Job 1:14

14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:

Job 1:14 Meaning and Commentary

Job 1:14

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.


F2 (Mhydy le) "ad manus eorum", Mercerus.
F3 "Suis locis", Vatablus, Schmidt; so Jarchi, Aben Ezra, and Bar Tzemach.
F4 "More solito", Schultens.

Job 1:14 In-Context

12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
13 And there was a day when his sons and his daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house:
14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them:
15 And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
The King James Version is in the public domain.