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Job 1:7-9 New English Translation (NET Bible)

The Lord said[a] to Satan, “Where have you come from?”[b] And Satan answered the Lord,[c] “From roving about[d] on the earth, and from walking back and forth across it.”[e] So the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered[f] my servant Job? There is no[g] one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and turns away[h] from evil.”

Then Satan answered the Lord, “Is it for nothing that Job fears God?[i]


  1. Job 1:7 sn Throughout the book of Job exchanges between speakers are stated as “[someone] answered and said.” However, when the Lord speaks, the formula is usually just “he said.” The rhetorical function in Job is likely to show that God initiates and others respond to him. The text only describes the Lord as “answering” when he responds to Job in 38:1; 40:1, 6. That God “responds” to Job shows his merit.
  2. Job 1:7 tn The imperfect may be classified as progressive imperfect; it indicates action that although just completed is regarded as still lasting into the present (GKC 316 §107.h).
  3. Job 1:7 tn Heb “answered the Lord and said” (also in v. 9). The words “and said” here and in v. 9 have not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  4. Job 1:7 tn The verb שׁוּט (shut) means “to go or rove about” (BDB 1001-2 s.v.). Here the infinitive construct serves as the object of the preposition.
  5. Job 1:7 tn The Hitpael (here also an infinitive construct after the preposition) of the verb הָלַךְ (halakh) means “to walk to and fro, back and forth, with the sense of investigating or reconnoitering (see e.g. Gen 13:17).sn As the words are spoken by Satan, there is no self-condemnation in them. What they signify is the swiftness and thoroughness of his investigation of humans. The good angels are said to go to and fro in the earth on behalf of the suffering righteous (Zech 1:10, 11; 6:7), but Satan goes seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet 5:8).
  6. Job 1:8 tn The Hebrew has “have you placed your heart on Job?” This means “direct your mind to” (cf. BDB 963 s.v. I שׂוּם 2.b).sn The question is undoubtedly rhetorical, for it is designed to make Satan aware of Job as God extols his fine qualities.
  7. Job 1:8 tn The Hebrew conjunction כִּי (ki) need not be translated in this case or it might be taken as emphatic (cf. IBHS 665 §39.3.4e): “Certainly there is no one like him.”
  8. Job 1:8 tn The same expressions that appeared at the beginning of the chapter appear here in the words of God. In contrast to that narrative report about Job, the emphasis here is on Job’s present character, and so the participle form is translated here as a gnomic or characteristic present (“turns”). It modifies “man” as one who is turning from evil.
  9. Job 1:9 tn The Hebrew form has the interrogative ה (he) on the adverb חִנָּם (khinnam, “gratis”), a derivative either of the verb חָנַן (khanan, “to be gracious, show favor”), or its related noun חֵן (khen, “grace, favor”). The adverb has the sense of “free; gratis; gratuitously; for nothing; for no reason” (see BDB 336 s.v. חִנָּם). The idea is that Satan does not disagree that Job is pious, but that Job is loyal to God because of what he receives from God. He will test the sincerity of Job.
New English Translation (NET)

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