Job 1:1-2:10 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Tests and The Invisible War
Comments for Study 1

Job 1:1-2:10
Key verse: 1:14

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>1. What does the Bible say about Job's character? His family? His possessions? His stature in life? How did his belief in God manifest itself in his daily life? (4-5) From all these descriptions, who could you compare Job to in history and today?

Job 1:1-3 "In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East."

* "In the land of Uz" -The exact location of Uz is not known, but it is definably in the land east of the Jordan. There are three candidates for the land of Uz.

First, within the land of the Edomites which is south-east of The Dead Sea. Although at that time that lake was not known as The Dead Sea. Nor was it a dead sea. But it was on the way to becoming a dead sea because of what had happened to Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 19 which were on the shores of the lake at the time. Anyway, the land of Uz, many theologians believe, was made by the descendants of Uz who is in the genealogy of Esau in Genesis 36:1,28 and 2 Chronicles 1:42. Also, the Septuagint (aka, LXX and Greek Old Testament), in a postscript, identifies Job as Jobab, the king of Edom.

Secondly, the genealogy of Shem includes an "Uz" in Genesis 10:23. The Uz there is a son of Aram who was the son of Shem. Aram and his descendants, the Arameans, lived north-east of the Jordan.

Finally, in Genesis 22:20-21 Abraham was told that "Milcah is also a mother; she has borne sons to your brother Nahor: Uz the firstborn..." At the time Nahor was living in Haran which is even more north than the land of Aram.

All would suggest that Job lived in the time of the patriarchs. This is consistent with many facts about Job presented in this book "Job" in the Bible and also with many theologians beliefs.

* "all the people of the East" -Used to refer to the people who lived East of the Jordan River (Genesis 29:1; Judges 6:3). This relationship is set up for the Israelites whom this book was written for. The people of the East is the Israelites' term for the semi-nomadic and settled peoples east of the Jordan.

The people of the East would not included Jacob's descendants who lived on the west side of the Jordan River at the time of Job.

* "there lived a man" -Job was a real person, contrary to some "theologians" who say he was a mythical figure. Job lived during the time of the patriarchs; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob's sons. Being that Job lived during the time of Jacob's sons, it must be noted Job was a much better witness of God than Jacob's sons. Therefore, he should not be disqualified as a man of God just because he was a descendant of Esau remembering that it is said about Esau in Romans 9:13, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." and in Hebrews 12:16 "See to it that nobody is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son.

* "whose name was Job" -Job as a common name during the time of the patriarchs, around 2000 B.C. His name listed along with two ancient great men of faith, Noah and Daniel in Ezekiel 14:14 shows that he was a great man of faith. Ezekiel 14:14 says, "even if these three men--Noah, Daniel and Job--were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD."

In addition to this book in the Bible, there are a number of literary parallels in ancient Near Eastern literature to Job or at least to the theme of a righteous sufferer, going back to the early second millennium BC. These include Akkadian documents from Tel-el-Amarna, Mari, and Alalakh, and the Execration Texts from Egypt. The name "Baldad" has also been noted in a cuneiform text from the period of the patriarchs. Finally, a number of Sumerian documents also have the story of a righteous sufferer.

* "blameless" -Morally right; no one would be able to say that they sinned against God or man. Even Satan could not blame Job for any sin, however, Satan did accuse Job of shallow faith which only existed because faith paid off.

Saying this does not mean that Job was sinless. He later defends his moral integrity but also admits he is a sinner (6:4; 7;21.)

* "upright" -Meaning he did what was right in God's eyes. He was spiritually right. God himself says this in 1:8 and 2:3.

* "he feared God"-Job knew that God judges and convicts the sinner. He respected God's power and authority over men. He believed in the judgement of the dead. Thus Job feared God in a reverent way.

Job in 28:28 said, "And he said to man, 'The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.'" which was later quoted by the author of Psalm 111:10 and Proverb 9:10; and Proverb 3:7 which says, "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil."

Genesis 20:11, "Abraham replied, "I said to myself, 'There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.'"

* "shunned evil" -He knew what was evil. He taught that evil was wrong. This does not say that Job shunned people, it only says he sunned evil.

* "He had seven sons and three daughters" -Seven plus three equals ten; numbers indicating completeness. (Ruth 4:15) Thus these were all God's blessings which was never disputed by God when Satan went before God.

* "he owned seven thousand sheep and three thousand camels" -Seven plus three is ten, numbers indicating completeness. (Ruth 4:15) Thus these were all God's blessings which was never disputed by God when Satan went before God.

Also Job's enormous wealth was in livestock not land. This indicates when he lived.

* "five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys" -Five plus Five equals ten which indicated completeness. Thus these were all God's blessings which was never disputed by God when Satan went before God.

* "servants" -They were not slaves as the Israelites had become in Egypt shortly after this.

* "He was the greatest man among all the people of the East" -Being that Job was this great it is no wonder that his life story was told all throughout the area (See note above "Whose name was Job").

Job 1:4-5 "His sons used to take turns holding feasts in their homes, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Job's regular custom."

* "His sons...their three sisters" -Job did not obviously attend these feasts.

* "take turns...in their homes" -It seems that these feasts were not wild parties. Rather they were probably social occasions or holidays of a close knit family, which was common in the time of the patriarchs.

This also indicates that all of his children were married and Job was thus a much older man.

Finally, this indicates that their father's believing lifestyle did not model for them a joyless lifestyle.

* "Job would send and have them purified" -Job served as the family priest, which was common in the times of the patriarchs. This means that Job made ceremonially clean in preparation for the sacrifices he offered for them (In Exodus 19:10, 14 the Hebrew for this verse is translated "consecrate"). Even though nothing disreputable happened, Job scrupulosity recognized that days of celebration could become almost unwittingly occasions for licence.

* "period of feasting" -On special occasions, feasts might last a week (Gen. 29:27; Judges 14:12).

* "Early in the morning" -It is a good practice to start out the day going to God and worshiping him.

* "sacrifice burnt offerings" -See note above "Job...purified".

* "cursed God" -The Hebrew word here means; "say goodbye to" or "renounce".

* "This was Job's regular custom" -Thus saying that Job was a man of God for a long long time. He was faithful in his worship of God and faith in God.

>2. What did the angles do one day? Why might God have this done? Who was also there? What does his name mean? Why might he be there? What did God ask him? (7) How did Satan reply? Why might he do that?

Job 1:6 "One day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them."

* "the angels" -Angels comes from two Hebrew words. The first is "ben." It means; "a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of lit. and fig. relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc.,"

The second is "elohiym." It is plural of the Hebrew word "elowahh" which comes from the Hebrew words "el", "ayil", and "uwl". "Elohiym" means; "gods in the ordinary sense; but spec. used (in the plur. thus, esp. with the art.) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: -angels"

* "to prevent themselves before" -Thus showing that they are subject to the LORD.

The angels came as members of the heavenly council who stand in the presence of God (1 Kings 22:19; Psalms 89:5-7; Jer. 23:18,22). These angels are specially created beings who are under the sovereign authority of God. They answer God's orders to present themselves and give an account for responsibilities delegated to them.

* "the LORD" -The Israelites covenant name for God. The NIV translation uses all capital letters "LORD" for this word.

* "And Satan" -"Satan" is a Hebrew word. It means; "an opponent; espec. (with the art. pref.) Satan, the arch-enemy of good:- adversary, Satan, withstand." In other words "Satan" means "accuser." In Job the Hebrew for this word is always preceded by the definite article. In the Hebrew of 1 Chr. 21:1 the article is not used, because by the "Satan" had become a proper name.

    Verses about the Satan are as follows:

    Genesis 3:1 "Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

    Genesis 3:14-15 "So the LORD God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this, 'Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.''"

    Zechariah 3:1-2 "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?"

    Mark 4:15 "Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them."

    Luke 13:16 "Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?"

    Luke 22:31 ""Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat."

    John 8:44 "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies."

    2 Corinthians 2:11 "in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes."

    2 Corinthians 11:14 "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light."

    Jude 1:6 "And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own home--these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day."

    2 Peter 2:4 "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;"

    Revelation 12:7-9 "And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down--that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."

    Rev. 20:2 "He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years."

    Rev. 20:7 "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison"

    Satan's purpose is to separate men and women from God and each other and so destroy their life and God's work. Satan is condemned already. Satan and his kind are spiritual with authority and they have a free will just as man did. They choose to rebel against God and all who rebel are his children.

* "also came with them" -Showing he did this on his own. He was not invited. This shows that he had a clear intent to come before the LORD to accuse Job. The LORD knew this.

The LORD is center stage when the accuser, Satan, comes in. The LORD and the accuser face each other. It is not a duel of equals. The Lord is in full and ultimate control. Standing before Him is one of his sons by creation -now the consummate rebel. He is evil. And yet the LORD does not strike him out of existence. We can only conclude that God has some purpose for this wicked wanderer to fulfill.

Job 1:7 "The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.""

* "The LORD said to Satan" -The Lord knew why Satan had come, but he opened the conversation first.

* "Where have you come from?" -Not that the LORD didn't know, but the angels who were present did not know.

* "From roaming through the earth..." -Jesus said that when demons leave a man they roam around. (Matt. 12:43-45)

>3. What did God say about Job? What does this tell us about God and his relationship to each man, woman, and child?

Job 1:8 "Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."

* Again, the LORD, not Satan, initiates the dialogue that leads to the testing of Job. He holds up Job as one against whom "the accuser" can lodge no accusations.

* "my servant" -A designation for one who stands in a special relationship with God and is loyal in service.

* "He is" -Here contains a list of what God looks for in a man in the time of Job, which was true during the time of Abraham. These are included in a man of today as well. Of course more is added now, most notably that we believe in the one and only son of God, Jesus.

    1) blameless
    2) upright
    3) a man who fears God
    4) a man who shuns evil

>4. What did Satan say? (9-11) What does this mean? Why might he say this? Think about this in regard to the meaning of his name.

Job 1:9-11 ""Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied. "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."

* "hedge" -symbolized protection.

* Satan was saying that the only reason that Job fears God is because it is profitable. Satan states that if God where to take away the benefits of fearing God, then Job would curse God. Satan is accusing God of bribing Job.

In Satan's thinking, every human act can be explained by a selfish motive. He is the cynic to inspire all cynics. He knows nothing of righteousness for the same of righteousness.

>5. What did God decide to do? What does this say about what God considers important? His confidence in Job? What does Satan's quick leaving say about him?

Job 1:12 "The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD."

* Satan, the accuser, is given power to afflict, but is kept on a leash. In all his evil among men or in nature, Satan is under God's power. The contest, however, is not a sham. Will Job curse God to his face? If Job does not, the accuser will be proven false and God's delight in Job vindicated.

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>6. What happened to Job's possessions? His children? When Job heard what happened, why did he tear his rob and shave his head? What does worship mean? What did Job say in his worship? What can we learn from Job's words? What does verse 20 mean? What can we learn from this?

Job 1:13-15 "One day when Job's sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, a messenger came to Job and said, "The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!""

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Job 1:16-17 "While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!" While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, "The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!""

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Job 1:18-19 "While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, "Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother's house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!"

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Job 1:20-22 "At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing."

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Job 2:1-2 "On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.""

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>7. What happened another day in heaven? What can we learn about God from his words concerning Job? (3) How did Satan reply to God? What does this say about him? How did God reply to Satan? What does this say about him?

Job 2:3 "Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason."

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Job 2:4-6 ""Skin for skin!" Satan replied. "A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face." The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.""

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>8. Who afflicted Job? What did Job's wife say? What does this say about her attitude? Considering all that happened, why might she say these things?

Job 2:7-8 "So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes."

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>9. What did Job say to his wife? How does his reply reflect his spiritual and emotional state? What role did his earlier life style play in his reaction to life's hardships now?

Job 2:9-10 "His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said."

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