Page images
PDF
EPUB

x

21 A dreadful sound is in his ears:||iteth, which are ready to become heaps. in prosperity the destroyer shall come upon him.

i

h

22 He believeth not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for of the sword.

23 Hewandereth 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.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

29 He shall not be rich, neither shall his substance continue, neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof upon the earth.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

31 Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompense.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

cities, and in houses which no man inhab- forth vanity, and their belly prepareth

[blocks in formation]

n 6:2-4. Ps. 119:143. Prov. 1:
27. Is. 13:8. Matt. 26:37,38.
Rom. 2:9.

o Prov. 6:11. 24:34.
p Lev. 26:23. Ps. 73:9,11. Dan.
5:23. Mal. 3:13. Acts 9:5. 12:
1,23.

q 9:4. 40:9-11. Ex. 5:2,3. 9:17.
1 Sam. 4:7-9. 6:6. Ps. 52:7.
Is. 8:9,10. 10:12-14. 41:4—7.
r 2 Chr. 28:22. 32:13-17.
s 16:12. Gen. 49:8. Ps. 18:40.
t Deut. 32:15. Ps. 17:10. 73:7.
78:31. Is. 6:10. Jer. 5:28.

u 3:14. 18:15. Is. 5:8-10. Mic.
7:13.

deceit.

x Jer. 9:11. 26:18. 51:37. Mic.
3:12.

y 20:22-28. 22:15-20. 27:16.
17. Ps. 49:16,17. Luke 12:19
-21. 16:2,19-22. Jam. 1:11.
5:1-3.

z 22. 10:21,22. 18:5,6,18. Matt.
8:12. 22:13. 2 Pet. 2:17. Jude
13.

a 20:26. Is. 30:33. Ez. 15:4-7.
20:47,48. Matt. 25:41. Mark 9:
43-49. 2 Thes. 1:8,9.

b 4:9. Is. 11:4. Rev. 19:15.

c 12-16. Is 44:20. Gal. 6:3,7.
Eph. 5:6.

e 4:9. Prov. 22:8. Is. 17:10,11. Hos. 8:7. Gal. 6:8.

† Or, cut off. 22:16. Ps. 55:23.

Ec. 7:17.

f 8:16 19. 14:7-9. 18:16,17.
Ps. 52:58. Is. 27:11. Ez. 17:
8-10. Hos. 9.16. 14:5-7,
John 15:6.

g Is. 33:9. Rev. 6:13.
h Deut. 28:39,40.

i 8:13. 20:5. 27:8. 36:13. Is. 33.
14,15. Matt. 24:51.

k 11:14. 12:6. 22:59. 29:1217. 1 Sam. 8:3. 12:3. Mic. 7:3. 1 Ps. 7:14. Is. 59.4,5. Jam. 1:15.

d Ps. 62:10. Is. 59:4. Jon. 2:8. | † Or, iniquity.

For

V. 17-35. Eliphaz here again labored to wrath of God, like a consuming fire, would deconfirm his position, that the righteous prosper, stroy him root and branch; or, like a tempestuous and the wicked are iniserable, in this world. He wind, would drive him away into darkness and stated, that this was not merely his own opinion, despair. Let not then any one, who had gloried but a tradition received from their fathers: and in such false confidences, continue to deceive one which wise men had always approved and himself; since disappointment and vexation would taught; and they especially, whose exclusive au- be his recompense, and his prosperity, and offthority and prosperity were the reward of their spring, would come to an untimely end. singular piety. It was their uniform observation, hypocrites, however numerous, would be exposed that wicked men passed through life in pain, and and ruined; and unjust judges, who had amassed in constant dread of death: that if they prospered riches by bribery, would be consumed. They for a little time, some spoiler or murderer soon had conceived mischief and contrived deceit came upon them: that when they began to be and fraud; and they would find themselves dedistressed, they were driven to despair; and that ceived and cheated, with the shadow of happiness in general they were speedily reduced to want and the reality of misery.-Many important and beggary; and had their trouble and anguish truths were contained in this discourse: but, as imbittered by the dread of impending vengeance, far as it related to temporal prosperity or adverwhich would prevail against them as a victorious sity, it admitted of numerous exceptions; and it potentate. He did not mean that this was the implied an invidious application to the case of case of every transgressor; but of the presumptu- Job. It was evidently intimated, that he was the ous rebel, who opposed the authority of God, prosperous sinner, the presumptuous offender, the arraigned his providence, and hardened his heart desperate rebel against God, the oppressor, the in defiance of his wrath; who was rendered inso-hypocrite, the corrupt judge: the ruin of his sublent and secure by prosperity; and who became stance and family, with his inward terror and outrageous in adversity, as if he would run upon anguish, were so many demonstrations of his the Almighty like a desperate warrior, who guilt; and his vindication of himself completed the rushes upon certain death, that he may attempt evidence, and almost constituted him a blasrevenge upon his enemy. He meant the man, phemer, as if he charged the Lord with injustice, whose impiety was connected with rapine and and set himself in array against him.-Thus Elioppression, by whom whole cities had been deso-phaz inadvertently took the part of Satan; and lated, and then occupied. The ill-gotten wealth brought in a verdict against Job, as if he had of such a person would never continue, nor the actually and openly cursed God. (Notes, 1:9perfection of his prosperity be prolonged. The 11. 4:1.)

[blocks in formation]

PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS.

V. 1-16.

[blocks in formation]

rience of pious persons in former ages, or the result of their observation: but neither authority, It is easier to answer, than to convince, an op- reputation, antiquity, nor greatness, renders men ponent: yet when arguments fail, contempt and infallible.-The word of God evinces, that sinrailing generally most abound; for far more are ners are and will be miserable, in proportion to capable of slander and declamation, than of rea-their crimes, unless they repent and obtain forsoning with cogency and temper.-"The wisdom! giveness. Yet the most wicked may sometimes which is from above," teaches us to consider the live long in outward prosperity, and die without tendency and effect of our knowledge, and ren- any remarkable catastrophe: (Notes, Ps. 73:4ders us careful not to satisfy ourselves, or amuse 9.) but the vexations of the world, and the others, with unprofitable notions, empty words, thoughts of death and judgment, must fill them or delusive arguments. Every investigation of with pain and terror. Sometimes they are cut divine truth should be conducted in the fear of off by premature death, reduced to unexpected God, and with fervent prayer: and whatever en- poverty, or beset with dangers on every side; or courages men in sin, or discourages their ap- their departure is attended with horror and anproach to the mercy-seat of God, must be false guish. Commonly a curse corrodes their ill-gotand pernicious. Yet prejudiced and angry dis-ten treasures, and their families speedily decay puters frequently charge consequences upon and sink into obscurity: at all times, the wrath their opponents, which are not fairly deducible of God, as a consuming fire, is ready to fasten from their tenets; and accuse them of those upon the dying sinner, and as a tempestuous wind crimes which they abhor.-Men's own mouths to hurry him into the regions of darkness and deoften proclaim their iniquity; and even betray spair. This must be the case of all, who live the secret hypocrisy of their hearts: yet they, and die forgetful of God, and neglecting his salwho are forward to make others "offenders for a vation: but what will be the doom of those darword," are commonly found most guilty, and in ing rebels, who strengthen themselves in direct judging others condemn themselves; and we opposition to his known will, his cause, and glory; should carefully distinguish between the language and who prosecute their covetous, sensual, ambiof infirmity and temptation, and that of delibe- tious, or revengeful purposes, in contempt of his rate impiety. It is common, for men to exclaim authority, and defiance of his vengeance; who against the pride of others, when their own pride grow insolent in prosperity, and desperate in admost manifestly prevails: and this is evidently versity; and whose blasphemous impiety is conthe case, when they grow angry on being connected with the most cruel oppression! Were it tradicted; and charge those, who dissent from not notorious, it could scarcely have been conthem, with arrogance, with pretending to be ceived, that men could be so infatuated in their wiser than all mankind, or engrossing all knowl- enmity against God. But "can their hands be edge to themselves; and when they would decide strong, or their hearts endure," when he shall controversies by authority, and by their own su- call them to his judgment-seat?-On the other perior age and experience. We should watch hand the righteous may be destitute, afflicted, and pray against this indecent and self-sufficient and tormented, even until death: yet they shall spirit; and that we may not misrepresent men's be supported, comforted, and delivered; and the words, nor accuse them without evidence. In perfection of their felicity shall be prolonged for the worst estate of man on earth, he has many ever. Let none then deceive themselves and unmerited comforts from God. No consolations trust in vanity: as a man sows so shall he also can be had in trouble, but in the way of faith reap; and the whole company of the wicked, and prayer; no other secret can be found to heal however numerous and distinguished, notwitha wounded conscience, and a broken heart, than standing all their power and sagacity, shall perish the encouragements of the gospel; and however for ever. But let us apply these truths to our proposed, they are worthy of our acceptance. own hearts and consciences, examine our own Yet unmerited reproach and unseasonable severi-state and character by them, and cease uncandidty may so imbitter a man's spirit, that he cannot ly to judge and condemn our brethren. receive them from those, who have thus discomposed him. But, alas! "what is man, that he should be clean," or righteous! Indeed, pious men in every age, and nation, who have differed and engaged in controversy in other things, have unanimously agreed, that our fallen nature is abominable and polluted, delighting in iniquity, and drinking it down with greediness. We may well then admire the patience of God in bearing with us; and still more his love to us, in "the redemption which is in Jesus Christ," and the mercy and grace through him vouchsafed to all who believe.

NOTES.

CHAP. XVI. V. 1-3. Job here reproved Eliphaz, for repeating what was in itself uninteresting and inapplicable: and he decided that all his friends had proved themselves comforters, who increased, instead of diminishing his distress; for they had reproached him without ceasing, instead of giving him any suitable encouragement. He was surprised, that they would proceed with such empty discourse: and that Eliphaz should have the courage, or rather harshness, to reply after he and his associates had been so completely refuted. If we consider the speech of Eliphaz We should not despise the wisdom and expe-abstractedly, Job undervalued it: but as it relat

V. 17-35.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ed to the matter in debate, he must be allowed to have had some reason for what he said.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

-9. 27:6,7. 29:12-17. 31:1, &c.

Ps. 7:3-5. 44:17-21. m 8:5,6. Prov. 15:8. 1 Tim. 2:8. n Jer. 22:29.

o Gen. 4:11. Neh. 4:5. Is. 26: 21. Ez. 24:7.

p 27:9. Ps. 66:18,19. Is. 1:15 58:9,10. Jam. 4:3,4.

q 1 Sam. 12:5. Rom. 1:9. 9:1. 2 Cor. 1:23. 11:31. 1 Thes. 2: 10.

Heb. in the high places. 25:2 Ps. 113:5.

Heb. are my scorners. 4. 12 4,5. 17:2,

r Ps. 109:4. 142:2. Hos. 12:4,5 Luke 6:11,12. Heb. 5:7.

with which Eliphaz had treated him; or whether he meant Satan, who doubtless assaulted him V. 4, 5. A very pathetic turn is here given to with every horrid and terrifying temptation to the discourse. Had Job been in health, at ease, drive him to despair; or whether he thus spoke and prosperous, and his friends sick, bereaved, of God, as become his enemy. (Marg. Ref. m destitute, and tempted, he could have despised-o.) He however meant his friends, when he and reviled them very readily: but how would spoke of those, who "gaped upon him with their they have taken it? He would, however, have mouth, smote him on the cheek reproachfully, scorned to behave in such a manner: on the con- and gathered themselves together against hitn;" trary, he would have suggested topics of conso- (or, "filled themselves against him," that is, fully lation to strengthen their faith and patience, and gratified their ill-will;) referring to their unanito assuage their grief, with the encouraging hope mous accusations, by which they wounded his of a happy event to their afflictions. (Note, 4:|| spirit, and exposed his character to disgrace.3-6.) He then complained that God had delivered him into the hands of wicked men: the Sabeans and Chaldeans had seized his substance; and his friends persecuted him, as if they had been ungodly men; nor could he obtain the least redress. Nay, the Lord himself brake him asunder, seizing upon him, and shaking him; as a strong man, when greatly enraged, would seize and shake one that was feeble and helpless: he had set him up as a mark, at which all the executioners of his vengeance were required to shoot their arrows; so that he was wounded ir his vitals, and broken with renewed afflictions. and the Almighty seemed to run upon him with irresistible force and fury, as a giant or a mighty warrior upon one who dared not to oppose him. He had therefore assumed the garb of a mourner and a penitent; and the sackcloth, which he had put on, stuck to him as if sewed to his skin: his honor and authority were turned into deep disgrace; he was disfigured with incessant weep

V. 6-16. These verses contain most grievous complaints, and many harsh expressions, which may easily be accounted for, but cannot be justified.-Job began by observing that he could obtain no relief, either by silence or by speaking; as all he said was misrepresented, and exposed him to further reproach. He declared that He, God himself, "had made him weary," even of his life: and then, turning his discourse to him, he further complained, that he had destroyed his family, dispersed all his companions, and left his friends so to mistake his case, that they had become his tormentors. He had likewise disfigured and wasted his body with dire diseases, so that his wrinkles and leanness were witnesses against him. Job next spoke of "his enemy, who hated him, tare him, and gnashed upon him" with insulting rage, and looked upon him as about to devour him. But it is not certain, whether he intended this of the severity, Il

8

that one might for

b

Ybreath is a corrupt, my

21 with, God, as a man pleadeth for his M are extinct, the graves are ready

man as a man

* neighbor!
22 When
then I shall go

not return.

the

for me.

с

a few years are come,
2 Are there not mockers with me?
t
t whence I shall and doth not mine eye † continue in their
e provocation?

way

[blocks in formation]

ing; and death seemed ready to close his eyes. (Notes, 1:16-22. 2:7-13. 6:1-4. 10:14-17. 13: 21-28.)

V. 17-22. It should be recollected, that Job did not mean to deny he was a sinner; but he solemnly protested that he had not been an unjust oppressor, or a hypocrite: and if he had shed any innocent blood, he called upon the earth no longer to cover it, but to disclose it, that he might be openly convicted. In that case he allowed, that he should have no right to compassion from man, or to expect that God would regard his cry for deliverance. But he was assured that He, who dwelleth in the heavens, knew his innocency, and would be a witness in his behalf. His friends, indeed, "despised him," but he prayed with weeping before a merciful God: and he wished greatly that he could have access to him; and have his cause pleaded before him, as one pleadeth for another before the tribunal of earthly princes; that he might have his injured character vindicated, before the appointed years of his life were ended, which had been but few, and were now, as he thought, very soon to be closed.

My friends scorn me. (20). The word pap is rendered an interpreter; Gen. 42: 23. Job 33:23. And the plural is translated ambassadors; 2 Chr. 33:31. and interpreters; Is. 43:27. marg. and it occurs nowhere else, except in this place. Hence many think it may signify a mediator. Thus the passage may be rendered, "My Mediator is my Friend; my eye poureth out tears unto God. And one is pleading for man to God; and the Son of man for his neighbor." By a trivial change of the vowel points, the singular number may be admitted; and thus the sentiment expressed may be considered as an additional proof of Job's faith in a Redeemer. (Notes, 19:23-27. 33:19-26.)

PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS. We are all very incompetent judges of our own performances; and often suppose, that we have spoken things pertinent and excellent, when others deem them trite and inapplicable, and wonder that we should dwell on topics not worth hearing, or be emboldened to speak at all. In fact, while the speaker is partial, the hearer is often prejudiced; and both parties should watch over themselves, if they would amicably settle controversies, profitably conduct conversation, or even preach and hear the word of God in a becoming manner. We are not suitably affect ed with the sufferings of others, because we "do not love our neighbor as ourselves." It is natural to those who are at ease, to give sage advice, grave reproofs, or solemn warnings to the afflicted; and even to censure and condemn them: but we ought to consider how we should feel, if, thus treated in similar circumstances. Indeed, the prosperous are commonly troublesome comforters of the afflicted; sympathy and tenderness of spirit are seldom learned, except in the school of tribulation; and the experienced believer, VOL. III.

7

3 Lay down now, 'put me in a surety

[blocks in formation]

who can make allowances for the anguish of dis-
ease, and the force of temptation, and recollects
what topics have proved consolatory to himself,
best "knows how to speak a word in season to
the weary," which may strengthen his faith and
hope, and assuage his grief.-In great distress,
when we can get no relief, we are apt to yield to
repining: and, as the believer may then be
tempted even to think hardly of God's dealings
with him; he may well be borne with, if he
speak peevishly and harshly of his fellow-crea-
tures.-The consideration of the variety of com-
plicated miseries that a godly man may endure,
from the frown and correction of God, the rage
and malice of Satan, and the ingratitude and
cruelty of men, in his conscience, reputation,
connexions, soul and body, should teach us to
prepare for trials, and excite our gratitude for
our many mercies; while it should warn the sin-
ner to "flee from the wrath to come."-How
weary and desolate will the wicked be in the
eternal world! How will the rage of Satan, the
company of the damned, mutual enmity and con-
tempt, and the irreconcilable wrath of God,
unite with the reproaches of conscience, and the
horrors of despair, to fill them with inexpressible
misery! There they will be the mark of all the
arrows of divine vengeance, and incessant weep-
ing, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, will be their
dreadful employment!-But should not the same
reflection lead the believer to Gethsemane and
Golgotha? The divine Savior had far more cause
than Job, to complain that "he was made weary;"
that all his company of followers was desolated;
that his enemy who hated him was permitted to
assault and tear him; that he was delivered into
the hands of the ungodly, who gaped upon him,
gathered themselves against him, reproached,
insulted, smote, and crucified him; yea, that
"it pleased the LORD to bruise him," and
inflict upon him agonies unknown; yet "not for
any injustice in his hands: also his prayer was
He was "wounded for our transgres-
pure."
sions," and suffered for our sins, that he might
deliver us from the wrath to come, and bestow
on us the gift of eternal life. Should he not then
be precious to our souls? and ought we not
promptly to obey him, and suffer for his sake?—
If our conscience be sprinkled with his atoning
blood, and testify to our integrity; if "our wit-
ness be in heaven, and our record on high," that
we are not living in iniquity or hypocrisy;-
though our afflictions abound, our enemies tri-
umph, and our friends despise us; yet God will
receive our prayer, and regard our tears, and in
due time plead our cause, clear our charac-
ters, and assign a period to our trials. And
when we "go the way whence we shall not re-
turn," it will be a release from prison, and an
entrance into unalloyed glory and felicity.
NOTES.

CHAP. XVII. V. 1, 2. The nature and violence of Job's disease rendered it painful to him, and offensive to others, when he drew his breath;

[49

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.

g Prov. 6:1. 11:15. marg. 17:18.

22:26.

h 2 Sam. 15:31. 17:14. 2 Chr. 25:16. Is. 19:14. Matt. 11:25. 13:11. Rom. 11:8. 1 Cor. 1:20. i 32:21,22. Ps. 12:2,3. Prov. 20: 19. 29:5. 1 Thes. 2:5.

j Ex. 20:5. Deut. 28:65. 1 Kings 11:12. Lam. 4:17.

k 30.9. 1 Kings 9:7. Ps. 44:14. | Or, before them.

1 Gen. 31:27. Is. 5:12.

m 16:16. Ps. 6:7. 31:9,10. Lam.

5:17.

↑ Or, thoughts. 11.

n Ps. 109:23, 24. Ec. 6:12

o Ps. 73:12-15. Ec. 5:8. Hab.
1:13. Rom. 11:33.

p 34:30. Acts 13:46.
q Prov. 4:18.

Is. 35:8-10. 1
Pet. 1:5. 1 John 2:19.

[blocks in formation]

r Gen. 20:5. Ps. 24:4. 26.6. 73:
13. Is. 1:15,16. Mark 7:2.
Heb. add strength. Is. 40:29||| Heb. near.
-31. 2 Cor. 12:9,10.

and he concluded that his days were expiring, and that the sepulchres of his ancestors were ready for him. In these doleful circumstances he was surrounded with professed friends, who were indeed "mockers;" as they insulted over his misery, and despised instead of comforting him: nor could he turn his attention from their reproaches to view more encouraging objects, or think of any thing else during whole nights. (Marg.)

my hope? as

a See on 1.-10:21,22. 30:23. b Ps. 139:8. Is. 57:2.

Heb. cried, or, called.

c 21:32,33. Ps. 16:10. 49:9. Acts 2:27-31. 13:34-37. 1 Cor. 15:42,53,54.

d 19:26. 24:20. Is. 14-11.

e 4:6. 6:11. 13:15. 19:10.

f 18:13,14. 33:18-28. Ps. 83:4 -8. 143:7. Is. 38:17,18. Jon. 2:6.

z 14:14. Ps. 27:14. Lam. 3:25, g 3:17-19. Ez. 37:11. 2 Cor. 26.

1:9.

ly against such as condemned others merely because they were afflicted. And when God should make known Job's real character, and the reason of his extraordinary trials; his example would be an adjudged case, that no adversity could prove a man to be wicked, or an object of divine wrath. This would be a great encouragement to the righteous, to hold on their way, in the midst of difficulties, reproaches, and suspicions; nay, to grow stronger in faith under those V. 3-7. Again Job entreated the Lord, to very trials, which detected and turned aside the give him some assurance, that he would soon try hypocrite. Some explain the passage, as a wish, his cause, or appoint some impartial judge, to "Let the upright, &c." but in fact, these have whom he could confidently refer the decision; been the effects of Job's sufferings in numberless (Notes, 16:17-22. 23:3—7. 33:1-7.) for his instances; and this was one grand design for friends, being judicially infatuated, would never which they were permitted. "Ye have heard of be honored in such a service. He supposed that the patience of Job; and have seen the end of the their former professions of affection for him were Lord, that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mere flattery; or that their doctrine flattered the mercy." (Jam. 5:11.)-Here a glimpse of diprosperous, as if they were the favorites of vine light, and a lively exercise of faith and hope, Heaven: or, he assured them, that though he de- broke forth in the midst of the despondency of sired fair treatment from them, he did not wish Job's discourse. (Notes, 19:23-27. 23:8-12.) them to flatter him; being sensible that God ab- V. 10. Do ye return, &c.] That is, 'Re-exhorred flattery, and that those who aimed to ad-amine my cause, and alter your unjust decision; vance themselves by it, would heap up disap-for I cannot find one among you who has spoken pointment and misery for their children.-'I must on this subject, as a wise man would have done.' speak the truth of them, (though it displeases (Notes, 6:27-30. Mal. 3:13—18.) 'them,) and not soothe them in their errors: for he 'that flatters his friends, when he should reprove 'them, may look long enough before either he, 'or his children, find one that will deal sincerely 'with them.' Bp. Patrick.-Indeed, God had so reduced and afflicted his servant, that he was become a proverb and an object of derision, even to those, who before professed greatly to respect and delight in him. (Notes, 29:18-25. 30:1-14. Ez. 33:33-33.)

V. 8, 9. Upright believers, in different parts and ages of the world, would hear how this conscientious servant of God had been afflicted, and how his friends had treated him; at which they would be greatly astonished. But this would excite them to distinguish themselves from hypocrites, and set themselves against them; especial

V. 11, 12. The old translation seems here to be both more literal and intelligible. "My days are past, my enterprises are broken, and the thoughts of my heart have changed the night for the day, and the light that approached, for darkness."-All the purposes which Job had formed, however wise, pious, or benevolent, were, as he supposed, finally come to nothing, as his days were past. (Notes, Ps. 146:3,4. Ec. 9:10.) And now the thoughts which possessed his heart turned the night into day, by preventing his rest. Yet when the light approached, it was turned into darkness by the gloom of his disquieted mind. My thoughts will not let me sleep in the night, nor enjoy pleasure in the day.' Bp. Patrick. (Notes, 7:1—6,13,14.)

V. 13-16. Whenever Job thought of wait

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »