And there came a messenger unto Job
Not a messenger of Satan, as Jarchi, or one of his angels, or evil spirits; though this is a sense which is embraced not only by some Jewish Rabbins, but by several of the ancient Christian writers, as Sanctius on the place observes; and such they suppose the other messengers after mentioned were; but both this and they were servants of Job, who escaped the calamity that came upon the rest of their fellow servants:
and said, the oxen were ploughing:
the five hundred yoke of oxen Job had, ( Job 1:3 ) , which were all out in the fields, and employed in ploughing them; and to plough with such was usual in those times and countries, as it now is in some places; see ( 1 Kings 19:19 )
and the asses feeding beside them;
beside the oxen, where they were ploughing, in pasture ground, adjoining to the arable land; and beside the servants that were ploughing with the oxen: "at their hands" F2; as it may be literally rendered, just by them, under their eye and care; or "in their places" F3; where they should be, and where they used to feed F4; these were the five hundred asses, male and female, reckoned among Job's substance, ( Job 1:3 ) , which were brought hither to feed, and some for the servants to ride on; this ploughed land being at some distance from Job's house; and others to carry the seed that was was to be sown here: now the situation and employment of these creatures are particularly mentioned, to show that they were in their proper places, and at their proper work; and that what befell them was not owing to the want of care of them, or to the indolence and negligence of the servants.