2:7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and he afflicted 1 Job with a malignant ulcer 2 from the sole of his feet to the top of his head. 3 2:8 Job took a shard of broken pottery to scrape 4 himself 5 with while he was sitting 6 among the ashes. 7
2:9 Then 8 his wife said to him, “Are you still holding firmly to your integrity? 9 Curse 10 God, and die!” 11 2:10 But he replied, 12 “You’re talking like one of the godless 13 women would do! Should we receive 14 what is good from God, and not also 15 receive 16 what is evil?” 17 In all this Job did not sin by what he said. 18
1 tn The verb is נָכָה (nakhah, “struck, smote”); it can be rendered in this context as “afflicted.”
2 sn The general consensus is that Job was afflicted with a leprosy known as elephantiasis, named because the rough skin and the swollen limbs are animal-like. The Hebrew word שְׁחִין (shÿkhin, “boil”) can indicate an ulcer as well. Leprosy begins with such, but so do other diseases. Leprosy normally begins in the limbs and spreads, but Job was afflicted everywhere at once. It may be some other disease also characterized by such a malignant ulcer. D. J. A. Clines has a thorough bibliography on all the possible diseases linked to this description (Job [WBC], 48). See also HALOT 1460 s.v. שְׁחִין.
3 tn Heb “crown.”
4 tn The verb גָּרַד (garad) is a hapax legomenon (only occurring here). Modern Hebrew has retained a meaning “to scrape,” which is what the cognate Syriac and Arabic indicate. In the Hitpael it would mean “scrape himself.”
5 sn The disease required constant attention. The infection and pus had to be scraped away with a piece of broken pottery in order to prevent the spread of the infection. The skin was so disfigured that even his friends did not recognize him (2:12). The book will add that the disease afflicted him inwardly, giving him a foul breath and a loathsome smell (19:17, 20). The sores bred worms; they opened and ran, and closed and tightened (16:8). He was tormented with dreams (7:14). He felt like he was choking (7:14). His bones were racked with burning pain (30:30). And he was not able to rise from his place (19:18). The disease was incurable; but it would last for years, leaving the patient longing for death.
6 tn The construction uses the disjunctive vav (ו) with the independent pronoun with the active participle. The construction connects this clause with what has just been said, making this a circumstantial clause.
7 sn Among the ashes. It is likely that the “ashes” refers to the place outside the city where the rubbish was collected and burnt, i.e., the ash-heap (cf. CEV). This is the understanding of the LXX, which reads “dung-hill outside the city.”
8 tn The versions have some information here that is interesting, albeit fanciful. The Targum calls her “Dinah.” The LXX has “when a long time had passed.” But the whole rendering of the LXX is paraphrastic: “How long will you hold out, saying, ‘Behold, I wait yet a little while, expecting the hope of my deliverance?’ for behold, your memorial is abolished from the earth, even your sons and daughters, the pangs and pains of my womb which I bore in vain with sorrows, and you yourself sit down to spend the night in the open air among the corruption of worms, and I am a wanderer and a servant from place to place and house to house, waiting for the setting sun, that I may rest from my labors and pains that now beset me, but say some word against the Lord and die.”
9 sn See R. D. Moore, “The Integrity of Job,” CBQ 45 (1983): 17-31. The reference of Job’s wife to his “integrity” could be a precursor of the conclusion reached by Elihu in 32:2 where he charged Job with justifying himself rather than God.
10 tn The verb is literally בָּרַךְ, (barakh, “bless”). As in the earlier uses, the meaning probably has more to do with renouncing God than of speaking a curse. The actual word may be taken as a theological euphemism for the verb קִלֵּל (qillel, “curse”). If Job’s wife had meant that he was trying to justify himself rather than God, “bless God” might be translated “speak well of God,” the resolution accepted by God in 42:7-8 following Job’s double confession of having spoken wrongly of God (40:3-5; 42:1-6).
sn The church fathers were quick to see here again the role of the wife in the temptation – she acts as the intermediary between Satan and Job, pressing the cause for him. However, Job’s wife has been demonized falsely. Job did not say that she was a foolish woman, only that she was speaking like one of them (2:10). Also, Job did not exclude her from sharing in his suffering (“should we receive”). He evidently recognized that her words were the result of her personal loss and pain as well as the desire to see her husband’s suffering ended. When God gave instructions for the restoration of Job’s friends because of their foolish words (42:7-9), no mention is made of any need for Job’s wife to be restored.
11 tn The imperative with the conjunction in this expression serves to express the certainty that will follow as the result or consequence of the previous imperative (GKC 324-25 §110.f).
12 tn Heb “he said to her.”
13 tn The word “foolish” (נָבָל, naval) has to do with godlessness more than silliness (Ps 14:1). To be foolish in this sense is to deny the nature and the work of God in life its proper place. See A. Phillips, “NEBALA – A Term for Serious Disorderly Unruly Conduct,” VT 25 (1975): 237-41; and W. M. W. Roth, “NBL,” VT 10 (1960): 394-409.
14 tn The verb קִבֵּל (qibbel) means “to accept, receive.” It is attested in the Amarna letters with the meaning “receive meekly, patiently.”
15 tn The adverb גָּם (gam, “also, even”) is placed here before the first clause, but belongs with the second. It intensifies the idea (see GKC 483 §153). See also C. J. Labuschagne, “The Emphasizing Particle GAM and Its Connotations,” Studia Biblica et Semitica, 193-203.
16 tn The two verbs in this sentence, Piel imperfects, are deliberative imperfects; they express the reasoning or deliberating in the interrogative sentences.
17 tn A question need not be introduced by an interrogative particle or adverb. The natural emphasis on the words is enough to indicate it is a question (GKC 473 §150.a).
sn The Hebrew words טוֹב (tov, “good”) and רַע (ra’, “evil”) have to do with what affects life. That which is good benefits people because it produces, promotes and protects life; that which is evil brings calamity and disaster, it harms, pains, or destroys life.
18 tn Heb “sin with his lips,” an idiom meaning he did not sin by what he said.