Job 1:1
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
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(1) There was a man in the land of Uz.—The first mention of this name is in Genesis 10:23, where Uz is said to have been one of the sons of Aram, who was one of the sons of Shem. (Comp. 1Chronicles 1:17.) Another Uz (in the Authorised Version spelt Huz) is mentioned in Genesis 22:21 as the firstborn of Nahor, the brother of Abraham. A third form of this name is mentioned in Genesis 36:28 among “the sons of Seir the Horite. who inhabited the land” of Edom. (Comp. 1Chronicles 1:42.) It is probable that each of these is to be associated with a different district: the first perhaps with that of the Lebanon—a district near Damascus is still called El-Ghutha; the second with that of Mesopotamia or Chaldea; and the third with the Edomite district south of Palestine. From the mention of “the land of Uz” (Lamentations 4:21) and “the kings of the land of Uz” (Jeremiah 25:20), where in each case the association seems to be with Edom, it is probable that the land of Job is to be identified rather with the district south and southeast of Palestine.

Whose name was Job.—The name is really Iyyov, and is carefully to be distinguished from the Job (Yov) who was the son of Issachar (Genesis 46:13), and from the Jobab (Yovav) who was one of the kings of Edom (Genesis 36:33), with both of which it has been confounded. The form of the name may suggest the signification of “the assaulted one,” as the root from which it appears to be derived means “was an enemy.”

Perfect and upright . . .—Noah in like manner is said to have been “perfect” (Genesis 6:9). Abram was required to be so (Genesis 17:1), and Israel generally (Deuteronomy 18:13), though the adjective in these places is not quite the same as that used here; and our Lord required the same high standard of His disciples (Matthew 5:48), while He also, through the gift of the Spirit, made it possible. The character here given to Job is that in which wisdom is declared to consist. (Comp. Job 28:28.) It has the twofold aspect of refusing the evil and choosing the good, of aiming at a lofty ideal of excellence and of shunning that which is fatal or opposed to it.

Job 1:1. There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job — We have observed in the argument, that the firstborn son of Nahor, Abraham’s brother, was called Uz. It appears also from Genesis 10:23, that a grandson of Shem bore the same name, but it does not appear whether any country was named from either of these. But we find in Lamentations 4:21, that Edom was called Uz, probably from a grandson of Seir, the Horite, of that name. See Genesis 36:20; Genesis 36:28; 1 Chronicles 1:38; 1 Chronicles 1:42. This person, as the reader will recollect, inhabited the mountainous country, called Seir from him, before the time of Abraham; but his posterity being driven out, the Edomites seized that country, Genesis 14:6; Deuteronomy 2:12, whence it afterward bore the name of Edom. It is part of Arabia Petræa, bordering upon the tribe of Judah to the south. Hence the land of Uz is properly placed between Egypt and the Philistines in Jeremiah 25:20. See Bishop Lowth and Dodd. This, therefore, was probably the country of Job, “whose name,” Dr. Dodd says, “in the Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic, may, with the greatest probability, be derived from a root which signifies to love or desire; and might be rendered, the beloved or desirable one.” We have observed, that it is likely he was of the posterity of Uz, the son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham; but how far removed from him can only be conjectured from the age of his friends; the eldest of whom, Eliphaz the Temanite, could not be nearer than great-grand-son to Esau; for Esau begat Eliphaz, and the son of Eliphaz was Teman: so that supposing this Eliphaz to be the son of Teman, (and higher it will be impossible to place him,) he will then be five generations from Abraham; but as Eliphaz was very much older than Job, nay, older than his father, as appears from chap. Job 15:10; and, considering that Abraham was very old before he had a son by Sarah, and that Rebecca, grand-daughter to Nahor, by Bethuel, perhaps his youngest son, was of an age proper to be wife to Isaac; we shall, probably, not be wide of the mark, if we allow Job to be at least six, if not seven generations removed from Nahor. The age therefore in which he lived must have coincided with the latter years of the life of Jacob, with those of Joseph, and the descent into, and sojourning in Egypt: his afflictions must have happened during the sojourning, about ten years before the death of Joseph, and his life must have been prolonged to within fourteen years before the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, that is, the year of the world 2499. The number of the years of the life of Job, according to this calculation, will be about two hundred; which, for that age of the world, and especially considering that Job was blessed with a remarkably long life, as a reward for his sufferings and integrity, will not appear very extraordinary; for Jacob lived one hundred and forty-seven years; Levi, his son, one hundred and thirty-seven; Koath, his grand-son, one hundred and thirty-three; and Amram, his great-grand-son, and father of Moses, one hundred and thirty-seven; Moses also lived one hundred and twenty years. All these, it seems, were his cotemporaries, some older, some younger than Job: so that this appears to agree extremely well with that circumstance of his history. See Heath and Dodd.

That man was perfect — Not exactly, or according to the law of innocence, but as to his sincere intentions, hearty affections, and diligent endeavours to perform his whole duty to God and men. And upright — Hebrew, וישׁו, vejashar, right, exact, and regular in all his dealings with men; one of an unblameable conversation. And one that feared God — One truly pious and devoted to God. And eschewed evil — Carefully avoiding all sin against God or men.

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.There was a man - This has all the appearance of being a true history. Many have regarded the whole book as a fiction, and have supposed that no such person as Job ever lived. But the book opens with the appearance of reality; and the express declaration that there was such a man, the mention of his name and of the place where he lived, show that the writer meant to affirm that there was in fact such a man. On this question see the Introduction, Section 1.

In the land of Uz - On the question where Job 54ed, see also the Introduction, Section 2.

Whose name was Job - The name Job (Hebrew איוב 'ı̂yôb, Gr. Ἰώβ Iōb means properly, according to Gesenius, "one persecuted," from a root (איב 'âyab) meaning to be an enemy to anyone, to persecute, to hate. The primary idea, according to Gesenius, is to be sought in breathing, blowing, or puffing at, or upon anyone, as expressive of anger or hatred, Germ. "Anschnauben." Eichhorn (Einleit. section 638. 1,) supposes that the name denotes a man who turns himself penitently to God, from a sense of the verb still found in Arabic "to repent." On this supposition, the name was given to him, because, at the close of the book, he is represented as exercising repentance for the improper expressions in which he had indulged during his sufferings. The verb occurs only once in the Hebrew Scriptures, Exodus 23:22 : But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak, then "I will be an enemy" אויב 'ôyêb "unto thine enemies" אויב את 'êth 'ôyêb.

The participle איב 'oyēb is the common word to denote an enemy in the Old Testament, Exodus 15:6, Exodus 15:9; Leviticus 26:25; Numbers 35:23; Deuteronomy 32:27, Deuteronomy 32:42; Psalm 7:5; Psalm 8:2; Psalm 31:8; Lamentations 2:4-5; Job 13:24; Job 27:7; Job 33:10, "et soepe al." If this be the proper meaning of the word "Job," then the name would seem to have been given him by anticipation, or by common consent, as a much persecuted man. Significant names were very common among the Hebrews - given either by anticipation (see the notes at Isaiah 8:18), or subsequently, to denote some leading or important event in the life; compare Genesis 4:1-2, Genesis 4:25; Genesis 5:29; 1 Samuel 1:20. Such, too, was the case among the Romans, where the "agnomen" thus bestowed became the appellation by which the individual was best known. Cicero thus received his name from a wart which he had on his face, resembling a "vetch," and which was called by the Latins, "cicer." Thus also Marcus had the name "Ancus," from the Greek word ανκὼν ankōn, because he had a crooked arm; and thus the names Africanus, Germanicus, etc., were given to generals who had distinguished themselves in particular countries; see Univer. Hist. Anc. Part ix. 619, ed. 8vo, Lond. 1779. In like manner it is possible that the name "Job" was given to the Emir of Uz by common consent, as the man much persecuted or tried, and that this became afterward the appellation by which he was best known. The name occurs once as applied to a son of Issachar, Genesis 46:13, and in only two other places in the Bible except in this book; Ezekiel 14:14; James 5:11.

And that man was perfect - (תמם tâmam). The Septuagint have greatly expanded this statement, by giving a paraphrase instead of a translation. "He was a man who was true (ἀληθινός alēthinos), blameless (ἄμεμπτος amemptos), just (δίκαιος dikaios), pious (θεοσεβής theosebēs), abstaining from every evil deed." Jerome renders it, "simplex - simple," or "sincere." The Chaldee, שׁלם shālam, "complete, finished, perfect." The idea seems to be that his piety, or moral character, was "proportionate" and was "complete in all its parts." He was a man of integrity in all the relations of life - as an Emir, a father, a husband, a worshipper of God. Such is properly the meaning of the word תם tâm as derived from תמם tâmam, "to complete, to make full, perfect" or "entire," or "to finish." It denotes that in which there is no part lacking to complete the whole - as in a watch in which no wheel is missing. Thus, he was not merely upright as an Emir, but he was pious toward God; he was not merely kind to his family, but he was just to his neighbors and benevolent to the poor. The word is used to denote integrity as applied to the heart, Genesis 20:5 : לבבי בתם betām lebābı̂y, "In the honesty, simplicity, or sincerity of my heart (see the margin) have I done this." So 1 Kings 22:34, "One drew a bow לתמוּ letumô in the simplicity (or perfection) of his heart;" that is, without any evil intention; compare 2 Samuel 15:11; Proverbs 10:9. The proper notion, therefore, is that of simplicity. sincerity, absence from guile or evil intention, and completeness of parts in his religion. That he was a man absolutely sinless, or without any propensity to evil, is disproved alike by the spirit of complaining which he often evinces, and by his own confession, Job 9:20 :

If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me;

If I say I am perfect, it shall prove me perverse.

So also Job 42:5-6 :

I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear,

But now mine eye seeth thee;

Wherefore I abhor myself,

And repent in dust and ashes.

Compare Ecclesiastes 7:20.

And upright - The word ישׁר yâshâr, from ישׁר yâshar, to be straight, is applied often to a road which is straight, or to a path which is level or even. As used here it means upright or righteous; compare Psalm 11:7; Psalm 37:14,; Deuteronomy 32:4; Psalm 33:4.


THE BOOK OF JOB Commentary by A. R. Faussett


Job a Real Person.—It has been supposed by some that the book of Job is an allegory, not a real narrative, on account of the artificial character of many of its statements. Thus the sacred numbers, three and seven, often occur. He had seven thousand sheep, seven sons, both before and after his trials; his three friends sit down with him seven days and seven nights; both before and after his trials he had three daughters. So also the number and form of the speeches of the several speakers seem to be artificial. The name of Job, too, is derived from an Arabic word signifying repentance.

But Eze 14:14 (compare Eze 14:16, 20) speaks of "Job" in conjunction with "Noah and Daniel," real persons. St. James (Jas 5:11) also refers to Job as an example of "patience," which he would not have been likely to do had Job been only a fictitious person. Also the names of persons and places are specified with a particularity not to be looked for in an allegory. As to the exact doubling of his possessions after his restoration, no doubt the round number is given for the exact number, as the latter approached near the former; this is often done in undoubtedly historical books. As to the studied number and form of the speeches, it seems likely that the arguments were substantially those which appear in the book, but that the studied and poetic form was given by Job himself, guided by the Holy Spirit. He lived one hundred and forty years after his trials, and nothing would be more natural than that he should, at his leisure, mould into a perfect form the arguments used in the momentous debate, for the instruction of the Church in all ages. Probably, too, the debate itself occupied several sittings; and the number of speeches assigned to each was arranged by preconcerted agreement, and each was allowed the interval of a day or more to prepare carefully his speech and replies; this will account for the speakers bringing forward their arguments in regular series, no one speaking out of his turn. As to the name Job—repentance (supposing the derivation correct)—it was common in old times to give a name from circumstances which occurred at an advanced period of life, and this is no argument against the reality of the person.

Where Job Lived.—"Uz," according to Gesenius, means a light, sandy soil, and was in the north of Arabia-Deserta, between Palestine and the Euphrates, called by Ptolemy (Geography, 19) Ausitai or Aisitai. In Ge 10:23; 22:21; 36:28; and 1Ch 1:17, 42, it is the name of a man. In Jer 25:20; La 4:21; and Job 1:1, it is a country. Uz, in Ge 22:21, is said to be the son of Nahor, brother of Abraham—a different person from the one mentioned (Ge 10:23), a grandson of Shem. The probability is that the country took its name from the latter of the two; for this one was the son of Aram, from whom the Arameans take their name, and these dwelt in Mesopotamia, between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. Compare as to the dwelling of the sons of Shem in Ge 10:30, "a mount of the East," answering to "men of the East" (Job 1:3). Rawlinson, in his deciphering of the Assyrian inscriptions, states that "Uz is the prevailing name of the country at the mouth of the Euphrates." It is probable that Eliphaz the Temanite and the Sabeans dwelt in that quarter; and we know that the Chaldeans resided there, and not near Idumea, which some identify with Uz. The tornado from "the wilderness" (Job 1:19) agrees with the view of it being Arabia-Deserta. Job (Job 1:3) is called "the greatest of the men of the East"; but Idumea was not east, but south of Palestine: therefore in Scripture language, the phrase cannot apply to that country, but probably refers to the north of Arabia-Deserta, between Palestine, Idumea, and the Euphrates. So the Arabs still show in the Houran a place called Uz as the residence of Job.

The Age When Job Lived.—Eusebius fixes it two ages before Moses, that is, about the time of Isaac: eighteen hundred years before Christ, and six hundred after the Deluge. Agreeing with this are the following considerations: 1. Job's length of life is patriarchal, two hundred years. 2. He alludes only to the earliest form of idolatry, namely, the worship of the sun, moon, and heavenly hosts (called Saba, whence arises the title "Lord of Sabaoth," as opposed to Sabeanism) (Job 31:26-28). 3. The number of oxen and rams sacrificed, seven, as in the case of Balaam. God would not have sanctioned this after the giving of the Mosaic law, though He might graciously accommodate Himself to existing customs before the law. 4. The language of Job is Hebrew, interspersed occasionally with Syriac and Arabic expressions, implying a time when all the Shemitic tribes spoke one common tongue and had not branched into different dialects, Hebrew, Syriac, and Arabic. 5. He speaks of the most ancient kind of writing, namely, sculpture. Riches also are reckoned by cattle. The Hebrew word, translated "a piece of money," ought rather be rendered "a lamb." 6. There is no allusion to the exodus from Egypt and to the miracles that accompanied it; nor to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Patrick, however, thinks there is); though there is to the Flood (Job 22:17); and these events, happening in Job's vicinity, would have been striking illustrations of the argument for God's interposition in destroying the wicked and vindicating the righteous, had Job and his friends known of them. Nor is there any undoubted reference to the Jewish law, ritual, and priesthood. 7. The religion of Job is that which prevailed among the patriarchs previous to the law; sacrifices performed by the head of the family; no officiating priesthood, temple, or consecrated altar.

The Writer.—All the foregoing facts accord with Job himself having been the author. The style of thought, imagery, and manners, are such as we should look for in the work of an Arabian emir. There is precisely that degree of knowledge of primitive tradition (see Job 31:33, as to Adam) which was universally spread abroad in the days of Noah and Abraham, and which was subsequently embodied in the early chapters of Genesis. Job, in his speeches, shows that he was much more competent to compose the work than Elihu, to whom Lightfoot attributes it. The style forbids its being attributed to Moses, to whom its composition is by some attributed, "whilst he was among the Midianites, about 1520 B.C." But the fact, that it, though not a Jewish book, appears among the Hebrew sacred writings, makes it likely that it came to the knowledge of Moses during the forty years which he passed in parts of Arabia, chiefly near Horeb; and that he, by divine guidance, introduced it as a sacred writing to the Israelites, to whom, in their affliction, the patience and restoration of Job were calculated to be a lesson of especial utility. That it is inspired appears from the fact that Paul (1Co 3:19) quotes it (Job 5:13) with the formula, "It is written." Our Savior, too Mt 24:28), plainly refers to Job 29:30. Compare also Jas 4:10 and 1Pe 5:6 with Job 22:29; Ro 11:34, 35 with Job 15:8. It is probably the oldest book in the world. It stands among the Hagiographa in the threefold division of Scripture into the Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa ("Psalms," Lu 24:44).

Design of the Book.—It is a public debate in poetic form on an important question concerning the divine government; moreover the prologue and epilogue, which are in prose, shed the interest of a living history over the debate, which would otherwise be but a contest of abstract reasonings. To each speaker of the three friends three speeches are assigned. Job having no one to stand by him is allowed to reply to each speech of each of the three. Eliphaz, as the oldest, leads the way. Zophar, at his third turn, failed to speak, thus virtually owning himself overcome (Job 27:1-23). Therefore Job continued his reply, which forms three speeches (Job 26:1-14; 27:1-23; 28:1-28; 29:1-31:40). Elihu (Job 32:1-37:24) is allowed four speeches. Jehovah makes three addresses (Job 38:1-41:34). Thus, throughout there is a tripartite division. The whole is divided into three parts—the prologue, poem proper, and epilogue. The poem, into three—(1) The dispute of Job and his three friends; (2) The address of Elihu; (3) The address of God. There are three series in the controversy, and in the same order. The epilogue (Job 42:1-17) also is threefold; Job's justification, reconciliation with his friends, restoration. The speakers also in their successive speeches regularly advance from less to greater vehemence. With all this artificial composition, everything seems easy and natural.

The question to be solved, as exemplified in the case of Job, is, Why are the righteous afflicted consistently with God's justice? The doctrine of retribution after death, no doubt, is the great solution of the difficulty. And to it Job plainly refers in Job 14:14, and Job 19:25. The objection to this, that the explicitness of the language on the resurrection in Job is inconsistent with the obscurity on the subject in the early books of the Old Testament, is answered by the fact that Job enjoyed the divine vision (Job 38:1; 42:5), and therefore, by inspiration, foretold these truths. Next, the revelations made outside of Israel being few needed to be the more explicit; thus Balaam's prophecy (Nu 24:17) was clear enough to lead the wise men of the East by the star (Mt 2:2); and in the age before the written law, it was the more needful for God not to leave Himself without witness of the truth. Still Job evidently did not fully realize the significance designed by the Spirit in his own words (compare 1Pe 1:11, 12). The doctrine, though existing, was not plainly revealed or at least understood. Hence he does not mainly refer to this solution. Yes, and even now, we need something in addition to this solution. David, who firmly believed in a future retribution (Ps 16:10; 17:15), still felt the difficulty not entirely solved thereby (Ps 83:1-18). The solution is not in Job's or in his three friends' speeches. It must, therefore, be in Elihu's. God will hold a final judgment, no doubt, to clear up all that seems dark in His present dealings; but He also now providentially and morally governs the world and all the events of human life. Even the comparatively righteous are not without sin which needs to be corrected. The justice and love of God administer the altogether deserved and merciful correction. Affliction to the godly is thus mercy and justice in disguise. The afflicted believer on repentance sees this. "Via crucis, via salutis" ["The way of the cross, the way of deliverance"]. Though afflicted, the godly are happier even now than the ungodly, and when affliction has attained its end, it is removed by the Lord. In the Old Testament the consolations are more temporal and outward; in the New Testament, more spiritual; but in neither to the entire exclusion of the other. "Prosperity," says Bacon, "is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity that of the New Testament, which is the mark of God's more especial favor. Yet even in the Old Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you shall hear as many hearse-like airs as carols; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost has labored more in describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes." This solution of Elihu is seconded by the addresses of God, in which it is shown God must be just (because He is God), as Elihu had shown how God can be just, and yet the righteous be afflicted. It is also acquiesced in by Job, who makes no reply. God reprimands the "three" friends, but not Elihu. Job's general course is approved; he is directed to intercede for his friends, and is restored to double his former prosperity.

Poetry.—In all countries poetry is the earliest form of composition as being best retained in the memory. In the East especially it was customary for sentiments to be preserved in a terse, proverbial, and poetic form (called maschal). Hebrew poetry is not constituted by the rhythm or meter, but in a form peculiar to itself: 1. In an alphabetical arrangement somewhat like our acrostic. For instance, La 1:1-22. 2. The same verse repeated at intervals; as in Ps 42:1-11; 107:1-43. 3. Rhythm of gradation. Psalms of degrees, Ps 120:1-134:3, in which the expression of the previous verse is resumed and carried forward in the next (Ps 121:1-8). 4. The chief characteristic of Hebrew poetry is parallelism, or the correspondence of the same ideas in the parallel clauses. The earliest instance is Enoch's prophecy (Jude 14), and Lamech's parody of it (Ge 4:23). Three kinds occur: (1) The synonymous parallelism, in which the second is a repetition of the first, with or without increase of force (Ps 22:27; Isa 15:1); sometimes with double parallelism (Isa 1:15). (2) The antithetic, in which the idea of the second clause is the converse of that in the first (Pr 10:1). (3) The synthetic, where there is a correspondence between different propositions, noun answering to noun, verb to verb, member to member, the sentiment, moreover, being not merely echoed, or put in contrast, but enforced by accessory ideas (Job 3:3-9). Also alternate (Isa 51:19). "Desolation and destruction, famine and sword," that is, desolation by famine, and destruction by the sword. Introverted; where the fourth answers to the first, and the third to the second (Mt 7:6). Parallelism thus often affords a key to the interpretation. For fuller information, see Lowth (Introduction to Isaiah, and Lecture on Hebrew Poetry) and Herder (Spirit of Hebrew Poetry, translated by Marsh). The simpler and less artificial forms of parallelism prevail in Job—a mark of its early age.



Job 1:1-5. The Holiness of Job, His Wealth, &c.

1. Uz—north of Arabia-Deserta, lying towards the Euphrates. It was in this neighborhood, and not in that of Idumea, that the Chaldeans and Sabeans who plundered him dwell. The Arabs divide their country into the north, called Sham, or "the left"; and the south, called Yemen, or "the right"; for they faced east; and so the west was on their left, and the south on their right. Arabia-Deserta was on the east, Arabia-Petræa on the west, and Arabia-Felix on the south.

Job—The name comes from an Arabic word meaning "to return," namely, to God, "to repent," referring to his end [Eichorn]; or rather from a Hebrew word signifying one to whom enmity was shown, "greatly tried" [Gesenius]. Significant names were often given among the Hebrews, from some event of later life (compare Ge 4:2, Abel—a "feeder" of sheep). So the emir of Uz was by general consent called Job, on account of his "trials." The only other person so called was a son of Issachar (Ge 46:13).

perfect—not absolute or faultless perfection (compare Job 9:20; Ec 7:20), but integrity, sincerity, and consistency on the whole, in all relations of life (Ge 6:9; 17:1; Pr 10:9; Mt 5:48). It was the fear of God that kept Job from evil (Pr 8:13).Job's country, and sincere holiness: his children; their feasts; and his religious care for them, Job 1:1-5. Satan's appearance before God: God's character of Job, Job 1:6-8. Satan imputeth Job's goodness to his prosperity; and so obtaineth leave to afflict him in his goods, Job 1:9-12. Job's oxen, sheep, camels, and servants destroyed, Job 1:13-17. His sons and daughters perish, Job 1:18,19. Job, with his mantle rent, head shaved, and upon the ground, worshippeth; blesseth God; sinneth not, Job 1:20-22.

The land of Uz was either in Edom, called the land of Uz, Lam 4:21, or in some part of Arabia, not far from the Chaldeans and Sabeans, as this chapter witnesseth; so called probably from Uz, one of Esau's posterity, Gen 36:28 Jer 25:20.

That man was perfect; not legally or exactly, as he confesseth, Job 9:20; but comparatively to such as were partial in their obedience to God's commands, and as to his sincere intentions, hearty affections, and constant and diligent endeavours to perform all his duties to God and men.

Upright, Heb. right; exact and regular in all his dealings with men; one of an unblamable conversation, doing to others as he would have others to deal with him.

One that feared God; one truly pious, and devoted to God's worship and service.

Eschewed evil, i.e. carefully avoiding all sin against God or men.

There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job,.... Of the signification of his name, see the introduction to the book. The place where he dwelt had its name not from Uz, a descendant of Shem, Genesis 10:23 but from Uz, a son of Nahor, brother to Abraham, Genesis 22:21 unless it can be thought to be so called from Uz, of the children of Seir, in the land of Edom; since we read of the land of Uz along with Edom, or rather of Edom as in the land of Uz, or on the borders of it, Lamentations 4:21, the Targum calls it the land of Armenia, but rather it is Arabia; and very probably it was one of the Arabias Job 54ed in, either Petraea or Deserta, probably the latter; of which Uz or Ausitis, as the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin version read it, was a part; the same with the Aesitae of Ptolemy (u); and it is said to be near the land of Canaan (w), for in Arabia Felix the Sabeans lived; and certain it is that this country was near to the Sabeans and Chaldeans, and to the land of Edom, from whence Eliphaz the Temanite came: and as this very probably was a wicked and an idolatrous place, it was an instance of the distinguishing grace of God, to call Job by his grace in the land of Uz, as it was to call Abraham in Ur of the Chaldeans; and though it might be distressing and afflicting to the good man to live in such a country, as it was to Lot to live in Sodom, yet it was an honour to him, or rather it was to the glory of the grace of God that he was religious here, and continued to be so, see Revelation 2:13 and gives an early proof of what the Apostle Peter observed, "that God is no respecter of persons, but, in every nation, he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him"; that is, through Christ, Acts 10:34. Job, as he is described by his name and country, so by his sex, "a man"; and this is not so much to distinguish his sex, nor to express the reality of his existence as a man, but to denote his greatness; he was a very considerable, and indeed an extraordinary man; he was a man not only of wealth and riches, but of great power and authority, so the mean and great man are distinguished in Isaiah 2:9 see the account he gives of himself in Job 29:7, by which it appears he was in great honour and esteem with men of all ranks and degrees, as well as he was a man of great grace, as follows:

and the man was perfect; in the same sense as Noah, Abraham, and Jacob were; not with respect to sanctification, unless as considered in Christ, who is made sanctification to his people; or with regard to the truth, sincerity, and genuineness of it; or in a comparative sense, in comparison of what he once was, and others are; but not so as to be free from sin, neither from the being of it, which no man is clear of in this life, nor from the actings of it in thought, word, and deed, see Job 9:20 or so as to be perfect in grace; for though all grace is seminally implanted at once in regeneration, it opens and increases gradually; there is a perfection of parts, but not of degrees; there is the whole new man, but that is not arrived to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; there are all and every grace, but not one perfect, not knowledge, nor faith, nor hope, nor love, nor patience, nor any other: but then, as to justification, every good man is perfect; Christ has completely redeemed his people from all their sins; he has perfectly fulfilled the law in their room and stead; he has fully expiated all their transgressions, he has procured the full remission of them, and brought in a righteousness which justifies them from them all; so that they are free from the guilt of sin, and condemnation by it, and are in the sight of God unblamable, unreproveable, without fault, all fair and perfectly comely; and this was Job's case:

and upright; to whom was shown the uprightness of Christ, or to whom the righteousness of Christ was revealed from faith to faith, and which was put upon him, and he walked in by faith, see Job 33:23, moreover, Job was upright in heart, a right spirit was renewed in him; and though he was not of the nation of Israel, yet he was, in a spiritual sense, an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile, the truth of grace and the root of the matter being in him, Job 19:28, and he was upright in his walk and conversation before God, and also before men; upright in all his dealings and concerns with them, in every relation he stood, in every office and character he bore:

and one that feared God; not as the devils, who believe and tremble; nor as carnal men, when the judgments of God are in the earth, hide themselves in fear of him; nor as hypocrites, whose fear or devotion is only outward, and is taught by the precept of men; but as children affectionately reverence their parents: Job feared God with a filial and godly fear, which sprung from the grace of God, and was encouraged and increased by his goodness to him, and through a sense of it; it was attended with faith and confidence of interest in him, with an holy boldness and spiritual joy, and true humility; and comprehended the whole of religious worship, both public and private, internal and external:

and eschewed evil, or "departed from it" (x); and that with hatred and loathing of it, and indignation at it, which the fear of God engages unto, Proverbs 8:13, he hated it as every good man does, as being contrary to the nature and will of God, abominable in itself, and bad in its effects and consequences; and he departed from it, not only from the grosser acts of it, but abstained from all appearance of it, and studiously shunned and avoided everything that led unto it; so far was he from indulging to a sinful course of life and conversation, which is inconsistent with the grace and fear of God,

(u) Geograph. l. 5. c. 19. (w) Shalshalet Hakabala, fol. 75. 2.((x) Sept. "recedens a malo", V. L. Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, &c.

There was a man in the land of {a} Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and {b} upright, and {c} one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

The Argument - In this history the example of patience is set before our eyes. This holy man Job was not only extremely afflicted in outward things and in his body, but also in his mind and conscience, by the sharp temptation of his wife and friends: who by their vehement words and subtle disputations brought him almost to despair. They set forth God as a sincere judge, and mortal enemy to him who had cast him off, therefore in vain he should seek him for help. These friends came to him under pretence of consolation, and yet they tormented him more than all his afflictions did. Even so, he constantly resisted them, and eventually succeeded. In this story we must note that Job maintains a good cause, but handles it badly. His adversaries have an evil matter, but they defend it craftily. Job held that God did not always punish men according to their sins, but that he had secret judgments, of which man knew not the cause, and therefore man could not reason against God in it, but he should be convicted. Moreover, he was assured that God had not rejected him, yet through his great torments and afflictions he speaks many inconveniences and shows himself as a desperate man in many things, and as one that would resist God, and this is his good cause which he handles well. Again the adversaries maintain with many good arguments that God punishes continually according to the trespass, grounding on God's providence, his justice and man's sins, yet their intention is evil; for they labour to bring Job into despair, and so they maintain an evil cause. Ezekiel commends Job as a just man, Eze 14:14 and James sets out his patience for an example, Jas 5:11.

(a) That is, of the country of Idumea, La 4:21, or bordering on it: for the land was called by the name of Uz, the son of Dishan, the son of Seir Ge 36:28.

(b) Since he was a Gentile and not a Jew and yet is pronounced upright and without hypocrisy, it declares that among the heathen God revealed himself.

(c) By this it is declared what is meant by an upright and just man.

Ch. Job 1:1-3. Job’s name and abode; his piety, and consequent family felicity and worldly prosperity

1. the land of Uz] This word occurs several times in the Old Testament: (1) as the name of a son of Aram, Genesis 10:23; (2) as the name of the eldest son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham, Genesis 22:21; and (3) as that of a descendant of Seir, Genesis 36:28. These references would point either to Syria on the north-east of Palestine or to the region of Edom, further south. From the Book itself we learn that Job’s flocks were exposed on the east to inroads on the part of the Chaldeans, the tribes between Syria and the Euphrates, Job 1:17; and in another direction to attacks from the Sabeans, Job 1:15. The most prominent man among his friends was from Teman, which belonged to Edom, Job 2:11 (comp. Genesis 36:15; Jeremiah 49:7; Jeremiah 49:20), and he himself is named the greatest of all the children of the East, Job 1:3. In Lamentations 4:21 it is said: Rejoice O daughter of Edom that dwellest in the land of Uz. These words do not imply that Uz is identical with Edom, but they imply that Edomites had possession of Uz, which could not have been the case unless the lands bordered on one another. The land of Uz, therefore, probably lay east of Palestine and north of Edom. This general position is already assigned to it in the Sept. which, in some verses added to the end of the Book, and embodying the tradition of the time, says that the land of Uz lay “on the borders of Edom and Arabia.”

There is nothing in Scripture that defines the position of Job’s home more precisely. An interesting tradition, as old at least as the early centuries of the Christian era, has been investigated by Wetzstein. This tradition places the home of Job in the Nukra, the fertile depression of Bashan at the south-east foot of Hermon. Near the town of Nawa, about 40 miles almost due south of Damascus, a little to the west of the pilgrim route from this city to Mecca, and about the latitude of the north end of the sea of Tiberias, there still exist a Makâm, that is, place, or tomb, and monastery of Job. Wetzstein assigns the building to the end of the third century. See his Excursus at the end of Delitzsch’s Comm. on Job.

whose name was Job] The Heb. form of the name is Iyyôb, which does not occur again in the Bible. There is no play on the name or allusion to its significance in the Book. It does not seem, therefore, to have been coined by the Author of the Poem, but probably came down to him with other fragments of the tradition on which he worked. The way in which Ezekiel alludes to Job, in company with other renowned names such as Noah and Daniel, seems to imply that this prophet drew his information regarding Job from a more general source than the present Book: “Though these three men, Noah, Daniel and Job were in it (the sinful land), they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness,” Job 14:14. The tradition regarding Job and his sufferings was probably well known in the East, and the name of the suffering hero was part of the tradition. It is of little consequence, therefore, to enquire what the name means of itself. If the word be Hebrew it might mean the “assailed” or “persecuted,” that is, by Satan (or God). In Arabic the form of the word is Ayyûb, and if derived from this dialect the name might mean the “returning,” that is, penitent, or more generally, the “pious.” Job is several times spoken of in the Kor’an. In Sur. 38:44 he is called awwâb, which means “ever returning to God,” i. e. pious rather than penitent, but there seems no allusion in the term to the etymology of his name, for in the same chapter both David and Solomon receive the same epithet.

that man was perfect] The term “perfect” means properly “complete,” without defect. It does not imply that the man was sinless, for Job never puts forward any such pretension, but that he was a righteous man and free from specific sins such as were held to bring down the chastisement of heaven. That he was so is the very foundation of his trial and the first principle of the Book. Job’s “perfection” is affirmed in heaven: “Hast thou considered my servant Job … a perfect and an upright man?” Job 1:8, Job 2:3; it is understood by his wife: Dost thou still hold fast thy perfection? Job 2:9; and it is persistently claimed for himself by Job, not only in moments of excitement when stung by the insinuations of his friends: I am perfect, Job 9:21 (see notes), but also when the heat of the conflict is over and under the most solemn oaths: As God liveth who hath taken away my right, … I will not remove my perfection from me; my righteousness I hold fast, Job 27:2; Job 27:5-6. The word occurs again, Job 31:6, and in another form, Job 12:4 : The just, perfect man is laughed to scorn. Even the three friends admit Job’s perfectness in general, although they are under the impression that he must have been guilty of some serious offences to account for his calamities, and they urge it upon Job as a ground of confidence in his ultimate recovery: Is not thy hope the perfectness of thy ways? Job 4:6; and again: “God will not cast away a perfect man,” Job 8:20. One of the objects the writer of the Book had in view was to teach that sufferings may fall on men for reasons unconnected with any sin on their own part; and using the history of Job for this purpose, it was necessary that he should lay emphasis in all parts of the Book upon Job’s perfection. The term “perfect” is used of Noah in the same sense: Noah, a just man, was perfect in his generation; that is, he was righteous and exempt from the sins of his contemporaries, Genesis 6:9.

feared God] Job was not only just and upright, with a high morality, he was also godfearing. These two things are never separated in the Old Testament. For as God was the author of all the movements in the world and human history, so right thoughts of Him and right relations to Him lay at the foundation of all right human conduct. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and wisdom includes both just thinking and right conduct.

Verse 1. - There was a man. This opening presents to us the Book of Job as a detached work, separate from and independent of all others. The historical books are generally united each to each by the you connective. In the land of Us. Uz, or Huz (Hebrew, עוּץ), seems to have been originally, like Judah, Moab, Ammon, Edom, etc., the name of a man. It was borne by a son of Nahor, the brother of Abraham (Genesis 22:21), and again by a son of Dishan, the son of Seir the Horite (Genesis 36:28). Some regard it as also a personal name in Genesis 10:23. But from this use it passed to the descendants of one or more of these patriarchs, and from them to the country or countries which they inhabited. The "land of Uz" is spoken of, not only in this passage, but also in Jeremiah 25:20 and Lamentations 4:21. These last-cited places seem to show that Jeremiah's "land of Uz" was in or near Edom, and therefore south of Palestine; but as Uzzites, like so many nations of these ports, were migratory, we need not be surprised if the name Uz was, at different times, attached to various localities. Arabian tradition regards the region of the Hauran, north-east of Palestine, as Job's country. The other geographical names in the Book of Job point to a more eastern location, one not far remote from the southern Euphrates, and the adjacent parts of Arabia Sheba, Dedan, Teman, Buz, Shuah, and Chesed (Casdim) all point to this locality. On the other hand, there is a passage in the inscriptions of Asshur-banipal (circ. B.C. 650-625) which, associating together the names of Huz and Buz (Khazu and Bazu), appears to place them both in Central Arabia, not far from the Jebel Shnmmar ('Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 2. p. 470). My own conclusion would be that, while the name "land of Uz" designated at various periods various localities, Job's "land of Uz" lay a little west of the Lower Euphrates, on the borders of Chaldea and Arabia. Whose name was Job. In the Hebrew the name is "Iyyob," whence the "Eyoub" of the Arabs and the "Hiob" of the Germans. It is quite a distinct name from that of the third son of Issachar (Genesis 46:18), which is properly expressed by "Job," being יוב. Iyyob is supposed to be derived from aib (אָיִב), "to be hostile," and to mean "cruelly or hostilely treated," in which ease we must suppose it to have been first given to the patriarch in his later life, and to have superseded some other, as "Peter" superseded "Simon," and "Paul" superseded "Saul." According to a Jewish tradition, adopted by some of the Christian Fathers, Job's original name was "Jobab," and under this name he reigned as King of Edom (Genesis 36:33). But this kingship is scarcely compatible with the view given of him in the Book of Job. The supposed connection of the name of Juba with that of Job is very doubtful. And that man was perfect. Tam (תָּם), the word translated "perfect," seems to mean "complete, entire, not wanting in any respect," It corresponds to the Greek τέλειος, and the Latin integer (comp. Horace, 'Od.,' 1:22. 1, "Integer vitro, scelerisque purus'). It does not mean" absolutely sinless," which Job was not (comp. Job 9:20; Job 40:4). And upright. This is the exact meaning of yashar (יָשָׁר). "The Book of Jasher" was "the Book of the Upright" (βιβλίον τοῦ εὐθοῦς, 2 Samuel 1:18). One that feared God, and eschewed evil; literally, fearing God and departing from evil. The same testimony is given of Job by God himself in ver. 8, and again in Job 2:3 (comp. also Ezekiel 14:14, 20). We must suppose Job to have reached as near perfection as was possible tot man at the time. Job 1:11 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

The lxx translates, ἐν χώρᾳ τῇ Αὐσίτιδι; and adds at the close of the book, ἐπὶ τοῖς ὁρίοις τῆν Ἰδουμαίας καὶ Ἀραβίας, therefore north-east from Idumea, towards the Arabian desert. There, in the Arabian desert west from Babylon, under the Caucabenes, according to Ptolemy (v. 19, 2), the Αἰσῖται (Αἰσεῖται), i.e., the Uzzites, dwelt. This determination of the position of Uz is the most to be relied on. It tends indirectly to confirm this, that Οὖσος, in Jos. Ant. i. 6, 4, is described as founder of Trachonitis and Damascus; that the Jakut Hamawi and Moslem tradition generally (as recently Fries, Stud. u. Krit. 1854, ii.) mention the East Haran fertile tract of country north-west of Tm and Bzn, el-Bethenije, the district of Damascus in which Job dwelt;

(Note: Vid., Abulfeda, Historia anteislam. p. 26 (cf. 207f.), where it says, "The whole of Bethenije, a part of the province of Damascus, belonged to Job as his possession.")

that the Syrian tradition also transfers the dwelling-place of Job to Hauran, where, in the district of Damascus, a monastery to his honour is called Dair Ejjub (vid., Volck, Calendarium Syriacum, p. 29). All these accounts agree that Uz is not to be sought in Idumaea proper (Gebl). And the early historical genealogies (Genesis 10:23; Genesis 22:21; Genesis 36:28) are not unfavourable to this, since they place Uz in relation to Seir-Edom on the one hand, and on the other to Aram: the perplexing double occurrence of such names as Tm and Dma, both in Idumaea and East Hauran, perhaps just results from the mixing of the different tribes through migration. But at all events, though Uz did not lie in Gebl, yet both from Lamentations 4:21, and on account of the reference in the book of Job itself to the Horites, a geographical connection between Idumaea and Ausitis is to be held; and from Jeremiah 25:20 one is warranted in supposing, that עוץ, with which the Arabic name of Esau, ‛yṣ ('l-‛yṣ), perhaps not accidentally accords, was the collective name of the northern part of the Arabian desert, extending north-east from Idumaea towards Syria. Here, where the aborigines of Seir were driven back by the Aramaic immigrants, and to where in later times the territory of Edom extended, dwelt Job. His name is not symbolic with reference to the following history. It has been said, איּוב signifies one hostilely treated, by Satan namely.

(Note: Geiger (DMZ, 1858, S. 542f.) conjectures that, Sir. xlix. 9 (καὶ γὰρ ἐμνήσθη τῶν ἐχθρῶν ἐν ὄμβρῳ), τῶν ἐχθρῶν is a false translation of איוב. Renan assents; but τῶν εχθρῶν suits there excellently, and Job would be unnaturally dragged in.)

But the following reasons are against it: (1) that none of the other names which occur in the book are symbolically connected with the history; (2) that the form קטּול has never a properly passive signification, but either active, as יסּור, reprover (as parallel form with קטּל), or neuter, as ילּוד, born, שׁכּור, drunken, also occasionally infinitive (vid., Frst, Concord. p. 1349 s.), so that it may be more correct, with Ewald, after the Arabic (אוּב, cognate with שׁוּב, perhaps also בּוא), to explain the "one going of himself." Similar in sound are, יוב, the name of one of the sons of Issachar (Genesis 46:13); the name of the Idumaean king, יובב, Genesis 36:33 (which the lxx, Aristeas, Jul. Africanus,

(Note: Vid., Routh, Relinquiae ii.:154f.: Ἐκ τοῦ Ἠσαῦ ἄλλοι τε πολλοὶ καὶ Ραγουὴλ γεννᾶται ἀφ ̓ οὗ Ζάρεδ, ἐξ οὗ Ἰὼβ ὅς κατὰ συγχώρησιν θεοῦ ὑπὸ διαβόλου ἐπειράσθη καὶ ἐνίκησε τὸν πειράζοντα.)

combine with Job); and the name of the king of Mauritania, Juba, which in Greek is written Ἰόβας (Didymus Chalcenter. ed. Schmidt, p. 305): perhaps all these names belong to the root יב, to shout with joy. The lxx writes Ἰώβ with lenis; elsewhere the א at the beginning is rendered by asper, e.g., Αβραάμ, Ἡλίας. Luther writes Hiob; he has preferred the latter mode, that it may not be read Job with the consonantal Jod, when it should be Iob, as e.g., it is read by the English. It had been more correctly Ijob, but Luther wished to keep to the customary form of the name so far as he could; so we, by writing Iob with vowel I, do not wish to deviate too much from the mode of writing and pronunciation customary since Luther.

(Note: On the authorizing of the writing Iob, more exactly ob, also job (not, however, Ijjob, which does not correspond to the real pronunciation, which softens ij into , and uw into ), vid., Fleischer's Beitrge zur arab. Sprachkunde (Abh. der schs. Gesellschaft d. Wissenschaften, 1863), S. 137f. [The usual English form Job is adopted here, though Dr. Delitzsch writes Iob in the original work. - Tr.])

The writer intentionally uses four synonyms together, in order to describe as strongly as possible Job's piety, the reality and purity of which is the fundamental assumption of the history. תּם, with the whole heart disposed towards God and what is good, and also well-disposed toward mankind; ישׁר, in thought and action without deviation conformed to that which is right; אלהים ירא, fearing God, and consequently being actuated by the fear of God, which is the beginning (i.e., principle) of wisdom; מרע סר, keeping aloof from evil, which is opposed to God. The first predicate recalls Genesis 25:27, the fourth the proverbial Psalms (Psalm 34:15; Psalm 37:27) and Proverbs 14:16. This mingling of expressions from Genesis and Proverbs is characteristic. First now, after the history has been begun in praett., aorr. follow.

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