Job 2:10
But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.
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(10) Shall we receive good . . .?—The words were fuller than even Job thought; for merely to receive evil as from God’s hands is to transmute its character altogether, for then even calamities become blessings in disguise. What Job meant was that we are bound to expect evil as well as good from God’s hands by a sort of compensation and even-handed justice, but what his words may mean is a far more blessed truth than this. There is a sublime contrast between the temptation of Job and the temptation of Christ (Matthew 26:39-42, &c.). (Comp. Hebrews 5:8.) This was the lesson Job was learning.

Job 2:10. But he said, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh — That is, like a rash, inconsiderate, and weak woman, that does not understand nor mind what she says: or rather, like a wicked and profane person, for such are frequently called fools in the Scriptures. Shall we receive good, &c., and shall we not receive evil? — Shall we poor worms give laws to our supreme Lord, and oblige him never to afflict us? And shall not those great and manifold mercies, which from time to time God hath given us, compensate these short afflictions? Ought we not to bless God for those mercies which we did not deserve, and contentedly bear those afflictions which we do deserve, and stand in need of, and by which, if it be not our own fault, we may get so much good. Shall we not receive — Shall we not expect to receive evil, namely, the evil of suffering? If God give us so many good things, shall we be surprised, or think it strange, if he sometimes afflict us, when he has told us, that prosperity and adversity are set the one against the other? 1 Peter 4:12. If we receive so many comforts, shall we not receive some afflictions, which will serve as foils to our comforts, to make them the more valuable? Shall we not be taught the worth of our mercies, by being made sometimes to want them, and as allays to our comforts, to make them the less dangerous, to keep the balance even, and to prevent our being lifted up above measure? 2 Corinthians 12:7. If we receive so much good for the body, shall we not receive some good for the soul? That is, some affliction, by which we may be made partakers of God’s holiness? Hebrews 12:10. Let murmuring, therefore, as well as boasting, be for ever excluded. In all this did not Job sin with his lips — By any reflections upon God, by any impatient or unbecoming expression. In other words, he held fast his integrity in the sense explained above; which this demonstrates to be the true sense of that phrase.

2:7-10 The devil tempts his own children, and draws them to sin, and afterwards torments, when he has brought them to ruin; but this child of God he tormented with affliction, and then tempted to make a bad use of his affliction. He provoked Job to curse God. The disease was very grievous. If at any time we are tried with sore and grievous distempers, let us not think ourselves dealt with otherwise than as God sometimes deals with the best of his saints and servants. Job humbled himself under the mighty hand of God, and brought his mind to his condition. His wife was spared to him, to be a troubler and tempter to him. Satan still endeavours to draw men from God, as he did our first parents, by suggesting hard thoughts of Him, than which nothing is more false. But Job resisted and overcame the temptation. Shall we, guilty, polluted, worthless creatures, receive so many unmerited blessings from a just and holy God, and shall we refuse to accept the punishment of our sins, when we suffer so much less than we deserve? Let murmuring, as well as boasting, be for ever done away. Thus far Job stood the trial, and appeared brightest in the furnace of affliction. There might be risings of corruption in his heart, but grace had the upper hand.As one of the foolish women speaketh - The word here rendered "foolish" נבל nâbâl from נבל nâbêl, means properly stupid or foolish, and then wicked, abandoned, impious - the idea of "sin" and "folly" being closely connected in the Scriptures, or sin being regarded as supreme folly; 1 Samuel 25:25; 2 Samuel 3:33; Psalm 14:1; Psalm 53:2. The Arabs still use the word with the same compass of signification. "Gesenius." The word is used here in the sense of "wicked;" and the idea is, that the sentiment which she uttered was impious, or was such as were on the lips of the wicked. Sanctius supposes that there is a reference here to Idumean females, who, like other women, reproached and cast away their gods, if they did not obtain what they asked when they prayed to them. Homer represents Achilles and Menelaus as reproaching the gods. Iliad i. 353, iii. 365. See Rosenmuller, Morgenland, "in loc."

What shall we receive good at the hand of God - Having received such abundant tokens of kindness from him, it was unreasonable to complain when they were taken away, and when he sent calamity in their stead.

And shall we not receive evil? - Shall we not expect it? Shall we not be willing to bear it when it comes? Shall we not have sufficient confidence in him to believe that his dealings are ordered in goodness and equity? Shall we at once lose all our confidence in our great Benefactor the moment he takes away our comforts, and visits us with pain? This is the true expression of piety. It submits to all the arrangements of God without a complaint. It receives blessings with gratitude; it is resigned when calamities are sent in their place. It esteems it as a mere favor to be permitted to breathe the air which God has made, to look upon the light of his sun, to tread upon his earth, to inhale the fragrance of his flowers, and to enjoy the society of the friends whom he gives; and when he takes one or all away, it feels that he has taken only what belongs to him, and withdraws a privilege to which we had no claim. In addition to that, true piety feels that all claim to any blessing, if it had ever existed, has been forfeited by sin. What right has a sinner to complain when God withdraws his favor, and subjects him to suffering? What claim has he on God, that should make it wrong for Him to visit him with calamity?

Wherefore doth a living man complain,

A man for the punishment of his sins?

10. the foolish women—Sin and folly are allied in Scripture (1Sa 25:25; 2Sa 13:13; Ps 14:1).

receive evil—bear willingly (La 3:39).

As one of the foolish women, i.e. like a rash, and inconsiderate, and weak person that dost not understand nor mind what thou sayest. Or, like a wicked and most profane person; for such are frequently called fools in Scripture, as Psalm 14:1 74:18, and everywhere in the Proverbs.

Shall we poor worms give laws to our supreme Lord and Governor, and oblige him always to bless and favour us, and never to afflict us? And shall not those great, and manifold, and long-continued mercies, which from time to time God hath freely and graciously given us, compensate for these short afflictions? Ought we not to bless God for those mercies which we did not deserve, and contentedly to bear those corrections which we deserve and need, and (if it be not our own fault) may get much good by.

In all this did not Job sin with his lips, by any reflections upon God, by any impatient or unbecoming expressions.

But he said unto her, thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh,.... The wicked and profane women of that age; he does not say she was one of them, but spake like them; which intimates that she was a good woman, and had always been thought to be so; but now spake not like herself, and one of her profession, but like carnal persons: Sanctius thinks Job refers to the Idumean women, who, like other Heathens, when their god did not please them, or they could not obtain of them what they desired, would reproach them, and cast them away from there, throw them into the fire, or into the water, as the Persians are said to do; and so Job's wife, because of the present afflictive providence, was for casting off God and all religion; in this she spake and acted like those wicked people later observed, Job 21:14; and like those carnal professors among the Jews in later times, Malachi 3:14; this was talking foolishly, and Job's wife spake after this foolish manner, which he resented:

what? this he said as being angry with her, and having indignation at what she said; and therefore, in this quick, short, and abrupt manner, reproves her for her folly:

shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? as all good things temporal and spiritual, the blessings of Providence; and all natural, though not moral evil things, even all afflictions which seem, or are thought to be evil, come from the mouth of God, and are according to his purpose, counsel, and will; so they are all dispensed by the hand of God, and should be kindly, cheerfully, readily, and willingly received, the one as well as the other; see Lamentations 3:38. Job suggests that he and his wife had received many good things from the Lord, many temporal good things, as appears from Job 1:2; they had their beings in him, and from him; they had been preserved in them by him; they had had an habitation to dwell in, and still had; God had given them food and raiment, wherewith it became them to be content; they had had a comfortable family of children until this time, and much health of body, Job till now, and his wife still, for ought appears; of their former happy circumstances, see Job 29:1; and besides these outward mercies, they had received God as their covenant God, their portion, shield, and exceeding great reward; they had received Christ as their living Redeemer; they had received the Spirit, and his grace, the root of the matter was in them; they had received justifying, pardoning, and adopting: grace, and a right unto and meetness for eternal life, which all good men receive of God; and therefore such must expect to receive evil things, or to partake of afflictions, since God has appointed these for them, and has told them of them, that they shall befall them; and beside they are for their profit and advantage; and the consideration of the good things that have been received, and are now enjoyed, as well as what they have reason to believe they shall enjoy in heaven to all eternity, should make them ready and willing to bear evil things quietly and patiently; see Hebrews 11:26; so Achilles in Homer (m) represents Jove as having two vessels full of gifts, one of good things, the other of evil, and sometimes he takes and gives the one, and sometimes the other:

in all this did not Job sin with his lips; not in what he said to his wife, it was all right and good; nor under the whole of his affliction hitherto, he had not uttered one impatient, murmuring, and repining word at the hand of God; the tongue, though an unruly member, and under such providences apt to speak unadvisedly, was bridled and restrained by Job from uttering anything indecent and unbecoming: the Targum, and many of the Jewish writers, observe that he sinned in his heart, but not with his lips; but this is not to be concluded from what is here said; though it is possible there might be some risings of corruptions in his heart, which, by the grace of God that prevailed in him, were kept under and restrained from breaking out.

(m) Iliad 24. ver. 527-530.

But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not {n} receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his {o} lips.

(n) That is, to be patient in adversity as we rejoice when he sends prosperity, and so to acknowledge him to be both merciful and just.

(o) He so bridled his desires that his tongue through impatience did not murmur against God.

10. one of the foolish women] The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. “Wise” is less an intellectual than a moral term; and its opposite “foolish” means godless, Psalm 14:1. To “work folly in Israel” is to infringe any of the sacred laws of natural or consuetudinary morals, Jdg 19:23; 2 Samuel 13:12.

what? shall we receive] Or, we receive good … and shall we not also receive (i. e. accept) evil? Job’s words might mean, we receive much good at the hand of God, shall we not also out of thankfulness for the good, accept evil when He sends it? But this hardly goes to the root of the counsel given by his wife. Therefore rather: we receive good from God, not due to us, but in which we see the gift of His sovereign hand (Job 1:21), shall we not also do homage to His absoluteness when He brings evil upon us? Here Job reaches the utmost height of the religious feeling. He is in danger of drifting away from this feeling under the irritation of his friends’ misdirected counsels, but he is led back again to it with a deeper peace through the appearance and words of the Lord (ch. 38. seq.). The Author lets us know what in his view true religion is, whether in a man or in a nation, and doubtless amidst the troubles and perplexing darkness of his time he had seen it exemplified both in individual men and in that godly kernel of the nation which kept up the true continuity of Israel and conserved its true idea.

The Writer adds his emphatic testimony to Job’s sinlessness. In all this, under this severe affliction of body, and exposed to this searching temptation on the part of his wife, Job did not sin with his lips, that is, in any particular. Thinking and speaking hardly differ in the East, and the words mean, let no sinful murmur escape him; comp. Psalm 17:3.

Though the Writer professedly paints the sufferings and mental troubles of an individual, and though it may be certain that he has the sorrows of individuals before his mind, it is scarcely possible to doubt that he is writing history also on a large scale. He has his nation with its calamities and the various impressions these made upon the religious mind in his view. The national calamity could be nothing less than deportation or exile. As not one but several successive and diverse waves of feeling pass over Job’s mind in regard to his afflictions, we may assume that the Writer did not stand close behind the great blow that fell upon his people, but lived at a considerable distance from it. The people had not only been stripped of their possessions, but subjected to severe treatment themselves, and the apostasy of many was a sore trial to the faith of those who remained constant, and the evil had lasted long enough to produce various impressions on men’s minds and give rise to many attempts to solve the problem which it raised. These solutions are reflected in the debate between Job and his friends. The Author has a solution which is new, to the effect, namely, that the calamity is not a punishment or chastisement on account of sin, as others held, but a trial of righteousness. This view he invests in all the dramatic splendour that distinguishes the Prologue. Though living long after the calamity had befallen his fellow-citizens, the Author must have written previously to the happy turn of affairs that restored them to prosperity and to a higher plane of religious life. This restoration was the great hope he desired to inspire. Such a hope was the counterpart of the other half of his theory of evil. If suffering be the trial of righteousness, the trial, if patiently borne, must bring an accumulation of spiritual gain. This part of the theory was necessary also in another view, in order to justify the ways of God in subjecting the innocent to trial.

Verse 10. - But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh; rather, as one of the vile (or impious) women speaketh. Nabal, the term used, is expressive, not of mere natural folly, but of that perversion of the intellect which comes on men when their hearts and understandings are corrupted and degraded.. (see 2 Samuel 13:13; Psalm 14:1; Isaiah 32:6). What? shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil? Job remembers all the good which he has received of God during his past life, all the blessings and prosperity bestowed on him (Job 1:2, 3), and asks - Would it be fair or right to take all the good things as a matter of course, and then to murmur if evil things are sent? He accepts both prosperity and affliction as coming from God, and expresses himself as willing to submit to his will. But he has, perhaps, scarcely attained to the conviction that whatever God sends to his faithful servants is always that which is best for them - that afflictions, in fact, are blessings in disguise, and ought to be received with gratitude, not with murmuring (comp. Hebrews 12:5-11). In all this did not Job sin with his lips. Thus far, that is, Job "kept the door of his mouth" strictly, righteously, piously. Later on he was not always so entirely free from fault. Job 2:1010 But he said to her, As one of the ungodly would speak, thou speakest. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not also receive evil?

The answer of Job is strong but not harsh, for the אחת (comp. 2 Samuel 13:13) is somewhat soothing. The translation "as one of the foolish women" does not correspond to the Hebrew; נבל is one wxo thinks madly and acts impiously. What follows is a double question, גּם for הגם. The גּם stands at the beginning of the sentence, but logically belongs to the second part, towards which pronunciation and reading must hurry over the first, - a frequent occurrence after interrogative particles, e.g., Numbers 16:22; Isaiah 5:4; after causal particles, e.g., Isaiah 12:1; Proverbs 1:24; after the negative פּן, Deuteronomy 8:12., and often. Hupfeld renders the thought expressed in the double question very correctly: bonum quidem hucusque a Deo accepimus, malum vero jam non item accipiemus? גּם is found also elsewhere at the beginning of a sentence, although belonging to a later clause, and that indeed not always the one immediately following, e.g., Hosea 6:11; Zechariah 9:11; the same syntax is to be found with אף, אך, and רק. קבּל, like תּמּה, is a word common to the book of Job and Proverbs (Proverbs 19:20); besides these, it is found only in books written after the exile, and is more Aramaic than Hebraic. By this answer which Job gives to his wife, he has repelled the sixth temptation. For 10b In all this Job sinned not with his lips.

Job 2:10

10b In all this Job sinned not with his lips.

The Targum adds: but in his thoughts he already cherished sinful words. בּשׂפתיו is certainly not undesignedly introduced here and omitted in Job 1:22. The temptation to murmur was now already at work within him, but he was its master, so that no murmur escaped him.

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