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SECOND SERIES OF THE CONTROVERSIAL DISCOURSES.
THE ENTANGLEMENT INCREASING:
I. Eliphaz and Job: XV–XVII.
CHAPTER XV. 1. Recital in the way of rebuke of all in Job's discourses that is perverted, and that bears testi. mony against his innocence :
CHAPTER XV. 1-19. 1 Then answered Eliphaz the Temanite, and said,
2 Should a wise man utter vain knowledge,
and fill his belly with the East wind ? 3 Should he reason with unprofitable talk ?
or with speeches wherewith he can do no good ? 4 Yea, thou castest off fear,
and restrainest prayer before God. 5 For thy mouth uttereth thine iniquity,
and thou choosest the tongue of the crafty. 6 Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I:
yea, thine own lips testify against thee. 7 Art thou the first man that was born ?
or wast thou made before the hills ? 8 Hast thou heard the secret of God ?
and dost thou restrain wisdom to thyself? 9 What knowest thou that we know not?
what understandest thou, which is not in us? 10 With us are both the gray-headed and very aged men,
much elder than thy father. 11 Are the consolations of God small with thee?
is there any secret thing with thee? 12 Why doth thine heart carry thee away,
and what do thy eyes wink at, 13 that thou turnest thy spirit against God,
and lettest such words go out of thy mouth? 14 What is man, that he should be clean?
and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous ? 15 Behold He putteth no trust in His saints ;
yea, the heavens are not clean in His sight. 16 How much more abominable and filthy is man,
which drinketh iniquity like water?
17 I will show thee, hear me;
and that which I have seen I will declare; 18 which wise men have told
from their fathers-and have not hid it: 19 unto whom alone the earth was given,
and no stranger passed among them.
2. A didactic admonition on the subject of the retributive justice of God in the destiny of the ungodly.
VERSES 20–35. 20 The wicked man travaileth with pain all his days,
and the number of years is hidden to the oppressor. 21 A dreadful sound is in his ears :
in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him. 22 He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness,
and he is waited for of the sword. 23 He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it?
he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand. 24 Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid;
they shall prevail against him as a king ready to the battle. 25 For he stretcheth out his band against God,
and strengtheneth himself against the Almighty: 26 he runneth upon him, even on his neck,
upon the thick bosses of his bucklers ; 27 because he covereth his face with his fatness,
and maketh collops of fat on his flanks: 28 and he dwelleth in desolate cities,
and in houses which no man inhabiteth,
which are ready to become heaps. 29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue,
neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth. 30 He shall not depart out of darkness ;
the flame shall dry up his branches,
and by the breath of his mouth shall he go away. 31 Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity,
for vanity shall be his recompense. 32 It shall be accomplished before his time,
and his branch shall not be green. 33 He shall shake off his unripe grape as the vine,
and shall cast off his flower as the olive. 34 For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate,
and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery. 35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity,
and their belly prepareth deceit.
destiny of the ungodly, as an example repeating EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL,
itself in accordance with God's righteous decree,
and full of warning for Job. The first division This second discourse of Elipbaz is again the comprises three strophes of five verses each, tolongest of the attacks made on Job by bis three gether with a shorter group of three verses (vers. opponents in this second series or act. Not only | 17-19), which forms the transition to the followby its length, but also by its confident, impas-ling division. The latter consists of three strosioned tone, it gives evidence of being a deliver- phes, of which the middle one numbers six ance of opinion by the oldest and most distin- verses, the first and last each five. guished of the three, in short by their leader. 2. First Division: Censuring the perversity of Apart from certain indications of increased vio- Job in his discourses, and pointing out the evilence, however, it adds nothing at all that is new dences which they gave of his guilt; vers. 2-19. to that which had been previously maintained by First Strophe : Introduction Job's discourses Eliphaz against Job. Its first principal division disprove his wisdom, injure religion, and testify (vers. 2-19) subjects that which was erroneous against himself ] vers. 2-6. in Job's discourses to the same rigid criticism Ver. 2. Doth a wise man utter [or, anand censure, which culminates in a renewed and swer with] windy knowledge ?- Eliphaz more emphatic application to Job of the doctrine begins each one of his three discourses with a advocated in the former discourse, of the impu- question). Job bad clearly enough set himself rity of all before God (vers. 14-19; comp. ch. forth as a Wise Man, cb. xii. 3; xiii. 2. Hence iv. 17 seq.). The second division (vers. 20-35) this ironical contrast between this self-praise is occupied with a prolonged dissertation on the land the “windy” nature (comp. ch. viii. 2; xvi.
3) of that which he really knew.-And fill his most vital points.—E.]. In regard to the form breast sein Inneres, his inward parts] with ning [with feminine ending] see ch. iii. 4.the stormy East wind ?-So Delitzsch, whose
yna, detrahere, to derogate from, to prejudice translation is to be preferred on the score of taste to the more common and literal version: [Fürst: to weaken, to lessen); comp. below ver. cand fill his belly with the East wind ?" even if |8, where it conveys more the sense of " drawing we grant that 92 is not, without further quali to one's-self” [reserving, attrahere), and ch.
xxxvi. 7, where it means “ withdrawing.” fication, synonymous with 3?, and consequently Ver. 5. For thy transgression teaches not to be taken as a mere designation of the thy mouth: i. e., thou allowest thyself to be “thinking inner part” of man (although in fa- | wholly influenced in what thou sayest by iby vor of this application of it, as maintained by sin, thou showest thyself, even in thy words, to Delitzsch, we might cite, if not ver. 35 of this be entirely ruled by it. So correctly the Vulg.. chapter, at least ch. xxxii. 18 seq.). In any case Raschi, Luther, Dillm. [Ewald, Scblottm.), for O'???, “ East wind,” is here (as well as in Hog. the probability is in favor of 71%, which stands xii. 2 1] a stronger synonym of niy, “wind," first, being the subject of the sentence. Moreand so describes the violence, or the ceaseless over, the rendering which has latterly become noisy bluster and roar of Job's discourses; and
current (since Rosenm., Umbreit, Hirzel, etc.): the « belly," or the inward part, which must
" thy mouth teaches, i. e., exposes [E. V. «uttertake into itself such discourses and labor for
eth'] thine iniquity," is at variance with the their refutation, appears as though it were a sail, usual sense of 77x, which signifies “ to teach, or tent-canvas inflated by a heavy storm!
to instruct,” not "to show, to declare.” [To Ver. 3. An explanatory clause subordinate to which Schlottmann adds that tbis rendering sethe preceding interrogative clause:-Arguing cures a better connection between the first and with speech which availeth nought, and
second members of the verse. It exhibits to us with words by which one can do no good. "in a manner alike original and suitable, the -The Inf. Absol. 772 177 can be taken neither as internal motive from which Job's presumptuons an interrogative finite verb (Hirzel, Renan: sel and still crafty discourses proceed").-And defend il-par des vaines paroles ? [“ for though the thou choosest the speech [lit. the tongue) Inf. Absol, is so used in a historical clause (ch. of the crafty: (0270 essentially as in ch. v. XV. 35) it is not in interrogative.” Del.]), nor as 12) i. e., thou doest as crafty offenders do, who, the subject (Ewald: “to reprove with words pro- when accused, hypocritically set themselves forth fiteth not," etc.-as if this useless striving with as innocent, and indeed even take the offensive words were opposed to a more efficient conten
| against their accusers, (as Job did in ch, xiii. tion by the use of facts) (which yields indeed, as 4 seq.). [" The perverse heart teaches the guilty Dillmann remarks, a good meaning, to wit, that man presumptuously to assail God, and at the mere words availed nothing for self-justification, same time so to arrange his words that in apwhen opposed by facts, as e. g. the fact of his pearance he is filled with the greatest zeal for suffering, which was presumptive evidence ihe piety which he really undermines.” Schlott. against him. But such a contrast is not er The rendering of Rosenm., Hirzel (Noyes, Copressed. The 98 of ver. 4 does not at all ex nant, Carey], etc.” “ while thou (although press it). Rather is it joined to the preceding thou) choosest, etc.” is less satisfactory, and finite verbs in the sense of an ablative gerund goes with the rendering of the first member, (redarguendo 8. disputando); comp. Ewald, & which is controverted above. 280, a.
Ver. 6. Thy mouth condemns thee (see Ver. 4. Yea more, thou sthyself] dost ch. ix. 20) and not I, and thy lips testify make void the fear of God. 78, a strong against thee.--The mouth is here personified copula, adding a new and more serious charge, as a judge pronouncing an unfavorable decision, like the phrase “over and above;" comp. ch.
o over and above" comp.ch | declaring one guilty, while at the same time the xiv. 3. [ning, emphatic—"even thou,” who
lips figure as witnesses, or accusets (2 y, a toz dost Pancy thyself to be called on to remind us forensis; for the masc. 2 123after the fem. of the fear of God, ch. xiii. 9 seq.] 1787, abso- 700W comp. Prov. v. 2; xxvi. 23). Comp. still lute, as in ch. iv. 6; 1977, “to remove, make further the New Testament parallel passage, void," as in ch. v. 12 slit. to break, destroy ;
Matth. xii. 37. [“ These words, according to Rodwell: “thou dost break down piety").
Eliphaz's meaning, place Job's guilt not merely And diminishest (devout) meditation be
in his words, but rather set forth these as con
firming the sinful actions, which he is assumed fore God.-8-29 n', according to Ps. to have committed on account of the sufferings cii. 1; cxix. 97, 99, the same with “ devotion, which have been appointed for him.” Schlott. 7. pious prayerful reflection" [should not there Second Strophe : Vers. 7-11. [Ironical quesfore be rendered “ prayer," although prayer is tioning in regard to the extraordinary superia prominent element in it. It includes the whole ority which Job's conduct implied that he arro. meditative side of piety, that over which a sanc- gated to himself]. tified sentiment rules, as 7787' includes the prac- Ver. 7. Wast thou born as the first man ? tical side, over which conscience rules. Eliphaz charges therefore that the tendency of Job's ITON! L . 19 the original form, which ? speech and conduct is to undermine piety in its pears again in Josh. xxi. 10, and is retained by most important strongholds, to injure it in its | the Samaritans; plex?, instead of which we
have in ch. viii. 8 pivon, which has passed into | lxxxix. 8. [“ Here God is represented in Origeneral use, and is hence chosen by the K'ri.” | ental language as seated in a divan, or council Dillm.) in the constr. st. followed by the collec
of state, ... and El. asks of Job whether he had tive DTX; hence lit. “as first of men.-Delitzsch
been admitted to that council." Barnes. 1-And
dost thou keep back wisdom to thyself? takes DTX as predicate nominative: “wast thou as the first one born as a man?" A rendering
noon without the article, denoting the absolute which is altogether too artificial. The question
divine wisdom; comp. ch. xi. 6; xii. 2; Prov. presupposes that the first-created man, by virtue
viii. 1 seq. In regard to ind, see above on ver. of his having proceeded immediately from God's
4. [Gesenius: “Dost thou reserve all wisdom hand, possessed the deepest insight into the mys- |
to thyself ?” like the Arabic, to absorb, drink teries of the Divine process of creation. Comp. up. Fürst: “to snatch away: hast thou purthe Adam Kadmon of the Kabbalists, the Kajoloined wisdom to thyself? i. e. captured it as a morts of the Avesta (πρώτος άνθρωπος of the booty: 3
of booty.”] The representation of the First Man, Manicheans), the Manu (i. e., “the thinking
endowed with the highest wisdom, a witness of one”) of the Brahmanic legends of creation as God's activity in creating and ordering the well as the ironical proverb of the Hindus:
of the Hindna: world, still lies at the bottom of these questions. “ Aye, aye, he is the first man, no wonder he is
| Comp. God's questions at a later period to Job: 80 wise!" (Roberts, Oriental Illustrations, p.
ch. xxxviii. 3 seq. ["Having obtained the 276). p Eliphaz evidently gives in these two
secret of that council, art thou now keeping it verses the conception of a First Man, (like the
wholly to thyself—as a prime minister might be Manu of the Hindûs), possessed as such of the
supposed to keep the purposes resolved on in highest wisdom, a being who before the founda
the divan?” Barnes. ] tions of the earth were laid, was present, a list
On ver. 9 comp. ch. xii. 3; xiii. 2, to which ener, as it were, to the deliberations concerning self-conscious utterances of Job Eliphaz here creation in the council of God, and thus a par- | replies. taker at least of creative wisdom (ch. xxviii. 23 Ver. 10. Both the gray-headed and the seg.), without being identified with the Divine aged [boary) are among us; or: "also non." Dillm. “Many erroneously understand among us are the gray-headed, are the aged;" this expression as signifying simply the greatest for the DA is inverted, as in ch. ii. 10, and as in antiquity, so that the sense would be: dost thou the parallel passages there cited. 102 is equivacombine in thyself the wisdom of all the centu- lent to: “in our generation, in our race.” We ries, from the creation of the world on? This are to think, on the one side, of Job's appeal to conception would be unsuitable for the reason the aged men, to whom he owed his wisdom, ch. that it would have no reality corresponding to xii. 12; on the other side, of the proverbial it, the first man being conceived of as dead long wisdom of the “sons of the East," to whom the since.” Schlott.].-And wast thou brought three friends as well as Job belonged (1 Kings forth before the hills ? _Shin. passive of liv. 30), especially that of the Temanites; see
above on ch. ii. 11. The supposition of Ewald, Shin o to whirl” (hence to writhe, be in pain, Hirzel, Dillmann, etc., that Eliphaz, “in modestly travail], Ps. xc. 2.-Precisely the same expres- concealed language,” referred to himself, as the sion occurs in Prov. viii. 25 b, an utterance of most aged of the three, has but little probability, God's Eternal Wisdom, which is doubtless an in- for the statement: “there is also among us tentional allusion to this passage. [So also De-|(three) a gray-headed, an aged man,” would in litzsch.-Schlottmann, on the contrary, thinks the mouth of El. himself have in it something it indisputable that this passage contains an al- exceedingly forced, if he had thereby meant lugion, if not to the passage in Proverbs, then himself; and the collective use of the sing. v to an original source common to both, so that the sense would be: “art thou the essential Di
and typy, presents not the slightest grammatical vine Wisdom itself, through which God created
| difficulty: Still further, if El. had (according the world ?" The verse thus furnishes a preg
to b) declared himself “more abundant in days nant and energetic progression of thought and than Job's father," he would have said of himexpression. "Being born before the hills." and self that which would have been simply mon. < sitting in God's council.” could not be taken as strous. The correct explanation is given among accidentia sine subiecto, which without having a the moderns by Rosenm., Arnheim, Umbreit, real substratum. are sarcastically predicated of Delitzsch. [“It will be seen (infra xviii. 3) that Job, but they must be regarded as inhering in a in the discussion carried on between Job and definite subject, with which Job is now com
with which Job is now com- his friends, he is not always regarded as a sinpared, as immediately before he was compared gle individual, but rather as the representative with the first man: and this makes it necessary of the party whose views he holds, that of the that we should think of the ante-mundane Wis- | philosophers, namely, who wish to understand dom described in Prov. viii., which from an early and account for everything; while his friends, period was brought into special relation to the as the contrary, represent the orthodox party, first man. Ewald accordingly paraphrases vers.
whose principle it is to declare everything that 7, 8: “ Thou, who wouldest be wiser than all comes from God good and right, whether it be other men, dost thou stand perchance at the head comprehensible or incomprehensible to the of humanity, like the Logos, the first alike in age, human intellect. Hence the plural Daly?, in and in worth and Dearness to God?")
your eyes, used by Bildad (though speaking to Ver. 8. Didst thou listen in the council Job alone), in the chapter alluded to, i. e. in the of Eloah?_71d, as in Jer. xxiii. 18; comp. Ps. eyes of you philosophers. In like manner, in
,לאט elsewhere ,לאט tenderly and gently
the verse before us El. says: Both gray-headed liv. 18, and hence used of the angels (see on ch. and very aged men are amongst us. Amongst v. 1).-And the heavens are not pure in us orthodox people.” Bernard.] Ver. 11. Are the consolations of God
His eyes. DipH is neither here, nor in Is. (comp. ch. xxi. 2) too little for thee (lit, are
xlix. 13 (comp. Luke xv. 18, 21; Matt. xxi. 25), they less than thee--comp. Num. xvi. 9; Is. vii. to be taken as a synonym of D'Ixo, or of 13)? [The irony of the question is severe: Too little for thee are the consolations of God? The
spin? 99JX (Targ.), as many commentators words reveal at the same time the narrow gelf. explain from the Targumists down to Hirzel. complacency of the speaker, the consolations of Heiligst., Welte [Schlott., Carey, Ren.], ete. God being such as he and the friends had sought Rather, as the parallel passage in ch. XXV. 5 to administer, for which El., however, claims a incontestably shows, it designates the starry heaDivine value and efficacy.-E.), and a word vens, which are here contemplated in respect of so gentle with thee? i. e. a word which, their pure brilliancy, and their physical elevalike my former discourse, dealt with thee so tion above the impure earthly sphere. So
rectly Umbreit, Delitzsch, Dillmann. p In
ON? | comparison with the all-transcending holiness lit. “for softness," i. e. softly, gently [e. g. Is. and purity of God, the creatures which ethically viii. 6 of the soft murmur and gentle fow of and physically are the purest, are impure. How Siloah), comp. Ew. & 217, d; & 243, c. Eliphaz in the representations of antiquity ethical and here identifies his former address to Job with a physical purity and impurity are throughout consolation and admonition proceeding from used interchangeably is well enough known.” God himself; as in fact in delivering the same Dillmann.] The angels are indeed regarded as (see ch. iv. 12 seq.), he ascribed the principal inhabiting the heavenly spheres, as is indispucontents of it to a Divine communication. In tably proved by the phrase D'Own XY (1 Kings regard to the gentleness which he here claims xxii. 19; Is. xxiv. 21; Ps. cxlviii. 2; comp. for that former discourse, comp. especially ch. Gen. ii. 1), and the fact that the Holy Scriptures iv. 2; v. 8, 17 seq.
everywhere speak of angels and the starry heaThird Strophe: vers. 12-16. [Severe rebuke vens together. Comp. Del. on this passage and of Job's presumptuous discontent, founded on on Gen. ii. 1; Hengstenberg; Ewald, K.-29., man's extreme sinfulness.)
1869; Preface, No. 3, 4; Zöckler: Die UrgeVer. 12. Why does thy heart carry thee schichte der Erde und des Menschen (1868), p. away? p?, auferre, abripere. [25 here for
12 seq.; also below, on ch. xxxviii. 7. deep inward agitation, excitement of feeling
Ver. 16. Much less then ('? 78, quanto (Delitzsch: “wounded pride”). Why dost thou minus, like 7above in ch. iv. 19) the abomiallow the stormy discontent of thy bosom to transport thee beyond thyself?—E.]-And
nable and corrupt (598), lit. soured, one why twinkle thine eyes? Din, år. Qey.=
corrupted by the Górın kakías, 1 Cor. v. 8, one Aram. and Arab. 17. so to wink.' to blink" “ thoroughly corrupted,” Del.), the man who said here of the angry, excited snapping, or
drinks iniquity like water, i. e. who is as rolling of the eyes referring, according to Re- eager to do iniquity, shows as much avidity for nan, to such a manifestation of angry impa
sin, as a thirsty man pants for water; comp. tience with the hypocrisy of El. at tbis point of the repetition of this same figure by Elihu, also bis discourse; and similarly Noyes: "why this Ps. lxxiii. 10; Prov. xxvi. 6; Sir. xxiv, 21. winking of thine eyes?"). Comp. Cant. vi. 5 The whole description relates to the moral cos. (according to the correct interpretation, see my ruption of mankind generally, of which Eliphaz remarks on the passage).
intentionally holds up before Job “a more Ver. 13. Depending on the preceding verse:
| bideous picture” (according to Oetinger) than That thou turnest against God thy snort
the latter bimself had given in ch. xiv. 4, ing. Dit here meaning angry breathing, Oupós
because he has in view the impurity, ill-desert, pothus expressed because it manifests itself in
and need of repentance of Job bimself. Comp. TVÉEL (Acts ix. 1), and has its rise in the avevua
still further what he says ch. v. 7 on the spark(Eccl. vii. 9).” Delitzsch], as in Judg. viii. 3;
like proneness of man to sin and its penalty.
Fourth Strophe : vers. 17-19. Transition to Prov. xvi. 32; Is. xxv. 4; comp. above job iv.
the didactic discourse which follows in the form 9.-And sendest forth words out of thy
of a captatio benevolentiæ. mouth? ??? (comp. ch. iv. 2) as parallel Ver. 17. I will inform thee (comp. ch. xiii. with 147 can mean here only vehement, intem
| 17), listen to me, and that which I have
seen will I relate.-771 is neuter, as in Gen. perate speaking, passionate words, not empty speaking, as Kamphn. explains it.
| vi. 15, or like 897 above in ch. xiii. 16, and Ver. 14 repeats the principal proposition of
N10-7! is a relative clause; comp. Ges. & 122
?? ! is a relative clause; C Eliphaz in his former discourse (ch. iv. 17-20), | 1201, 2 -- 7in needs not (with Schlottm.) be with an accompanying reminder of Job's con- | understood in the sense of an ecstatic vision, of the fession in ch. xiv. 4, which was in substantial prophetic sort, seeing that in ch. viii. 17; xxiii. 9; harmony therewith. On nex 73% comp. ch.
xxiv. 1; xxvii. 12, etc., it denotes also the know
ledge or experience of sensible things. Morexiv. 1. Ver. 15. Behold, in His holy ones He
over, as ver. 18 shows, Eliphaz makes a very de
finite distinction between That which is now to puts no trust. D'WTP, the same as D'iy, ch. be communicated and a Divine revelation of