“and said: ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’”
Explanation and Commentary of Job 1:21
These words were uttered by Job on, what was to that point, the worst day of his life after suffering a tremendous personal loss of property and loved ones. This was followed by the commentary from the author of the Book of Job and the Holy Spirit, “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” While Job maintained his innocence throughout the book, defending himself against his friends who came with the assumption that he had to have sinned grievously to cause such calamity, he also assumes through it all that God is just and has a right to do whatever he wants with Job and anyone else. He considers himself to have been blessed all the years leading up to that moment and that his life is a gift. If God wants to take his very life, that is his right.
Not only does Job accept that God has taken his life away, and has a right to do so, he worships God, though he grieves and suffers, showing that, even when times are difficult, God is worthy of worship and to be glorified by his creation, no matter what. Whether we can worship God in our suffering is often the true test of the genuineness of our faith. Job passes the test and shows that, though satan has momentarily been allowed by God to test Job, God was not wrong about his original assessment of his servant.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Job 1:21
#1 “and said:”
These are the words of Job when he got up from hearing the terrible news of the death of his children and the loss of his property. Verse 20 says that he got up, tore his clothes, shaved his head, and fell to the ground to worship God.
#2 “‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.”
This is a great truth that only the most mature and wise ever learn this side of heaven. There is nothing wrong with owning things as a steward of God, an earthly manager of his possessions, but our problems come when we forget that we can’t take material wealth with us to the next life. The true wealth of a good and godly character is worth more than diamonds or gold, and cannot be taken away.
#3 “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;”
Most will accept that we can’t take material things to heaven, and many will accept that sometimes we lose material possessions on earth. But few will admit that not only does God sometimes take away what he has given us (if they admit that what they have is from the hand of God), but also that he will sometimes desire to take things away for his own good reasons. But he is our Father in heaven and will not hesitate to do for us what is best, no matter how painful it might be for us in the short term.
#4 “may the name of the Lord be praised.’”
And none of this, that God has the right and sometimes the will to “take away” from us, diminishes the glory and goodness of God, who is at all times to be praised for who he is, what he’s done, and what he will yet do.
Expert Overview of Job
Biblical Translations of Job 1:21
and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
He said, “I came naked from my mother’s womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!”
And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
And said, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.