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The Book of Iyov/Job

Friday, 5 July, 2019 - 2:12 pm

 After introducing Iyov as virtuous, and upright, G-d fearing and veering from evil, the book opens with Hashem greeting the angel “Satan” ( not normally at The Court) with where has been? The answer “roaming the earth and traveling about it”. When Hashem asks Satan if he paid any attention to His servant, Iyov? Satan indicates Iyov has noting to fear as Hashem has built protection for him, his family and his wealth.

Satan says sort of...let me at him and he will curse and Hashem says okay but he won’t curse me. After Satan wrecks havoc with Iyov, Satan claims Iyov would curse Hashem if he was physically hurt and Hashem allows Satan to strike Iyov but not kill him.

So the stage is set:

The first messenger says the house of the seven sons and three daughters were destroyed by fire.

The second: his cattle stolen by Sheba who killed the “youths” guarding them

The third: Divine fire killed his sheep and the shepherds watching them

The fourth: Chaldean took his animals (donkeys, camels, horses) and killed these youths also

Iyov says: Naked I came in to the earth and naked I will leave, G-d grants and G-d takes away. Ma

G-d’s name be blessed.

When Hashem allows Satan to hurt Iyov, he silently bears up for seven days without saying a word to the three friends who had come to comfort him. Ans when he was tired and weary of his fate, they each charged him with having sin and with having to consult his past to atone for it. With anger, philosophy, logic and all forms of tradition did these friends attack Iyov and told to repent. Finally the three ceased to argue with Iyov; as he saw himself righteous in his own eyes.

A Jew, Elihu, emerges from somewhere, and changes the debate- angrily denouncing the three friends and firmly guiding Iyov to look at Hashem’s greatness and that what looks like punishment is really an attempt to get to repent. Iyov states he would only do so if Hashem appeared to him.

Hashem twice appears to Iyov in a whirlwind to explain that Iyov was not there at the beginning, will not be there at the end, and his time on earth was short.

Epilogue finds Iyov’s family returned/replaced (we aren’t told which), his wealth restored and Iyov given an additional 140 years (the story began when he was 70). Apparently repentance works

By Yitczhok Cohen 

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