Job 1 Commentary


From prosperity to ruin (1:1-22)

A popular belief in ancient times was that prosperity and well-being were proofs of godliness, but poverty and suffering were proofs of ungodliness. They were signs that God was either rewarding or punishing a person, according to whether that person’s life was good or bad. The book of Job contradicts this belief. Yet the prosperous and contented Job was indeed a godly person who was blameless in all that he did. He was concerned also for purity in the lives of all his children (1:1-5).

Meanwhile in heaven, God’s court of angelic beings had assembled before him. Among them was one, Satan, whose chief concern was to move around the world looking for human failings (6-7). (In Hebrew satan was a common word that meant ‘adversary’ or ‘opponent’.) Satan made the accusation to God that Job’s faith was not sincere. If Job suddenly lost his family and possessions, argued Satan, his apparent devotion to God would soon disappear (8-11). God allowed Satan to test Job by removing anything that belonged to him, but he was not to harm Job’s body (12).

In a series of calamities, Job lost first his working animals (13-15), then his sheep and shepherds (16), then his camels (17), and finally all his children (18-19). In spite of his overwhelming distress, Job’s devotion to God did not alter (20-22).

Privacy Policy