Job 42:11
Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.
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(11) Every man also gave him a piece of money.—The Hebrew word is kesītāh, which is found also in the narrative of Jacob’s purchase of the field of the children of Hamor (Genesis 33:19). Some have supposed, from a comparison of this passage with Genesis 23:16, which relates the corresponding transaction between Abraham and the sons of Heth, that the value of the kesītāh was four shekels, but this is, of course, not certain from these narratives. Tradition says that the kesītāh was a coin with the figure of & lamb stamped upon it.

Job 42:11. Then came unto him all his brethren — “The author here presents us with a striking view of human friendship. His brethren, who in the time of his affliction kept at a distance from him; his kins-folks, who ceased to know him; his familiar friends, who had forgotten him; and his acquaintance, who had made themselves perfect strangers to him; those, to whom he had shown kindness, and who yet had ungratefully neglected him; on the return of his prosperity, now come and condole with him, desirous of renewing their former familiarity, and, according to the custom of the eastern countries, where there is no approaching of a great man without a present, each brings him, קשׂישׂה, kesitah, (a piece of money, with the stamp, or impress, of a lamb upon it, as the original word signifies,) and each a jewel of gold. The word נזם, nezem, signifies properly a nose-jewel, which is commonly worn in the East to this day.” — Dodd.

42:10-17 In the beginning of this book we had Job's patience under his troubles, for an example; here, for our encouragement to follow that example, we have his happy end. His troubles began in Satan's malice, which God restrained; his restoration began in God's mercy, which Satan could not oppose. Mercy did not return when Job was disputing with his friends, but when he was praying for them. God is served and pleased with our warm devotions, not with our warm disputes. God doubled Job's possessions. We may lose much for the Lord, but we shall not lose any thing by him. Whether the Lord gives us health and temporal blessings or not, if we patiently suffer according to his will, in the end we shall be happy. Job's estate increased. The blessing of the Lord makes rich; it is he that gives us power to get wealth, and gives success in honest endeavours. The last days of a good man sometimes prove his best, his last works his best works, his last comforts his best comforts; for his path, like that of the morning light, shines more and more unto the perfect day.Then came there unto him all his brethren ... - It seems remarkable that none of these friends came near to him during his afflictions, and especially that his "sisters" should not have been with him to sympathize with him. But it was one of the bitter sources of his affliction, and one of the grounds of his complaint, that in his trials his kindred stood aloof from him; so in Job 19:13-14, he says, "He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me. My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me." It is not easy to account for this. It may have been, however, that a part were kept from showing any sympathy, in accordance with the general fact that there are always professed friends, and sometimes kindred, who forsake a man in affliction; and that a part regarded him as abandoned by God, and forsook him on that account - from a mistaken view of what they regarded as duty, that they ought to forsake one whom God had forsaken. When his calamities had passed by, however, and he again enjoyed the tokens of the divine favor, all returned to him full of condolence and kindness; part, probably, because friends always cluster around one who comes out of calamity and rises again to honor, and the other portion because they supposed that as "God" regarded him now with approbation, it was proper for "them" to do it also. A man who has been unfortunate, and who is visited with returning prosperity, never lacks friends. The rising sun reveals many friends that darkness had driven away, or brings to light many - real or professed - who were concealed at midnight.

And did eat bread with him in his house - An ancient token of friendship and affection; compare Psalm 41:9; Proverbs 9:5; Proverbs 23:6; Jeremiah 41:1.

And every man also gave him a piece of money - This is probably one of the earliest instances in which money is mentioned in history. It is, of course, impossible now to determine the form or value of the "piece of money" here referred to. The Hebrew word (קשׂיטה qeśı̂yṭâh), occurs only in this place and in Genesis 33:19, where it is rendered "pieces of money," and in Joshua 24:32, where it is rendered "pieces of silver." It is evident, therefore, that it was one of the earliest names given to coin, and its use here is an argument that the book of Job is of very early origin. Had it been composed at a later age, the word "shekel," or some word in common use to denote money, would have been used. The Vulgate here renders the word "ovem," a sheep; the Septuagint in like manner, ἀμνάδα amnada, "a lamb;" and so also the Chaldee. In the margin, in both the other places where the word occurs Genesis 33:19; Joshua 24:32, it is also rendered "lambs."

The reason why it is so rendered is unknown. it may have been supposed that in early times a sheep or lamb having something like a fixed value, might have been the standard by which to estimate the value of other things; but there is nothing in the etymology of the word to support this interpretation. The word in Arabic (kasat) means to divide out equally, to measure; and the Hebrew word probably had some such signification, denoting that which was measured or weighed out, and hence became the name of a certain "weight" or "amount" of money. It is altogether probable that the first money consisted of a certain amount of the precious metals "weighed out," without being "coined" in any way. It is not an improbable supposition, however, that the figure of a sheep or lamb was the first figure stamped on coins, and this may be the reason why the word used here was rendered in this manner in the ancient versions. On the meaning of the word, Bochart may be consulted, "Hieroz." P. i. Lib. c. xliii. pp. 433-437; Rosenmuller on Genesis 33:19; Schultens "in loc;" and the following work in Ugolin's "Thes. Antiq. Sacr." Tom. xxviii., "Otthonis Sperlingii Diss. de nummis non cusis," pp. 251-253, 298-306. The arguments of Bochart to prove that this word denotes a piece of money, and not a lamb, as it is rendered by the Vulgate, the Septuagint, the Syriac, the Arabic, and by Onkelos, are briefly:

(1) That in more than an hundred places where reference is made in the Scriptures to a lamb or a sheep, this word is not used. Other words are constantly employed.

(2) The testimony of the rabbis is uniform that it denotes a piece of money. Akiba says that when he traveled into Africa he found there a coin which they called kesita. So Rabbi Solomon, and Levi Ben Gerson, in their commentaries, and Kimchi, Pomarius, and Aquinas, in their Lexicons.

(3) The authority of the Masoretes in relation to the Hebrew word is the same. According to Bochart, the word is the same as קשׁט qāshaṭ or קשׁט qosheṭ, changing the Hebrew letter שׁ for the Hebrew letter שׂ. The word means true, sincere, Psalm 60:6; Proverbs 22:21. According to this, the name was given to the coin because it was made of pure metal - unadulterated silver or gold. See this argument at length in Bochart.

(4) The feminine form of the noun used here shows that it does not mean a lamb - it being wholly improbable that the friends of Job would send him ewe lambs only.

(5) In the early times of the patriarchs - as early as the time of Jacob - money was in common use, and the affairs of merchandise were conducted by that as a medium; Genesis 17:12-13; Genesis 47:16.

(6) The statement in Acts 7:16, leads to the supposition that "money" is referred to by the word as used in Genesis 33:19. If, as is there supposed, the purchase of the same field is referred to in Genesis 23:16; Genesis 23:19, then it is clear that money is referred to by the word. In Genesis 23:16 it is said that Abraham paid for the field of Ephron iu Macpelah "four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant." And if the same purchase is referred to in both these places, then by a comparison of the two, it appears that the kesita was heavier than the shekel, and contained about four shekels. It is not easy, however, to determine its value.

And every one an earring of gold - The word rendered "earring" (נזם nezem) may mean a ring for the nose Genesis 24:47; Isaiah 3:21; Proverbs 11:22; Hosea 2:13, as well as for the ear, Genesis 35:4. The word "ring" would better express the sense here without specifying its particular use; compare Judges 8:24-25; Proverbs 25:12. Ornaments of this kind were much worn by the ancients (compare Isaiah 3; Genesis 24:22), and a contribution of these from each one of the friends of Job would constitute a valuable property; compare Exodus 32:2-3. It was not uncommon for friends thus to bring presents to one who was restored from great calamity. See the case of Hezekiah, 2 Chronicles 32:23.

11. It was Job's complaint in his misery that his "brethren," were "estranged" from him (Job 19:13); these now return with the return of his prosperity (Pr 14:20; 19:6, 7); the true friend loveth at all times (Pr 17:17; 18:24). "Swallow friends leave in the winter and return with the spring" [Henry].

eat bread—in token of friendship (Ps 41:9).

piece of money—Presents are usual in visiting a man of rank in the East, especially after a calamity (2Ch 32:23). Hebrew, kesita. Magee translates "a lamb" (the medium of exchange then before money was used), as it is in Margin of Ge 33:19; Jos 24:32. But it is from the Arabic kasat, "weighed out" [Umbreit], not coined; so Ge 42:35; 33:19; compare with Ge 23:15, makes it likely it was equal to four shekels; Hebrew kashat, "pure," namely, metal. The term, instead of the usual "shekel," &c., is a mark of antiquity.

earring—whether for the nose or ear (Ge 35:4; Isa 3:21). Much of the gold in the East, in the absence of banks, is in the shape of ornaments.

Then, when Job had humbled himself, and God was reconciled to Job, he quickly turned the hearts of his friends to favour him, according to Proverbs 16:7; as during his impenitency, and for his trial and humiliation, lie had alienated their hearts from him, of which Job so sadly complains.

His brethren and his sisters; largely so called, according to the Scripture use of these titles, to wit, his kindred distinguished from his other acquaintance.

Did eat bread with him, i.e. feasted with him, as that phrase is commonly used in Scripture, to congratulate with him for God’s great and glorious favour already vouchsafed to him in so eminent a vision and revelation.

They bemoaned him; they declared the sense which they had of his calamities whilst they were upon him, although they had hitherto wanted opportunity to express it.

Over all the evil; or, concerning all the evil; which though it was bitter to endure when it was present, yet the remembrance of it revived in him by the discourses of his friends was very delightful, as is usual in such cases.

Every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold; partly to make up his former losses, and partly as a testimony of their honourable respect to him.

Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters,.... Which may be taken not in a strict sense, but in a larger sense for all that were related to him; the same with his kinsfolks, Job 19:14;

and all they that had been of his acquaintance before; that knew him, visited him, conversed with him, and kept up a friendly correspondence with him; the circle of his acquaintance must have been large, for wealth makes many friends: now these had been shy of him, and kept at a distance from him, during the time of his affliction and distress; see Job 19:13; but hearing he was in the favour of God, and the cause was given on his side, and against his friends, and his affairs began to take a more favourable turn, they came to him again, and paid him a friendly visit, even all of them;

and did eat bread with him in his house: expressing their joy for his recovery, and renewing their friendship with him: this was done either at their own expense or at Job's, for he might not be so poor at the worst as he is by most represented; for he had still an house of his own, and furniture in it, and servants to wait upon him, as appears from Job 19:15; nor do we read of anything being taken out of his house from him; he might still have gold and silver, and so could entertain his friends: and being a man of an excellent spirit received them kindly, without upbraiding them with their unkindness in deserting him when afflicted;

and they bemoaned him; shook their heads at him, pitying his case, that is, which he had been in; for this they might do, though things were now better with him, and might express themselves in such manner as this,

"Poor man, what hast thou endured? what hast thou gone through by diseases of body, loss of substance, and vexation from friends?''

and besides, though things began to mend with him, he was not come at once to the pitch of happiness he arrived unto; so that there might be still room for bemoaning, he being comparatively in poor circumstances to what he was before;

and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him; the evil of afflictions, of body and estate; which, though by means of Satan and wicked men, was according to the will of God, and might be said to be brought on him and done to him by the Lord, Amos 3:6; and they congratulated him upon his deliverance from them;

every man also gave him a piece of money, or a "lamb"; which some understand in a proper sense, as being what might serve towards making up his loss of sheep, and increasing his stock of them; but others with us take it for a piece of money, in which sense it is used in Genesis 33:19, compared with Acts 7:16; which might have the figure of a lamb impressed upon it; as we formerly had a piece of money called an angel, having the image of one stamped on it; and it was usual with the ancients both to barter with cattle instead of money before the coining of it, and when it was coined to impress upon it the figure of cattle; hence the Latin word "pecunia", for money, is from "pecus", cattle (r); this piece of money in Africa is the same with the Jewish "meah" (s), which weighed sixteen barley corns; the value of a penny;

and everyone earring of gold; or a jewel set in gold; such used to wear in Arabia, as appears from, Judges 8:24; however Job could turn them into money, and increase his stock of cattle thereby. Though, perhaps, these presents were made him, not so much to enrich him, but as tokens of renewing their friendship with him; it being then usual in the eastern countries, as it is to this day, that whenever they pay visits, even to the greatest personages, they always carry presents with them; see 1 Samuel 9:7.

(r) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 18. c. 3. & l. 33. c. 3. Alex. ab. Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 4. c. 15. (s) T Bab. Roshhashanah, fol. 26. 1.

Then came there unto him all his {k} brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.

(k) That is, all his kindred, read Job 19:13.

11. Comp. Job’s sorrowful lamentations over the alienation of all his friends and acquaintances, ch. Job 19:13 seq.

piece of money] The Heb. is Kesita, probably an uncoined piece of silver, of a certain weight, Genesis 33:19; Joshua 24:32.

Verse 11. - Then came there unto him all his brethren. Job's "brethren," and his desertion by them in his misfortunes, had been mentioned in Job 19:13. Now these fair-weather friends flocked to him again, and professed affection and interest, ignoring probably, or excusing, their long absence and neglect. And all his sisters. One sex had behaved no better to him than the other. His nearest female relatives had failed to show themselves the "ministering angels" that they are commonly accounted, even when "pain and anguish" most "wrung his brow." And all they that had been of his acquaintance before. Job, like other wealthy and prosperous men had during the time of his prosperity had "troops of friends" (see Job 29:8-10, 21-25). When adversity swooped down they fell away. Now they had the effrontery to claim his acquaintance once more, and to come and be his guests; they did eat bread with him in his house. Nay, more, they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him, whereof the worst part was their own coldness and desertion (Job 19:13, 14, 19). Finally, to establish the renewed friendship, every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an ear-ring of gold. The money given is said to have been a kesitah which means probably a certain weight of silver, though whether a shekel or not is uncertain. The word belongs to the earlier Hebrew, being found only in Genesis 33:19; Joshua 24:32, and in the present passage. Ear-rings were commonly worn in the East by men as well as women, as appears from the Egyptian, Assyrian, and Persian sculptures. Job 42:1111 Then came to him all his brothers, and all his sisters, and all his former acquaintances, and ate bread with him in his house, and expressed sympathy with him, and comforted him concerning all the evil which Jehovah had brought upon him; and each one gave him a Kesit, and each a golden ring.

Prosperity now brought those together again whom calamity had frightened away; for the love of men is scarcely anything but a number of coarse or delicate shades of selfishness. Now they all come and rejoice at Job's prosperity, viz., in order to bask therein. He, however, does not thrust them back; for the judge concerning the final motives of human love is God, and love which is shown to us is certainly more worthy of thanks than hatred. They are his guests again, and he leaves them to their own shame. And now their tongues, that were halting thus far, are all at once become eloquent: they mingle congratulations and comfort with their expressions of sorrow at his past misfortune. It is now an easy matter, that no longer demands their faith. They even bring him each one a present. In everything it is manifest that Jehovah has restored His servant to honour. Everything is now subordinated to him, who was accounted as one forsaken of God. קשׂיטה is a piece of metal weighed out, of greater value than the shekel, moreover indefinite, since it is nowhere placed in the order of the Old Testament system of weights and measures, adapted to the patriarchal age, Genesis 33:19, in which Job's history falls.

(Note: According to b. Rosch ha-Schana, 26a, R. Akiba found the word קשׂיטה in Africa in the signification מעה (coin), as a Targ. (vid., Aruch, s.v. קשׂיטה) also translates; the Arab. קשׂת at least signifies balances and weight.)

נזמים are rings for the nose and ear; according to Exodus 32:3, an ornament of the women and men.

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