صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

bim drain his cup of suffering to the dregs (ch. one-sided in its tendency, he changes his tone xxiii. 13 seq.). ["Job's suspicion against God somewhat to be sure, and by strongly emphasizis as dreadful as it is childish. This is a pro- / ing the certainty that a rigid judgment of God foundly tragic stroke. It is not to be understood will at the last terminate the course of the as the sarcasm of defiance; on the contrary, as wicked (vers. 18-21, 24), qualifies the preceding one of the childish thoughts into which melan- | accusation against the divine justice. Even this choly bordering on madness falls. From the however is by no means a surrender to the docbright height of faith to which Job soars in ch. trine of a retribution in this life, as taught by xix. 25 seq., he is here again drawn down into the friends. The chief emphasis even in this the most terrible depth of conflict, in which, like | passage rests rather on the long delay (juo ver. a blind man, he gropes after God, and because 22 a) in interposing for such punishment, on the he cannot find Him thinks that He flees before long duration of their impunity from punishhim lest He should be overcome by him. The ment, or even on the not uncommon prolonga. God of the present Job accounts his enemy; and tion of this state down to their natural death, to the God of the future to whom his faith clings, which they are subject in common with all men who will and must vindicate him so soon as He (ver. 24; see on the ver.). Job here certainly only allows Himself to be found and seen—this God concedes something to his opponents, essentially is not to be found." Delitzsch.). It is not the however not much more than he had conceded invisible essence of God in general, not that He already in ch. xxi. where (ver. 17 seq. ; 23 seq.) cannot be discovered by those who seek Him on without denying the fact of the final punishment earth east or west, north or south (vers. 8-9)-it of the ungodly, he had represented it as much is not the pure spirituality and the divine om- | more commonly the case that they were spared nipresence, which extinguishes his hope in God's | any judicial inflictions down to the end of their interposition to vindicate and to redeem him. | | life. The triumphant exclamation with which The thought of that divine unsearchableness, he ends his speech : “ who will convict me of which he beautifully describes in a way that re- falsehood ?” is intended simply to confirm this minds us of Ps. cxxxix. 7-9, as well as of Zophar's | fact of experience, in accordance with which first discourse (ch. xi. 8-9), could have had no- this impunitas hominum sceleratorum is the general thing terrible or cheerless for him. Just as lit-| rule, whereas their justa punitio is the exceptle (as he expressly declares in the closing verse tion, at least in this world. of the First Part, ch. xxiii. 17) would the con- 2. Job however does concede somewhat more templation of his woful physical condition, and here than there; he at least dwells longer on the the iragical calamities of his outward life have punishment of the ungodly, as a fact which is sufficed to plunge him into the fear of death and not altogether unheard of in the course of human dumb despair. That which fills him with dis destiny-whether the passage in which he demay and terror, that which makes his heart scribes it be only a free quotation of the lanfaint, and removes the prospect of his deliver- guage of his opponents, as the later commentaance to the indefinite future, is that same predesti-tors in part exclaim (see on ver. 18 seq.), of the natianism, that same dread of a mysterious, inex-l expression of his own conviction. And this inorable, and as regards himself malign decree of dicates clearly enough progress for the better in God, which had already extorted repeatedly his temper of mind and mode of thought, a profrom him a cry of lamentation, and which had gress which is still further indicated by the fact formed the dark back-ground which so often that in the preceding description of God as reemerges behind his meditations thus far (comp.straining Himself in the infliction of punishment ch. vi. 9 seq.; vii. 12 seq.; ix. 22 899.; X. 13 seg.; | a calm tone of objective description has a decixiii. 15 seq. ;xvi. 12 sq.; xix. 6 seq.). No comfort- | ded predominance, and nothing more is to be ing, brightening, alleviating thought, no joyous discerned of his former passionate, at times soaring of hope in God's compassion, bringing even blasphemous complaints touching the tyhelp however late, is to be seen anywhere in this rannical harshness and cruel vindictiveness of discourse, as was the case e. g. in ch. xvii, and the Almighty in persecuting him with poisoned xix. On the contrary the Second Division of the arrows, sword-thrusts, and merciless scourgings. discourse lays out before us a much wider circle The terrible fatalistic phantom of a God exerof phenomena and sentiments at variance with cising only His power, and not also His justice a righteous and merciful activity on the part of land love, which had formerly tortured him, has God. The experience which he had, or believed unmistakably assumed a milder form, of a less that he had, of God's treatment of him as unsym-threatening aspect than heretofore. In consepathetic and harsh, as being a mere exhibition of quence of this, as well as by virtue of the calm divine power, without the slightest trace of jus- dignity which enables him to meet with comtice or fatherly kindness—this experience he ut- plete serenity the violent assaults and detracters in the general proposition : "that God had tions of Eliphaz, and to avoid all controversy of appointed no times of judgment, would let His a better personal character, his superiority over friends see no days on this earth in which He his opponents becomes ever more apparent, his would exercise righteous retribution" (ch. xxiv. statements and arguments drive with ever 1). This proposition he expands into an elo- greater directness at the only possible solution quent description of the manifold injustice, of the controversy, and even where he is onewhich men of the most diverse classes inflict on sided, as particularly in his description, in many one another, while the wrongs of the outraged respects impressive, of the course of the wicked, and oppressed weaker party are never redressed and of the needy ones whom they persecute (ch. or avenged (ch. xxiv. 2 seg). Toward the end xxiv. 2-17), his discussion has great value, and of this picture, wbich is true in a sense, although a fascinating power which is all the stronger by virtue of the comparatively calm objective tone fore this God. It is not his calamity in itself, of the treatment. It is in these indications of not even his own experience of the extremity to the growing puriiy and clearness of the suffer which this calamity has brought him from which er's spiritual frame, that the practical and ho- he shrinks. What a deep glance is here given miletic lessons of the present section can be us into the heart of a sorely tried servant of most advantageously studied.

God, who in his complaints and struggles, spite

of all suffering, thinks only of God, and fears HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL.

nothing so much as that the fellowship of his God

having been withdrawn from him, his God Ch. xxiii. ver. 3 seq.-OECOLAMPADIUS (on should become a terror to him. ver. 7): This word “ disputing” or “reprov- Ch. xxiv, 2 seq. WOHLFARTH: How should ing" expresses confidence rather than impa- the contemplation of the unnumbered sins, with tience or an unfavorable estimate of God. But which God's fair earth is stained, affect us! if we blame this in Job, we must also blame Job was led thereby into temptation to doubt what John and others say; “ if our hearts con- God's justice. Let it not be 80 with us, who, demn us not, then have we confidence toward enlightened by Christ, should see therein God.” And wherefore does Christ command us rather: (a) a melancholy proof of the conto lift up our heads at His coming ? ZEYSS :tinual inclination of our nature to evil, and Faith and a good conscience are the two chief of the slothfulness of our spirit to strive against jewels of a Christian (1 Tim. i. 5). Happy he the same; (b) a touching evidence of the longwho has kept these. When oppressed he can suffering and patience of God; (c) an earnest appear with confidence before God.

warning to be on our guard against every tempVer. 8 seq. BRENTIUS: Although God fills all tation ; (d) an emphatic reminder of the day of things, and is all in all, we cannot approach judgment, which will recompense every man Him, nor find Him without a Mediator; whether according to his works. we seek Him before or behind, to the right hand Ver. 17. STARKE: As works of the light are or to the left, He is always afar off, we never accompanied by a joyful conscience and good lay hold upon Him. For even if we should at- courage, so on the other hand with works of tempt to approach Him without a mediator, we | darkness there is nothing but fear, anguish and are deterred from having access to Him in part terror. For even the abandoned are not without by the darkness in which he dwells, in part by an inward punishment in the conscience.-V. His power and majesty, in part by His justice. GERLACH: For sinners, who shun the light, the

Ver. 13 seq. ZEYSS: As God is one in His na- light of day itself is darkness, since through ture, so also is He unchangeable in His will their departure from the eternal light of God, (Num. xxiii. 19; 1 Sam. xv. 29). Let us there they bear about with them night in their souls fore submit ourselves in humility and obedience (comp. Matt. vi. 23; John xi. 10), and thus they to His good and holy will! The cross which feel its terrors even in the midst of the brightHe lays upon us is always less than our sins de- ness of the day. serve; His chastisements are tempered with Ver. 23 seq. STARKE: Be not secure, if a mercy ; Ps. ciii. 10.--v. GERLACH (on ver. 17): sin passes unpunished; it is not on that account In the consciousness of the treatment which he forgotten by God. The happier the ungodly receives from the incomprehensible God, who are for a time, the more dangerous is their conhas irrevocably determined every man's destiny, dition, and the more severely will they be punJob is penetrated by the profoundest terror be- ished at last.

II. Bildad and Job: Chap. XXV-XXVI. A.-Bildad: Again setting forth the contrast between God's exaltation and

human impotence.

CHAPTER XXV. 1. Man cannot argue with God.

VERSES 2-4. 1 Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said: 2 Dominion and fear are with Him,

He maketh peace in His high places. 3 Is there any number of His armies ?

and upon whom doth not His light arise : 4 How then can man be justified with God?

or how can he be clean that is born of a woman ?

2. Man is not pure before God: vers. 5, 6. 5 Behold even to the moon, and it shineth not;

yea, the stars are not pure in His sight. 6 How much less man, that is a worm ;

and the son of man, which is a worm?

B.-Job: Rebuke of his opponent, accompanied by a description, far surpassing

his, of the exaltation and greatness of God.

CHAPTER XXVI. 1. Sharp rebuff of Bildad: vers. 1-4. 1 But Job answered, and said: 2 How hast thou helped him that is without power ?

how savest thou the arm that hath no strength ? 3 How hast thou counselled him that hath no wisdom?

and how hast thou plentifully declared the thing as it is? 4 To whom hast thou uttered words?

and whose spirit came from thee?

2. Description of the incomparable sovereignty and exaltation of God, given to surpass the far

less spirited effort of Bildad in this direction: vers. 5-14. 5 Dead things are formed

from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof. 6 Hell is naked before Him,

and destruction hath no covering. 7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place,

and hangeth the earth upon nothing. 8 He bindeth up the waters in His thick clouds;

and the cloud is not rent under them. 9 He holdeth back the face of His throne,

and spreadeth His cloud upon it. 10 He hath compassed the waters with bounds,

until the day and night come to an end. 11 The pillars of heaven tremble,

and are astonished at His reproof. 12 He divideth the sea with His power,

and by His understanding He smiteth through the proud. 13 By His spirit He hath garnished the heavens ;

His hand hath formed the crooked serpent.

14 Lo, these are parts of His ways:

but how little a portion is heard of Him?
but the thunder of His power who can understand ?

impute to himself any justice. In substance, EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL.

accordingly, he lays down only two propositions,

and that without enlarging on them, to wit: (1) 1. Job's reply to the last assaults of Eliphaz | Man cannot argue with God, the Almighty; (2) had certainly avoided all personality, but had at Before God, the Holy One, man cannot be pure. the same time asserted his complete innocence in this discourse, which closes the series of in very strong, almost objectionable language attacks on Job, he describes the divine greatness (ch. xxiii. 10-12). It is more particularly to and exaltation, a description which is decidedly this vulnerable point that Bildad turns his atten- meagre, made up only of repetitions of what tion in this, his last discourse, which limits Eliphaz had said in his former discourses (comp. itself to showing how unbecoming it is for man ch. iv. 17 seq.; XV. 14 seq.). No wonder that -this miserable worm of the earth-to arrogate Job discovers the opportunity thus presented to to himself any right whatever before God, or to I him, and in his reply, first of all, addresses to the speaker a sharp, bitterly satirical rebuff, \ is doubtful in view of the indefiniteness and then meets his propositions in regard to of the figurative form of expression. And God's greatness and holiness, not by denying upon whom does not Bis light arise ?them, but by surpassing them with a far more the emphatic suffis ehu in 1771x (comp. 10739, magnificent and eloquent description of the same ch. xxiv. "23) puts His light, to wit God's own divine attributes. [And note particularly that light, in contrast with the derived lower light As Bildad's illustrations of his theme are drawn of His hosts. The expression is scarcely to be from the heavenly hosts and luminaries, Job in

understood of the sunlight, which indeed itself his reply dwells principally, though not exclu

belongs to the number of these D'?71: neither sively on God's greatness as manifested in the heavens above.-E.]-The Strophe-scheme of

can Dip; be taken=n! (neither here, nor ch. both discourses is very simple, Bildad's discourse

| xi. 17). It is inadmissible accordingly to refer containing only two strophes, the first of three,

the words to the rising sun, as a sign of the fsthe second of two verses; Job's discourse con | therly beneficent solicitude of God for flis earthly taining four strophes, each of three verses.

creatures (comp. Matth. v. 45. So against Mer. 2. The last disc nurse of Bildad: ch. xxv. Man |

urse of Bildad. ch. wer Mancier, Hirz. Hahn, Schlott., etc.). We are to uncan neither argue with God, nor is he pure

derstand them rather of that absolutely suprabefore Him.

terrestrial light in which God dwells, which He First Strophe: verg. 2-4.-Dominion and wears as His garment, by which indeed He mafear are with Him, who maketh peace in nifests His being, His heavenly dora (Ps. civ.

2 ; Ezek. i. 27 seq. ; 1 Tim. vi. 16, etc.). In reHis high places. - Soon, lit. "to wield domi spect to this light Bildad asks: "upon whom nion, to exercise sovereignty,” a substantive does it not arise?" The question is not :“whom Inf. absol. Hiph.; comp. Ewald, & 156, e.-IIND does it not surpass ?" ["over whom (i. e. which is added in order to set forth the terrible of these beings of light) does it not rise, leaving majesty of this sovereignty.-Schlott.]-I'ping it behind, and exceeding it in brightness ?” Decannot be understood as a more precise qualitilitzsch], for Dip would scarcely be appropriate cation of the subject: “He in His high places, for this thought, since the degree of light is not He who is enthroned in the heights of heaven"

measured by its height (against Ewald, Heiligst., (Reimarus, Umbreit, Hahn). It is rather a Del.)-but: “upon whom does it not dispense local qualification of the action affirmed of the | blessings and happiness !” (Dillm.) subject. It accordingly describes the peace

Ver. 4. How could a mortal be just founded by God as established in the heights of with God

| with God-(comp. ch. ix. 2): 1. e. how could

comp: heaven, and so having reference to the inhabi

he appear before Him, to whose absolute power tants of heaven, and pre-supposing their former

all heavenly beings are subject, arguing with strife. Bear in mind what was said above by

Him, and making pretensions to righteousness ? Job of God's “judging those in heaven” (ch. The second member, with which ch. iv. 17 ; IV. xxi. 22), and comp. Is. xxiv. 21; also below.ch. | 14 may be compared, stands connected with the xxvi. 13. It is a weakening of the sense which principal thought of the discourse, which immeis scarcely justified by the language to under-diately follows, to the effect that no man pog. stand the passage as teaching God's agency in | sesses purity or moral spotlessness before God. harmonizing either the elements of the heavenly


Second Strophe; ve

Second Strophe : vers. 5-6. Kosmos (the perpetually recurring cycle, the

| Ver. 5. Behold, even the moon, it shineth wonderfully ordered paths of the stars, comp.

not brightly, and the stars are not pure Clemens Rom. 1 Cor. xix.), or the discord of the in His eyes.-07-ty, lit. “even to the moon," heavenly spirits, conceived of only in the most i. e. even as regards the moon. In the following abstract possible manner, but in truth continu-850 the 1 is the Vav of the apodosis; comp. ally averted by God, and thus as teaching the ci maintenance, not the making or institution, of

Gesen. & 145 [& 142], 2; and see above ch. xxii. peace (so Seb. Schmidt, J. Lange, Starke, etc.). 12. Sax=bor from book, an alternate form,

“ Ewald explains the words of the heavenly powers and spirits represented by the innume

found only here, of so, to be bright, to shine; rable host of the stars, which might indeed

comp. ch. xxxi. 26. Gekatilia's attempt to rensome time be at war among themselves, but

der the verb—" to pitch a tent," is inadmissible, which are ever brought again by the Higher for that must have read Du 3778', in order to yield Power into order and peace. But nothing the meaning—“ He pitcheth not his tent."whatever is said elsewhere of such a discord as The clause --" in His eyes "-in the second now coming to pass in the upper world. All member, belongs also to the first. Comp. the analogies point rather to a definite fact which is parallel passages already cited in ch. iv. and assigned to the beginning of creation.” Schlott.]. | Xv.-Furthermore it is only the physical light,

Ver. 3. Is there any number to His the silver-white streaming brilliancy of the stars, armies ? — 197972, synonymous with 1X2), which is here put beside the absolute glory of which is used elsewhere in this sense, are God's God's light (which is at once physical and ethihosts or armies, the stars, first of all, indeed, cal). Scarcely is there reference to the angels the heavenly armies, together with the an- as inhabiting the stars, and to their moral pugels which rule and inhabit them (comp. rity (against Hirzel); from which however noabove on ch. xv. 15). Whether also the lower

thing can be inferred unfavorable to the theory foroes of nature, such as lightnings, winds, that the stars, i. e., the heavenly globes of the etc. (comp. ch. xxxviii. 19 seq. ; Ps. civ. starry world, are inhabited by angels. 4, etc.) are intended, as Dillmann thinks Ver. 6. Much less then (?7X, as in ch. IV. 16) mortal man, the worm, etc. In re- , heavenly world.-The shades are made to gard to these figures of the maggot and the tremble.-O'XD) are not “giants,” as the Anworm, as setting forth the insignificance, weak- cient Versions render the word, but in accord. ness, and contemptibleness of inan, comp. Ps.

ance with the root 707 ("to be slack, relaxed, xxii. 7 [6]; also Is. liii. 2, and similar descrip. exhausted,” comp. Ewald, 8 55, e), “ weak, powtions.

erless," namely, the marrowless and bloodless 3. Job's rejoinder : ch. xxvi. First Division

shades or forms of the underworld, the wretched (and Strophe): vers. 2-4: Sharp ironical re

inhabitants of the realm of the dead; so also in Ps. buke of Bildad.

lxxxviii.; 11 [10]; Prov. ii. 18; ix. 18, and often: Ver. 2. How hast thou helped the pow

Is. xxvi. 14, 19; comp. ch. xiv. 9 seq. [It seems erless! -? here, like 73, is equivalent to an

every way reasonable to associate with the idea ironical-" How well! How excellent !” (comp. of weakness, nervelessness, etc., here given to the

word that of gigantic stature, when we remem. ch. xix. 28). 73-85, lit. “no-power” is abstr.

ber that this same word did denote a race pro conc.=the powerless ; 80 also in 619-xh=the of earthly giants, and that the tendency of the strengthless, the feeble; and in ver. 3 a nipon ns

imagination to magnify the spectral forms of the

dead is so common, if not universal. So Good: =the unwise, ignorant. By these three pa

“The spectres of deified heroes were conceived, rallel descriptive clauses Job means of course in the first ages of the world, to be of vast and himself, as the object of the well-intended, but

more than mortal stature, as we learn from the perverted attempts of the friends to teach him following of Lucretius: (not God, as Mercier, Schlottm., etc. explain) [as though Bildad had regarded God as too feeble to

Quippe et enim jam tum divam mortalia secla maintain His own cause. But against this ex

Egregias animo facies vigilante videbant ; planation the choice of verbs, if nothing else, Et magis in somnis mirando corporis actu." would be, as Delitzsch argues, decisive).

This idea will certainly add to the gloomy Ver. 8. .... and nast declared wisdom sublimity of the description here. Let one imain abundance (295, lit. "for multitude") gine the gigantic “marrowless, bloodless phan

"an ironical hit at the poverty-stricken brevity toms or shades below writhe like a woman in of B.'s speech." Dillm.). niwan, here as in travail as often as the majesty of the heavenly

Ruler is felt by them, as perbaps by the raging ch. v. 12 may be rendered by “that which is to be accomplished," provided it be referred to the

of the sea, or the quaking of the earth.” Deintellectual world, and so understood as vera et

litzsch. “That even these beings, although oth

erwise without feeling or motion, and situated at realis sapientia (J. H. Mich.). Here indeed the

an immeasurable distance from God's dwellingword is used ironically of its opposite. Ver. 4. To whom hast thou uttered

place are sensible of the effects of God's activity,

-this is a much stronger witness to God's greatwords?-i. e. whom hast thou been desirous

ness than aught that B. had alleged." Hirzel]. of reaching by thy words ? for whom were thy

Of these shades, living far from God in the elaborate speeches coined ? was it, possibly, for

depths under the earth and under the seas me, who have not been touched by them in the

(comp. b: “beneath the waters and their inhaleast ? So correctly the LXX.: rive avhyzelhaçi

bitants"), it is here said: “they are put in terphuara, and the Vulg. : quem docere voluisti? The translation : “ with whose assistance ("P-) hast ror, they are made to tremble and quake" (45Sin?, thou utttered these words ?” (Arnh. Hahn) | Pul. from 500, comp. Ewald, & 141 b), an expreg. [Con. ] seems indeed to be favored by b, but is sion which, like Ps. cxxxix. 8 ; Prov. xv. ii, is condemned by the construction of the verb 7??? | intended to describe the energy of the divine elsewhere in our book with a double accusative | omnipotence as illimitable and filling all things, (so also ch. xxxi. 37; comp. Ezek. xliii. 10), and | extending even down to Sheol. Comp. also does not agree so well with what precedes.- James ii. 19, a passage otherwise related to the And whose breath went forth from thee? one before us, and perhaps suggested by it, but -i. e. from what kind of inspiration (inbreath-having a different purpose. [The rendering of ing) hast thou spoken ? is it the divine ? Num E. V. needs but to be compared with the above to Deo inspirante locutus es? The question involves show how erroneous and unsatisfactory it is. a biting irony; for the speech of Bildad, so poor -E.). and meagre in thought, merely repeating a little Ver. 6. Naked is the underworld before of what Eliphaz had said already, might look Him (comp. Heb. iv. 13: návra dè yuuvà kai teaccordingly as though it had been inspired by tpaxnalouéva Tois oodanuoiç autoū), and the the latter.

abyss of hell has no covering (for Him). 4. Second Division : vers. 5-14: Eclipsing and Comp. on Prov. xv. 11, a passage parallel to surpassing the description given by Bildad of this in matter, where 91.7 X (lit. “destruction, the exaltation and majesty of God by one far

annihilation ") stands precisely as here as a more glorious.

Second Strophe: vers. 5–7. While Bildad's synonym of 70; also Ps. cxxxix. 8, and bedescription took its start from heaven, and its low ch. xxxviii. 17. The definition, “ destrucstars, Job begins by appealing to the realm of tion, annihilation” bere given for 172x is of shades, together with its subterranean inbabi-course not to be understood in the metaphysical tants as witnesses of the divine omnipotence and sense of the extinction of being. It is the demajesty, in order from this depth, the lowest struction of life, as enjoyed on the face of the foundation of all that is, to mount upward to the earth; the extinction of light, the derangement

« السابقةمتابعة »