והלכו בניו ועשו משתה בית איש יומו ושלחו וקראו לשלשת אחיתיהם לאכל ולשתות עמהם׃

And his sons would go and make a banquet of each man on his day and they would send and they would call to their sisters to eat and to drink with them.

ויהי כי הקיפו ימי המשתה וישלח איוב ויקדשם והשכים בבקר והעלה עלות מספר כלם כי אמר איוב אולי חטאו בני וברכו אלהים בלבבם ככה יעשה איוב כל־הימים׃

And when the days of the feast were complete Job would send and consecrate them and he would arise early in the morning and he would make burnt offerings for the number of them all because Job would say, “Perhaps, my sons sinned and ‘cursed’ God in their hearts.” This Job did all the days.

In v. 4 it appears that the men of the family hosted various feasts at their homes on appointed days. They would invite their sisters to attend as well. It is v. 5 that I find a tad more perplexing. Job seemed to fear that during the events (maybe due to excessive drinking?) one of his children might “curse” or ignore God. (Oddly, the word for “bless” is used here: ברך. The NET has a fn. that says, “Here is a case where the writer or a scribe has substituted the word ‘curse’ with the word ‘bless’ to avoid having the expression ‘curse God.’”[1] In other words, the reader must realize the meaning meant because the author did not dare place the word “curse” next to the word “God.”) Job decided to appease God on their behalf by offering “burnt offerings” (lit. “that which goes up” as in the smoke: עלות).

So Job is depicted as pious, wealthy, and caring toward his family. This is the gateway to the heavenly vision where the narrator invites the reader to participate in his omniscience. The reader will know something that Job does not know.


[1] Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible (Biblical Studies Press, 2006).

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