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Bible Commentaries
Job 24

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-25



Verses 1-25:

Verse 1 inquires just why the Almighty, who has appointed a day or time of retribution judgment to the wicked, does not the righteous (now) see his days of judgment? Why does God wait to heap judgment upon the wicked beyond death instead of sending it upon him now? Acts 1:7; Romans 2:5-9. Job laments that all men may now see the judgment of God upon the wicked. Rather than having the judgment delayed to the future, Joe 1;15; 2 Peter 3:10.

Verses 2, 3 state that some "remove the landmarks," the property boundaries set by surveyors, steal the land, and violently take away the flocks and feast on them; Though such was specifically forbidden by Mosaic law, Deuteronomy 19:14; Proverbs 22:28; Proverbs 23:10-11. The charge adds that the wicked drive away the ass of the fatherless, the orphan, the weaker who can not resist their violence in robbery. And they took the widow’s ox for a pledge, until she paid exorbitant tribute imposed on her, as also forbidden, Deuteronomy 24:6; Deuteronomy 24:10; Deuteronomy 24:12; Deuteronomy 24:17.

Verse 4 asserts that they "the wicked" push the poor out of the way, off the roadside when they meet them, offering them no alms, clothes, food or compassion, a thing Eliphaz had charged against Job, without evidence, Job 22:8; 1 Samuel 8:3. The poor in spirit and in property often banded together for strength, even when driven into hiding in deserts and wilderness.

Verse 5, 6 describe the plight of poverty of the poor and oppressed of the earth. As poor, hungry, often starving Bedouins of the desert, they arose early to go forth to rob, to secure food for themselves and their children. They arose early because caravans usually traveled through the deserts, beginning before daylight, resting in the heat of the noontime, then traveling till the late evening. Like wild asses these poor Bedouins find their food, at one time in the field, at another in the desert, but never piled up in a barn or stable, Isaiah 30:24.

Verse 7 charges that the wicked caused the naked to lodge without clothing, to sleep nigh naked in- the cold, where frost often falls in the night, Genesis 31:40; Exodus 22:26; Deuteronomy 24:12-13.

Verse 8 explains that the oppressed poor, Bedouins of the field and desert, like Ishmael the "wild-ass of a man," were often wet with showers and dew that caused them to cling to crevices, in huge rocks, for want of a better shelter, La 4:5; Hebrews 11:39; Genesis 16:12.

Verses 9, 10 assert that the wicked pluck (take away) frivolously, children from the breasts of widows, kidnapping the children for barter in the slave markets in city areas. They take a pledge of a top garment of the poor, causing him to go near naked, without clothing. What was worse they worked the poor in the fields, and took away the sheaf, not leaving enough fallen grain for the poor people than the Lord provided for the laboring ox, Deuteronomy 25:4; 1 Corinthians 9:7-14. Yet they did not provide for the hunger and thirst of their laborers.

Verses 11, 12 charge that the wicked required the poor to press the oil within their own walls but also tread the winepress and suffer thirst in the wall enclosed olive gardens and vineyards of their wicked oppressors, Isaiah 5:5.

Verse 12 adds that men groaned from without as well as within the cities. The soul of the wounded, the dying cried aloud for help or relief, but none came to their rescue, Exodus 1:11; Exodus 2:23; Ezekiel 30:24. Yet, Job laments that God does not lay the judgment of their folly upon them, at that time, that others might visibly see His hatred for such wickedness, Psalms 50:1; Ecclesiastes 8:11; Malachi 2:17; Malachi 3:15; Romans 2:4-5; 2 Peter 3:15.

Verse 13 describes the wicked as rebels, anarchists against the light of truth. They do not recognize that truth and right exist, much less walk in the way of truth, light, and holiness, Proverbs 2:13; John 3:19-20.

Verse 14 explains that the murderer arises early in the morning, with the sun, hides himself, lies in wait to rob and murder the traveler, the innocent. In the East thieves steal at night, when men sleep, then murder at dawn, to escape detection and punishment, Psalms 10:8.

Verses 15, 16 add that the eye also of the adulterer waits for the twilight to cover his adultery in darkness of the night, even disguising his face by wearing a veil to avoid being recognized, Proverbs 7:9; Psalms 10:11. Then in the night they dug through the earthen brick walls that they had spotted in the daytime, to reach their adulterous victims. This they did, Job asserted, because they know not the light, Job 38:12-13; John 3:20; Ephesians 5:11-13. Thieves do "break through" to steal, Matthew 6:19; Ezekiel 12:7.

Verse 17 declares that the wicked .adulterer shrinks from the morning light, as if it were the shadow of death, John 3:19-20. He fears the light, more than the righteous fears darkness, because his deeds are evil, Job 3:5; Psalms 73:18-19; Jeremiah 2:26; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11; Revelation 6:16-17.

Verse 18 states that the wicked were as swift as the floodwaters to reach their punishment here on earth, according to his accuser­ friends. It was a premise that Job denied. He contended that their punishment did not come upon them at the moment of their guilt, through it was sure to come, in the future. Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar contended that present suffering, calamities, were always evidence of personal guilt and wickedness in those who suffer and that the wicked would not live to enjoy the fruit of their vineyards, Job 20:17; Job 15:33. With this false premise they pestered and tortured Job as a wicked sinner, John 9:2-3; See also Psalms 73:18-20; Isaiah 23:10.

Verse 19 observes that drought and heat consume the snow waters that are quickly dried up, in contrast with living, flowing springs. As the melted snow is soon gone, leaving no trace, so the grave soon swallows up the wicked, according to Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar. Yet, the wicked too may live a long life, before judgment comes to him, as come it will, Job 6:16-18; John 5:28-29; Hebrews 9:27.

Verse 20 declares that the womb that bare the wicked, or the mother of the wicked, will forget him, put him out of mind and the maggot-worm shall feed sweetly on him. He shall not be remembered or memorialized any more, because of his wickedness. This is the position of Job’s adversaries, a false premise. For mothers do not forget their wicked children, even to the grave, Isaiah 49:15; Job 18:17; Proverbs 10:7. They held that a wicked man would always die of some violent attack, like a tree in a windstorm, or a broken staff that was beyond repair, Isaiah 15:5.

Verse 21 states that the wicked one evil-treats the barren, the childless who has no children, to seek revenge on the evil doer. Neither does the wicked show kindness to the widow, Job’s friends had argued; and they insinuated that Job had done all or part of this wickedness for which he was now suffering justly. They judged without having the facts, Job 2:6-10; John 9:2-3; John 11:4.

Verses 22, 23 return to Job’s reply to the reasons given by his friends for his suffering. He, the Lord, prolongs the life of even his enemies. In Him they live on, and move, and have their being, drawing their life to old age, Psalms 36:10; Deuteronomy 28:66; Acts 17:28. Though the Lord prolongs the days of the wicked His eyes are upon his ways; and all wickedness shall be brought to judgment, Romans 2:4-9; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14. See also Ecclesiastes 9:9; Proverbs 15:3.

Verse 24 concludes that the wicked are exalted in their wickedness for a little while, in comparison with eternity, Psalms 37:35-36. Yet, they are brought low, humbled, taken out of the way as hinderers among men, while holding exalted positions; To be "cut off" as the "tops of ears of corn," means in ripe old age, in maturity of days, by natural death, Genesis 49:33; Job 9:24; Job 21:13.

Verse 25 challenges Job’s three feigned friends that if what he has said was not true, who of them would make him to be a liar? Who of them would give evidence that what he had said was worthless, invalid, void of factual truth? He was willing for the premise and testimony of his defense to be examined meticulously and defensively. Would that every child of God would be strengthened to this extent, as admonished, 2Ti 2; 15; 1 Peter 3:15.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Job 24". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/job-24.html. 1985.
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