Job 1:15
And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(15) The Sabeans.—Literally, Sheba. Three persons named Sheba are found in Genesis: (1) The son of Raamah and grandson of Cush (Genesis 10:7); (2) the son of Jokshan and grandson of Abraham (Genesis 25:3); (3) The son of Joktanand grandson of Eber (Genesis 10:28). It is probably the second who is referred to here, whose descendants led a predatory and marauding kind of life in the country bordering on that of Job. (Comp. Ezekiel 38:13.)

1:13-19 Satan brought Job's troubles upon him on the day that his children began their course of feasting. The troubles all came upon Job at once; while one messenger of evil tidings was speaking, another followed. His dearest and most valuable possessions were his ten children; news is brought him that they are killed. They were taken away when he had most need of them to comfort him under other losses. In God only have we a help present at all times.And the Sabeans - Hebrew שׁבא shebâ', Vulgate, "Suboei." The Septuagint gives a paraphrase, καὶ ἐλθόντες οἱ αἰχμαλωτεύοντες ἠχμαλώτευσαν kai elthonia hoi aichmalōteuontes ēchmalōteusan, "And the plunderers coming, plundered them," or made them captive. On the situation of Sheba and Seba, see Isaiah 43:3, note; Isaiah 45:14, note; Isaiah 9:6, note. The people here referred to were, undoubtedly, inhabitants of some part of Arabia Felix. There are three persons of the name of Sheba mentioned in the Scriptures.

(1) A grandson of Cush; Genesis 10:7.

(2) A son of Joktan; Genesis 10:28.

(3) A son of Jokshan, the son of Abraham by Keturah.

"Calmet." The Sheba here referred to was probably in the southern part of Arabia, and from the narrative it is evident that the Sabeans here mentioned were a predatory tribe. It is not improbable that these tribes were in the habit of wandering for purposes of plunder over the whole country, from the banks of the Euphrates to the outskirts of Egypt. The Bedawin Arabs of the present day resemble in a remarkable manner the ancient inhabitants of Arabia, and for many centuries the manners of the inhabitants of Arabia have not changed, for the habits of the Orientals continue the same from age to age. The Syriac renders this simply, "a multitude rushed" upon them;" omitting the word "Sabean."

Fell upon them - With violence; or rushed unexpectedly upon them. This is the way in which the Arab tribes now attack the caravan, the traveler, or the village, for plunder.

And took them away - As plunder. It is common now to make such sudden incursions, and to carry off a large booty.

They have slain the servants - Hebrew נערים na‛arı̂ym, "the young men." The word נער na‛ar, properly means a "boy," and is applied to an infant just born, Exodus 2:6; Judges 13:5, Judges 13:7; or to a youth, Genesis 34:19; Genesis 41:12. It came then to denote a servant or slave, like the Greek παῖς pais; Genesis 24:2; 2 Kings 5:20; compare Acts 5:6. So the word "boy" is often used in the Southern States of North America to denote a slave. Here it evidently means the servants that were employed in cultivating the lands of Job, and keeping his cattle. There is no intimation that they were slaves. Jerome renders it "pueros, boys;" so the Septuagint τοῦς παὶδας tous paidas.

And I only am escaped alone - By myself, בד bad. There is no other one with me. It is remarkable that the same account is given by each one of the servants who escaped, Job 1:16-17, Job 1:19. The Chaldee has given a very singular version of this - apparently from the desire of accounting for everything, and of mentioning the "names" of all the persons intended. "The oxen were plowing, and Lelath, queen of Zamargad, suddenly rushed upon them, and carried them away."

15. Sabeans—not those of Arabia-Felix, but those of Arabia-Deserta, descending from Sheba, grandson of Abraham and Keturah (Ge 25:3). The Bedouin Arabs of the present day resemble, in marauding habits, these Sabeans (compare Ge 16:12).

I alone am escaped—cunningly contrived by Satan. One in each case escapes (Job 1:16, 17, 19), and brings the same kind of message. This was to overwhelm Job, and leave him no time to recover from the rapid succession of calamities—"misfortunes seldom come single."

The Sabeans; a people of Arabia, who led a wandering life, and lived by robbery and spoiling of others, as Strabo and other heathen writers note.

I only am escaped alone to tell thee; whom Satan spared no less maliciously than he destroyed the rest, that Job might have speedy and certain intelligence of his calamity.

And the Sabeans fell upon them,.... Or, "Sheba fell" (e); that is, as Aben Ezra and Simeon Bar Tzemach supply it, an host of the Sabeans, or a company of them; these were not the descendants of that Sheba that sprung from Ham, Genesis 10:7 nor of him that came from Shem, Genesis 10:28, but from Sheba, the son of Jokshan, a son of Abraham by Keturah, who with the rest of her sons were sent into the east country, the country of Job; and these Sabeans, who descended from the same, were his near neighbours, Genesis 25:3, they were the inhabitants of one of the Arabias, it is generally said Arabia Felix; but that is not likely, since it was a very plentiful country, the inhabitants of which had no need to rob and plunder others; and besides was at a great distance from the place of Job's habitation, and lay to the south, and not the east; though Strabo (f) indeed says, that the Sabeans inhabited Arabia Felix, and made excursions into Syria, which agrees with these Sabeans; but rather Arabia Deserta, as Spanheim (g) has abundantly proved, a barren place; hence we read of Sabeans from the wilderness, Ezekiel 23:42, the inhabitants of which lived upon the plunder of others; and these being naturally given to spoil and rapine, were fit persons for Satan to work upon, as he does in the children of disobedience; into whose hearts he put it to make such a descent on Job's fields, and carry off his cattle, as they did; they fell upon his oxen and asses at once and unawares, in a body, in an hostile and furious manner:

and took them away; as a booty; they did not kill them, but drove them off the ground, and led them into their own country for their use and service:

yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; who were ploughing with the oxen, and looking after the asses, and who might make an opposition, though in vain; this was an addition to affliction, that not only his cattle were carried off, but his servants were slain, who were born in his house, or bought with his money:

and I only am escaped alone to tell thee; this single servant was preserved, either by the special providence of God, in kindness to Job, that he might know of a certainty, and exactly, and what had befallen him, and how it came to pass, which men are naturally desirous of; or else, as it is generally thought, through the malice and cunning of Satan, that the tidings might the sooner be brought to him, and more readily be believed by him, and strike him with the greater surprise, a servant of his own running with it, whom he knew, and could believe; and he appearing with the utmost concern of mind, and horror in his countenance.

(e) "et delapsa est Seba", Montanus, Bolducius; "et irruit Sheba", Schmidt, Cocceius. (f) Geograph. l. 16. p. 536. (g) Histor. Jobi, c. 3. sect. 12. p. 44, &c.

And the {x} Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

(x) That is, the Arabians.

Verse 15. - And the Sabeans (literally, Sheba) fell upon them, and took them away. The Sabeans were the principal people of Arabia in ancient times, and the name seems to be used sometimes in the general sense of "Arabs" (see Psalm 72:10, 15; Jeremiah 6:20). We may suppose that hem, either the general sense is intended, or, if the specific one, then that, at the date whereto the story of Job belongs, there were Sabeans in Eastern as well as in Southern Arabia, in the neighbourhood of the Upper Persian Gulf as well as in the neighbourhood of the Indian Ocean. The plundering habits of all the Arab tribes are well known. Strabo says that the Sabeans, even at the height of their prosperity, made excursions for the sake of plunder into Arabia Petraea and even Syria (Strab., 16:4) Yea, they have slain; rather, they slew, or they smote. The servants; literally, the young men; i.e. the labourers who were engaged in ploughing, and would be in duty bound to resist the carrying off of the cattle. With the edge of the sword. The lance is the chief weapon of the modern Bedouin, but it may have been different anciently. Or the expression used may merely mean "with weapons of war." And I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Professor Lee translates, "And I have hardly escaped alone to tell thee." Job 1:1513-15 And it came to pass one day, when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in the house of their eldest brother, that a messenger came to Job, and said, The oxen were ploughing, and the asses feeding beside them, when the Sabeans fell upon them, and carried them away, and smote the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

The principal clause, היּום ויהי, in which the art. of היּום has no more reference to anything preceding than in Job 1:6, is immediately followed by an adverbial clause, which may be expressed by participles, Lat. filiis ejus filiabusque convivantibus. The details which follow are important. Job had celebrated the usual weekly worship early in the morning with his children, and knew that they were met together in the house of his eldest son, with whom the order of mutual entertainment came round again, when the messengers of misfortune began to break in upon him: it is therefore on the very day when, by reason of the sacrifice offered, he was quite sure of Jehovah's favour. The participial construction, the oxen were ploughing (vid., Ges. 134, 2, c), describes the condition which was disturbed by the calamity that befell them. The verb היוּ stands here because the clause is a principal one, not as Job 1:13, adverbial. על־ידי, properly "at hand," losing its radical meaning, signifies (as Judges 11:26) "close by." The interpretation "in their places," after Numbers 2:17, is untenable, as this signification of יד is only supported in the sing. שׁבא is construed as fem., since the name of the country is used as the name of the people. In Genesis three races of this name are mentioned: Cushite (Genesis 10:7), Joktanish (Genesis 10:28), and Abrahamic (Genesis 25:3). Here the nomadic portion of this mixed race in North Arabia from the Persian Gulf to Idumaea is intended. Luther, for the sake of clearness, translates here, and 1 Kings 10:1, Arabia. In ואמּלטה, the waw, as is seen from the Kametz, is waw convertens, and the paragogic ah, which otherwise indicates the cohortative, is either without significance, or simply adds intensity to the verbal idea: I have saved myself with great difficulty. For this common form of the 1 fut. consec., occurring four times in the Pentateuch, vid., Ges. 49, 2. The clause לך להגּיד is objective: in order that - so it was intended by the calamity - I might tell thee.

Job 1:15 Interlinear
Job 1:15 Parallel Texts

Job 1:15 NIV
Job 1:15 NLT
Job 1:15 ESV
Job 1:15 NASB
Job 1:15 KJV

Job 1:15 Bible Apps
Job 1:15 Parallel
Job 1:15 Biblia Paralela
Job 1:15 Chinese Bible
Job 1:15 French Bible
Job 1:15 German Bible

Bible Hub

Job 1:14
Top of Page
Top of Page