And the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Job 1:8. Hast thou considered my servant Job? — Hast thou taken notice of him, and of his spirit and conduct? That there is none like him in all the earth — The Targum saith, “None like him in the land of the Gentiles;” intimating, probably, that notwithstanding he was of the Gentiles, he was yet so distinguished an example of virtue and goodness, that his equal was not to be found among them. Dr. Lightfoot speaks of Job as being, without the least doubt, a heathen, observing, “In these times, when it went thus sadly with Israel in Egypt, there shone forth the glorious piety of Job in the land of Uz,” vol. 1. p. 23; and again, p. 1026, “About (the time of) Israel’s being in Egypt, Job lives in Arabia, a heathen man, and yet so good.” And thus St. Gregory: “His country is purposely named, that the goodness of the man may be the more illustrated.”
That there is none like him in the earth - That he is the very highest example of virtue and piety on earth. Or might not the word כי kı̂y here be rendered "for?" "For there is none like him in the earth." Then the idea would be, not that he had considered "that" there was none like him, but God directs his attention to him "because" he was the most eminent among mortals.Luke 22:31 but the sense of the question is, since thou sayest thou hast been walking up and down in the earth, hast thou not taken notice of Job, and cast an eye upon him, and wished in thine heart to have him in thine hands to do him hurt? I know that thou hast; hast thou not contrived in thine heart how to attack him, tempt him, and draw him from my service, and into sins and snares, in order to reproach and accuse him? thou hast, but all in vain; and so it is a sarcasm upon Satan, as well as an expression of indignation at him for such an attempt upon him, and as anticipating his accusation of Job; for it is as if he should further say, I know he is in thine eye, and upon thine heart, now thou art come with a full intent to accuse and charge him; so Jarchi, "lest thou set thine heart", &c. so as "to have a good will to accuse him" he had, but the Lord prevents him, by giving a high character of him, in these and the following words: here he calls him "my servant"; not a servant of men, living according to the lusts and will of men, and their customs and forays of worship, superstition, and idolatry; nor a servant of sin and the lusts of the flesh; nor of Satan, who boasted of the whole earth being his; but the Lord's servant, not only by creation, but by special choice, by redemption, by efficacious grace, and the voluntary surrender of himself to the Lord under the influence of it; and by his cheerful and constant obedience he answered this character; and the Lord here claims his property in him, acknowledges him as his servant, calls him by name, and gives an high and honourable account of him:
that there is none like him in the earth; or "in the land"; in the land of Uz, so Obadiah Sephorno; whatever there were in other countries, there were none in this, being in general idolaters; or in the land of the people of the Heathen nations, as the Targum; or rather in the whole earth, where Satan had been walking: and, very probably, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were now dead; Job being, as it should seem, between them and the times of Moses; and though there might be many godly persons then living, who were like to him in quality, being partakers of the same divine nature, having the same image of God upon them, and the same graces in them, and a similar experience of divine things, yet not upon an equality with him; he exceeded them all in grace and holiness; and particularly, none came up to him for his patience in suffering affliction, though this was often tried; as Moses excelled others in meekness, and Solomon in wisdom; Job was an eminent saint and servant of the Lord, a father in his family, a pillar in his house, like Saul among the people, taller in grace and the exercise of it; and this is a reason why he could not but be taken notice of by Satan, who has his eye more especially on the most eminent saints, and envies them, and strikes at them; and so the words are by some rendered, "for there is none like him" (q); or rather they may be rendered, "but there is none like him" (r): and so are opposed to the accusations and charges Satan was come with against him:
a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? See Gill on Job 1:1. Here the character there given is confirmed by the Lord in the express words of it.And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. The integrity and godliness attributed to Job by the author of the Poem are confirmed by God Himself.Verse 8. - And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered? literally. Hast thou set thine heart on? equivalent to "Hast thou given thine attention to?" (comp. Isaiah 41:22; Haggai 1:5, 7). My servant Job; i.e. "my true servant, faithful in all that he does" (comp. Hebrews 3:5). It is a high honour to any man for God to acknowledge him as his servant (see Joshua 1:2; 1 Kings 11:13, etc.). That there is none like him in the earth; rather, for there is none like him (see the Revised Version). This is given as a reason why Satan should have paid special attention to his case, and is a sort of challenge: "Thou that art always spying out some defect or other in a righteous man, hast thou noted my servant Job, and discovered any fault in him?" A perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil (see the comment on ver. 1).
It is a large, princely household. The numbers are large, but must not on that account be considered an invention. The four animals named include both kinds. With the doubled אלפי corresponds the also constructive מאות, the Tsere of which is never shortened, though in the singular one says מאת, from מאה. The aorists, especially of the verb היה (הוה), which, according to its root, signifies not so much esse as fieri, existere, are intended to place us at once in the midst of his prosperity. Ex iis, says Leo Africanus in reference to flocks, Arabes suas divitias ac possessiones aestimant. In fine, Job was without his equal among the קרם בני. So the tribes are called which extend from Arabia Deserta, lying to the east of Palestine, northwards to the countries on the Euphrates, and south over Arabia Petraea and Felix. The wisdom of these tribes, treasured up in proverbs, songs, and traditions, is mentioned in 1 Kings 5:10, side by side with the wisdom of the Egyptians. The writer now takes a very characteristic feature from the life of Job, to show that, even in the height of prosperity, he preserved and manifested the piety affirmed of him.
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