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". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany