And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother's house:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Job 1:4.
And drinking wine - This circumstance is omitted in Job 1:4. It shows that wine was regarded as an essential part of the banquet, and it was from its use that Job apprehended the unhappy results referred to in Job 1:5.
13. wine—not specified in Job 1:4. The mirth inspired by the "wine" here contrasts the more sadly with the alarm which interrupted it.
when his (Job's) sons and daughters were eating, and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house; it should rather be rendered, "in the house of their brother, the firstborn"; that is, of Job; for relates not to brethren, but to parents, as Gussetins observes (b): this was either the beginning of a new turn, or rotation of their feasting with each other, which might begin with the elder brother; or this was his birthday; see Job 1:4 and this was the day Satan pitched upon to bring all the following calamities and distresses upon Job; partly that they might fall with the greater weight upon him, and more sensibly affect him, coming upon him while his family was feasting; and while he was pleasing himself with the thoughts of having brought up his children to men's and women's estate, and of the affluent circumstances they were in; and of the unity, harmony, and love that subsisted amongst them, of which their present feasting to gether was a proof; and partly that these afflictions might the more look like the judgments of God upon him, just as the men of the old world were eating and drinking when the flood came and destroyed them all, Luke 17:27 and for the same reasons these were all brought upon him in one day, to crush him the more; and that it might be thought the hand of God was in it, in a way of wrath and vengeance, and so irritate him to curse him to his face, which was what Satan aimed at; see Isaiah 47:8.And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Between Job 1:12-13 there is an interval, an ominous stillness like that which precedes the storm. The poet has drawn aside the curtain to us and we know what is impending. Job knows nothing. His children are about him and he thinks the Almighty is yet with him, Job 29:5. The earth smiles to him as it was wont by day; and by night the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades come forth in their silent procession, and the Dragon trails his glittering folds across the heavens overhead, and he looks with wonder into the deep chambers of the South. All is glorious with a constant glory because it is an unchanging hand that leads them forth, the hand of the Holy One from whose words he has never declined, Job 6:10, and whose candle as he deems still shines upon his head, Job 29:3. He does not know that he is being played for like a pawn. Suddenly the catastrophe overtakes him. Messenger after messenger, each taking up his tale of ruin before the other has concluded his, announce that all he had has been taken from him. Heaven and earth have combined to overwhelm him. The forces of nature and the destructive violence of men have united to strip him bare.
The description has many features of the ideal. First, the catastrophe befell on the day when Job’s children were feasting in their eldest brother’s house, Job 1:13, the day on the morning of which Job had sent for his children and sanctified them and offered sacrifices on their behalf. Job’s godliness and his calamity are brought into the closest contrast. He felt this, and as he regarded every event as wrought by the hand of God immediately, his afflictions threw his mind into the deepest perplexity regarding the ways of God. Again, while heaven and men alternate their strokes upon him, these strokes follow one another with increasing severity, and in each case only one escapes to bring the grievous tidings. The rapid touches of the Author do not suggest any struggle or rising rebelliousness in Job’s mind. He manifests the liveliest grief, but maintains his self-control. And the scene closes upon the sufferer, a solitary man, worshipping God amidst the waste where his rich possessions once had lien.Verse 13. - And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house. One of the birthdays, the eldest brother's probably, had come round, and the ordinary gathering (see ver. 4) had taken place - the feasting and drinking had begun, while the father, remaining in his own house, was perhaps interceding with God for his children, or anxiously considering the possibility that, in their light-hearted merriment, they might have put God away altogether from their thoughts, and So have practically renounced him, when the series of calamities began. How often calamity comes to us when we are least expecting it, when all seems quiet about us, when everything is prospering - nay, even when a high festival-time has come, and the joy-bells are sounding in our ears, and our 'hearts are elated within us! Job was, at any rate, spared the sudden plunge from exuberant joy into the depths of woe. It was his habit to preserve an even temper, and neither to be greatly exalted, nor, unless under an extremity of suffering, to be greatly depressed. He was now, however, about to be subjected to a fiery trial.
The fut. follows מאין in the signification of the praes., Whence comest thou? the perf. would signify, Whence hast thou come? (Ges. 127, 2). Cocceius subtly observes: Notatur Satanas velut Deo nescio h.e. non adprobante res suas agere. It is implied in the question that his business is selfish, arbitrary, and has no connection with God. In his answer, בּ שׁוּט, as 2 Samuel 24:2, signifies rapid passing from one end to the other; התלּך, an observant roaming forth. Peter also says of Satan, περιπατεῖ (1 Peter 5:8.).
(Note: Among the Arabs the devil is called 'l-ḥârt, el-hharith - the active, busy, industrious one.)
He answers at first generally, as expecting a more particular question, which Jehovah now puts to him.
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