|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-5 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.
Verse 2. - And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. The numbers three and seven, and their product, ten, are certainly sacred numbers, regarded as expressive of ideal perfection. But this does not prevent their being also historical. As Canon Cook observes, "Striking coincidences between outward facts and ideal numbers are not uncommon in the purely historical portions of Scripture" ('Speaker's Commentary,' vol. 4. p. 20). There are twelve apostles, seventy (7 × 10) disciples sent out by our Lord, seven deacons, three synoptic Gospels, twelve minor prophets, seven princes of Persia and Media, ten sons of Haman, three of Noah, Gomer, Terah, Levi, and Zeruiah, seven of Japhet, Mizraim, Seir the Horite, Gad, and Jesse (1 Chronicles 2:13-15), twelve of Ishmael, twelve of Jacob, etc. Our Lord is thirty (3 x 10) years old when he begins to teach, and his ministry lasts three years; he heals seven lepers, casts out of Mary Magdalene seven devils, speaks upon the cross seven "words," bids Peter forgive his brother "seventy times seven," etc. It is thus not only in vision or in prophecy, or in symbolical language, that these "ideal numbers" come to the front far more frequently than ethers, but also in the most matter-of-fact histories.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And there were born unto him,.... By his wife, in lawful wedlock, who was now living, and after mentioned:
seven sons and three daughters; next to his religious character, his graces, and spiritual blessings, and as the chief of his outward mercies and enjoyments, his children are mentioned; and which are indeed blessings from the Lord, and such as good men, and those that fear the Lord, are sometimes blessed with, see Psalm 127:3 and to have a numerous offspring was always esteemed a very great favour and blessing, and as such was reckoned by Job; who, having so many sons, might hope to have his name perpetuated by them, as well as his substance shared among them; and having so many daughters, he might please himself with the thought of marrying them into families, which would strengthen his friendship and alliance with them; just the same number of sons and daughters had Bacchaeus, the third king of Corinth (y).
(y) Heraclides de Politiis ad calcem Aelian. Var. Hist. p. 439.
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