King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Job 2

Satan obtains leave to try Job. (1-6) Job’s sufferings. (7-10) His friends come to comfort him. (11-13)

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Satan obtains leave to try Job

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

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

3 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? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause.

4 And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.

5 But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.

6 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.

Job’s sufferings

7 So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.

8 And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.

9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.

10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

His friends come to comfort him

11 Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that was come upon him, they came every one from his own place; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite: for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.

12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.

13 So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Day. Job had been under trial for some time, perhaps a year. C.

Ver. 2. Through it. Seeking whom he might devour. 1 Pet. v. 8. H.

Ver. 3. Simple. Plain-dealing, mild, and without guile. S. Greg. W. — Without cause. This may form a new sentence. H. — Thy proposal and attempts are vain. C. — Job has not deserved this treatment. S. Chrys. &c.

Ver. 4. Skin: a proverbial expressing, denoting that a man will part with any thing sooner than his life, (C.) or health. H. — Satan hints, that if those inestimable blessings should be endangered, (C.) Job would shew his real sentiments. H. — Skin was formerly used instead of money, at Sparta. Senec. Ben. v. 14. &c. Yet perhaps not in the time of Job.

Ver. 6. Life. Afflict him with any species of illness; but do not kill him, (C.) nor inspire him directly with wicked thoughts. Grot.

Ver. 7. Ulcer; the leprosy: and even with that species which is called the venereal disease, which may be contracted without any crime. Job was afflicted with a complication of the most painful and disgraceful disorders. Pineda. C.

Ver. 8. Potsherd. His nails were worn, and poverty had left him nothing else. — Dunghill. Heb. “ashes.” H. — S. Chrysostom represents this place as visited by pilgrims, instructive and more brilliant than any throne. Hom. 5. ad Pop. Ant. — Sept. add, “upon the dung, without the city: and after a long time had elapsed, his wife also said to him, How long wilt thou wait, saying: Lo, I will still tarry a little while, expecting the hope of my salvation? For behold thy memory is perished from the land, thy sons and daughters, the pains and labours of my womb, whom I brought forth in labour and sorrow, to no purpose. But thou sittest in the open air, the night long, amid the corruption of worms, while I wander like a slave, seeking for one place and house after another, in expectation of the sun setting, that my labours may cease, and the sorrows which now surround and hold me fast. But speak thou some word to (or against) the Lord, and die.” H. — This addition has been omitted in the Comp. edition, to make it like the Vulg. (C.) though it is found in all the Greek copies (Nobilius) and fathers, and also in several Latin Bibles. It seems, however, to be only a gloss of some transcriber. The devil had not destroyed this wife, as she would prove one of his most powerful auxiliaries. C.

Ver. 9. Bless. She speaks with cruel irony. C. — Curse God, that he may take away (S. Basil) thy miserable life; or, after taking this revenge on such unjust treatment, put an end to thy own existence. Beza and Amama excuse this woman, though condemned by Job. They pretend that she only meant to insinuate, like the rest of his friends, that he must be guilty of some grievous crime, which she urges him to confess, giving glory to God, before it be too late. H.

Ver. 10. Foolish. The same word often means impious, (C. i. 22.) and ignorant, (H.) or “delirous.” Aquila. Ps. xiii. 1. — Lips. The Jews assert, without reason, that he was guilty in his heart. C.

Ver. 12. Heaven. This denoted mourning or indignation. Jos. vii. 6. Acts xxii. 23.

Ver. 13. Seven days, &c. They sat with him for a good part of the day, and of the night, during seven days: and spoke nothing all that time that could give him any uneasiness. Ch. M. Olympiad. — They mourned for him as if he had been dead. Their mutual grief was too great for utterance. But the text seems to intimate that they remained with Job, all this time. Scultet. C. — Their design in coming was really to afford him consolation; but being under a mistake, respecting the conduct of Providence towards mankind, (C.) they erred involuntarily, (T.) and by attempting to prove their assertions, as if none but criminals could be so grievously afflicted, they eventually insulted the holy man. Tob. ii. 15. — They argued on the principle, “that under a just God no one is miserable, unless he have deserved it;” not reflecting that god sometimes puts his best servants to the trial, that their merit and glory may increase. Notwithstanding their piety and learning, they became therefore the devil’s most powerful agents unawares: (C.) and though they were not properly heretics, as they acquiesced when better informed, they were a figure of them, by drawing from many undeniable truths false inferences, and by a parade of learning, and of new things. S. Greg. Mor. iii. 24. and v. 18. — They also judged rashly of Job’s secret behaviour. W.