Job’s Character and Wealth
1 [a]There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God [with reverence] and abstained from and turned away from evil [because he honored God]. 2 Seven sons and three daughters were born to him. 3 He also possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke (pairs) of oxen, 500 female donkeys, and a very great number of servants, so that this man was the greatest [and wealthiest and most respected] of all the men of the east (northern Arabia). 4 His sons used to go [in turn] and feast in the house of each one on his [b]day, and they would send word and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them.(A) 5 When the days of their feasting were over, Job would send [for them] and consecrate them, rising early in the morning and offering burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and [c]cursed God in their hearts.” Job did this at all [such] times.
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before the [d]Lord, and Satan (adversary, accuser) also came among them.(B) 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming around on the earth and from walking around on it.” 8 The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered and reflected on My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God [with reverence] and abstains from and turns away from evil [because he honors God].” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not put a hedge [of protection] around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands [and conferred prosperity and happiness upon him], and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But put forth Your hand now and touch (destroy) all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face.” 12 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that Job has is in your power, only do not put your hand on the man himself.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.
Satan Allowed to Test Job
13 Now there was a day when Job’s sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14 and a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were feeding beside them, 15 and the [e]Sabeans attacked and swooped down on them and took away the animals. They also killed the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16 While he was still speaking, another [messenger] also came and said, “The fire of God (lightning) has fallen from the heavens and has burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17 While he was still speaking, another [messenger] also came and said, “The [f]Chaldeans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and have taken them away and have killed the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18 While he was still speaking, another [messenger] also came and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19 and suddenly, a great wind came from across the desert, and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people and they died, and I alone have escaped to tell you.”
20 Then Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head [in mourning for the children], and he fell to the ground and worshiped [God]. 21 He said,
“Naked (without possessions) I came [into this world] from my mother’s womb,
And naked I will return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
22 Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God.
Job Loses His Health
2 Again there was a day when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (adversary, accuser) also came among them to present himself before the Lord. 2 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming around on the earth and from walking around on it.” 3 The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered and reflected on My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God [with reverence] and abstains from and turns away from evil [because he honors God]. And still he maintains and holds tightly to his integrity, although you incited Me against him to destroy him without cause.” 4 Satan answered the Lord, “[g]Skin for skin! Yes, a man will give all he has for his life. 5 But put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh [and severely afflict him]; and he will curse You to Your face.” 6 So the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, only spare his life.”
7 So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome boils and agonizingly painful sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 And Job took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself, and he sat [down] among the ashes (rubbish heaps).
9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still cling to your integrity [and your faith and trust in God, without blaming Him]? Curse God and die!” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the [spiritually] foolish women speaks [ignorant and oblivious to God’s will]. Shall we indeed accept [only] good from God and not [also] accept adversity and disaster?” In [spite of] all this Job did not sin with [words from] his lips.
11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite; for they had made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and to comfort him. 12 When they looked from a distance and did not recognize him [because of his disfigurement], they raised their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe [in grief] and they threw dust over their heads toward the sky [in sorrow]. 13 So they sat down on the ground with Job for seven days and seven nights and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.
3 After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. 2 [h]And Job said,
“Let the day on which I was born perish,
And the night which announced: ‘There is a man-child conceived.’
“May that day be darkness;
Let God above not care about it,
Nor light shine on it.
“Let darkness and gloom claim it for their own;
Let a cloud settle upon it;
Let all that blackens the day terrify it (the day that I was born).
“As for that night, let darkness seize it;
Let it not rejoice among the days of the year;
Let it not be counted in the number of the months.
“Behold, let that night be barren [and empty];
Let no joyful voice enter it.
“Let those curse it [i]who curse the day,
Who are skilled in rousing up Leviathan.
“Let the stars of its early dawn be dark;
Let the morning wait in vain for the light,
Let it not see the eyelids of morning (the day’s dawning),
Because it did not shut the doors of my mother’s womb,
Nor hide trouble from my eyes.
“Why did I not die at birth,
Come forth from the womb and expire?
“Why did the knees receive me?
And why the breasts, that I would nurse?
“For now I would have lain down and been quiet;
I would have slept then, I would have been at rest [in death],
With kings and counselors of the earth,
Who built up [now desolate] ruins for themselves;
Or with princes who had gold,
Who filled their houses with silver.
“Or like a miscarriage which is hidden and put away, I would not exist,
Like infants who never saw light.
“There [in death] the wicked cease from raging,
And there the weary are at rest.
“There the prisoners rest together;
They do not hear the taskmaster’s voice.
“The small and the great are there,
And the servant is free from his master.(C)
“Why is the light given to him who is in misery,
And life to the bitter in soul,
Who wait for death, but it does not come,
And dig (search) for death more [diligently] than for hidden treasures,
Who rejoice exceedingly,
And rejoice when they find the grave?
“Why is the light of day given to a man whose way is hidden,
And whom God has hedged in?
“For my groaning comes at the sight of my food,
And my cries [of despair] are poured out like water.
“For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me,
And that of which I am afraid has come upon me.
“I am not at ease, nor am I quiet,
And I am not at rest, and yet trouble still comes [upon me].”
- Job 1:1 The written structure of this book is unusual because it combines prose and poetry. No other book in the Bible uses this prose-poetry-prose pattern. Chapters 1 and 2 are prose, and introduce the poetic monologues and dialogues that comprise the essence of the story of Job. The opening verse of each of the intervening chapters is also prose as is the denouement in ch 42:7-17. A slightly longer introductory prose section is in ch 32:1-6a. Job is probably the most ancient book in the Bible and in addition to its biblical message it is highly regarded as a literary masterpiece.
- Job 1:4 Lit house of each man his day. It has been inferred by some that his refers to Job, and that his day was Job’s birthday or some other special occasion for him. But the Hebrew wording indicates instead that his refers to each of the brothers in turn, and since there were seven of them, it follows that they held a banquet every day of the week, rotating from house to house, as is also indicated in v 5. This is evidence both of the brothers’ prosperity and the close relationship they maintained with one another.
- Job 1:5 Lit blessed, a euphemism for “cursed.” The very idea of cursing God was so repugnant and sacrilegious to the godly that they would not use the word in speech or thought.
- Job 1:6 Heb YHWH (Yahweh), and so throughout chs 1, 2, 12, 38, 40, 42.
- Job 1:15 Terrorizing robbers from SW Arabia.
- Job 1:17 Marauding nomads from the Arabian desert. Much later the Chaldeans became the dominant people in the Babylonian Empire.
- Job 2:4 This probably refers to a trade of one animal skin for another, but even so its application here is unclear. One possibility is that according to Satan, Job would be willing to give up his wife (his remaining loved one) to save his own life, thus surrendering his integrity (v 3). Another is that Satan is hypothetically offering to give up his own life if Job is actually willing to die for his integrity. In any case, this is a bluff on Satan’s part, probably to make what he really wants (v 5) appear less drastic.
- Job 3:2 The prose introduction ends at v 1 and the poetic heart of the book begins with v 2. One of the features of Hebrew poetry is the prevalence of pairs of statements in which the second statement either is parallel in thought to the first or contrasts with it. There is no rhyming or metrical correspondence.
- Job 3:8 Some ancient sorcerers claimed the ability to curse a day by calling up a terrifying, legendary creature, such as Leviathan, to devour the sun.
1 Corinthians 14:1-17
Prophecy a Superior Gift
14 Pursue [this] love [with eagerness, make it your goal], yet earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual gifts [to be used by believers for the benefit of the church], but especially that you may [a]prophesy [to foretell the future, to speak a new message from God to the people]. 2 For one who speaks in an unknown tongue does not speak to people but to God; for no one understands him or catches his meaning, but by the Spirit he speaks mysteries [secret truths, hidden things]. 3 But [on the other hand] the one who prophesies speaks to people for edification [to promote their spiritual growth] and [speaks words of] encouragement [to uphold and advise them concerning the matters of God] and [speaks words of] consolation [to compassionately comfort them]. 4 One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church [promotes growth in spiritual wisdom, devotion, holiness, and joy]. 5 Now I wish that all of you spoke in unknown tongues, but even more [I wish] that you would prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater [and more useful] than the one who speaks in tongues, unless he translates or explains [what he says], so that the church may [b]be edified [instructed, improved, strengthened].
6 Now, believers, if I come to you speaking in unknown tongues, how will I benefit you unless I also speak to you [clearly] either by revelation [revealing God’s mystery], or by knowledge [teaching about God], or by prophecy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people], or by instruction [teaching precepts that develop spiritual maturity]? 7 Yet even lifeless things, whether flute or harp, when producing a sound, if they do not produce distinct [musical] tones, how will anyone [listening] know what is piped or played? 8 And if the [war] bugle produces an indistinct sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9 So it is with you, if you speak words [in an unknown tongue] that are not intelligible and clear, how will anyone understand what you are saying? You will be talking into the air [wasting your breath]! 10 There are, I suppose, a great many kinds of languages in the world [unknown to us], and none is lacking in meaning. 11 But if I do not know the meaning of the language, I will [appear to] be a [c]foreigner to the one who is speaking [since he knows exactly what he is saying], and the one who is speaking will [appear to] be a foreigner to me. 12 So it is with you, since you are so very eager to have spiritual gifts and manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in ways that will build up the church [spiritually].
13 Therefore let one who speaks in a tongue pray that he may [be gifted to] translate or explain [what he says]. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unproductive [because it does not understand what my spirit is praying]. 15 Then what am I to do? I will pray with the [d]spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me] and I will pray with the mind [using words I understand]; I will sing with the spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me] and I will sing with the mind [using words I understand]. 16 Otherwise if you bless [and give thanks to God] in the spirit only, how will any outsider or someone who is not gifted [in spiritual matters] say the “Amen” [of agreement] to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying?(A) 17 You are giving thanks well enough [in a way that God is glorified], but the other person [who does not understand you] is not edified [and spiritually strengthened since he cannot join in your thanksgiving].
- 1 Corinthians 14:1 In both the Old and the New Testaments, prophets are divinely inspired to foretell the future in the process of delivering God’s word to the people. Paul is saying to the Corinthians that all gifts are worthy and necessary (cf 12:11, 18, 29, 30), but that they should give the gift of prophecy the highest priority (cf Deut 18).
- 1 Corinthians 14:5 Lit receive edification.
- 1 Corinthians 14:11 Lit barbarian, i.e. one who did not speak Greek; especially a person from an uncivilized region whose speech could not be readily translated.
- 1 Corinthians 14:15 May refer to Paul’s spirit, the Holy Spirit, or the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The wicked plots against the righteous
And gnashes at him with his teeth.
The Lord laughs at him [the wicked one—the one who oppresses the righteous],
For He sees that his day [of defeat] is coming.
The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow
To cast down the afflicted and the needy,
To slaughter those who are upright in conduct [those with personal integrity and godly character].
The sword [of the ungodly] will enter their own heart,
And their bow will be broken.
Better is the little of the righteous [who seek the will of God]
Than the abundance (riches) of many wicked (godless).(A)
For the arms of the wicked will be broken,
But the Lord upholds and sustains the righteous [who seek Him].
The Lord knows the days of the blameless,
And their inheritance will continue forever.
They will not be [a]ashamed in the time of evil,
And in the days of famine they will have plenty and be satisfied.
But the wicked (ungodly) will perish,
And the enemies of the Lord will be like the [b]glory of the pastures and like the fat of lambs [that is consumed in smoke],
They vanish—like smoke they vanish away.
The wicked borrows and does not pay back,
But the righteous is gracious and kind and gives.
For those blessed by God will [at last] inherit the land,
But those cursed by Him will be cut off.(B)
The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way [and blesses his path].
When he falls, he will not be hurled down,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand and sustains him.
I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous (those in right standing with God) abandoned
Or his descendants pleading for bread.
All day long he is gracious and lends,
And his descendants are a blessing.
Depart from evil and do good;
And you will dwell [securely in the land] forever.
For the Lord delights in justice
And does not abandon His saints (faithful ones);
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will [in time] be cut off.
The righteous will inherit the land
And live in it forever.