1Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, and Satan came also among them to present himself before Jehovah.2And Jehovah said to Satan, From where do you come? So Satan answered Jehovah and said, From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking about on it.3Then Jehovah said to Satan, Have you set your heart on My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a perfect and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to swallow him up without cause.4So Satan answered Jehovah and said, Skin for skin! Yea, all that a man has he will give for his soul.5But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse You to Your face! 6And Jehovah said to Satan, Behold, he is in your hand, but keep his soul alive. 7So Satan went out from the presence of Jehovah, and struck Job with malignant inflammation from the sole of his foot to the top of his head.8And he took a potsherd with which to scrape himself; and he sat down in the middle of the ashes.9Then his wife said to him, Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!10But he said to her, You speak as one of the foolish ones speak. Shall we indeed receive good from God, and shall we not accept adversity? In all this Job did not sin with his lips.11Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, each one came from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and show sympathy for him, and to comfort him.12And when they lifted up their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted up their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on their heads toward the heavens.13So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.
Jamieson Fausset Brown Bible Commentary 1
SATAN FURTHER TEMPTS JOB. (Job 2:1
a day--appointed for the angels giving an account of their ministry to God. The words "to present himself before the Lord" occur here, though not in Job 1:6
, as Satan has now a special report to make as to Job. 3
integrity--literally, "completeness"; so "perfect," another form of the same Hebrew word, Job 11:7
movedst . . . against--So 1Sam 26:19
; compare 1Chr 21:1
with 2Sam 24:1
Skin for skin--a proverb. Supply, "He will give." The "skin" is figurative for any outward good. Nothing outward is so dear that a man will not exchange it for some other outward good; "but" (not "yea") "life," the inward good, cannot be replaced; a man will sacrifice everything else for its sake. Satan sneers bitterly at man's egotism and says that Job bears the loss of property and children because these are mere outward and exchangeable goods, but he will give up all things, even his religion, in order to save his life, if you touch his bones and flesh. "Skin" and "life" are in antithesis [UMBREIT]. The martyrs prove Satan's sneer false. ROSENMULLER explains it not so well. A man willingly gives up another's skin (life) for his own skin (life). So Job might bear the loss of his children, &c., with equanimity, so long as he remained unhurt himself; but when touched in his own person, he would renounce God. Thus the first "skin" means the other's skin, that is, body; the second "skin," one's own, as in Exod 21:28
but save--rather, "only spare his life." Satan shows his ingenuity in inflicting pain, and also his knowledge of what man's body can bear without vital injury. 7
sore boils--malignant boils; rather, as it is singular in the Hebrew, a "burning sore." Job was covered with one universal inflammation. The use of the potsherd [Job 2:8
] agrees with this view. It was that form of leprosy called black (to distinguish it from the white), or elephantiasis, because the feet swell like those of the elephant. The Arabic judham (Deut 28:35
), where "sore botch" is rather the black burning boil (Isa 1:6
a potsherd--not a piece of a broken earthen vessel, but an instrument made for scratching (the root of the Hebrew word is "scratch"); the sore was too disgusting to touch. "To sit in the ashes" marks the deepest mourning (Jonah 3:6
); also humility, as if the mourner were nothing but dust and ashes; so Abraham (Gen 18:27
JOB REPROVES HIS WIFE. (Job 2:9
curse God--rather, "renounce" God. (See on Job 1:5
) [UMBREIT]. However, it was usual among the heathens, when disappointed in their prayers accompanied with offerings to their gods, to reproach and curse them.
and die--that is, take thy farewell of God and so die. For no good is to be got out of religion, either here or hereafter; or, at least, not in this life [GILL]; Nothing makes the ungodly so angry as to see the godly under trial not angry. 10
the foolish women--Sin and folly are allied in Scripture (1Sam 25:25
; 2Sam 13:13
; Ps 14:1
receive evil--bear willingly (Lam 3:39
Eliphaz--The view of RAWLINSON that "the names of Job's three friends represent the Chaldean times, about 700 B.C.," cannot be accepted. Eliphaz is an Idumean name, Esau's oldest son (Gen 36:4
); and Teman, son of Eliphaz (Gen 36:15
), called "duke." EUSEBIUS places Teman in Arabia-Petrća (but see on Job 6:19
). Teman means "at the right hand"; and then the south, namely, part of Idumea; capital of Edom (Amos 1:12
). Hebrew geographers faced the east, not the north as we do; hence with them "the right hand" was the south. Temanites were famed for wisdom (Jer 49:7
). BARUCH mentions them as "authors of fables" (namely, proverbs embodying the results of observation), and "searchers out of understanding."
Bildad the Shuhite--Shuah ("a pit"), son of Abraham and Keturah (Gen 25:2
). PTOLEMY mentions the region Syccea, in Arabia-Deserta, east of Batanea.
Zophar the Naamathite--not of the Naamans in Judah (Josh 15:41
), which was too distant; but some region in Arabia-Deserta. FRETELIUS says there was a Naamath in Uz. 12
toward heaven--They threw ashes violently upwards, that they might fall on their heads and cover them--the deepest mourning (Josh 7:6
; Acts 22:23
seven days . . . nights--They did not remain in the same posture and without food, &c., all this time, but for most of this period daily and nightly. Sitting on the earth marked mourning (Lam 2:10
). Seven days was the usual length of it (Gen 50:10
; 1Sam 31:13
). This silence may have been due to a rising suspicion of evil in Job; but chiefly because it is only ordinary griefs that find vent in language; extraordinary griefs are too great for utterance.