Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
2. Therefore--Rather, the more excited I feel by Job's speech, the
more for that very reason shall my reply be supplied by my calm
consideration. Literally, "Notwithstanding; my calm thoughts (as in
shall furnish my answer, because of the excitement (haste) within me"
3. check of my reproach--that is, the castigation intended as a
reproach (literally, "shame") to me.
spirit of . . . understanding--my rational spirit; answering to
In spite of thy reproach urging me to "hastiness." I will answer in
5. the hypocrite--literally, "the ungodly"
(Ps 37:35, 36).
Ob 3, 4).
7. dung--in contrast to the haughtiness of the sinner
this strong term expresses disgust and the lowest degradation
9. Rather "the eye followeth him, but can discern him no more." A
sharp-looking is meant
10. seek to please--"Atone to the poor" (by restoring the property
of which they had been robbed by the father)
[DE WETTE]. Better than
English Version, "The children" are reduced to the humiliating
condition of "seeking the favor of those very poor," whom the father
had oppressed. But UMBREIT translates as Margin.
his hands--rather, "their (the children's) hands."
their goods--the goods of the poor. Righteous retribution!
so Vulgate. GESENIUS has "full of youth";
namely, in the fulness of his youthful strength he shall be laid
in the dust. But "bones" plainly alludes to Job's disease, probably to
Job's own words
UMBREIT translates, "full of his secret
sins," as in
his secret guilt in his time of seeming righteousness, like secret
poison, at last lays him in the dust. The English Version is
best. Zophar alludes to Job's own words
with him--His sin had so pervaded his nature that it accompanies
him to the grave: for eternity the sinner cannot get rid of it
12. be--"taste sweet." Sin's fascination is like poison sweet
to the taste, but at last deadly to the vital organs
Job 9:17, 18).
hide . . . tongue--seek to prolong the enjoyment by keeping the
sweet morsel long in the mouth (so
14. turned--Hebrew denotes a total change into a disagreeable
Re 10:9, 10).
gall--in which the poison of the asp was thought to lie. It rather
is contained in a sack in the mouth. Scripture uses popular language,
where no moral truth is thereby endangered.
15. He is forced to disgorge his ill-gotten wealth.
16. shall suck--It shall turn out that he has sucked the poison, &c.
17. floods--literally, "stream of floods," plentiful streams flowing
with milk, &c.
Honey and butter are more fluid in the East than with us and are poured
out from jars. These "rivers" or water brooks are in the sultry East
emblems of prosperity.
18. Image from food which is taken away from one before he can
The parallelism favors the English Version rather than the
translation of GESENIUS, "As a possession to be
restored in which he rejoices not."
he shall not rejoice--His enjoyment of his ill-gotten gains shall
then be at an end
19. oppressed--whereas he ought to have espoused their cause
house--thus leaving the poor without shelter
20. UMBREIT translates, "His inward parts
know no rest" from desires.
his belly--that is, peace inwardly.
not save--literally, "not escape with that which," &c., alluding
to Job's having been stripped of his all.
21. look for--rather, "because his goods," that is, prosperity
shall have no endurance.
22. shall be--rather, "he is (feeleth) straitened." The next clause
explains in what respect.
wicked--Rather, "the whole hand of the miserable (whom he had
oppressed) cometh upon him"; namely, the sense of his having oppressed
the poor, now in turn comes with all its power (hand) on him. This
caused his "straitened" feeling even in prosperity.
23. Rather, "God shall cast (may God send)
[UMBREIT] upon him the
fury of His wrath to fill his belly!"
while . . . eating--rather, "shall rain it upon him for his food!"
Fiery rain, that is, lightning
alluding to Job's misfortune,
The force of the image is felt by picturing to one's self the opposite
nature of a refreshing rain in the desert
24. steel--rather, "brass." While the wicked flees from one danger,
he falls into a greater one from an opposite quarter
25. It is drawn--Rather, "He (God) draweth (the sword,
and (no sooner has He done so, than) it cometh out of (that is, passes
right through) the (sinner's) body"
(De 32:41, 42;
Eze 21:9, 10).
The glittering sword is a happy image for lightning.
gall--that is, his life
"Inflicts a deadly wound."
terrors--Zophar repeats Bildad's words
Ps 88:16; 55:4).
26. All darkness--that is, every calamity that befalls the wicked
shall be hid (in store for him) in His (God's) secret places, or treasures
not blown--not kindled by man's hands, but by God's
the Septuagint in the Alexandrian Manuscript reads "unquenchable
Tact is shown by the friends in not expressly mentioning, but alluding
under color of general cases, to Job's calamities; here
UMBREIT explains it, wickedness, is a
"self-igniting fire"; in it lie the principles of destruction.
ill . . . tabernacle--Every trace of the sinner must be obliterated
27. All creation is at enmity with him, and proclaims his guilt, which
he would fain conceal.
28. increase--prosperity. Ill got--ill gone.
flow away--like waters that run dry in summer; using Job's own metaphor
29. appointed--not as a matter of chance, but by the divine "decree"
(Margin) and settled principle.