[b-hebrew] Job 1:8; 2:3

Charles Rempel CharlesR at mygalaxyexpress.com
Sat Aug 6 00:03:36 EDT 2005

> >Charles: While idiomatically it may well be that
> >"considered" is a good translation, there is a
> >possible inference that God is approaching Satan
> >and bringing up the topic. I think that "what
> >the Hebrew suggests" is that Satan had already
> >carefully "considered" Job and therefore, in
> >good English idiom, "set his heart" on testing
> >Job.
> HH: The standard interpretation I've heard is
> that the devil as the accuser speaks ill of human
> beings and finds things to criticize.
> Particularly he attacks their loyalty to God. So
> as Dave tried to point out, God would be drawing
> attention to Job as someone who lived uprightly
> before God. God points him out to Satan as a good
> testimony, so Satan tries to show that Job serves
> God only because of the blessings he receives or
> the good times he enjoys.
> Job fails to crumble under the pressure so God addresses Satan again:
> Job 2:3 ¶ Then the LORD said to Satan,  "Have you
> considered my servant Job? There is no one on
> earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a
> man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still
> maintains his integrity, though you incited me
> against him to ruin him without any reason."
> Then Satan claimed that that under the
> provocation of physical suffering Job would curse
> God to His face. Throughout Satan is trying to
> disprove Job as an example of a person loyal to
> God who did what was right. It is in response to
> God's initiative that he takes this tack. But God
> evidently acts because Satan is always denying
> that people serve God for godly reasons.

I appreciate the standard interpretation, but is that actually what the
Hebrew says? Please note the emphasis I gave of "setting the heart" as
"having already considered." I do not deny that meaning of the idiom. What I
am questioning is the apparent English emphasis which might indicate that
God necessarily brings the topic up and presents Job as a new idea to Satan.
I read the text as indicating that Satan has been going about and walking on
the earth (v.7) and in his roamings having encountered Job, he has already
carefully considered Job, and must obtain permission before he can actually
put Job to the test. When combined with v.7 it seems to me to indicate
previous consideration by Satan, not God introducing a new idea to Satan.


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