Job 1:1-5 – The Pious and Affluent Job Is Introduced
SummaryThe reader learns about Job, who is a faithful and good man, has much wealth, and is blessed with seven sons and three daughters for whom he has great parental concern.
AnalysisIn the very first sentence, the author tells us that Job is a good man who fears God and turns away from evil. This affirmation of Job will be repeated twice by God in 1:8 and 2:3. This is very important to know as the book continues with heated conversation between Job and his friends about whether or not he is deserving of his terrible suffering. Without these affirmation in chapters 1-2, we the readers would not know if Job is right to declare his innocence or if the friends are right to suspect some hidden sin (after all, no one is perfect). Job's counselors do not know what we, the readers, know. Job is a prime example of an innocent sufferer.
The numbers of sheep, camels, and oxen are important to remember because at the end of the book Job will receive double the property that he had lost. One thing that is not doubled, however, is the number of children. He will again have ten children, seven boys and three girls. This subtle point probably means something, at least that human beings are not commodities that can be added or subtracted. Children whom Job loved and lost (Job 1:18-19) cannot be replaced, even though God will have compassion on Job and provide him with a new family.