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?
&c.] The same with this is also before put unto Satan, and the same character given of Job, which is here continued and confirmed, with an addition to it; for Job was no loser, but a gainer in his character by his afflictions and trials:
and still he holdeth fast his integrity.
The first man Adam was made upright, but by sinning he lost his integrity, and since the fall there is none in man naturally; it is only to be found in regenerate and renewed persons, who have right spirits renewed in them; by which principle of grace wrought in them they become upright in heart, and walk uprightly. The word used signifies "perfection" F15, which Job had not in himself, but in Christ; though it may denote the truth and sincerity of his grace, and the uprightness of his walk, and the simplicity of his conversation, the bias of his mind, and the tenor of his conduct and behaviour towards God and men; this principle he retained, this frame and disposition of soul continued with him, and he acted up to it in all things; he held fast his faith and confidence in the Lord his God, and he professed his cordial love and sincere affection for God, and his filial fear and reverence of him; and this he did still, notwithstanding all the assaults and temptations of Satan, and all the sore afflictions and trials he met with; an instance this of persevering grace, and of the truth of what Job after expresses, ( Job 17:9 ) ; and this he did, even says the Lord to Satan,
although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause;
not that Satan could work upon God as he does upon men, both good and bad, especially the latter; nor could he so work upon him as to cause him to change his mind and will, who is unchangeable in his nature and purposes; but the sense is, he made a motion to him, he proposed it, requested and entreated, and did not barely propose it, but urged it with importunity, was very solicitous to have it done; and he prevailed and succeeded according to God's own determinate counsel and will, though only in part; for he moved him to "destroy him", himself, his body, if not his soul; for this roaring lion seeks to devour men, even the sheep and lambs of Christ's flock: or "to swallow him up" F16, as the word signifies; that he might be delivered to him, who would make but one morsel of him, swallow him up alive, as a lion any creature, or any other beast of prey. Mr. Broughton renders it, "to undo him"; and we say of a man, when he has lost his substance, that he is undone; and in this sense Job was destroyed or undone, for he had lost his all: and this motion was made "without cause", there was no just reason for it; what Satan suggested, and the calumny he cast upon Job, was not supported by him, he could give no proof nor evidence of it; and it was in the issue and event "in vain", as the word F17 may be rendered; for he did not appear, notwithstanding all that was done to him, to be the man Satan said he was, nor to do the things, or say the words, Satan said he would.
F15 (wtmt) (tou teleiothtov) , Polychronius in Drusius; "perfectionem suam", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus.
F16 (welbl) "ad deglutiendum eum", Montanus; "ad illum absorbendum", Schultens; "ut absorberem eum", Michaelis.
F17 (Mnx) (diakenhv) , Sept. "frustra", V. L. Junius & Tremellius,