- Job's preface to his answer, verse 1-6.
- He describes the prosperity of wicked men, verse 7-13.
- Hardening them in their impiety, verse 14-16.
- He foretells their final ruin, verse 17-21.
- He observes a great variety in the ways of God, verse 22-26.
- He shews, that tho' sinners are always punished in the other world, they often escape in this, verse 27-34.
Hear, &c. - If you have no other comfort to administer, at least afford me this. And it will be a comfort to yourselves in the reflection, to have dealt tenderly with your afflicted friend.
Speak - without interruption. Mock - If I do not defend my cause with solid arguments, go on in your scoffs.
Is - I do not make my complaint to, or expect relief from you, or from any men, hut from God only: I am pouring forth my complaints to God. If - If my complaint were to man, have I not cause?
Mark - Consider what I am about to say concerning the prosperity of the worst of men, and the pressures of some good men, and it is able to fill you with astonishment. Lay, &c. - Be silent.
Remember - The very remembrance of what is past, fills me with dread and horror.
Moment - They do not die of a lingering and tormenting disease.
Therefore - Because of their constant prosperity. Say - Sometimes in words, but commonly in their thoughts and the language of their lives.
Lo - But wicked men have no reason to reject God, because of their prosperity, for their wealth, is not in their hand; neither obtained, nor kept by their own might, but only by God's power and favour. Therefore I am far from approving their opinion, or following their course.
Often - I grant that this happens often though not constantly, as you affirm. Lamp - Their glory and outward happiness.
Layeth up - In his treasures, Romans 2:5. Iniquity - The punishment of his iniquity; he will punish him both in his person and in his posterity.
See - He shall be destroyed; as to see death, is to die.
For, &c. - What delight can ye take in the thoughts of his posterity, when he is dying an untimely death? When that number of months, which by the course of nature, he might have lived, is cut off by violence.
Teach - How to govern the world? For so you do, while you tell him that he must not afflict the godly, nor give the wicked prosperity. That he must invariably punish the wicked, and reward the righteous in this world. No: he will act as sovereign, and with great variety in his providential dispensations. High - The highest persons, on earth, he exactly knows them, and gives sentence concerning them, as he sees fit.
Another - Another wicked man. So there is a great variety of God's dispensations; he distributes great prosperity to one, and great afflictions to another, according to his wise but secret counsel.
Alike - All these worldly differences are ended by death, and they lie in the grave without any distinction. So that no man can tell who is good, and who is bad by events which befall them in this life. And if one wicked man die in a palace, and another in a dungeon, they will meet in the congregation of the dead and damned; and the worm that dieth not, and the fire that is not quenched will be the same to both: which makes those differences inconsiderable, and not worth perplexing ourselves about.
Me - I know that your discourses, though they be of wicked, men in general, yet are particularly levelled at me.
Them - Any person that passes along the high-way, every one you meet with. It is so vulgar a thing, that no man of common sense is ignorant of it. Tokens - The examples, or evidences, of this truth, which they that go by the way can produce.
They - He speaks of the same person; only the singular number is changed into the plural, possibly to intimate, that altho' for the present only some wicked men were punished, yet then all of them should suffer. Brought - As malefactors are brought forth from prison to execution.
Declare - His power and splendor are so great, that scarce any man dare reprove him.
And - The pomp of his death shall be suitable to the glory of his life. Brought - With pomp and state, as the word signifies. Grave - Heb. to the graves; to an honourable and eminent grave: the plural number being used emphatically to denote eminency. He shall not die a violent but a natural death.
Valley - Of the grave, which is low and deep like a valley. Sweet - He shall sweetly rest in his grave. Draw - Heb. he shall draw every man after him, into the grave, all that live after him, whether good or bad, shall follow him to the grave, shall die as he did. So he fares no worse herein than all mankind. He is figuratively said to draw them, because they come after him, as if they were drawn by his example.
How - Why then do you seek to comfort me with vain hopes of recovering my prosperity, seeing your grounds are false, and experience shews, that good men are often in great tribulation, while the vilest of men prosper.