Job 2 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Job 2)

Verse 3

[3] And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

Still — Notwithstanding all his afflictions, and thy suggestion to the contrary.

Movedst — This, as the rest of this representation, is not to be understood literally: But the design is to signify both the devil's restless malice in promoting man's misery and God's permission of it for wise and holy ends.

Verse 4

[4] And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.

Skin, … — The sense is, this is so far from being an evidence of Job's sincere and generous piety, that it is only an act of mere self-love; he is contented with the loss of his estate, and children too, so long as he sleeps in a whole skin; and he is well pleased, that thou wilt accept of these a ransom in his stead; and it is not true patience which makes him seem to bear his crosses so submissively, but policy, that he may appease thy wrath against him, and prevent those farther plagues, which, for his hypocrisy, he fears thou wilt otherwise bring upon his own carcase.

Verse 6

[6] And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.

In thine hand — If God did not chain up the roaring lion, how soon would he devour us! As far as he permits the wrath of Satan and wicked men, to proceed against his people, he will make it turn to his praise and theirs, and the remainder thereof he will restrain. Job, in being thus maligned of Satan, was a type of Christ. He had permission to bruise his heel, to touch his bone and his flesh; yea, and his life also; because by dying he was to do what Job could not do, to destroy him that had the power of death.

Verse 7

[7] So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.

Boils — Like those inflicted upon the Egyptians, which are expressed by the same word, and threatened to apostate Israelites, Deuteronomy 28:27, whereby he was made loathsome to himself, and to his nearest relations, and filled with consuming pains in his body, and no less torments and anguish in his mind.

Verse 8

[8] And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.

Scrape — This he did not with soft linen clothes, either because he had not now a sufficient quantity of them; or because therein he must have had the help of others who abhorred to come near him. Nor with his own hands or fingers, which were also ulcerous, and so unfit for that use; but with potsherds, either because they were next at hand, and ready for his present use; or in token of his deep humiliation under God's hand, which made him decline all things that favoured of tenderness and delicacy. Heb. in dust or ashes, as mourners used to do. If God lay him among the ashes, there he will contentedly sit down. A low spirit becomes low circumstances, and will help to reconcile us to them.

Verse 9

[9] Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.

Then said his wife — Whom Satan spared, to be a troubler and tempter to him. It is his policy, to send his temptations by the hands of those that are dear to us. We must therefore carefully watch, that we be not drawn to any evil, by them whom we love and value the most.

Die — I see thou art set upon blessing of God, thou blessest God for giving, and thou blessest God for taking away, and thou art still blessing God for thy loathsome diseases, and he rewards thee accordingly, giving thee more and more of that kind of mercy for which thou blessest him. Go on therefore in thy generous course, and bless God, and die as a fool dieth.

Verse 10

[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.

Shall we — Shall we poor worms give laws to our supreme Lord, and oblige him never to afflict us? And shall not those great and manifold mercies, which from time to time God hath given us, compensate these short afflictions? Ought we not to bless God for those mercies which we did not deserve; and contentedly bear those corrections which we do deserve. And if we receive so much good for the body, shall we not receive some good for our souls? That is, some affliction, whereby we may be made partakers of his holiness? Let murmuring therefore, as well as boasting, be forever excluded.

Sin with his lips — By any reflections upon God, by any impatient or unbecoming expression.

Verse 11

[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: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.

They — Who were persons eminent for birth and quality, for wisdom and knowledge, and for the profession of the true religion, being probably of the posterity of Abraham, a-kin to Job, and living in the same country. Eliphaz descended from Teman, the grandson of Esau, Genesis 36:11. Bildad probably from Shuah, Abraham's son by Keturah, Genesis 25:2. Zophar is thought to be same with Zepho, ( Genesis 36:11.) a descendant from Esau. The preserving of so much wisdom and piety among those who were not children of the promise, was an happy presage of God's grace to the Gentiles, when the partition wall should be taken down.

Verse 13

[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.

Upon the ground — In the posture of mourners condoling with him.

Seven days — Which was the usual time of mourning for the dead, and therefore proper both for Job's children, and for Job himself, who was in a manner dead, while he lived: not that they continued in this posture so long together, which the necessities of nature could not bear; but they spent the greatest part of that time in sitting with him, and silent mourning over him.

None spake — About his afflictions and the causes of them. The reason of this silence was the greatness of their grief for him, and their surprize and astonishment at his condition; because they thought it convenient to give him time to vent his own sorrows, and because as yet they knew not what to say to him: for though they had ever esteemed him to be a truly good man, and came with full purpose to comfort him, yet the prodigious greatness of his miseries, and that hand of God which they perceived in them, made them now question his sincerity, so that they could not comfort him as they had intended, and yet were loth to grieve him with reproofs.

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