(v.1) And there was a day when the sons of God came to establish themselves together before the Lord. And Satan also came in the midst of them to establish himself together before the Lord:
(v.2) And the Lord said to Satan, whence do you come? And Satan answered the Lord and said, from going to and fro in the earth and from walking up and down in it:
(v.3) And the Lord said to Satan, have you considered in your heart my servant Job, that there is no one like him in the earth, a man who is perfect and upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. Still he holds fast to his integrity, though you have forced me against him to ruin him without a cause:
(v.4) And Satan answered the Lord and said, skin for skin, all that a man has he will give for his life.
(v.5) If now you put forth your hand and smite his bone and his flesh (see) if he will not depart.
(v.6) And the Lord said to Satan, (he is) in your hand, only preserve his life.
(v.1) AND THERE WAS A DAY WHEN THE SONS OF GOD CAME:
The first part of this verse is an exact repetition of Job 1:6. It does not mean it was the same occasion but was a second, similar one, some time later. Repetition indicates formality and that someone other than Job is the author, most likely Solomon.
TO ESTABLISH HIMSELF TOGETHER BEFORE THE LORD:
This is different. The first time Satan came to observe; this time he had a plan. He had to redeem himself. Job had proved Satan to be the liar that he is. This time he demanded that Job's health be touched. Satan never gives up and he will never learn truth.
(v.2) AND THE LORD SAID UNTO SATAN, WHENCE DO YOU COME? AND SATAN ANSWERED
THE LORD AND SAID, FROM GOING TO AND FRO IN THE EARTH AND FROM WALKING
UP AND DOWN IN IT:
This is a repetition of Job 1:7 except for "whence weey mitseh in place of mee'ayn. It has the same meaning, asking Satan from where he came and indicating, perhaps more strongly, that he was an intruder who pushed himself in. Evil must push itself in; it will not wait on the Lord's providence.
(v.3) AND THE LORD SAID TO SATAN, HAVE YOU CONSIDERED IN YOUR HEART
MY SERVANT JOB, THAT THERE IS NO ONE LIKE HIM IN THE EARTH, A MAN WHO IS
PERFECT AND UPRIGHT, FEARING GOD AND TURNING AWAY FROM EVIL. STILL HE HOLDS
FAST TO HIS INTEGRITY, THOUGH YOU HAVE FORCED ME AGAINST HIM, TO RUIN HIM
WITHOUT A CAUSE:
The first part of the verse is a repetition of Job 1:8 and the description of "perfect, upright, fearing God, and turning away from evil" is a repetition of 1:1. This repetition, true even under the four trials of Job (1:13-19) is remarkable.
STILL HE HOLDS FAST TO HIS INTEGRITY:
This actually means "to his perfection." We cannot overemphasize the Biblical doctrine of perfection. God demands moral perfection--or nothing--and Job had it in the Redeemer (19:25) and "Messenger in a Thousand" (33:23). In the Pulpit Commentary Rawlinson quotes Cook who says Job's holding fast to perfection in Christ is the keynote of the entire book. Job did not hold fast in the second temptation as he talked with his three friends. The answer is in 33:23 where the perfection of the Messenger in Thousand comes through to Job. He defends his perfection in 27:5 and 31 :6 where the similar tam, Hebrew word for perfection is used. Job defends his perfection in Christ. Later he accuses God of injustice, and for that he is censured. There he may be called a sanctified paranoid, but here even God justifies the stubborn way in which Job seizes on his perfection in Christ.
THOUGH YOU HAVE FORCED ME AGAINST HIM TO RUIN HIM WITHOUT A CAUSE:
The waw at the beginning of this phrase is not causal, but adversative. Though Satan forced God against him, Job did not lose his integrity or perfection in Christ. The verb has a background of "turned against Job," but also conveys the idea of forcing or seizing. We are reminded of II Sam. 24:1 where David improperly numbered Israel. Also Josh. 15:18 where Achsah, daughter of Caleb given to Othniel as wife, jumped off her donkey to plead with her father to give Othniel the springs as well as the south land. Thus, she "moved him" with tugging, as Satan did here. The same verb is used.
The same verb balah perhaps means to "swallow" and also to "ruin." It is used by Bildad (8:18) to show how God destroys plants quickly and produces new ones in their place. Job complains that God's hands made him and fashioned him round about, yet the Lord destroyed, or ruined, him (10:8). Finishing his speeches, Elihu says man cannot speak to the great God, particularly to accuse Him (as Job did) without being "swallowed up." God used strong language because the devil had more in mind for Job than loss of possessions and children. He was after Job's soul. God's method is love. Job did not deserve this. It came from Satan and was "without cause." But God permitted it as a test for Job.
(v.4) AND SATAN ANSWERED THE LORD AND SAID SKIN FOR SKIN, ALL THAT A
MAN HAS HE WILL GIVE FOR HIS LIFE:
This does not mean retaliation as in Ex.21 :23-25 where in the Levitical law life is taken in retaliation for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. This means skin over skin; one is more important than the other. In ls.32:14 we read that in destruction, forts will be used as caves, no longer being important as forts or towers in a city. This is the meaning of the Hebrew be'ad here. In a choice between Job's life and his possessions, or even the lives of his children, Job will choose his own life, then curse God and depart from Him to die. This did not happen and, again, Satan was a liar. But he keeps on trying to seduce. Satan imposed a curse that devoured strength of Job's skin (18:13). Bildad says it was the firstborn of death (18:13) and Job laments that worms were destroying his skin (19:26). Yet, he had the assurance that in his flesh he would see God. Commentator Delitzsch claims "skin" means one part for another but Zoeckler insists it refers to the entire life of a person.
(v.5) IF NOW YOU PUT FORTH YOUR HAND AND SMITE HIS BONE AND HIS FLESH:
This is nearly the same expression as in 1:1 except here we have "touch" used with 'al rather than be. This is more personal. It is not only about Job and his possessions but means to touch Job personally, his very life and existence.
SEE IF HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM YOUR FACE:
This is exact repetition and is meaningful. The devil never gives up.
(v.6) AND THE LORD SAID UNTO SATAN, BEHOLD (he is) IN YOUR HAND, ONLY
PRESERVE HIS LIFE:
The word for "life" is nephesh which means "souls" rather than chayah which is the word for physical life. What Satan wanted was to destroy Job forever in hell. Remember Luke 11:25 where seven devils entered a man who had been cleansed; his latter state was worse than his first.
The Lord preserved Job's life (42:17) and he lived another 140 years, dying at age 210. The apostle Paul brought back to life a young man who had fallen from a window (Acts 20: 10). Perhaps the whole teaching purpose of the book would have been lost if Job had died. The Lord has chastened me sore, but did not give me over into death (Ps. 118:18).
The supreme value of life is indicated here; the devil knows it though he abuses it. He stated correctly that life is more important than all possessions and one's own life is more important than the lives of others, even of dear ones. Today evolutionists claim that life sprang from nature and, therefore, nature becomes almost more important than life. Thus, abortion and euthanasia are justified. This suits the devil's purposes for he is not consistent. Nor is evolution theory consistent. It is falsely claimed that time, chance and environment are able to create, but they cannot. Consistency is possible only in moral perfection; this is described in 1:1.9 and 2:3. Three times Job is thus described. Satan is inconsistent—in evolution he says life is a bunch of chemicals accidentally falling together, yet in the book of Job he says nothing is as important as life.
Job's Sickness (Job 2:7-8)
(v. 7) And Satan went out from the face of the Lord and he smote Job with evil boils from the sole of his foot unto the crown:
(v.8) And he took a potsherd to scrape himself with it. And he sat down in the midst of ashes.
(v.7) AND SATAN WENT OUT FROM THE FACE OF THE LORD:
This repeats 1:2. The devil wasted no time.
AND HE SMOTE JOB WITH EVIL BOILS:
This might be the disease of Elephantiasis. Dr. Ho, a Chinese medical doctor in Seattle, Washington, believes it is an Oriental disease called yaws. He thinks the disease is not fatal because God told Satan to spare Job's life. Or, it may have been terminal but God prevented it from being fatal in Job's case. It may have been a painful type of cancerous leprosy for shichiyn with ra designating it as such. You might say Job was afflicted with boils having a malignant inflamation. The skin becomes like that of an elephant, with burning and ulcerous swelling. The skin looks like knotty, cancerous bark. The whole frame is in a state of progressive degeneration, generally leading to death. It is regarded as non-contagious, but Job sat on a dungheap outside the village, as lepers did.
In 7:4.5 the disease is described as flesh clothed with worms and clods of dust. The skin was broken and loathsome. Tossing to and fro all night, Job had no sleep. His breath was corrupt (17:14). Humanly speaking, the disease is terminal though people have suffered from it for 20 years. Job's breath was so foul his wife would have nothing to do with him though he entreated her for the sake of their children, now deceased. Young children with whom 70 year-old-Job would like to have played, despised him. All his friends abhorred him. His bones were close to his skin and he escaped only by the skin of his teeth, so delicate was the balance between life and death. His bones were pierced in the night; his sinews, ,or muscles, had no rest. Emissions from the boils dripped onto his garments, stiffening them as though he were cast into the mire and had become as dust and ashes. He was so frightened by dreams and visions his soul chose strangling and death rather than life.
Commentator Zoeckler writes of a man named Beckmore who had visited a village in northern Sumatra where some people had this disease. It is hard to imagine the terrible form which the flesh had assumed, yet the person remained alive.
FROM THE SOLE OF HIS FOOT TO THE CROWN:
Generally, Elephantiasis attacks only certain parts of the body. In its worst form it covers the whole body.
(v.8) AND HE TOOK A POTSHERD TO SCRAPE HIMSELF WITH IT:
In the Dictionary of Medicine (p.432) Dr. Quain states the surface of integuments is often inflamed and there is a discharge of an acrid and offensive fluid from the lymphatics. Job would have used a potsherd to scrape the sore.
AND HE SAT DOWN IN THE MIDST OF ASHES:
This was a sign of mourning and, also, was expected of a leper who remained outside the village, often living in an environment reminding one of an ash heap. There was no curative value in the ashes.
Isaiah referred to mourning in sackcloth and ashes (Is.58:5) but real mourning goes deeper. Isaiah writes that Babylon's nakedness will be known (47:3) and Jeremiah exhorts Judah to mourn in sackcloth and ashes because the firstborn will be wrested from them and destroyed by the sword (Jer.6:26). Ezekiel (27:30) prophesies the destruction of Tyre, saying the people will cast dust on their heads and wallow in ashes. The king of Nineveh repented in sackcloth and ashes at the preaching of Jonah, and an eclipse of the sun (Jonah 3:6). According to Lev. 13:46, lepers were to remain outside society. Leprous Job sat in ashes outside the camp although he lived prior to the time of the Levitical regulations. Ps.113:7 indicates that God raises the poor from the dust and the needy out of the dunghill.
Dr. George Howe, a biologist, once characterized Job's disease as cancerous boils. It seemed to be that and more. Today cancer is a dreaded disease. Job's disease seems to be the worst of cancer and of leprosy, though Dr. William Ho of Seattle discounts that idea. The hard skin, burning excretion, tossing all night, whole body covered with boils, and realization that the disease was terminal conspired to make it one of the worst diseases of any era. The victim appeared so horrible that wife, small children, and outcasts of society all turned away from him.
The disease deformed the body. It is permitted because of Satan and
Christians need testing.
Job's Greater Patience (2:9.10)
(v.9) And his wife said to him, do you still hold fast to your perfection, depart from God and die:
(v.10) But he said unto her, you speak as one of the foolish women speaketh. Also shall we receive good from God, and not receive the evil? In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
(v.9) AND HIS WIFE SAID TO HIM: Job's wife became the devil's advocate, asking him to do what the devil said would happen (1:11, 2:5). It did not happen, but Job's wife gave in as Satan hoped Job would. This added to Job's trials. She had remained silent during the preceding calamities; now she could no longer keep quiet. Her mind was weak and ill-regulated. By becoming Satan's ally she increased Job's difficulties.
DO YOU STILL HOLD FAST TO YOUR PERFECTION?
He did because of his assurance of perfection through the Redeemer (19:25). His wife did not have this faith. The Hebrew word odeka introduces a question; still there is no interrogative particle.
DEPART FROM GOD AND DIE:
As in 1:11 and 2:5 the word bareek means "bless" rather than "curse." It is used in parting, blessing the person and God. Here it is used for departing from God. Zoeckler quotes Hahn who translates this as "Bless God and you will see what the reward is, namely death." If this translation were valid, Job would not have rebuked his wife (2:10). Her idea was that he should depart from serving God with all his heart, soul and mind. Departing from God is committing idolatry and Satan is satisfied with only a partial departure from God. Job was "perfect" tam because he was totally committed to God. After each birthday feast, Job sacrificed for his sons (1:5). The word barak is used there also. His wife thought the disease was terminal, why not depart from God and die?
(v.10) BUT HE SAID UNTO HER, YOU SPEAK AS ONE OF THE FOOLISH WOMEN SPEAKETH:
ALSO, SHALL WE RECEIVE GOOD FROM GOD AND NOT RECEIVE EVIL?
Job recognizes his blessings but, here, he does not yet admit that afflictions are blessings. The gam belongs to the second statement that we ought to expect evil.
"One" 'achat grades this into a milder statement. But anyone who departs from God is foolish. The word for "folly" is nabeel and in Proverbs it means mostly one who has a moral problem. True wisdom begins with the fear of God (Job 28:28, Ps.14:1) and only a fool says there is no God. Tamar said Ammon was a fool in trying to force her, his sister (II Sam. 13:13).
IN ALL THIS JOB DID NOT SIN WITH HIS LIPS: Perhaps in his heart Job had sinned and later he accused God of injustice (19:6). In chapters 34-37 this is the sin of which Elihu accuses Job.
In the Wisdom Literature folly is mainly departure from God: this leads to problems of immorality. Job stayed close to God but the science world has not. The very definition of science, used by most scientists today, rates out a Creator God.
Three Friends Visit Job (Job 2:11-13)
(V. 11) Now when three friends of Job heard all this evil which had come upon him, they came each one from his place: Eliphaz the Temanite; and Bildad the Shuite; and Zophar the Naamathite:
(v. 12) Now when they made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him, and when they lifted up their eyes from afar, and knew him not, then they lifted up their voices and wept, and they rent each one his mantle, and they sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
(v. 13) And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word with him because they saw his grief was very great.
(v.11) NOW WHEN THREE FRIENDS OF JOB HEARD ALL THIS EVIL WHICH HAD COME
The word haba'ah is a perfect with the article and does not have a relative pronoun as in Gen.18:19 and 46:27. These are not all of his friends. Elihu, the Buzzite, was a younger friend (32:2-6). These were older friends who had perhaps been his counselors (32:6). All seem to have lived some distance away. Communication with one another had led to their coming together to visit Job. In 7:3 it is indicated that the visit took place some months (perhaps two) after the calamities had struck. Job's leprosy had disfigured him (7:4ff, 19:15-17, 30:17-19).
AND THEY CAME, EACH ONE FROM HIS PLACE:
Emphasis seems to be that they lived at some distance.
ELIPHAZ, THE TEMANITE:
In Gen.36:4 and I Chron. 1:35.36 we read of Eliphaz, son of Esau by his wife Adah, hardly the person mentioned here. The name Teman did not become geographical until the descendants of this Eliphaz's son had multiplied into a tribe. Then they gave a name to a portion of Arabia which they inhabited. It seems to be a part of Edom or its immediate vicinity (Gen.36:42.43, Jer.49:7.8.20) where Edom and Teman are identified together. Teman was regarded as a place where wise people lived. In Ez.25:13 Teman, Edom and Dedan are associated. Also in Ob.8.9 Teman and Edom are together and wise men are mentioned. The word "Eliphaz" means "friend of God."
BILDAD, THE SHUITE:
Neither name is found elsewhere in Scripture. Rawlinson refers to Tsakhi or Subke who were known to the Assyrians and who lived at the middle Euphrates, from Anah to Hit. Zoeckler places Shuah in north Arabia and east, saying the people are descendants of Keturah (Gen. 25:2). There Shua is the last of six sons of Abraham and Keturah. "Bildad" means "son of contention."
ZOPHAR, THE NAAMATHITE:
We might also mention Tsophar (Josh.15:41). Naamah is mentioned as one of the cities given to the tribe of Judah. The LXX suggests Maon, east of Petra. The word "Zophar" means "yellow." It might also mean "one who pipes."
(v.12) NOW WHEN THEY MADE AN APPOINTMENT TOGETHER TO COME TO MOURN WITH
HIM AND TO COMFORT HIM:
Perhaps this appointment had been made by messenger or by letter. They had good intentions--to mourn with and to comfort, for, according to Rom.12:15, we are to "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep." They failed because they were weak in doctrine and judgment and love (16:2, 21:34).
AND WHEN THEY LIFTED UP THEIR EYES FROM AFAR AND KNEW HIM NOT:
Job sat in an ash heap outside his dwelling (2:8). He was so disfigured by the disease that his friends did not recognize him. Job may have avoided society because of his leprosy (Lev. 13:46).
THEN THEY LIFTED UP THEIR VOICES AND WEPT:
This is the clamorous manner of Orientals.
AND THEY RENT EACH ONE HIS MANTLE AND THEY SPRINKLED DUST UPON THEIR
HEADS TOWARD HEAVEN:
When the men of Ai smote some Israelites (because of Achan), Joshua and the elders fell on their faces before the Ark of the Lord and put dust on their heads (Josh.7:6 ). When the Philistines slaughtered the Israelites, killing 30,000 and taking the Ark, one man having torn clothing and dust on his head, ran to tell Eli (I Sam.4:12). Also, the young man, with torn clothing and earth upon his head, ran from battle to tell David that Saul and Jonathan had been killed (II Sam.1:2). After being raped by Ammon, Tamar put ashes on her head and tore her clothing of divers colors (II Sam.13:19). Learning from reading of the Law that they were to observe the Feast of Tabernacles, Israelites fasted while wearing sackcloth and having dust on their heads (Neh.9:1). In wailing for Jerusalem, people cast dust on their heads and wallowed in ashes (Ez.27:30). In sorrow Israel's elders cast dust on their heads and girded themselves with sackcloth (Lam.2:10). These gestures symbolized that the calamity was sent by God.
(v.13) AND THEY SAT WITH HIM SEVEN DAYS AND SEVEN NIGHTS BECAUSE THEY
SAW HIS GRIEF WAS VERY GREAT. NONE SPOKE A WORD WITH HIM:
They may have spoken to servants, but clearly, they ate no food. Upon the death of Saul there was a seven-day clamor (I Sam.31:13) and there was a seven-day gathering in sorrow by the captives at Chebar (Ez.3:15). David lay on the ground all night, awaiting word whether Bathsheba's child would live or die (II Sam.12:16). Jeremiah instructs people to lie down in shame (Jer.3:25).
Commentator Zoeckler has a long section on Satan as the adversary. Before addressing the matter of Satan as a real person, let us describe the position we take regarding Satan. We read in Col.1:16 that Christ created mights, powers, dominions, angel stages. Thus, angels are created beings and, according to Ex.20:11, all created beings were made within the six-day creation week. This rules out all concepts of angels (and devils) existing in a pre-world. In Ps. 104:4 there is a hint that angels as ministers and spirits of fire were created on the second day. The first two chapters of Genesis present a picture of total perfection. Thus, it appears that Satan, a fallen angel according to Jude 6 and Rev.12:7-9, fell from his holy state sometime during the period between chapters 2 and 3 of Genesis. Immediately he tempted Adam and Eve, crown of God's creation. The word "Satan" means adversary. He is also the diabolus, or devil, or the Job 2:13 accuser, and the father of lies, as we learn from John 8:44. In Job 16:9 and 30:21 Job describes God as his adversary, but perhaps he also has Satan in mind.
In contrast to Satan, the good angels are described as "sons of God" in Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7. The Messenger in a Thousand (33:23) is Christ who redeems us from the pit and restores our flesh. The 'atza'tseel or scapegoat (Lev.16:8) is similar to the devil. The word "Satan" as a human adversary is used also in I Sam.29:4, 11 Sam.19:22, I Kings 5:4, 11:14-25. In Num.22:22.32 the good angel becomes an adversary for Balaam. Zoeckler emphasizes that the concept of Satan did not derive from the Persians or Egyptians, nor is a dualism involved as claimed by higher critics.
Satan initiates wars (Rev.9:18) and works through Gog and Magog (Rev.20:7.8).
All contamination in nature is from Satan.