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Job deplores his agitated


and harassed stale.

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my soul.

11 Therefore I will k not refrain my 15 So that my soul chooseth A. M. 2484.

mouth ; I wiil speak in the anguish of strangling, and death rather than B. C. 1520. my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my life.

16 n I loathe it; I would not live always : 12 Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a. let me alone; P for my days are vanity. watch over me?

17 . What is man, that thou shouldest mag13 - When I say, My bed shall comfort me, nify him ? and that thou shouldest set thy my couch shall ease my complaint ;

heart upon him? 14 Then thou scarest me with dreams, and 18 And that thou shouldest visit him every terrifiest me through visions :

morning, and try him every moment?


* Psalm xxxix. 1, 9; xl. 9.

Chap. ix. 27.

J I Samuel i 10; Chapter x. 1.
-? Heb. than my bones.

Chap. x. 1.

Ixii. 9.

Chap. x. 20 ; xiv. 6 ; Psa. xxxix. 13.—-p Psa. 49 Psa. viii. 4; cxliv. 3; Heb. ii. 6.

more to his house-He shall nd more be seen and dreams may neither defile nor disquiet us ; neither known in his former habitation. It concerns us to tempt us to sin, nor torment us with fear; that he secure a better place when we die: for this will own who keeps Israel, who neither slumbers nor sleeps, us no more.

would keep us when we slumber and sleep. And Verse 11. Therefore I will not refrain, &c.- we ought to bless God if we lie down and our sleep Since my life is so vain and short, and, when once || is sweet, and we are not thus scared. lost, without all hopes of recovery. I will plead Verse 15. So that my soul chooseth stranglingwith God for pity before I die; I will not smother. The most violent death, so it be but certain and sudmy anguish within my breast, but will ease myself den, rather than such a wretched life. Heb. niosyn, by pouring out my complaints.

megnatsmothai, rather than my bones—That is, than Verse 12. Am la sea-Am I as fierce and unruly my body, the skin of which was everywhere as the sea, which, if thou didst not set bounds to it, broken, and the flesh almost consumed, so that would overwhelm the earth? Or a whale?--Am I little remained but bones. a vast and ungovernable sea-monster? that thou set- Verse 16. I loath it-To wit, my life, last mentest a watch over me?—That thou must restrain me tioned. I would not live alway--In this world, if I by thy powerful providence; must shut me up and might, no not in prosperity; for even such a life is confine me under such heavy, unexampled, and in- but vanity; much less in this extremity of misery. supportable sufferings, as these creatures are con- Let me alone—That is, withdraw thy hand from me, fined by the shore ? To set a watch over a whale,” | either, 1, Thy supporting hand, which preserves my says Dr. Dodd, " is certainly a very improper and life, and suffer me to die: or, rather, 2, Thy correctabsurd idea. Hence Houbigant, by a very slight al-ing hånd, as this phrase signifies, verse 19. For my teration, reads it, Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou days are vanity-My life is in itself, and in its best raisest a tempest against me? an idea which very estate, a vain, unsatisfying, uncertain thing, empty well suits with that storm of troubles, wherewith of solid comfort, and exposed to real griess, and Job was nearly overwhelmed.” We are apt in therefore I would not be for ever tied to it. And it affliction to complain of God, as if he laid more upon is a decaying and perishing thing, and will, of itus than there is occasion for whereas we are never self, quickly vanish and depart, and does not need in heaviness but when there is need, nor more than to be forced from me by such exquisite torments. there is need.

Verse 17. What is man- -Enosh, lapsed, fallen Verses 13, 14. My couch shall ease my complaint man ; that thou shouldest magnify him?—What is --By giving me sweet and quiet sleep, which may there in that poor, mean creature called man, misertake off my sense of pain for that time. Then thou | able man, which can induce thee to take any notice scarest me with dreams_With sad and frightful of him, or to make such account of him? Man is not dreams. And terrifiest me with visions-With hor- || worthy of thy favour, and he is below thy anger. It rid apparitions; so that I am afraid to go to sleep, || is too great a condescension in thee, and too great an and my remedy proves as bad as my disease. This honour done to man, that thou shouldst contend contributed no little to render the night so unwel- || with him, and draw forth all thy forces against him, come and wearisome to him. How easily can God, as if he were a fit match for thee. Therefore do not, when he pleases, meet us with terror there where O Lord, thus dishonour thyself or magnify me; we promised ourselves ease and repose. Nay, he and that thou shouldest set thy heart upon himcan make us a terror to ourselves; and, as we have Shouldst concern thyself so much about him, as often contracted guilt, by the rovings of an unsanc- though he were a creature of great dignity and tified fancy, he can likewise, by the power of our worth, or were near and dear to thee. imagination, create us a great deal of grief, and so Verse 18. And that thou shouldest visit himmake that our punishment which has often been our || Namely, punish or chastise him, as the word visiting sin. Job's dreams might probably arise, in part, || is often used; every morning—That is, every day; from his distemper, but, no doubt, Satan also had a the word morning, which is the beginning of the hand in them. We have reason to pray, that our Il day, being put, by a synecdoche, for the whole day, Job deplores his agitated


and harassed state,

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19 How long wilt thou not depart that I am a burden to myself ? A. M. 2484.

from me, nor let me alone till I swal- 21 And why dost thou not pardon low down my spittle ?

my transgression, and take away mine ini20 I have sinned; what shall I do unto quity ? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thee, 10 thou Preserver of men ? why hast thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall thou set me a mark against thee, so | not be.


Psa. xxxvi. 6.

· Chap. xvi. 12; Psa. xxi. 12; Lam. iii. 12.

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as the evening (verse 4) is put for the whole night; the Creator of man, delightest to be, and to be called, and try him every moment—That is, afflict him, the Preserver and Saviour of men; and who waitest which is often called trying, because it does indeed to be kind and gracious to men, from day to day: try a man's faith, and patience, and perseverance. do not deal with me in a way contrary to thy own But this and the former verse may possibly be un- nature and name, and to the manner of thy dealing derstood of mercies as well as afflictions. Having with all the rest of mankind. As Job had expressed declared his loathing of life, and his passionate desire himself before as if he thought he was treated with of death, and urged it with this consideration, that severity, Schultens chooses to render 731, notzer, the days of his life were mere vanity; he may be observer, rather than preserver. This indeed seems considered as pursuing his argument with this ex- to be more agreeable to the context, which intimates postulation, What is man, that vain, foolish creature, that the eye of God was upon Job to observe and that thou shouldest magnify, or regard, or visit him watch him as an offender; and this construction with thy mercy and blessings; that thou shouldest may be justified from Jer. iv. 16, where the same so far honour and regard him, as by thy visitation to word, in the plural number; is rendered watchers. preserve his spirit, or hold his soul in life; and try | According to this translation the meaning is, 0 thou him, which God doth, not only by his afflictions, but al- | observer of men, who dost exactly know and diliso by prosperity, and both inward and outward bless- gently observe all men's inward motions and outings? That thou shouldest observe his motions every ward actions; if thou shalt be severe to mark mine moment, as in care for him, and jealous over him ? iniquities, as thou seemest to be, I have not what to

Verse 19. How long wilt thou not depart from me say or do unto thee. Why hast thou set me as a -How long will it be ere thou withdraw thy afflict-mark, &c.--Into which thou wilt shoot all the aring hand from me? The Hebrew is literally, How rows of thy indignation ? So that I am a burden to long wilt thou not take thine eyes off me? “This,” | myself— I am weary of myself and of my life, being says Dodd, “is a metaphor from combatants, who no way able to resist or endure the strokes of so po never take their eyes from off their antagonists. The tent an adversary. figure is preserved in the next sentence, which re- Verse 21. Why dost thou not pardon, &c.-Seepresents a combatant seized by his adversary in such || ing thou art so gracious to others, so ready to prea manner as to prevent his swallowing his spittle or serve and forgive them; why may not I hope for fetching his breath.” Till I swallow my spittle ?— the same favour from thee? For now shall I sleep For a little while: or, that I may have a breathing in the dust—If thou dost not speedily help me it will time: an Arabic proverb at present in use. See be too late, I shall be dead, and so incapable of reSchultens.

ceiving those blessings which thou art wont to give Verse 20. I have sinned-Although I am free from to men in the land of the living; and thou shalt seek those crying sins for which my friends suppose thou me, fc., but I shall not be–When thou shalt dilihast sent this uncommon judgment upon me; yet I gently seek for me that thou mayest show favour to freely confess that am a sinner, and therefore ob- | me, thou wilt find that am dead and gone, and so noxious to thy justice. And what shall I do unto wilt lose the opportunity of doing it; help, therefore, thee?—To satisfy thy justice, or regain thy favour. | speedily. The consideration of this, that we must I can do nothing to purchase or deserve it, and shortly die, and perhaps may die suddenly, should therefore implore thy mercy to pardon my sins; O make us all very solicitous to get our sins pardoned, thou Preserver of men— thou, who, as thou wast || and our iniquities taken away

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Bildad affirms that Job had spoken amiss, 1-3. That if he would sincerely seek to God, God would help him, 4-7. Thal

it is usual with God to destroy the hypocrite, 8–19. The joy of the upright, 20–22.


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Bildad reproves Job


for justifying himself.

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1. M: 2484. THEN answered Bildad the Shu- 5. If thou wouldest seek unto God A. M. 2484. hite, and said,

betimes, and make thy supplication 2 How long wilt thou speak these things ? || to the Almighty ; and how long shall the words of thy mouth be 6 If thou wert pure and upright, surely like a strong wind ?

now he would awake for thee, and make 3 • Doth God pervert judgment; or doth the the habitation of thy righteousness prosperAlmighty pervert justice ?

4 If bthy children have sinned against him, and 7 Though thy beginning was small, yet thy he have cast them away for their transgression; | latter end should greatly increase.



.Gen. Iru. 25; Deut. xxxii. 4; 2 Chron. xix. 7; Chap. xxxiv.

12, 17; Dan. ix. 14; Rom. iii. 5.

Chap. i. 5, 18. Hebrew, in the hand of their transgression.

Chap. v. 8; xi. 13 ; xxii. 23, &c.



do, nor temptation to it, being self-sufficient for his Verse 1. Then answered Bildad the Shuhite- || own happiness, and being able, by his own invinci“Bildad, whose sentiments are the same with those ble power, to do whatsoever pleaseth him. of the preceding friend, now comes to the attack, Verse 4. If thy children have sinned against him and tells Job that his general asseverations of inno- | - If thou wast innocent, thy children, upon whom a cence are of no avail; that to deny his guilt was to great part of these calamities fell, might be guilty; charge the Almighty with injustice; that, if he would and therefore God is not unrighteous in these pronot yield to the arguments of Eliphaz, drawn from ceedings. And he have cast them awayHebrew, his experience, and strengthened by revelation, he hath expelled, or cast them out ; (namely, out of the would do well to pay respect to the general experi- | world, or out of his favour; as a man gives his wife ence of mankind, as handed down by tradition; | a bill of divorce, of which the same word is used ;) where he would find it established, as a certain for their transgression-Hebrew, by the hand, that truth, that misery was the infallible consequence of | is, by means of, their wickedness. Bildad argued in wickedness; that therefore they could not argue this way according to the maxim which he had enwrong who inferred from actual misery antecedent tertained: but it does not appear that he had any guilt: and though he might urge that these calami- || foundation for judging thus of them. ties were fallen upon him on account of his chil- Verse 5. If thou wouldest seek unto God, &c.dren's wickedness, yet he only deceived himself; for God hath spared thee, whom he might justly have in that case God might have indeed chastised them destroyed with thy children, and thou art yet capafor their crimes, but he would, by no means, have | ble of obtaining his favour if thou wilt seek it. And, destroyed the innocent with the guilty: he would | therefore ase from thy causeless and unthanksul rather have heaped his blessings on the innocent complaints. Seek unto God betimes—Hebrew, person, that the contrast might have vindicated his own Dx, im teshacher, if thou wouldst rise early providence. He would have even wrought a mira- | to seek him; if thou wouldst seek him speedily, cle for the preservation or restoration of such a early, and diligently, chap. v. 8; and vii. 18-21. And person; and he concludes that since, from the known || make thy supplication to the Almighty-Instead of attributes of God, it was impossible he should cut off complaining, implore his grace and favour with humthe innocent, or suffer the guilty to go free; and, as | ble supplication. no interposition of providence had happened in his Verse 6. If thou wert pure and upright—That is, behalf, he thought him in a likely way, by his utter of a sincere heart and blameless life toward God and destruction, to prove a terrible example of the truth | men; surely now he would awake for thee-77, of that principle which they had urged against him." || jagnir, cxcitarit se, he would raise, or stir up him-Heath and Dodd.

self. Thus David prays, using the same word, Stir Verse 2. How long wilt tliou speak these things? || up thyself, and awake to my judgment. And make &c.—Why dost thou persist to talk in this manner? || the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous-He and why are thy words thus vehement? As a strong || would certainly have a regard to thee, and restore wind which overturns all things without any mode-the concerns of thy house and family to their forration, and suffers nothing else to be heard, so thy | mer splendour. He says the habitation of thy rightboisterous and violent words will not permit the voice eousness, to signify that if it were such, and he would of truth and wisdom to be heard.

manage his affairs with righteousness and not wrongVerse 3. Doth God-Hebrew, S8, Eel, the mighty | fully, God would prosper him accordingly; and perGod, as this word signifies; pervert judgment ?- || haps also to intimate, that because he had not prosJudge unrighteously? No: this is inconsistent with pered they had cause to suspect that he had acquired God's nature, which is essentially and necessarily | his property by fraud and oppression. just, and with his office of governor of the world. Verse 7. Though thy beginning was smallThe Or doth the Almighty pervert justice?—Hebrew, || sense is either, 1st, Though thou hadst possessed but '70, Shaddai, a word that sets forth God's omnipo- very little at first, yet God would have wonderfully tence and all-sufficiency. These names are emphat- || blessed and increased thy estate: whereas, now he ically used to prove that God cannot deal unjustly hath brought thee down from a great estate almost or falsely with men, because he hath no need so to Il to nothing; which is an evidence of his displeasure Bildad shows the fickle and


perishing state of man.

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8 d For inquire, I pray thee, of the || and utter words out of their heart ? A. M. 2484.

B. C. 1520. former age, and prepare thyself to the 11 Can the rush grow up without search of their fathers :

mire ? can the flag grow without water? 9 (For we are but of yesterday, and know 12. While it is yet in his greenness, and not 2 nothing, because our days upon earth are a cut down, it withereth before any other herb. shadow :)

13 So are the paths of all that forget God; 10 Shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and the 8 hypocrite's hope shall perish:

d Deut. iv. 32 ; xxxii. 7; Chap. xv. 18

.. Genesis xlvii. 9; 1 Chron. xxix. 15; Chap. vii. 6; Psa. xxxix. 5; cii. Il ; cxliv.


-2 Heb. not. - Psa. cxxix. 6; Jer. xvii. 6. — Chap. xi. 20 ; xviii. 14; xxvii. 8; Psa, cxii, 10; Prov. x. 28.

and of thy hypocrisy. Or, 2d, Though what thou | Such is that natural and beautiful comparison we hast lest be now very little, yet if thou repent and have here; and which, by the way of introducing it, seek God it shall vastly increase.

appears plainly to have been a proverbial saying deVerse 8. For inquire, fc., of the former age- || livered down from their forefathers; perhaps taught That is, of our predecessors, who had the advantage them from their cradles. Have not they then, says of longer life and more experience, besides more he, transmitted to thee this wise lesson? That, as frequent revelations from God than we have. They the rush cannot grow up without mire, nor the flag also will be more impartial judges of this cause than without water, so neither can any thing flourish or we may be thought to be. Inform thyself by the prosper long without the blessing of Almighty God? instructions which they have left, either in word or and how should the ungodly, or the hypocrite, exwriting, what their opinion was about the manner | pect his blessing! One scarcely knows which to of God's dealing with men. And prepare thyself | admire most, the piety of the sentiment, or the eleto the search, &c.--Do not slightly, but seriously and gance and justness of the comparison." industriously, search the ancient records.

Verse 10. Shall not they teach thee ?-Assuredly Verse 9. We are but of yesterday, &c.—But late-| they will inform thee that it is as we say. And utter ly born, and therefore have but little knowledge and words out of their heartNot partially, but sincereexperience. We live not so long as they did to make ly, speaking their inward thoughts; not rashly, but observations on the methods of Divine Providence. from deep consideration; not by hearsay from oth“There are three things in this passage,” says Dr. ers, but their own knowledge and experience. Dodd, from Peters, “well worthy of our observa- Verses 11, 12. Can the rush grow without mire, tion. As, first, his referring Job to their ancestors of || &c.- This, and what follows, he speaks as from former times as the best instructers in wisdom; then those ancients, to whom he had referred him, and urging the comparative ignorance of the generation concerning whom he says, that they would give him that then was, and the reason of it, namely, the short-such instructions as these. While it is yet in its ness of men's lives; We are but of yesterday, &c., greenness—Whereby it promises long continuance: human life being at this time in a swift decline, and and not cut down—Though no man cut it down it reduced, in a few generations, fromí eight or nine withers of itself, and saves a man the labour of cuthundred years to one hundred and fifty, or there- ting or plucking it up. Before any other herbabouts: fór, what is most to our purpose is, in the Sooner than other herbs, or, ás 0%, liphnee, means, next place, his representing these long-lived ances- in their presence, or they surviving; in which sense tors of theirs, from whom they derived their wis- it is said, that Ishmael died in the presence of his dom, as living but an age or two before them: they | brethren; the rest of the herbs, as it were, looking were the men of the former age, or perhaps the upon it, and admiring the sudden change. fathers and grand-fathers of these. And it appears Verse 13. So are the paths of all that forget God from the Scripture history, that Shem, the son of -Of wicked men, who are often described by this Noah, who lived five hundred years after the flood, character; see Psa. ix. 17, and 1. 22; or, of hypomight well have been a cotemporary with the grand-crites, as the next words explain it, whose first and fathers, or great-grand-fathers, of Job and his friends; fundamental error is, that they forget, that is, neand with what authority would such a one teach glect, forsake, and despise God, his presence, comthem! and with what attention would his instruc- | mands, worship, and providence; and, therefore, tions be received! Indeed, the fame of these re- break out into manifold sins. But, by their paths, he storers of the human race was so great for many does not intend their manner of living, but the events ages after, that when mankind fell into the supersti- which befall them, God's manner of dealing with tion of worshipping men-deities, there is little doubt them. Now this may be accommodated to the foreto be made, but that these were the first mortals that going similitude in this manner, namely, Such is the were deified. The last thing I shall observe from prosperity of wicked men; because it wants the solid the passage, is the style or manner in which the pre-| foundation of piety, and of God's promise and blesscepts of their ancestors were transmitted to them; || ing consequent thereupon, it quickly vanishes into and that is, by some apt simile or comparison, drawn nothing. The hypocrite's hope shall perish- That from nature; and like a picture fitted to engage the is, the object of his hope, his riches, his friends, his attention, and by agreeably entertaining the imagina-honours, and other such like things, on which he tion, to leave a strong impression on the memory. I founded' his expectations; for, when these are lost, The wretched state of the wicked,


and the blessedness of the perfect.

A. M. 2484. 14 Whose hope shall be cut off, and 18 : If he destroy him from his place, A. M. 2484. B. C. 1520.

B. C. 1520. whose trust shall be 'a spider's web. then it shall deny him, saying, I have 15 h He shall lean upon his house, but it shall not seen thee. not stand: he shall hold it fast, but it shall not 19 Behold, this is the joy of his way, and endure.

kout of the earth shall others

grow. 16 He is green before the sun, and his branch 20 Behold, God will not cast away a perfect shooteth forth in his garden.

man, neither will he help the evil doers : 17 His roots are wrapped about the heap, and 21 Till he fill thy mouth with laughing, and seeth the place of stones.

thy lips with 5 rejoicing.

k Psa. cxiii. 7.

• Hebrew, a spider's house, Isa. lix. 5.- h Chapter xxvii. 18.

i Chap. vii. 10; xx. 9; Psa. xxxvii. 36.

- Heb. take the ungodly by the hand. - Heb.

shouting for joy.

hope may be said to perish, because that from which heres to the midst of stones. This circumstance is it arose is no more.

added to signify the tree's firmness and strength; Verse 14. Whose hope shall be cut offThat is, that it was not fixed in loose and sandy ground, whose wealth and outward glory, which is the foun-1 which a violent wind might overthrow, but in solid dation and matter of his hope, shall be suddenly and ground, within which were many stones, which its violently taken away from him; or, as the Hebrew numerous and spreading roots embraced, folding and Dip, jacot, may be translated, whose hope shall be interweaving themselves about them. He seelh the irksome or tedious to him, by the succession of ear-place of stonesThe tree reacheth thither, takes the nestexpectations and great disappointments. Whose | advantage of that place for the strengthening of ittrust shall be a spider's web-Which though it be self. By this the writer seems to express the appaformed with great art and industry, and may do | rent firmness and worldly dependance of the hymuch mischief to others, yet is most slender and fee- | pocrite. ble, and easily swept down, or pulled in pieces, and Verse 18. If he, &c.—Namely, God, who is the unable to defend the spider that made it. The ap- saviour of good men and the destroyer of the wickplication is obvious.

ed; destroy him from his place-When God blasts Verse 15. He shall lean upon his houseHe shall him and plucks him up; then it shall deny himtrust to the multitude and strength of his children That is, the place shall deny him; saying, I have not and servants, and to his wealth, all which come un- seen thee–The reader will easily observe, that denyder the name of a man's house in Scripture. But it | ing him and seeing him are here ascribed to the shall not stand—That is, not be able to uphold itself, place figuratively, and the meaning is, that he shall nor him that trusted it. He shall hold it fast- || be so utterly extirpated and destroyed, that there Or, he shall take fast hold of it to strengthen and shall be no memorial of him left, nor any rememuphold himself by it. But his web, that refuge of brance that such a man ever lived in that place. He lies, will be swept away, and he crushed in it. Or, shall no more recover himself than a tree which is by holding it fast, may be meant, that he shall en- | plucked out of the ground, and left to wither. deavour to support his house by strong alliances, but Verse 19. Behold, this is the joy of his way-Or, it will be to no purpose, for it shall not endure. rather, This is the way of his joy: it all ends in

Verse 16. He, &c.—The hypocrite, or the secure this: this is the issue of his flourishing state. He and prosperous sinner, may think himself degraded falls into heavy calamities, from which he can never when he is compared to a rush or flag. - Compare deliver himself again. And out of the earth shall him, then, to a flourishing and well-rooted tree, which others grow-Out of the same earth or place shall spreads its branches in a fair garden. Yet, even other trees arise. Heath reads the verse, Behold then, shall he suddenly wither and come to nothing. || him now; destruction is his path; and strangers Is green before the sun-Flourisheth in the world out of the dust shall spring up in his room. In other publicly, and in the view of all men. And his branch || words, The wicked come speedily to an end, and shooteth forth-His children, who are here mention-strangers with whom they had no affinity come ed as additions, not only to his comfort, but also to his in to possess what they had gathered up, in expectastrength and safety. In his garden-A place wheretion of making their name and family endure a long it is defended from those injuries to which the trees time. of the field are subject, and where, besides the ad- Verse 20. Behold, God will not cast away a pervantages common to all trees, it hath peculiar helps | fect man-God, who will not help the evil doer, will from the art and industry of men. So he supposes not cast away a good man, though he may be cast this man to be placed in the most desirable circum- | down: yet it may be he will not be listed up in this stances.

world; and therefore Bildad could not infer, that if Verse 17. His roots are wrapped about the heap | Job was not restored to temporal prosperity he was -Heath renders this, He windeih his roots about a not a good man. Let us judge nothing before the spring; he tuistelh himself about a heap of stones ; || time, but wait till the secrets of all hearts are revealand he approves a slight alteration of the text made ed, and the present difficulties of providence solved, by Houbigant; who, rather more elegantly, reads, to universal and everlasting satisfaction. He has his roots involved, or, fired, in a hill; he ad- Verse 21. Till he fill thy mouth with laughingVol. II. ( 34 )



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