Obrazy na stronie

(in opposition to a familiar application of the that Job is nearer to the truth than Zophar" theory of retribution set forth in the Law, Ex. (Delitzsch i. p. 425). XX. 5; Deut. xxiv. 16, an application controverted also by Jeremiah and Ezekiel), that God HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL. punishes with justice only where He exacts ex Ver. 6. ZeY88: Because reason caunot compiation of the evil-doer himself, and not of his prehend the mystery of affliction, and why God children after him. The consequence that God often deals so severely with His children, it does not punish where He ought to punish, is but comes to pass that even in pious hearts mourna short remove from this proposition, which is ful thoughts frequently spring up, and they accordingly easily liable to the reproach of tremble in their great sorrow; Ps. xxxvii. 1; speaking unbecomingly of God. The judgment Ixxiii

. 12; Jer. xii. 1, etc.—v. Gerlach: Doubts of Job accordingly in the present discourse con- touching the rectitude of God's government of cerning God and His dealings with men's desti- the world, have in them that which makes our nies is the less pure and correct in so far as it inmost feelings quiver; the thought makes all in no wise distinguishes between the God of the the foundations of human existence quake. present, and the God of the future, as we find Ver. 7 seq. Seb. SCHMIDT: The happiness of the him doing in ch. xix. 25 seq. For this reason, ungodly is described; and it is shown that they and because the sufferer begins anew to yield to are happy (1) in themselves—ver. 7; (2) in the pressure of his outward and inward suffer their children-ver. 8; (3) in their houses, ingy, the hope of a blessed future in the life be

ver. 9; (4) in their cattle-ver. 10; (5) in their yond, which had previously irradiated his misery, flocks-ver. 11; (6) in a life which is joyous and is completely obscured.

merry-ver. 12; (7) in a death which at the last 3. Notwithstanding this partial obscuration is not sad-ver. 13. WOHLFARTH: What must of his spiritual horizon, Job in the discourse be we bear in mind, in order that we may not err as fore us utters much that is beautiful, profoundly to God and virtue, when we see the ungodly true, and heart-stirring. The first discourse prosperous, the godly afflicted? If Job recoiled pronounced by Job after the inspired pæan of from such a sight, who can blame him, a sufferer hope io ch. xix. 25 seq., there may be discerned sorely tried, and with but imperfect knowledge in it a certain hallowing influence thence pro- of God ? But a Christian can and will guard ceeding, which justifies in a measure the remark himself against such doubts; for he knows that of Sunctius on that passage: “From this point according to God's sovereign decree outward on to the end of the book Job is not the same prosperity has often no relation to a man's as he has been heretofore.” His description of moral worth; that the good things of this world the success and abounding prosperity of the un will not long make man happy, and that without godly, by its many points of contact with simi- a peaceful conscience happiness in this earth is lar moral pictures, such as Ps. xxxvii. ; Ps. impossible; that frequently the earthly prosperlxxiii.; Jer. xii. 1 seq. ; Hab. i. 13 seq. ; Eccles. ity which the wicked enjoy is the means of their vii., etc., commends itself as being perfectly true, punishment; that the place of retribution is not and derived from life. Especially does the cir- yet in tbig world; and that God, whose counsels cumstance that in his observation of the pros we cannot penetrate, will not withstanding asperity of the wicked he shows himself continu- suredly compensate pious sufferers for their ally inclined to restrain himself within the earthly losses. bounds of modesty, and the limitations pre Ver. 22 seq. STARKE: In holy fear we should scribed by the contemplation of the unsearcha wonder at God's judgments; but we should by ble operations of God, give him an indisputable no means sit in judgment upon them, nor inadvantage over the description of his opponents quire after the reason of His conduct; Is. xlv. 9. (and especially of his immediate predecessor Zo- v. GERLACH: The righteous and the ungodly phar), which is one-sided in the opposite direc- have both their various destinies, but these have tion, and for that very reason less true. " The nothing to do with their position before God; speeches of Zophar and of Job are both true and there lies another mystery behind which our false, - both one-sided, and therefore mutually short-sighted speeches and thoughts cannot unsupplementary. If, however, we consider fur- veil. ther, that Job is not able to deny the occurrence Ver. 27 seq. STARKE (after Osiander and the of such examples of punishment, such revela-Tübingen Bible): The ungodly are often lignny tions of the retributive justice of God, as those exalted in order that afterwards their fall may which Zophar represents as occurring regularly be so much the greater. Although in this world, and without exception; that, however, on the occupying high places, they do evil without terother band, exceptional instances undeniably do ror, and are punished by nobody, there will exist, and the friends are obliged to be blind to come nevertheless a day of judgment, when their them, because otherwise the whole structure of wickedness will be broughi, to view, and before their opposition would fall in-it is manifest I all the world they will be put to shame.




I. Eliphaz and Job : Chapter XXII–XXIV. A.-Eliphaz: Reiterated accusation of Job, from whose severe sufferings it must of necessity be in ferred that he had sinned grievously, and

needed to repent :
Chap. XXII. 1-20.

1. The charge made openly that Job is a great sinner:

VERS. 1-10. 1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said:

2 Can a man be profitable unto God,

as he that is wise may be profitable unto himself? 3 Is it any pleasure to the Almighty that thou art righteous!

or is it gain to Him that thou makest thy ways perfect ? 4 Will He reprove thee for fear of thee?

will He enter with thee unto judgment ? 5 Is not thy wickedness great ?

and thine iniquities infinite ? 6 For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought,

and stripped the naked of their clothing. 7 Thou hast not given water to the weary to drink,

and thou hast withholden bread from ihe hungry. 8 But as for the mighty man, he had the earth :

and the honorable man dwelt in it. 9 Thou hast sent widows away empty,

and the arms of the fatherless have been broken. 10 Therefore snares are round about thee,

and sudden fear troubleth thee.

2. Earnest warning not to incur yet severer punishments :

VERSES 11-20. 11 Or darkness, that thou canst not see;

and abundance of waters cover thee. 12 Is not God in the height of heaven?

and behold the height of the stars, how high they are ! 13 And thou sayest, How doth God know?

can He judge through the dark cloud ? 14 Thick clouds are a covering to Him, that He seeth not;

and He walketh in the circuit of heaven. 15 Hast thou marked the old way,

which wicked men have trodden ?

16 Which were cut down out of time,

whose foundation was overflown with a flood; 17 which said unto God, Depart from us :

and what can the Almighty do for them?

18 Yet He filled their houses with good things :

bit the counsel of the wicked is far from me 19 The righteous see it, and are glad

and the innocent laugh them to scorn: 20 “Whereas our substance is not cut down,

but the remnant of them the fire consumeth.”

3. Admonition to repent, accompanied by the announcement of the certain restoration of his prosperity to bim when penitent :

VERSES 21-30. 21 Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace:

thereby good shall come unto thee. 22 Receive, I pray thee, the law from His mouth,

and lay up His words in thine heart. 23 If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up,

thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. 24 Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust,

and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks. 25 Yea, the Almighty shall be thy defence,

and thou shalt have plenty of silver. 26 For then shalt thou have thy delight in the Almighty,

and shalt lift up thy face unto God. 27 Thou shalt make thy prayer unto Him, and He shall hear thee,

and th'u shalt pay thy vows. 28 Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee :

and the light shall shine upon thy ways. 29 When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and He shall save the humble

person. 30 He shall deliver the island of the innocent; and it is delivered by the pureness of thine hands.

tially equal in length, consisting of five verges

each (the first, however, only of four). EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL.

2. First Division, or Double Strophe: the accu1. Without controverting Job's position in ch.sation : vers. 2-10. xxi., that the present life furnishes numerous First Strophe : vers. 2-5: Four interrogative examples of the pro-perity of the ungodly, and sentences, wbich taken together exhibit a wellof calamity to the pious, but at the same time constructed syllogism, of which the first two witbout abandoning in the slightest degree his questions (vers. 2, 3) constitute the major preformer argument in favor of an external doc- mise, the third (ver. 4) the minor, the fourth trine of retribution, Eliphaz adheres to his as- | (ver. 5) the conclusion. The major premise exsumption that the cause of Job's calamities and presses the thought: The cause of Job's misery misery could lie only in sins of a grievous cha- cannot lie in God, the All-sufficient One, to whom racter (vers. 2-10), with which be now the conduct of men, whether good or evil, (wise proaches bim particularly and in detail (vers. or unwise) matters nothing. The minor pre6-9),--sins of arrogance, of cruelty, and of in- mise affirms that the penalty which Job was enjusiice towards his neighbor. Then follows an during could not have been brought upon him earnest warning against pursuing any further by his piety. From this he draws a conclusion his unboly "houghts and speeches, as otherwise unfavorable to Job's moral character.

Is a his final doom, like that of all the wicked from man (73, "great man, a hero, etc.; man in the earliest times must be a terrible one (vers. short considered in his best estate;" Carey] 11-20)-a position indeed which Job also might urge to prove the alleged injustice of God's treat- profitable unto God ? Nay, the intelil ment of him.

To this sharp warning succeeds gent man is profitable unto himself. The a conciliatory invitation to repent and to return question, with its negative force, and the negato God, and to enter into possession of the bles- tive follow each other immediately, the latter insings promised by God to the penitent, the whole troduced by ’? in the sense of “nay, rather discourse having a conclusion similar to that of [Conant: “for;" E. V. Wemyss, Elzas, less the first discourse of Eliphaz (vers. 21-30). This suitably; "as,' regarding the second clause as third and last discourse of Eliphaz falls into a part of the question). The meaning is : God, three divisions, exactly equal in length, and the absolutely Blessed One, who has everything each of these embraces two strophes substan- and needs nothing, receives no advantage from


man's conduct. whether it be thus or so, whether narily associated with riches and power, must he act unwisely, (i. e. wickedly, Ps. xiv. 2 [1], constitute, in the opinion of the speaker, the or intelligently (i. e. piously, righteously); so probable reason why Job, who was once rich that accordingly if the latter is the case, man and honored, had fallen so low, and been made cares only for his own well-being. In regard to to suffer the Divine chastisement. 10, lit. "to dwell boside one another, to become Ver. 6. For thou didst distrain thy breone's neighbor,” and hence “to assist one another, to be serviceable, to be profitable,” comp: thy superfluity under any necessity of doing so

thren without cause-i. e., without being in above on ch. xv. 3; also xxxv. 3. The pathetic (Hirzel). The brethren are naturally the next plural form is yp, with the signification of the of kin, fellow-clansmen, not specially brethren

in the more literal sense. If instead of TTK we singular, rhy, as in ch. xx. 23. [The use of by in the second member, instead of ļ as in the Bähr and Delitzsch) read ynx, this singular

should with many MSS. and Editions (so also first, is one of the Aramaisms, “ which poetry form, “thy brother,” would nevertheless require gladly adopts" (Del.). Comp. Ps. xvi. 6].

to be understood as a collective, as the second Ver. 3. Is it an advantage to the Almember shows. And the clothes of the mighty, if thou art righteous ? pon (lit. naked thou didst strip off. --By O'Day we "pleasure "] means here, as the parallel ys? in are to understand, of course, not those who are the second member shows, “interest, gain, absolutely naked, but those who are scantily advantage," as in cb. xxi. 21. Or a gain, if clothed, the half-naked poor, as in 1sa. xx 2; thou behavest blamelessly? lit. "if thou John xxi. 7; James ii. 15 (comp. also Seneca, makest thy ways blameless' (or “perfect ”] De Beneficiis, p. 13: si quis male vestitutum et pan. (DMA, imperf. Hiph. of Dan, with the [Arami-naked” ones by distraint of their last piece of

nosum videt, nudum se vidisse dicit). To strip such zing] doubling of the first radical: comp. Gesen. apparel is forbidden not only by the law of Moses 8 66, Rem. 8), si integras facias vias tuas. The

(Ex. xxii. 25 seq.; Deut. xxiv. 6, 10 seq.), but also meaning of the whole question is: God gets no by the sentiment of universal humanity. The same profit from men's rigbteousness; consequently may be said of the proofs of cruelty enumerated the motives which determine him to inflict suf- in the following verse. [ver. 7: Thou gavest ferings on men are neither selfish, nor arbitrary. no water to the fainting to drink, and

Ver. 4. Will He because of thy godli-thou didst refuse bread to the bungry); ness (lit. “ fear, godly tear.”] chastise thee, comp. Isa lviii. 10, and for the opposite course enter into judgment with thee? That is : Mali. x. 42. if now then the cause of such a calamity as has

Ver. 8. And the man of the fist (absolute befallen thee lies in thyself, can it be thy piety case )-his was the land, and the honored for wbich God punishes thee? Hirzel interprets one was to dwell therein !—That is to say, 7787? to mean : "from fear of thee,” the suf- according to the insolent, selfish, grasping views fix expressing the genit. of the object against and principles which Eliphaz imputes to Job. the context, wbich requires a meaning antithetic The “man of the arm,' or “of the fist" to ynyn, ver. 5. (Hirzel's explanation is the one in '$), 1. e., the powerful and violent man, adopted also by Bernard, Wemyss, Carey, Renan, Rodwell, Elzas). The meaning: “godly

as well as the honored man” (D'P MID, as in fear, piety” is all the more firmly established | Isa. iii. 3; ix. 14), is none other than Job himfor ny by the fact that Eliphaz has already self, the proud, rich Emir, who, as Eliphaz ma. used this same word twice in this emphatic liciously conjectures, had driven away many of sense: chap. iv. 6 and chap. xv. 4 ["a genuine the poor and helpless from house and home, in Eliphazian word, in accordance with the poet's order to seize upon the land far and wide for mei hod of assigning favorite words and habits himself. According to the assumption that both to his speakers.” EWALD].

expressions referred to another than Job, whom Ver. 5. The conclusion, expressed in the inter

the latter had favored in his course of self-agrogative form, like the preceding propositions in grandizement (Rosenmüller, Umbreit, Haba the syllogism. Is not thy wickedness great, Noyes, Wemyss, Renan, Elzas—who translates: and no end of thy transgressions ?—Thus "As if the land belonged to the man of power strongly does Eliphaz accuse Job here; for, en- alone; as if only the man of rank may dwell tangled in legalism, he thinks that if the impos- therein”]), the strong sense of the pass ge is sibility that God should cause the innocent to needlessly weakened. That Job is not immedi. suffer be once for all firmly held, then, from the ately addressed here, as in the verse just preseverity of the sufferings inflicted on any one, we ceding, and again in the verse following, is to be may argue the greatness of the transgressions explained by the vivid objectivizing tendency of which are thus punished,-a piece of bad logic, the description. seeing that it entirely overlooks the intermediate Ver. 9. Widows thou didst send away possibility which lies between those two ex-empty-when they came to thee as supiremes, that God may inflict suffering on such as pliants; and the arms of the orphans were are friends indeed, but not yet perfected in broken-in consequence, namely, of the treattheir piety, with a view to their trial or purifi. ment which such needy and helpless ones were cation.

wont to receive from thee and those like thee. Second Strophe: Vers. 6–10. Enumeration of a The discourse here assumes the objective geneseries of sins, which, seeing that they are ordi. ralizing tone, for the reason that Eliphaz is sen.

sible that the concrete proofs of the charge which , rather than as an independent subject, followed he would be able to produce out of Job's former by a relative clause: “darkness, that thou canst history would be all too few! The “arms of the not see" (E. V., Umbreit, Noyes, Con., Lee, orphans" is a figurative expression describing Renan, Rodwell, etc.).-E.] not their appeal for help, but all their powers Ver. 12. Is not Eloab the height of heaand rights, all upon which they could depend for ven? i. e. the heaven-bigh, infin rely exalted support. The same phrase—hini x37-occurs One (comp. ch. xi. 8; [in view of which pasalso in Psalm xxxvii, 17; Ezek. XXX, 22. For

sage, says Schlottmann, the construciion of the “arms" as the symbol of strength, power, D'on ja as Accus. loci: “in the height of comp. ch. xl. 9; Psalm lxxvii. 16 [15]; lxxxiii. heaven,” is less probable than the construction 9 [8]. Ver. 10.

as predicate]).–And see now the head of Therefore snares

are round about thee (a figure descriptive of destruction the stars (i

. e. the highest of the stars, d'opis as besetting him around; comp. ch. xviii. 8-10), gen. partitivus) how high they are !—'?" how," and terror suddenly comes upon (or or also “that,” as in Gen. xlix. 15; 1 Sam. xiv. affrights) thee (comp. Prov. iii. 25)—i. e., sud. 29. The plural 157 [by attraction] as in ch. den deadly anguish, terror in view of thy ap- xxi. 21 ; comp. Ewald, & 817, c. The whole proaching complete destruction, overpowers thee verse, in tbis reference to the Divine greatness time after time. Comp. the similar description and exaltation, beginning as a question, and above in Bildad's discourse, ch. xviii. 11. (“To passing over into a challenge, has for its object be noted is the frequent paronomasia of nd and ihe vindication of Him who is above the world, IND.” Schlott.].

and above man, against every thought which 3. Second Division, or Double Strophe: the would limit His knowle Ige, or cast any suspiwarning. If Job should presumptuously cast cion on the perfect. justice of His ways. doubt on the Divine righteousness, and thereby

Ver. 13 seq. The doubt expressed by Job make himself partaker of the sins of those in touching the justice of God in administering the the primeval world who insolently denied God, I affairs of the world is here interpreted by Elihe would draw down on himself the Divine phaz as a denial that God has any knowledge of judgment which had been ordained for those earthly things, or feels any special concern in guilty of such wickedness, and which would what happens to men. He therefore reproaches without fail overtake them, however long and him with holding that erroneous, and almost securely they might seem to enjoy their pros-atheistical conception of the Deity, which has perity: vers. 11-20.

since been advanced by the Epicureans (see e.g. Third Strophe : vers. 11-15. Or seest thou Lucretius III. 640 seq.), and more recently by not the darkness, and the flood of waters, the English Deists. ["Eliphaz here attributes which covereth thee?—That is, dost thou to Job, who in ch. xxi. 22 had appealed to the not then perceive in what destruction thou art exaltation of God in opposition to the friends, a already involved, and that in punishment for complete misconception of the truth, and thus thy sins ? “ Darkness” and the “flood of skilfully turns aginst Job himself the weapon waters" (the multitudinous heaving of waters, which the latter bad just sought to wrest from

as in Is. lx. 6) are here, as also in ch. bim.” Schlottmann]. And so thou thinkest xxvii. 20, a figure not of the sins of Job (Hahn), what should God know?) will He judge

(literally "sayest") what knows God ? (or : but of the night of suffering and of the deep through (vya as in Gen. xxvi. 8; Joel ii. 9) misery, which, as Eliphaz thioks, had come

the darkness of the clouds ?-i. e. judge us upon him in consequence of his sins. 102 is men on this lower earth, from which He, cova relative clause, and logically belongs also to ered by the clouds, is wholly separated and Jon; comp. Is. Ix. 2. In mentioning darkness shut off.

Ver. 14 continues this symbolical description and a flood as bursting on Job, he has reference to the catastrophe of the deluge, which in the of this total separation of God from the world :

Clouds are a covering to Him, so that he following verses he proceeds to hold up as a warning picture of terror (ver. 16). The whole

sees not (comp. Lam. iii. 44), and He walks

upon the vault (or “circle,” Prov. viii. 27; verse forms a suitable transition from the accusation in the preceding section

to the warning earthly world, which is too small and insignifi

Is. xl. 22) of the heaven-Dot therefore on this which now follows. [By the majority of versions and commentators ver. 11 is joined imme- touching God's special concern for the affairs of

cant for Him. Similar expressions of unbelief diately to the verse preceding, as its continua- earth may be found e. g. in Ps. lxxiii. 11; xciv. tion. There is certainly a close connection between the two.. But that Zöckler (afier D 11-7; Is. xxix. 15; Ezek. viii. 12. mann) is correct in regarding ver. 1ì as transi

Ver. 15. Wilt thou keep in the path of tional to what follows, and so introducing the the old world ? (, to observe, follow, as next strophe, is favored both by the use of the in Ps. xviii. 22 [not “hast thou marked”! E. disjunctive ix rather than !, and by the evident V. against which is the fut. nison, and the conanticipation of ver. 16 in the dir-hypd. This nection) and Dşiv nyå, as in Jer. vi. 16; xviii. view requires the construction of an as the 15), which the men of wickedness trod?

i. e. insolent, ungodly and wicked men, as they object of 787 NS: “geest thou not the dark

are described in the following verses, both as to ness ?” (Ewald, Schlottm., Dillm., Delitzsch ;, their arrogant deeds, and their righteous pun


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