Job 1:10
Have not you made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? you have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.
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Job 1:10. Hast thou not made a hedge about him? — Protected him with a thorny and inaccessible defence, or secured him, by thy special care and providence, from all harm and inconveniences? which is sufficient to oblige and win persons of the worst tempers; and about his house — His children and servants; about all that he hath on every side — His whole property, which is all under thy protection. Thou hast blessed the work of his hands — Hast caused whatever he does to prosper. Observe, reader, without the divine blessing, be the hands ever so strong, ever so skilful, their work will not prosper. And his substance is increased in the land — The original word מקנהו, mickneehu, chiefly means his cattle; and the word פרצ, parets, here rendered increased, is a metaphor taken from waters which have burst their bounds, and spread themselves on all sides round; so Job’s substance had largely increased, and spread itself like a flowing torrent over the adjacent land. — Schultens.1:6-12 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, 1Pe 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, Re 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.Hast thou not made an hedge about him? - Dr. Good remarks, that to give the original word here its full force, it should be derived from the science of engineering, and be rendered, "Hast thou not raised a "palisado" about him?" The Hebrew word used here (שׂוּך śûk) properly means "to hedge"; to hedge in or about; and hence, to protect, as one is defended whose house or farm is hedged in either with a fence of thorns, or with an enclosure of stakes or palisades. The word in its various forms is used to denote, as a noun, "pricks in the eyes" Numbers 33:55; that is, that which would be like thorns; "barbed irons" Job 41:7, that is, the barbed iron used as a spear to take fish; and a hedge, and thorn hedge, Micah 7:4; Proverbs 15:19; Isaiah 5:5. The idea here is, that of making an enclosure around Job and his possessions to guard them from danger. The Septuagint renders it περιέφραξας periephracas, to make a defense around," to "circumvallate" or inclose, as a camp is in war. In the Syriac and Arabic it is rendered, "Hast thou not protected him with thy hand? The Chaldee, "Hast thou protected him with thy word? The Septuagint renders the whole passage, "Hast thou not encircled the things which are without him" (τὰ ἔξω αὐτοῦ ta exō autou) that is, the things abroad which belong to him, "and the things within his house." The sense of the whole passage is, that he was eminently under the divine protection, and that God had kept himself, his family, and property from plunderers, and that therefore he served and feared him.

Thou hast blessed the work of his hands - Thou hast greatly prospered him.

And his substance is increased in the land - His property, Job 1:3. Margin, "cattle." The word "increased" here by no means expresses the force of the original. The word פרץ pârats means properly to break, to rend, then to break or burst forth as waters do that have been pent up; 2 Samuel 5:20, compare Proverbs 3:10, "So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses "shall burst out" פרץ pârats with new wine;" that is, thy wine-fats shall be so full that they shall overflow, or "burst" the barriers, and the wine shall flow out in abundance. The Arabians, according to Schultens, employ this word still to denote the mouth or "embouchure" - the most; rapid part of a stream. So Golius, in proof of this, quotes from the Arabic writer Gjanhari, a couplet where the word is used to denote the mouth of the Euphrates:

"His rushing wealth o'er flowed him with its heaps;

So at its mouth the mad Euphrates sweeps."

According to Sehultens, the word denotes a place where a river bursts forth, and makes a new way by rending the hills and rocks asunder. In like manner the flocks and herds of Job had burst, as it were, every barrier, and had spread like an inundation over the land; compare Genesis 30:43; 2 Chronicles 31:5; Exodus 1:7; Job 16:14.

10. his substance is increased—literally, "spread out like a flood"; Job's herds covered the face of the country. Made a hedge about him, i.e. defended him by thy special care and providence from all harms and inconveniencies; which is able to oblige and win persons of the worst tempers.

His house; his children and servants. Hast not thou made an hedge about him,.... A fence, a wall of protection all around him? he had; he encompassed him about with his love as with a shield, a hedge which could not be broken down by men or devils; he surrounded him with his almighty power, that none could hurt him; he guarded him by his providence, he caused his angels to encamp about him; yea, he himself was a wall of fire around him; the Targum interprets it the word of God: so thick was the hedge, so strong the fence, that Satan could not find the least gap to get in at, to do him any injury to his body or mind, without the divine permission; which he envied and was vexed at, and maliciously suggests that this was the motive of Job's fear of the Lord; and indeed it was an obligation upon him to fear him, but not the sole cause of it:

and about his house; not the house in which he dwelt; though Satan could have gladly pulled down that about his ears, as well as that in which his children were; but it designs his family, who were also by Providence protected in their persons and estates, and preserved from the temptations of Satan, at least from being overcome by them, and even at the times of their feasting before mentioned; this fence was about his servants also, so that Satan could not come at and hurt any one that belonged to him, which was a great grief and vexation of mind to him:

and about all that he hath on every side? his sheep, his camels, his oxen, and his asses; for otherwise these would not have escaped the malice and fury of this evil spirit they afterwards felt; but as these were the gifts of the providence of God to Job, they were guarded by his power, that Satan could not hurt them without leave:

thou hast blessed the work of his hands; not only what he himself personally wrought with his own hands, but was done by his servants through his direction, and by his order; the culture of his fields, the feeding and keeping of his flocks and herds; all succeeded well; whatever he did, or was concerned in, prospered:

and his substance is increased in the land; or "broke out" (t); like a breach of waters; see 2 Samuel 5:20; exceeded all bounds; his riches broke forth on the right hand and on the left, and flowed in, so that there were scarce any limits to be set to them; he abounded in them; his sheep brought forth thousands; his oxen, camels, and asses, stood well, and were strong to labour; and his wealth poured in upon him in great plenty; all which was an eyesore to Satan, and therefore would insinuate that this was the sole spring and source of Job's religion, devotion, and obedience.

(t) "erupit", Montanus, Piscator; "eruperit", Junius & Tremellius; "prorupit", Schultens,

Hast not thou made {q} an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

(q) Meaning, the grace of God, which served Job as a rampart against all temptations.

Verse 10. - Hast not thou made an hedge about him? i.e. "hedged him around, protected him, made a sort of invisible fence about him, through which no evil could creep." This was undoubtedly true. God had so protected him. But the question was not as to this fact, but as to Job's motive. Was it mere prudence? - the desire to secure a continuance of this protection? And about his house; i.e. "his family" - his sons and daughters - the members of his household. And about all that he hath on every side. His possessions - land, houses, cattle, live stock of all kinds, furniture, goods and chattels. Thou hast blessed the work of his hands (comp. Psalm 1:3, where it is said of the righteous man. that "whatsoever he doeth, it shall prosper"). So it was with Job. God's blessing was upon him, and success crowned all his enterprises. "The work of his hands" will include everything that he attempted. And his substance is increased in the land. In the former clause we have the cause, God's blessing; in the latter the effect, a great increase in Job's "substance," or "cattle" (marginal reading). (On the final number of his cattle, see ver. 3.) 4, 5 And his sons went and feasted in the house of him whose day it was, and sent and called for their sisters to eat and drink with them. And it happened, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt-offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, I may be that my sons have sinned, and dismissed God from their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

The subordinate facts precede, Job 1:4, in perff.; the chief fact follows, Job 1:5, in fut. consec. The perff. describe, according to Ges. 126, 3, that which has happened repeatedly in the past, as e.g., Ruth 4:7; the fut. consec. the customary act of Job, in conjunction with this occurrence. The consecutio temporum is exactly like 1 Samuel 1:3.

It is questionable whether אישׁ בּית is a distinct adverbial expression, in domu unuiscujusque, and יומו also distinct, die ejus (Hirz. and others); or whether the three words are only one adverbial expression, in domo ejus cujus dies erat, which latter we prefer. At all events, יומו here, in this connection, is not, with Hahn, Schlottm., and others, to be understood of the birthday, as Job 3:1. The text, understood simply as it stands, speaks of a weekly round (Oehler and others). The seven sons took it in turn to dine with one another the week round, and did not forget their sisters in the loneliness of the parental home, but added them to their number. There existed among them a family peace and union which had been uninterruptedly cherished; but early on the morning of every eighth day, Job instituted a solemn service for his family, and offered sacrifices for his ten children, that they might obtain forgiveness for any sins of frivolity into which they might have fallen in the midst of the mirth of their family gatherings.

The writer might have represented this celebration on the evening of every seventh day, but he avoids even the slightest reference to anything Israelitish: for there is no mention in Scripture of any celebration of the Sabbath before the time of Israel. The sacred observance of the Sabbath, which was consecrated by God the Creator, was first expressly enjoined by the Sinaitic Thora. Here the family celebration falls on the morning of the Sunday, - a remarkable prelude to the New Testament celebration of Sunday in the age before the giving of the law, which is a type of the New Testament time after the law. The fact that Job, as father of the family, is the Cohen of his house, - a right of priesthood which the fathers of Israel exercised at the first passover (מצרים פסח), and from which a relic is still retained in the annual celebration of the passover (הדורות פסח), - is also characteristic of the age prior to the law. The standpoint of this age is also further faithfully preserved in this particular, that עולה here, as also Job 42:8, appears distinctly as an expiatory offering; whilst in the Mosaic ritual, although it still indeed serves לכפר (Leviticus 1:4), as does every blood-offering, the idea of expiation as its peculiar intention is transferred to הטאת and אשׁם. Neither of these forms of expiatory offering is here mentioned. The blood-offering still bears its most general generic name, עולה, which it received after the flood. This name indicates that the offering is one which, being consumed by fire, is designed to ascend in flames and smoke. העלה refers not so much to bringing it up to the raised altar, as to causing it to rise in flame and smoke, causing it to ascend to God, who is above. קדּשׁ is the outward cleansing and the spiritual preparation for the celebration of the sacred festival, as Exodus 19:14. It is scarcely necessary to remark, that the masculine suffixes refer also to the daughters. There were ten whole sacrifices offered by Job on each opening day of the weekly round, at the dawn of the Sunday; and one has therefore to imagine this round of entertainment as beginning with the first-born on the first day of the week. "Perhaps," says Job, "my children have sinned, and bidden farewell to God in their hearts." Undoubtedly, בּרך signifies elsewhere (1 Kings 21:10; Psalm 10:3), according to a so-called ἀντιφραστικὴ εὐφημία, maledicere. This signification also suits Job 2:5, but does not at all suit Job 2:9. This latter passage supports the signification valedicere, which arises from the custom of pronouncing a benediction or benedictory salutation at parting (e.g., Genesis 47:10). Job is afraid lest his children may have become somewhat unmindful of God during their mirthful gatherings. In Job's family, therefore, there was an earnest desire for sanctification, which was far from being satisfied with mere outward propriety of conduct. Sacrifice (which is as old as the sin of mankind) was to Job a means of grace, by which he cleansed himself and his family every week from inward blemish. The futt. consec. are followed by perff., which are governed by them. כּכה, however, is followed by the fut., because in historical connection (cf. on the other hand, Numbers 8:26), in the signification, faciebat h.e. facere solebat (Ges. 127, 4, b). Thus Job did every day, i.e., continually. As head of the family, he faithfully discharged his priestly vocation, which permitted him to offer sacrifice as an early Gentile servant of God. The writer has now made us acquainted with the chief person of the history which he is about to record, and in Job 1:6 begins the history itself.

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