This Book takes its name from the holy man of whom it treats: who, according to the more probable opinion, was of the race of Esau; and the same as Jobab, king of Edom, mentioned Gen. 36.33. It is uncertain who was the writer of it. Some attribute it to Job himself; others to Moses, or some one of the prophets. In the Hebrew it is written in verse, from the beginning of the third chapter to the forty-second chapter.
Job's virtue and riches. Satan by permission from God strippeth him of all his substance. His patience.
1:1. There was a man in the land of Hus, whose name was Job, and that man was simple and upright, and fearing God, and avoiding evil.
Hus. . .The land of Hus was a part of Edom; as appears from Lam. 4.21.—Ibid. Simple. . .That is, innocent, sincere, and without guile.
1:2. And there were born to him seven sons and three daughters.
1:3. And his possession was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a family exceedingly great: and this man was great among all the people of the east.
1:4. And his sons went, and made a feast by houses, every one in his day. And sending, they called their three sisters, to eat and drink with them.
And made a feast by houses. . .That is, each made a feast in his own house and had his day, inviting the others, and their sisters.
1:5. And when the days of their feasting were gone about, Job sent to them, and sanctified them: and rising up early, offered holocausts for every one of them. For he said: Lest perhaps my sons have sinned, and have blessed God in their hearts. So did Job all days.
Blessed. . .For greater horror of the very thought of blasphemy, the scripture both here and ver. 11, and in the following chapter, ver. 5 and 9, uses the word bless to signify its contrary.
1:6. Now on a certain day, when the sons of God came to stand before the Lord, Satan also was present among them.
The sons of God. . .The angels.—Ibid. Satan also, etc. 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.
1:7. And the Lord said to him: Whence comest thou? And he answered and said: I have gone round about the earth, and walked through it.
1:8. And the Lord said to him: Hast thou considered my servant, Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a simple and upright man, and fearing God, and avoiding evil?
1:9. And Satan answering, said: Doth Job fear God in vain?
1:10. Hast thou not made a fence for him, and his house, and all his substance round about, blessed the works of his hands, and his possession hath increased on the earth?