King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

Job > Old Testament > Home

Job 1

The piety and prosperity of Job. (1-5) Satan obtains leave to try Job. (6-12) The loss of Job’s property, and the death of his children. (13-19) Job’s patience and piety. (20-22)

Job 1 Audio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The piety and prosperity of Job

1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters.

3 His 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 the east.

4 And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.

5 And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

Satan obtains leave to try Job

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.

7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought?

10 Hast not thou made 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.

11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.

12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.

The loss of Job’s property, and the death of his children

13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:

14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:

15 And the 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.

16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The 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.

17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother’s house:

19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.

Job’s patience and piety

20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped,

21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

« »

G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Hus. The land of Hus was a part of Edom; as appears from Lament. iv. 21. — Simple. That is, innocent, sincere, and without guile, (Ch.) in opposition to hypocrites and double dealers. C. — Heb. Tam, “perfect.”

Ver. 3. Sheep. Heb. including “goats,” which are equally valuable in that country for milk. — Camels. These animals were used for riding in those barren sands, where they can travel for four days without water; and that which is muddy is best for them. — East, in the desert Arabia. Sept. add at the end of the book, that Job was king; and he seems to have been independent, (C.) and to have had other kings who acknowledged his authority. Pineda. C. xxix. 7. &c. — Each city had its own king in the days of Abraham and of Josue. Job, or Jobab, resided at Denaba. Gen. xxxvi. 32. C.

Ver. 4. His day of the week in succession; (Pineda) or each on his birthday, (Gen. xl. 20. Mat. xiv. 6. Grot.) or once a month, &c. The daughters of Job were probably unmarried.

Ver. 5. Blessed. For greater horror of the very thought of blasphemy, the Scripture both here and v. 11, and in the following chapter (v. 5. and 9.) uses the word bless, to signify its contrary. Ch. 3 K. xxi. 10. — Thus the Greeks styled the furies Eumenides, “the kind,” out of a horror of their real name. Even those who are the best inclined, can hardly speak of God without some want of respect, (C.) in the midst of feasts, where the neglect of saying grace is also too common. H. — Sept. “they have thought evil against God.” Every kind of offence may be included, to which feasting leads. M.

Ver. 6. The sons of God. The angels, (Ch.) as the Sept. express it. C. — Satan also, &c. This passage represents to us in a figure, accommodated to the ways and understandings of men, 1. The restless endeavours of satan against the servants of God. 2. That he can do nothing without God’s permission. 3. That God doth not permit him to tempt them above their strength: but assists them by his divine grace in such manner, that the vain efforts of the enemy only serve to illustrate their virtue and increase their merit. Ch. — A similar prosopopeia occurs, 3 K. xxii. 19. Zac. i. 10. C. — Devils appear not in God’s sight, but sometimes in presence of angels, who represent God. S. Athan. q. 8. ad Antioc, (W.) or some ancient author. — The good angels can make known their orders to them. Zac. iii. 1. Jude 9. Both good and bad spirits may be considered as the ministers of God. C. — They appear in judgment; though the latter could not see the Lord.

Ver. 9. In vain, without recompense. H.

Ver. 11. Face, like a hypocrite, (Sanctius) or rather curse thee openly, v. 5. H.

Ver. 12. Hand. God permits evils. W. — The devil can do nothing without leave. C.

Ver. 15. Sabeans, descended from Abraham, in the desert (C.) or happy Arabia. These nations lived on plunder. Pliny vi. 28. M.

Ver. 16. Heaven, or the air, where the devils exercise a power. Ephes. ii. 2.

Ver. 17. Chaldeans. Some copies of the Sept. read “horsemen.” These nations inhabited the other side of the Euphrates, but made frequent incursions to plunder their neighbours. C.

Ver. 20. Head. Heb. torn his hair, and rolled in the dust. Bochart. Isai. xv. 2. &c. C. — The fathers oppose this example to the apathy of the stoics. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. i. 9. Rom. i. 31.

Ver. 21. Thither. To that earth from which all are taken. H. — Ista terra gentes omnes peperit & resumet demum. Varro. — Ut ater operiens. Pliny ii. 63. See 1 Tim. vi. 7. — As…done. Some copies of S. Jerom omit this, which is borrowed from the Sept. C.

Ver. 22. By his lips, is not in Heb. but occurs C. ii. 10. — God. Much less did he blaspheme, as satan had said, v. 11. He did not consider all as the effect of chance, or like a mere philosopher. His thoughts were regulated by religion and the fear of God. C. — The virtue of Job was so much the more wonderful, as he lived among the wicked. S. Greg. He bore patiently with the loss of all things: and English Catholics have often imitated him. W. — He might well record his own good actions, the gifts of God, being moved by divine inspiration, like Moses, &c. S. Greg.