(v. 1) Then Job answered the Lord and said:
(v. 2) I know that you can do everything, And that no thought is withholden from you.
(v.3) Who is this that conceals counsel without knowledge?
Therefore I declared and not did I understand Wonders (there are) beyond me and I did not know.
(v.4) Hear now and I will speak, I will ask you and you will instruct me.
(v. 5) I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees you.
(v. 6) Therefore I melt and repent In dust and ashes.
(v. 1) THEN JOB ANSWERED THE LORD AND SAID:
Job repeats much as God has spoken. The expression "then answered the Lord and said" is similar to 38:1 except there we read "the Lord answered out of the whirlwind and said." And it is similar to 40:1 where we read "then answered the Lord and said." Throughout the Prologue and Epilogue, as here, "Lord," "Jehovah" is used, whereas it is rarely used in the dialogue or by Elihu. Later, in 40:3, Job asks "who is this who conceals counsel without knowledge (data)," a near quotation of God. In 40:7b we read "I will ask you and you will make known," an exact quotation in Hebrew from 38:3b. As Job answers, we note direct quotations from God's whirlwind talk, similar to Elihu's quoting Job and friends to make his point. This indicates a high art of discourse. In those times writing was not common; much was gleaned from memory. Job had wished to answer God as an equal (23:4), but he was a sinful creature. Job acknowledged his error in demanding a confrontation with God and he repented in dust and ashes.
To this point we believe that Elihu is author of the section Job 32-41. Because of this exact quotation, we are so reminded of Elihu's style that we believe Elihu is author to 42:6. Poetry is used to that point. Use of the word Yehvah here is a reminder Solomon's use of this word in Job 1 and 2. Elihu used this word also in 28:1 and 40:1. In his attempt to soothe Job, Elihu would aim for the climax in his talk and close with Job's repentance in 42:6. That would serve as a dramatic climax to his classic manner of writing. Because Job 42:7-17 is prose, we believe that Solomon added this section, as we believe he added chapters 1 and 2 and, possibly, 32:1-5-the prose section preceding the Elihu section.
(v.2) I KNOW THAT YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING:
Transliterated this reads "I know that all you are able." The word for "I know" yada'ti actually does not have the "y" in verb form. This is how the Chethib has it. The Keri, the alternate Massoretic reading, has the "y" in yeda'tiy. Delitzsch explains this as derived from the Syriac form of yed'et which has the pronominal suffix removed. Delitzsch refers to Gesenius' Grammar, paragraph 44. Job recognized himself in the picture of wild animals, but he found total admission of sin difficult, though he did repent. He speaks of the power noted in the 39 questions on inorganic matter and in the 11 wild animals, including the behemoth and leviathan, rather than admitting his likeness to these animals. Yet, God gave these questions and descriptions so that Job (and we) might recognize His power. Only a miracle could effect a change in Job and this he was still hesitant to express though he did "melt and repent in dust and ashes" (42:6).
This statement of God's power is a theme running through the book of Job, and Job himself mentions it in 9:10 where he acknowledges that God does wonders without number. In 26:14 we read the marvellous objects in space are merely the whisper of God's power--what, then, must be the power of His thunder? Elihu acknowledges that God is mighty in strength and wisdom (36:5) and in 36:26 he describes God's eternity. God is far beyond us in power, judgment and justice (37:23).
Science and God's Power
Many scientists today, though beholding God's power in nature, strive to eliminate Him and through the theory of evolution, have created a religion. They do what Aristotle did -- ascribe creative powers to nature. Yet, a primary purpose of science ought to be (as the whirlwind talks demonstrate) that nothing in nature can be either created or preserved without God's direct operation. This is one lesson we can learn from Elihu and the two whirlwind talks.
AND THAT NO THOUGHT IS WITHHOLDEN FROM YOU:
Transliterated we read "and not is separated from you, counsel." The word for "counsel" metsima may be used for "science," the best counsel, the best science. Thus, attempts to declare nature as neutral are opposed to this statement. There is no wisdom apart from God. How can this be more emphatically stated? This rules out neutral wisdom in any field. Unless it is connected with God, it is deception. Job knew this when he sacrificed for his sons (1:5) but he had more to learn.
The word for "counsel" metsima is derived from 'eetsah and means "counsel." It has to do with purpose and thought. To have clear thoughts, one must intimately include God. When Job attempted to lead his friends to the Gospel (28:28), he stated there is no real "wisdom" chokmah without a "fear of the Lord" and this is possible only through the Gospel.
Rawlinson reminds us of Ps.44:21 where we read that God searches everything for He knows the secrets of the heart. He also directs us to Ps. 139:2 where we read that God knows all our thoughts--when we sit or when we stand. He also directs us to Heb.4:13 where we read that no creature is hidden from God; everything is naked before Him. All this contrasts, as Zoeckler notes, with 17:11 where Job claims that all his purposes and thoughts are broken. The same Hebrew word, tsimotay, is used there.
Indirect References to Shem's Tablet (Gen.11:6)
In Gen. 11:6 (pertaining to the people's intent to build the tower of Babel) God said unless He intervened, they would do all they purposed to do. There the word for "withhold" batzar is used as here, as is also the word for "counsel" tsamah. This appears to be another indirect reference that Job was acquainted with a written Word.
(v.3) WHO IS THIS THAT CONCEALS COUNSEL WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE?
This is similar to God's statement in 38:2. Here the word for "conceal" is ma'eliym while there we have the word for "darken" macheshiyk. In 38:3b for "with words without knowledge" we find the same word for "knowledge" da'at used as here. The concept seems to be that Job has counsel but lacks data for proof. In the 39 questions with reference to inorganic matters and in description of the 11 wild animals, God has provided data. Job is realizing that wild animals cannot change their intrinsic character, nor can he effect a change in himself without a miracle supplied by the Angel above a thousand (33:23). Here we note that counsel and data are joined. But today many scientists almost deify data, separating data from counsel. All data are cursed because of human sin and no item or datum is perfect.
Although Job had lost all earthly possessions and had been thoroughly humbled by God, he is once again acting almost as though he were God. He used the same expressions as God had used. Perhaps this was Job's natural behavior, for it appears he had genuinely repented. But he is still behaving proudly and kingly.
THEREFORE, I DECLARED AND I DID NOT UNDERSTAND:
Job had declared much in his dialogue and in his admonition to his friends (ch. 27.28) and in his description of himself (29-31). Now he admits it was without understanding or perception.
Today scientists do much declaring--in writing, speaking and research. However, lacking true perception, they are deceived. They need the same change which Job needed. It was difficult for Job to admit this. He who had acknowledged that the Gospel fear of God is the beginning of knowledge (28:28) in attempts to lead his friends to the Gospel, finally admitted that he had left God.
WONDERS (THERE ARE) BEYOND ME, AND NOT DID I KNOW:
This phrase is dependent for its verb on the previous one. There are three lines in this poetic verse, this being the third line. The two clauses, dependent on "and not" welo', are circumstantial: "not did I perceive" and "wonders beyond me." Job had stated he had declared and did not perceive. Now he states there are wonders beyond him of which he did not know. This is the impression he had received from Elihu's speech (particularly the fourth) and from the two whirlwind talks of God.
Stimulus for Scientific Research
Scientists who are creationists have been deprived of funds for research because, it is claimed, they hold to absolutes. These absolutes are few in number, but they are directive. However, knowing that God is infinite in wisdom is a powerful stimulant for doing research. And, it is humbling, which is important in research. There are wonders still to be explored far beyond what we can imagine. Rather than working from one mistake to the next, creationists are stimulated to uncover wonder after wonder. The same word used here for "wonders" niphela'ot is used also in 9:10 where Job says God does wonders without number.
One such example is in the area of genetics. It was hailed a breakthrough when scientists discovered DNA, coding in the nucleus of the life cell. Now it is known there is coding in all parts of the cell, which may be significant. There is no way man can out-search an infinite God who does wonders without number. In Ps. 147:5 (KJV) we read that God's understanding is "infinite," which in Hebrew reads "His perception is without number."
(v.4) HEAR NOW AND I WILL SPEAK:
"Hear now" is how Elihu had exhorted Job, using the same word for "hear" shema'. This may be another reason for suggesting that Elihu's writing continues to the end of Job 42:6. The phrase is used also in 33:1 and 34:2.10. Job is exhorting God to listen, but this time, to repentance. He may be slightly arguing with God, but this in itself is not wrong, for it indicates faith and a knowledge that we are God's special children: first by creation, then by the image of God, but mostly because of the Redeemer (19:25).
I WILL ASK AND YOU WILL INSTRUCT ME:
Here Job no longer demands a legal confrontation; he asks God for instruction. This is what Elihu emphasized in 36:22.23 and 37:19.
The Hebrew words for "I will ask you and you will instruct me" 'eshe'aleka wehodiy'eeniy are used also in 38:3b. In demanding a legal confrontation Job had the attitude that he could instruct God. In 40:7 God repeats the words. Now Job uses the same Hebrew words which God had used in "I will ask you and you will instruct me." Rather than trying to teach God, we ought to learn from Him in humility.
(v.5) I HAVE HEARD OF YOU BY THE HEARING OF THE EAR:
This "hearing," poetically repeated twice, leshema' shema' etiyka is hearing with an "ear" 'otsen. According to Beck, the first reaction to this with use of le -- hearing with the ear -- is what kind of hearing and what kind of "hearsay" are meant. If it is through tablets, as mentioned before, it would be by hearing, for what is written is also heard. It seems that Job refers to oral reports received through tradition from the ancients (8:8, 12:12.13). In 15:18 we read of wise men who learned from their fathers and in 21:29 of bards teaching as they traveled.
Job acknowledges that he has learned by hearing. This might include material written on tablets. Nothing in theology is missing in Job, and here we read that Job learned by hearing, or from a written word. We do not see a direct reference to tablets but, apparently, a reference to the ancients, or bards. Though we have the written Word, we learn also from hearing.
Writing in Rom. 1:19, Paul says that which is known of God, or may be
known of God, is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. In one
way or another, God makes His truth known. According to Ps.50:6 and 97:6
He may have used the stars. He may have used bards or tablets. Whatever
the means, His Word was known and people are without excuse. God does not
leave His own without witnesses. We believe the written Word is the best
witness and we further believe that Job had access to this written Word.
NOW MY EYE SEES YOU:
In II Peter 1:17.18 we read of the Transfiguration and in II Peter 1:19 Peter says we have "a more sure word of prophecy." In other words, Peter regards the Bible as more valuable than witnessing Christ's transfiguration. Here Job seems to indicate that seeing is more valuable than hearing. He implies that seeing God led him to repentance. However, we know that seeing and hearing, while blessed experiences, are not as valuable as the written Word. Elihu and Job repeat exact quotations. Though this indicates that Elihu is author of the section to the end of 42:6, it may also indicate that exactness was possible because of written tablets.
What did Job actually see? In Ex.33:20 we read that no man can see God's face and live, perhaps because God's light and glory are so bright. But, as indicated in John 14:23, God may dwell within us. It was exalting for Job to see God and, from his expression, it seems he had not previously seen God as clearly and directly. Where did Job learn all this theology?
It is implied this is what finally led Job to repentance. It was a long time in coming, since the beginning of Elihu's talk. This is a picture of heaven. As stated in II Cor.5:7, in heaven we shall see God face to face. In this life, however, we walk by faith and not by sight.
(v.6) THEREFORE, I MELT AND REPENT:
The word translated as "melt," 'eme'as, is used in 7:16 to describe the loathsome disease of Job. Here it may indicate that Job is now loathing himself, but it seems to carry the idea of "melting," "rejecting," "refusing." Delitzsch translates it as "I am sorry" while Beck has "melt away." Luther, Septuagint and Vulgate regard it as a niphal and reflexive though it is Kal, and translate it "I despise myself." The Massorete text does not have the Niphal. The meaning is about the same; Job despises himself, is crushed, and no longer proud and contentious. He no longer demands a confrontation with God.
The word for "repent" wenichametiy is the common word and is equivalent of "metanoio," Greek word for "repent." It describes a complete change in Job as there must be in all Christians. The word for "repent" is in the Niphal and is why some regard the word for "melt" Niphal also, though that is not so in the Massoretic text.
IN DUST AND ASHES:
The Hebrew words are translated exactly. The first word means "dust" as in earth. Job was already in dust and ashes, as we learn from 7:5.6. He was still on the dung hill when he spoke these words. But it was the Gospel, as presented by Elihu and the Gospel as presented through wild animals in the whirlwind talk which humbled proud Job.
The second word "ashes" is an exact translation of wa'eepher. In Hebrew the words 'aphar for "dust" and 'eepher for ashes sound alike. Again, this is a poetic play on words. Dust and ashes are an outward sign of mourning and repentance. Job was in dust and ashes, not because of his calamities, but because he had genuinely repented. Again we note a connection between spiritual and material. All material things have been cursed because of human sin; dust and ashes represent that which is cursed. This is also used as a symbol of genuine repentance. Though Job had been a proud ruler, at this time he regards himself as no more than dust and ashes.
(v.7) And it came to pass after the Lord had spoken these words to Job, that the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My anger is kindled against you and against your two friends because you did not tell that which was right concerning me as my servant Job (did).
(v.8) Now take for yourselves seven bullocks and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up burnt offerings for yourselves and my servant Job will pray for you. Only his person will I accept that I recompense not unto you your folly: for not have you spoken with reference to me that which is right as my servant Job.
(v.9) And Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, Zophar the Naamathite, went and did as God said and the Lord accepted the person of Job.
(v.10) And the Lord returned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends: and the Lord increased everything that Job possessed to the double.
(v.11) Then there came to him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all his former acquaintances, and they ate bread with him in his house, and sympathized with him, and comforted him concerning all the evil which the Lord had brought upon him: and each one gave him one Kesita and each one golden ring.
(v.12) And the Lord blessed Job's end more than his beginning: and he had fourteen thousand sheep and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand she asses.
(v.13) And he had seven sons and three daughters.
(v.14) And the name of the one was called Jemima, and the second
Kezita, and the third Kerenhapuch.
(v.15) And in all the land there were not found women so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brothers.
(v.16) And Job lived after this a hundred and forty years, and saw his children and his children's children to four generations.
(v.17) And Job died, old and full of days.
(v.7) AND IT CAME TO PASS AFTER THE LORD HAD SPOKEN THESE WORDS TO JOB: Now comes the climax. Job had been led to full repentance. Here, again, is an historical and prose section, as in the first two chapters and in the first six verses of chapter 31.
The expression "and it came to pass after" should be 'eechar asher rather than merely 'achar. It is conjunctional and a poetic abbreviation. The whirlwind talk was finished and God was now ready to deal with Job's three friends.
This historical prose section is a sort of post-climax, indicating that after the chastisement, God blesses. We read "after God had spoken these words." God's words were a climax to Elihu's words though he was prophetically inspired and it was he who led Job more deeply into the Gospel. The real climax was a description of the leviathan to indicate to Job how stubbornly wicked he was.
As in the first six verses of this chapter, we find the word Yehvah which is used eight times in this chapter. We believe it indicates Solomon's hand in this section as also in the first two chapters. God had listened in silence to Job's confession and now He speaks to Job's friends.
THAT THE LORD SAID TO ELIPHAZ AND HIS TWO FRIENDS:
Job's three friends needed help in accepting the Gospel. Eliphaz was the leader and here is so regarded by God. Eliphaz was also the leader in the dialogue, always speaking first (ch.4.15.22). Because Job knew the Gospel, God had him do the interceding.
MY ANGER IS KINDLED AGAINST YOU AND AGAINST YOUR TWO FRIENDS BECAUSE
YOU DID NOT TELL THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT AS MY SERVANT JOB (DID):
The word for "anger kindled" charah when used with a be as here "with you" and "with your two friends" means anger is kindled against someone as Elihu's anger had been kindled against Job and his three friends (32:2.3).
The word for "right" nekonah which is used also in 42:8 is derived from kun and means "to be established." Here in the Niphal it means "to have been established," "to be right." Zoeckler is perhaps right when he rejects making this a subjective right as do Ewald, Hirzel and Schlottmann. He agrees it should be objective right. Though Job had sinned, by accepting the Gospel, his sins were forgiven, leading to a strong, personal faith in God. This is what God is here saying and it is what often presents difficulties for people to judge Job. Though Job did wrong, God could say in 1:8 and 2:3 that he was "perfect" tam. Here he could say Job was "right" nekonah whereas the friends who appeared equally good were not "right." It is forgiveness which makes us right with God and this is an objective righteousness.
Objective Truth in Science
Here is presented the correct way to arrive at objective truth. In 15:10 Eliphaz states that the aged men spent as much time with the friends as with Job. The difference is the Gospel of forgiveness. Throughout the book, both the friends and Elihu mention experiences from nature, and in the whirlwind talk God uses them almost exclusively. The difference between Job and his friends was the matter of accepting the Gospel. Thus, truly objective truth cannot be obtained from data alone. To be "established, truthful" we need forgiveness.
(v.8) NOW TAKE FOR YOURSELVES SEVEN BULLOCKS AND SEVEN RAMS AND GO TO
MY SERVANT JOB AND OFFER UP BURNT OFFERINGS FOR YOURSELVES:
God not only vindicates Job but names him intercessor and mediator. In legal form God passes judgment and vindicates Job. This is also the role of Christians. When the miracle of faith is worked in them, they have a duty to perform. They are to witness and to mediate.
The word for "burnt offering," in both verb and noun, is the same, i.e. 'olah. It refers to going up the stairs to offer a sacrifice. This was wholly burned, for it was a sin offering. The word "holocaust" is derived from it. Some sacrifices were partially burned and the meat used for food, but this sacrifice was wholly burned. Jews cannot forget the holocaust in Europe. The same expression, with the same Hebrew words, is used in Job 1 :5. This is where Job offered a bullock for his sons and daughters following their birthday feasts.
The number "seven," in offering seven bullocks, is used also in Lev.23:36, Num.23:1.14.29, Num.28: 11.19, Num.29:2.8.36, 1 Chron. 15:26, Ez.45:23. This is the account of Balaam needing seven oxen and seven rams for sacrifice at instigation of the Moabite king, Balak.
Seven is a holy number. Such sacrificing was a recognized custom in Job's time and was a symbol of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. This type of offering is found already in Gen. 8:20 when Noah offered sacrifices upon leaving the Ark. It preceded regulations given to Moses (Ex.29:18).
Job is called "my servant" 'abediy by God, meaning that Job was dear to God. The friends were not in the same category but neither are they called "evil" men rasha'.
AND MY SERVANT JOB WILL PRAY FOR YOU, ONLY HIS PERSON WILL I ACCEPT:
Here Job becomes the intercessor and also the mediator. For Job's sake God will accept the friends, a picture of God accepting us all for the sake of Christ. This was God's method of leading the friends to the Gospel. Compare this with Job's attempt to lead his friends to the Gospel. Remember that in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, one city was saved for the sake of Lot (Gen. 19:21). Throughout Scripture we find the theme of someone interceding for another. Here Job is called "my servant." Even throughout his arrogance, Job was God's child, for he trusted in the coming Redeemer.
Job was to pray for his friends yithpaleel. Original meaning of this word is "judge" but in the Hithpalel it means "to intercede, pray for," be the intercessor for his friends. Only Job would God accept. Literally we read "because of his face I will accept."
This caused shame upon the friends. They had accused Job of evil, of committing a secret sin and even were vehement in concluding that he had sinned (ch.22). All because Job accepted the Gospel, and the friends did not, must he now intercede for them. Eliphaz had prophesied if Job were to repent, he could pray for others. This was now happening to Eliphaz.
THAT I RECOMPENSE NOT UNTO YOU YOUR FOLLY:
Literally we read "that not I do to you folly." The word for "folly" nebalah is common in the wisdom literature, contrasting "wisdom" chokmah (28:28) with "folly" nebel. We could substitute "sin"chatha't for "folly." Or we could substitute "iniquity" 'awon. Orientals contrast righteousness/sin as wisdom/folly, for to them it brings shame upon ancestors. This is their criterion for right/wrong.
In Rom. 1:22 we read that those who profess to be wise become fools when they lack the Gospel. This was true of Job's friends and it is true of scientists who boast of wisdom while ignoring God. Without the Gospel of redemption and intercession, everything becomes folly.
FOR NOT HAVE YOU SPOKEN WITH REFERENCE TO ME THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT AS
MY SERVANT JOB:
Here is the same word for "right" nekonah derived from kun, meaning "to be established," as in 42:7. Here, as in verse 7, emphasis is on speaking right rather than doing right. Of ourselves we cannot do right, but we can speak correctly, sharing the Gospel. Job's friends were not really more sinful than Job, but emphasis is not on doing right but on speaking right, i.e., confessing the Gospel.
Here the opposite of "folly" nebel is not "wisdom" chokmah but "right" nekonah. This is possible only through acceptance of the Advocate and Pardoner. It is this confessing, rather than doing, which led to Job being called "My servant" and "God's servant." Later the friends, in our opinion, listened to Job and then sacrificed burnt offerings.
(v.9) AND ELIPHAZ THE TEMANITE, AND BILDAD THE SHUHITE, ZOPHAR THE NAAMATHITE
WENT AND DID AS GOD SPOKE AND THE LORD ACCEPTED THE PERSON OF JOB:
In Hebrew there is no connective, no "and," no we preceding the name Zophar, as precedes the name of Bildad. This is not necessary, but indicates Zophar was the weakest and most crude of the three. He needed the prayers and offerings more than the others. Though shamed by the turn of events, they did as God commanded. Elihu was not required to sacrifice, for he clearly knew the Gospel (33:23).
Here we see evidence of conversion directly through the Holy Spirit. Everything which Job had said, and everything which Elihu had said (addressed also to them) and, perhaps the whirlwind talk of God, led the friends to conversion. However, it was the direct action of God which regenerated them. Conversion is always a miracle of the Holy Spirit; all we can do is witness and testify.
God operated on the friends through Job who was also sinful. He had spoken of the Pardoner (7:21), Advocate (9:33), Redeemer (19:25). Elihu described the Angel above a thousand (33:23). The friends now recognized they needed a Substitute.
(v.10) AND THE LORD RETURNED THE CAPTIVITY OF JOB WHEN HE PRAYED FOR
Here the word for "friend" ree'eehu is singular, perhaps a collective singular, but perhaps Job prayed more for Eliphaz than for the others. We ought not overlook the singular form of the word.
The expression "return the captivity" shab 'et-shebyt is a play on sound, the same root used in both words. Job's experiences are called a captivity. Rawlinson notes much literal captivity is described in Scripture, but occasionally it is used as a metaphor, as here. Job may have been alluding to being in captivity when suggesting that God had set watch over him as a whale (7:12) or that God had put his feet in stocks and watched his footprints lest he escape (13:27). In Eph.3:1 Paul refers to himself as a prisoner of God; he may literally have been in prison at the time. Paul also refers to himself as a prisoner in Eph. 4:1. In Eph.4:8 we read that God leads captivity captive, which may be taken from Job.
Evolution as Captivity
During the Middle Ages, work righteousness was like a Babylonian captivity of the church from which Martin Luther freed it through the teaching of God's forgiveness. Today we might regard emphasis on evolution with its attendant millions-of-years and deifying of nature as captivity of science. A beginning has been made to free science from this captivity.
Job was released from captivity when he prayed for his friends. In Luke 6:38 and Acts 20:35 we read that it is more blessed to give than to receive, and when Job prayed for his friends, God blessed him. The be with "praying" behitepalelo is timal. It is not causative "because Job prayed for his friends," though that thought is legitimate. We might think of Matt.6:12.14 where forgiveness is embodied in the Lord's Prayer or of Matt. 18:32-35 which gives the parable of the unmerciful servant to indicate the power of forgiveness and love. At the moment when Job prayed for his friends, his blessings were restored. This emphasizes the power of love. Also fulfilled was the promise of Elihu (33:25) that Job's flesh would be restored to that of a small child.
AND THE LORD INCREASED EVERYTHING THAT JOB POSSESSED TO THE DOUBLE:
In Is. 61:7 we read the promise that Israel shall have double for its shame and confusion; everlasting joys shall be double. Isaiah may have been quoting from Job. The apostle Paul writes in Rom. 8:18 that the suffering of this present world is not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. When we rely on the power of love and the Gospel we can expect double blessings. And we can expect spiritual gifts. Note that the phrase "to the double" is at the end, almost as an afterthought. When God is ready, it is easy for Him to bless.
(v. 11) THEN THERE CAME TO HIM ALL HIS BRETHREN, AND ALL HIS SISTERS,
AND ALL HIS FORMER ACQUAINTANCES:
In 19:13 Job complains that his relatives and acquaintances were estranged from him by God, but now they all came to visit him. When the prodigal son had money, he had many friends, but when he lost his money, he also lost his friends (Luke 15:17). And Job's sisters were no better than his brothers. In 29:8.10. 21-25 we read that Job had many friends who respected him. When adversity befell him, they left, but now they returned. Though they were fairweather friends, they are part of the double blessings which God bestowed on Job when he forgave them. It is these outward blessings which our sinful nature desires and which politicians promise. They are fickle.
AND THEY ATE BREAD WITH HIM IN HIS HOUSE AND THEY SYMPATHIZED WITH HIM:
Now they come to Job's house to dine with him, in an effort to atone for having deserted him and adding to his grief (19:13.14.19). The word for "sympathize" wayanudu from nud in the Hithpalel form means "to shake up and down" as in bemoaning. Apparently they were trying to make up for their past actions by violent sympathizing.
AND COMFORTED HIM CONCERNING ALL THE EVIL WHICH THE LORD HAD BROUGHT
Note they say the Lord had brought this evil upon Job while, according to chapters 1 and 2, the devil was the instigator. However, God permitted the evil and, from the dialogue, we learn this was not a punishment but, rather, a chastisement.
Now the friends comfort Job, using the regular word for "comfort" wayenachamu. They comforted him for the evil which God had permitted to befall him.
AND EACH ONE GAVE HIM ONE KESITA AND EACH ONE GOLDEN RING:
"Kesita" qesithah is a word used for "money" at about the time of Abraham. Heavier than a shekel, this money measure was not used at the time of Moses and following. Jacob had purchased land from Hamor, father of Shechem, for one hundred kesitahs (Gen.33:19). Comparing the four hundred shekels which Abraham paid for the cave at Machpelah with the one hundred kesitas which Jacob paid to Hamor for land, one kesita was worth about four shekels. It could involve a considerable sum of money. Why did each present just one kesita?
Also, each brought one ring. This "golden ring" netsem tsahab is the same type of ring for nose and ear mentioned in Ex.35: 22 where we read that people broke off their golden earrings and brought them to Aaron as an offering to the Lord. They were precious and, therefore, a sizable gift. Emphasis on one each (kesita and earring) may be because of their value or because the gift was not intended to be "overdone." It seems it was customary at the time for even men to wear earrings.
(v.12) AND THE LORD BLESSED JOB'S END MORE THAN HIS BEGINNING:
This is common for Christians but uncommon for people who demand blessings here and now. As at the wedding at Cana (John 2), God reserves the best blessings for last.
AND HE HAD FOURTEEN THOUSAND SHEEP AND SIX THOUSAND CAMELS AND A THOUSAND
CATTLE AND A THOUSAND SHE ASSES:
This is double the figures given in Job 1. Rawlinson suggests these are round figures, not necessarily exact. This does not show high regard for Scripture. Delitzsch adds a note by Wetzstein that she-asses were three times as valuable as males because they produced foals and were not used for milking. The she-ass was used also as a means of transport. During harvest, camels served to transport grain and chopped straw, used as fuel, to distant sites, while she- asses were used for local transportation. It is likely that Abraham also had many camels because he apparently was engaged in distant trade.
(v.13) AND HE HAD SEVEN SONS AND THREE DAUGHTERS:
According to Hebrew this reads "there was to him seven sons and three daughters". This is the same number and ratio of his previous family. In II Sam.12:23 we read that David still regarded his dead son as a son and, from that perspective, we can say that Job's family also was doubled. He had one family in heaven and one on earth.
The word for "seven" is the irregular shibe'anah. It should be shibe'ah. This word has an extra n. According to Ewald, it is an old noun meaning "a seventh" and has a feminine ending with no tone. Again, this is an unusual word as are many others in Job. Delitzsch calls this a paragogiv n. He says it is an embellishment violently brought over from the style of primeval histories, with something similar found in Gen. 16:9 and Ruth 1:19. Names of sons are passed over while names of daughters are given.
(v. 14) AND THE NAME OF THE ONE WAS CALLED JEMIMA, AND THE SECOND KEZIA,
AND THE THIRD KARENHAPUCH:
Subject of the verb "called" wayikera' is each of the three, and "Jemima" means "dove." Emphasis would be on the dove's eyes. Qetziyah means "odor of cinnamon." Qeren Hapuk means "horn of paint." This would refer to cosmetics and their use. Because her beauty was enhanced by use of paints (cosmetics), Delitzsch rates her as the most beautiful. This may be a questionable statement. They were like three graces--each beautiful and each different. They represented eyes of doves, delightful odors and beautiful painted sights. They must have been unusually beautiful. Women painting their faces is referred to also in II Ki.9:30 (Jezebel) and Jer.4:30. None of this helped apostate Israel. See also Ez.23:40.
(v.15) AND IN ALL THE LAND THERE WERE NOT FOUND WOMEN SO FAIR AS THE
DAUGHTERS OF JOB:
Job was blessed with the most beautiful daughters in the land. According to Rawlinson, beauty has always been highly regarded in Arab countries.
AND THEIR FATHER GAVE THEM INHERITANCE AMONG THEIR BROTHERS:
Perhaps this was done because of their beauty, for according to regulations of the Torah, it was customary for daughters to receive an inheritance only when there were no sons (Num. 27:8). This indicates a pre-Moses or pre-lsrael date for Job. That it is mentioned indicates it was unusual for daughters to be included in the inheritance. "To them" lahem is unusual because no plural feminine word is possible here. The daughters are mentioned through a word which may be said to be of neutral gender.
(v. 16) AND JOB LIVED AFTER THIS A HUNDRED AND FORTY YEARS:
In our opinion this means that Job was 70 years old at the time of incidents mentioned. As all other blessings were doubled, we believe that also his lifespan was doubled. Granted, this is supposition, but it is valid. Zoeckler notes that in the Septuagint, Job is given an age of 70 years. Rawlinson quotes Prof. Lee to the effect that all ten children who died were apparently adults (1:4), which would give Job an age of 70. Rawlinson also notes that an age of 210 for people living so close to the time of the Flood (e.g. 300 years following the Flood) was not unusual. Abraham had a lifespan of 175 years and Isaac lived 180 years.
AND SAW HIS CHILDREN AND HIS CHILDREN'S CHILDREN UNTO FOUR GENERATIONS:
For a family-conscious Oriental type like Job and Arabs, this was indeed a blessing.
We have here an odd use of "see" wayire'e. The alternate Keri reading of the Massoretic text is weeyir'eh which is an unusual Aorist form. It is an archaic form but there are many such forms in Job, indicating its old age.
(v. 17) AND JOB DIED, OLD AND FULL OF AGE:
The same expression is used in Gen. 25:8 where the death of Abraham is recorded. A similar expression is used in Gen. 35:29 where Isaac's death is recorded. Though they lived a long life, it was not as long as that of the patriarchs who lived prior to the Flood and shortly thereafter. As Delitzsch notes, age is not the only blessing in life. He also points out that the book, while it begins with a heavenly note, does not end with one. We read only that Job died but, because he had made so much of death, it is a high point.
Emphasis in this section is that Job received double blessings. He forgave
his friends, sacrificed for them and prayed for them, indicating love.
In our Christian religion we, too, will have double blessings in the Angel
above a thousand. In our scientific disciplines we need to recognize that
nature and science cannot be neutral but that morality is important even
in observing and dealing with data in nature. Our final word is that the
book of Job can lead to double blessings both in our religious life and
in our scientific endeavors.