Job 42:11
Then came there to him all his brothers, 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 on 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. 4 O hear now, and I will speak:

I will ask Thee, and instruct Thou me.

5 I had heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear,

And now mine eye hath seen Thee.

6 Therefore I am sorry, and Irepent

In dust and ashes.

The words employed after the manner of entreaty, in Job 42:4, Job also takes from the mouth of Jehovah, Job 38:3; Job 40:7. Hitherto Jehovah has interrogated him, in order to bring him to a knowledge of his ignorance and weakness. Now, however, after he has thoroughly perceived this, he is anxious to put questions to Jehovah, in order to penetrate deeper and deeper into the knowledge of the divine power and wisdom. Now for the first time with him, the true, living perception of God has its beginning, being no longer effected by tradition (ל of the external cause: in consequence of the tidings which came to my ears, comp. Psalm 18:45, comp. Isaiah 23:5), but by direct communication with God. In this new light he can no longer deceive himself concerning God and concerning himself; the delusion of the conflict now yields to the vision of the truth, and only penitential sorrow for his sin towards God remains to him. The object to אמאס is his previous conduct. נחם is the exact expression for μετανοεῖν, the godly sorrow of repentance not to be repented of. He repents (sitting) on dust and ashes after the manner of those in deep grief.

If the second speech of Jehovah no longer has to do with the exaltation and power of God in general, but is intended to answer Job's doubt concerning the justice of the divine government of the world, the long passage about the hippopotamus and the crocodile, Job 40:15-41:34, in this second speech seems to be devoid of purpose and connection. Even Eichhorn and Bertholdt on this account suppose that the separate portions of the two speeches of Jehovah have fallen into disorder. Stuhlmann, Bernstein, and De Wette, on the other hand, explained the second half of the description of the leviathan, Job 41:12-34, as a later interpolation; for this part is thought to be inflated, and to destroy the connection between Jehovah's concluding words, Job 41:2-3, and Job's answer, Job 42:2-6. Ewald forcibly rejected the whole section, Job 40:15, by ascribing it to the writer of Elihu's speeches-an opinion which he has again more recently abandoned. In fact, this section ought to have had a third poet as its writer. But he would be the double (Doppelgnger) of the first; for, deducting the somewhat tame לא אחרישׁ בדיו, Job 41:12, - which, however, is introduced by the interrupted description being resumed, in order now to begin in real earnest, - this section stands upon an equally exalted height with the rest of the book as a poetic production and lofty description; and since it has not only, as also Elihu's speeches, an Arabizing tinge, but also the poetic genius, the rich fountain of thought, the perfection of technical detail, in common with the rest of the book; and since the writer of the book of Job also betrays elsewhere an acquaintance with Egypt, and an especial interest in things Egyptian, the authenticity of the section is by no means doubted by us, but we freely adopt the originality of its present position.

But before one doubts the originality of its position, he ought, first of all, to make an earnest attempt to comprehend the portion in its present connection, into which it at any rate has not fallen from pure thoughtlessness. The first speech of Jehovah, moreover, was surprisingly different from what was to have been expected, and yet we recognised in it a deep consistency with the plan; perhaps the same thing is also the case in connection with the second.

After Job has answered the first speech of Jehovah by a confession of penitence, the second can have no other purpose but that of strengthening the conviction, which urges to this confession, and of deepening the healthful tone from which it proceeds. The object of censure here is no longer Job's contending with Jehovah in general, but Job's contending with Jehovah on account of the prosperity of the evil-doer, which is irreconcilable with divine justice; that contending by which the sufferer, in spite of the shadow which affliction casts upon him, supported the assertion of his own righteousness. Here also, as a result, the refutation follows in the only way consistent with the dignity of Jehovah, and so that Job must believe in order to perceive, and does not perceive in order not to be obliged to believe. Without arguing the matter with Job, as to why many things in the government of the world are thus and not rather otherwise, Jehovah challenges Job to take the government of the world into his own hand, and to give free course to his wrath, to cast down everything that is exalted, and to render the evil-doer for ever harmless. By thus thinking of himself as the ruler of the world, Job is obliged to recognise the cutting contrast of his feebleness and the divine rule, with which he has ventured to find fault; at the same time, however, he is taught, that - what he would never be able to do - God really punishes the ungodly, and must have wise purposes when, which He indeed might do, He does not allow the floods of His wrath to be poured forth immediately.

Thus far also Simson is agreed; but what is the design of the description of the two Egyptian monsters, which are regarded by him as by Ewald as out of place here? To show Job how little capable he is of governing the world, and how little he would be in a position to execute judgment on the evil-doer, two creatures are described to him, two unslain monsters of gigantic structure and invincible strength, which defy all human attack. These two descriptions are, we think, designed to teach Job how little capable of passing sentence upon the evil-doer he is, who cannot even draw a cord through the nose of the behmoth, and who, if he once attempted to attack the leviathan, would have reason to remember it so long as he lived, and would henceforth let it alone. It is perhaps an emblem that is not without connection with the book of Job, that these בהמות and לויתן (תנין), in the language of the Prophets and the Psalms, are the symbols of a worldly power at enmity with the God of redemption and His people. And wherefore should Job's confession, Job 42:2, not be suitably attached to the completed description of the leviathan, especially as the description is divided into two parts by the utterances of Jehovah, Job 41:2-3, which retrospectively and prospectively set it in the right light for Job?

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