Job 2:13
So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spoke a word to him: for they saw that his grief was very great.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days.—Compare the conduct of David (2Samuel 12:16), and see also Genesis 1:10; 1Samuel 31:13; Ezekiel 3:15. There is a colossal grandeur about this description which is in keeping with the majesty and hoary antiquity of the poem.

Job 2:13. So they sat down with him upon the ground — In the same mournful posture wherein they found him, which indeed was the usual posture of mourners, condoling with him. Sitting on the ground, in the language of the eastern people, signifies their passing the time in the deepest mourning. Seven days and seven nights — Which was the usual time of mourning for the dead, Genesis 50:10; 1 Samuel 31:13, and therefore proper, both for Job’s children, who were dead, and for Job himself, who was in a manner, dead while he lived: not that they continued in this posture so long together, which the necessities of nature could not bear: but they spent a great, or the greatest, part of that time in sitting with him, and silent mourning over him. And none spake a word to him —

About his afflictions or the cause of them, or, perhaps, about any thing. “A long silence,” says Dr. Dodd, “is a very natural effect of an extraordinary grief, which overwhelms the mind, and creates a sort of stupor and astonishment. Thus we find the Prophet Ezekiel 3:15, sitting with his brethren of the captivity by the river Chebar, for seven days, astonished, silent among them, as the Chaldee renders it; struck dumb, as it were, at the apprehension of their present miseries, and the still greater calamities coming on his country.” And thus were Job’s friends affected on this occasion; their long silence arising from the greatness of their grief for him, and their surprise and astonishment at the condition in which they found him. They probably, also, thought it proper to give him some further time to vent his own sorrows; and might, as yet, not know what to say to him: for though they had ever esteemed him to be a truly good man, and came with a full purpose to comfort him; yet the prodigious greatness of his miseries, and that hand and apparent displeasure of God which they perceived in them, made them now question his sincerity, so that they could not comfort him as they had intended, and yet were loath to grieve him with reproofs. 2:11-13 The friends of Job seem noted for their rank, as well as for wisdom and piety. Much of the comfort of this life lies in friendship with the prudent and virtuous. Coming to mourn with him, they vented grief which they really felt. Coming to comfort him, they sat down with him. It would appear that they suspected his unexampled troubles were judgments for some crimes, which he had vailed under his professions of godliness. Many look upon it only as a compliment to visit their friends in sorrow; we must look life. And if the example of Job's friends is not enough to lead us to pity the afflicted, let us seek the mind that was in Christ.So they sat down with him upon the ground; - see Job 1:20, note; Job 2:8, note; compare Ezra 9:3, "I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head, and my beard, and sat down astonished."

Seven days and seven nights - Seven days was the usual time of mourning among the Orientals. Thus, they made public lamentation for Jacob seven days, Genesis 50:10. Thus, on the death of Saul, they fasted seven days, 1 Samuel 31:13. So the author of the book of Ecclesiasticus says," Seven days do men mourn for him that is dead;" Ecclesiastes 22:12. It cannot be supposed that they remained in the same place and posture for seven days and nights, but that they mourned with him during that time in the usual way. An instance of grief remarkably similar to this, continuing through a period of six days, is ascribed by Euripides to Orestes:

Ἐντεῦθεν ἀγρίᾳ ξυντακεὶς νόσῳ νοσεῖ

Τλήμων Ὀρέστης; ο δὲ πεσὼν ἐν δεμνίοις

Κεῖται.

Ἓκτου δὲ δὴ τόδ ἦμαρ, κ. τ. λ.

Enteuthen agriacuntakeis nosō nosei

Tlēmōn Orestēs; ho de pesōn en demniois

Keitai.

Hekton de dē tod́ ēmar, etc.

"'Tis hence Orestes, agonized with griefs

And sore disease, lies on his restless bed

Delirious.

Now six morns have winged their flight,

continued...

13. seven days … nights—They did not remain in the same posture and without food, &c., all this time, but for most of this period daily and nightly. Sitting on the earth marked mourning (La 2:10). Seven days was the usual length of it (Ge 50:10; 1Sa 31:13). This silence may have been due to a rising suspicion of evil in Job; but chiefly because it is only ordinary griefs that find vent in language; extraordinary griefs are too great for utterance. Sat down with him upon the ground, in the posture of mourners condoling with him.

Seven days and seven nights was the usual time of mourning for the dead, Genesis 1:10 1 Samuel 31:13, and therefore proper both for Job’s children, who were dead, and for Job himself, who was in a manner dead whilst he lived. But we must not fancy that they continued in this place and posture so long together, which no laws of religion or civility required of them, and the necessities of nature could not bear; but only that they spent a great or the greatest part of that time in sitting with him, and silent mourning over him. And so such general expressions are frequently understood, as Luke 2:37 24:53 Acts 20:31.

None spake a word to him; either,

1. About any thing. Or rather,

2. About his afflictions, and the causes of them. The reason of this silence was, partly the greatness of their grief for him, and their surprise and astonishment at his condition; partly, because they thought it convenient to give him some further time to vent his own sorrows; and partly, because as yet they knew not what to say to him: for though they had ever esteemed him to be a truly wise and godly man, and came with full purpose to comfort him; yet the prodigious greatness of his miseries, and that hand and displeasure of God which they manifestly perceived in them, made them at a stand, and to question Job’s sincerity; so that they could not comfort him as they had intended, and yet were loth to grieve him with those convictions and reproofs which they thought he greatly needed. And here they stuck till Job gave them occasion to speak their minds. So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights,.... Which was the usual time of mourning, Genesis 50:10; not that they were in this posture all this time, without sleeping, eating, or drinking, and other necessaries of life; but they came and sat with him every day and night for seven days and nights running, and sat the far greater part of them with him, conforming themselves to him and sympathizing with him:

and none spake a word unto him; concerning his affliction and the cause of it, and what they thought about it; partly through the loss they were at concerning it, hesitating in their minds, and having some suspicion of evil in Job; and partly through the grief of their own hearts, and the vehemence of their passions, but chiefly because of the case and circumstances Job was in, as follows:

for they saw that his grief was very great; and they knew not well what comfort to administer, and were fearful lest they should add grief to grief; or they saw that his "grief increased exceedingly" (r); his boils, during these seven days, grew sorer and sorer, and his pain became more intolerable, that there was no speaking to him until he was a little at ease, and more composed and capable of attending to what might be said; they waited a proper opportunity, and which they quickly had, by what Job said in the following chapter: this account is given of his three friends in this place, because the greater part of the book that follows is taken up in giving an account of a dispute which passed between him and them, occasioned by what he delivered in the next chapter.

(r) "quod creverat dolor valde", Pagninus, Montanus; so Mercerus Schultens, Michaelis, and the Targum.

So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very {r} great.

(r) And therefore thought that he would not have listened to their counsel.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. none spake a word] Being overwhelmed by the affecting sight before them; as the Author adds: they saw that the grief, i. e. the pain or affliction, was very great. Comp. Ezekiel 3:15. The length of time during which they sat in silence, seven days and seven nights (the time of mourning for the dead, Genesis 50:10; 1 Samuel 31:13), shews the profound impression made upon them.Verse 13. - So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights. Professor Lee supposes that this is not to be taken literally. "It means" he says, "that they sat with him a considerable length of time before they opened the question discussed in this book, not that they sat precisely seven days and seven nights, and said not so much as one word to him" ('The Book of the Patriarch Job; p. 194). But the period of" seven days" was appropriate to mournings (Genesis 1:10 2Samuel 31:13 Ezekiel 3:15), and if they could stay with him one day and one night without speaking, why not seven? Food would be brought them, and they might sleep rolled up in their begeds. The long silence may be accounted for by the fact that "among the Jews," and among Orientals generally, "it is a point of decorum, and one dictated by a fine and true feeling, not to speak to a person in deep affliction until he gives an intimation of a desire to be comforted" (Cook). So long as Job kept silence they had to keep silence, at least so far as he was concerned. They might speak to any attendants who drew near, and they might speak one to another. Note the words which follow: And none spake a word unto him None spake to him; but no etiquette imposed complete silence on them. For they saw that his grief was very great. So great that he could not as yet bear to be spoken to.



The Working Out of the Commission:

7, 8 Then Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah, and smote Job with sore boils, from the sole of his foot to his crown. And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself with, and sat in the midst of ashes.

The description of this disease calls to mind Deuteronomy 28:35 with Deuteronomy 28:27, and is, according to the symptoms mentioned further on in the book, elephantiasis so called because the limbs become jointless lumps like elephants' legs), Arab. jḏâm, ‛gudhâm, Lat. lepra nodosa, the most fearful form of lepra, which sometimes seizes persons even of the higher ranks. Artapan (C. Mller, Fragm. iii. 222) says, that an Egyptian king was the first man who died of elephantiasis. Baldwin, king of Jerusalem, was afflicted with it in a very dangerous form.

(Note: Vid., the history in Heer, De elephantiasi Graecorum et Arabum, Breslay, 1842, and coloured plates in Trait de la Spdalskhed ou Elephantiasis des Grecs par Danielssen et Boeck, Paris, 1848, translated from the Norwegian; and in Hecker, Elephantiasis oder Lepra Arabica, Lahr, 1858 (with lithographs). "The means of cure," says Aretus the Cappadocian (vid., his writings translated by Mann, 1858, S. 221), "must be more powerful than the disease, if it is to be removed. But what cure can be successfully applied to the fearful evil of elephantiasis? It is not confined to one part, either internally or externally, but takes possession of the entire system. It is terrible and hideous to behold, for it gives a man the appearance of an animal. Every one dreads to live, and have any intercourse, with such invalids; they flee from them as from the plague, for infection is easily communicated by the breath. Where, in the whole range of pharmacy, can such a powerful remedy be found?")

The disease begins with the rising of tubercular boils, and at length resembles a cancer spreading itself over the whole body, by which the body is so affected, that some of the limbs fall completely away. Scraping with a potsherd will not only relieve the intolerable itching of the skin, but also remove the matter. Sitting among ashes is on account of the deep sorrow (comp. Jonah 3:6) into which Job is brought by his heavy losses, especially the loss of his children. The lxx adds that he sat on a dunghill outside the city: the dunghill is taken from the passage Psalm 113:7, and the "outside the city" from the law of the מצרע. In addition to the four losses, a fifth temptation, in the form of a disease incurable in the eye of man, is now come upon Job: a natural disease, but brought on by Satan, permitted, and therefore decreed, by God. Satan does not appear again throughout the whole book. Evil has not only a personal existence in the invisible world, but also its agents and instruments in this; and by these it is henceforth manifested.

Links
Job 2:13 Interlinear
Job 2:13 Parallel Texts


Job 2:13 NIV
Job 2:13 NLT
Job 2:13 ESV
Job 2:13 NASB
Job 2:13 KJV

Job 2:13 Bible Apps
Job 2:13 Parallel
Job 2:13 Biblia Paralela
Job 2:13 Chinese Bible
Job 2:13 French Bible
Job 2:13 German Bible

Bible Hub






Job 2:12
Top of Page
Top of Page