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1 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. 2 And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. 3 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. 4 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. 5 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. 6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8 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? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 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. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD. 13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: 14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: 15 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. 16 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. 17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 18 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: 19 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. 20 Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, 21 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. 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

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1 Raymond Huerta = "The start to the story is very fable-like, the opening formula, "there was a man," resembles the first words of Nathan's parable of the poor man's ewe in 2 Samuel 12 (https://www.deily.org/bible/kjv/2-kings-2-samuel/12). "
2 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "An explanation of major themes within the Book of Job based mainly on the writings of the Malbim (Rabbi Meir Leibush Malbim) with important additions from the Ramban (Nachmanides) and the Biur HaGra (commentary of the Vilna Gaon).Presented by Rabbi Yitzchak Schwartz,Rosh Hayeshiva (Dean) of Orchos Chaim Yeshiva in JerusalemThe Malbim, in the introduction to his commentary on this holy book, explains that the main purpose of the Book of Job is to expound upon one of the most perplexing phenomena in the human experience; the apparent lack of justice throughout history. All too often the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper. The underlying pain in this question has bothered the great thinkers in every generation including the greatest of all prophets, Moses.It is the confusion which results from considering this paradox that led many people to reject the path of belief and faith in a righteous and living G-d.Job was a devout and righteous man, yet his suffering was terrible and came for no apparent reason. As a man of unwavering faith, Job could not reconcile his belief in a merciful G-d with the tragedy of his own lot. Therefore, he felt it was reasonable to surmise that in fact, G-d does not concern Himself with the welfare of human beings. He neither rewards nor punishes according to our deeds. G-d is too exalted and man is too lowly for Him to be bothered with our behavior and needs.He concluded that the fate of mankind is out of our hands, that we are subject to mechanical forces beyond our control set irrevocably in motion at the time of creation. The results of our decisions and actions deceptively appear to be the outcome of our own free will. In reality they are a product of celestial prescripts. If our deeds are the consequence of predetermined design we cannot be rewarded or held accountable for them. Job's answer to his own suffering is that he is the victim of fate, until his friend Elihu finally convinces him otherwise.Before we begin a conceptual analysis of this holy book it will be helpful to clarify four things:Who wrote it?What is its content?In what form is the material presented?What is the purpose of this book?Let us consider each these questions:1. Who wrote it?From chazal (our Sages) z"l, it is clear that the authorship of this book is attributed to Moshe (Moses) Rabbeinu (our teacher). This point is discussed in the tractate Bava Bathra page14b. TheMalbim explained that Moshe wrote it to console the Hebrew nation when they were enslaved and suffering under Egyptian oppression.2. What is its content?The book of Job (in Hebrew Iyov) is the story of an exceedingly righteous man who is afflicted with horrific suffering for no apparent reason. While the main character is obviously Iyov, it is not at all clear who this person was. In fact the Talmud ( Bava Bathra page 14b ) contains a long dispute ifIyov was a Jew, a gentile, or indeed if he at all existed.According to the latter opinion the book of Job is a parable. It seems that most of our sages did not accept this opinion. But even according to this minority opinion we cannot relegate this work to the realm of empty fiction or myth. We can confidently claim that it is the greatest commentary on human suffering ever written.It is interesting to note that the Vilna Gaon offers a fascinating interpretation of this Talmudic passage. According to his approach the latter opinion does not dispute the reality of Iyov. Rather it explains the purpose of his existence. He ( Iyov ) was created to be a role model ( a "mashal" in Hebrew ) from whom everyone can learn the appropriate way to accept suffering. Accordingly, we are to take a lesson from Iyov that man has no license to sit in judgment of G-d. He ( G-d ) does not need our moral approval. Although at times some of His ways may seem to be harsh they are allways based on absolute justice. Alas, the world of the absolute is often beyond our comprehension.The tragic suffering of Iyov evokes the strong protest of all fair minded human beings: Should the righteous suffer? This question has to be one of mankind's most elusive mysteries since time immemorial. Several answers are presented and fiercely debated throughout the chapters of the book. They are forwarded by the friends of Iyov: Eliphaz, Beldad, Tzofer, and Elihu.There is also a curiously veiled character who appears in the story; the Satan. He is the antagonist, the prosecutor, the villain (additional pejorative epithets are optional). His motivations are not clear, but his influence is clearly demonstrated. We will devote special attention to the subject of the Satan in one of our future installments.There can be no discussion on human suffering without mention of G-d. Indeed, comprehending G-d's role in the world is essential in order to understand this book. His acquiescence to the Satan is simultaneously perplexing and disturbing. The absence of Divine intervention throughout this drama lends strong support to Iyov's contention that G-d neither scrutinizes human behavior nor concerns Himself with the human plight.3. In what form is the material presented?The discussions and arguments are presented in the form of a dialogue between Iyov and his friends. Each of these characters presents a unique approach to Iyov's plight. On the one hand Iyovis a believer, a man of intense faith and devout service. However, he cannot accept that a merciful, righteous G-d would consent to the dreadful suffering meted out to him at the hands of the Satan. The foundations of theology are tested in a battle field of what appears to be senseless human suffering. The issues are hotly debated between Iyov and his three friends. Finally Iyov finds balm for his wounds in the wisdom of Elihu ben Barachel.4. What is the purpose of this book?Moshe wrote this book as a source of consolement for his brethren who were suffering at the hands of their brutal Egyptian slave masters. They wanted to know why the righteous suffer while the wicked prosper. This was an issue with which Moshe had to struggle with his entire life time. As a young man he saw both the tranquillity of Pharaoh's palace and his brothers subjected to arduous labor and cruel torture. He felt compelled to find out if there was order and justice in the world or if man was just to suffer silently? Indeed, Moshe was so absorbed with this issue that on one momentous occasion when his intimate relationship with G-d could have secured for him whatever his heart desired, Mosherequested only two things:1. That G-d cause His Divine Presence to dwell only amongst the Jewish nation for eternity.2. That G-d grant him the wisdom to understand the suffering of the righteous and the prosperity of the wicked.Our Sages tell us that although Moshe was granted his first request. The second remained concealed from him.Our Sages reveal to us that ultimately there is an approach which can help us constructively accept our own misfortunes and suffering, however they make it clear that no absolute solution is available. Let us be patient in our investigations and all the more so in our conclusions. Let us have the humility and integrity to recognize and accept our own human limitations. After all, we have not the prophetic powers of Moshe nor the wisdom of Solomon and even they could not uncover the answer. It is crucial to realize that our limitations in understanding does not mean that suffering is without reason or plan. Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato explains in his book Daas Tevunos that part of our reward in the world to come will be that G-d will reveal to us the meaning of every bit of pain and suffering that we experienced in our life times."
3 Raymond Huerta = "The sum of these two numbers makes ten, which some scholars attribute to the ten patriarchs. AdamSethEnosCainanMalaleelJaredHenochMathusalaLamechNoahhttp://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01551c.htm"
4 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "The number ten symbolizes completion and perfection which seems to indicate that Job was blessed with the ultimate level of worldly fulfillment."
5 angela h = "I Peter 5:8 Says "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"Satan means "accuser". He is real. He stands before God and accuses the saints of God."
6 Yaakov ben Chaim Tzvi = "Now comes the time to test the validity of the Satan's allegations. If G-d would remove his divine protection and the blessings of phenomenal wealth the true face of Job would emerge. Not only will he abstain from serving his Creator, he will curse G-d directly to his face. Obviously the 'face of G-d' is a metaphor.Job assumed that he was entitled to the worldly blessings that he enjoyed. After all, it seemed only fair that the loyal servant of G-d should experience no pain or discomfort in this world. Therefore, the Satan proposed to put Iyov to the test.Remove all material blessings and physical comfort and he [Job] will deduce that G-d does not exercise fair judgment. The incongruous notion of a just G-d and an unjust world will certainly provoke Iyov to deny the existence of divine providence.G-d agrees to put Job to the test. Job's physical existence was now vulnerable to the destructive force of the Satan, that is everything but his body. It is absolutely clear that G-d and the Satan agreed that Job was totally righteous in his deeds and conduct. The severe suffering inflicted upon Job was not Divine retribution. This is a fundamental point in the book of Job.The misfortunes of life cannot always be attributed to the concept of punishment for sin . The are times when G-d removes his divine watchful eye to test the loyalty of his subjects.The Ramban explains that the tests of the righteous are always for their own benefit. G-d certainly knows that they will succeed, nevertheless he tests them to allow them to actualize their own potential. The reward for good intent is not nearly as great as the reward for good deed. The purpose of man is to bring sanctity from his inner being into the physical world. This requires him to translate intent into deed.Rabbi Y. Schwartz - Rosh Hayeshiva (Dean) of Orchos Chaim Yeshiva in Jerusalem."
7 Raymond Huerta = "The tale of disasters, adhering to the general procedure of extensive repetition deployed here, alternates between attacks by marauders (verses 15 and 17) and natural catastrophes (verses 16 and 18). It also follows a common biblical pattern of three plus one; three disasters that destroy Job's property and a forth that kills his children. "