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Friday, December 2, 2011

Facing Trials: Mrs. Job [1]

Mrs. Job takes a pretty big hit for so few words. Let’s try to really look at what’s happening here. First we have to “get the facts.” Well, we obviously can’t get the facts first-hand so we have to rely on Biblical versions and translations.

Here is what happens according to the NIV:

7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. 8 Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.

9 His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”

10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”

In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

Here is what happens according to Young’s Literal Translation:

7And the Adversary goeth forth from the presence of Jehovah, and smiteth Job with a sore ulcer from the sole of his foot unto his crown.

8And he taketh to him a potsherd to scrape himself with it, and he is sitting in the midst of the ashes.

9And his wife saith to him, `Still thou art keeping hold on thine integrity: bless God and die.'

10And he saith unto her, `As one of the foolish women speaketh, thou speakest; yea, the good we receive from God, and the evil we do not receive.' In all this Job hath not sinned with his lips.

One says “curse” and one says “bless.” So what did she say?

If we look a little deeper, we find that the Hebrew word (Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and not English, but you already knew that. :)) for what she says is: בָּרַךְ, pronounced barak.

And if we take the next step and look up the definitions, we find several. Some of these seem to contradict each other. They are: 1) to bless, 2) to kneel, 3) to be blessed, bless oneself, 4) to praise, salute, and curse.

This word is used 330 times in the Old Testament, 302 of those times, in context, means "to bless."

So, since you and I don’t know enough Hebrew to figure it out on our own, let’s try to walk through this with her. And, feel free to disagree with me here or anyplace else.


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