Vol. 7, No. 1
Since You Asked
~ Page 15 ~
Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.
What was the affliction which Job suffered from, according to the Bible?
How long (days, months, years) did job suffer?
The McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia records that from antiquity Job's disease was commonly believed to have been "elephantiasis or black leprosy," and that a very early Greek version names this disease in the text of Job 2:7 as Job's ailment. However, McClintock and Strong also cautions that it may not be possible from the Bible text to confidently affirm from what particular disease Job suffered. After all, contemporary doctors do not customarily diagnose diseases, for instance, over the phone, and Job is removed from the possibility of examination by over 2,500 years. Yet, the Barnes' Commentary likewise presents the likelihood of Job's disease being elephantiasis or black leprosy that was common in Egypt. The description of the symptoms and Job's recourse to attempt some relief lead commentators to suspect Job's disease was black leprosy (to distinguish it from white leprosy). In addition, the definitions of the original language words in Job that are pertinent to the disease describe a burning ulceration that enveloped all of Job's skin. Black leprosy is marked by eruptions in the skin that are first red and later turn black. Especially with the limbs, the skin swells and becomes crusty and irregular, resembling the hide of an elephant, hence the name, elephantiasis. The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary agrees that Job's illness appears to be black leprosy or elephantiasis, and it also concurs with other reference works that the original language word for "boils" in Job 2:7 is not plural. "Rather, as it is singular in the Hebrew, a burning sore, Job was covered with one universal inflammation." The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary also ascribes elephantiasis to Job, describes the disease and remarks of an Egyptian king who died of the disease. Wycliffe summarizes Job's disease:
Modern medical opinion is not unanimous in its diagnosis of Job's disease, but according to the prognosis in Job's day, it was apparently hopeless. The horrible symptoms included inflamed eruptions accompanied by intense itching (Job 2:7-8), maggots in ulcers (7:5), erosion of the bones (30:17), blackening and falling off of skin (30:30), and terrifying nightmares (7:14), though some of these may possibly be attributed to the prolonged exposure that followed the onset of the disease. Job's whole body, it seems, was rapidly smitten with the loathsome, painful symptoms.
Regarding how long Job suffered his disease, I was unable to find any useful information. Various commentators construe Job's lifespan as being anywhere from 140 years (70 years old and at the end of his trial given another 70 years) ranging to 200 years.
Barnes' Notes. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 1997.
Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 1997.
"Job's Disease."McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 2000.
Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament. New Updated Ed. CD-ROM. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1996.
Wycliffe Bible Commentary. CD-ROM. Chicago: Moody, 1962.
I am not aware of any special significance of the number eight in Christianity. The number eight occurs in some Old Testament references, but even then, it is not as frequently used as several other numbers.
DEAR SIR: MAY A WOMAN PLAN A LESSON AND TEACH IT TO A MAN OUTSIDE OF THE ASSEMBLY AND STILL HONOR GOD? DIDACTIC STYLE OF TEACHING? THANKS. I AWAIT YOUR ANSWER. ~ RL JOHNSON SR
The English dictionary definition for "didactic" is "1 a : designed or intended to teach. b : intended to convey instruction and information as well as pleasure and entertainment.2 : making moral observations" (Merriam). The question was posed in English and the response is in English as well. So far, "didactic" pertains to conveying information without reference to the manner in which it is conveyed (i.e., either the authority with which one may or may not present the information respecting those to whom the information is conveyed). However, every religious question deserves a biblical answer.
Didasko is the primary Greek word for teaching. "The unambiguous meaning is 'to teach'"; Didaskalos "...means 'instructor' as a. 'schoolmaster'..." Nomodidaskalos means "teachers of the law"; Kalodidaskalos occurs once in the New Testament (Titus 2:3) referring to "aged women" who are to be "teachers of good things." Pseudodidaskalos appears only in 2 Peter 2:1 and is translated "false prophets"; Didaskalia means "teaching" or "teaching activity" and is often translated as "doctrine." Heterodidaskaleo means a different teaching or doctrine (1 Timothy 1:3; 6:3). Didache "...means 'teaching,' 'instruction' as a fact." Didaktos "...has three senses: a. 'taught,' b. 'learned,' and c. 'teachable'"; Didaktikos means "able to teach" (Kittel and Friedrich).
The biblical context contains the information relative to the respective roles of men and women in Christianity, and when, where and how a woman may teach a man about religion. The leadership roles, including preaching or teaching in the presence of men and women, in the worship assembly is not permitted by Scripture (1 Corinthians 14:34). Under Christianity, women are also prohibited from subjecting men religiously or in the home to them (1 Timothy 2:11-12; Ephesians 5:23-24). However, Christian women do have opportunities and responsibilities for teaching, including teaching other women (Titus 2:3-5) and children (2 Timothy 1:5); Christian women in the first century were endowed with miraculous ability for teaching God's Word within the biblically permissible parameters (Joel 2:28-32; Acts 2:16-21; 21:8-9). Christian women participate through (but do not lead) singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs in the "speaking" (Ephesians 5:19), "teaching and admonishing" (Colossians 3:16) that occurs in worship through singing. Christian women like any other candidate for conversion must publicly acknowledge their belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, which often occurs in the presence of Christian men (Romans 10:9-10; Acts 8:37).
Yes, Christian women may teach men, accidentally or on purpose, when not in the worship assembly--as long as men are not required to be subordinate to them (i.e., not violating 1 Timothy 2:12). There are several circumstances where a woman may provide information incidentally or with purpose (essentially teach) where men are not required to be subordinate to her. For instance, a woman who asks a question, reads Scripture or makes a comment in a class over which a male teacher presides is a circumstance in which every male and female in the class has a subordinate relationship to the teacher. In less formal circumstances (e.g., in the comfort of one's home around the kitchen table), men and women may study the Bible and ask questions, read Scripture or make comments when there is no teacher to whom anyone, male or female, is subordinate; such an informal circumstance in which a Christian woman (and her husband) taught a preacher appears in Acts 18:24-26. Both from consideration of the "silence," meaning and translated also as "quietness" of 1 Timothy 2:12 and from an example of a Christian woman participating in teaching a man in Acts 18:24-26, contrasted with prohibitions for certain occasions to teach, one can discern the biblical limitations and permissions respecting women teaching men.
Kittel, Gerhard, and Friedrich, Gerhard, eds. The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, Abridged in One Volume. CD-ROM. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985.
Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. CD-ROM. Springfield: Merriam-Webster, 1993.