Obrazy na stronie

B.-Job's reply: Assertion of his innocence and a mournful description of the in. comprehensibleness of his suffering as a dark horrible destiny.


1. God is certainly the Almighty and Ever-Righteous One, who is to be feared; but His power is too terrible for mortal man:

CH. IX. 2–12. 1 Then Job answered and said,

2 I know it is so of a truth :

but how should man be just with God? 3 If he will contend with Him,

he cannot answer Him one of a thousand. 4 He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength;

who hath hardened himself against Him, and hath prospered ? 5 Which removeth the mountains, and they know not:

which overturneth them in His anger; 6 which shaketh the earth out of her place,

and the pillars thereof tremble; 7 which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not;

and sealeth up the stars ; 8 Which alone spreadeth out the heaven,

and treadeth upon the waves of the sea ; 9 which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades,

and the chambers of the South ; 10 which doeth great things, past finding out;

yea, and wonders without number. 11 Lo, He goeth by me, and I see Him not ;

He passeth on also, but I perceive Him not. 12 Behold, He taketh away, who can hinder Him?

who will say unto Him, What doest Thou?

2. The oppressive effect of this Omnipotence and Arbitrariness of God impels him, as an innocent sufferer, to presumptuous speeches against God:

VERSES 13-35. 13 If God will not withdraw His anger,

the proud helpers do stoop under Him. 14 How much less shall I answer Him,

and choose out my words to reason with Him ? 15 Whom, though I were righteous, yet would I not answer,

but I would make supplication to my judge. 16 If I had called, and He had answered me,

yet would I not believe that He had hearkened to my voice. 17 For He breaketh me with a tempest,

and multiplieth my wounds without cause. 18 He will not suffer me to take my breath,

but filleth me with bitterness. 19 If I speak of strength-lo, He is strong!

and if of judgment, who shall set me a time to plead ?

20 If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me;

If I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse. 21 Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul ;

I would despise my life. 22 This is one thing, therefore I said it,

He destroyeth the perfect and the wicked. 23 If the scourge slay suddenly,

He will laugh at the trial of the innocent. 24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked:

He covereth the faces of the judges thereof;

if not, where, and who is He? 25 Now my days are swifter than a post;

they flee away, they see no good. 26 They are past away as the swift ships ;

as the eagle that hasteth to the prey. 27 If I say, I will forget my complaint,

I will leave off my heaviness, and comfort myself; 28 I am afraid of all my sorrows,

I know that Thou wilt not hold me innocent. 29 If I be wicked,

Why then labor I in vain ? 30 If I wash myself with snow water,

and make my hands never so clean, 31 yet shalt Thou plunge me in the ditch,

and mine own clothes shall abhor me.

32 For He is not a man, as I am, that I should answer Him,

and we should come together in judgment. 33 Neither is there any daysman betwixt us,

that might lay his hand upon us both. 34 Let Him take His rod


and let not His fear terrify me;
35 then would I speak, and not fear Him;

but it is not so with me.

3. A plaintive description of the merciless severity with which God rages against him, although as an Omniscient Being, He knows that he is innocent:

CHAPTER X. 1-22. 1 My soul is weary of my life;

I will leave my complaint upon myself ;
I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.

2 I will say unto God, Do not condemn me;

show me wherefore Thou contendest with me. 3 Is it good unto Thee, that Thou shouldest oppress,

that thou shouldest despise the work of Thine hands,

and shine upon the counsel of the wicked ? 4 Hast Thou eyes of flesh ?

or seest Thou as man seeth ? 5 Are Thy days as the days of man?

are Thy years as man's days, 6 that Thou inquirest after mine iniquity,

and searchest after my sin ? 7 Thou knowest that I am not wicked;

and there is none that can deliver out of Thy hand.

8 Thine hands have made me and fashioned me

together round about-yet Thou dost destroy me! 9 Remember, I beseech Thee, that Thou hast made me as the clay ;

and wilt Thou bring me into dust again? 10 Hast Thou not poured me out as milk,

and curdled me as cheese ? 11 Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh,

and hast fenced me with bones and sinews. 12 Thou hast granted me life and favor,

and Thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.

13 And these things hast Thou hid in Thine heart;

I know that this is with Thee. 14 If I sin, then Thou markest me,

and Thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity. 15 If I be wicked, woe unto me!

and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head :

I am full of confusion; therefore see Thou mine affliction. 16 For it increaseth. Thou hauntest me as a fierce lion :

and again Thou shewest Thyself marvellous upon me. 17 Thou renewest Thy witnesses against me,

and increasest Thine indignation upon me; changes and war are against me.

18 Wherefore then hast Thou brought me forth out of the womb ?

Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me! 19 I should have been as though I had not been ;

I should have been carried from the womb to the grave. 20 Are not my days few? Cease then,

and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little, 21 before I go whence I shall not return,

even to the land of darkness, and the shadow of death; 22 a land of darkness, as darkness itself;

and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness !

his innocence, is resolved to hold and treat him EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL.

as guilty (ch ix. 13-35). And finally, under the

influence of these gloomy reflections he falls back 1. As we have seen, Eliphaz and Bildad had into his former strain of doubt and lamentation alike made the attempt, on the basis of their in ch. 3), closing with a sentiment repeated vercommon places, such as the fact of the universal bally from that lamentation, although in a consinfulness of men, and that of the invariable jus- densed form, and casting a gloomy look toward tice of God's dealings, to extort from Job the that Hereafter, which promises bim nothing bet. confession of His own ill-desert as the cause of ter, nothing but an endless prolongation of his his suffering. Neither of them had heeded his present misery (ch. x. 1-22). [Dillmann calls request to render a more reasonable and just de- attention to the fact that while in the former discision concerning his case (ch. vi. 28-30). In course Job had directed one entire section against this new reply accordingly he addresses himself his friends, here he says nothing formally against to both at once, and maintains most emphatically, them, but soliloquizes, as it were in their hearand even with impassioned vehemence that their ing, leaving them to infer whither their assaults propositions, true as they were in general, were are driving him). The first of these three tolenot applicable to his case. These propositions rably long divisions embraces four short stro. which they advanced concerning God's unap- phes (the first three consisting of three verses proachable purity, and inexorable justice he ad- ench, the last of two); the second division conmits, but only in order “satirically to twist sists of two equal sub-divisions (vers. 13-24 and them into a recognition of that which is for mor- | vers. 25-35) each of three strophes, and each tal man a crushing, overpowering omnipotence strophe of four verses: the third division comin God, disposing of him with an arbitrariness prises, after an exordium of three lines (ch. which admits of no reply” (ch. ix. 2-12). He i) two double-strophes (vers. 2-12 and 13-22) then, in daring and presumptuous language, ar the first formed of one strophe of 6, and one of raigns this terrible Being, this arbitrary Divine 5 verses, the second of two strophes, each of five disposer, who, as he thinks, notwithstanding verses.

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2. First Division: Job concedes the proposi- | cial desire (Ewald) to emulate Eliphaz (to whom tions of his opponents regarding God's immu- there is no particular reference in the speech as table justice and absolute purity, but shows that most comm. think), accounts for this piece of for that very reason His power is all the more to sublime picturing. Ewald has however finely be dreaded by mortals ; ch. ix. 2-12.

remarked that the features Job fastens on are First Strophe : Vers. 2-4. [Impossibility of the dark and terror-inspiring, as was natural maintaining one's cause before God].

from the attitude in which he conceived God to Ver. 2. Of a truth [ironical as also in xii. 2) stand to him." Davidson]. I know that it is so, viz., that what Bildad Ver. 5. Who removeth mountains, and has set forth is quite true: that God ever does they are not aware that (908 as in Ex. xi. only that which is right, and that whatever pro-7; Ezek. xx. 26) He hath overturned them ceeds from him must for that very reason be in His wrath.[In favor of thus regarding right. It is only to this leading proposition of Bildad's discourse (ch. viii. 3) that Job's remark OX as a conjunction rather than a relative, may here can refer, and not also to the discourse of be urged (1) The Perf. 700, which would otherEliphaz, to which reference is first made in the wise be Imperf. ; comp. dan ver. 7. (2). The following member: [It seems hardly worth while to make this distinction between two mem- introduction of a relative construction in a cobers of the same verse. Formally it is more na

ordinate clause, and , being absent would be a tural indeed to suppose the opening remark to violation of the present participial construction of be addressed to Bildad, materially it doubtless the strophe. The use of the Imperf. in 6 6 and 76 refers to both. “In his former reply to Eli- is different: those clauses being introduced by 1 phaz,” says Hengstenberg, “ he had sought to and subordinate.-E.). The activity of the Divine work rather on the feelings of his friends. wrath bursts upon them so quickly and suddenly Having failed in this, as the discourse of Bildad that they are quite unconscious of the mighty shows, he now makes all that the friends had change which has been effected in them. spoken the subject of his criticism."]-And

Ver. 6. Who maketh the earth to tremhow should a mortal (Dix, man in his weak. comp. Isa. xiii. 13; Ps. xlvi. 3 [2], 4 [3] ; and

ble out of her place: viz., by earthquakes, ness and mortality] be right before God ? i. touching the climactic advance from the moun

how should it be otherwise than as Elipbaz tains to the earth, see Ps. xc. 2.-And her pil. has declared in his fundamental proposition (ch. lars are shaken [lit., rock themselves. The iv. 17), to wit, that “no man is just before God;" which proposition moreover Job here changes fundamental meaning of pho, which is akin to into one somewhat differing in sense : “no man bho and who, is as Dillmann says, to waver, to is right before God.”

rock, not to break, as Ges. and Fürst explain, Ver. 3. Should he desire to contend connecting it with po]. The pillars of the with Him, he could not answer Bim one earth (comp. Ps. lxxv. 4 [3] ; civ. 5), are, acof a thousand.—The subject in both members cording to the poetic representation prevalent in of the verse is man, not God, as Schlottman, De- the 0. T. the subterranean roots of her mounlitzsch, Kampbausen, explain. By contend- tains (or according to Schlottmann the foundaing" is meant seeking to establish by contro- tions on which the earth rests suspended over versy or discussion the right of man which is denied. The meaning of the second member of nothing: ch. xxvi. 7 ; xxxviii. 6j, not their the verse is, that God, as infinitely man's supe-(according to ch. xxvi. 11; comp. xxxviii. 6) to

summits, lifted above the earth, which are rather rior, would overwhelm him with such a multitude of questions that he must stand before Him be thought of as the pillars of the heavenly in mute embarrassment and shame, as was actu- vault, like Atlas in the Greek mythology. ally the case at last with Job, when God began

Ver. 7. Who bids the sun om, a rare to speak (ch. xxxviii. 1 sq.).

poetic term for the sun, as in Isa. xix. 18; comp. Ver. 4. The wise of heart and mighty in non, Judg. xiv. 18) ["perhaps (says Delitz.), strength-who has braved Him and re- from the same root as porņ, one of the poetical mained unhurt ?-The absolute cases ah oon names of gold,” seeing that in Isaiah 1. c. 'Ir ha

Heres is a play upon Dinn 73, “

Hourous ], accordingly to God, and not to ip (as Olshausen and it riseth not, i. e., so that it does not shine

forth (comp. Isa. lviii. 10), and so appears thinks). With nopo? is to be supplied 7: eclipsed. And setteth a seal round about “ who has hardened his neck against Him," the stars, seals them, i, e., veils them behind (Deut. x. 16; 2 Kings. xvii. 14), i. e., bid Him thick clouds, so that through their obscuration defiance ?

the night is darkened in the same measure as Second Strophe : Vss. 5-7. A lofty poetic de- the day by an eclipse of the sun, In regard to scription of the irresistibleness of God's omni- obscurations of the heavenly bodies in general potence, beginning with its destructive manifesta- as indications of the Divine Power manifesting tions in nature. I" Job having once conceived itself in destruction and punishment, comp. Ex. the power of God becomes fascinated by the very x. 21 ; Joel iii. 4 (ii. 31); Ezek. xxxii. 7 seq. ; tremendousness of it—the invincible might of Rev. vi. 12; xvi. 10. his and man's adversary charms his eye and Third Strophe : Vers. 8-10. The description compels him to gaze and shudder, and run over of the Divine Omnipotence continued, more esit feature after feature, unable to withdraw his pecially in respect to its creative operations in look from it. This alone, and not any superfi- nature. [To be noted is the absence of the ar

and refer אֵלָיו are resumed in אמיץ כח and

ticle with the participles in each of these three this Arabic term, which is suggested by the reverses, which alike with its presence in each of semblance of the square part of the constellation the three preceding verses, is clearly a sign of to a bier, the three trailing stars, the benath the strophic arrangement.-E.]

na’ash, daughters of the bier," being imagined Ver. 8. Who spreadeth out the heavens to be the mourners, is doubtful. [The current alone. ny according to parallel passages,

form w'y decisively contradicts the derivation such as Isa: xl. 22 ; xliv. 24 ; Ps. civ. 2, where from Wya] —So? in that case, lit. "the fool,” the heavenly vault is represented as an immense is certainly Orion, who, according to the almost tent-canvass, is to be explained : “who stretch- universal representation of the ancient world, eth out, spreadeth out," not with Jerome, Ewald was conceived of as a presumptuous and fool[Noyes, Davidson), etc., “ who bows down, lets hardy giant, chained to the sky; comp. the mendown." With the latter interpretation the clausetion of the niddin, i. e., the “bands,” or “fetina? would not agree; nor again the contents ters” of Orion in ch. xxxviii, 31, as well as the of ver. 9, where clearly God's activity as Crea- accordant testimony of the ancient versions tor, not as Destroyer, or as one shaking the fir- (LXX.: 'lpiw, at least in the parallel passages mament and the stars, is more fully set forth.

ch. xxxviii. 31 and Isa. xiii. 10; similarly the And treads upon the heights of the sea, Pesh., Targ., etc.). Against the reference to the i. e., upon the high-dashing waves of the sea star Canopus (Saad. Abulwalid, etc.), may be agitated by a storm, over which God marches as urged, apart from the high antiquity of the traits ruler and controller (ch. xxxviii. 10 sq.) with dition which points to Orion, the context of the sure and majestic tread, as upon the heights of present passage as well as of ch. xxxviii. 31, and the earth, according to Amos iv. 13; Mic. i. 3; Am. v. 8, which indicates groups of stars, and Comp. Hab. iii. 15, also the excellent translation not a single star.—The third constellation om?? of the passage before us in the Sept. : Tepetatūvi. e., the heap, is rendered “the Hyades” only ŠTÈ Jañáoons ós ér' ésápovs. Hirzel and Schlott- in the Vulgate; the remaining ancient versions mann (Merx] understand the reference to be to however (also Saadia), and the Vulg. itself in the waters of the firmament, the heavenly cloud- the parallel passage, xxxviii. 31, render by vessels, or thunder-clouds (Gen. i. 6 sq.; Ps. civ. Therás, Pleiades, so that beyond doubt it is to be 3; Ps. xviii. 12 (10); xxix. 3; Nah. i. 3). But understood of the group of seven stars in the these cloud-waters of the heavens are never else- neck of Taurus (known in German as the “cluckwhere in the Holy Scripture called “sea ” (0); ing hen"); comp. Am. v. 8.--And the chamalso not in ch. xxxvi. 80 (see on the passage), bers of the South; i. e., the secret roonis or and still less in Rev. iv. 6; xv. 22; xxii. 1, spaces (penetralia) of the constellations of the where the Jahaooa of glass in the heavenly world southern heavens, which to the inhabitant of the signifies something quite different from a sea of northern zones are visible only in part, or not at rain-clouds. [": The objection that this view of all. In any case ipa (defectively written for sea interferes with the harmony of description, mixing earth and heaven, is obviated by the con- i?!) points to the southern heavens, and since sideration that the passage is a description of a Diri predominantly signifies "apartments, storm where earth (sea) and heaven are mixed.” chambers, halls," less frequently "store-rooms, Davidson].

reservoirs," the reference to the “reservoirs of Ver. 9. Who createth the Bear and Orion the south wind” (LXX : Taucia vórov; some and Pleiades.-ndy is taken by Umbreit and modern interpreters also, as Ges., etc.) is less

natural, especially as the description continues Ewald as synonymous with noy; "who darkens to treat of the objects of the southern skies. the Bear, etc.”, against which however may be Dillmann, after recognizing the rendering of

“On the urged the use of niwy in ver. 10, likewise the the LXX. as admissible, remarks: description flowing out of the present passage in other side the author certainly knew nothing of Am. v. 8, and finally the lack of evidence that the constellations of the southern hemisphere ; ney means tegere (which remark holds true also at the same time as one who had travelled (or of ch. xv. 27; and xxiii. 9). Moreover the con- at least: as one familiar with the results at

tained in his day by the observation of physical nection decidedly requires a verb of creating or making. [“ This as well as all the other parti- with the fact that the further South men travel,

phenomena,-E.) he might well be acquainted ciples from ver. 5 on to be construed in the pre- the more stars and constellations are visible in Bent, for the act of creation is conceived as continuous, renewing itself day by day.” Dillmann. the heavens ; these are to the man who lives in "Job next describes God as the Creator of

the North, secluded as it were in the inmost the stars, by introducing a constellation of the that reason invisible; it is of these hidden

chambers of the heavenly pavilion, and are for northern (the Bear), one of the southern (Orion), and one of the eastern sky (the Pleiades).” De spaces' (Hirzel) of the South, with their stars, litzsch). Of the three names of northern con

that we are here to think '']. stellations, which occur together in ch. xxxviii.

Ver. 10. Who doeth great things, past 31, 32, wy or as it is written in that later passage out number: agreeing almost verbatim with

finding out, and marvelous things withpory, denotes unmistakably the Great Bear, or what Eliphaz had said previously, ch. v. 9, in Charles's Wain, the Septentrio of the Romans, and describing the wondrous greatness of the Divine the n’ash (vyi), i. e., “ bier” of the Arabians. Power—an agreement, indeed, which is intenWhether the word is etymologically related to tional, Job being determined to concede as fully

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