1:1 There was a man in the land of a Uz, whose name [was] Job;
and that man was perfect and b upright, and c one that
feared God, and eschewed evil.
The Argument - In this history the example of patience is set
before our eyes. This holy man Job was not only extremely
afflicted in outward things and in his body, but also in his
mind and conscience, by the sharp temptation of his wife and
friends: who by their vehement words and subtle disputations
brought him almost to despair. They set forth God as a
sincere judge, and mortal enemy to him who had cast him off,
therefore in vain he should seek him for help. These friends
came to him under pretence of consolation, and yet they
tormented him more than all his afflictions did. Even so, he
constantly resisted them, and eventually succeeded. In this
story we must note that Job maintains a good cause, but
handles it badly. His adversaries have an evil matter, but
they defend it craftily. Job held that God did not always
punish men according to their sins, but that he had secret
judgments, of which man knew not the cause, and therefore
man could not reason against God in it, but he should be
convicted. Moreover, he was assured that God had not
rejected him, yet through his great torments and afflictions
he speaks many inconveniences and shows himself as a
desperate man in many things, and as one that would resist
God, and this is his good cause which he handles well. Again
the adversaries maintain with many good arguments that God
punishes continually according to the trespass, grounding on
God's providence, his justice and man's sins, yet their
intention is evil; for they labour to bring Job into
despair, and so they maintain an evil cause. Ezekiel commends
Job as a just man, (Eze 14:14) and James sets out his
patience for an example, (Jam 5:11).
(a) That is, of the country of Idumea, (La 4:21), or
bordering on it: for the land was called by the name of
Uz, the son of Dishan, the son of Seir (Ge 36:28).
(b) Since he was a Gentile and not a Jew and yet is
pronounced upright and without hypocrisy, it declares
that among the heathen God revealed himself.
(c) By this it is declared what is meant by an upright and
1:3 His d substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three
thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five
hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this
man was the greatest of all the men of e the east.
(d) His children and riches are declared, to commend his
virtue in his prosperity and his patience and constancy
when God took them from him.
(e) Meaning, the Arabians, Chaldeans, Idumeans etc.
1:5 And it was so, when the days of [their] feasting were gone
about, that Job sent and f sanctified them, and rose up
early in the morning, and g offered burnt offerings
[according] to the number of them all: for Job said, It may
be that my sons have sinned, and h cursed God in their
hearts. Thus did Job i continually.
(f) That is, commanded them to be sanctified: meaning, that
they should consider the faults that they had committed,
and reconcile themselves for the same.
(g) That is, he offered for each of his children an offering
of reconciliation, which declared his religion toward
God, and the care that he had for his children.
(h) In Hebrew it is, "blessed God", which is sometimes taken
for blaspheming and cursing, as it is here and in
(i) While the feast lasted.
1:6 Now there was a day when the k sons of God came to present
themselves l before the LORD, and Satan m came also
(k) Meaning the angels, who are called the sons of God
because they are willing to execute his will.
(l) Because our infirmity cannot comprehend God in his
majesty, he is set forth to us as a King, that our
capacity may be able to understand that which is spoken
(m) This declares that although Satan is an adversary to
God, yet he is compelled to obey him, and do him all
homage, without whose permission and appointment he can
1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence n comest thou? Then
Satan answered the LORD, and said, o From going to and fro
in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
(n) This question is asked for our infirmity: for God knew
where he had come from.
(o) In this is described the nature of Satan, which is
always seeking his prey, (1Pe 5:8).
1:9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God
for p nought?
(p) He fears you not for your own sake, but for the blessing
that he received from you.
1:10 Hast not thou made q an hedge about him, and about his
house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast
blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is
increased in the land.
(q) Meaning, the grace of God, which served Job as a
rampart against all temptations.
1:11 But put forth thine hand now, and r touch all that he
hath, and he will curse thee to s thy face.
(r) This signifies that Satan is not able to touch us, but
it is God that must do it.
(s) Satan notes the vice to which men are commonly
subjected, that is, to hide their rebellion and to be
content with God in the time of prosperity which view
is disclosed in the time of their adversity.
1:12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath [is]
in t thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine
hand. So Satan went forth from the u presence of the
(t) God does not give Satan power over man to gratify him,
but to declare that he has no power over man, but that
which God gives him.
(u) That is, went to execute that which God had permitted
him to do for else he can never go out of God's
1:15 And the x Sabeans fell [upon them], and took them away;
yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the
sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
(x) That is, the Arabians.
1:16 While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and
said, The y fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath
burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them;
and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
(y) Which was also done by the craft of Satan, to tempt Job
even more grievously, so he might see that not only men
were his enemies, but that God made war against him.
1:18 While he [was] yet speaking, there came also another, and
said, Thy z sons and thy daughters [were] eating and
drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
(z) This last plague declares that when one plague is past
which seems hard to bear, God can send us another far
more grievous, to try his and teach them obedience.
1:20 Then Job arose, and a rent his mantle, and shaved his
head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,
(a) Which came not from impatience, but declares that the
children of God are not insensible like blocks, but
that in their patience they feel affliction and grief
of mind: yet they do not rebel against God as the
1:21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked
shall I return b thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD
hath taken away; c blessed be the name of the LORD.
(b) That is, into the belly of the earth, which is the
mother of all.
(c) By this he confesses that God is just and good,
although his hand is sore on him.
1:22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God d foolishly.
(d) But declared that God did all things according to
justice and equity.