What do You Really Want? The Book of Job

Brit-Am Commentary (BAC).

Job 2:1-3 Satan and Incitement.
Job 2:4-10 Naval - Folly- Death- and the Inner Truth of us all.
Job 2:11-13 The Three Friends of Job.


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What do You Really Want?
The Book of Job. Chapter Two.

Job 2:1-3 Satan and Incitement.

[Job 2:1] Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.

The sons of God are the emissaries of the Almighty.  They do HIS will.
The Satan came to present himself amongst them. He too is subject to God and fulfills HIS commandments. Nevertheless he is not presented as exactly one of the "sons of God". He is depicted rather as an outsider who comes to place himself amongst them.

[Job 2:2] And the LORD said to Satan, 'From where do you come?'
Satan answered the LORD and said, 'From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.'

[Job 2:3] Then the LORD said to Satan, 'Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.'

# incited Me # This word is from the Latin. Many Latin words show some similarity to Hebrew when allowance is made for Latin declining words according to its own rules.
In Hebrew the word here is "va-tasitayni" from the root "S-T-A" (or "S-T-H")  implying "turn aside, pervert".  A sexual pervert is a "Soteh". An adulterous wayward woman is a "Sotah" (Numbers 5:11-31).
The word "Sotah" and the root STH in Hebrew are spelt with the same letters as "Sh-Tu-T" meaning stupidity.  The Sages said that a person does not sin unless a spirit of stupidity enters them.
Stupidity is also an abnormality, a departure from what should be.
A person who encourages others to commit idolatry is called a "maysit" from the same STA word root.
The name Satan is derived from this root.  The Satan works to divert us from the straight and narrow.
Satan in Hebrew means adversary. It also implies prosecutor, a prosecuting agent. The Satan not only causes us to sin. He also tries to convict us for sinning.
In a sense the very act of sin carries within it the conviction and potential punishment.
Have you ever met types who encourage you to do something and later criticize you for following their advice?
The drug world is full of such creatures.

We are told in the Bible how David was moved to request a census of his people and as a result of that disaster came upon the kingdom.
2-Samuel 24:
1 Again the anger of the LORD was aroused against Israel, and He moved David against them to say, 'Go, number Israel and Judah.'

The word translated here as "moved against" in Hebrew is "va-Yasat" from the root "S-T-H". Here David was moved to do something against his own better interest and which he would not normally have done.

In the story of Job, due to the Satan, it is the Almighty Himself as if to say who has been made a victim of the Satan.
God is complaining that the Satan has incited him and caused HIM to depart from the right way.
In the normal cause of things someone who does good gets good. Good is given unto the do-gooders.
This is how it should be.
This is how God wants it.
This is how it often is.
There are exceptions whether in circumstance or time.
Job was a good man. God had rewarded him. This is how it should have continued. The Satan had caused a departure from the way things should have been.

In Hebrew we have the word "Shat" meaning set a foundation or simply "set". From this we get the English words "set, sit, stay".
"Shat"(set) in Hebrew is from the root "Sh-T-H". It is related to "S-T-H".
In a sense "S-T-H" is a derivation connoting deviation from "Sh-T-H".
It means departing from what should be.
Our aim in life should be to do what should be done.

We see the Hebrew root "STH giving us foundation and becoming sit and set in English.
Other English words probably ultimately traced to the Hebrew word-roots S-T-H, S-T-A, Sh-T-H are Stand, Stay, Start, Stow, Stave,
A related word  is ShTL connoting to plant, to make stand upright which give us in English: Settle, Stall, Stale.
cf. the Hebrew S-AI-F   or S-EI-P meaning threshold or stepping point which gives us Step, Stop, Steep, Slope.
We also have the root STR meaning secret which gives us Store and (via Latin) Mystery.

See also: Who is the Satan?

Job: 4-10 Naval - Folly- Death- and the Inner Truth of us all.

[Job 2:4] So Satan answered the LORD and said, 'Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.'

It is God who believes in man.
The Satan is the one who brings claims against us and wants to hurt and demean us.

[Job 2:5] But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!

 he will surely curse. In Hebrew "yivorececa" meaning literally "he will bless you".  This is a literary device in Hebrew. To say outright "He will surely curse You" appears too abrupt and harsh.
The opposite expression is therefore used but the actual meaning is obvious.

The Satan says that a person does not feel so much what happens to his surroundings and those near him as long he is alright.

[Job 2:6] And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.

his life. Hebrew "nafsho" meaning his psyche and mental faculties as well as his actual physical existence.

[Job 2:7] So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.

[Job 2:8] And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes.

[Job 2:9] Then his wife said to him, Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!

A woman identifies with her husband. The fate of Job in the eyes of his wife was worse to her than if it had been to herself.
She was angry with the Almighty and with life in general.

[Job 2:10] But he said to her, You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity? In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Job also did not directly insult his wife. He said she was not speaking appropriately.  He implied that the mode of expression she was using was not suitable for her. She would not want to be considered the kind of person  the expressions she was using were suited to.

foolish women. Hebrew "nevelot". From the root NBL or NVL (In Hebrew the sound B and V may be represented by the same letter).
Related words are "nevelah" meaning  an impure animal carcase that is no good for food or anything else.
It can also mean a human carcase, e.g.
2-Kings 9:37
37 and the corpse of Jezebel shall be as refuse on the surface of the field, in the plot at Jezreel, so that they shall not say, 'Here lies Jezebel.'

Also "naval" meaning fool and "navalah" foolishness.
Isaiah 32:
6 For the
foolish person [naval] will speak foolishness ["navalah"] ,
And his heart will work iniquity:
To practice ungodliness,
To utter error against the LORD,
To keep the hungry unsatisfied,
And he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.

Naval means not only fool but also implies ingrate.
1-Samuel 25:
25 Please, let not my lord regard this scoundrel Nabal. For as his name is, so is he:
Nabal is his name, and folly is with him!

The word may have other connotations and associations.
In general it means folly, ingratitude, and shortsightedness.

When Amnon the son of David wished to commit incense with his half-sister Tamar she begged him to desist.

2-Samuel 13:
12 But she answered him, No, my brother, do not force me, for no such thing should be done in Israel. Do not do this disgraceful thing! 13 And I, where could I take my shame? And as for you, you would be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you. 14 However, he would not heed her voice; and being stronger than she, he forced her and lay with her.

Tamar warned Amnon that if he went ahead he would be like one of the fools (nabalim) of Israel.

In order to sin one needs to kill something inside oneself first. This relates to stupidity, impurity, and death.
A person judges themself.
If you do not deserve some misfortune that has come upon you, you will know it.
You will say it to the Almighty and the chances are you will be cured.

God wants what is  good for you and your inner being wishes to serve God.

We are told above that "In all this Job did not sin with his lips".
In his mind he may have done so. There is a principle that God does not treat man unfairly. He Knows what we think but our actions are what count.
So too we are warned to treat others with the same consideration.

Ecclesiastes 7:
21 Also do not take to heart everything people say,
Lest you hear your servant cursing you.
22 For many times, also, your own heart has known
That even you have cursed others.


Another lesson we may learn from the incident with the wife of Job is that we should not let others make moral judgments for us.
For example, supposing someone says something to you that had borderline implications.
We may not have felt insulted but someone else gets upset on our behalf.
This is a trap we should avoid or at least learn how to deal with without involving ourselves in matters we do not need to get involved with.

We need to look after ourselves from ourselves and from others.

The Three Friends of Job.

[Job 2:11] Now when Job's three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place: Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and  Zophar the Naamathite. For they had made an appointment together to come and mourn with him, and to comfort him.

Eliphaz the Temanite: Teman is from Edom.  Edom is another name for Esau. We have already suggested that Job himself was from Edom. At the least the Land of Uz were Job dwelt was associated with Edom as we noticed.
Job 1
Where was Uz?
Who was Job?

The name Eliphaz  could means "My God is like gold" since "El" connotes deity and paz (or "phaz") was a kind of fine gold.

The first-born son of Esau was also named Eliphaz  (1 Chronicles 1:35). The mother of Elphaz was Adah (Genesis 36:4).
Eliphaz had six sons one of whom was Amalek. The mother of Amalek was Timna the concubine.

Genesis 36:
11 And the sons of Eliphaz were Teman, Omar,  Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz.
12 Now Timna was the concubine of Eliphaz, Esau?s son, and she bore Amalek to Eliphaz. These were the sons of Adah, Esau's wife.

 Amalek is the arch-enemy of Israel (Exodus 17:16; Deuteronomy 25:19).
Even so, Midrashic Literature paints a more positive picture of Eliphaz. It says that Jacob helped raise him and that Eliphaz spared the life of Jacob even though his father, Esau, had commanded that Jacob should be killed (Rashi to Genesis 29:11).

At all events Eliphaz the friend of Job was called the Temanite. This suggests that he descended from Teman the son of Eliphaz and half-brother of Amalek.

The inhabitants of Teman seem to have been famous for their wisdom:

 Jeremiah 49:
7. Against Edom.
Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Is wisdom no more in Teman? Has counsel perished from the prudent? Has their wisdom vanished? '

Obadiah 1:
8 Will I not in that day, says the LORD, Even destroy the wise men from Edom, And understanding from the mountains of Esau?
9 Then your mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, To the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau May be cut off by slaughter.

"Teman" is sometimes used as a synonym for Edom itself (Amos 1:12; Obadiah 1:9;  Jeremiah 49:20, 22; Habakuk 3:3).

In Hebrew Temen can by synonymous with Yamin and mean "right-hand" or "southern side".

Assyrian inscriptions mention Temanaye, Temana, Temeni, Tamnuna, Taiman.
This was a province in the far north of Syria. It was the name of a people of that area in the 1000s BCE but who later (in ca. 800 BCE) were also found in the region of Assyria between Nineveh and Calah.
This suggests a possible conflation between the Assyrians and Edom.
The Prophet Amos (chapter 1) links Edom with the exile of the Ten Tribes by the Assyrians.

The Aramaeans : their ancient history, culture, religion
By Edward Lipiski, 2000, Netherlands, p.166

Esau was described as an Edomoni (Genesis 25:25) the same as King David (1-Samuel 17:42).
This is usually understood to mean ruddy and red-haired.

Esau is a major adversary of Israel.
The final showdown of the Israelite Nation or at least one of them will be against Edom (see the Book of Obadiah).

Edom was linked with Babylon (Psalm 137) and inscriptions mentioned a people known as the Temennu as an important element in Babylonian affairs.

Esau was blessed that he should father warrior race and live in a fertile land enjoying material abundance.

Genesis 37:
39 Then Isaac his father answered and said to him: Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth, And of the dew of heaven from above.
40 By your sword you shall live, And you shall serve your brother;  And it shall come to pass, when you become restless, That you shall break his yoke from your neck.

Bildad the Shuhite
A descendant of Shuah, son of Abraham and Keturah (Genesis 25:2). This people later intermixed to some degree at least, with the Ishmaelites and became associated with the Arab races.
The Shuahite dwelt to the northeast of what later vbecame the Land of Israel, in the region of Bashan, or eastern Syria on the desert edge which at that time may have been more of a savannah type environment.
Josephus  (Antiquities, 1.4.1-3) refers to Shuah as Sous.
The name "Shuah" in Hebrew could mean "rich man".

Zophar the Naamathite. "Zophar" (Tsophar) means "chirp" like a bird or sound a warning. He was from somewhere called Naamah or a descendant of one with that name.
Naamah connotes pleasantness.

[Job 2:12] And when they raised their eyes from afar, and did not recognize him, they lifted their voices and wept; and each one tore his robe and sprinkled dust on his head toward heaven.

[Job 2:13]  So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.

This is quite dramatic.
These were apparently very important men in their own right. We shall see that they were profound thinkers.
They came, they saw, and they sat down in commiseration for a week, day and night, with break.


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