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Job apologizes for

CHAPTER XXIII.

his complaining.

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A. M. 2484. shalt say, There is lifting up; and 30 16 He shall deliver the island of A. M. 2484.

B. C. 1520. - he shall save 15 the humble per-| the innocent: and it is delivered by

the pureness of thy hands.

son.

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sees will be good for thee; thou shalt say-Within as pride is often expressed by high or lofty looks; thyself, with good confidence and assurance; There and so this is a tacit reproof of Job, for his confident is listing upOr, there shall be lifting up; either, 1st, || justification of himself: or, 2d, Lowness of state and For them, who, if they repent and humble themselves, condition, as James i. 10. And so understood, it shall be preserved and restored: or, rather, for thee describes him, whose eyes and countenance are and thine: God will deliver thee, when others are dejected by reason of great troubles and misecrushed and destroyed. Hebrew, Thou shalt say, oi, || ries. gerah, exaltation! an expression to be admired for Verse 30. He-Whose prerogative it is to give its conciseness and comprehensiveness. Thou shalt deliverances; shall deliver-Namely, upon thy reexpect exaltation in the time of depression; nay, quest, as the following clause shows; the island of thy depression shall be in order to, and the means the innocent-Not only thyself, when thou shalt beof, thy exaltation. And thou shalt find that consola- come innocent, or righteous, but, for thy sake, he tion in thyself, which will not only bear thee up will deliver the whole island, or country, in which under thy troubles, and keep thee from fainting, but thou dwellest: God will have so great a respect to lift thee up above thy troubles, and enable thee to thy innocence, that for thy sake he will deliver rejoice notwithstanding them. And he-God, from those that belong to thee, or live with thee, or near whom alone cometh salvation ; shall save–Tempo- thee, though, in themselves, they be ripe for derally from the evils here mentioned, and eternally struction. By the pureness of thy hands-By thy from other and infinitely greater evils; the humble prayers, proceeding from a pure heart and conperson—Hebrew, D'Iy nv, shach gneinaim, him science. So Eliphaz and his two friends, who, in that hath low or cast-down eyes; which phrase may this matter, were not innocent, were delivered by the denote, either, Ist, Humility and lowliness of mind, I pureness of Job's hands, chap. xlii. 8.

CHAPTER XXIII. Here seems to be a struggle throughout this chapter between nature and grace. Job complains of his condition, yet with an

assurance of God's clemency, 1-7. He cannot understand God's dealings, nor hope for relief, yet holds fast his integrity,

8–14. He is in deep trouble, 15–17. A. M. 2484.

bitter: 'my stroke is heavier than A. M. 2484.

my

B. C. 1520. 2 Even to-day is my complaint | groaning.

B. C. 1526. THEN Job answered and said,

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NOTES ON CHAPTER XXIII.

his cause was far from being singular, for that many Verse 1. Then Job answered—Job, being exceed- other dispensations of God's providence were equally ingly grieved by the freedom which Eliphaz had difficult to be accounted for, at least by human untaken with him in his last speech, charging him derstanding; and that it was this which filled him directly with the most enormous sins, (see the 15th with greater apprehensions. He expresses his deand following verses,) turns and appeals to God, sire that God, in the course of his providence, would according to his custom, and earnestly begs he make a more visible distinction between the righteous would hear the matter fully, and determine between and the wicked in this world, that good men might him and his friends. The passage from this to the not fall into such mistakes in censuring suffering inend of the 10th verse is peculiarly fine, and well nocence. He concludes with showing what, accordworthy of the reader's deep attention. In it Job ing to their principles, ought to be the general fully answers the charge of Eliphaz concerning his course of providence with regard to wicked men, denjal or disbelief of the Divine Providence; and which, however, it was notorious was not the case: obzerves, that this was so far from being the case, and since it was not, it was plain that he had proved that there was nothing he so much lamented as that his point, and the falsity of their maxim was appahe was excluded from God's presence, and not per- rent: and their censuring him merely for his suffermitted to draw near and make his defence before ings was a behaviour by no means justifiable.him ; having the testimony of his own conscience Heath. respecting his integrity, and not doubting but he Verse 2. Even to-day is my complaint bittershould make his cause good. He then shows, that || Even at this time notwithstanding all your proJob wishes to p.ead his cause

JOB.

in the presence of his Maker.

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3 ( that I knew where I might || 7 There the righteous might dispute A. M. 2484

find him ! that I might come even to with him ; so should I be delivered his seat !

for ever from my judge. 4 I would order my cause before him, and fill 8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; my mouth with arguments.

and backward, but I cannot perceive him: 5 I would know the words which he would 9 On the left hand, where he doth work, but answer me, and understand what he would say || I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the unto me.

right hand, that I cannot see him : 6 Will he plead against me with his great 10 But he d knoweth 2 the

way

that I take: power? No; but he would put strength in when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as

gold.

me.

a Chap. xiii. 3; xvi. 21.- Isa. xxvii. 4, 8; lvii. 16. — Chap.

ix. 11.

d Psa. cxxxix. 1, 3. Heb. the way that is with me.—-* Psa.

xvii. 3; Ixvi. 10; James i. 12.

mises and pretended consolations. For your dis- from the condemnatory sentence of God; for he is courses give me neither relief nor satisfaction. Hence supposed to be pleading, not only before God, but in this and the following chapter Job seldom applies with him. This and some such expressions of Job his discourse to his friends, but either addresses his cannot be excused from irreverence toward God, and speech to God, or bewails his misery. My stroke is too great confidence in himself; for which, thereheavier than my groaning—The hand or stroke of fore, God afterward reproves him, and Job abhors God upon me exceeds my complaints.

himself. Verses 3-5. O that I knew where I might find Verses 8, 9. I go forward-p, kedem, ad orienhim!-Namely, God, as his friends well knew. tem, toward the east: inx, achor, ad occidentem, Thou advisest me to acquaint myself with him, I toward the west ; so the Vulgate, which is likewise desire nothing so much as his acquaintance and the interpretation of the Jewish commentators, who presence; but, alas ! he hides his face from me, that by the left hand, and the right, in the next verse, I cannot see or come near him. That I might come understand the north and the south. They have a even to his seatTo his throne or judgment-seat, || tradition that Adam was created with his face placed to plead my cause before him. I would order my | toward the east, that he might see the rising sun. cause-Declare in order the things which concern | From whence they say the east was to him kedem, my cause, would set it in a true light, and show the the anterior part of the world. From that situation justice of it, and that before him, who searches my | they named the other quarters. But Job in both heart. And fill my mouth with arguments—To these verses certainly intended nothing more than prove my sincerity and innocence toward him, and that, let him turn himself which way he pleased, in consequently, that my friends accuse me falsely. I no place could he find God present, namely, as a would know what he would say to me-If he should | judge to hear and determine his cause, of which he discover to me any secret sins, for which he con- | is speaking: for, otherwise, he knew God was essentendeth with me, I would humble myself before tially present in all places. On the left hand where him, and accept of the punishment of mine iniquity. he doth work—That is, in a special and peculiar man

Verse 6. Will he plead against me-Hebrew, || ner, say some interpreters, both Jewish and Chris'Tom', jarib gnimmadi, contend with me; with tian, the north being the more habitable and more his great power--no 27), berob choach, in the great- || populous part of the world. Ibi gentes, says Cartness, or extent, of his strength. Will he use his wright, rebus gestis et bello omni æro clarissima : sovereign and absolute power to oppress me, as men ibi evangelium generalius et luculentius promulgado those whom they cannot fairly answer ? No, || tum. "There the nations have flourished, most but he would put strength in me-He would not use famous in all ages for exploits and war; and there his power against me, but for me; by enabling me the gospel has been more generally and successfully to plead my cause, and giving sentence according to promulgated.”. All this may be true, yet as the that clemency which he uses toward his children. | whole world is God's workmanship, and is continuThe word strength, though not in the text, is rightly | ally preserved by him, and as his providential care added by our translators to complete the sense. reacheth equally to every part, no one place is here

Verse 7. There-At that throne of grace, where | intended to be signalized more than another, with God lays aside his majesty and power, and judges regard to the works of God. He hideth himself on according to his wonted grace and clemency; the the right hand-He moves and works invisibly in righteous-Such as I trust I am in sincerity and all quarters of the world, but yet I cannot behold truth; might dispute with him-Humbly and mo- him appear as my judge, nor discover him to plead destly propound the grounds of their confidence and my cause in his sight. the evidences of their righteousness. So–Upon such Verse 10. But he knoweth the way that I takea fair and equal hearing; should I be delivered from My comfort is, that, though I cannot see him, and my judge--From the severe censures of all corrupt | know all his ways, and the reasons of his dispensaand partial judges, such as my friends are, or rather, Il tions; yet he, being everywhere present, alway

Job continues to

CHAPTER XXIII.

assert his innocence.

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11 My foot hath held his steps, his 14 For he performeth the thing that A. M. 2484.

way have I kept, and not declin-| is k appointed for me: and many ed.

such things are with him. 12 Neither have I gone back from the com- 15 Therefore am I troubled at his presence: mandment of his lips ; '1% have esteemed the when I consider, I am afraid of him. words of his mouth more than my necessary 16 For God 'maketh my heart soft, and the food.

Almighty troubleth me: 13 But he is in one mind, and who can 17 Because I was not cut off before the darkturn him ? and what i his soul desireth, even ness, neither hath he covered the darkness from that he doeth.

my face.

1 Psa. xliv. 18.

-3 Heb. I have hid, or, laid up.

- John iv. 32, 34. — *Or, my appointed portion.

h Chapter ix. 12; xii. 14; Romans ix. 19.- Li Psalm cxv. 3.

k 1 Thess. iii. 3.- Psa. xxii: 14.

sees me, knows my heart and life, and observes the all the riches of the world. There is, however, nowhole course of my conduct, my internal desires thing in the Hebrew for the word food, which our and designs, and the counsels of my heart, as well translators have supplied, the term 'pn, chokki, meanas my outward words and actions. It is a great ing simply statutum, vel, præscriptum mihi, what comfort to those who are upright in their intentions, is appointed or prescribed to me. Chappelow, thereand mean honestly, that God understands their fore, renders the whole verse thus: “As to the commeaning though men do not, cannot, or will not. || mandment of his lips, I have made no digression: When he hath tried me- -When he hath proved me according to what is prescribed me, I have kept the by these afflictions, as gold is tried by the fire; 1 words of his mouth." shall come forth as gold-Which comes forth from Verse 13. He is of one mindThe word mind is the furnace pure from all dross. The Hebrew is not in the Hebrew, which is only 1783, beehad, he is absolute, 'jn), bechanani, He hath tried me, I shall || in one, namely, in one way, or purpose, or counsel. come forth, &c. They that keep the way of the Notwithstanding all these evidences of my sincere Lord may comfort themselves when they are in piety, and all my prayers to him, he still continues affliction with these three things: Ist, That they in the same course of afflicting me. And who can are but tried; it is not intended for their hurt, but turn him ?—No man can change his counsels or for their honour and benefit; it is the trial of their course of acting. He is most absolute and free, to faith, 1 Pet. i. 7. 20, That when they are suffi- || do what he pleaseth, and he deals with me accordciently tried, they shall come forth out of the fur- || ingly, and not by those milder methods which he nace, and not be left to consume in it, as dross or uses toward other men. What his soul desireth, reprobate silver. The trial will have an end; God even that he doth-He will not do what I please or will not contend for ever. 3d, That they shall come | desire, but only what he pleases. forth as gold, pure in itself, and precious to the re- Verses 14, 15. He performeth, &c.-Hebrew, Dihu finer. They shall come forth as gold approved and pr, jashlim chukki, he will perfect, or finish, my improved; found to be good, and made to be better. || appointed portion, that is, those calamities which he Afflictions are to us, as we are; those that go gold hath allotted to me for my portion. And many such into the furnace will come out no worse.

things are with him. There are many such exVerses 11, 12. My foot hath held his steps–Either | amples of God's proceeding with men; and his the steps or ways in which God himself walks; the counsels and providences, though always just, yet paths of justice, mercy, and holiness, wherein Job are often secret; and we cannot discern the reasonhad made it his care to walk with, or after God, as ableness or equity of them. Therefore am I trouthe phrase is, Gen. v. 24; or, which is the same thing, bled at his presence, &c.—When I set this great and the steps or paths which God hath appointed men holy God before me, and reflect that I am in his to walk in. These, Job says, his foot had held, that presence, I am troubled at the consideration of his is, he had made a free and fixed choice of them; | glorious majesty, and sovereign, irresistible power, had taken fast hold of them; had been strongly and by which he can do whatsoever pleaseth him, withfirmly resolved and settled to walk in them. Nei-out giving any account of his matters. There is, ther hare I gone back-Turned aside to any crooked | indeed, that in God which, if we consider, we shall or sinful path, or course of life. I have esteemed see cause to be afraid of him: his infinite justice and the word of his mouthHebrew, 'n?3, tzaphanti ; purity, compared with our sinfulness and vileness ; abscondi, reposui, I have hid, or laid it up, as men but if, withal, we consider his grace in a Redeemer, do their best treasures, or what they most love and and are conscious of our compliance with that grace, value. The expression signifies a high esteem for the fears will vanish, and we shall see cause to hope it, a hearty affection to it, and a diligent care to pre- in him. serve it. More than my necessary food-Or, my Verses 16, 17. For God maketh my heart soft-appointed, or daily portion; that food or provision Or, tender; he hath bruised and broken, or melted which is necessary for the support of my life, (as the it, so that I have no spirit, or courage, or strength in same word is used Gen. xlvii. 22.; Prov. xxx. 8; and me: so this, or the like phrase, frequently signifies. xxxi. 15,) and which is more prized and desired than. There is a gracious softness of heart, like that of Jo The wicked not always

JOB.

punished in this life.

siah, whose heart was tender, and trembled at the death. Thus Job seems to be disposed to quarrel word of God: but this is meant of an afflictive and with God, because he did not die before his troubles; painful softness, which apprehends every thing that and yet, it is probable, that if, in the height of his is present to be pressing, and every thing that is su- prosperity, he had received a summons to the grave, ture to be threatening. Because I was not cut off he would have thought it hard. It may help to rebefore the darknessBecause God did not cut me concile us to death, whenever it comes, to consider off by death before these dark and dismal miseries that we do not know froin what evil we may be came upon me. Or, as fun lop, mippenei choshech, taken away. But when trouble is actually come may be properly rendered, before the face, or, by upon us, it is folly to wish we had not lived to see reason of the darkness ; that is, God hath not yet it; and it is much better to look to God for grace, cut me off by these calamities, but prolonged my that we may be enabled to make the best of it; and days under them, to the great increase of my misery. to remember, amidst the darkness, that frequently Neither hath he covered the darkness from my face to the upright there ariseth a marvellous light in - That I might no longer see or feel my miseries, the darkness, and that there is reserved for them a but might be taken out of them by my long-desired || much more marvellous light after it.

CHAPTER XXIV. Job shows that open sinners are often prosperous, 1-12. That secret sinners often pass undiscovered, 13–18. That God

punishes such by secret judgments, and reserves them for future judgment, 19–25. 6. C: 242.0WHY, seeing times are not hidden

2 Some remove the blandmarks; A. M. 2484. from the Almighty, do they that they violently take away flocks, and know him not see his days?

1 feed thereof.

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a Acts i. 7.- :- Deut. xix. 14 ; xxvii. 17; Prov. || xxii. 28; xxiii. 10; Hos. v. 10:- Or, feed them.

NOTES ON CHAPTER XXIV.

why do not they who are truly piouş see them Verse 1. Why, &c.—Job, having by his com- | openly inflicted ? Surely it is most strange, that plaints, in the foregoing chapter, given vent to his there are not some certain fixed times when God passion, and thereby gained some ease, breaks them arises publicly, and in the face of the whole world off abruptly, and now applies himself to a further inflicts these deserved punishments upon the wicked. discussion of the doctrinal controversy between him Whereas, experience shows, that these visible judgand his friends, concerning the prosperity of wickedments are very rarely inflicted, and many true worpeople. That many live at ease, who yet are un-shippers of God pass through the world without godly and profane, and despise all the exercises of ever seeing any thing of this kind. Heath renders devotion, he had showed, chap. xxi. Now he goes the verse, Why are not stated seasons set apart further, and shows that many who are mischievous by the Almighty? And why do not those who know to mankind, and live in open defiance of all the him see his days? namely, of vengeance on the laws of justice and common honesty, yet thrive and wicked. succeed in their unrighteous practices; and we do Verse 2. Some, &c.—In proof that wicked persons not see them reckoned with in this world. He first prosper, he instances in two sorts of unrighteous lays down his general proposition, That the punish- people, whom all the world saw thriving in their ment of wicked people is not so visible and apparent iniquity: 1st, Tyrants, and those that did wrong as his friends supposed, and then proves it by an in- | under pretence of law and authority; and, 2d, duction of particulars. WhyHow comes it to pass; Robbers and plunderers, that did wrong by downseeing times are not hidden from the Almighty- right force, as the bands of the Sabeans and ChalSeeing the fittest seasons for every action, and par-deans, who had lately plundered him. Remove the ticularly for the punishment of wicked men, are not landmark-By which men's lands are distinguished, unknown to God: do they that know him—That love and their properties secured, that so they may enand obey him; not see his days?—The times and large their own border by diminishing the estate of

| is godly men; which times are frequently called the justice that it was not only very strictly forbidden days of the Lord, as Isa. ii. 12, and xiii. 6; Jer. xlvi. by God in his law, but also declared execrable by 10; Acts ii. 20. Surely, if they were constant and the heathen, among some of whom it was permitted fixed in this life, they would not be unknown to to any man to kill him that did it. Forging or good men, to whom God is wont to reveal his se- destroying deeds is now a crime equivalent to this. crets. His words may be paraphrased a little more They violently take away flocks, and feed thereofat large, thus: To answer a little what you have so. They take away cattle by force, and use them as if often asserted: If punishments from God upon the they were their own. Or, they feed them; they wicked, in this world, are so certain as you say, do not hide, or kill them, but openly feed them in

un

Job describes the

CHAPTER XXIV.

conduct of the wicked.

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3 They drive away the ass of the || clothing, that they have no covering A. M. 2484.

fatherless, they take the widow's ox in the cold. for a pledge.

8 They are wet with the showers of the 4 They turn the needy out of the way: 4 the mountains, and fembrace the rock for want of poor of the earth hide themselves together. a shelter. 5 Behold, as wild asses in the desert, go they 9 They pluck the fatherless from the breast, forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: and take a pledge of the poor. the wilderness yieldeth food for them and for 10 They cause him to go naked without their children.

clothing, and they take away the sheaf from 6 They reap every one his ? corn in the field : the hungry; and 3 they gather the vintage of the wicked. 11 Which make oil within their walls, and 7 They cause the naked to lodge without tread their wine-presses, and suffer thirst.

Chap. xxi. 6; Deut. xxiv. 6, 10, 12, 17.- _d Prov. xxviii. 28. . Heb. mingled corn, or, dredge.—Heb. the wicked gather the

vintage. - Exod. xxii. 26; Deut. xxiv, 12; Chap. xxii. 6. i Lam. iv. 5.

their pastures, without any remorse, or shame, or wickedOr, rather, the vintage of wickedness; that fear of punishment, either from God or man. is, they plunder the vineyards of the honest, just

Verses 3, 4. They drive away the ass of the man, as well as his corn-fields. fatherless—Whose helpless condition required their Verse 7. They cause the nakedThat is, those pity and mercy. He says, the ass, to aggravate | whom they have made naked, whom they have their sin, in that they robbed him who had but one stripped of their garments and coverings; so far ass. They take the widow's ox—Thereby depriving | were they from exercising charity or even justice her, not only of the ox itself, but of all the benefit toward them; to lodge without clothing--To sleep of its labours, by which her life was sustained; for in the night without bed-clothes to cover them; that a pledge-Contrary to God's law, first written in they have no covering in the coldof the night, in men's hearts, and afterward in the Holy Scriptures, the winter season. This verse perhaps would be Exod. xxii. 26. They turn the needy out of the way better rendered thus, They cause men to lodge naked, -Out of the way of piety and virtue. They engage because they have no clothing, (that is, because they them to take evil courses by their examples, or pro- leave them nothing wherewith they can clothe themmises, or threatenings. Or, out of their right, of selves,) and no covering in the cold; they leave which they deprive them, by subtlety or power. them neither raiment to wear in the day, nor a Or, rather, as the word 7777, middarech, more pro- || covering in the night. perly signifies, and as the next clause explains it, Verse 8. They are wet—That is, the poor, being out of the highway, out of the path or place in stripped of their raiment, and forced away from their which these oppressors walk and range. These houses; with the showers of the mountains-With needy persons labour to keep out of their way for the rain-water, which, in great showers, runs down fear of their further injuries and oppressions. The from the rocks or mountains into the caves or holes poor of the earth hide themselves, &c.—For fear of in the sides of them, to which they have fled for these wicked tyrants and persecutors.

shelter. And embrace the rock-That is, are glad Verse 5. Behold, as wild asses-Which are law- | when they can find a cavern, or cleft of a rock, in less and fierce, and greedy of prey; in the desert – which they may have some protection against the Which is the proper habitation of wild asses, Jer. | injuries of the weather, and a hiding-place from the ii 24: they go forlh to their work-These oppressors | fury of their oppressors. go forth to spoil and rob, which is their constant Verses 9, 10. TheyThe wicked oppressors; work and trade: rising betimes for the prey-Be- || pluck the fatherless from the breast--Either out of ginning their work of plunder before the poor go to cruelty, not sparing poor infants, or out of covetoustheir daily labour. The wilderness yieldeth food | ness, not allowing the mother time for the suckling for them—They are so diligent and industrious in of her infant. They take away the sheaf from the their wicked work, that they fetch food for them- hungry—That single sheaf, which the poor man had selves and families even out of desert places, in got with the sweat of his brow, to satisfy his hunger. which the owners can with difficulty subsist.

Verses 11, 12. Which make oil within their walls Verse 6. They reap every one his corn in the -- The walls of the rich oppressors, for their use and field — The words, every one, are not in the original, || benefit. And tread their wine-presses—That is, the and ought not to have been inserted here, as they grapes in their wine-presses; and suffer thirstalter the sense. The clause would be better trans- Because they are not permitted to quench their lated without them. They reap his corn in the thirst out of the wine which they make. Men field; that is, these plunderers make incursions, groan--Under the burden of injuries and grievous reap and take away the corn of the honest, indus- || oppressions; from out of the city-Not only in trious husbandman, which he had sown for the sup- || deserts, or less inhabited places, where these tyrants port of his family. They gather the vintage of the ll have the greater opportunity to practise their vil

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