(The Book of Job was the first of the five books that made up the poetic section of the Old Testament. The other four Books were: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Solomon. The Book of Job was historical: a factual representation of events that actually took place. However, it was the beautiful words and sentences used that caused this book to be considered poetry. In the previous Book (Esther) we saw the effects of a "chess match" between God and Satan. In this book, we will see the causes of a "chess match" between God and Satan. Like the Book of Esther, this book also followed the classic storytelling method: 1. Introduction, 2. Conflict, and 3. Resolution.)
1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and turned away from evil.
(Job was perfect. In the Bible, perfect meant "maximum profitability"...there was nothing more Job could have done. He feared God (cause) and turned away evil (effect). From the very first sentence, it was established that there was an actual man named Job who lived in a specific location, and he did not do anything evil. This was not a parable.)
2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.
3 His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she-asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the children of the east.
(Job was the greatest of all men of the east. Uz was in the east, most likely in Edom.)
4 And his sons went and held a feast in the house of each one upon his day; and they sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
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 renounced God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
(Job was so upright, he even offered sacrifices to cover his children. Again, there was no evidence that Job had done anything wrong.)
6 Now it came to pass on the day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, that Satan also came among them.
(The "sons of God" (angels) presented themselves before God. Satan was with them. The Introduction portion of this story was complete. Next was the Conflict...)
7 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
(God asked Satan where he came from. Satan gave God a report that proved that Satan was not omnipresent. Satan can only be in one place at a time.)
8 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job? for there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and turneth away from evil.
(God asked Satan if he had considered Job. God Himself confirmed that Job was perfect, feared God, and turned away evil.)
9 Then Satan answered Jehovah, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?
(Satan's question essentially stated that Job feared God as an effect, not a cause. God stated Job was perfect because he feared God and the effects were that Job turned away from evil. What did Satan believe was the cause of Job fearing God?)
10 Hast not thou made a hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath, on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
11 But put forth thy hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will renounce thee to thy face.
(Job had a hedge protecting him. This was analogous to the Garden of Eden which also was a "hedge" according to the etymology. Adam was protected by God in the Garden of Eden, but it was his responsibility to "dress and keep it" (Genesis 2:15). In that verse, keep meant "watch, guard, shepherd." Adam didn't do that because the serpent made his way in and led Adam astray. Here, the implication was that Job also had protection from God, however, Job did "keep" his "hedge" and Satan didn't have a way to get to Job. Satan needed "help.")
(Satan said that if God took away Job's possessions (HAVE) that Job would renounce God to His Face.
Remember that point: Satan said Job would renounce God to His Face.
Here was the Conflict:
-God believed Job was good and the effect was Job had possessions.
-Satan believed Job had possessions and the effect was that he was good.
What was the Resolution?)
12 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thy hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah.
(God gave Satan power over all that Job had. He stated this in front of the angels, who may have also been involved in the hedge of protection around Job. If God had just stated He was Right, then the way (how) God handled this situation would have been wrong. God had to consider He was wrong. The only way to prove He was Right was to prove Satan was wrong. This is known as a "contrastive" perspective. It was used throughout the Bible by those who were led by God. Basically, God had to allow Satan's plan to fail so that He was proven Right. Notice, God did not say He was wrong. Notice also, Job had not done anything to deserve this punishment: Satan was the cause, God provided the "help" in order to remain Right and Just, and Job would experience the unjust effects.)
13 And it fell on a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house,
14 that there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them;
15 and the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away: yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have taken them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house;
19 and, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
(Job's possessions, his HAVE, were taken away. Notice, children were a possession, while his wife was not a possession. In some cultures, even today, wives are considered a possession. God does not consider a wife a possession.)
20 Then Job arose, and rent his robe, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped;
21 and he said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: Jehovah gave, and Jehovah hath taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah.
22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.
(Resolution: Satan was wrong. Not only did Job not renounce God, he did not sin and he worshipped God. Job still had not done anything wrong.)
1 Again it came to pass on the day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, that Satan came also among them to present himself before Jehovah.
(Introduction: The "sons of God" (angels) and Satan presented themselves before God, again.)
2 And Jehovah said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered Jehovah, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
3 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job? for there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and turneth away from evil: and he still holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.
(God asked Satan if he had considered Job. This time, God added more to His description of Job: he still held fast to his integrity although Satan moved Him against Job to destroy him without cause. God was Right!
Huge point to remember: JOB DID NOT CAUSE HIS SUFFERING.
Another point: SATAN MOVED GOD TO DESTROY JOB WITHOUT CAUSE.
Job 2:3 was a hard verse. Satan caused God to do this, so this was ultimately Satan's fault. God cannot initiate an injustice. Notice, Satan cannot make God wrong. God is Right and Just. God cannot act apart from His Nature because there were no causes within Him that were wrong and/or unjust. So, God can be made to respond, however, it will always be in a fashion that is Right and Just in the long term. There were several instances in the Bible where God did something He did not want to do and it was not wrong and not unjust. For example, 2 Kings 20 showed how God honored Hezekiah's prayer even though it was against God's Will.)
4 And Satan answered Jehovah, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.
5 But put forth thy hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will renounce thee to thy face.
(Satan said that if God struck Job's body in order to limit what he could DO, Job would renounce God to His Face.
-God believed Job was good and the effect was Job did good things.
-Satan believed Job was able to do good things and the effect was Job acted good.)
6 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thy hand; only spare his life.
(Resolution: Again, God allowed Satan to do his plan. God put all of Job into Satan's hands except for his life. Life was "the ability to repair." Job still had the ability to repair. Life could not have meant "existence" because there would have been no way for Satan to be right if Job's existence was ended.)
7 So Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
(Satan struck Job with boils from his feet to his head. These boils would be on the upper layer of Job's skin. This skin was not really "alive." The upper layer of Job's skin would have eventually fallen off. Satan must not have been allowed to affect Job's brain or his internal organs because that would have been a better way to get Job to curse God to His Face.)
8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself therewith; and he sat among the ashes.
(Job was in so much pain that he took a potsherd (shard of pottery) and scraped himself and sat down among the ashes. Job's ability to work, his DO, was taken away. He was in so much pain he was unable to DO anything but sit.)
9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still hold fast thine integrity? renounce God, and die.
(Job's first test came from his wife. She told him to renounce God and die.)
10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
(Second Resolution: Job called his wife "foolish" and in all of this he still did not sin with his lips. There are many teachers today who attempt to state Job deserved what happened. Those people are sadly misinterpreting the scriptures and by implication are calling God and the author of this story a liar. Remember, God and the author both stated that Job did not cause these two calamities.)
11 Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place: Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, and they made an appointment together to come to bemoan him and to comfort him.
(Major Story Introduction: Job's three "friends" (Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar) set a time to meet with Job to mourn with him and comfort him.)
12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his robe, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
(Job was so marred his friends did not recognize him.)
13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.
(Job's grief was so great that his friends sat silent with him for seven days and nights.)
(Everyone was created uniquely. I call this who you ARE. A person's ARE ought to be the cause of what they DO and what they HAVE. Job's DO and HAVE were now gone and all that was left was his ARE. For the rest of this story, we are looking at a man who was solely in his ARE...)
1 After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.
(Job cursed the day he was born. Job did not curse God.)
2 And Job answered and said:
3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, And the night which said, There is a man-child conceived.
4 Let that day be darkness; Let not God from above seek for it, Neither let the light shine upon it.
5 Let darkness and the shadow of death claim it for their own; Let a cloud dwell upon it; Let all that maketh black the day terrify it.
(Remember, this was a man who was in an extreme amount of pain. Not only physically (which would have been terrible by itself) but also mental, emotional, and spiritual anguish! It was not wrong of Job to exclaim his affliction.)
6 As for that night, let thick darkness seize upon it: Let it not rejoice among the days of the year; Let it not come into the number of the months.
7 Lo, let that night be barren; Let no joyful voice come therein.
8 Let them curse it that curse the day, Who are ready to rouse up leviathan.
9 Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark: Let it look for light, but have none; Neither let it behold the eyelids of the morning:
10 Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb, Nor hid trouble from mine eyes.
11 Why died I not from the womb? Why did I not give up the ghost when my mother bare me?
12 Why did the knees receive me? Or why the breast, that I should suck?
(Major Story Conflict: Job began asking why. Job wanted understanding of why he received evil/destruction. This was the Conflict for the rest of this book.)
13 For now should I have lain down and been quiet; I should have slept; then had I been at rest,
14 With kings and counsellors of the earth, Who built up waste places for themselves;
15 Or with princes that had gold, Who filled their houses with silver:
16 Or as a hidden untimely birth I had not been, As infants that never saw light.
17 There the wicked cease from troubling; And there the weary are at rest.
18 There the prisoners are at ease together; They hear not the voice of the taskmaster.
19 The small and the great are there: And the servant is free from his master.
20 Wherefore is light given to him that is in misery, And life unto the bitter in soul;
21 Who long for death, but it cometh not, And dig for it more than for hid treasures;
22 Who rejoice exceedingly, And are glad, when they can find the grave?
23 Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, And whom God hath hedged in?
(Job struggled with this question: "Why are we given the ability to understand and then prevented from understanding?")
24 For my sighing cometh before I eat, And my groanings are poured out like water.
25 For the thing which I fear cometh upon me, And that which I am afraid of cometh unto me.
(Some teachers use verse 25 to state this as the reason why Job was destroyed, as if "he had sinned because he feared destruction." Again, God and the author said Job did not deserve the destruction, so these teachers are, by implication, calling God a liar. Second, feared in this verse meant "to be startled," like from an alarm. It would be like hearing a police siren, then getting into fear, and then finding out the police siren was for you. This siren/alarm that he heard came upon him. This "fear" happened after the destruction.)
26 I am not at ease, neither am I quiet, neither have I rest; But trouble cometh.
(Job concluded his opening statement. Job asked why the destruction happened.)
(This post covered the causes for Job's suffering (God handled a causal disagreement with Satan in a contrastive fashion) and Job's initial statement to his three comforters.)