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Job 42:1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
Ver. 1. Then Job answered the Lord, and said ] After that he had been so plainly and plentifully convinced by Almighty God, 1. That he was far short of him in eternity, wisdom, power, providence, &c.; 2. That he could not stand before behemoth and leviathan, the works of his hands; Job yieldeth, submitting to God’s justice, and imploring his mercy: so effectual is the word of God’s grace in the hearts of his elect. It had need to be an elaborate speech that shall work upon the conscience, such as was this before going. Vide etiam quid afflictio faciat, saith Mercer. See here also the happy fruit of an affliction sanctified. "By this shall the iniquity of Jacob" (of Job) "be purged; and this is all the fruit, to take away his sin," Isaiah 27:9 . To make his works full, Revelation 3:2 . Job had repented before, Job 40:4-5 , but not so completely. Dico hic narrari poenitentiam Iobi plenam, saith Piscator. Here he doth it thoroughly, by a deep and downright repentance, such as was never to be repented of.
Job 42:2 I know that thou canst do every [thing], and [that] no thought can be withholden from thee.
Ver. 2. I know that thou canst do everything ] God’s power is either absolute or actual. By the former he can do everything, make a world, and unmake it in an instant; of stones raise up children to Abraham, &c. By the latter, whatsoever he willeth, that he doth both in heaven and in earth, and none can withstand him. This Job knew before, but now better, because by experience and unquestionable evidence given in by God’s own mouth. And although this be but a short acknowledgment of God’s power and justice, yet is it well accepted, as proceeding from a true sense of faith. Neque exigit Deus a nobis multa verba, sed multam fidem (Merlin).
And that no thought can be withholden from thee ] Te non solum omnia posse, sed et omnia nosse, That thou art not only omnipotent, but omniscient, and that not so much as a thought of any man’s heart (which also is of thy making) can be hid from thee; since which way soever he turneth him, he shall find thee both potent and present. The words may be read thus, And that no thought of thine can be cut off or hindered. Having spoken of God’s power, he speaketh of his thoughts; to teach, saith Calvin, That God’s power and his will are things inseparable, his mind and hand agree together; the one to determine, the other to effect, Parem in eo esse voluntatem et facultatem (Mercer). ‘ Aδυνατει δε σοι ουδεν (Sept.).
Job 42:3 Who [is] he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
Ver. 3. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? ] Quis iste est, inquis. Who is he, saith thou, Job 38:2 , that hideth counsel, &c., so Tremellius rendereth it. Is ego ipse sum, I am the very man that have done it, nempe ego (Tigurin.), and now would as gladly undo it again, by a humble confessing and disclaiming mine own folly therein, and by applying those words of thine to myself, with a holy indignation; for therein thou hast fully met with me, απογενομενοι , 1 Peter 2:24 .
Therefore have I uttered that I understood not ] I have rashly and imprudently, yea, gracelessly and impudently, spoken of thy judgments, and desired to dispute with thee; daring to reprehend that which I did not comprehend, and to pass my verdict on things which I was not versed in, things too wouderful for me, which I knew not. Broughton reads thus, Therefore I tell that I had not understanding; that is, I confess I have sinned, but I did it ignorantly, Idcirco indico me non intellexisse (Merc.). And so he makes way to the ensuing petition, That God would hear him, and teach him better things.
Job 42:4 Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
Ver. 4. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak ] We have had his confession; follow now his petition here, his humiliation and reformation, Job 42:6 . These are the parts and properties of true repentance, that fair daughter of a foul mother, sin. But had not Job promised to speak no more, to proceed no farther? Job 40:4-5 . How then doth he say here, I beseech, and I will speak? The answer is easy; he would speak no more so rashly and unadvisedly as he had done, to God’s dishonour, and the offence of his best friends. But he would not spare to speak supplications, as here, and to set forth his humble docility, to give glory to God, and to take shame to himself, &c.; such a silence he knew would be sinful, and savour of a dumb devil. He therefore addresseth himself to God, 1. For audience and acceptance; 2. For advice and direction. In all which he renounceth his own wisdom, and delivereth himself up wholly to God, to be taught and led into all truth and holiness. The matter, we see, is well amended with Job, since, challenging God into the schools, he once said, "Then call thou me, and I will answer; or let me speak, and answer thou me," Job 13:22 . So afterwards Peter, when penitent, turned his crowing into crying; and Paul, his breathing out threatenings against the saints, into "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" Acts 9:1 ; Acts 9:6 .
I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me ] As a dutiful and docible scholar, who should be Zητητικος , I will ask thee questions, and hang upon thy holy lips for an answer.
Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
Ver. 5. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear ] God hath ordained, that as death entered into the world at first by the ear, poisoned by that old man slayer, Genesis 3:14-19 , so life shall enter into the soul by the same door: for it is, "Hear, and your soul shall live," Isaiah 55:3 . And, The dead (in sins and trespasses) shall hear the voice of the Son of God (sounding in his ordinances); and shall live the life of grace here and of glory hereafter, John 5:25 . This great mercy Job had received, and he thankfully acknowledgeth it. But behold a greater.
But now mine eye hath seen thee ] Not only in the tempest and whirlwind, those clear testimonies of thy presence, but by some other special glorious apparition (so some think), and by a spirit of prophecy (as the Hebrews would have it), by the inward teaching of thy Spirit howsoever, as Vatablus senseth it. Et quando Christus Magister, quam cito discitur quod docetur, saith Austin. When God by his Spirit taketh in hand to teach a man, he soon becometh a skilful scholar. Nescit tarda molimina Spiritus Sancti gratia, saith Ambrose. The Spirit is not long in teaching those that commit themselves to his tuition. The hypocrite knows God but by hearsay, as a blind man knoweth colours: such may say as those in the Psalm, Audivimus famam, something we have heard, and some confused notions we have got concerning God and his will; but they are merely disciplinary, but not intuitive, id est, Per speciem propriam, &c., such as transform the soul into the same image; it is not that claritas in intellectu quae parit ardorem in affectu, that light in the understanding that kindleth the affections. Job was such, witness his next words.
Job 42:6 Wherefore I abhor [myself], and repent in dust and ashes.
Ver. 6. Wherefore I abhor myself ] Aspernor illa, so Tremellius. I utterly dislike those my former base and bald conceits of thee, my hard and unsavoury speeches, mine impatient and imprudent carriages. Horreo quicquid de meo est, ut meus sim, as Bernard expresseth it. Reprobo meipsum, so Brentius; I do utterly reject myself, I condemn mine own folly: I eat those words of discontent at thy righteous proceedings. Digna sane quae per iugulum redeant. Abiecio vitam meam, so Mercer and Lavater render it. I cast away my life, and look upon it as lost, if thou shouldest take the forfeiture: I humbly put myself into the hands of justice, yet in hope of mercy, Displiceo mihimetipsi, ac pervelim ut aliter dixissem ae fecissem (Lavat.).
I repent in dust and ashes ] As in an express and public penance. I throw myself here upon the ground, I put my mouth in the dust, Lamentations 3:24 Jeremiah 6:26 ; Jeremiah 25:34 . Canitiem immundo perfusam pulvere turpi (Virg. Aeneid, l. 12), I sprinkle dust and ashes upon mine head, in token that I have deserved to be as far underground as now I am above ground; I repent my presumptuous misbehaviour with as lowly a spirit as ever I sinned with a high. Lo, this was poenitentiam agere, quod est pro malo bonum reponere, saith Brentius. This was true repentance, to change evil for good; as piety for blasphemy, chastity for fornication, charity for envy, humility for pride, Christ for Satan. And reformation is the best repentance, saith Luther. Such as so repent are sure of comfort. The word here rendered I repent, signifieth also to take comfort, as Ezekiel 32:31 . It is repentance unto life, Acts 11:18 , and such as accompanieth salvation, Hebrews 6:9 . Neither is it wrought in any man but by a saving sight of Almighty God in his greatness and goodness; such as may make him at once to tremble and trust, as Job did here, as Isaiah, Isaiah 6:1 ; Isaiah 6:5 .
Job 42:7 And it was [so], that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me [the thing that is] right, as my servant Job [hath].
Ver. 7. And it was so, that after the Lord had spoken these words to Job ] And Job those other again to God, it soon repented the Lord concerning his servant. Pro magno delicto parum supplicii saris est patri, A little punishment is enough to a loving father for a great fault (Terent.). "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith the Lord, … for (alas) they have received of my hand double for all their sins," Isaiah 40:1-2 . So it seemed to him who is all heart, and who in all their afflictions is equally afflicted. God weeps on his people’s necks tears of compassion; they weep at God’s feet tears of compunction. Oh beautiful contention!
The Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite ] Because he was the oldest man, of greatest authority, and he that passed the heaviest censures upon Job, doing enough to have driven him into desperation.
My wrath is kindled ayainst thee ] Thus God passeth not sentence on Job’s side till he had first angrily repressed and reprehended those three friends of his, who had assailed him without all right and reason. Let God’s servants hold out faith and patience; sooner or later they shall be righted.
And against thy two friends ] Bildad and Zophar who stuck so close to thee, and chimed in with thee, against a better man than any of you all. As for Elihu, he is neither commended here nor condemned. He spake well for the main, but many times took Job at the worst, and misconstrued his speeches. He is therefore punished (as ambassadors are used to be when they commit indecencies) with silence, which is the way royal to correct a wrong. The other three had great cause to be much troubled and terrified at that short, but sharpest speech, of God, My wrath is kindled against you; for, Who knoweth the power of God’s wrath? saith David, Psalms 90:11 . It is as the messenger of death and harbinger of hell. God never said so much to Job in all those long and large speeches he made unto him, for he knew that milder words would do, and he loveth not to over do.
Ille dolet quoties cogitur esse ferox.
By the way observe, that although these three had offended more than Job, yet he was afflicted, and they escaped free. Judgment beginneth at God’s house; neither have any out of hell ever suffered more than those worthies of whom the world was not worthy, Hebrews 11:38
For ye have not spoken the thing that is right ] And yet they seemed to be all for God; and to plead his cause against Job throughout. But as in some things they were much mistaken, so they had their self respect, and were much biassed in their discourses. Hypocrites and heretics (saith Gregory here) seem unto men more righteous; but God accepteth them not for all their plausible pleas and specious pretences. Luke 16:15 , "Ye are they," said our Saviour to the Pharisees, "which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God."
As my servant Job hath ] They also were God’s servants, but because they had lent Satan their service against Job, and drawn from him many passionate speeches, they are for a punishment set by after a sort; as David was also when he had numbered the people, 2 Samuel 24:12 , "Go and say unto David." Now it is plain David, who was wont to be my servant David, 2 Samuel 7:5 . That Job is called God’s servant (and that emphatically and exclusively) is a very great honour done him upon his repentance; and the like was done to David and Peter.
Job 42:8 Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you: for him will I accept: lest I deal with you [after your] folly, in that ye have not spoken of me [the thing which is] right, like my servant Job.
Ver. 8. Therefore take unto you now seven bullocks ] God reproveth not his for any other end, but that he may reduce them, and be reconciled unto them. The Sun of righteousness loveth not to set in a cloud.
Deiecit ut relevet; premit ut solaria praestet.
Enecat, ut possit vivificare Deus.
Seven bullocks and seven rams ] A great sacrifice, whether we look to the greatness of the cattle, or the number (especially if each of them were to bring seven of each sort, as some understand it), to show the greatness of their sin, in not speaking right things of God and Job, though of a good intention, and with a very fair pretence. Seven of each they were to bring, which is noted for a number of perfection; and this pointed them of old (for the ceremonial law was their gospel) to the complete perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world, every way sufficient to expiate their sins, and to save them from the wrath to come. It is assured them, also, that God was through Christ perfectly satisfied and pacified toward his faithful people.
And go to my servant Job ] Who was to do the honourable office of a priest for them (as before the law Abraham did, and Melchisedek and others), and is thrice in this verse called God’s servant, for honour’s sake; to the end that his friends might the more respect him, whom before they had vilipended (critised), and be reconciled unto him, whom before they had wronged.
And offer up for yourselves a burnt offering ] Holocaustabitis holocaustum, a whole burnt offering. Where we must not imagine that God took delight in the smell or rather stench of the burnt beasts, hides and all, but in the faith of those that offered them, who also were hereby reminded of their sins (for which they had deserved to be burnt in hell) and of their duties, to mortify their earthly members, and to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, Romans 12:1 .
And my servant Job shall pray for you ] Which, as he could do very well, Ezekiel 14:14 , so he should now do, to show his hearty reconciliation; but should have little availed for them had not they repented, and believed, and prayed for themselves. For the just shall live by his faith; and it is a great vanity in some great Papists, who presume to live loosely and basely, because they have hired some hedge priest to say a certain number of prayers for them daily.
For him will I accept ] sc. Through the office and person of my Son, which herein he resembleth. The high priest’s office was, 1. To expiate the sins of the people. 2. To intercede and make request for them. Christ is the High Priest of the New Testament; in whom the Father is well pleased, and through whom he will deny nothing to his humble suppliants, for themselves or others.
Lest I deal with you after your folly ] Heb. Lest I work foolishness with you; that is (saith Beza), lest I so behave myself toward you as your foolishness doth deserve. Or, lest I so handle you, that you may think me no wiser than I should be since you have seemed so to roughly hew Job out of zeal to me. Thus to the froward God seemeth to deal frowardly, Psalms 18:27 . Tremellius rendereth it not folly, but heinous offence; others, disgrace, flagitium, ignominia.
In that ye have not spoken, &c. ] And if for hard words and ill language good men may suffer, what shall become of such as, both with virulent tongues and violent hands, set against such as fear God?
Job 42:9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite [and] Zophar the Naamathite went, and did according as the LORD commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job.
Ver. 9. So Eliphaz the Temanite, &c. ] Here was resipiscentia ex fide constans, saith Brentius, the repentance of faith, the obedience also of faith readily yielded. Had not these been good and godly men they would have stuck at the cost of so great a sacrifice, they would also have scorned to have sought to Job, whom they had so much slighted, and to beg his prayers, of whom they had so ill deserved. But they had not so learned Christ. God, they saw well, was greatly offended and Job highly accepted; glad therefore were they by any good means to ingratiate, each of them saying to God for himself, as he did once to Caesar,
Iussa sequi tam velle mihi quam posse necesse est (Lucan) (Lucan).
Omne trahit secum Numinis ira malum (Ovid).
The Lord also accepted Job ] Whether he testified his good acceptance by consuming his sacrifice with fire from heaven is uncertain. It is enough for us to know that he showed himself reconciled unto them, and well pleased with Job’s prayer for them, and their own prayers joined no doubt with his, and proceeding from faith in the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ. And hitherto God’s decisive sentence, whereby all the strife was graciously ended, and all parties happily and heartily reconciled. What became of Satan, a chief actor in this tragedy, we read not; Victus enim abiit. And as God would not once call him to account, when he had beguiled our first parents, Genesis 3:1-7 , because he meant him no mercy; so here he never mentioned him, as being judged already, and by Job bravely worsted and defeated. All that we find of him is, that his commisslon to vex Job any further was now taken away, for so it followeth,
Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Ver. 10. And the Lord turned again the captivity of Job ] He took him out of Satan’s clutches, who had hitherto held him prisoner, as it were, in the bands of poverty, sickness, sorrow, contempt, distress, &c. Whether all at once or by degrees God did all this for him, it skills not. Upon his prayers for his friends (which was no small evidence and effect of his piety and charity) it appears that God did all this that followeth for him. So true is that of Solomon, The reward of humility, and of the fear of the Lord is riches, and honour, and life, Proverbs 22:4 .
When he prayed for his friends ] According to that of the apostle Paul, Being defamed we pray. This is a high degree of Christian perfection, which but few attain unto, as Merlin here bewaileth it; O raram et singularem virtutem, &c. And another well observeth, That God gives and forgives, according as man forgives his neighbour.
Also the Lord gave Job twice as much, &c. ] Understand it both of goods and graces; which though he never parted with, yet by trial and experience he found them much increased. As for outward things, it is nothing unusual for men to recover and recruit as far as God seeth fit.
Multa dies variusque labor mutabilis aevi
Retulit in melius; multos alterna revisens
Lusit, et in solido rursus fortuna locavit
(Virg. Aen. l. 11).
The best way is to hang loose to these things below, not trusting in uncertain riches, but in the living God, 1 Timothy 6:17 , who will be our exceeding great reward, and give to his sufferers a hundred fold here, and eternal life hereafter, Matthew 19:29 . Optanda nimirum est iactura quae lucro maiore pensatur, saith Agricola. It is doubtless a lovely loss that is made up with so much gain. Well might St Paul say, Godliness is profitable to all things, as having the promise of both lives, 1 Timothy 4:8 . Well might St Peter call it the divine nature, 2 Peter 1:2 . For as God brings light out of darkness, comfort out of sorrow, riches out of poverty, &c., so doth godliness. Let a man, with Job, bear his losses patiently, and pray for his enemies that wrong and rob him, and he shall be sure to have his own again, and more, either in money or money’s worth; either in the same or a better thing: contented godliness shall be great gain to him, 1 Timothy 4:6 , besides heaven’s happiness, which shall make a plentiful amends for all, The Rabbis would persuade us that God miraculously brought back again to Job the selfsame cattle that the Sabeans and others had taken from him, and doubled them. Indeed, his children (say they), therefore, were not doubled unto him, because they perished by their own fault and folly, as one of his friends also told him. But of all this nothing certainly can be affirmed; and they do better who say, That his children being dead in God’s favour, perished not, but went to heaven; they were not lost, but laid up; so that before God Job had the number of his children doubled; for they are ours still whom we have sent to heaven before us; and Christ at his coming shall restore them unto us, 1 Thessalonians 4:14 . In confidence whereof faithful Abraham calleth his deceased Sarah his dead: "That I may bury my dead out of my sight," Genesis 23:4 ; and so she is called eight different times in that one chapter, as Paraeus hath observed.
Job 42:11 Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and every one an earring of gold.
Ver. 11. Then came there unto him all his brethren ] Then, when God had begun to restore him. As his adversity had scattered his friends, so his prosperity brought them together again. This is the world’s usage.
Dum fueris faelix multos numerabis amicos;
Tempera si fuerint nubila, solus eris.
Summer birds there are not a few; Samaritans who would own the Jews while they flourished but otherwise disavow them; as they did to Antiochus Epiphanes: rich Job had many friends, Proverbs 14:20 . Qui tamen persistebant amicitia sicut lepus iuxta tympanum, as the proverb is. All this good Job passeth by, and forgetting all unkindnesses, magnificently treateth them; as Isaac in like case had done Abimelech and his train, Genesis 26:30 .
And did eat bread with him in his house ] It is likely they came with their cost to make Job a feast of comfort, such as were usual in those days, Jer 16:7 Ezekiel 24:17 . But whether they did or not, they were welcome to Job; who now never upbraids them with their forsaking him in his distress (which yet was then a great grief to him), but friendly again embraceth them, and courteously entertaineth them. This is contrary to the practice of many fierce and implacable spirits in these days, whose wrath, like that of the Athenians, is αειμνηστος , long lasting; and although they themselves are mortal, yet their hearts are immortal.
And they bemoaned him ] They condoled with him, and shook their heads, as the word signifieth; not by way of deriding him, as once they had done, Job 16:1-22 , but of sorrow for their former deserting him, and assurance that they would henceforth better stick to him in what estate soever.
And comforted him over all the evil, &c. ] So they should have done long before. A friend is made for the day of adversity; but better late than never. Nunquam sane sero si serio. See here, saith Brentius, the change of affairs, and the right hand of the Most High, and learn the fear of God; for as he frowneth or favoureth any man, so will the world do.
Every man also gave him apiece of money ] Or, a lamb, to stock him again. Beza rendereth it, Some one of his cattle, and paraphraseth thus: Yea, every one of them gave him either a sheep, or an ox, or a camel, and also an earring of gold; partly as a pledge of their good will and friendship renewed toward him, and partly in consideration and recompense of that loss which he had before, by the will and previous appointment of God, sustained. Honoraria obtulerunt, saith Junius, they brought him these presents as pledges of their love and observance; for so were great men wont to be saluted with some gift, 1 Samuel 10:27 2 Chronicles 17:5 . And the same custom was among the Persians and Parthians, whose kings might not be met without some token of congratulation and symbol of honour (Sen. Epist. 17).
And every one an earring of gold ] Inaurem auream, an earring or pendant of gold, at the receipt whereof Job might well say, as the poet did (Theog.),
Sοι μεν τουτο φιλε σμικρον, εμοι δε μεγα .
To thee this is a small matter, but to me a great.
Job 42:12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
Ver. 12. So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job ] According to Bildad’s prophecy, Job 8:7 , and St James’s useful observation, James 5:11 , "Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." If he afflict any of his, it is in very faithfulness, that he may be true to their souls; it is also in great mercy, that he may do them good in the latter end, Deuteronomy 8:16 ; and this they themselves also shall both see and say by that time he hath brought both ends together, Psalms 119:71 . Be ye therefore patient, stablish your hearts, James 5:8 . Patient Job had all doubled to him. Joseph as a slave became his master’s master. Valentinian lost his tribuneship for Christ, but was afterwards made emperor. Queen Elizabeth from a prisoner became a great princess. But if God deny his suffering servants temporals, and give them in spirituals, they have no cause to complain; one way or other they shall be sure to have it. Great is the gain of godliness.
For he had fourteen thousand sheep, &c. ] Cattle only are instanced, because therein especially consisted the wealth of that country: Pecunia a pecude. Mηλα pecudes et postea opes significant (Melancth.). But other good things also doubtless were doubled unto him, as his family, possessions, grounds, houses, and especially wisdom, to make a good use of all; for commonly Stultitiam patiuntur opes: and what is more contemptible than a rich fool, a golden beast, as Caligula called his father-in-law, Syllanus.
Job 42:13 He had also seven sons and three daughters.
Ver. 13. He had also seven sons and three daughters ] Whose perfections sweetened the sorrow which the loss of the other had caused him.
- Sic uno avulso non deficit alter Aureus (Virg.).
Ten children he had in heaven, and ten on earth. See Trapp on " Job 42:10 " The Lord well knew that wealth would be nothing so comfortable to Job unless he had children to leave it to, Genesis 15:2 . His wife therefore, returning to her duty from which she had swerved, became fruitful at an age well advanced; for we read not of any other that he had.
Job 42:14 And he called the name of the first, Jemima; and the name of the second, Kezia; and the name of the third, Kerenhappuch.
Ver. 14. And he called the name of the first, Jemima ] That is, day bright, from her oriental and glistering beauty; q.d. fair as the day (Diurno). Song of Solomon 6:10 , the Church is said to look forth as the morning, fair as the moon.
And the name of the second, Kezia ] That is, Cassia; a kind of spice, whereof there are three sorts, saith Dioscorides, but all very sweet, and send forth a most pleasant smell, like that of the rose. This second daughter therefore seems to be so named from the sweetness of her breath, or perhaps of her whole body, proceeding from the goodness of her constitution, as it is reported of Alexander the Great. So sweet smelling Smyrna, the best of all the seven Churches of Asia, Revelation 2:8-11
And the name of the third, Keren-happuch ] That is, the horn of beauty (better than that which is borrowed) and of abundance; as whose cheeks Nature had painted with a most pleasing vermillion, far beyond any artificial tincture, which she had no need of, Utpote omnes aliarmn fucos et veneres superans. Some interpret it the horn of conversion; and think that Job herein would express and memorize the strange turn and alteration of his condition, as Joseph did, Genesis 41:51-52 . But the Chaldee paraphrase, the Jewish doctors, and most of our expositors, are for the former interpretation, favoured also by the words following:
Job 42:15 And in all the land were no women found [so] fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren.
Ver. 15. And in all the land there were no women found so fair, &c. ] Beauty, though but a bonum fragile, and one of the gifts of God’s left hand, Proverbs 3:16 , yet is it the flower of virtue, as Chrysippus called it; one of the greatest excellencies of nature, and singular degree of God’s image in man, as another (Plato). And although virtue is Proprio contenta theatro, yet to others
Gratior est pulchro veniens in corpore virtus.
That virtue hath a better grace
That shineth from a beauteous face.
Such probably were Job’s daughters, not fair and foolish, as those daughters of Jerusalem, Isaiah 3:16 , but adorned with all variety of moral virtues, as a clear sky is with stars, as a princely diadem with jewels. Hence their good father so affected them, that he
Gave them inheritance among their brethren ] Making them heiresses with them in his estate; which, as it was an extraordinary expression of his love to his daughters, so it importeth, as some think, a desire in him to have his daughters live still with him among the rest of his family; either for that he was loth to part with them (the like whereof is reported of Charles the Great, who, being asked why he did not bestow his daughters in marriage, answered, That he could not be at all without their company, Val. Max. Christian. p. 308), or else as fearing lest they should be defiled with idolaters, which, peradventure, out of Job’s family, were ordinary in that country.
Job 42:16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, [even] four generations.
Ver. 16. After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, &c. ] And this was not the least part of his happiness. Length of days is a piece of Wisdom’s wages, Proverbs 3:16 . Pliny tells of one Xenophilus, who lived 105 years without sickness (lib. vii. cap. 5). And what a mercy ευγηρια , or a good old age, is, hath been before noted. See Job 5:26 . For a short braid of adversity Job had a hundred and forty years’ health and prosperity; like as Joseph for his thirteen years of slavery and imprisonment, had fourscore years’ liberty, prosperity, and preferment. Who would not serve thee, O King of nations?
And saw his sons ] Who doubtless were good and towardly (though nothing is said of them) agreeable to their education, and answerable to Job’s former children, Job 1:2 .
And his sons’ sons] To his great joy’s increase.
Even four generations ] Joseph saw but three, Genesis 50:23 . If God deny this happiness to any of his, yet he hath promised them a name in his house better than of sons and nephews, Isaiah 56:5 .
Job 42:17 So Job died, [being] old and full of days.
Ver. 17. So Job died, being old and full of days ] How long he lived we know not. The Rabbis say, about two hundred years, which was longer than either Abraham or Isaac lived; of both whom it is likewise said, that they were saturi dierum, sated with this earthly life, and desirous of life eternal. To those old men that would yet live longer, we may say,
Cur non ut satur vitae conviva recedis? (Lucret.)
It is enough, Lord, said Elijah. I desire to be dissolved, said Paul. Go forth, my soul, go forth to God, said Hilarion. What make I here? said Monica. Job is now as willing to die as ever he was to dine; he is satisfied with days, saith the text, not as a meat loathed, but as a dish, though well liked, that he had fed his full of.
Laus Deo in Aeternum.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 42". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29