Job 42 Bible Commentary

John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible

(Read all of Job 42)
This chapter contains Job's answer to the last speech of the Lord's, in which he acknowledges his omnipotence, and his certain performance of his purposes and pleasure; owns his own folly and ignorance, and confesses his sins; for which he abhorred himself, and of which he repented, Job 42:1; it also gives an account of the Lord's decision of the controversy between Job and his friends, blaming them and commending him above them; and ordered them to take sacrifices and go to Job and offer them, who should pray for them and be accepted, which was done, Job 42:7; and it closes with a relation of the great prosperity Job was restored unto, in which he lived and died, Job 42:10.

Verse 1. Then Job answered the Lord, and said. For though he had said he would answer no more, Job 40:5; yet he might mean not in the manner he had, complaining of God and justifying himself; besides he might change his mind without any imputation of falsehood or a lie; see Jeremiah 20:9; to which may be added, that he had then said all he had to say, and did not know he should have more: he then confessed as much as he was convinced of, but it was not enough; and now through what the Lord had since said to him he was more convinced of his ignorance, mistakes, and sins, and had such a sight of God and of himself, that he could not forbear speaking; moreover an injunction was laid upon him from the Lord to speak again, and therefore he was obliged to give in his answer; see Job 40:7.

Verse 2. I know that thou canst do every [thing],.... As the works of creation, and the sustentation of them, show; so the Targum, "thou sustainest all things," and can manage, every creature made by him, even such as were not tractable by men, such as behemoth and leviathan, the creatures last instanced in; and was able to abase and bring low the proud, which Job could not do; and could also save him by his right hand, and bring him out of his low estate in which he was, and raise him to great prosperity again, which Job always despaired of till now; and though he had a theoretical knowledge of the omnipotence of God before, see Job 9:4; yet not a practical experimental knowledge of it; at least not to such a degree as he now had, working upon his heart, bowing his will, and bringing him to a resignation to the will of God; he not only knew he could do all things, but that he had a right to do what he pleased; and that whatever he did he did well and wisely, and in a righteous manner, of which before he seemed to have some doubt. And that no thought can be withholden from thee; either no thought of men, good or bad, of God or of themselves, and so is an acknowledgment of the omniscience of God, and may be an appeal to that; that God, who knows the secrets of men's hearts, knew what thoughts Job now had of God; of the wisdom, righteousness, and goodness of God in the dispensations of his providence, different from what he had before; see John 21:17; or rather it may be understood of every thought of God's heart, of every secret purpose and wise counsel of his; which, as they are all well known to him, and cannot be withheld from having effect, or the performance of them hindered, Job now saw and was fully assured that all that had befallen him was according to the sovereign and inscrutable purposes of God, and according to the wise counsels of his will; he knew that not only God could do everything, but that he also did whatever he pleased.

Verse 3. Who [is] he that hideth counsel without knowledge?.... It may be understood, and supplied, as it is by Cocceius, "thou didst say"; as the Lord had said, or to this purpose, See Gill on "Job 38:2"; to which Job here replies, I am the foolish man that has done it, I own it with sorrow, shame, and confusion: or it may be interpreted as condemning every other man that should act the like part. Schultens understands this as spoken by Job of God, and renders the words, "who is this that seals up counsel, which cannot be known?" the counsels, purposes, and decrees of God are sealed up by him, among his treasures, in the cabinet of his own breast, and are not to be unsealed and unlocked by creatures, but are impenetrable to them, past finding out by them, and not to be searched and pried into; and so the secret springs of Providence are not to be known, which Job had attempted, and for which he condemns himself;

therefore have I uttered that I understood not; concerning the providential dealings of God with men, afflicting the righteous, and suffering the wicked to prosper, particularly relating to his own afflictions; in which he arraigned the wisdom, justice, and goodness of God, as if things might have been better done than they were; but now he owns his ignorance and folly, as Asaph did in a like case, Psalm 73:22;

things too wonderful for me, which I knew not; things out of his reach to search into, and beyond his capacity to comprehend; what he should have gazed upon with admiration, and there have stopped. The judgments of God are a great deep, not to be fathomed with the line of human understanding, of which it should be said with the apostle, "O the depth," Romans 11:33, &c. Job ought to have done as David did, Psalm 131:1; of which he was now convinced, and laments and confesses his folly.

Verse 4. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak,.... Not in the manner he had before, complaining of God and justifying himself, but in a way of humble entreaty of favours of him, of confession of sin before him, and of acknowledgment of his wisdom, goodness, and justice in all his dealings with him, which before he arraigned;

I will demand of thee; or rather "I will make petition to thee," as Mr. Broughton renders it; humbly ask a favour, and entreat a gracious answer; for to demand is not so agreeable to the frame and temper of soul Job was now in;

and declare thou unto me; or make him know what he knew not; he now in ignorance applies to God, as a God of knowledge, to inform him in things he was in the dark about, and to increase what knowledge he had. He was now willing to take the advice of Elihu, and pursue it, Job 34:31.

Verse 5. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear,.... From his ancestors, who in a traditionary way had handed down from one to another what they knew of God, his will and worship, his works and ways; and from those who had the care of his education, parents and tutors, who had instilled the principles of religion, and the knowledge of divine things, into him very early; and from such as might instruct in matters of religion in a public manner; and both by ordinary and extraordinary revelation made unto him, as was sometimes granted to men in that age in which Job lived; see Job 4:16. Though he had heard more of God through his speaking to him out of the whirlwind than ever he did before, to which he had attentively listened; and the phrase, hearing by or with the hearing of the ear, denotes close attention; see Ezekiel 44:5;

but now mine eye seeth thee; thy Shechinah, as Jarchi; thy divine glory and Majesty; the Logos, the Word or Son of God, who now appeared in an human form, and spake to Job out of the whirlwind; and whom he saw with the eyes of his body, as several of the patriarchs had seen him, and which is the sense of an ancient writer {n}; though no doubt he saw him also with the eyes of his understanding, and had a clearer sight of his living Redeemer, the Messiah, than ever he had before; and saw more of God in Christ, of his nature, perfections, and glory, than ever he had as yet seen; and what he had heard of him came greatly short of what he now saw; particularly he had a more clear and distinct view of the sovereignty, wisdom, goodness, and justice of God in the dealings of his providence with the children of men, and with himself, to which now he humbly submitted.

{n} Euseb. Demonstr. Evangel. l. 1. c. 5. p. 11.

Verse 6. Wherefore I abhor [myself],.... Or all my words, as Aben Ezra; all the indecent expressions he had uttered concerning God; he could not bear to think of them; he loathed them, and himself on account of them: sin is abominable in its own nature, and makes men so; it is loathsome to God, and so it is to all good men when they see it in its proper light; am especially when they have a view of the purity and holiness of God, to which that is so very contrary, and also of his grace and goodness in the forgiveness of it; see Isaiah 6:3, Ezekiel 16:63;

and repent in dust and ashes; which was an external ceremony used by mournful and penitent persons; see Job 2:8; and is expressive of the truth and sincerity of repentance; and never do any more truly mourn for sin and repent of it, are more ashamed of it, or have a more godly sorrow for it, or more ingenuously confess it, and heartily forsake it, than those who with an eye of faith behold God in Christ as a sin forgiving God; or behold their sins through the glass of pardoning grace and mercy; see Zechariah 12:10.

Verse 7. And it was [so],.... What follows came to pass:

that after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job; which he spake to him out of the whirlwind, and after he had heard Job's confession, and the declaration he made of his humiliation and repentance:

the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite; who with his two friends were still present and heard the speeches of the Lord to Job, and the acknowledgment he had made of sin; though some {o} think that, when the dispute ended between Job and them, they returned to their own country, where Eliphaz is now supposed to be, and was bid with his two friends to go to Job again, which they did, as is concluded from the following verses: but no doubt they stayed and heard what Elihu had to say; and the voice of the Lord out of the whirlwind would command their attention and stay; and very desirous they must be to know how the cause would go, for or against Job; the latter of which they might expect from the appearance of things. Now the Lord directs his speech to Eliphaz, he being perhaps the principal man, on account of his age, wisdom and wealth, and being the man that led the dispute, began it, and formed the plan to go upon, and was the most severe on Job of any of them; wherefore the Lord said to him,

my wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends; who were Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite; who gave into the same sentiments with Eliphaz, and went upon the same plan, speaking wrong things of God, charging Job falsely, and condemning him; which provoked the Lord, and caused his wrath to be kindled like fire against them, of which there were some appearances and breakings forth in his words and conduct towards them;

for ye have not spoken of me [the thing that is] right, as my servant Job [hath]; they had said many right things of God, and Job had said many wrong ones of him, and yet upon the whole Job had said more corrcet things of God than they; their notion, and which they had expressed, was, that God deals with men in this life according to their outward behaviour; that God did not afflict good men, at least not sorely, nor long; and that wicked men were always punished now: from whence they drew this inference, that Job, being so long and so greatly afflicted, must be a bad man, or God would never have dealt with him after this manner. Job, on the other hand, affirmed, that wicked men enjoyed great prosperity, which good men did not; and therefore the love and hatred of God were not known by these things; and men's characters were not to be judged of by these outward things; in which he was doubtless right: some render the words "have not spoken unto me" {p}, before him, in his presence; for they were all before God, and to him they all appealed, and he heard and observed all that was said, and now passed judgment. No notice is taken of Elihu, nor blame laid on him; he acting as a moderator, taking neither the part of Job, nor of his friends, but blaming both: nor did he pretend to charge Job with any sins of his former life as the cause of his calamities; only takes up some indecent, unguarded, and extravagant expressions of his in the heat of this controversy, and rebukes him for them; and throughout the whole vindicates the justice of God in his dealings with him.

{o} Vid. Spanhem. Hist. Jobi, c. 8. s. 1, 2. {p} yla "ad me," Mercerus, Drusius, Cocceius; "coram me," V. L. "apud me," Tigurine version.

Verse 8. Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks, and seven rams,.... Creatures used in sacrifice before the giving of the Levitical law, Genesis 4:4; and the same number of the same creatures were offered by Balaam in the country of Moab, not far from where Job lived, nor at any great distance of time from his age, Numbers 23:1; and among the Gentiles in later times {q}. And these were typical of Christ, being strong creatures, especially the bullocks, and which were used for labour; and the number seven may point at the perfection of Christ's sacrifice; to which these men were directed in their sacrifices to look for the complete atonement of their sins: now though they were not at their own dwellings, and could not take these out of their own herds and flocks, and Job had none, yet they could purchase them of others; and which having done, they are bid to do as follows:

and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; that is, by Job, who was to offer it for them in their name, and at whose hands the Lord would accept it, and for his sake. Job, as the head and master of his family, was wont to sacrifice, as every such man did before the Aaronic priesthood took place, Job 1:5. Now this was doing Job a great deal of honour, both by calling him his servant, as before in Job 42:7, and twice more in this; which was plainly giving the cause on his side; confirming the character he always bore, and still retained; and declaring he had other thoughts of him than his friends had; as well by sending them to him with their sacrifices to offer for them; which was saying, that they had sinned, and must offer sacrifice, and that Job was in the right; and therefore must offer the sacrifice for them. This was putting them on a great piece of self-denial; that men, who were older than Job, great personages, heads of families, and who had been wont to offer sacrifices in them, yet are now sent to Job to offer them for them; a man now in mean circumstances, and who in they had treated with great contempt; and he in his turn had used them as roughly. And it was also a trial of Job's grace, and of his forgiving spirit, to do this for them, and pray to God on their behalf: and the Lord's design in it was, to exercise the graces of them both, and to reconcile them to one another, and to himself;

and my servant Job shall pray for you; that their sacrifice might be accepted, and their sin pardoned. In this Job was a type of Christ, as he was in many other things; see the notes on Job 16:9. There is an agreement in his name; Job, whether it signifies love or hatred, desired or hated, in both ways the etymology of it is given; it agrees with Christ, who is beloved of God and man, and the desire of all nations; who hates iniquity, and was hated for his inveighing against it. Job was a type of him in his threefold state; before his low estate, in it, and after it; see Philippians 2:6. In his temptations by Satan, and sufferings from men; and particularly in his office as a priest, who both offered himself a sacrifice for his people, and offers their services and sacrifices of prayer and praise to God; and who prayed for his disciples, and for all the Father has given him, for transgressors and sinners, and even for his enemies that used him ill;

for him will I accept; or his face, that is, hear his prayer, and grant what is asked by him; as well as accept his sacrifice;

lest I deal with you [after your] folly; as all sin is, being committed against God, a breach of his law, and injurious to men themselves; see Deuteronomy 32:6. Though here it seems to be restrained to their particular sin and folly in their dispute with Job; want of wisdom in them was discerned by Elihu, Job 32:7. So it follows:

in that ye have not spoken of me [the thing which is] right, like my servant Job; and if by neglect of his advice, which would have been another instance of their folly, they had provoked the Lord to deal with them as their sin deserved, it must have gone hard with them. The Targum is, "lest I should do with you "what would be" a reproach" (or disgrace); would put them to shame, and make them appear ignominious to men; as by stripping them of their substance and honour, and reducing them to the condition Job was in.

{q} "----Septem mactare juvencos," &c. Virgil. Aeneid. 6. v. 38, 39.

Verse 9. So Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, [and] Zophar the Naamathite, went,.... Having taken the above creatures for sacrifice, as directed, they went to Job with them;

and did according as the Lord commanded them; offered them by Job for a burnt offering, and desired him to pray for them. This they did, both as to matter and manner, as the Lord ordered them; and they did it immediately, without consulting flesh and blood, the pride and other passions of their hearts; and they all united in it, and served the Lord with one consent, which showed them to be good men;

the Lord also accepted Job; the sacrifice he offered; perhaps by sending fire from heaven, which consumed the burnt offering: or "the face of Job"; he heard his prayer for his friends, and granted his request for them: or "the person of Job," as Mr. Broughton renders it; Job in this was a type of Christ also, who is always heard in his intercession and mediation for his people. God has respect to his person, which always acceptable to him, and in whom he is well pleased; and he has respect to his offering and sacrifice, which is of a sweet smelling savour to him. And the persons of his people are accepted in him the Beloved, and all their services and sacrifices of prayer and praise, Matthew 3:17. The Targum is, "they did as the Word of the Lord spake unto them, and the Word of the Lord accepted the face of Job."

Verse 10. And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,.... Not literally, in such sense as Lot's captivity was turned, Genesis 14:12; for Job's person was not seized on and carried away, though his cattle were: nor spiritually, being delivered from the captivity of sin; that had been his case many years ago, when first converted: but it is to be understood of his restoration from afflictions and calamities to a happy state; as of the return of his substance, his health and friends, and especially of his deliverance from Satan, in whose hands he had been some time, and by him distressed both in body and mind. But now his captivity was turned, and he was freed from all his distresses; and even from those which arose from the dealings of God with him, which he was now fully satisfied about; and this was done,

when he prayed for his friends; as he was directed to do. A good man will not only pray for himself, as Job doubtless did, but for others also; for his natural and spiritual friends, yea, for unkind friends, and even for enemies likewise: and the prayer of an upright man is very acceptable to the Lord; and many mercies and blessings come by it; and even prayer for others is profitable to a man's self; and sometimes he soon reaps the benefit of it, as Job now did. For when and while he was praying, or quickly upon it, there was a turn in his affairs: he presently found himself in better health; his friends came about him, and his substance began to increase; Satan had no more power over him, and the presence of God was with him. All which was of the Lord; and he enjoyed it in the way of prayer, and as the fruit of that;

also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before: or added to him double. Which chiefly respects his substance; his cattle, as appears from Job 42:12, and might be true both with respect to things temporal and spiritual. "Double" may denote an abundance, a large measure of good things; see Zechariah 9:12.

Verse 11. Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters,.... Which may be taken not in a strict sense, but in a larger sense for all that were related to him; the same with his kinsfolks, Job 19:14;

and all they that had been of his acquaintance before; that knew him, visited him, conversed with him, and kept up a friendly correspondence with him; the circle of his acquaintance must have been large, for wealth makes many friends: now these had been shy of him, and kept at a distance from him, during the time of his affliction and distress; see Job 19:13; but hearing he was in the favour of God, and the cause was given on his side, and against his friends, and his affairs began to take a more favourable turn, they came to him again, and paid him a friendly visit, even all of them;

and did eat bread with him in his house: expressing their joy for his recovery, and renewing their friendship with him: this was done either at their own expense or at Job's, for he might not be so poor at the worst as he is by most represented; for he had still an house of his own, and furniture in it, and servants to wait upon him, as appears from Job 19:15; nor do we read of anything being taken out of his house from him; he might still have gold and silver, and so could entertain his friends: and being a man of an excellent spirit received them kindly, without upbraiding them with their unkindness in deserting him when afflicted;

and they bemoaned him; shook their heads at him, pitying his case, that is, which he had been in; for this they might do, though things were now better with him, and might express themselves in such manner as this, "Poor man, what hast thou endured? what hast thou gone through by diseases of body, loss of substance, and vexation from friends?" and besides, though things began to mend with him, he was not come at once to the pitch of happiness he arrived unto; so that there might be still room for bemoaning, he being comparatively in poor circumstances to what he was before;

and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him; the evil of afflictions, of body and estate; which, though by means of Satan and wicked men, was according to the will of God, and might be said to be brought on him and done to him by the Lord, Amos 3:6; and they congratulated him upon his deliverance from them;

every man also gave him a piece of money, or a "lamb"; which some understand in a proper sense, as being what might serve towards making up his loss of sheep, and increasing his stock of them; but others with us take it for a piece of money, in which sense it is used in Genesis 33:19, compared with Acts 7:16; which might have the figure of a lamb impressed upon it; as we formerly had a piece of money called an angel, having the image of one stamped on it; and it was usual with the ancients both to barter with cattle instead of money before the coining of it, and when it was coined to impress upon it the figure of cattle; hence the Latin word "pecunia," for money, is from "pecus," cattle {r}; this piece of money in Africa is the same with the Jewish "meah" {s}, which weighed sixteen barley corns; the value of a penny;

and everyone earring of gold; or a jewel set in gold; such used to wear in Arabia, as appears from, Judges 8:24; however Job could turn them into money, and increase his stock of cattle thereby. Though, perhaps, these presents were made him, not so much to enrich him, but as tokens of renewing their friendship with him; it being then usual in the eastern countries, as it is to this day, that whenever they pay visits, even to the greatest personages, they always carry presents with them; see 1 Samuel 9:7.

{r} Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 18. c. 3. & l. 33. c. 3. Alex. ab. Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 4. c. 15. {s} T Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 26. 1.

Verse 12. So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning,.... Which verified the words of Bildad, Job 8:6; though they were spoken by him only by way of supposition. All blessings are of the Lord, temporal and spiritual; and sometimes the last days of a good man are his best, as to temporal things, as were David's, and here Job's; though this is not always the case: however, if their last days are but the best in spiritual things, that is enough: if they have more faith, hope, love, patience, humility, and self-denial, and resignation of will to the will of God; are more holy, humble, spiritually and heavenly minded; have more light and knowledge in divine things; have more peace and joy, and are more fruitful in every good work, and more useful; and often they are in their very last moments most cheerful and comfortable: the best wine is reserved till last;

for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses: just double the number of each of what he had before, Job 1:3.

Verse 13. He had also seven sons, and three daughters. The same number of children, and of the same sort he had before, Job 1:2; and according to Nachman the very same he had before, which the additional letter in the word "seven" is with him the notification of; so that the doubting of what he had before, Job 42:10; respects only his substance, and particularly his cattle; though the Targum says he had fourteen sons, and so Jarchi {t}; others think these may be said to be double to Job in their good qualities, external and internal, in their dispositions, virtues, and graces; and others, inasmuch as his former children were not lost, but lived with God, and would live for ever, they might now be said to be double; and so they consider this as a proof of the immortality of the soul, and of the resurrection of the body; but these senses are not to be trusted to; whether these children were by a former wife or another is uncertain.

{t} Vid. Balmes. Gram. Strat. 26.

Verse 14. And he called the name of the first Jemima,.... That is, the name of the first and eldest daughter was called by Job Jemima; which either signifies "day," so the Targum interprets it, and most do, and so is the same with Diana; or, as Spanheim {u} observes, it may be the same with the Arabic word "jemama," which signifies a turtle or dove {w}; and who also observes that a country in Arabia is so called, and perhaps from her; and which seems to be confirmed by the Arabic geographer {x}, who speaks of a queen called Jamama, who dwelt in a city of the country he describes as being on the north of Arabia Felix, and also speaks of a way from thence to Bozrah in Edom;

and the name of the second, Kezia; or Cassia; an aromatic herb of a very fragrant smell, as we render the word, Psalm 45:8; and from this person the above learned writer conjectures Mount Casius in Arabia might have its name;

and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch; which signifies an horn or vessel of paint, such as the eastern women used to paint their faces, particularly their eyes with, Jeremiah 4:30; and as Jezebel did, 2 Kings 9:30; or "the ray of a precious stone"; some say the carbuncle {y} or ruby; according to the Targum, the emerald; in 1 Chronicles 29:2, the word is rendered "glittering stones." Now these names may have respect to Job's daughters themselves, to their external beauty, afterwards observed, so the Targum, "he called the one Jemima, because her beauty was as the day; the other he called Kezia, because she was precious like cassia; and another he called Kerenhappuch, because great was the brightness of the glory of her countenance, as the emerald."

The complexion of the first might be clear as a bright day, though like that but of a short duration; see Song of Solomon 6:10; the next might have her name from the fragrancy and sweetness of her temper; and the third, as being so beautiful that she needed no paint to set her off, but was beauty and paint herself; or her beauty was as bright and dazzling as a precious stone; see Lamentations 4:7. Or these may respect their internal qualities, virtues, and graces; being children of the day, and not of the night; having a good name, which is better than all spices; and possessed of such graces as were comparable to jewels and precious stones. Though it might be, that Job, in giving them these names, may have respect to the change of his state and condition; his first daughter he called Jemima, or "day," because it was now day, with him: he had been in the night and darkness of adversity, temporal and spiritual, but now he enjoyed a day of prosperity, and of spiritual light and joy; the justness of his cause appeared, his righteousness was brought forth as the light, and his judgment as noonday; and the dispensations of divine Providence appeared to him in a different light than he had seen them in: his second daughter he called Kezia, or Cassia, an herb of a sweet smell, in opposition to the stench of his ulcers and of his breath, which had been so very offensive, and from which he was now free; and may denote also the recovery of his good name, better than precious ointment, in which cassia was an ingredient: his youngest daughter he called Kerenhappuch, the horn of paint, in opposition to his horn being defiled in the dust, and his face foul with weeping, Job 16:15; or if Kerenhappuch signifies the horn turned, as Peritsol interprets it, it may have respect to the strange and sudden turn of Job's affairs: and it is easy to observe, that men have given names to their children on account of their present state and condition, or on account of the change of a former one; see Genesis 41:51.

{u} Hist. Jobi, c. 12. s. 7. {w} Golii Lexic. Arab. col. 2767, 2768. {x} Geograph. Nub. Climat. 2. par. 6. {y} Hiller. Onomastic. Sacr. p. 356.

Verse 15. And in all the land were no women found [so] fair as the daughters of Job,.... Either in the whole world, which is not improbable: or it may be rather in the land or country in which they dwelt; and which may be gathered from their names, as before observed. The people of God, and children of Christ, the antitype of Job, are all fair, and there is no spot in them; a perfection of beauty, perfectly comely, through the comeliness of Christ put upon them, and are without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing;

and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren; which was done not on account of their beauty or virtue; nor is this observed so much to show the great riches of Job, that he could give his daughters as much as his sons, as his impartiality to his children, and his strict justice and equity in distributing his substance to them all alike, making no difference between male and female. And so in Christ, the antitype of Job, there is neither male nor female, no difference between them, Galatians 3:28: but being all children, they are heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, and equally partake of the same inheritance with the saints in light, Romans 8:17.

Verse 16. After this lived Job an hundred and forty years,.... Not after he had arrived to the height of his prosperity; not after the birth of his children, and they were grown up, and had their portions given them, which must take in a considerable number of years; but after his afflictions were over, and his prosperity began: and if his years were doubled, as some think, though that is not certain, then he must be seventy years of age when he was so sorely afflicted and must live to the age of two hundred and ten; which is the common notion of the Jewish writers {z}: however, he must be fifty or sixty years of age at that time, since his former children were grown up and were for themselves; and it is said {a}, his afflictions continued seven years. So that it is not at all improbable that he lived to be about two hundred years of age; and which was a singular blessing of God to him, if you compare his age with that of Jacob, Joseph, Moses, and Joshua, between the two former and the two latter he may be supposed to live;

and saw his sons, and his sons' sons, [even] four generations; Joseph saw but the third, Job the fourth, he was a great-great-grandfather. This was no doubt a pleasant sight to him, to see such a numerous offspring descending from him; and especially if they were walking in the ways of God, as probably they were, since no doubt he would take all the care of their education that in him lay. This is the great blessing promised to the Messiah, the antitype of Job, Isaiah 53:10; see also Isaiah 59:21.

{z} T. Bava Bathra, fol. 15. 1. Seder Olam Rabba, c. 3. {a} Suidas in voce iwb.

Verse 17. So Job died,.... As every man does, though he lived so long, and as Methuselah the oldest man did, Genesis 5:27; and though a good man, the best of men die as well as others: so Job died, as a good man, in the Lord, in faith and hope of eternal life and happiness; and so he died in all his outward prosperity and happiness, having great substance and a numerous offspring;

[being] old; as he might be truly called, being two hundred years of age or thereabout:

and full of days; lived out all his days, the full term of life in common, and longer than it was usual for men to live. He had a long life to satisfaction, as is promised, Psalm 91:16. He lived as long as he desired to live, was quite satisfied with living; not that he loathed life, as he once did, and in that sense he did, and from such principles and with such views as he then had, Job 7:15. But he had enough of life, and was willing to die; and came to his grave, as Eliphaz said, "like a shock of corn in his season," Job 5:26. Adrichomius {b}, from certain travellers, speaks of the sepulchre of Job, in the form of a pyramid, in the plains of the land of Uz, to the east of the city Sueta, shown to this day, and had in great honour by Greeks and others; and which is more probable than what some say {c}, that his grave is in Constantinople, where there is a gate called Job's gate, from thence: but the Job there buried was a general of the Saracens, who died besieging that city with a numerous army, and was there buried, A. D. 675 {d}. There is a fragment at the end of the Septuagint and Arabic versions of this book, said to be translated from a Syriac copy, which gives a very particular account of Job's descent as,

"that he dwelt in the land of Ausitis, on the borders of Idumaea and Arabia; that his name was first Jobab; that he married an Arabian woman, and begot a son, whose name was Ennon; that his father was Zare, a son of the sons of Esau; that his mother was Bosorra (or Bosra); and that he was the fifth from Abraham. And these are the kings that reigned in Edom, which country he reigned over; the first was Balac, the son of Beor, the name of whose city was Dennaba; after Balac, Jobab, called Job; after him Asom, who was governor in the country of Theman; after him Adad, the son of Barad, who cut off Midian in the field of Moab, the name of whose city was Gethaim. The friends that came to him (Job) were Eliphaz, of the sons of Esau, the king of the Themanites; Baldad, king of the Sauchseans; and Sophar, king of the Minaeans." The substance of this is confirmed by Aristaeus, Philo, and Polyhistor {e}, ancient historians.

{b} Theatrum Terrae S. p. 93. {c} Juchasin, fol. 9. 2. {d} Schindler. Lexic. Pentaglott. col. 64. {e} Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 25.