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Job 2:12



12 And when they lifted up [nasa'] their eyes [`ayin] afar off [rachowq], and knew [nakar] him not, they lifted up [nasa'] their voice [qowl], and wept [bakah]; and they rent [qara`] every one ['iysh] his mantle [ma`iyl], and sprinkled [zaraq] dust [`aphar] upon their heads [ro'sh] toward heaven [shamayim]. KJV-Interlinear



12 And when they lifted up their eyes at a distance, and did not recognize him, they raised their voices and wept. And each of them tore his robe, and they threw dust over their heads toward the sky. NASB

The three friends have communicated with each other and have agreed to meet, and then proceed to Job's home, to offer their sympathizing words.

Thus far, before they actually see Job, all that they knew, was that Job was robbed, his servants murdered, that his children were killed in a bad storm, and that Job has become sick. With all of these things happening to Job, one would not be surprised to hear of an illness. After all, when terrible things happen, getting sick from despair and grieving is not unusual.

The three friends were presumably going to meet with Job, give him some comforting words, try to cheer him up, encourage him to get his life back on track, and then all would be better.

They were not prepared for what they saw, as they approached Job's home.

A good comparison to help us understand, might be going to visit a really good friend, in the hospital, just after the friend had been broken up pretty bad in an accident. Or, perhaps finding a family member who has been in a war concentration camp. Your first impression would be horror, and then the tears of sorrow and emotional pain would overwhelm you.

Job's three friends didn't even recognize him at first, his appearance was so badly distorted. But once they approached his home, and maybe even called his name, but seeing a person sitting in the ashes looking up as his name was called, then they realized that this was Job.

You can just see their reaction. Their hands would come up to their mouths and they gasped in their horror at the sight of Job.

They expected to see Job as his normal self. Sure, he might be in some bedtime clothing, after all, he was supposed to be sick. But not this. Not this deformity of maggot infested, stinking, and oozing sores.

Job's appearance was so unexpected, that their reaction was spontaneous and dramatic. They tore their shirts, and threw dust into the air.

This is not anything like they had expected. This trip was supposed to be short, a courtesy call for the purpose of bringing encouragement to Job. Not this. Not this total disfigurement, and what appeared to be a total turning of the back of God, against Job.

Poor Job. What could he possibly have done to deserve such judgment from God? Surely, no one could have fallen from such great social and business heights, so quickly, unless they were guilty of something.

Jobs three friends in the coming days, will systematically try to sort out Job's guilt. Job's wife blames Job for other reasons. She is more practical. She is just mad at God, and angry at Jobs faith in God. 'Believe in God, trust in God, be 'thankful' to God? And just what has that accomplished?' You can just hear her as she grumbles throughout the home. 'Come fix your own lunch. Better yet, maybe God will send you a sandwich!'

Look at Job. He is a pathetic looking failure of a man, as anyone could see. Just why would anyone believe Job, when he praises God? Why would anyone want to have anything to do with a God that does the things that have obviously been done to Job?

Is God not as great as we are told? Or is Job a liar and at the very least, guilty of something bad?

And so, those sitting on the outside of suffering, will rationalize their way around God, either avoiding God and Christ, and doctrine, with indifference, or they might question the integrity of the scriptures when they see so much pain and suffering, and wonder, 'Why?'

Job's friends will become certain that Job is the one who is at fault. A fourth visitor, Elihu, will arrive later, and he will have much to say as he rambles through his opinions.

Job, himself doesn't blame God. He just wants to understand why, so he can reconcile his pain with his life.

Job's wife just doesn't trust God. But, as the others will be reprimanded by God, Job's wife will eventually give birth again, to three beautiful daughters, the first of whose name will mean, warmth, affectionate, the second whose name will mean peeled, as in the peeling back of the outer covering to reveal the inner, and the third daughters name will mean power in inner beauty.

Collectively, the three daughters are the product of Job's wife. Remember that at the end of this book, the son's names are not mentioned, only the daughter's names are recorded. And though they are all born to both Job and his wife, Job's wife's name is never mentioned. Her transformation however, is reflected through the names of her daughters.

Of all of the people present, the one who is the most bitter, and the one least mentioned, will have the most dramatic and remarkable transformation, similar to, but in reverse of the stark and dramatic change, which has fallen onto Job.

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Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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