Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.II.
(1) And Satan came also.—See Job 1:7. St. Peter applies to Satan the verb from which we have peripatetic.
And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.(4) Skin for skin.—This is a more extreme form of the insinuation of Job 1:9. He means Job takes care to have his quid pro quo; and if the worst come to the worst, a man will give up everything to save his life. If, therefore, Job can save his life at the price of subservience to God, he will willingly pay that price rather than die; but his service is worth no more than that selfish object implies.
And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.(6) But save his life.—God’s faithfulness cannot fail even if, as Satan hints, Job’s should do so (2Timothy 2:13). There was one who cared for Job’s life more than he cared for it himself.
So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.(7) Sore boils.—Supposed to be Elephantiasis, an extreme form of leprosy, in which the skin becomes clotted and hard like an elephant’s, with painful cracks and sores underneath.
Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.(9) Then said his wife.—Thus it is that a man’s foes are they of his own household (Micah 7:6; Matthew 10:36, &c.). The worst trial of all is when those nearest to us, instead of strengthening our hand in God and confirming our faith, conspire to destroy it.
But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.(10) Shall we receive good . . .?—The words were fuller than even Job thought; for merely to receive evil as from God’s hands is to transmute its character altogether, for then even calamities become blessings in disguise. What Job meant was that we are bound to expect evil as well as good from God’s hands by a sort of compensation and even-handed justice, but what his words may mean is a far more blessed truth than this. There is a sublime contrast between the temptation of Job and the temptation of Christ (Matthew 26:39-42, &c.). (Comp. Hebrews 5:8.) This was the lesson Job was learning.
Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.(11) Eliphaz the Temanite.—Teman was the son of Eliphaz, the son of Esau, to whose family this Eliphaz is probably to be referred (Genesis 36:4; Genesis 36:10-11). If so, this may roughly indicate the date of the book. The inhabitants of Teman, which lay north-east of Edom, were famed for their wisdom (Jeremiah 47:7).
Bildad the Shuhite probably derived his origin from Shuah, the son of Abraham by Keturah (Genesis 25:2). Of the district from which Zophar the Naamathite came nothing is known. It probably derived its name from a Naamah or Naaman, of which there were several (e.g., Genesis 4:22; 1Kings 14:21; Genesis 46:21; Numbers 26:40; 2Kings 5:1), as names of persons or places called after them.
And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.(12) And knew him not.—Compare the converse statement descriptive of the love of mm who could recognise his lost son under a disguise as great as that of Job, or even greater (Luke 15:20).
So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.(13) So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days.—Compare the conduct of David (2Samuel 12:16), and see also Genesis 1:10; 1Samuel 31:13; Ezekiel 3:15. There is a colossal grandeur about this description which is in keeping with the majesty and hoary antiquity of the poem.