New European Commentary


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Job 42:1 Then Job answered Yahweh- Job finally answers, and we are all ears. For God has said earlier that He doesn't accept Job's silence. He wants an answer of sorts, although there is no legitimate one. It has been observed that the Covenant name of Yahweh is not used in the speeches of Job and the friends. Instead they speak of God as El (power) or Shaddai (the fruitful one). This shows how they perceived God as the awesome power of the universe, the one who granted their physical blessings in response to their obedience to Him. 'God' was like a profitable insurance policy. But Yahweh is fundamentally a saviour-God, one who manifests Himself in men for their salvation, and is supremely manifested in the Son. Significantly, we are told in chapter 42 that Job finally spoke to Yahweh; it was to Him that he said: " I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; but now mine eye seeth thee" (:5). He came to understand God's Name, His personality, in far greater fullness. He came to appreciate far more the extent of God's manifestation in the true friend which he looked forward to. Our sufferings and traumas have a like effect, if we respond as Job did. Note that both Jacob and Samson, in their time of spiritual maturity, also reached a higher appreciation of the names of God. Reflect likewise how Abraham told Isaac that “Elohim yir’eh”, the elohim would provide the sacrifice; but after the wonder of the ram being provided, he named the place “Yahweh yir’eh” (Gen. 22:14). The experience of this foreshadowing of the cross led him to know the Yahweh Name more fully; and for this reason it can be shown that the cross was the supreme means of that Name being declared to men. 

Job 42:2 I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be restrained-
Job has said this already in Job 10:13 LXX: "Having these things in thyself, I know that thou canst do all things; for nothing is impossible with thee". Job at the end repeats these words, but really understanding and meaning them as a result of his sufferings, turning theoretical knowledge into experience (:5). In Mt. 19:26 the Lord explains the irrelevance of riches and human power to salvation and entering the Kingdom, saying that "with God all things are possible"- without money. This is almost quoting Job 42:2, where Job comes to the conclusion that all human strength is meaningless: "I know that You can do everything". It may be that Jesus is even implying that through the tribulation of his life he had come to the same conclusion as Job.

I have pointed out that Job all through rejects the ideas promoted by the friends, the view of traditional wisdom (especially emphasized by Bildad, Job 8:8–10), that various supernatural ‘Satan’ monsters and figures were responsible for his experiences. Job began by saying that we receive both good and evil from God’s hand (Job 2:10 cp. Is. 45:5–7). And he ends saying the same – that the Lord brought the trouble upon him (Job 42:11). He repeatedly sees God as the source of all his affliction. Hence God can say that Job has spoken about Him that which is right (Job 42:8). But Job came to realize the massive practical extent of what he had previously known in theory, what he had “by the hearing of the ear”. Now his eye saw / perceived that truly no plan of God can be thwarted, by any of the various ‘Satan’ monsters imagined by men (Job 42:2). We too may say that we believe in the omnipotence of God; but such a belief requires us to throw out all beliefs in supernatural Satan figures. And that’s not a merely intellectual exercise; to see the tragedies and cruelties of our lives as being ultimately from God and under His control is something which shakes us to the core. See on Job 41:1.


Job 42:3 You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’-
Job is here quoting from God's accusation against him in Job 38:2 LXX (see note there), and accepting it as true. His many words had darkened or hid the word / counsel of God.

Therefore I have uttered that which I did not understand- Job here directly engages with God's words in Job 38:18, using the same words as when God asked him if he could 'utter' his 'understanding' of the breadth of the earth. Those amongst the exiles who repented would be able to 'utter the understanding' once they perceived God's grace (s.w. Is. 40:21; Jer. 9:12). Job had initially been sure that he could "understand" what God was doing (Job 6:30), but progressively came to realize that he could not "understand" God's ways (Job 9:11; 23:8). Now he realizes that even that confession that he didn't "understand" was inadequate, for if he really meant it, he would have not spoken as he had. It was through the work of the suffering servant that God's people would come to understand that which they had not understood (Is. 52:15 s.w.). For in the death and work of the Lord Jesus there was a like theophany going on to that which Job was experiencing, and our response to it should be as his.

Things too wonderful for me, which I didn’t know- Job had earlier admitted that God's ways were too wonderful for him (s.w. Job 9:10), but now that theoretical knowledge of his own humanity was felt in reality (:5).

Job 42:4 You said, ‘Listen, now, and I will speak; I will question you, and you will answer Me’-
In his brief speech, Job engages directly with God's words, here in Hob 38:3; 40:7. His repentance and restoration were a direct result of his careful response to God's word, and this too was to be the path of Israel, if they would share in his restoration. God twice told Job that He was going to demand of him, and receive an answer (Job 38:3; 40:7). I suggest that God puts the words of repentance to Job, and Job then meekly repeats them. The same was intended to be true of the exiles' repentance (Hos. 14:2).

There appears to be a purposeful ambiguity in the text. GNB: "You told me to listen while you spoke and to try to answer your questions"; whereas LXX "But hear me, O Lord, that I also may speak: and I will ask thee, and do thou teach me". The LXX seems more likely, as the other readings then have little logical flow of connection with the next verse.

Job 42:5 I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You-
This must be connected with Job 19:27, where Job reveals that his perception of the Kingdom is that then he would see God with his own eye. But by now he has come to the realization that what the depth of Divine understanding which he thought would only be possible in the Kingdom, was in fact possible here and now. This same progressive, awesome realization that so much is possible here and now is something which both individually and collectively we must go through. He had thought this would only be at the resurrection (19:26), seeing a full relationship with God was, he felt, impossible in this life (28:12,20); but he came to see that even in this life, with the joy of a good conscience, the principle is even now realizable. He exalted that now, his eye saw God. It wasn’t all abstractly reserved for the Kingdom.

Job finally recognized that he had only heard of God "by the hearing of the ear". There had been no real spiritual vision of God, no real personal understanding- just hearing in the ear. Note how the Queen of Sheba alludes to Job’s words- she had heard in the ear, but her spirit failed when she saw with her eyes. In the theological context in which Job was, the idea of seeing God for oneself was a huge paradigm jump. Centuries later, righteous Isaiah was sure he would die because he thought he had seen Yahweh (Is. 6:5). Job reached the same spiritual peak of ambition and closeness to the Almighty which Moses did when he asked to be shown God's glory, with the apparent implication that he wanted to see Yahweh's face (Ex. 33:18,20). This peak of ambition which characterized Job's maturity was partly due to the way in which God recounted His greatness before Job (e.g. ch. 38). And yet (as the above chart makes clear) an appreciation of the physical greatness of God was something which had consistently featured in Job's words. Yet he had to be taught that what he thought he knew and appreciated so well, in fact he didn't.  

Job 42:6 Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes-
"Abhor" is the word commonly used for spiritual rejection or condemnation. Job condemned himself; he recognized he as a sinful man of himself should be condemned. Perhaps God's imputed righteousness, whereby He counted Job as "perfect", had led Job over time to forget his own humanity and sin. And we who are justified in Christ can take a warning from this. Job had recognized that his flesh was 'abhorrent' (s.w. Job 7:5); but he had to stop making that an excuse for not perceiving that he himself was personally sinful. Whatever we view we take of our own nature, we must ever remember this.

The epilogue and prologue to Job are evidently related. Job begins sitting in dust and ashes and ends repenting in dust and ashes (Job 2:8; 42:6). The silence of the friends at the opening of the book is matched by the silence after God has finally spoken (Job 40:4). Job intercedes for his children (Job 1:5) and ends up interceding for his friends. Job begins with the description of being the Lord’s servant; and the book concludes on the same note (Job 42:7,8). The question of course is: ‘So what’s the equivalent of the ‘Satan’ figure in the epilogue?’. The omission is intended and obvious. Ultimately the answer is the essence of the whole book: the ‘Satan’, the adversary, is none other than God Himself, in His love.


LXX "I have counted myself vile, and have fainted: and I esteem myself dust and ashes". This sounds as if Job now accepts in reality the truth of the mortality and frailty of man, whereas previously (and he has had much to say about it in his speeches) he was only mouthing the theory of it.


 “Wherefore I loathe my words and repent” (Job 42:6 RVmg.). Job fell into the trap of thinking that his terrible situation somehow allowed him to speak whatever words came into his head. Job felt he hadn’t been ‘fed’ and so he was entitled to “bray” and “low” over his misfortune (Job 6:5). Because of the weight of his sufferings, he thereby justified the fact that "Therefore have my words been rash (Job 6:3). Likewise “Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit” (Job 7:11). “I will give free course to my complaint. I will speak in the bitterness of my soul” (Job 10:1 RV). Zophar criticizes Job being “full of talk” and speaking “the multitude of words”, “for thou sayest, my doctrine is pure” (Job 11:1-4)- as if Job felt that because he held true doctrine he was justified in pouring out words as he did. “Why should I not be impatient?” (Job 21:4 RV). “Today is my complaint bitter. My stroke is heavier than my groaning” (Job 23:2)- i.e. his complaining was due to his sufferings. “If I hold my peace, I shall give up the spirit” (Job 13:19 RVmg.). Job felt that the situation he was in forced him to use the words he did, and certainly justified it [we may well have used this reasoning ourselves when justifying the use of bad language]. But in the end, Elihu on God’s behalf rebuked him for his wrong words. And Job himself recognized: “I am vile. I will lay mine hand upon my mouth” in regret of his words (Job 40:4). “Wherefore I loathe my words and repent” (Job 42:6 RVmg.). He realized his mistake: he had thought that the situation justified his words. Now he hung his head and admitted that there was no justification for speaking in the way he had. Especially in the matter of the tongue, we can so easily justify ourselves; ‘I only said / did it [or didn’t do it] because…’. And it is all so child-like. Once we leave off all attempts at self-justification, we will face up to our sins.

Job 42:7 It was so, that after Yahweh had spoken these words to Job, Yahweh said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against you, and against your two friends-
Job feels God's wrath kindled against him (Job 19:11). The innocent Job  experienced the judgments of God's people, against whom God's wrath was kindled (Dt. 11:17; 2 Kings 23:26). Significantly, we find Elihu's wrath kindled against both Job and the friends (Job 32:2,3), but the wrath of God was kindled only against the friends (Job 42:7). Elihu is therefore not fully reflecting God's position about Job. I have repeatedly demonstrated that the innocent Job was suffering the judgment for the sins of God's people. In the end, this came to full term in the salvation of the friends on account of Job's intercession. God's wrath was not personally against Job, it was against the friends. But Job suffered God's wrath against him, because he was to be the saviour of the friends by offering sacrifice for them and praying for them. This looks forward to the work of the Lord Jesus, the suffering servant based upon Job; experiencing the judgment for our sins, and through the representative nature of His sacrifice, being able to save us. For other examples, see on Job 20:15,16; 24:9.

For you have not spoken of Me the thing that is right, as My servant Job has- LXX "You have sinned". There is reason to think that Eliphaz, the leader of the friends, may have been the specific individual referred to as 'satan' in the prologue. God singles him out for especial condemnation at the end. After one of Eliphaz's speeches, Job responds with what appears to be a comment upon him, rather than God: "He hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company. And thou hast filled me with wrinkles... he teareth me in his wrath, who hateth me (surely Job speaks here about Eliphaz, not God): he gnasheth upon me... mine enemy (satan) sharpeneth his eyes upon me. They (the astonished friends?) have gaped upon me with their mouth, they have smitten me... they have gathered themselves together (as the friends did to Job) against me" (Job 16:9-11). Eliphaz was a Temanite, from where Job's afflicters came (Job 6:19). See on Job 1:6.

Eliphaz in Job 22:3 was propelled by his obsession against Job to say things about God which are wildly untrue, and is specifically rebuked above the other friends for doing this at the end (Job 42:7). I would surmise that his words of Job 22:3 are specifically in view: "Is it any pleasure to the Almighty, that you are righteous? Or does it benefit Him, that you make your ways perfect?". For this is a complete denial of all that God reveals Himself to be. Job rightly understood that God as human creator has a tender desire to the work of His hands (see on Job 14:15). But Eliphaz speaks as if God has no interest nor feeling towards those who are righteous, so far above caring is He. And this could not be a more serious misrepresentation of the God who is thrilled by every move a man makes towards Him.  

Job appeals for ‘witnesses’ (Job 9:33–35; 16:18–22; 19:20–27), an advocate in Heaven (Job 9:33), denies his guilt and demands a legal list of his sins (Job 13:19), he wishes for God to come to trial (Job 9:3), and thus Job is described as a man who has taken out a ‘case’ with God (Job 23:4; 40:2). Job 29–31 is effectively Job’s declaration of legal innocence and an appeal to God to hear his case more sympathetically (Job 31:35). And of course God pronounces a final legal verdict at the very end (Job 42:7), in response to Job’s earlier plea: “Sleeplessly I wait for His reply” (Job 16:22). It’s as if the whole experience of Job was [at least partly] in order to test out the Canaanite theories of ‘Satan’, suffering and evil in the court of Heaven; and also the various theories which arose to explain Judah's captivity in Babylon. The friends represent the traditional views of evil, and often make reference to the myths of their day about ‘Satan’ figures. They speak as if they are the final court – Eliphaz speaks of how the judges and elders of their day, the “holy ones”, had concluded Job was guilty, and that they, the friends, were right: “To which of the holy ones will you appeal [legal language]?... we have [legally] examined this, and it [Job’s guilt] is true” (Job 5:1,27). This is of great comfort to those who feel misjudged by man – above them in Heaven the ultimate Heavenly court is considering our case, and that is all that matters.

Although Job did not speak wrongly about God (42:7;2:10) and kept patiently speaking the word of God despite the mockery it brought from the friends (James 5:10,11), this does not mean that Job or all that he said was blameless. The friends are not reprimanded for speaking wrongly about Job, but about God. Thus there was probably a fair degree of truth in their accusations concerning Job. Elihu also severely rebukes him, and unlike the three friends he is not rebuked for anything in the final analysis by God in Job 42; not to mention the accusation of 'darkening counsel without knowledge' (38:2) by the Lord Himself, backed up by four chapters of heavy reprimand of Job's reliance on human strength and wisdom. This led to Job retracting much of what he had said: "I am vile; what shall I answer Thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth... I will not answer... I will proceed no further... I uttered that I understood not... wherefore I abhor myself and repent" (Job 40:4,5; 42:3-6). This clearly establishes that much of Job's reasoning was faulty, although what he spoke before God was correct. Job was a prophet (Job 29:4 cp. Job 15:8;23:12; Prov.3:32; Amos 3:7; the secret of God being with him made Job a prophet) and it is in his role as such that he is commended in James 5:10,11- i.e. for the words concerning God which he spoke. The words for which God and Elihu rebuked him were therefore about other things. Elihu accused him of speaking "without knowledge" (Job 34:35), which Job admitted to doing (42:3).  

The problem of reconciling the rebuke of Job's words with the statement that he has spoken what is right about God as opposed to the friends is the same as the frequent pronouncement that some kings of Judah walked blamelessly before God exactly as David did, when there is clear evidence in the record that this was not so. This may be because God imputes righteousness to a believer's whole life if his final acts are acceptable (cp. Ez.18:27,28). "Ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath" may refer to the response of the friends and Job to the rebukes of Elihu and  the manifestation of God's power in the thunderstorm which must have been witnessed by the friends as well as by Job. Maybe they made some unrecorded response about God which was not right, whereas Job's supreme recognition of God's righteousness and humbling of himself was speaking that which was right about God. It has to be admitted that it is hard to understand all that Job says in the book about God as being "right", and he is specifically rebuked by God for his words.

Consider how Job shook his fist at God through many of his speeches- so much so that Elihu, on God’s behalf, had to rebuke him at the end. Finally, Yahweh asks Job to “declare thou unto me” (Job 40:7; 42:4): to make a declaration. And Job does, in a matchless humility:  “…therefore have I uttered that I understood not…I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes”. And Yahweh immediately comments to the unrepentant friends: “Ye have not spoken of [‘unto’] me the thing that is right [Heb. ‘prepared’], as my servant Job hath” (42:7). Evidently Job hadn’t spoken “right” earlier; but it’s as if God seizes upon this one recognition of failure and is so pleased with it. He was looking for repentance in Job, and triumphantly seizes upon it once it is stuttered out by him. And so with our preaching of the Gospel and in our seeking to win back brethren who go astray [and I do hope we all make some personal effort to do this…]: seek for response.

As an example of how Job had indeed spoken wrongly about God, consider Job 19:6: "know now that God has subverted me". "Subverted" translates a Hebrew word which clearly means to be perverse or wicked with another person. Elihu sternly rebukes Job for this statement, saying that God will not "pervert judgment" (Job 34:12). Again we marvel at the grace of how God now says that Job has spoken what was right about Him (Job 42:7). Whilst that statement may refer simply to Job's expression of total repentance, we would still expect it to be qualified by some clause to the effect that "although earlier Job accused me of many awful things". There is no such clause in Job 42:7. The absence of it, bearing in mind Job's wrong statements about God which Elihu has reminded us of, is surely noticeable and intended to be noticed. We are left marvelling at the extent of grace and imputed righteousness, through faith by grace.

The words of God and Elihu brought Job to a shuddering spiritual climax. From his heart he cried: "I am vile... I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes... I am melted" (42:6 LXX). It was concerning this matchless confession that God could say that Job had "spoken of me the thing which is right(eousness)". God swept over the times when Job shook his fist at God, imputing righteousness to him on behalf of this confession. Thus the Spirit later speaks of the long-enduring patience of Job (James 5:11); God was able to look on his good side rather than the bad side, due to Job's confession of that bad side. To confess our sinfulness properly is to declare, by implication, righteous things about God.  

Job 42:8 Now therefore, take to yourselves seven bulls and seven rams-
Numbers and offerings understood to be necessary when approaching God (Num. 23:1,29).

And go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept him, that I not deal with you according to your folly- LXX "And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will only accept him: for but his sake, I would have destroyed you, for ye have not spoken the truth against my servant Job". Job's earlier appeals to the friends to hear and listen may not be simply asking them to hear his words; they may be an appeal to them to hear and repent (Job 13:6). This desire for their repentance and understanding builds up within Job as the speeches progress. And again, this is preparing him for the Lord's final request to him- to pray for the friends and bring about their salvation. We note that the intercession of a third party alone cannot save; the friends had to offer "for yourselves" an offering. And yet in the final equation, Job 42:8 implies that the forgiveness of Job’s friends was only because he prayed for them. What stronger motivation could we have to pray earnestly for each other? I have pointed out several times that Job suffered the judgment for sins which he had not committed, but the friends (and later Israel) had done. The endurance of suffering is always helped by appreciating that there is an element to it which is for the benefit and salvation of others. Hence Paul reasons in 2 Cor. 1 that whatever we suffer is so that we may minister salvation and comfort to others; perhaps he had Job in mind, as a pattern for us all.

For you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as My servant Job has- Job had not always spoken right of God; for He does not mock at the "sudden" suffering of His people, such as Job experienced in the sudden loss of all he had, as Job had wrongly claimed in Job 9:23. So we marvel the more at God's final statement that Job had spoken rightly about Him. This Divine comment may indeed simply be upon Job's statement of repentance. But all the same, we would expect God to clarify that was what He intended, and to offer some note that Job had indeed falsely accused Him. But God doesn't. He doesn't need to. He has completely justified Job by faith, clothing him with imputed righteousness. And His demonstration of His ways has in any case made the required point, and Job recognized that. See on :7.

Job 42:9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did what Yahweh commanded them, and Yahweh accepted Job-
LXX "And he pardoned their sin for the sake of Job". We have another example of sin being forgiven for the sake of third parties in Mk. 2:5; and there is huge implication in this for our own prayers and concern for others. Literally, "Yahweh accepted the face of Job", as in :8. In Job 22:26 the friends had insisted that Job could not lift up his face to God. Perhaps the Lord had this in view when He commended the man who like Job would not lift up his face to God (Lk. 18:13). But now the friends are only saved because Job was allowed to lift up his face to God for them. This was all a powerful way of teaching the friends that they were being saved by absolute grace. The man Job, whose face they were sure God would not accept, saved them by lifting up his face to God. It was the exiles whose faces God would not accept (s.w. Mal. 1:8,9). Job was treated like them although he was not like them; he was bearing the punishment of their sins in order to save them, just as he did for the friends, whose faces were likewise unacceptable to God.

The conversion of Job is a poignant lesson in interceding for others motivated by our own forgiveness; he prays for his friends, he mediates for them, after gratefully realizing that his own search for mediation with God in order to obtain forgiveness had somehow been answered, by grace (Job 42:6,8).

"Accepted" is literally 'accepted the face' of Job. The friends had mocked that if he confessed his sins, God would accept his face (Job 11:15; 22:26). There was complete appropriacy that finally this came true, to their salvation. We also see here God's disagreement with Elihu, who had argued that God didn't accept the faces of any man (Job 34:19). God was likewise prepared to accept the faces of the exiles, but their behaviour precluded this (s.w. Mal. 1:8,9).

Job 42:10 Yahweh turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends-
The language of Job’s captivity being ‘turned’ is the very term used about the restoration of Judah from Babylon (Jer. 29:14; Ps. 126:4). The idiom of turning the captivity is clearly used to connect with the exiles returning from captivity when they repented. That was the intention, anyway. And they were to pray for those who had abused and misunderstood them, and they too could be forgiven.

Perhaps the Lord alludes to Job favourably at this point; for He taught that instead of doing evil to our enemies, "I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for them that persecute you" (Mt. 5:44 = Job 31:30). And this is what Job did- his prayer for the friends, who apparently were his actual persecutors, bringing many of the trials upon him, was finally answered.

James 5:11 comments: "Behold, we call them blessed that endured. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the result that the Lord intended, how the Lord is full of pity and is merciful". Job was a prophet (Job 29:4), one of those referred to in the preceding James 5:10: "Brothers, take for an example the suffering and patience of the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord". "Full of pity" is very intense in Greek- elsewhere it is translated "bowels", "inward affection". Thus the position of Job touched the Lord's heart in a way few other human experiences are said to in the word. The tremendous pity which God showed for Job would also be shown to the friends if they fully fellowshipped his example by their patient endurance. Perhaps the "pity" in view is God's pity to the friends rather than Job. James 5:13 "Is any among you suffering? Let him pray" uses  the same word translated "affliction" in James 5:10 concerning Job's hardships. The idea is that we should channel all our feelings and words through prayer, rather than indulge in the circular talking of Job and the friends which was the exact opposite of "Yes, yes... no, no".  James 5:16 continues the Job allusions: "Therefore, confess your sins to each other, and pray for each other, so that you may be healed. The supplication of a righteous man avails much in its working". Job confessed his sins and prayed for his friends, and they were forgiven.


Yahweh gave Job twice as much as he had before- This is the historical basis for the restoration prophecy of Is. 61:7 "Instead of your shame you shall have double". The idea may simply be that they inherit double what they ought to, such is God's grace to them and desire to load them with double blessing (Is. 40:2; Zech. 9:12), just as He gave double to Job as representative of restored Israel (Job 42:10). The revival of Job's fortunes is surely behind the Lord's promise to each of us in LK. 18:10, that whoever loses house, brothers, wife or children shall receive them many times over in this life, and salvation in the age to come. This means that the Lord understood Job's path as that of every man.

Job 42:11 Then came there to him all his brothers, and all his sisters, and all those who had been of his acquaintance before, and ate bread with him in his house. They comforted him, and consoled him concerning all the evil that Yahweh had brought on him. Each one also gave him a piece of money, and each one a ring of gold-
The apparently hopeless situation of being rejected by all his family in Job 19:13-16 was reversed at the end when all his relatives again came to him (Job 42:11). The way they give him a piece of money and an earing appears to be some kind of gratitude for his salvation of them. They thus recognized their guilt and expressed deep gratitude that although they had rejected him, his sufferings and their rejection of him had led to their salvation. For we can deduce from the gift of a piece of money that they feel they have sinned, and he has saved them. So again, his restoration was the restoration of others, the friends and his family who had rejected him. He had born the sufferings for their sins, and thus becomes a type of the Lord Jesus, who suffered the judgments for sin in order to save those who had rejected and abused him.  

LXX "and each one gave him a lamb, and four drachms' weight of gold, even of unstamped gold". The gift of a lamb would perhaps hint at their need for forgiveness; and they gave him the lamb to offer it for them as the family priest. Again, the sufferings of Job, like those of the suffering servant, were finally towards the salvation of others.

Job 42:12 So Yahweh blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning-
The friends had all spoken of the restoration of Job's prosperity at this "latter end", if he accepted their false accusations of him (Job 5:18,26; 8:20,21; 11:13-19). That restoration now came about, but not on their terms. But rather, according to God's pure grace. It is this "latter end" which may be in view when James speaks of God's tender pity at "the end of the Lord" (James 5:11). The end of the Lord was the "end of Job". God and His child were intimately bound up in their destinies. That became evident in the end of Job, and it was a parade example to God's child Israel.

The friends had insisted that Job had lost his blessings because of disobedience, but his "latter end" (s.w.) would "increase" if he repented. Hence Job 8:7 "Though your beginning was small, yet your latter end would greatly increase". Job's "latter end" did increase (s.w. Job 42:12) and Bildad lived to see it, and thereby realized how wrong his judgment had been. Bildad's words may be a recognition of how Job arose to wealth from small beginnings, implying that his "latter end" would only really increase if he were repentant and Godly (:5,6). The fact Job's latter end did increase was therefore evidence that God accepted him as Godly. The same word is used of the "latter end" of Israel, which will likewise be "increased" and blessed; and could have been so for the exiles had they followed the path of Job (Is. 41:22; 46:10; Jer. 29:11; 31:17).

He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand female donkeys- This may be intended to demonstrate that his wealth was exactly double what he had before. For someone living on the edge of the wilderness, from where whirlwinds could blow in and Bedouins invade, these were huge numbers. It would have to follow that he had a huge retinue of servants able to care for them all.

Job 42:13 He had also seven sons and three daughters-
The connection is with Is. 49:20 "The children of your bereavement shall yet say in your ears", or LXX "For thy sons whom thou hast lost shall say in thine ears". The idea of receiving back children who had been once slain is clearly alluded to in Job's experience, who is set up as representative of the Jews in exile. The language of the LXX suggests their resurrection of lost children. The idea is obviously that Job's situation was restored. But the loss of children is not capable of restoration in any meaningful sense. One wonders therefore if his slain children were resurrected. All his sufferings were the innocent suffering the judgment for others' sins. And those others were his friends and family He was not just suffering for himself. He, the innocent, had born their sins in his own body, just as the Lord did. Earlier he had offered sacrifice for his children, but this was not enough; a representative sufferer was needed. If indeed his experience of representative suffering led to the resurrection and salvation of his sinful children, we would have an even more powerful and detailed prefigurement of the work of the Lord Jesus, the ultimate suffering servant. See on Job 21:12.


Job 42:14 He called the name of the first, Jemimah- "
Day of Yah", looking forward to how Job's restoration was a foretaste of the coming day of Yahweh at the restoration of Israel.

And the name of the second, Keziah- Possibly 'scraped or peeled by Yah', perhaps referring to the scraping off of leprosy (s.w. Lev. 14:41), as Job had scraped his skin.

And the name of the third, Keren Happuch- "Keren" is 'horn' or 'hill', recalling how Job's horn had been in the dust (s.w. Job 16:15), perhaps referring to his own reproductive organ, and thereby recalling his ultimate degradation (representing Israel's, Lam. 2:3) now so gloriously restored. "Happuch" is 'colours', looking ahead to the final restoration of Israel decked with "fair colours" (s.w. Is. 54:11).

Job 42:15 In all the land were no women found so beautiful as the daughters of Job-
Perhaps they looked ahead to the revival of the daughters of Zion, which was to become the most beautiful place in the land (Ps. 48:2 s.w.).

Their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers- Job gave his daughters an equal inheritance with his sons- something which would have been unusual in those times. Through all his sufferings, Job came to see the value and meaning of persons before God, be they male or female; he overcame the background culture, the thinking of his surrounding society, and openly showed to all the immense value he had come to place upon each and every human being, regardless of their gender.  

Job 42:16 After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, to four generations-
Seeing his sons may be another hint they were resurrected. Seeing Job lived after the time of Abraham, this was a great lifespan for the times.

Job 42:17 So Job died, being old and full of days
- The very language used of the death of the patriarchs, as if to show that although Job was not directly their seed, he was in spirit.

I have suggested that the sufferings of Job are framed in language which connects with the sufferings of Hezekiah and also Israel, whom he epitomized, at the time of the Assyrian invasion. Hezekiah and Israel are both types of Christ (note how so many of the curses on Israel for their disobedience came upon Christ on the cross). The suffering servant of Isaiah often concerns all three of them. Thus Job's sufferings point forward, via Hezekiah and Israel, to Christ. His final vindication when he prays for his friends, lives many years, and sees his sons (Job 42:8,16) thus connects with the prophecy of Christ making "intercession for the transgressors" who persecuted him- i.e. the Jews- and seeing his seed, prolonging his days, after his crucifixion and resurrection (Is.53:10,12- note how Is.53 is a chronological account of the events of Christ's death, resurrection and ascension). The description of Job as the son of man and a worm uses identical language as that used about Christ on the cross in Ps. 22:6. Thus the friends for whom Job prayed are equated with the Jews who persecuted Christ, for whom Christ made intercession both on the cross and after his ascension.

LXX adds: "And then he died at a very great age. And Job died, an old man and full of days: and it is written that he will rise again with those whom the Lord raises up. This man is described in the Syriac book as living in the land of Ausis, on the borders of Idumea and Arabia: and his name before was Jobab; and having taken an Arabian wife, he begot a son whose name was Ennon. And he himself was the son of his father Zare, one of the sons of Esau, and of his mother Bosorrha, so that he was the fifth from Abraam. And these were the kings who reigned in Edom, which country he also ruled over: first, Balac, the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dennaba: but after Balac, Jobab, who is called Job, and after him Asom, who was governor out of the country of Thaeman: and after him Adad, the son of Barad, who destroyed Madiam in the plain of Moab; and the name of his city was Gethaim. And his friends who came to him were Eliphaz, of the children of Esau, king of the Thaemanites, Baldad sovereign the Sauchaeans, Sophar king of the Minaeans".