Commemorated on May 6
Saint Job the
Righteous lived about 2000-1500 years before the Birth of Christ, in
Northern Arabia, in the country of Austidia in the land of Uz. His life and
sufferings are recorded in the Bible (Book of Job). There exists an opinion,
that Job was by descent a nephew of Abraham, and that he was the son of a
brother of Abraham – Nakhor. Job was a man God-fearing and pious. With all his
soul he was devoted to the Lord God and in everything conducted himself in
accord with God's will, refraining from everything evil not only in deeds, but
also in thoughts. The Lord blessed his earthly existence and rewarded Righteous
Job with great wealth: he had many cattle and all kinds of possessions.
Righteous Job's seven sons and three daughters were amiable amongst themselves
and gathered for common repast all together in turns at each of their homes.
Every seven days Righteous Job made for his children offerings to God, saying:
"If perchance any of them hath sinned or offended God in their
heart". For his justness and honesty Saint Job was held in high esteem by
his fellow citizens and he had great influence in public matters.
One time however,
when the Holy Angels did stand before the Throne of God, Satan appeared amongst
them. The Lord God asked Satan, whether he had seen His servant Job, a man
righteous and without blemish. Satan answered audaciously, that it was not for
nothing that Job was God-fearing – since God was watching over him and
multiplying his riches, but if misfortune were sent him, he would then cease to
bless God. Then the Lord, wishing to prove Job's patience and faith, said to
Satan: "Everything, that Job hath, I give into thine hand, but only he
himself touch not". After this Job suddenly lost all his wealth, and then
also all his children. Righteous Job turned to God and said: "Naked did I
emerge from the womb of my mother, and naked shalt I be returned to my mother
the earth. The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blest be the Name of the
Lord!" And thus did Job not sin before the Lord God, nor utter even an
When the Angels of
God again did stand before the Lord and amongst them Satan also, then said the
devil, that Job was righteous, since that he himself was without harm.
Thereupon declared the Lord: "I permit thee to do with him, what thou
wishest, sparing only his soul". After this Satan inflicted upon Righteous
Job an horrid illness, leprous boils, which covered him head to foot. The
sufferer was compelled to remove himself from the company of people, he sat
outside the city on an heap of ashes and had to scrape at his pussing wounds
with an shard of clay. All his friends and acquaintances abandoned him. His
wife had to see after her own welfare, toiling and roaming from house to house.
She not only did not support her husband with patience, but rather she thought,
that God was punishing Job for some kind of secret sins, and she wept, and wailed
against God, she reproached also her husband and finally advised Righteous Job
to curse God and die. Righteous Job sorrowed grievously, but even in these
sufferings he remained faithful to God. He answered his wife: "Thou
speakest, like someone hysterical. Shalt we have from God only the good, and
have nothing bad?" And Righteous Job did sin in nothing before God.
Hearing about the
misfortunes of Job, three of his friends came afar off to comfort his sorrow.
They reckoned, that Job was being punished by God for his sins, and they urged
this righteous man though innocent to repent. The righteous one answered, that
he was suffering not for sins, but that these tribulations were sent him from
the Lord in accord with the Divine Will, which is inscrutable for man. His
friends however did not believe him and they continued to think that the Lord
was dealing with Job in accord with the laws obtaining under human standards,
thus punishing Job for the committing of sins. In begrieved sorrow of soul
Righteous Job turned with a prayer to God, beseeching Him Himself to bear
witness before them of his innocence. God thereupon manifested Himself in a
tempestuous whirlwind and reproached Job, in that he had tried to penetrate by
his reason into the mystery of the world-order and the judgemental-purposes of
God. The Righteous Job with all his heart repented himself in these thoughts
and said: "I am as nothing, and I foreswear and repent myself in dust and
ashes". The Lord thereupon commanded the friends of Job to have recourse
to him in asking him to offer sacrifice for them. "Since, – said the
Lord, – only the person Job do I accept it of, lest I spurn ye for this, that
ye did speak concerning Me not thus rightly, as hath instead My servant
Job". Job offered sacrifice to God for his friends, and the Lord accepted
his intercession, and the Lord likewise returned to Righteous Job his health
and gave him twice over more than he had previously. In place of his deceased
children was born to him seven sons and three daughters, more beautiful than
any other in that land. After bearing his sufferings, Job lived yet another 140
years (altogether he lived 248 years) and he lived to see his descendants down
to the fourth generation.
Saint Job prefigures
the Lord Jesus Christ, having come down to earth and suffering for the
salvation of mankind, and then glorified in His glorious Resurrection.
"I know, – said
Righteous Job, afflicted with the leprous boils, – I know, that my Redeemer
liveth and He wilt raise up from the dust on the last day my decayed skin, and
I in my flesh shalt see God. I shalt see Him myself with mine own eyes, and not
through the eyes of some other see Him. In expectation of this, my heart doth
jump within my bosom!" (Job 19: 25-27).
"Know ye, the
judgement, in which be justified only those having true wisdom – the fear of
the Lord, and true understanding – the departing from evil" (Job 28: 28).
Saint John Chrysostom
says: "There was no human misfortune, which this man did not undergo. He
was the firmest and most adamant, beset by sudden tribulation by hunger, and by
woe, and sickness, and bereft of children, and loss of riches, and then
suffering abuse from his wife, insult from his friends, reproach from his
servants, and in everything he showed himself more solid than a stone, and a
source before the Law also of Grace".
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.