Job 42 Commentary

Job submits to God (42:1-6)

Although Job does not have the answer to his problems, he knows now that God does – and God will not fail. God has not given Job any reason for his sufferings, but he has given Job a fuller knowledge of the all-powerful and all-wise God, and this has changed Job’s thinking.


Now Job sees that God is above all and in control of all; he is concerned about the smallest detail. Although Job may not understand the reason why God does things, he is assured that God is working according to his own purposes, and those purposes are perfect. Job has been conquered but he has also found peace, for the God who has been revealed to him is greater than Job ever imagined. Job no longer demands anything of God. He only worships (42:1-2).

Humbly Job confesses the truth of God’s accusation against him that he ‘darkened counsel without knowledge’ (3; see 38:2). God had challenged Job to answer his questions (4; see 38:3), but Job now has nothing to say. Previously, he had a theoretical knowledge of God, but now he has personally met God. Although his questions are not answered, he himself is fully satisfied (5-6).

God exalts Job (42:7-17)

The three friends, in spite of the truths mixed in with their speeches, are now declared wrong. Job, in spite of his rash speech and irreverent protest, is now declared right. In accusing Job of great sin, the three friends had not spoken the truth, whereas Job, in claiming to be upright and not guilty of great sin, is now proved to be truthful. The friends’ theory that suffering is always the result of personal sin is proved wrong, whereas Job’s desire for a just God is satisfied. The friends had relied upon traditional theories, whereas Job had searched for the truth. The friends talked about God, whereas Job talked to God (7-8).

Job was not haughty in victory, nor were the friends bitter in defeat. In loving forgiveness, Job prayed for the friends, and in humble repentance the friends asked God’s forgiveness by offering the sacrifices he demanded of them (9).

Apparently Job still did not know (and possibly never knew) that the main reason for his sufferings was an accusation made against him by Satan (see 1:11; 2:5). Now that Satan had been proved wrong, it was only fair that Job’s former prosperity and family happiness should return. At the same time it might have shown to Job’s fellow citizens, in the only way they understood, that God was pleased with Job. The turning point in Job’s sufferings came when he prayed for his critics. His disease was healed, good health returned, children were born to replace those who had died, and his wealth grew to twice that of former days (10-17).

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