Job

1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God, and turned away from evil. 2 There were born to him seven sons and three daughters. 3 His possessions also were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the children of the east. 4 His sons went and held a feast in the house of each one on his birthday; and they sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 5 It was so, when the days of their feasting had run their course, 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.” Job did so continually. 6 Now on the day when God’s sons came to present themselves before the LORD, Satan also came amongst them. 7 The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, “From going back and forth in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” 8 The LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant, Job? For there is no one like him in the earth, a blameless and an upright man, one who fears God, and turns away from evil.” 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Haven’t you made a hedge around him, and around his house, and around all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will renounce you to your face.” 12 The LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power. Only on himself don’t stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD. 13 It fell on a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 that there came a messenger to Job, and said, “The oxen were plowing, and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15 and the Sabeans attacked, and took them away. Yes, they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was still speaking, there also came another, and said, “The fire of God has fallen from the sky, and has burnt up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was still speaking, there came also another, and said, “The Chaldeans made three bands, and swept down on the camels, and have taken them away, yes, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was still speaking, there came also another, and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young men, and they are dead. I alone have escaped to tell you.” 20 Then Job arose, and tore his robe, and shaved his head, and fell down on the ground, and worshiped. 21 He said, “Naked I came out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the LORD’s name.” 22 In all this, Job did not sin, nor charge God with wrongdoing.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–5

Job was prosperous, and yet pious. Though it is hard and rare, it is not impossible for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. By God’s grace the temptations of worldly wealth may be overcome. The account of Job’s piety and prosperity comes before the history of his great afflictions, showing that neither will secure from troubles. While Job beheld the harmony and comforts of his sons with satisfaction, his knowledge of the human heart made him fearful for them. He sent and sanctified them, reminding them to examine themselves, to confess their sins, to seek forgiveness; and as one who hoped for acceptance with God through the promised Saviour, he offered a burnt-offering for each. We perceive his care for their souls, his knowledge of the sinful state of man, his entire dependence on God’s mercy in the way he had appointed.

Verses 6–12

Job’s afflictions began from the malice of Satan, by the Lord’s permission, for wise and holy purposes. There is an evil spirit, the enemy of God, and of all righteousness, who is continually seeking to distress, to lead astray, and, if possible, to destroy those who love God. How far his influence may extend, we cannot say; but probably much unsteadiness and unhappiness in Christians may be ascribed to him. While we are on this earth we are within his reach. Hence it concerns us to be sober and vigilant, 1Pe 5:8. See how Satan censures Job. This is the common way of slanderers, to suggest that which they have no reason to think is true. But as there is nothing we should dread more than really being hypocrites, so there is nothing we need dread less than being called and counted so without cause. It is not wrong to look at the eternal recompence in our obedience; but it is wrong to aim at worldly advantages in our religion. God’s people are taken under his special protection; they, and all that belong to them. The blessing of the Lord makes rich; Satan himself owns it. God suffered Job to be tried, as he suffered Peter to be sifted. It is our comfort that God has the devil in a chain, Re 20:1. He has no power to lead men to sin, but what they give him themselves; nor any power to afflict men, but what is given him from above. All this is here described to us after the manner of men. The Scripture speaks thus to teach us that God directs the affairs of the world.

Verses 13–19

Satan brought Job’s troubles upon him on the day that his children began their course of feasting. The troubles all came upon Job at once; while one messenger of evil tidings was speaking, another followed. His dearest and most valuable possessions were his ten children; news is brought him that they are killed. They were taken away when he had most need of them to comfort him under other losses. In God only have we a help present at all times. (Job 1:20-22)

Verses 20–22

Job humbled himself under the hand of God. He reasons from the common state of human life, which he describes. We brought nothing of this world’s goods into the world, but have them from others; and it is certain we can carry nothing out, but must leave them to others. Job, under all his losses, is but reduced to his first state. He is but where he must have been at last, and is only unclothed, or unloaded rather, a little sooner than he expected. If we put off our clothes before we go to bed, it is some inconvenience, but it may be the better borne when it is near bed-time. The same who gave hath taken away. See how Job looks above instruments, and keeps his eye upon the First Cause. Afflictions must not divert us from, but quicken us to religion. If in all our troubles we look to the Lord, he will support us. The Lord is righteous. All we have is from his gift; we have forfeited it by sin, and ought not to complain if he takes any part from us. Discontent and impatience charge God with folly. Against these Job carefully watched; and so must we, acknowledging that as God has done right, but we have done wickedly, so God has done wisely, but we have done very foolishly. And may the malice and power of Satan render that Saviour more precious to our souls, who came to destroy the works of the devil; who, for our salvation, suffered from that enemy far more than Job suffered, or we can think.

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