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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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Ask the Pastor
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clear.gif - 808 Bytes I have some questions about Job, particularly 1:5. It always bothered me that Job offered the sacrifices until I realized that there were no Levites yet. But what still bothers me is that it seems that Job offered the sacrifices in case his family had sinned. Wouldn't offering sacrifices in case they had sinned while not knowing if they had sinned be presumptuous? Shouldn't his sons and daughters at least bring the offerings to Job and have him sacrifice them or somehow acknowledge to him that they needed forgiveness? When it says that Job "sent and sanctified" them, does it mean that he sent for them to be there when he sacrificed? Finally, verse 18 says the sons and daughters were feasting in the oldest brother's house, but verse 19 says the house fell on the "young men". Now I know that at the end of Job, he has 10 children again and it is double because his first ten would be with him in Heaven. So is the phrase young men generic?

You may click on verses to reveal pop-up Scripture

clear.gif - 808 Bytes I agree that Job is offering the sacrifices as the head of his household. There is no Levitical priesthood, so Job is acting in that role for them. I don't think that Job assumed that his children were wicked. In fact, in light of the praise that is heaped upon Job in chapter one, it would seem almost inconceivable that his kids were rebellious against God. I don't think he is being presumptuous, though. The word "cursed" in 1:5 is interesting. It is almost always translated "bless", not curse. Apparently the context dictates how it is translated, because there are other words that are translated "cursed" more frequently. In Job 1:10 and 42:14 it is translated "blessed". In Job 2:5 and 9 it is translated "curse". In I Kings 21:10 it is translated "blaspheme". Some think that Job's concern was that his children, during the course of their festivities, may have "left" God (not completely, but had their focus on other things), because of Genesis 47:10:
"And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh".
In other words, Jacob "blessed and left" Pharoah, so maybe Job's kids "blessed and left" God. Keil and Delitzsch says that Job was afraid "lest his children may have become somewhat unmindful of God during their mirthful gatherings." If that be the case, then he probably was not presumptuous, because most people are unmindful of God at points in their lives.

 And, remember that there is no Law at this time either. Romans 5:12-14 says,

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come."
So, Job might not have had specific sins in mind. He just knew that his children were sinners and thus needed a sacrifice made for them.

 There are differences of opinion on the "sent and sanctified" statement. One old commentary called it "obscure". The general consensus seems to be that either Job sent for his kids to come and be a part of the sacrifice ceremony, or he sent word to them that he was going to make the sacrifice and that they should prepare themselves in their own houses. It seems like Job is making the sacrifice for them, but they are willingly participating in it or at least accepting it on their own behalf.

 As far as the sons and daughters are concerned, I think Job made sacrifice for all of them. The distinction might be that Job's sons lived in their own houses and it appears that his daughters still lived at home (1:4). If that be the case, Job, as the head of his household, would have been making sacrifices for his daughters who were still in the house anyway, but was making additional sacrifices for his sons who no longer lived at home. Whether or not his sons had families of their own is unknown, but my guess is that they did not.

 As to the last question I believe all the kids were killed in verse 19. The word translated "young men" there is also sometimes translated "servants" or "children". An interesting verse is Psalm 148:12:

"Both young men, and maidens; old men, and children"
So here a different word is used for "young men", and the word from Job 1:19 is translated "children" in contrast to "old men".

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Pastor Dr. Mark Montgomery
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