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Bible Commentaries
Job 27

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Job Chapter 27

Job 27:1 "Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,"

Job 27:2 "[As] God liveth, [who] hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, [who] hath vexed my soul;" The parable, in the verse above, was speaking of a deliberate statement by Job of the things he had observed. We see, in verse 2 above, a recognition of God as the One who exists. "As God liveth" was a statement that many of the men of God had used. It was an expression of the truthfulness of what they were about to say. Job had questioned his own judgement. The Almighty was the One that Job believed had brought these calamities upon him. He had no bitterness toward God, but against his own self. He had stated previously that though God slay him, he would still trust Him. He called Him his Redeemer. Job did not understand what was happening to him, but he trusted that God had it under control.

Job 27:3 "All the while my breath [is] in me, and the spirit of God [is] in my nostrils;"

Job 27:4 "My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit." "While breath was in him", meant that he was alive. God breathed the breath of life in man, and he became a living soul. The breath that is within us is our life. He was saying, that as long as he lived, he would not speak wickedness. Job was saying that his tongue would speak truth.

Job 27:5 "God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me." Job did not want to find out that his friends had been right about him. He did not know how he could have sinned. The sin was more of a secret to Job, than it was to the others around him. The reason it was so secret, was because it did not exist.

Job 27:6 "My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach [me] so long as I live." Job would not cease to believe, and said that he was innocent of the charges his friends had brought against him. He knew that his righteousness was in God. Job said he did not have a guilty conscience.

Job 27:7 "Let mine enemy be as the wicked, and he that riseth up against me as the unrighteous." Now, Job was asking God to punish those who were against him. Job’s friends were in this group. They would not accept Job’s explanation that he had not sinned. In a sense, they were the worst enemies that he had. They had come to comfort him, they said. They cut him to pieces with accusations of wrong doing, which were not true.

Job 27:8 "For what [is] the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?" The hypocrite may pretend to be something he is not in this life. He may even get people to believe him, He has nothing to look forward to, 120 because God will judge him for what he really is. That is what happens to those we read of in the book of Matthew who proclaim to be Christians and Jesus tells them to get away that He never knew them.

Job 27:9 "Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him?" God will not hear the hypocrite in his time of trouble. He cannot depend on God, as God could not depend on him.

Job 27:10 "Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon God?" This was still speaking of the hypocrite. God will not be in fellowship with the hypocrite. The hypocrite is not in fellowship with God either. A hypocrite sometimes goes to church, pretending to be a believer, but is really there for another reason. They do not call on God in prayer, because they do not really believe in prayer.

Job 27:11 "I will teach you by the hand of God: [that] which [is] with the Almighty will I not conceal." Beginning with this verse, we see a different Job than in the earlier Scriptures. This was really the way that Job felt about the LORD all along. The earlier statements that he made, were because he was suffering so greatly, and he had no encouragement from anyone. He had been looking with disappointment. The following statements he made were his true feelings, however. Job was saying that he would teach them of the LORD and His true ways.

Job 27:12 "Behold, all ye yourselves have seen [it]; why then are ye thus altogether vain?" Job could not understand why anyone would not know the hand of God was in everything and everyone.

Job 27:13 "This [is] the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, [which] they shall receive of the Almighty."

Job 27:14 "If his children be multiplied, [it is] for the sword: and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread." Job was about to tell the true way of the oppressor. He had said earlier, that it appeared they prospered in this earth. That might have even been true, but their prosperity was short lived. It may appear that they were blessed with many children and with wealth, but all of that disappeared. Those who do not know God can never find peace in this life. They go through life unsatisfied. The thing they are seeking is God, and they are not aware of it.

Job 27:15 "Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows shall not weep." An evil man is evil at home as well as in public. His widow will not miss him, or weep for him, because she will be free of his oppression.

Job 27:16 "Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay;"

Job 27:17 "He may prepare [it], but the just shall put [it] on, and the innocent shall divide the silver." Silver, or any other wealth, that is acquired through deceit does not last very long. He might be very rich in things of this world, but he would die and leave it all. Job was saying, the just shall wind up with the riches of the evil man.

Job 27:18 "He buildeth his house as a moth, and as a booth [that] the keeper maketh." A moth destroys. It is fragile itself and lasts but for a moment in time. The booth, spoken of here, was a temporary shelter that was erected at harvest time. It would be torn down after harvest. This was saying, the house of the evil man, was temporary.

Job 27:19 "The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he openeth his eyes, and he [is] not." This could be a crop that the rich man had that he was too lazy to harvest. It might even mean, that while he slept, his crop died from locusts, or such. He had lain down a rich man, and when he got up all of his wealth was gone for some reason.

Job 27:20 "Terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest stealeth him away in the night." Many times the man that is wealthy cannot sleep at night for fear someone will come and take his money. He fears robbers and a thousand other things that could cause him to lose his wealth. He will, probably, die from a heart attack worrying about his money.

Job 27:21 "The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place." This could be a real storm coming out of the east that God sent to destroy him, or it could be speaking of a storm of problems that overwhelms him.

Job 27:22 "For [God] shall cast upon him, and not spare: he would fain flee out of his hand." This evil man might find safety from other men, but this was speaking of a judgement of God that came and did not spare him.

Job 27:23 "[Men] shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place." When the really bad troubles came on the evil man, those he had treated poorly would rejoice at his misfortune. "They would clap their hands in joy, that God had punished him for his evil."

Job 27 Questions

1. The parable, in Job 27:1, was speaking of what?

2. God is recognized as the One who _________ in Job 27:2.

3. What was "As God liveth" an expression of?

4. Job had said "Though God slay me, yet will I ________ him".

5. What did "While breath is in him" mean?

6. As long as he lived he would not speak _____________.

7. What was Job saying in verse 5?

8. Why was Job’s sin a secret to himself?

9. Job did not have a guilty ____________.

10. What was Job asking for in Job 27:7?

11. Why were Job’s friends his worst enemies?

12. What is a hypocrite?

13. God will judge him for what he really ______.

14. God will not be in ___________ with the hypocrite

15. Why does the hypocrite not call on God in prayer?

16. Beginning in verse 11, what was different?

17. If the wicked man’s family be multiplied, it is for what?

18. What is strange about the death of the evil man?

19. What happened to the silver of the evil man?

20. What was his house compared to in Job 27:18?

21. What happened to him in the night?

22. When he dieds what would men do?

Verses 1-7

Job 27:1-7

Job 27

JOB’S FINAL STATEMENT (Job 27-31):

JOB AGAIN SPEAKS OF HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS

Job 27:1-7

"And Job again took up his parable, and said,

As God liveth who hath taken away my right,

And the Almighty who hath vexed my soul

(For my life is yet whole in me,

And the Spirit of God is in my nostrils);

Surely my lips shall not speak unrighteousness,

Neither shall my tongue utter deceit.

Far be it from me that I should justify you:

Till I die, I will not put away mine integrity from me.

My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go:

My heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.

Let mine enemy be as the wicked,

And let him that riseth up against me be as the unrighteous."

The next five chapters, beginning here, are Job’s summary and restatement of all that he has been saying, As Dr. Hesser noted, "Bildad had just finished (Job 25); it was Zophar’s time to speak. Job waited a moment for him to begin; but when it became clear that all of his friends had been silenced, Job `took up his parable,’ that is, `his weighty discourse.’"

"As God liveth who hath taken away my right, ... who hath vexed my soul" (Job 27:2). Such words as these must be understood, not as any peevish criticism of God, but as the acknowledgment that, in the ancient sense, God does all that he allows. Men are not blaming God, when speaking of some terrible calamity, they say, "The Lord has given, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." Job’s oath that he is speaking the truth is found in the words, "as God liveth"; and his thus swearing by the living God is an eloquent testimony that Job does not attach any moral blame to God for what has happened to him, however impossible he finds it to understand. Heavenor called this, "The most extraordinary form of oath in the Scriptures." He is swearing by the very God who has permitted all of his misfortunes. We cannot agree with Hesser that, "Job was making a mistake" in these words.

"The Spirit of God is in my nostrils" (Job 27:3). This is a declaration that Job is speaking by the Spirit of God; and this whole paragraph is an emphatic affirmation by Job of his integrity, of his keeping it till death, and that what he says is the truth. Blair agreed with this. "It suggests that he spoke with the authority of God."

Andersen’s summary of this opening paragraph is that, "Job had already said that his friends’ allegations were nothing but falsehoods (Job 21:34), and he had challenged them to prove him a liar (Job 24:25). Both of these thoughts come together here in this paragraph."

"All of the challenges of his friends have only served to crystallize and clarify Job’s thoughts; and what he now says exhibits calm assurance and absolute certainty."

E.M. Zerr:

Job 27:1. Parable is from MASHAL and Strong uses "discourse" as one meaning.

Job 27:2. Judgment means a verdict or decision. Job was not the one who decided on this condition of his. It had been made by the Lord without even notifying him.

Job 27:3-4. Although he did not know why God had suffered him to be smitten, Job had determined not to say the wrong thing about it.

Job 27:5-6. Let us remember that Job believed God to have been the one who suffered all the afflictions to come on him. However, he held out to the last that the friends were wrong in their explanation of ft.

Job 27:7. This was a mild wish that proper punishment would come upon all men who were so wicked as to be the enemies of Job.

Verses 8-12

Job 27:8-12

Job 27:8-12

WHAT IS THE HOPE OF THE GODLESS?

"For what is the hope of the godless though he get him gain,

When God taketh away his soul?

Will God hear his cry

When trouble cometh upon him?

Will he delight himself in the Almighty,

And call upon God at all times?

I will teach you concerning the hand of God;

That which is with the Almighty I will not conceal.

Behold, all ye yourselves have seen it;

Why then are ye become altogether vain."

"Will he delight himself in the Almighty, and call upon God at all times" (Job 27:10)? Job here points out the fundamental difference between himself and the wicked, that difference being simply that Job delights in the Almighty and calls upon God at all times. Such things the wicked do not. "Job’s friends should have recognized that in Job’s persistent crying to God there was the proof that their identification of Job with the godless was false."

"I will teach you concerning the hand of God" (Job 27:11) Job here proposes to teach his friends some basic truths concerning God. Why do they need teaching? "They have become altogether vain" (Job 27:12). They have wickedly judged Job; and throughout this whole section Job emphasizes the fate of the wicked, because by their evil words against Job they have themselves joined the forces of wickedness. Thus his friends need the warning.

Of course, this chapter is disputed, some claiming that it is actually a mislabeled speech of Zophar, not pertaining to Job at all. Franks called Job 27:7-23 of this chapter, "The missing third speech of Zophar"; and Watson also accepted the authorship of Zophar for this passage as, "By far the best explanation of an otherwise incomprehensible passage." Anderson noted that this device of making the passage the speech of Zophar, "Has enjoyed considerable prestige among scholars for two centuries."

Nevertheless, this writer rejects this explanation as being unproved and unprovable. Furthermore, there is not anything that Job said in this chapter that is inconsistent either with the truth or with what Job had previously said. The critical scholars have simply misunderstood what Job is saying here, and throughout the Book of Job.

"Job’s prediction here of the judgment of God upon the godless is not a belated conversion to his friends’ point of view .... Nowhere has Job denied the justice of God; and it is not inconsistent for him to affirm it here." In fact, throughout Job’s speeches, the one thing that has separated Job from his friends is their neat little system of making Job a gross sinner because of his sufferings. The two great errors in their allegations were (1) that God punishes all wickedness in this life, and does so immediately after the sins are committed, and (2) that any sufferer, from what ever disease or calamity, is suffering the just reward of his sins. Job never denied either that righteousness tends toward happiness or that wickedness tends in the other direction.

Dr. Hesser stressed these same facts as follows: "Job believed that the wicked will pay for their sins, that sins lead to misery; but what he did not believe was that neat little formula in which exactly the right amount of suffering is immediately dealt out to all sinners. There is therefore no good reason for assigning this passage to Zophar instead of to Job." Jamieson was in full agreement with this.

Matthew Henry also noted another reason why Job in this passage spoke so dramatically about God’s judgment of the wicked. "It was fittingly brought in here as a reason why Job would not deny his integrity." We have already noted that it was likewise a fitting warning to his friends who had so wickedly accused him.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 27:8. Job could not afford to maintain his present attitude if it were knowingly wrong. Such would be hypocrisy and that kind of character will lose his soul.

Job 27:9-10. It would do no good for the hypocrite to cry unto God in time of trouble. This would be a sufficient reason for Job to behave himself sincerely now.

Job 27:11. Job believed he was by (in) the hand of God. That would put him in possession of knowledge about God’s ways so that he could impart it to others.

Job 27:12. The three friends had seen many indications of Job’s faithfulness to God. For this reason they were inexcusable in talking against the unfortunate man.

Verses 13-23

Job 27:13-23

Job 27:13-23

HERE JOB SPOKE OF THE ULTIMATE FATE OF THE WICKED

"This is the portion of a wicked man with God,

And the heritage of oppressors, which they received from the Almighty:

If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword;

And his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread.

Those that remain of him shall be buried in death,

And his widows shall make no lamentation.

Though he heap up silver as the dust,

And prepare raiment as the clay;

He may prepare it, but the just shall put it on,

And the innocent shall divide the silver.

He buildeth his house as the moth,

And as a booth that the keeper maketh.

He lieth down rich, but he shall not be gathered to his fathers;

He openeth his eyes, and he is not.

Terrors overtake him like waters;

A tempest stealeth him away in the night.

The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth;

And it sweepeth him out of his place.

For God shall hurl at him, and not spare:

He would fain flee out of his hand.

Men shall clap their hands at him,

And shall hiss him out of his place."

A good heading for this whole paragraph would be the clause in Job 27:8, "When God taketh away his soul." Every word that Job said about the wicked in this paragraph is true; the one missing note that prevents any supposition that Zophar is the speaker is any insinuation that all of these judgments fall upon the wicked immediately upon the commission of their wicked deeds. We are warned in the word that stands at the head of the passage that such things befall the wicked when God taketh away their soul (Job 27:8). It is the ultimate fate of the wicked that is spoken of here.

For young students, especially, who may be disturbed by critical shenanigans in their rearrangements and re-labeling of portions of Job, we include here the words of Kelly, who spoke of the problems centered in this part of Job, affirming that, "We are left with a difficulty which is insoluble on the basis of the information which we now have. But it must be affirmed that this difficulty in no way detracts either from an understanding of the Book of Job, or from a full appreciation of it."

"I will teach you concerning the hand of God" (Job 27:11). "The second person pronoun (you) here is plural; and it is a feeble expedient of critics to change this to a singular in order to make it something that Zophar said to Job." It is clearly addressed by Job to all of his friends.

"Job in these verses agrees with his opponents that the prosperity of the wicked is not the dominant trend in the world; but there is no denial here that the wicked may indeed prosper for a season."

The greatest error of Job’s friends was their belief that sufferings, hardships, and disasters falling upon any person constituted proof of that person’s wickedness. Any error of such colossal dimensions would condemn Jesus Christ himself. Look what happened to him! The sad fact is that, even today, the same gross error is found in the thinking of many people. Throughout Job, it must be remembered that it is this particular error, rather than any other, that Job so bitterly opposed.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 27:13. This refers to statements yet to be made concerning the lot of wicked men who are successful for a time.

Job 27:14. The wicked man may be blessed with many children, but they will be liable to die by the sword. Another thing that often comes to the children of wicked men is hunger, in spite of the previous prosperity of their fathers.

Job 27:15. Widows shall not weep. That is, some unexpected and sudden calamity will cause the death of the men and the widows will not be on hand at the time to weep personally or in direct connection with the calamity.

Job 27:16-17. We wish to avoid confusion as to the fate of the wicked. Job had claimed only that such characters often were prosperous and happy; he never did claim they would always be so. Therefore, they are liable for the lot here described.

Job 27:18. The house of a wicked man will be as uncertain of continuance as the life of a moth, and as temporary as a booth made for some brief use.

Job 27:19. He is not means the rich man will open his eyes soon to find that he is not a rich man any more.

Job 27:20. Waters used figuratively means floods of trouble. The wicked rich man is destined to be overthrown by the terrors of disappointment.

Job 27:21. The east wind is connected with a storm.. Smith’s Bible Dictionary says this about the east wind: "The east wind crosses the sandy wastes of Arabia Deserta before reaching Palestine, and was hence termed ’the wind of the wilderness.’ Job 1:19; Jeremiah 13:24. It blows with violence, and is hence supposed to be used generally for any violent wind. Job 27:21; Job 38; Job 24; Psalms 48:7; Isaiah 27:8; Ezekie 27:26." But if something can be destroyed by even such a wind it is very uncertain.

Job 27:22-23. When the wicked rich man comes to his deserved lot he will be spurned by good men who fear God.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Job 27". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/job-27.html.
 
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