And the LORD said to Satan, From where come you? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Job 1:7.
Job 2:1-8. Satan Further Tempts Job.
1. a day—appointed for the angels giving an account of their ministry to God. The words "to present himself before the Lord" occur here, though not in Job 1:6, as Satan has now a special report to make as to Job.Job 1:7. And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 2. - And the Lord said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the Lord, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it (see the comment on Job 1:7, of which this is an almost exact repetition).
18 While he was yet speaking, another also came, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: and, behold, a great wind came across from the desert, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
Instead of עוד, we have עד here: the former denotes continuity in time, the latter continuity in space, and they may be interchanged. עד in the signif. "while" is here construed with the participle, as Nehemiah 7:3; comp. other constructions, Job 8:21; 1 Samuel 14:19; Jonah 4:2. "From the other side of the desert" is equivalent to, from its farthest end. הנּערים are the youthful sons and daughters of Job, according to the epicene use of נער in the Pentateuch (youths and maidens). In one day Job is now bereft of everything which he accounted the gift of Jehovah, - his herds, and with these his servants, which he not only prizes as property, but for whom he has also a tender heart (Job 31); last of all, even his dearest ones, his children. Satan has summoned the elements and men for the destruction of Job's possessions by repeated strokes. That men and nations can be excited by Satan to hostile enterprises, is nothing surprising (cf. Revelation 20:8); but here, even the fire of God and the hurricane are attributed to him. Is this poetry or truth? Luther, in the Larger Catechism, question 4, says the same: "The devil causes strife, murder, rebellion, and war, also thunder and lightning, and hail, to destroy corn and cattle, to poison the atmosphere," etc., - a passage of our creed often ridiculed by rationalism; but it is correct if understood in accordance with Scripture, and not superstitiously. As among men, so in nature, since the Fall two different powers of divine anger and divine love are in operation: the mingling of these is the essence of the present Kosmos. Everything destructive to nature, and everything arising therefrom which is dangerous and fatal to the life of man, is the outward manifestation of the power of anger. In this power Satan has fortified himself; and this, which underlies the whole course of nature, he is able to make use of, so far as God may permit it as being subservient to His chief design (comp. Revelation 13:13 with 2 Thessalonians 2:9). He has no creative power. Fire and storm, by means of which he works, are of God; but he is allowed to excite these forces to hostility against man, just as he himself is become an instrument of evil. It is similar with human demonocracy, whose very being consists in placing itself en rapport with the hidden powers of nature. Satan is the great juggler, and has already manifested himself as such, even in paradise and in the temptation of Jesus Christ. There is in nature, as among men, an entanglement of contrary forces which he knows how to unloose, because it is the sphere of his special dominion; for the whole course of nature, in the change of its phenomena, is subject not only to abstract laws, but also to concrete supernatural powers, both bad and good.
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