1:1 There was a man in the land of a Uz, whose name [was] Job; and that man was perfect and b upright, and c one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
The Argument - In this history the example of patience is set before our eyes.
This holy man Job was not only extremely afflicted in outward things and in
his body, but also in his mind and conscience, by the sharp temptation of his
wife and friends: who by their vehement words and subtle disputations brought
him almost to despair. They set forth God as a sincere judge, and mortal enemy
to him who had cast him off, therefore in vain he should seek him for help.
These friends came to him under pretence of consolation, and yet they
tormented him more than all his afflictions did. Even so, he constantly
resisted them, and eventually succeeded. In this story we must note that Job
maintains a good cause, but handles it badly. His adversaries have an evil
matter, but they defend it craftily. Job held that God did not always punish
men according to their sins, but that he had secret judgments, of which man
knew not the cause, and therefore man could not reason against God in it, but
he should be convicted. Moreover, he was assured that God had not rejected
him, yet through his great torments and afflictions he speaks many
inconveniences and shows himself as a desperate man in many things, and as one
that would resist God, and this is his good cause which he handles well. Again
the adversaries maintain with many good arguments that God punishes
continually according to the trespass, grounding on God's providence, his
justice and man's sins, yet their intention is evil; for they labour to
bring Job into despair, and so they maintain an evil cause. Ezekiel commends
Job as a just man, (Ezekiel
14:14) and James sets out his patience for an example, (James
(a) That is, of the country of Idumea, (Lamentations
4:21), or bordering on it: for the land was called by the name of Uz, the
son of Dishan, the son of Seir (Genesis
(b) Since he was a Gentile and not a Jew and yet
is pronounced upright and without hypocrisy, it declares that among the
heathen God revealed himself.
(c) By this it is declared what is meant by an
upright and just man.
1:3 His d
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 men of e
(d) His children and riches are declared, to
commend his virtue in his prosperity and his patience and constancy when God
took them from him.
(e) Meaning, the Arabians, Chaldeans, Idumeans
1:5 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
(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
(i) While the feast lasted.
1:6 Now there was a day when the k
sons of God came to present themselves l
before the LORD, and Satan m came also
(k) Meaning the angels, who are called the sons
of God because they are willing to execute his will.
(l) Because our infirmity cannot comprehend God
in his majesty, he is set forth to us as a King, that our capacity may be able
to understand that which is spoken of him.
(m) This declares that although Satan is an
adversary to God, yet he is compelled to obey him, and do him all homage,
without whose permission and appointment he can do nothing.
1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence n
comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, o
From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
(n) This question is asked for our infirmity: for
God knew where he had come from.
(o) In this is described the nature of Satan,
which is always seeking his prey, (1 Peter
1:9 Then Satan answered the
LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for p
(p) He fears you not for your own sake, but for
the blessing that he received from you.
1:10 Hast not thou made q
an 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
(q) Meaning, the grace of God, which served Job
as a rampart against all temptations.
1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and r
touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to s
(r) This signifies that Satan is not able to
touch us, but it is God that must do it.
(s) Satan notes the vice to which men are
commonly subjected, that is, to hide their rebellion and to be content with
God in the time of prosperity which view is disclosed in the time of their
1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that
he hath [is] in t thy power; only upon
himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the u
presence of the LORD.
(t) God does not give Satan power over man to
gratify him, but to declare that he has no power over man, but that which God
(u) That is, went to execute that which God had
permitted him to do for else he can never go out of God's presence.
And the x 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.
(x) That is, the Arabians.
1:16 While he [was] yet speaking, there came also
another, and said, The y 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.
(y) Which was also done by the craft of Satan, to
tempt Job even more grievously, so he might see that not only men were his
enemies, but that God made war against him.
1:18 While he [was] yet
speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy z
sons and thy daughters [were] eating and drinking wine in their eldest
(z) This last plague declares that when one
plague is past which seems hard to bear, God can send us another far more
grievous, to try his and teach them obedience.
1:20 Then Job arose, and a
rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and
(a) Which came not from impatience, but declares
that the children of God are not insensible like blocks, but that in their
patience they feel affliction and grief of mind: yet they do not rebel against
God as the wicked do.
1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's
womb, and naked shall I return b
thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; c
blessed be the name of the LORD.
(b) That is, into the belly of the earth, which
is the mother of all.
(c) By this he confesses that God is just and
good, although his hand is sore on him.
1:22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God d
(d) But declared that God did all things
according to justice and equity.