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Job 25-27. offer a difficult critical problem. “ The phenomena which excite attention are these: ( a) Bildad’ s speech is unusually short; ( b) Job’ s reply contains a section ( Job 26:5-14) very like Bildad’ s speech; ( c) Zophar fails to speak; ( d) ch. 27 has a title prefixed, which has no real parallel elsewhere in the middle of a speech belonging to the original poem (ch. 29 forming no real exception); ( e) the greater part of ch. 27 so completely contradicts Job’ s views as elsewhere expressed, that it seems very hard to believe that it can have formed part of this speech” (Peake).
Here what is a very usual rearrangement will be adopted. We shall take Job 25 and Job 26:5-14 as Bildad’ s speech, Job 26:1-4 and Job 27:2-6 as Job’ s reply, and Job 27:7-23 as the missing third speech of Zophar. This seems the simplest arrangement, though it is open to objections. For this and alternative views, see Peake’ s Commentary.
Job 27:2-6 . Continuation of Job’ s reply to Bildad. Job 27:1 must be removed as a gloss. Job swears by God that he (in full possession of his powers, Job 27:3) tells the truth ( Job 27:4). God forbid that he should justify the friends ( Job 27:5), i.e. declare them in the right; on the contrary he will maintain his innocence ( Job 27:6). In Job 27:6 b follow mg.
Job 27:7-23 . Third Speech of Zophar.— He once more reiterates, in spite of all Job has said, that the wicked shall perish. He bursts out “ Let mine enemy be as God’ s enemy. I can wish him no worse doom. In Job 27:8 translate as mg.
Job 27:11 is quite in the vein of Zophar, who feels very much in the secrets of God ( Job 11:5-6). The plurals “ you” and “ ye” have probably been substituted for singulars when Zophar’ s speech had become attributed to Job. (Peake, however, gives Job 27:11 and Job 27:12 to Job, taking them as the opening and closing verses of a suppressed description of the immorality of God’ s government of the world.) From Job 27:13 onward we have the conventional description of the fate of the wicked.
In Job 27:15 read “ their widows” with LXX. In Job 27:18 read for “ moth” with Syr. “ spider” ( Job 8:14). For the frail “ booth” made for the use of the night-watchman in a vineyard, cf. Is. Is.
Job 27:19 is obscure.— In Job 27:19 a follow LXX and Syr. with mg.
Job 27:19 b perhaps means he wakes and is immediately destroyed.
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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Job 27". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent