Job 1:4
And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
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(4) Every one his day.i.e., probably his birthday. (Comp. Genesis 40:20; Genesis 21:8; and in the New Testament Matthew 14:6, Mark 6:21.)

Job 1:4. His sons went and feasted in their houses — Or made a family feast, to testify and maintain their brotherly love. Every one his day — Not every day of the week and of the year, which would have been burdensome to them all, and gross luxury, and which certainly such a holy man as Job would not have permitted; but each his appointed day, perhaps his birth- day, or the first day of the month. It is certain the same expression, יומו, jomo, his day, means his birth-day, Job 3:1. “The verse,” says Dr. Dodd, “might be rendered, And his sons had a constant custom to make a family feast, every one on his birth-day; and they sent and invited their three sisters,” &c. According to Herodotus, the inhabitants of the East in general, and especially the Persians, were remarkable for celebrating their birthdays with great festivity and luxury.

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.And his sons went and feasted in their houses - Dr. Good renders this, "and his sons went to hold a banquet house." Tindal renders it, "made bankertea." The Hebrew means, they went and made a "house-feast;" and the idea is, that they gave an entertainment in their dwellings, in the ordinary way in which such entertainments were made. The word used here (משׁתה mı̂shteh) is derived from שׁתה shâthâh, "to drink;" and then to drink together, to banquet. Schultens supposes that this was merely designed to keep up the proper familiarity between the different branches of the family, and not for purposes of revelry and dissipation; and this seems to accord with the view of Job. He, though a pious man, was not opposed to it, but he apprehended merely that they might have sinned in their hearts, Job 1:5. He knew the danger, and hence, he was more assiduous in imploring for them the divine guardianship.

Every one his day - In his proper turn, or when his day came round. Perhaps it refers only to their birthdays; see Job 3:1, where the word "day" is used to denote a birthday. In early times the birthday was observed with great solemnity and rejoicing. Perhaps in this statement the author of the Book of Job means to intimate that his family lived in entire harmony, and to give a picture of his domestic happiness strongly contrasted with the calamities which came upon his household. It was a great aggravation of his sufferings that a family thus peaceful and harmonious was wholly broken up. - The Chaldee adds, "until seven days were completed," supposing that each one of these feasts lasted seven days, a supposition by no means improbable, if the families were in any considerable degree remote from each other.

And sent and called for their three sisters - This also may be regarded as a circumstance showing that these occasions were not designed for revelry. Young men, when they congregate for dissipation, do not usually invite their "sisters" to be with them; nor do they usually desire the presence of virtuous females at all. The probability, therefore, is, that this was designed as affectionate and friendly family conversation. In itself there was nothing wrong in it, nor was there necessarily any danger; yet Job felt it "possible" that they might have erred and forgotten God, and hence, he was engaged in more intense and ardent devotion on their account; Job 1:5.

4. every one his day—namely, the birthday (Job 3:1). Implying the love and harmony of the members of the family, as contrasted with the ruin which soon broke up such a scene of happiness. The sisters are specified, as these feasts were not for revelry, which would be inconsistent with the presence of sisters. These latter were invited by the brothers, though they gave no invitations in return. His sons went and feasted, to testify and maintain their brotherly love.

Every one his day; not every day of the week and of the year; which would have been burdensome and tedious to them all, and gross luxury and epicurism, which holy Job would not have permitted; but each his appointed day, whether his birthday, or the first day of the month, or any other set time, it matters not.

And his sons went and feasted in their houses, everyone his day,.... It appears by this that Job's sons were grown up to men's estate, that they were from him, and were for themselves, and carried on a separate business on their own accounts, and had houses of their own, and, perhaps, were married; and being at some distance from each other, they met by appointment at certain times in their own houses, and had friendly and family entertainments in turn; for such were their feasts, not designed for intemperance, luxury, and wantonness, for then they would not have been encouraged, nor even connived at, by Job; but to cherish love and affection, and maintain harmony and unity among themselves, which must be very pleasing to their parent; for a pleasant thing it is for any, and especially for parents, to behold brethren dwelling together in unity, Psalm 133:1, besides, these feasts were kept, not in public houses, much less in houses of ill fame, but in their own houses, among themselves, at certain seasons, which they took in turn; and these were either at their time of sheep shearing, which was a time of feasting, 1 Samuel 25:2, or at the weaning of a child, Genesis 21:8, or rather on each of their birthdays, which in those early times were observed, especially those of persons of figure, Genesis 40:20, and the rather, as Job's birthday is called his day, as here, Job 3:1,

and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them; not to make a feast in their turn, but to partake of their entertainment; which, as is commonly observed, showed humanity, kindness, tenderness, and affection in them to their sisters, to invite them to take part with them in their innocent and social recreations, and modesty in their sisters not to thrust themselves into their company, or go without an invitation; these very probably were with Job, and went to the feasts with his leave, being very likely unmarried, or otherwise their husbands would have been invited also.

And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
4, 5. A trait from Job’s ordinary life, illustrating the happiness and unity of his children and the father’s scrupulous piety

4. in their houses, every one his day] lit. made a feast at the house of each on his day, or, at the house of him whose day it was. The seven sons had homes of their own. The daughters probably lived in the house of their father. It does not appear with certainty from the Book whether any of Job’s children were married. Each son made a feast at his house on his day, to which the other six brothers and the three sisters were invited. When the cycle of seven feasts had gone round, the father sent and purified his children and offered sacrifice on their behalf. What seems meant is that, as there were seven sons, there was a feast at the house of one of them in succession each day of the week, and that at the end of the week, when all the seven had given their feast, the father sent, possibly on the morning of the first day of the week, and sanctified them. Thus week after week was passed; their life was a continual feast. It is to be remembered that we do not stand on the ground of mere history here. The idea shapes its materials to its own ends; and what is presented to us is the highest earthly joyousness and affection combined with the most sensitive piety.

Verse 4. - And his sons went and feasted. "Went and feasted" seems to mean "were in the habit of feastlng" (Rosenmuller, Lee). In their houses. Each had his own residence, and the residence was not a tent, but a" house." Job and his sons were not mere nomads, but belonged to the settled population. The same is implied by the "ploughing of the oxen" (ver. 14), and indeed by Job's "yoke of oxen" in ver. 3. Every one his day. Most commentators regard these feasts as birthday festivities. Each son in his turn, when his birthday arrived, entertained his six brothers. Others think that each of the seven brothers had his own special day of the week on which, he received his brothers at his table, so that the feasting was continuous. But this scarcely suits the context. And it is admitted that "his day" (in Job 3:1) means "his birthday." The celebration of birthdays by means of a feast was a very widespread custom in the East (see Genesis 40:20; Herod., 1:133; 9:110; Mark 14:21). And sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. This by itself is sufficient to show that the feasts were occasional, not continuous. Constant absence of daughters, day after day, from the parental board is inconceivable. Job 1:44, 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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