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giving, the evils which encompassed them; and hearing withal how bourtifully God rewarded Job for his datience, they might hope for deliverance, and expect the benefit of a blessed reward of their labours.
“ Be ye constant, О children of Israel, (said Moses with a pleasing countenance, when he delivered this book into their hands), do not faint in your minds, O ye posterity of Abraham, but suffer grief, and bear these evils patiently, as that man in the land of Uz did, whose name was Job; who, though he was a righteous and faithful person, in whom was no fault, yet suffered the sorest torments by the malice of the devil; as you do now most unjustly from Pharaoh and the Egyptians. They treat you indeed very basely, and lave enslaved you, without any fault of yours, &c. But do not despair of a better condition, you shall be delivered, as Job was, and have a reward of your tribulations, like that which God gave to him."
There follows a great deal more to the same purpose in that writer, which I shall not transcribe, but only add, that the church of Christ, as he observes, was wont, after this example, to read this passion of Job publicly in all their assemblies, upon holidays, (when they conmemorated the martyrs), and upon fasting days, and days of abstinence, and upon the days of our Saviour's passion, of which they thought they saw a figure in the sufferings of Job; and of our Saviour's resurrection and exaltation, in Job's wonderful recovery, and advancement to a greater height of prosperity. And as they read this history in the church pub. licly, so when they went to visit any one privately that was in grief, mourning, or sorrow, they read a lesson of the patience of Job for their comfort or support under their troubles, and to take away the distress and anguish of their heart.
I pray God it may have that effect upon all amicted persons who shall read it; and that others also, considering the instability of all worldly things, (which is here also lively represented), may use their prosperity with such moderation, that they may bear a change of their condition, if it come, with an equal mind. I am sure there is no man, of whatsoever rank, or in whatsoever condition he be, but may learn very much, if he please, from this admirable pattern. Which is the very first that is left us upon record, of a virtuous life, both in prosperity and in adversity, and that not only as a private man, but as a prince; “ in whom it is the greater commendation to obey the will of God, because he hath more means and temptations to fulfil his own."
That therefore shall conclude the character of Job, who, when he had no superior to controul him, (as you may read, chap. xxix. and xxxi.), gave such an example of piety and devotion, humility and moderation, chastity and purity, justice and equity, charity and compassion, as few have done in a private condi. tion. This is as admirable, and will be praised as much to all generations, as his generous patience ; which was so much famed in ancient times, that (from a passage which some editions of the LXX. have added to the conclusion of this book) it went as a common tradition, šdio ä Tisov izos, (as Theophanes speaks), having nothing incredible in it, that Job was one of those who had the honour to rise out of his grave at our Saviour's resurrection, when, as St Matthew assures us, chap. xxvii. 51. “ Many bodies of saints which slept, arose, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many."
James, v. 7. 11.-" Behold, we count them happy which endure. Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto
the coming of the Lord.”
P A Ꭱ Ꭺ Ꮲ Ꮋ Ꭱ Ꭺ Ꮪ E
BOOK OF JOB.
live in love and unity. For it was the custom of his
sons to meet at each other's houses, and to make a THE ARGUMENT.-This Chapter is a plain narration feast every one upon his birth-day : (iii. 1.). And
of the flourishing condition wherein Job lived, be- he whose turn it was to treat the rest, always invited fore the envy and malice of the devil brought upon their three sisters to come and be merry with them. him the sorest calamities; which are particularly Ver. 5. And it was so, when the days of their feastdescribed, with the occasion of them, and his ad. ing were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, mirable constancy under them, whereby he became and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt-offeras eminent an example of patience in adversity, as ings, according to the number of them all; for Job said, he had been of piety and all manner of virtue in It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in his prosperity.
their hearts. Thus did Job continually.] This feast
was wont to last seven days, at the end of which Ver. 1. THERE
was a man in the land of Ux, their good father never failed to send a messenger to
whose name was Job; and that man them, to call upon them to prepare themselves by was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and fasting and prayer for the sacrifice he meant to offer eschewed evil.] In the time of the ancient patriarchs, for them: And when they were assembled, he rose before the giving of the law of Moses, there lived up early in the morning, (the fittest time for devoin Arabia a person of great eminence, whose name tion), and prayed to God, by offering burnt-offerings was Job; a man not more illustrious for his birth or for every one of them, because he was afraid they place, than for the height of his virtue, which ap- might have done or spoken something that was propeared in a most unblameable life, void of all hypo- fane, and misbecoming their religion, when their crisy, both in his piety toward God, and in his deal- minds, loosened by mirth, were less upon their ings with men, and all other ways.
guard. And thus he did constantly after every Ver. 2. And there were born unto him seven sons and feast. thrte daughters.] Whom God therefore had so won- Ver. 6. I Now there was a day when the sons of derfully blessed, that his outward prosperity was God came to present themselves before the LORD, and equal to the perfections of his mind. For first, he Satan came also among thenie] But this great piety had given him the sweet fruits of marriage, in a nu- was not sufficient to preserve him from false accusamerous issue of seven sons and three daughters :
tions. For as Job set a time for his children to exaVer. 3. His substance also was seven thousand sheep, mine themselves, so there are certain seasons when and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, the angels come and stand in the divine presence, tó and five hundred she-asses, and a very great household; give an account of their ministry, and to receive so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the commands from God, the Judge and Governor of east.] And then enriched him abundantly with the the world ; and Satan, that subtle adversary of manwealth of that country, which consisted in seven kind, came one day, and thrust in himself
among thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred them. yoke of oxen, as many she-asses; with such a very Ver. 7. And the LORD said unto Satan, Il’hence cogreat tillage, and so many servants, that in those mest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, eastern parts he had neither superior nor equal. From going to and fro in the earth, and from zvalking 1:
Ver. 4. And his sons went and feasted in their houses and down in it.] And the Lord to make him senevery one his day, and sent and called for their three sisters, sille he was not an absolute prince, but his subject) to eat and drink with them.] And together with all called to him, and demanded an account of hin, this happiness, he had the pleasure to see his children where he had been, and from whence he came ? To
Job by a messenger,
which he gave an answer, which expressed, as the tidings were presently brought to great resilessness of his mind, and his unwearied di- saying, ligence, so the limitation of his power, which ex- Ver. 15. And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took tends only to this lower world; for he told him, he them away ; yra, they have slain the servants with the came from going to and fro in the earth, and from edge of the stvord, and I only am escaped alone to tell walking up and down in it.
thee.] As the oxen were at plough, and the asses in Ver. 8. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou a pasture hard by them, the Sabeans made an inroad considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in into thy country, and carried them all away ; having the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fear. slain, by an unexpected assault, all those who should eth God, and escheweth evil.] Then the Lord said to have preserved them, except myself alone, who made him again, After all thy inquisitiveness and busy an escape to acquaint thee with it. search, thou hast nothing to object against the integri. Ver. 16. W bile he was yet speaking, there came also ty of my servant Job; a man that excels in piety and another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from beajustice, and all other virtues, which he practises exact- ven, and bath burnt
tbe sheep, and the servants, and iy and sincerely.
consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell Ver. 9. Then Satan ansivered the LORD, and said, the..] He had not quite delivered his message before Doth Job fear God for nought?] Yes, said Satan; another of his servants arrived, (as evils seldom come le serves himself raiher than thee; it is not thy plea. single), to tell him that there had been a very great sure which he regards, but his own profit.
lightning in those parts where his sheep were feeding, not made an bedge about him, which had consumed both them and the shepherds, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every and left none surviving but himself alone, to give now side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his tice of this disaster. substance is increased in the land.] Hast not thou pay- Ver. 17. While he was yet speaking, there came also ed him well for his pains ? and so environed him and another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, his family, and all belonging to him in every place, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, pea, that no harm can come to them? Włrereby all his and have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; business prospers, and all his flocks and his herds and I only am escaped qlone to tell thee.] He had not fic are so increased, that the country can scarce hold nished his narration before another messenger was at them.
the door, saying, Our neighbours the Chaldeans, seekVer. 11. But put forth thine band now, and touch all ing for booty, divided themselves into three parties, that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.] But who set upon us all at once; and they have carried I am confident, if thou wilt but employ that power away the camels, and killed all the servants that lookto plague him, which hath so long preserved him, ed after them, except myself, who made a shift to save he will not only in his heart, but openly, deny thy myself by flight, to bring the news of this invasion. providence.
Ver. 18. While he was yet speaking, there came also Ver. 12. And the LORD said unto Satan, Bebold, anotber, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating all that he hath is in thy power ; only upon himself put and drinking wine in ibeir elder brother's house :] Before not forth thine band. So Satan went forth from the he had concluded, came in another, the most doleful presence of the LORD.] Then the Lord (who was messenger of all, saying, Thy children, as thou know. willing to prove the virtue of his servant in an afflict- est, were feasting with their elder brother : ed estate, as he had done in a prosperous) withdrew Ver. 19. And bebold, there came a great wind from the protection he had given him, and granted Satan a the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the bouse, commission to dispose of all belonging to Job accord, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead ; and ing as he pleased ; excepting only his
person, which I only am escaped alone to tell thee.] And behold, on a he commanded him not to touch. This was joyful sudden there arose a violent wind, which coming from news to that malicious spirit, who went immediately the desart, and whirling about the house, took away to do what he had long desired.
the four corners of it, and buried them all in its ruins; Ver. 13. And there was a day when his sons and and there is not one of the guests escaped, that I his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their know of, but only myself, to be the messenger of this eldest brother's house :] And within a short time found great calamity. an opportunity to try the constancy of Job, by doing Ver. 20. Then Fob arose, and rent bis mantle, and him all the mischief possible, in one and the same shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and wor. day: which was the birth-day of his eldest son, when shipped.] Then Job (who had heard all the rest withall his children (far from fearing any evil) were met, out disturbance) was overcome with grief at this last according to their custom, at his house, to feast and word, and laying aside all other thoughts, gave up rejoice together.
himself to the most lamentable sorrow; for he rent Ver. 14. And there came a messenger unto Job, and his upper garment, cut off the hair of his head, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding be threw himself upon the ground.. Where he deceived side them.] Then it was that Satan pat in execution the devil's expectation ; for he most reverently adowhat he had designed ; and first of all stirred up a red, as became his piety, the Divine Majesty, and subthievish sort of people in Arabia, to fall upon that mitted himself to his will, saying, part of his land which was next to them, of which Ver. 21. And said, Naked came I out of my mother's somb, and naked sball I return thither : the LORD gave, Skin for skin, and all that a man bath will be give for bis and the LORD bath taken away ; blessed be the name of life.) Towhich Satan answered again, and said, that his tbe LORD.] I am but what I was at first, and what I constancy was not so wonderful, since a man hath must have been again at last; and he that hath stript me reason to think himself rich, who is in health. Who of all before I die, hath taken away nothing but what is there that will not give another's skin 10 save his he gave. Let him, therefore, be praised, who is the own; nay, part with his children, as well as his goods, donor of all good things, and the disposer of all events. to save his life?
Ver. 22. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God Ver. 5. But put forth thine band now, and touch bis foolishly.] This was the worst word that he spake, bone, and his flesh, and he will curse tbee to thy face.] when all these evils came upon him so unexpectedly, But enlarge now my commission a little farther, and and so thick together : ali the rest was like this; let me afflict his body, so that it touch him to the very and nothing dropt from bis mouth which in the least quick, and he will openly renounce thee, and deny thy accused or questioned the providence of God.
Ver. 6. And the LORD said unto Satan, Bebold, be is CHAP. II.
in thine hand, but save his life.] To which the Divine
Majesty (knowing the fidelity of Job, which hereby THE ARGUMENT.-The first part of this chapter is a - would become more illustrious) was pleased to yield;
continuation of the narration, which was begun in and said, Behold, I give thee the same power over his the foregoing, of the calamities which befel this good person, which thou hadst over his family and goods : man, whom God suffered the devil to afflict in inflict what diseases thou wilt upon him, so they do his body, as he had already done in his goods and not kill him. children. And then follows a farther testimony of Ver. 7. So went Satan forth from the presence of his constancy, notwithstanding his wife's angry and the Lord, and smote Yob with sore boils, from the sole of profane accusation of the Divine Providence : bis foot unto his crown.] No sooner had Satan obThough, it is true, he was so much dejected to see tained this new grant, but, withdrawing himself from himself reduced to this extremity of misery, that the presence of the Divine Majesty, he went to purneither he nor his friends that came to visit him, sue his mischievous desires ; and smote Job from top were able for several days to speak a word. to toe with a fiery ulcer, whose sharp humour was ex
treme, grievous, and painful, and pricked him (acVer. 1. AGAIN ebere was a day when the sons of cording to his wish) to the very bone,
GOD came to present ihemselves before the Ver. 8. And be took him a potsherd to scrape himself LORD, and Satan came also to present himself before withal ; and he sat down among the ashes.] The filthi. the LORD.] After these things, the angels going a. ness of the disease also increased that sorrow and hea gain to attend the pleasure of the Divine Majesty, viness which before had seized on him, and made and to give an account of their several charges, Sa. him sit down in the ashes : where he laid hold on tan also openly appeared among them, and presented what came next to hand, a piece of a broken pot, himself, as ready and desirous to be examined about to wipe away the foul matter which issued out of his his management.
boils. Ver. 2. And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence Ver. 9. I Then said his wife unto him, Dost thoil comest thou ? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, still retuin thine integrity ? Curse God and die.) And From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up it was a farther addition to his grief, to hear his dear and down in it.] But not daring to speak before he consort (whom the divine goodness, he thought, had was called, he waited till the Divine Majesty asked still left to help him to bear bis affliction) utter this where he had been, and what he had done. To which profane speech, What a folly is it still to persist in he answered, as he had done before, that he had not the service of God, when all thou gettest by it is to lost his time, but had fetched a circuit round about give him thanks and perish. the earth, to find opportunity for the exercise of his Ver. 10. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one power.
of the foolish women speaketh : What? shall we receive Ver. 3. And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou good at the band of God, and shall we not receive' evil? considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in Ir all this did not Fob sin with his lips.] These words the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one tbat feareth struck him to the very heart : but instead of being God, and eschewetb evil? and still be boldeth fast his angry with God, he only severely reproved her, tell. integrity, although thou movest me against him, to de. ing her that she talked like one of the wicked wo. stroy bim without cause. Well then, said the Lord, men : and then piously represented to her, that we art not thou convinced how true a character I gave of ought to take nothing iil which comes from the hand my servant Job, and how much thou hast calumniated of God, (as all evil things do as well as good); and the him? for he still resolutely continues as perfectly vir. more good we have received from him, the less reatuous as he was in his prosperity, though I have con- son we have to complain when we suffer any evil. sented to these miserable calamities which he suffers No discourse but such as this was heard to come from undeservedly.
his mouth. Ver. 4. And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Ver. 11. I Now when Job's r?::friends beard of all VOL. III.
this evil that was cong tipon him, they came every man
But he burst out into such bitter lamentations, that he from his own place ; Eliphaz the Temanite, and Bildad wished a thousand times he had never been born. the Sha!rite, and Zophar ibe Naamathite ; for they bad Ver. 2. And Job spake and said,] That which lie made an appointment together to come to mourn with him, said was to this effect: anl to comfort Lim.] Now, there dwelt in the neigh- Ver. 3. Let the day perish wherein I was born, and bouring provinces three great men, with whom Job the night in which it was said; There is a man.child corhad long maintained a particular friendship; who, ceived.] Let the day and the night of my birth be nehearing the sad tidings of his sufferings, came every ver more mentioned, but be quite forgotten, as it it one from his country to visit him., Their names were had never been. Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zo- Ver. 4. Let that day be darkness, let not GOD regard phar the Naamathite ; who all three met at his house it from above, neither let the ligle shine upon it.] Let on the same day, according to an appointment they that day be turned into night, and not be connted ahad made, to come and condole with him, and com. mong the days: let the sun then withdraw its light, fort him.
it. Ver. 12. And when they lift up their eyes afur of er. 5. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it, and knew bi:n not, tbey dijezd up their voice and wept ; let a doud dwell upon it, let the blackness of the day terand they rent every one bis mantle, and sprinkled distrify it.] Let the most dismal darkness and the thickupon their heads towards heuver.] But as soon as ever est clouds wholly possess it, and render it terrible to they entered into the place where he lay, they were surprised with so miserable a spectacle of deformity, Ver. 6. As for that night, let darkness seize tipon it, that they shrieked aloud, as men affrighted, and burst let it not be joined to the days of the year, let it not come out into tears, and rent their garments, and threw into the number of the months.] And let the night be dust into the air ; which falling on their heads, ex. of the same sort, and both of them quite blotted out pressed the confusion they were in, to find him so co
of the kalendar. vered over with ulcers, that they could not know him. Ver. 7. Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful
Ver. 13. So they sat down with him upon the ground voice come therein.] Let nobody meet together on that seven days and seven nights : and none spoke a word unto night, to feast or make merry. bim, for they saw that his grief was very great.] And
Ver. 8. Let them curse it that curse the day, who are when they approached nearer him, they only sat down ready to raise up their mourning.] Let it be as the day upon the earth, in the same moarnful posture where. wherein men bewail the greatest misfortune, or the in they found him, but were not able (so much were time wherein they see the most dreadful apparition. they astonished) for seven days and nights to say one Ver. 9. Lei the stars of the twilight thereof be dark ; word of the business about which they were come to let it look for light, but have none, neither let it see the him. And indeed his grief was so exceeding great, dawning of the day :] Let there not so much: as a star that they did not well know what to say, till time, appear in that night, nor so much light as we see at which alters all things, had assuaged a little both his peep
day. grief and theirs.
Ver. 10. Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's
womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes.] Because it did CHAP. III.
not bury me in my mother's womb, and thereby secure
me from all these miseries. THE ARGUMENT...Here begin the discourses which Ver. 11. Why died I not from the womb ? why did
Job and his friends had about his aftliction ; which I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly ?] are all represented by the author of this book What a misfortune was it that I did not die before I poetically ; not as hitherto, in a plain simple nar- was born, or at least as soon as I came into the ration, but in most elegant verse. And being over- world? charged with grief, (without the least word of com- Ver. 12. Why did the knees prevent me ? or why the fort from his friends), he that had for some time ' breasts that I should suck?] That they who received borne the weight of his afflictions with an admirable me from the womb did not let me fall on the ground? constancy, could not contain himself any longer, or my nurse refuse to give me suck? but bursis out (to such a degree was the anguish of Ver. 13. For now should I have lien still, and been his spirit increaseu) into the most passionate com- quiet, I should have slept; then had I been at rest :] plaints of the miseries of human life. The con- Then should I have felt none of these miseries which sideration of which made himn prefer death much I now endure, but lain quiet and undisturbed ; before it, and wish that eithet he had never come Ver. 14. With kings and counsellors of the earth, into the world, or gone presently out of it again, which built desolate places for themselves s}" Equal to or at least might now forth with be dismissed. kings and the greatest persons, who lie alone in the
tombs which they built themselves :: AFI
FTER this opened yob bis mouth, and cur- Ver. 15. Or with princes that had geld, who filled
sed his day.) And at the end of seven their houses with silver :] Having gold and silver in days Job himself began by complaints to give some abundance, whereof now they are bereaved : vent to his grief, which had stupified him thus long: Ver, 16. Or as a hidden untimely birth I kad no