22 March 2010

God and/or Satan kill Job's children, slaves, and animals

This is the only killing in the Bible that Satan had anything to do with. And he didn't do it alone; God was a co-conspirator.

The story begins by introducing Job.

Job was a perfect man with 7 sons, 3 daughters, 7000 sheep, 3000 camels, 500 oxen, 500 she asses, and lots of slaves. He was the greatest man east of the Mediterranean.
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. Job 1:1-3
Job's sons liked to party a lot, and they often invited their sisters over to party with them.
And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. Job 1:4
Job worried that his sons (he didn't worry about about his daughters) might sin while they were partying, so Job spent all his time killing animals for God in order to sanctify his sons.
And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually. Job 1:5
One day the sons of God came over to to God's place. And Satan was with them.
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. Job 1:6
God ignored his other sons, but was especially interested in Satan. He hadn't seen him for a while and wanted to know what he'd been up to lately.
And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Job 1:7a
Satan said that he'd been down hiking around on earth.
Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. Job 1:7b
God asked Satan if he'd seen Job, you know, the guy that is perfect, upright, God-fearing, and whatnot.
And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? Job 1:8
Satan knew who God was talking about. He told God that Job had a good reason to be good. God made Job the biggest big shot east of Eden, protecting him from everything bad and giving him everything good.
Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. Job 1:9-10
Take away the protection and mess with his stuff, and he'll curse you to your face, Big Guy.
But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. Job 1:11
So God said, "You're on, Satan. Go back down to earth and and do whatever the hell you want with his stuff. But don't do anything to him."
And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. Job 1:12a
So Satan left God's place and, presumably, went down to earth to visit Job.
So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. Job 1:12b
When Satan got down to earth, he found Job's children partying, as usual.
And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: Job 1:13
And then all hell broke loose.

A messenger came to tell Job that the Sabeans had taken his oxen and asses and killed all his slaves ("servants" in the KJV).
And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Job 1:14-15
And then, while he was still talking to the first messenger, another messenger showed up, telling him that "a fire from God had fallen from heaven" and burned up Job's sheep and slaves (I guess some slaves must have survived the Sabean attack).
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Job 116:
And then while the second messenger was talking, a third messenger arrived to tell Job that a wind came up and knocked down the house that his children were partying at, killing them all.
(These three messengers were, of course, the only ones who survived.)
While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. Job 1:18-19
After Job heard these three messages he ripped up his clothes, shaved his head, fell on his face, and worshiped the God who had just murdered his children.
Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped. Job 1:20
Oh, and he also said that he was born naked and would die naked, God gives and takes away, blessed be his name.
And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. Job 1:21
God burned to death his slaves and animals and murdered his children, but Job didn't blame God.
In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. Job 1:22
But God was to blame, even if Job didn't have the guts to say so.

We know that God and Satan killed Job's seven sons and three daughters. Job also owned a lot of slaves, which were killed in God's little bet with Satan, but the Bible doesn't say how many. I'll guess there were 50 slaves that died (some burned to death).

God's next killing: Hananiah

18 comments:

Person0123452 said...

Does it explicitly say that Satan carried out the killings? I noticed it says "the fire of god" fell from heaven. I wouldn't put it past Yahweh to, if satan had refused, do it himself. Either for laughs, or because he's so insecure and wanted to prove it to himself. I mean, we know god misrepresents satan anyway. In the garden of eden Satan said to eve "you will surely not die". God then accused him of decieving eve. But indeed, eve did not die. So maybe the implication that satan did the killings isn't enough to convict him of it.

I don't know the bible well, so if it does explicitly say that satan did it I guess this is redundant.

twillight said...

Actually, later on Job cursed his god. Check chapter 3!

Steve Wells said...

You're right, Person0123452. the text doesn't say that Satan sent the Sabeans, the fire, or the wind. But it seems to be implied by God and Satan's wager, and especially by God's words in 1.12, "All that he hath is in thy power."

Does Job curse God in chapter 3, twillight? He curses the day he was born, but not God. Or did I miss it? There's a lot of boring crap in chapter 3.

twillight said...

It is easy to miss Steve, because of the language. You have to go slowly.
See curses are in chapter 3:
1.) Job curses the day he was born
2.) Job curses his mother
3.) Job curses God for not letting him die as a newborn, or made him imbecile
4.) Job curses God because He lets all the poors suffer, including himself
5.) Job curses God for what He did with him in the previous chapters.

Steve Wells said...

Really, twillight? All those curses in chapter 3? I guess I'm not reading it slowly enough because I'm only seeing the first one.

busterggi said...

Twi is right, Yahweh lost the bet no matter how much believers pretend the opposite.

twillight said...

Well, Steve, here are them by qoutes:
1.) verse 1. After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.

Ok, here things was made self-evident: Job CURSED his day.
But HOW was that cursed made? The Bible reports his words! Here it comes (3:2 And Job spake, and said,):

3:3 Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.
3:4 Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it.
3:5 Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.
3:6 As for that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not be joined unto the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months.
3:7 Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein.
3:8 Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning.

As you can see, Job never said himself out the phrase "I curse this and that", but used a much more colourful language! So start looking more of that in the later parts too!

2.) Uhm, well, my translation differs in grammar in verse 3.8-10, so skip this.

3.) 3:16 Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.

"Or" here indicates this is another curse if you ask me. In the Bible God is responsible making people as they are, so when Job curses here, he doesn't curse the day he was born, but rather why he wasn't created - by God, thus cursing God - as an imbecil.

4.) Uhm, here again in my translation verse 20 looks just a little bit different. In mine God is mentioned - and thus blamed -, but oh well, this is KJV.

5.) At least this is here:
3:23 Why is light given to a man whose way is hid, and whom God hath hedged in?

Here God is bamed for what he did with Job. The verse meaning:
"Why is light given" = Why God tortures by (approximately false) hope, Job asks, and by that curses God.
"to a man whose way is hid" = the man here is Job
"and whom God hath hedged in?" = Job is the one who is hedged in by Gods' actions, depicted in chapter 1 and 2.

Steve Wells said...

You're probably right, twillight.

But I'd like to hear a nice, "Fuck you, Yahweh!" Or something to that effect.

Matthew Blanchette said...

Wouldn't we all, Steve; wouldn't we all...

I like that you went line-by-line, even though it's only a small segment of the story, just because it's so friggin' detailed, even for a Bible story!

mariolandblog said...

"This is the only killing in the Bible that Satan had anything to do with. "

That´s not entirely true. Satan killed Jesus! That bastard...

At least kind of: He put it into Judas heart to betray Jesus!

"And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;"

(John 13:2)

But it is Jesus' own fault.

"Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
And after the sop Satan entered into him."

(John 13:26-27)

If Jesus had not given Judas the sop, maybe the devil would never have inspired Judas to betray Jesus.
A self-fulfilling prophecy: Jesus tells everybody that Judas will betray him, which is the reason he does.
Hey, if the son of God says it will happen why try to avoid your inescapable destiny!

Brian David Mattson said...

God (magistrate) allowed Satan to test Job, because he wanted a person (persona) and flattery title (surname), see Job Chapter 32. Do you have a person and a flattery title than you are a slave. I would say that would be a good reason for God to laugh at you, you are ignoratnt.

Jodie said...

He was a perfect man, yet he had lots of slaves. Wtf?

45akaColt said...

You said: "Job worried that his sons (he didn't worry about about his daughters) might sin while they were partying, so Job spent all his time killing animals for God in order to sanctify his sons." "Sons" can/could possibly mean children. "Man" can also refer to women, when it means (in today's terminology) "mankind." Job didn't spend all his time killing animals. He would do it early in the morning (10 animals if he did it for all his children, so it may take at least a few hours, I guess, but I don't know much about that at the moment), and possibly only on their birthdays and/or special periods/occasions of feasting, as some translations indicate.

You said: "God ignored his other sons, but was especially interested in Satan. He hadn't seen him for a while and wanted to know what he'd been up to lately" and "Satan said that he'd been down hiking around on earth." The angels possibly brought Satan with them. So what, if the Bible didn't show God saying "hello" to the angels, which would possibly be a waste of time for us to read and perhaps the angels could feel God's love (where they were then and elsewhere, like how humans can sometimes feel God's love on Earth. The purpose of saying "hello" to someone is because it shows that you acknowledge/respect them/are willing to talk to them). It's possible that God asked Satan where he had been, even though he knew where he had been, to show us Satan's response/where he had been. It showed that Satan had probably been busy causing trouble, all over the place on Earth (rather then simply walking/moving) since he would be bored and he hates God a lot, so he would want to cause trouble/displease God. It's possible that Satan said what he did, in order to be sarcastic (especially if he basically said the same thing twice), or because God literally made him say that response (since he's all powerful).

You said: "God asked Satan if he'd seen Job, you know, the guy that is perfect, upright, God-fearing, and whatnot." God possibly asked that to annoy Satan, since Satan doesn't like people serving God and/or to lead to the next part of the conversation, in order to show us it.

Satan wants us to suffer and he wanted Job to stop serving God (which would displease God), so he told God to stop protecting Job and such.

You said: "A messenger came to tell Job that the Sabeans had taken his oxen and asses and killed all his slaves" and "I guess some slaves must have survived the Sabean attack." "Killed all his slaves" could mean all his slaves that were taking care of his oxen and donkeys. Considering all the animals that Job had, some would need to eat grass/graze in different areas, so the donkeys and oxen could have been in one area and the other types of animals could be in other areas.

You said: "These three messengers were, of course, the only ones who survived." One servant survived from each area/group of servants/farm hands. The three messengers could have been spared by Satan/his influence/possibly demon possessions (which is probably what got all the raiders to attack, in such a short time. All it would take is for the leader of each raiding party to be possessed by a demon and he could give the command to raid and to spare 1 person). Imagine hearing all that bad news, in such a short time. Satan was probably hoping to maximize the impact/pain and trying to break Job.

45akaColt said...

You said: "After Job heard these three messages he ripped up his clothes, shaved his head, fell on his face, and worshiped the God who had just murdered his children." Job probably thought "maybe God is mad at me" (so saying things like "God, you are mighty and the rightful master", are examples of worshiping God and perhaps Job said those things hoping and/or asking for mercy/help). Perhaps Job, at least in his subconscious, thought that God might be testing him, so he maybe worshiped for that reason, to show that he was still faithful/obedient).

You said: "Oh, and he also said that he was born naked and would die naked, God gives and takes away, blessed be his name." Job was recognizing that we come into this world with nothing (no expensive clothing, etc) and leave with none of our worldly possessions, and perhaps Job thought he was going to die with nothing, since he just lost all his possessions/food to nearby raiders that, were still not far away, so there was the chance that they might come back, and kill him (Job, his wife and 3 servants that survived would be easy to kill for a large band of raiders). A saying like "the Lord gives and the Lord takes away" can mean that everything we have in life, such as the things, we enjoy, are due to the fact that God allowed us to exist (at least via creating the human race), and it may imply that God has the right to take away things. "Blessed be his name" could mean that God deserves praise (since without him, we would have nothing/not exist/not get to enjoy anything, ever, in this life and the next) Ripping his clothes (not his loincloth/undergarment probably) and shaving his head could be sacrificing his last remaining possessions and sacrificing his looks (in order to try to please God), or it could be in remembrance of his dead kids, since those were things done to show others that you were in mourning (I'm guessing that he did those things for the latter).

You said: "But God was to blame, even if Job didn't have the guts to say so." God allows/allowed our existence (he created us for a reason of his choosing), and suffering tests us, and God is allowed to do with us, as he wills, since he is in charge, by right, so blaming God, for creating us/mankind in order to test us, is kind of pointless and perhaps wrong, since we are supposed to serve/love God with all out heart, if I recall correctly, and if we hated/disliked God, we wouldn't be doing that. Come to think of it, that's probably why Job 1:22 says what it does.

You said: "Job also owned a lot of slaves, which were killed in God's little bet with Satan." Some translations like the NIV, NIRV, and Young's Literal Translation all mention "servants" rather then slaves.

45akaColt said...

God probably knew what would happen beforehand, so I would probably not call it a bet with Satan. The book of Job (I've only read the first 4 chapters so far) can teach (at least some of) us different things. It's possible that God sometimes does things to show us things, even if he already knew the outcome (he knows all, we don't). We can learn how humans react to certain situations, via the Bible.

The book of Job shows us that suffering can be used to test a person. Job may also cause some people doubt/disbelief as it did in your case, so perhaps that it part of the reason for what God did. Considering what Mark 4:12, Proverbs 3:5-6 and Matthew 18:3 says, other parts of the Bible may be deliberately worded/presented, to cause doubt/test our faith. Parables were not clear to all, either. Not knowing that God exists can test us morally (revealing our true selves), since some people do evil things, since they don't think there will be any consequences from God. God might not want to reward evil beings with an eternity of happiness. It would also be easier for everyone to serve God if everyone knew he existed.

It's possible that the people that God killed in Job, will be resurrected in the end times (as some will be) and given a second chance. It's also possible that the people killed, could live another life, in a totally realistic simulation, or dream, in order to test them fairly/better. It's also maybe possible that God could look into the future of those killed, and see if they would have been good/worthy and if so, he could reward them with heaven/paradise.

Person0123452 said "In the garden of eden Satan said to eve "you will surely not die". God then accused him of decieving eve. But indeed, eve did not die." Eve was guaranteed to die, once she ate from the fruit, because God then removed the tree of life from the garden (see what Genesis 3:22 says).

Twilight said: ""Or" here indicates this is another curse if you ask me. In the Bible God is responsible making people as they are, so when Job curses here, he doesn't curse the day he was born, but rather why he wasn't created - by God, thus cursing God - as an imbecil." In Job 3:11 Job asks (which also shows us what he was thinking) why he didn't/couldn't die during birth (like some humans do, which seemed unfair to him, perhaps) and in Job 3:16 he asks something along the lines of, "or why couldn't I have been dead already when I was born" (hidden away in the ground = buried), like some people are, which like I said, may have seemed unfair to him. There is a difference between asking (either wanting his friends that were with him, to answer him, or for God to answer him. One of his friends does answer him in chapter 4) why God created a person, that would rather of never existed (and possibly didn't care about the reward in the afterlife at that moment. God would have been able to foresee if Job would want to exist or not, and therefor not create him, perhaps Job thought) and cursing/insulting God (calling God names due to hating God. A "curse word", and a sorcerer's curse, possibly like 1 referred to in Job 3:8 shows that the word "curse" may have more then 1 potential/alternative meaning, and therefor be used to mean different things). On the other hand, Job did hate/actually curse the day he was born. He didn't know why God was doing the stuff to him, but he didn't curse God and commit suicide, as Job 2:9 possibly suggests that his wife told him to do.

45akaColt said...

Twilight said: Here God is bamed for what he did with Job. The verse meaning: "Why is light given" = Why God tortures by (approximately false) hope, Job asks, and by that curses God.
"to a man whose way is hid" = the man here is Job "and whom God hath hedged in?" = Job is the one who is hedged in by Gods' actions, depicted in chapter 1 and 2." I'm not sure if he is presuming 1 or more translations, are perfect translations (I haven't seen 1 translation that perfectly translates the whole Bible), but if that interpretation is correct, Job is asking God a question, which doesn't necessarily mean that Job is blaming/hating God/presuming that God doesn't have a good answer. Perhaps Job thought that saying those things, would make God have mercy on Job, possibly by killing him, thereby ending his suffering, and possibly still rewarding Job with a good afterlife, since he didn't commit suicide maybe.

Job 3:23 could maybe mean: why is (not sure if the Hebrew word could be translated to mean "was") hope given (earlier in life when Job had a good life/hope for a good future, possibly including paradise, since God seemed to favor/bless/protect Job) when God later hid his way and hedged him in with bad problems. So Job may have thought that God deemed him unworthy and wondered why God would help/bless him earlier in his life, if God knew that Job was going to fail God's expectations.

Job 3:23 could mean that Job is asking why life (as the NIV translates it. By the way, light is perceived/given to those that are alive, if light is the correct translation) is given/allowed to continue for someone that God doesn't help/provide insight/hope for the future, via ruining his life/prospects (God can also give hope/insight via prophecy or God telling/showing them, such as in a dream), and that God has surrounded by problems, since Job may think those things indicated extreme disfavor, and therefor Job may be wondering why God doesn't just kill him. Job 4 possibly explains/implies that those that are evil, are destroyed by God, sometimes/if he wishes, so if God wanted Job dead, he would be already.

"Light" in Job 3:20 and Job 3:23 could mean "life", since "the light has left his eyes" is a way that "light" can be used. Some of the commentaries on Job 3:20 seem to think that "light" can mean "life": http://biblehub.com/commentaries/job/3-20.htm

Jodie said "He was a perfect man, yet he had lots of slaves. Wtf?." There were those that treated their slaves very well/like family. Some translations use the word servants, and a servant serves, like a waitress, so it's possible that they weren't slaves. Slaves from a conquered land would have lost their property/livestock/crops/means to survive, so being made slaves/servants to a Jewish household, would possibly ensure their survival. If I recall correctly, some of the neighbors to the Israelites, at least at certain times in history, sacrificed people to whatever god(s) (the Romans and Vikings even sacrificed some humans, I've heard) and cut themselves to worship/please their gods, so enslaving/binding servants to a Jewish household, could make it easier/possible to covert them (the neighboring countries might not let small groups of Jews wonder into their territory to try to convert them, especially if they hated the Jews, due to being kicked out of their ancestral homeland), and therefor they would be less likely to be evil/not be rewarded with paradise/heaven and they wouldn't suffer via cutting themself.

45akaColt said...

Furthermore, treating their slaves badly, might mean that they'd risk being punished by God, since evil is not rewarded by God.

45akaColt said...

You think that God was cruel in the OT, when he killed so many people, by the looks of the advertisement on this page, about God being drunk with blood. You should read this, which argues against that: http://viewthatgodiscruelintheoldtestament.blogspot.ca/