1There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and the man was perfect and upright, and one who feared God and turned away from evil.2And seven sons and three daughters were born to him.3Also, his possessions were seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys, and a very large household, so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the East.4And his sons went and prepared feasts in their houses, each on his appointed day, and sent and invited their three sisters to eat and drink with them.5So it was, when the days of feasting had made the rounds, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. Thus Job did over time.6Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before Jehovah, and Satan also came among them.7And 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.8Then 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?9So Satan answered Jehovah and said, Does Job fear God for nothing?10Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock have flourished in the land.11However, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and will he not curse You to Your face!12And Jehovah said to Satan, Behold, all that he has is in your hand; only do not stretch forth your hand upon him. So Satan went out from the presence of Jehovah.13Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the firstborn brother's house;14and a messenger came to Job and said, The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them,15when the Sabeans fell upon them and took them away; indeed they have killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and only I alone am escaped to tell you!16While he was still speaking, another also came and said, The fire of God has fallen from the heavens and burned up the sheep and the servants, and consumed them; and only I alone am escaped to tell you!17While he was still speaking, another also came and said, The Chaldeans formed three bands, rushed in upon the camels and took them away, yea, and killed the servants with the edge of the sword; and only I alone am escaped to tell you!18While he was still speaking, another also came and said, Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in the firstborn brother's house,19and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead; and only I alone am escaped to tell you!20Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell down upon the ground and prostrated himself;21and he said: Naked I have come from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. Jehovah has given, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed is the name of Jehovah.22In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with folly.
Matthew Henry - Concise Commentary 1
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. 6
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, 1Pet 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, Revel 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. 13
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. 20
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.