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B.-Job's Reply: Attack upon his friends, whose wisdom and justice be earnestly
questions: CHAPTERS XII-XIV.
1. Ridicule of the assumed wisdom of the friends, who can give only a very unsatisfactory de. scription of the exalted power and wisdom of the Divine activity:
CHAP. XII. 1 And Job answered and said,
2 No doubt but ye are the people,
and wisdom shall die with you. 3 But I have understanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you;
yea, who knoweth not such things as these? 4 I am as one mocked of his neighbor,
who calleth upon God, and He answereth him ;
the just, upright man is laughed to scorn! 5 He that is ready to slip with his feet
is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease. 6 The tabernacle of robbers prosper,
and they that provoke God are secure;
7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee,
and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: 8 or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee,
and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. 9 Who knoweth not in all these
that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this ? 10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing,
and the breath of all mankind. 11 Doth not the ear try words,
and the mouth taste his meat ? 12 With the ancient is wisdom;
and in length of days understanding. 13 With Him is wisdom and strength,
He hath counsel and understanding. 14 Behold He breaketh down, and it cannot be built again;
He shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening. 15 Behold, He withholdeth the waters, and they dry up;
also He sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth,
16 With Him is strength and wisdom;
the deceived and the deceiver are His. 17 He leadeth counsellors away spoiled,
and maketh the judges fools. 18 He looseth the bond of kings,
and girdeth their loins with a girdle. 19 He leadeth princes away spoiled,
and overthroweth the mighty.
20 He removeth away the speech of the trusty,
and taketh away the understanding of the aged. 21 He poureth contempt upon princes,
and weakeneth the strength of the mighty. 22 He discovereth deep things out of darkness,
and bringeth out to light the shadow of death. 23 He increaseth the nations and destroyeth them;
He enlargeth the nations, and straighteneth them again. 24 He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth,
and causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way. 25 They grope in the dark without light,
and He maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.
2. The resolution to betake himself to God, who, in contrast with the harshness and injustice of the friends will assuredly do him justice:
CHAPTER XIII. 1-22. 1 Lo, mine eye hath seen all this,
mine ear hath heard and understood it. 2 What ye know, the same do I know also ;
I am not inferior unto you. 3 Surely I would speak to the Almighty,
and I desire to reason with God. 4 But ye are forgers of lies,
ye are all physicians of no value. 5 o that ye would altogether hold your peace,
and it should be your wisdom. 6 Hear now my reasoning,
and hearken to the pleadings of my lips. 7 Will ye speak wickedly for God,
and talk deceitfully for Him ? 8 Will ye accept His person ?
will ye contend for God? 9 Is it good that He should search you out?
or as one man mocketh another, do ye so mock Him? 10 He will surely reprove you,
if ye do secretly accept persons. 11 Shall not His excellency make you afraid ?
and His dread fall upon you ? 12 Your remembrances are like unto ashes,
your bodies to bodies of clay. 13 Hold your peace, let me alone that I may speak,
and let come on me what will. 14 Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth,
and put my life in mine hand ? 15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him:
but I will maintain mine own ways before Him. 16 He also shall be
salvation : for a hypocrite shall not come before Him. 17 Hear diligently my speech,
and my declaration with your ears. 18 Behold now, I have ordered my cause ;
I know that I shall be justified. 19 Who is he that will plead with me?
for now, if I hold my tongue, I shall give up the ghost.
20 Only do not two things unto me;
then will I not hide myself from Thee. 21 Withdraw Thine hand far from me ;
and let not Thy dread make me afraid. 22 Then call Thou, and I will answer:
or let me speak, and answer Thou me!
3. A vindication of himself, addressed to God, beginning with the haughty asseveration of his
own innocence, but relapsing into a despondent cheerless description of the brevity, helplessness, and hopelessness of man's life:
CHAPTER XIII. 23-XIV. 22. 23 How many are mine iniquities and sins ?
make me to know my transgression and my sin. 24 Wherefore hidest Thou Thy face,
and holdest me for Thine enemy? 25 Wilt Thou break a leaf driven to and fro ?
and wilt Thou pursue the dry stubble? 26 For Thou writest bitter things against me,
and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth. 27 Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks,
and lookest narrowly unto all my paths;
Thou settest a print upon the heels of my feet. 28 And he, as a rotten thing, consumeth,
as a garment that is moth-eaten.
is of few days, and full of trouble.
he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not. 3 And dost Thou open Thine eyes upon such an one,
and bringest me into judgment with Thee ? 4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ?
not one! 5 Seeing his days are determined,
the number of his months are with Thee,
Thou hast appointed his bounds that he cannot pass; 6 turn from him that he may rest,
till he shall accomplish, as an hireling, his day. 7 For there is hope of a tree,
if it be cut down, that it will sprout again,
and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. 8 Though the root thereof wax old in the earth,
and the stock thereof die in the ground; 9 yet through the scent of water it will bud,
and bring forth boughs like a plant. 10 But man dieth, and wasteth away!
yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he? 11 As the waters fail from the sea,
and the flood decayeth and drieth up: 12 so man lieth down and riseth not:
till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake,
nor be raised out of their sleep. 13 O that Thou wouldest hide me in the grave,
that thou wouldest keep me secret until Thy wrath be past,
that Thou wouldest appoint me a set time, and remember me! 14 If a man die, shall he live again?
all the days of my appointed time will I wait,
till my change come. 15 Thou shalt call, and I will answer Thee ;
Thou wilt have a desire to the work of Thine hands. 16 For now Thou numberest my steps ;
dost Thou not watch over my sin ? 17 My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
and Thou sewest up mine iniquity.
18 And surely the mountain falling cometh to nought,
and the rock is removed out of his place. 19 The waters wear the stones;
Thou washest away the things which grow out of the dust of the earth ;
and Thou destroyest the hope of man. 20 Thou prevailest forever against him, and he passeth ;
Thou changest his countenance, and sendest him away. 21 His sons come to honor, and he knoweth it not ;
and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them. 22 But his flesh upon him shall have pain,
and his soul within him shall mourn.
ers, as being quite ordinary and commonplace :
ch. xii. 2-12. EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL.
First Strophe : Vers. 2–6. [Sarcasm on the Zophar in ch. xi. had specially arrayed against friends (ver. 2) changing into angry invective Job the wisdom and omniscience of God, in order (ver. 3), then into bitter complaint of his own to convict him partly of ignorance in Divine lot (ver. 4), of the way of the world (ver. 5), and things, partly of his sinfulness and need of re- of the security of the wicked (ver. 6)]. pentance. Job now meets this attack by strongly Ver. 2. of a truth ye are the people.doubting the wisdom of his friends, or by repre-Dy, Onx, with the logical accent on the first senting it as being at least exceedingly ordinary word, signifies not : “ye are people, the right and commonplace, being capable neither of wor
sort of people,” but: "ye are the people, the tothily comprehending or describing the Divine tality of all people, the race of men;" by, therewisdom and greatness, nor of demonstrating ac- fore as in Is. xi. 7; xlii. 5. The Cod. Aler. of tual sin and guilt on his part. This demonstra- the LXX. expresses correctly the sense; } tion of their incompetency, delivered in an ironical tone, accompanied by a description of the jueīç čoré avo putol povol. As to '? DIPX. comp. wisdom and strength of God far transcending the simple op?x, ch. ix. 2. that of Zophar in energy and inspired elevation Ver. 3. I also have a heart as well as of thought, forms the first part of his discourse you, i. e., I lack understanding no more than severation of his innocence, clothed in the de- you.—33? therefore as above in ch. viii. 10; is. claration of his purpose to appeal to God, the 4; comp. ch. xi. 12 [“ he also has a heart like righteous Judge, and from Him, by means of them, he is therefore not empty, 312),” Del.], a formal trial, to which he purposes summoning and as below in ver. 24.—I do not stand beHim, to obtain testimony in favor of his inno-hind you: lit., “I do not sink down beneath cence, which shall effectually dispose of the sus- you," or: "I do not fall away before you ;” the picions of the friends (ch. xiii. 1-22). As though i? in ba? relates to the stand-point of the such a trial had already been instituted, he then turns to God with a solemn assertion of his in- friends, from which Job might seem to be a koj, nocence, but failing to meet with a favorable de-one falling below them, meaner than themselves. claration from God in answer to his appeal, he [Ewald takes 1? in the comparative sense, immediately sinks back into his former discou- which however would give an unsuitable renderragement and despair, to which he gives charac- ing, “ to fall more than another"].-And to teristic expression in a long description of the whom are such things not known? Lit., shortness of life, the impotence and helplessness and with wbom is not the like of these things ?” of man as opposed to the Divine omnipotence viz., the like of your knowledge of Divine things. (ch. xiii. 23—xiv. 22). [Davidson characterizes nx, lit. " with,” is used here in the sense of an this discourse as "this last and greatest effort inward indwelling, as also in ch. xiv. 5 b, and of Job ”]. Each of these three parts is subdi- as elsewhere by is used : ch. ix. 35; . 13, etc. vided into sections which are distinctly separated, Parts I. and II. into two sections each of
Ver. 4. A mockery (pro, lit., "a laughabout equal length ; Part III. into five strophes ing,” laughter, Inf. subst., like hiv?, ch. xvii. of 5 to 6 verses each. 2. First Division.- First Section: Sarcasm on
6) to my own friend must I be. -[Lit., the wisdom of Zophar, and the two other speak- I mockery to his neighbor, etc.). Instead of any."
one might expect to find 'Y!??; an exchange of E.]. The rendering of Hitzig (Geschichte des persons, however, takes place, that the expres- Volkes Israel I., 112) is peculiar; 794 he takes sion may be made as general as possible: “one
“& soothing bandage, a cure who is a mockery to his own friend must I be."
(from Comp. similar examples of the exchange of per- the root 705, “to wind, or bind around,” here sons in Ps. xci. 1 seq. ; Is. ii. 8. [" Must I be- the sing. corresponding to the plur. found in come, my best as exclamation, expressing Judg. iv. 4, which is not a proper name [LapiJob's sense of indignity: (1) At such treat- dotb], but taken in connection with the preceding ment from friends ; (2) such treatment to such non signifies: “a mistress of healing bandas he,” (Dav.) see remainder of verse]. - I who ages ”), so that the sense would then be: “ Healcalled to Eloah and found a hearing: lit., ing is a scorn [is scorned) in the opinion of the “one calling (still in 3d person] to Eloah, and prosperous” (?).-Ready (is it, the contempt) He heard bim," in apposition to the subject--for those whose foot wavers.—1137, Part. -in nox: which is the case also with P ? Niph. from 123, hence éroluos, ready, as in Ex. D'NA, one who is just, godly (pure, blameless); xxxiv. 2. Comp. below xv. 23, where may also be comp. Prov. xi. 5 a, these words being placed found “the wavering of the foot as a figurative with emphasis at the end of the whole exclama-expression of falling into misfortune; Ps. xxxviii. tion. [Zöckler’s rendering of this clause being: 17 (16) Ewald (Bibl. Jahrb. IX. p. 38) would in“a mockery (am I) ;-—the just, the godly man!". stead of pi?? read f1??, “a stroke," and SchulNoyes and Wemyss render the second member: “I who call upon God that He would answer
tens and Dillmann would assign this same meanme” (or “ to listen to me”). Noyes objects to ing of pluga, percussio to this same form 1131 the other rendering the use of the present par- (from 173, 727): "& stroke, is due to those ticiple. This form, however, is used to denote whose foot wavers.” As if a new parallelism of a continuous fact in Job's life, and a permanent thought must of necessity be found between a quality grounded thereon, the Vav. consec. then and ! indicating the Divine result consequent on Job's Ver. 6. Secure are the tents of the spoilconduct and character.-E.]. Ver. 5. For misfortune scorn-according savage conquerors, and the like. Ons
ers, lit. to the spoilers ; i. e., to powerful tyrants,
"tents to the opinion of the prosperous : 1. e., the comp. ch. v. 24; xi. 14.—70 is the aramaiprosperous (lit. “the secure," who lives free from care, comp. Isa. xxxiii. 20) thinks, that zing third plur. form of a verb which bas for its contempt is due to the unfortunaté. [“. It is the perf. 170 (see ch. iii. 26), but which derives its whelm the unfortunate with contempt, and to imperf. forms from 79. Moreover ro'ymay is give to the tottering still another push." Dillm.] not merely a pausal form, but stands here re
contemptus, as in ver. 21, and ch. moved from the place of the tone: comp. the sixxxi. 34 ; TQ destruction, ruin, misfortune, milar pathetic verbal forms in Ps. xxxvi. 9; as in ch. xxx. 24; xxxi. 29; Prov. xxiv. 22; Ivii. 2 ; lxxiii. 2; also Ewald, & 194, a.-And and nine. ( plur. fem. st. constr, from nez.), or, security ninoa, plur. et abstr. from ņaup (seafter a form which is better authorized, ninaycure, free from care), have they who defy signifies an opinion, fancy, thought (from nøy, God ["O'7710 denotes the sin of these undeto fashion, used of the mind's fashioning its thoughts). This is the interpretation adopted (lit. those who provoke God, who insolently assail
servedly prosperous ones against men, by most of the moderns, since the time of Aben Him) their wickedness against God." Schlott.] Ezra. The rendering of the Targ., Vulg., [E. they who carry Eloah in their hand: lit., V.], Levi b. Gerson, and other Rabbis, preferred also by Luther, De Wette, Rosenm. [Noyes, "he who carries," (dan? ..... 08h); from Carey, Rod.], etc., which takes 70% in the sense among those who rage against God and defy of a torcb, yields no tolerable sense, at least no
Him, one is selected as an example, such an
one, viz., as “bears God in his hand," i. e., resuch sense as suits the second member (" a torch of contempt”. Luther: “a despised taper"] in cognizes no other God than the one be carries the opinion of the prosperous is he who is ready in his band or fist, to whom therefore his fightto totter,” or “to whom it is appointed that his ing weapon is to be bis God; comp. Hab. i. 11, feet slip,” etc.) [Against this rendering, found 16; also the " dextra mihi Deus” of Virg. Aen.
16, 773. in E. V., may be urged (1) The expression “X
[Delitzsch renders x'?n? a little more despised torch” is meaningless. As Con. sug- precisely perhaps : “he who causes Eloah to gests “a consumed or expiring torch would be enter into nis hand; from which translation it pertinent, but a torch despised is like anything is clear that not the deification of the hand, but else that is despised." (2) 1134 is superfluous of that which is taken into the hand is meant. and insipid. Why "ready to waver ?" (3) This That which is taken into the hand is not, howrendering presupposes a noun win, with the fore he who thinks after the manner of Lamech,
ever, an idol (Abenezra), but the sword ; theremeaning vacillatio, wavering, lit. ready for wa
as he takes the iron weapon of attack and verings, for which however there is no authority, defense into his hand, that he needs no other. and which would require here rather the vowel God." The deification of the weapon which a pointing: "Typ:-(4) It destroys the rhythm of man wields with the power of his own right the verse.
See Con., Dillm., Dav. and Delitzsch. band, and the deification of the power which