JOB 2:10 - and shall we not receive evil?

Discussion in 'OT Wisdom Literature' started by RobertPGH1981, Dec 28, 2018.

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  1. RobertPGH1981

    RobertPGH1981 Puritan Board Freshman

    Hello All,

    I am doing a study on the book of Job and I am confused with one of the responses from Job. In Job 2:10 he says,

    "Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?"

    What does he mean exactly? I am thinking that he means that its evil from the world. Natural forces seem to have temporary control by satan since he made fire rain down from heaven, caused wind to collapse his home, and later caused illness to fall upon Job. Thoughts?


  2. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    or 'adversity'.

    7451a. רַע ra (948a); from the same as 7455; bad, evil:—bad(23), bad*(2), badly(1), deadly(1), defamed*(1), defames*(1), defect*(1), destroying(1), displease*(1), displeased(1), displeasing(1), distressing(1), evil(124), evil man(3), evil men(4), evil things(4), evildoer(1), evildoers*(1), evils(1), great(1), grievous(4), harm*(1), harmful(3), man(1), miserable(1), misfortune*(1), sad(4), selfish*(1), serious(1), severe(2), sore(2), threats*(1), treacherous(1), trouble*(1), troubled(1), ugly(6), unpleasant(1), what is evil(2), what was evil(5), which is evil(3), wicked(15), wicked women(1), wild(5), worst(1), wretched(1).

    Robert L. Thomas, New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition (Anaheim: Foundation Publications, Inc., 1998).
  3. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritanboard Colporteur

    From John Gill:
    "shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? as all good things temporal and spiritual, the blessings of Providence; and all natural, though not moral evil things, even all afflictions which seem, or are thought to be evil, come from the mouth of God, and are according to his purpose, counsel, and will; so they are all dispensed by the hand of God, and should be kindly, cheerfully, readily, and willingly received, the one as well as the other; see Lamentations 3:38. Job suggests that he and his wife had received many good things from the Lord, many temporal good things, as appears from Job 1:2; they had their beings in him, and from him; they had been preserved in them by him; they had had an habitation to dwell in, and still had; God had given them food and raiment, wherewith it became them to be content; they had had a comfortable family of children until this time, and much health of body, Job till now, and his wife still, for ought appears; of their former happy circumstances, see Job 29:1; and besides these outward mercies, they had received God as their covenant God, their portion, shield, and exceeding great reward; they had received Christ as their living Redeemer; they had received the Spirit, and his grace, the root of the matter was in them; they had received justifying, pardoning, and adopting: grace, and a right unto and meetness for eternal life, which all good men receive of God; and therefore such must expect to receive evil things, or to partake of afflictions, since God has appointed these for them, and has told them of them, that they shall befall them; and beside they are for their profit and advantage; and the consideration of the good things that have been received, and are now enjoyed, as well as what they have reason to believe they shall enjoy in heaven to all eternity, should make them ready and willing to bear evil things quietly and patiently; see Hebrews 11:26; so Achilles in HomerF13Iliad 24. ver. 527-530. represents Jove as having two vessels full of gifts, one of good things, the other of evil, and sometimes he takes and gives the one, and sometimes the other."
  4. RobertPGH1981

    RobertPGH1981 Puritan Board Freshman

    I referred to other translations and the ESV, KJV, and ASV all use the term Evil. The NASB uses Adversity which seems to align with what you're indicating. However, I am starting to feel like the link of evil in his statement is related to the actions of the Devil and his angels. Adversity does fit as well but evil would align to God's discussion with Satan and God permitting him to do his worst.
  5. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Professor

    The point is, "Accept whatever God, in his kindness and wisdom, sends your way: whether it be good times or times of much hardship."

    If you want to call the times of hardship "evil," as this passage does, you ought to be careful in your thinking. God is not the author of evil, nor does he give his children anything that ultimately is harmful to them.

    Nevertheless, it is entirely appropriate for Job to speak of evil when describing what has happened to him. Are not the hardships and sufferings of this world a grave departure from the glorious design for mankind's life with God? All that Job suffered—death, sickness, material loss, broken friendships—springs from the evil destruction wrought by sin. It is not part of God's good design; it belongs to what is evil.

    Yet, God is never overcome by evil. He twists and spins evil so that it too ultimately accomplishes his good purposes. God's children must realize this and accept that God is right and good even when he sends evil their way.

    This is one of many deep and nuanced truths about suffering that the book of Job means for us to contemplate. It will not be an easy truth that has a quick answer we can blurt out so we can move on. It will be a truth both beautiful and puzzlingly painful—one to ponder and take before God in our prayers—both throughout the book and throughout life.
  6. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Amos 3:6, "Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?"

    These are rhetorical questions that should be answered in the negative. The first sets up the second, and draws forth a consistent response. There is a whole series of questions in the passage, answers for which the listener is expected to concede as obvious, including that the sovereign Lord brings and permits--or diverts and denies--"evil," trouble, calamity, that is to say judgments.

    Trials (of faith), which have not the same nature as judgments, do nevertheless partake often of the same outer forms in this life. The illustration of sticking the blade in the skin is apt. The two instances we may juxtapose are the mugging and the surgery. Both are "evil" (to employ that term), but the second has a different nature than the first. Both could possibly take place "in this life," that is in the case of one person.

    But add this element to the illustration: the mugging in the alley vs. the shanking in the prison. Now "this life" has been replaced by "the next life." There's a real sense in which even life-saving surgery in the prison clinic is simply a requirement of the judgment-condition imposed on the inmate. He may well not have been (or been less likely to be) stabbed at all "in previous life." Life-saving surgery prolongs his sentence, makes him further subject to the terms of his incarceration.

    Life in this world, after the fall, has some of the qualities of outside-jail rather than inside-jail (this world vs. the next); and has some of the qualities of being in-prison and under judgment already. For the believer--as in Job's case--he's in the typical believer's catch22, righteous/forgiven of God but remaining in this world and subject to its temporal miseries, particularly the cruelty of men and a kind of physical indifference from the unruly creation.

    In Job's case, there is further the known hostility of demonic oppression that we, the readers, know. It is a divine permission that lets this personal malevolence approach Job (as with any evil's approach). Job is completely unaware that he has been assailed so-to-speak by proxies for Satan. So, his attribution of "evil" to his trial of circumstances really does not touch the reality of the Evil One's involvement. It is a reflection on his terrible experience, which he correctly yields up ultimately to divine sovereignty.

    It is the accumulation of tragedy, evil, and its prolonged effects, that wrenches from Job his later complaint. Why has the Lord not come to his aid? He cannot be ignorant of what has taken place; and indeed 2:10 expresses Job's faith that God is ultimately in control of this "evil" that befell him. But there is something lacking in his expression, and it bears imperfect fruit in what follows. "He must be angry," is perhaps the prime conclusion Job flits to, "but why? Please allow me a hearing, O my God!"

    The reality is, as we the readers learn along with him, that the main lesson for Job (the object of God's love) is that "evil" in the sense of real judgment from God is very much the wrong way for Job--or anyone--to think of his trials. Such "evil" which we recognize in our trials (it is real evil!) yet terminates for a believer in the circumstance. And we are able to see past the evil-in-itself to the sovereign God, who loves all his elect, and who does not mean evil against them. But only good, ultimate good, even if he uses a tool that cuts us deeply.

    Is God wise? Is God accountable in any way to any creature? Is God just? Is God good? Job receives no "hearing." He receives no straight "answer" from God. But he does learn, and he withdraws his complaint (places his hand over his mouth), and in the end he does not think he has received any meaningful evil from God.
  7. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    In the case of Job, God providentially allows, in the absolute sense (or compound sense) the devil to work Job over which was 'meant for good'. Rom 8:28. Heb 12:5; Consider Job 5:19, in light of what I propose:

    17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth:

    Therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:

    18 For he maketh sore, and bindeth up:

    He woundeth, and his hands make whole.

    19 He shall deliver thee in six troubles:

    Yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.

    20 In famine he shall redeem thee from death:

    And in war from the power of the sword.

    21 Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue:

    Neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.

    The Holy Bible: King James Version, Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), Job 5:17–21.
  8. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Excellent response.
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