1:10 Have you 1 not made a hedge 2 around him and his household and all that he has on every side? You have blessed 3 the work of his hands, and his livestock 4 have increased 5 in the land. 1:11 But 6 extend your hand and strike 7 everything he has, and he will no doubt 8 curse you 9 to your face!”
1:12 So the Lord said to Satan, “All right then, 10 everything he has is 11 in your power. 12 Only do not extend your hand against the man himself!” 13 So Satan went out 14 from the presence of the Lord. 15
1:13 Now the day 17 came when Job’s 18 sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 1:14 and a messenger came to Job, saying, “The oxen were plowing 19 and the donkeys were grazing beside them, 1:15 and the Sabeans 20 swooped down 21 and carried them all away, and they killed 22 the servants with the sword! 23 And I – only I alone 24 – escaped to tell you!”
1:16 While this one was still speaking, 25 another messenger arrived 26 and said, “The fire of God 27 has fallen from heaven 28 and has burned up the sheep and the servants – it has consumed them! And I – only I alone – escaped to tell you!”
1:17 While this one was still speaking another messenger arrived and said, “The Chaldeans 29 formed three bands and made a raid 30 on the camels and carried them all away, and they killed the servants with the sword! 31 And I – only I alone – escaped to tell you!”
1 tn The use of the independent personal pronoun here emphasizes the subject of the verb: “Have you not put up a hedge.”
2 tn The verb שׂוּךְ (sukh) means “to hedge or fence up, about” something (BDB 962 s.v. I שׂוּךְ). The original idea seems to have been to surround with a wall of thorns for the purpose of protection (E. Dhorme, Job, 7). The verb is an implied comparison between making a hedge and protecting someone.
3 sn Here the verb “bless” is used in one of its very common meanings. The verb means “to enrich,” often with the sense of enabling or empowering things for growth or fruitfulness. See further C. Westermann, Blessing in the Bible and the Life of the Church (OBT).
4 tn Or “substance.” The herds of livestock may be taken by metonymy of part for whole to represent possessions or prosperity in general.
6 tn The particle אוּלָם (’ulam, “but”) serves to restrict the clause in relation to the preceding clause (IBHS 671-73 §39.3.5e, n. 107).
7 tn The force of the imperatives in this sentence are almost conditional – if God were to do this, then surely Job would respond differently.
sn The two imperatives (“stretch out” and “strike”) and the word “hand” all form a bold anthropomorphic sentence. It is as if God would deliver a blow to Job with his fist. But the intended meaning is that God would intervene to destroy Job’s material and physical prosperity.
8 sn The formula used in the expression is the oath formula: “if not to your face he will curse you” meaning “he will surely curse you to your face.” Satan is so sure that the piety is insincere that he can use an oath formula.
9 tn See the comments on Job 1:5. Here too the idea of “renounce” may fit well enough; but the idea of actually cursing God may not be out of the picture if everything Job has is removed. Satan thinks he will denounce God.
10 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “behold”) introduces a foundational clause upon which the following volitional clause is based.
11 tn The versions add a verb here: “delivered to” or “abandoned to” the hand of Satan.
12 tn Heb “in your hand.” The idiom means that it is now Satan’s to do with as he pleases.
13 tn The Hebrew word order emphatically holds out Job’s person as the exception: “only upon him do not stretch forth your hand.”
14 tn The Targum to Job adds “with permission” to show that he was granted leave from God’s presence.
15 sn So Satan, having received his permission to test Job’s sincerity, goes out from the
16 sn The series of catastrophes and the piety of Job is displayed now in comprehensive terms. Everything that can go wrong goes wrong, and yet Job, the pious servant of Yahweh, continues to worship him in the midst of the rubble. This section, and the next, will lay the foundation for the great dialogues in the book.
17 tn The Targum to Job clarifies that it was the first day of the week. The fact that it was in the house of the firstborn is the reason.
18 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Job) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
19 tn The use of the verb “to be” with the participle gives emphasis to the continuing of the action in the past (GKC 360 §116.r).
20 tn The LXX has “the spoilers spoiled them” instead of “the Sabeans swooped down.” The translators might have connected the word to שְָׁבָה (shavah, “to take captive”) rather than שְׁבָא (shÿva’, “Sabeans”), or they may have understood the name as general reference to all types of Bedouin invaders from southern Arabia (HALOT 1381 s.v. שְׁבָא 2.c).
sn The name “Sheba” is used to represent its inhabitants, or some of them. The verb is feminine because the name is a place name. The Sabeans were a tribe from the Arabian peninsula. They were traders mostly (6:19). The raid came from the south, suggesting that this band of Sabeans were near Edom. The time of the attack seems to be winter since the oxen were plowing.
21 tn The Hebrew is simply “fell” (from נָפַל, nafal). To “fall upon” something in war means to attack quickly and suddenly.
22 sn Job’s servants were probably armed and gave resistance, which would be the normal case in that time. This was probably why they were “killed with the sword.”
23 tn Heb “the edge/mouth of the sword”; see T. J. Meek, “Archaeology and a Point of Hebrew Syntax,” BASOR 122 (1951): 31-33.
24 tn The pleonasms in the verse emphasize the emotional excitement of the messenger.
25 tn The particle עוֹד (’od, “still”) is used with the participle to express the past circumstances when something else happened (IBHS 625-26 §37.6d).
26 tn The Hebrew expression is literally “yet/this/speaking/and this/ arrived.” The sentence uses the two demonstratives as a contrasting pair. It means “this one was still speaking when that one arrived” (IBHS 308-9 §17.3c). The word “messenger” has been supplied in the translation in vv. 16, 17, and 18 for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
27 sn The “fire of God” would refer to lightning (1 Kgs 18:38; 2 Kgs 1:12; cf. NAB, NCV, TEV). The LXX simply has “fire.” The first blow came from enemies; the second from heaven, which might have confused Job more as to the cause of his troubles. The use of the divine epithet could also be an indication of the superlative degree; see D. W. Thomas, “A Consideration of Some Unusual Ways of Expressing the Superlative in Hebrew,” VT 3 (1953): 209-24.
28 tn Or “from the sky.” The Hebrew word שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heaven[s]” or “sky” depending on the context.
29 sn The name may have been given to the tribes that roamed between the Euphrates and the lands east of the Jordan. These are possibly the nomadic Kaldu who are part of the ethnic Aramaeans. The LXX simply has “horsemen.”
31 tn Heb “with the edge/mouth of the sword.”