1:6 Now the day came when 2 the sons of God 3 came to present themselves before 4 the Lord – and Satan 5 also arrived among them. 1:7 The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” 6 And Satan answered the Lord, 7 “From roving about 8 on the earth, and from walking back and forth across it.” 9 1:8 So the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered 10 my servant Job? There 11 is no one like him on the earth, a pure and upright man, one who fears God and turns away 12 from evil.”
1:9 Then Satan answered the Lord, “Is it for nothing that Job fears God? 13 1:10 Have you 14 not made a hedge 15 around him and his household and all that he has on every side? You have blessed 16 the work of his hands, and his livestock 17 have increased 18 in the land. 1:11 But 19 extend your hand and strike 20 everything he has, and he will no doubt 21 curse you 22 to your face!”
1:12 So the Lord said to Satan, “All right then, 23 everything he has is 24 in your power. 25 Only do not extend your hand against the man himself!” 26 So Satan went out 27 from the presence of the Lord. 28
2:1 Again the day came when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also arrived among them to present himself before the Lord. 29 2:2 And the Lord said to Satan, “Where do you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, 30 “From roving about on the earth, and from walking back and forth across it.” 31 2:3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a pure and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil. And he still holds firmly 32 to his integrity, 33 so that 34 you stirred me up to destroy him 35 without reason.” 36
2:4 But 37 Satan answered the Lord, “Skin for 38 skin! 39 Indeed, a man will give up 40 all that he has to save his life! 41 2:5 But extend your hand and strike his bone and his flesh, 42 and he will no doubt 43 curse you to your face!”
1 sn The text draws the curtain of heaven aside for the reader to understand the background of this drama. God extols the virtue of Job, but Satan challenges the reasons for it. He receives permission to try to dislodge Job from his integrity. In short, God is using Job to prove Satan’s theory wrong.
2 tn The beginning Hebrew expression “and there was – the day” indicates that “there came a day when” or more simply “the day came when.” It emphasizes the particular day. The succeeding clause is then introduced with a preterite with the with vav (ו) consecutive (see E. Dhorme, Job, 5).
3 sn The “sons of God” in the OT is generally taken to refer to angels. They are not actually “sons” of Elohim; the idiom is a poetic way of describing their nature and relationship to God. The phrase indicates their supernatural nature, and their submission to God as the sovereign Lord. It may be classified as a genitive that expresses how individuals belong to a certain class or type, i.e., the supernatural (GKC 418 §128.v). In the pagan literature, especially of Ugarit, “the sons of God” refers to the lesser gods or deities of the pantheon. See H. W. Robinson, “The Council of Yahweh,” JTS 45 (1943): 151-57; G. Cooke, “The Sons of (the) God(s),” ZAW 76 (1964): 22-47; M. Tsevat, “God and the Gods in the Assembly,” HUCA 40-41 (1969/70): 123-37.
4 tn The preposition עַל (’al) in this construction after a verb of standing or going means “before” (GKC 383 §119.cc).
5 sn The word means “adversary” or with the article “the adversary” – here the superhuman adversary or Satan. The word with the article means that the meaning of the word should receive prominence. A denominative verb meaning “to act as adversary” occurs. Satan is the great accuser of the saints (see Zech 3 where “Satan was standing there to ‘satanize’ Joshua the priest”; and see Rev 12 which identifies him with the Serpent in Genesis). He came among the angels at this time because he is one of them and has access among them. Even though fallen, Satan has yet to be cast down completely (see Rev 12).
6 tn The imperfect may be classified as progressive imperfect; it indicates action that although just completed is regarded as still lasting into the present (GKC 316 §107.h).
8 tn The verb שׁוּט (shut) means “to go or rove about” (BDB 1001-2 s.v.). Here the infinitive construct serves as the object of the preposition.
9 tn The Hitpael (here also an infinitive construct after the preposition) of the verb הָלַךְ (halakh) means “to walk to and fro, back and forth, with the sense of investigating or reconnoitering (see e.g. Gen 13:17).
sn As the words are spoken by Satan, there is no self-condemnation in them. What they signify is the swiftness and thoroughness of his investigation of humans. The good angels are said to go to and fro in the earth on behalf of the suffering righteous (Zech 1:10, 11; 6:7), but Satan goes seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet 5:8).
10 tn The Hebrew has “have you placed your heart on Job?” This means “direct your mind to” (cf. BDB 963 s.v. I שׂוּם 2.b).
sn The question is undoubtedly rhetorical, for it is designed to make Satan aware of Job as God extols his fine qualities.
11 tn The Hebrew conjunction כִּי (ki) need not be translated in this case or it might be taken as emphatic (cf. IBHS 665 §39.3.4e): “Certainly there is no one like him.”
12 tn The same expressions that appeared at the beginning of the chapter appear here in the words of God. In contrast to that narrative report about Job, the emphasis here is on Job’s present character, and so the participle form is translated here asa gnomic or characteristic present (“turns”). It modifies “man” as one who is turning from evil.
13 tn The Hebrew form has the interrogative ה (he) on the adverb חִנָּם (khinnam, “gratis”), a derivative either of the verb חָנַן (khanan, “to be gracious, show favor”), or its related noun חֵן (khen, “grace, favor”). The adverb has the sense of “free; gratis; gratuitously; for nothing; for no reason” (see BDB 336 s.v. חִנָּם). The idea is that Satan does not disagree that Job is pious, but that Job is loyal to God because of what he receives from God. He will test the sincerity of Job.
14 tn The use of the independent personal pronoun here emphasizes the subject of the verb: “Have you not put up a hedge.”
15 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.
16 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).
17 tn Or “substance.” The herds of livestock may be taken by metonymy of part for whole to represent possessions or prosperity in general.
19 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).
20 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.
21 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.
22 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.
23 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “behold”) introduces a foundational clause upon which the following volitional clause is based.
24 tn The versions add a verb here: “delivered to” or “abandoned to” the hand of Satan.
25 tn Heb “in your hand.” The idiom means that it is now Satan’s to do with as he pleases.
26 tn The Hebrew word order emphatically holds out Job’s person as the exception: “only upon him do not stretch forth your hand.”
27 tn The Targum to Job adds “with permission” to show that he was granted leave from God’s presence.
28 sn So Satan, having received his permission to test Job’s sincerity, goes out from the
29 tc This last purpose clause has been omitted in some Greek versions.
32 tn The form is the Hiphil participle, “make strong, seize, hold fast.” It is the verbal use here; joined with עֹדֶנּוּ (’odennu, “yet he”) it emphasizes that “he is still holding firmly.” The testing has simply strengthened Job in his integrity.
33 tn This is the same word used to describe Job as “blameless, pure.” Here it carries the idea of “integrity”; Job remained blameless, perfect.
34 tn The vav (ו) with the preterite is used here to express the logical conclusion or consequence of what was stated previously. God is saying that Job has maintained his integrity, so that now it is clear that Satan moved against him groundlessly (GKC 328 §111.l).
35 tn The verb literally means “to swallow”; it forms an implied comparison in the line, indicating the desire of Satan to ruin him completely. See A Guillaume, “A Note on the Root bala`,” JTS 13 (1962): 320-23; and N. M. Sarna, “Epic Substratum in the Prose of Job,”JBL 76 (1957): 13-25, for a discussion of the Ugaritic deity Mot swallowing up the enemy.
36 sn Once again the adverb חִנָּם (khinnam, “gratis”) is used. It means “graciously, gratis, free, without cause, for no reason.” Here the sense has to be gratuitously, for no reason.” The point of the verb חָנַן (khanan, “to be gracious”) and its derivatives is that the action is undeserved. In fact, they would deserve the opposite. Sinners seeking grace deserve punishment. Here, Job deserves reward, not suffering.
37 tn The form is the simply preterite with the vav (ו) consecutive. However, the speech of Satan is in contrast to what God said, even though in narrative sequence.
38 tn The preposition בְּעַד (bÿ’ad) designates interest or advantage arising from the idea of protection for (“for the benefit of”); see IBHS 201-2 §11.2.7a.
39 sn The meaning of the expression is obscure. It may come from the idea of sacrificing an animal or another person in order to go free, suggesting the expression that one type of skin that was worth less was surrendered to save the more important life. Satan would then be saying that Job was willing for others to die for him to go free, but not himself. “Skin” would be a synecdoche of the part for the whole (like the idiomatic use of skin today for a person in a narrow escape). The second clause indicates that God has not even scratched the surface because Job has been protected. His “skin” might have been scratched, but not his flesh and bone! But if his life had been put in danger, he would have responded differently.
40 tc The LXX has “make full payment, pay a full price” (LSJ 522 s.v. ἐκτίνω).
41 tn Heb “Indeed, all that a man has he will give for his life.”
42 sn The “bones and flesh” are idiomatic for the whole person, his physical and his psychical/spiritual being (see further H. W. Wolff, Anthropology of the Old Testament, 26-28).
44 tn The particle הִנּוֹ (hinno) is literally, “here he is!” God presents Job to Satan, with the restriction on preserving Job’s life.
45 tn The LXX has “I deliver him up to you.”
46 tn Heb “hand.”
47 sn The irony of the passage comes through with this choice of words. The verb שָׁמַר (shamar) means “to keep; to guard; to preserve.” The exceptive clause casts Satan in the role of a savior – he cannot destroy this life but must protect it.