God, when he is spoken of. But, “It is most certain,” says Selden, as quoted by Leigh, “that the verb barak signifies to execrate or to curse, as well as to bless; and this, as I think, not by antiphrasis, as some will have it; but almost from the very idiom of the sacred language it may signify either way, according to the connection in which it is used, as among the Latins sacrare and imprecari. For as the first signifies sometimes to devote any one by curses to destruction, and at others, to consecrate any thing to God; and as we call for either good or evil upon others; so barak denotes what a man wishes or calls for, with an ardent mind, whether it be salvation or perdition. And when applied to the Deity, it either signifies addressing him by praises and thanksgivings, (which is more common,) or with revilings and reproaches; and the difference is to be collected from the nature of the case and from the context.” What Dr. Dodd observes here is also worth attention. “The Hebrew word,” says he, “signifies to bless; but it here implies to renounce or bid adieu to, or take our leave of those things which we abandon or renounce. It is therefore used with great elegance in this sense, to signify, they renounced God; and this signification is still softened and rendered more elegant by the addition of the words, in their hearts.” Thus did Job continually — It was his constant course, at the end of every feasting-time, to offer a sacrifice for each of his children. Parents should be particular in their addresses to God, for the several branches of their family; praying for each child, according to his particular temper, genius, and disposition.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 1:5". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-1.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Blessed. For greater horror of the very thought of blasphemy, the Scripture both here and [in] ver. 11, and in the following chapter (ver. 5., and 9.) uses the word bless, to signify its contrary. (Challoner) (3 Kings xxi. 10.) --- Thus the Greeks styled the furies Eumenides, "the kind," out of a horror of their real name. Even those who are the best inclined, can hardly speak of God without some want of respect, (Calmet) in the midst of feasts, where the neglect of saying grace is also too common. (Haydock) --- Septuagint, "they have thought evil against God." Every kind of offence may be included, to which feasting leads. (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-1.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"When the days of feasting had completed their cycle": At the end of each cycle of birthdays? "Job would send and consecrate them, rising up early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, "Perhaps my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." Thus Job did continually": Here is a genuine concern for the spiritual condition of his children. Apparently Job would summon all the sons and daughters to a feast and offer such sacrifices, in doing so, like Abraham, he served as the priest for the entire family. Note that Job understood that cursing God in one"s heart was wrong; that sinful thoughts are just as bad as sinful actions (Matthew 5:28). Be impressed that wealth has not torn this family apart. "Brothers invite brothers to each other"s home, once together, in witness to the healthy religion of their father, they celebrate without sin. Many modern youth from wealthy families fall victim to the dread disease affluenza. Rather than finding happiness in affluence, they suffer the symptoms of being lost, lonely, and loveless. When asked to explain their problems, children of the rich and famous wistfully recall the absence of their parents from the home and the attempt to fill in the vacuum of love with money, and things" (McKenna p. 33). I am also impressed that Job has tremendous self-discipline, but his relationship with God is not joyless. As fathers, are we truly the spiritual leaders in our homes, as Job was?

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-1.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

were gone about = came round.

offered = offered up. App-43. Showing that, from Gen 4 onward, the institution was observed.

sinned. Hebrew. chata". App-44.

cursed. One of the eighteen emendations of the Sopherim (App-33), by which the primitive Hebrew text, kalal = to curse, was changed to barak = to bless, as in Job 1:11 with Job 2:5, Job 2:9. Translated "cursed" in Authorized Version, and "renounced" in Revised Version, in spite of barak (blessed) standing in the printed text. See notes on 2 Samuel 12:14 and Psalms 10:3.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "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 it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. When the days of feasting were gone about - i:e., at the end of all the birthdays collectively, when the banquets had gone round through all the families.

Sent - i:e., sent and summoned them to him: for Job was not present himself at their feasts (Job 1:13; Job 1:18).

Job sanctified them - by purificatory washings (Genesis 35:2; Exodus 19:10; Exodus 19:14; 1 Samuel 16:5), followed by his offering up as many expiatory burnt offerings as he had sons (Genesis 8:20; Leviticus 1:4). This was done in the morning (Genesis 22:3; Leviticus 6:12). So Jesus began devotions early (Mark 1:35). The holocaust or burnt offering, in patriarchal times, was "offered" (literally, caused to ascend [ w

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "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

(5) Job sent and sanctified them . . .—The earnest records of society exhibit the father of the family acting as the priest. This is one of the passages that show Job was outside the pale and influence of the Mosaic law, whether this was owing to his age or his country. His life in this respect corresponds with that of the patriarchs in Genesis more nearly than any other in Scripture.

Cursed God.—The word used here and in Job 1:11 and Job 2:5; Job 2:9, and also in 1 Kings 21:10; 1 Kings 21:13, of Naboth, is literally blessed; that in Job 3:1, e.g., &c., being quite different. The contrast in Job 1:22; Job 2:10 snows the Authorised Version to be substantially right, however this contradictory sense is obtained Many languages have words which are used in opposite senses. (Comp. e.g., our “cleave to” and “cleave.”) The use of bless in the sense of curse may be a euphemism, or it may arise from giving to it the meaning of saluting or bidding farewell to, and so dismissing. This use is not elsewhere found than in the passages cited above.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-1.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
sanctified
41:25; Genesis 35:2,3; Exodus 19:10; 1 Samuel 16:5; Nehemiah 12:30; John 11:55
rose up
Genesis 22:3; Psalms 5:3; Ecclesiastes 9:10
offered
42:8; Genesis 8:20; Exodus 18:12; 24:5; Leviticus 1:3-6
according
1 Kings 18:31; Acts 21:26
It may be
2 Corinthians 11:2
cursed
11; 2:9; Leviticus 24:10-16; 1 Kings 21:10,13
in their hearts
Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 4:14; 17:9,10; Mark 7:21-23; Acts 8:22; 1 Corinthians 4:5
Thus
27:10
continually
Heb. all the days.
Luke 1:75; 18:7; Ephesians 6:18
Reciprocal: Genesis 18:19 - command;  Genesis 46:1 - and offered;  Leviticus 12:7 - make;  Leviticus 16:6 - for himself;  Leviticus 24:11 - cursed;  Joshua 3:5 - Sanctify;  2 Chronicles 5:11 - sanctified;  2 Chronicles 35:6 - sanctify;  Job 2:5 - He will curse;  Job 3:25 - the thing;  Job 8:4 - he have cast;  Psalm 35:25 - say;  Psalm 119:9 - shall;  Ecclesiastes 7:2 - better;  Ezekiel 14:14 - Job;  Joel 2:16 - sanctify;  Acts 10:2 - with;  Acts 21:24 - and purify

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-1.html.

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Job 1:5. The above exposition follows RVm against RV text, accepting the translation "blaspheme" in preference to "renounce." AV, in virtual agreement with RVm, translates "curse." The Hebrew literally means "bless." It is suggested by Davidson and others that since partings were attended by blessing, to bless came to mean "to say good-bye, to renounce." If we translate "curse," "blaspheme" (Duhm, Peake) then we have to do with a euphemism which seems very natural in the writer of the Volksbuch.

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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Job 1:5". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/job-1.html. 1919.

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

"Handfuls of Purpose"

For All Gleaners

"Thus did Job continually."Job 1:5

Many persons do good occasionally.—It is easy to be good outwardly on ceremonial occasions: it is to be in the fashion; it is to be running along the rut of custom; not indeed to appear to be good under such circumstances would be to incur opprobrium.—Church-going may be an occasional exercise; prayer may be an intermittent enjoyment.—The characteristic excellence of Job"s worship was that it was permanent, continuous, unbroken, proceeding with the regularity of life, and completing itself from time to time like a piece of concerted music.—We are exhorted to pray without ceasing.—The apostle desires us in everything by prayer and supplication to make known our requests unto God.—Exercise in such holy worship is like exercise in everything else: it strengthens the faculties; it encourages the soul; it tends towards perfectness.—We should read the Bible continually, that is to say, it should be the man of our counsel, the companion of our day-march, and the enjoyment of our solitude; it is not to be read here and there, intermittently, eclectically, but is to be studied throughout in all its proportion and harmony.—People do not get good by going to church once: a single shower upon the earth is of little consequence; the great rain consists in shower upon shower, the water coming down for the time being continuously, copiously, and as it were hospitably, feeding and nourishing the earth.—It is by patient continuance in well-doing that we are to achieve glory, honour, and immortality, and to put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, showing that our good-doing is not a spasmodic feeling or action, but is the very breath and energy of the soul, the sweet and gracious necessity of the new life that is within us.—To be irregular in sacrifice, in worship, in devotion, in service, is to be irregular in the heart-beat of love towards God.—Who does not regret the irregular action of the heart, even from a physical point of view? What, then, shall be said of irregularity of heart-action in reference to spiritual loyalty and continuity in the exhibition and enjoyment of a holy life?—But there is no continuance in ourselves; "we all do fade as a leaf;" our poor little life plays itself out: what, then, is to be done? Underneath, our life must be connected with the Fountain of all being; it must be identified with God in Christ and through Christ, as the branch is part of the vine.—Hear the Lord Jesus: "Abide in me... without me ye can do nothing;"—hear the Apostle Paul: "I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me."—All the passages which exhort to godly life exhort also to its continuance: "Be thou faithful until death, and I will give thee a crown of life:" "He that endureth to the end shall be saved."—The Bible is full of such animating and encouraging speech.

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Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 1:5". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/job-1.html. 1885-95.