|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:13-19 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.
Verse 14. - And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were ploughing, and the asses (literally, the she-asses) feeding beside them (literally, at their hand). Note that, notwithstanding the festival, labour was still going on; there was no general holiday; the oxen were at work in the field, not perhaps all of them, but the greater number, for the ploughing-time is short in the Oriental countries, and the "earing" is all done at the same time. The bulk of Job's labourers were probably engaged in the business, and they had brought the asses with them, probably to keep them under their eye, lest thieves should carry them off, when the catastrophe related in the next verse occurred.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And there came a messenger unto Job,.... Not a messenger of Satan, as Jarchi, or one of his angels, or evil spirits; though this is a sense which is embraced not only by some Jewish Rabbins, but by several of the ancient Christian writers, as Sanctius on the place observes; and such they suppose the other messengers after mentioned were; but both this and they were servants of Job, who escaped the calamity that came upon the rest of their fellow servants:
and said, the oxen were ploughing: the five hundred yoke of oxen Job had, Job 1:3, which were all out in the fields, and employed in ploughing them; and to plough with such was usual in those times and countries, as it now is in some places; see 1 Kings 19:19
and the asses feeding beside them; beside the oxen, where they were ploughing, in pasture ground, adjoining to the arable land; and beside the servants that were ploughing with the oxen: "at their hands" (b); as it may be literally rendered, just by them, under their eye and care; or "in their places" (c); where they should be, and where they used to feed (d); these were the five hundred asses, male and female, reckoned among Job's substance, Job 1:3, which were brought hither to feed, and some for the servants to ride on; this ploughed land being at some distance from Job's house; and others to carry the seed that was was to be sown here: now the situation and employment of these creatures are particularly mentioned, to show that they were in their proper places, and at their proper work; and that what befell them was not owing to the want of care of them, or to the indolence and negligence of the servants.
(b) "ad manus eorum", Mercerus. (c) "Suis locis", Vatablus, Schmidt; so Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Bar Tzemach. (d) "More solito", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. the asses feeding beside them—Hebrew, "she asses." A graphic picture of rural repose and peace; the more dreadful, therefore, by contrast is the sudden attack of the plundering Arabs.
Job 1:14 Parallel Commentaries
Job 1:14 NIV
Job 1:14 NLT
Job 1:14 ESV
Job 1:14 NASB
Job 1:14 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible