There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God…
This early Eastern poem, designed to throw light on the methods of the Divine discipline of men, opens with a pleasing picture of domestic felicity, presenting a typical example of happy family life. But Job is the central figure. It is the Book of Job. All has its relation to him. He is the one subject of the book. Not more truly is Job perfect than are the circumstances which surround him. All the elements of domestic happiness are present. They are seen in -
I. THE PERSONAL CHARACTER OF THE HEAD OF THE HOUSE. In his spirit he is "perfect," not marked by moral flaw. As "a just man "he walks in his integrity. In his deportment and his dealing with men he is "upright." No crooked vagaries mar his character or conduct. Honesty, straightforwardness, sincerity, are the conspicuous virtues of this good man. Towards God he is reverent, devout, obedient. The foundation of all wisdom, as of all virtue, is present - he "fears God." Evil he "eschews," he avoids it. Such are the characteristics necessary in the head of a godly, happy household.
II. A second feature is seen in THE NUMBER OF THE MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY AND THEIR AFFECTIONATE RELATIONSHIPS. Each adds his own element of character, and the variety of those elements secures the completeness of the family life, while affection preserves its unity. Love is the bond of perfectness in the family as in all communities.
III. A further element is found in THE ABUNDANT POSSESSIONS, raising the family from want to affluence, and bringing within its reach all that could promote its comfort and enjoyment.
IV. Over the whole is cast the guard and the sanctity of HABITUAL RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCE. Declaring
(1) Job's faith in God;
(2) his reverent fear;
(3) his knowledge of the doctrine of redemption by sacrifice;
(4) his religious domestic discipline. In all these Job is a model for the head of a family. Most proper was it that such a man should be "the greatest of the sons of the East." Happy the nation whose greatest men are its best! Happy the people amongst whom the most observable are the most worthy of imitation. Such was Job, the subject of one of the most interesting, as of one of the oldest, examples of poetical, dramatic, religious writing. - R.G.
Parallel VersesKJV: There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.