The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, October 26, 2014, is from Job 42:1-17. Note: Some churches will only study Job 42:1-10. Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary below. Easy print International Bible Lessons Commentary versions are now available in the English Standard Version, King James Version, New American Standard Bible, and the New Revised Standard Version on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website. Study Hints for Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions below to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion; these hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website. The weekly International Bible Lesson is usually posted below each Saturday before the lesson is scheduled to be taught. Additional publications and resources by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.
(Job 42:1) Then Job answered the LORD:
After the LORD demonstrated to Satan and the heavenly host that Job loved and served the LORD for unselfish reasons, the LORD ended the test and trials of Job. God then answered Job’s questions as Job had requested. God demonstrated His power, wisdom, love, justice, and goodwill toward Job in His answers and behavior. At some point, God also explained the details, meaning, and purpose of Job’s trials with respect to Satan as revealed in the beginning of the Book of Job.
(Job 42:2) “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
When Job answered God as the Book of Job concludes, he told God that he now understood more about the power and majesty of the LORD. God can and will do whatever God wisely chooses to do. God does all that He does with a purpose, and God accomplishes all that He purposes. No being in heaven or earth can hinder God’s purposes.
(Job 42:3) ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Job quoted the LORD, who spoke to him out of the whirlwind (Job 38:2). Job answered God by confessing that he had spoken to God about things he did not understand based upon his observations. God was not unjust during Job’s trials, and God later repaid Job for all he had lost during his trials. Job confessed that what God did was more wonderful than he ever knew before.
(Job 42:4) ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you declare to me.’
In Job’s reply to the LORD, he quoted the LORD again (Job 38:3; Job 40:7). Job had questioned God about why he suffered, because he was an innocent victim. It is not that Job had never sinned at any time throughout his entire life, but if he had sinned (and I believe he had) Job repented and God put him back into a right relationship with him again. Job knew that he had done nothing to deserve the severe troubles and trials that afflicted him. Job will now answer the LORD who had just answered him and questioned him about the justice of God.
(Job 42:5) I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you;
Previous to his testing, Job knew about God from all that he had heard, and he had done what he knew to do to remain right with God. Job knew that the righteous were not supposed to suffer. After God answered Job, Job could say that he had now seen God, which meant that he had come to know God more personally and not just “about” God from the things he had heard. From knowing God personally, Job now knew God always used His power wisely and justly.
(Job 42:6) therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”
Job came to despise himself because he came to understand the great gap between himself and the Almighty Holy God that he served. He repented for having said unwise things about God based on his limited understanding of God. Job had not sinned, but he wished he had not accused God of being unjust – which he had done because he did not yet have “the Book of Job” or the Bible as we have God’s Word today.
(Job 42:7) After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My wrath is kindled against you and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.
After speaking with Job, God spoke only to one of Job’s friends and He expected him to pass on His words to his friends. Because of the way they had falsely accused Job of sin and had refused to provide him comfort or consolation in his suffering, and no doubt for other reasons known to God, they had come under the just judgment of God. These men did not speak right of God because they had said God was punishing Job (among other wrong statements) when God was not punishing Job. Without knowing the facts, they refused to believe Job and kept accusing Job of hidden sins, which was wrong.
(Job 42:8) Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams, 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 his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly; for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has done.”
God commanded them to make a perfect burnt offering for themselves. Since the law of God had not yet been given (as it was later given through Moses to the Israelites), God did not tell them to make a sin offering, but to acknowledge the truth about Him and the truth about Job and themselves by making a public burnt offering. God insisted that Job had spoken correctly about Him. God did not discourage Job from asking questions about His situation and telling God how things looked to him: God answered Job’s questions. God showed Job’s friends that Job was right when He told Eliphaz that He would hear Job’s prayers and answer his prayers in their behalf.
(Job 42:9) So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the LORD had told them; and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.
Job’s “friends” (or false friends and false comforters) obeyed God and Job prayed for them and God removed His just judgment from them. In this way, God brought reconciliation among them and restored peace between Job’s friends and Job. God did this through the repentant obedience of Job’s friends and their acknowledgment that Job was right and they were wrong and Job’s prayers in their behalf showed Job’s forgiveness of them.
(Job 42:10) And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends; and the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
After Job did what God wanted and had prayed for his friends, God doubled what Job had possessed before. In some sense, God paid Job wages for having suffered and sacrificed so much to prove through severe testing that he was a man of integrity, who loved God because of what he knew and had heard about God – as limited as his understanding of God was without the Bible as we have the Word of God today.
(Job 42:11) Then there came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they ate bread with him in his house; they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him; and each of them gave him a piece of money and a gold ring.
Job’s family, including his wife, had avoided Job. Perhaps they had judged that he had committed horrible sins and they should avoid someone who was suffering under the judgment of God. When they learned of the true story of Job, they repented and tried to restore some of Job’s fortunes and did what they should have done much earlier by showing him comfort and compassion.
(Job 42:12) The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning; and he had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand donkeys.
The Book of Job shows in a detailed way how much God gave him when He doubled Job’s material possessions. The restoration of so much would give Job an opening to explain to others the truths that he had learned about God after he had come to know God personally through his experiences and God’s words to him.
(Job 42:13) He also had seven sons and three daughters.
Job had seven sons and three daughters in heaven; so by giving Job another seven sons and three daughters God doubled the number of children that Job had. And just as Job knew that his Redeemer lived, so he knew that he would see his children again in the flesh; he knew that his Redeemer would raise them all from the dead. When God gave Job another seven sons and three daughters on earth, Job had the opportunity to enjoy a family similar to his previous family. After he died, he would go to be with his other children in heaven, where they would all await the resurrection from the dead. God demonstrated His justice after Job suffered, and God can choose to give His people justice on earth, in heaven, and after Jesus the Redeemer comes again.
(Job 42:14) He named the first Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch.
Job’s daughters received names that the Bible recorded and though their names may have meaning they may mean little to us today. Their names in order may mean dove, cassia, horn of eye paint. The Book of Job may record their names because they received an inheritance and Job considered them equal to their brothers.
(Job 42:15) In all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters; and their father gave them an inheritance along with their brothers.
With such beautiful daughters and the doubling of his wealth, the story of Job would spread far and wide as people spoke of their beauty and prosperity – God would receive greater honor than before Job’s trials and many would come to believe in God and His integrity. Satan’s schemes were totally defeated when he tested Job’s integrity. As far as we know, God had not yet given rules for inheritance in Job’s day, and Job’s actions show his love and generosity for his entire family. To bring orderly government to the tribes of Israel, God did give rules for inheritance when He created the Kingdom of Israel under the leadership of Moses (see Numbers 27).
(Job 42:16) After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children, and his children’s children, four generations.
We do not know exactly how old Job was when his testing began. He may have been seventy years old, so God doubled his life to one hundred and forty years. Or, he may have been one hundred and forty years old and lived for another one hundred and forty years. He certainly lived far longer than people lived in the time of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and later; therefore, many believe he lived before God called Abraham. God blessed Job by allowing him to see his family expand four generations.
(Job 42:17) And Job died, old and full of days.
Job died completely restored and abundantly blessed. God blessed him even more when he went to heaven to meet his Redeemer. From heaven, Job would see and learn how his Redeemer came to earth, died for his sins, and rose from the dead so Job could be forgiven and would later be raised from the dead. Finally, Job was reunited with those believers in his family that had preceded him in death. We only know of these additional truths because God continued to reveal more as the Scriptures were inspired and written and revealed progressively more about God. We also know now how Jesus the Redeemer came to earth as God promised.
Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further
1. Read Job 42:2. Do you agree? Explain.
2. Read Psalm 100. What more do you learn about God from this Psalm?
3. Why is the Bible important to you?
4. Job did not sin against God by asking questions of God. List some of the ways that God answers questions today.
5. How did Job express his humility before God?
Study Hints for Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion; these hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.
Word Search International Bible Lesson Puzzle
An Educational and Printable Handout using Key Lesson Words
International Bible Lesson
We Can Always Learn More About God
“Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not” (Job 42:3—KJV).
“‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know” (Job 42:3—NRSV).
Available October 25, 2014
Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.
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