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

10 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!