Q&A: Job Offered Burnt Offerings for Sons if they had

Job Offered Burnt Offerings for Sons if they had

Question

Job offered a burnt offerings for his sons if they had "blessed" (see the Hebrew) God? Job 1:5 and Job 2:5

Answer

Job 1:5 When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would send and have them purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, "Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts." This was Jobs regular custom.

Job 2:5 But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.

The Hebrew word barak means to say good-bye to (Gen. 24:60, 32:1; 47:10). The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (BDB) states:
bless, with the antithetical meaning curse (Thes) from the greeting in departing, saying adieu to, taking leave of; but rather a blessing overdone and so really a curse as in vulgar English as well as in the Shemitic cognates: 1 Kings 21:10,13; Job 1:5,11; Job 2:5,9; Psalm 10:3.
So, it is being used as an euphemism. A euphemism is the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt. We do this even today. For example, "to pass away" is a euphemism for "to die". So, in the instances above, the term gives the idea of rejecting or dismissing God.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).