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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Job 27

 

 

Verse 1

Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,

Job 27:1-23. It was now Zophar's turn to speak. But as he and the other two were silent, virtually admitting defeat, after a pause, Job proceeds.

Parable , [ maashaal (Hebrew #4912)] - applied in the East to a figurative sententious embodiment of wisdom in poetic form, a gnome (Psalms 49:4 ).

Continued - proceeded to put forth; literally, 'added to lift up:' implying elevation of discourse.


Verse 2

As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul;

As God liveth - (1 Samuel 20:3). As God liveth - (1 Samuel 20:3).

Taken away ... judgment - words unconsciously foreshadowing Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:8; Acts 8:33). God will not give Job his right by declaring his innocence.

Vexed - Hebrew, made bitter (Ruth 1:20).


Verse 3

All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;

Implying Job's knowledge of the fact that the living soul was breathed into man by God (Genesis 2:7).

All the while. But Maurer, 'as yet all my breath is in me (notwithstanding my trials)'-the reason why I can speak so boldly.


Verse 4

My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.

(Job 6:28; Job 6:30.) The "deceit" would be, if he were to admit guilt, against the witness of his conscience.


Verse 5

God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.

Justify you - approve of your views.

Mine integrity - which you deny, on account of my misfortunes.


Verse 6

My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.

Rather, 'my heart' (conscience) reproaches 'not one of my days' - i:e., I do not repent of any of my days since I came into existence [ miyaamaay (Hebrew #3117)] (Maurer).


Verse 7

Let mine enemy be as the wicked, and he that riseth up against me as the unrighteous.

Let ... be - let mine enemy be accounted as wicked; i:e., He who opposes my asseveration of innocence must be regarded as actuated by criminal hostility. Not a curse on his enemies.


Verse 8

For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?

'What hope hath the hypocrite, notwithstanding all his gains, when?' etc. "Gained" [batsaa`] is antithetic to "taketh away.'' Umbreit's a translation is an unmeaning tautology: 'When God cuts off, when He taketh away his life,'

Taketh away - literally, draws out the soul from the body, which is, as it were, its scabbard (Job 4:21; Psalms 104:29; Daniel 7:15, "body." margin, sheath; cf. 2 Peter 1:14). Job says he admits what Bildad said (Job 8:13), and Zophar (Job 20:5). But he says the very fact of his still calling upon God (Job 27:10), amidst all his trials, which a hypocrite would not dare to do, shows he is no "hypocrite."


Verse 9

Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him?

(Psalms 66:18, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.")


Verse 10

Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon God?

Alluding to Job 22:26.

Always call - he may do so in times of prosperity, in order to be thought religious. But he will not, as I do, call on God in calamities verging on death. Therefore I cannot be a "hypocrite" (Job 19:25; Job 20:5; Psalms 62:8).


Verses 11-23

I will teach you by the hand of God: that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal.

These words are contrary to Job's previous sentiments (notes, Job 21:22-33; Job 24:22-25). They therefore seem to be Job's statement, not so much of his own sentiments, as of what Zophar would have said, had he spoken when his turn came, (end of Job 26:1-14.) So Job stated the friends' opinion (Job 21:17-21; Job 24:18-21). The objection is, Why, if so, does not Job answer Zophar's opinion, as stated by himself? The fact is, it is probable that Job tacitly, by giving, in Job 28:1-28, only a general answer, implies that, in spite of the wicked often dying, as he said, in prosperity, he does not mean to deny that the wicked are in the main dealt with according to right, and that God herein vindicates His moral government even here. Job therefore states Zophar's argument more strongly than Zophar would have done. But by comparing Job 27:13 with Job 20:29 ("portion," "heritage"), it will be seen it is Zophar's argument, rather than his own, that Job states. Granting it to be true, implies Job, you ought not to use it as an argument to criminate me. For (Job 28:1-28), the ways of divine wisdom in afflicting the godly are inscrutable; all that is sure to man is, the fear of the Lord is wisdom (Job 27:28 ).

By the hand - rather, concerning the hand of God-namely, what God does in governing men.

With Almighty - the counsel or principle which regulates God's dealings.

Verse 12. 'Ye yourselves see' that the wicked often are afflicted (though often the reverse, Job 21:33). But why (not "why, then," as the English version) do you 'vainly' make this an argument to prove from my afflictions that I am wicked!

Verse 13. (Note Job 27:11.)

Verse 14. His family only increases to perish by sword or famine (Jeremiah 18:21; contrast Job 5:20, the converse).

Verse 15. Those that escape war and famine (Job 27:14) 'shall be buried the deadly plague' - "death" (Job 18:13; Jeremiah 15:2; Revelation 6:8). The plague of the Middle Ages was called 'the black death.' Buried by it implies that they would have none else but the death-plague itself (poetically personified) to perform their funeral rites - i:e., would have none.

His - rather, their widows (Psalms 78:64). Transitions from singular to plural are frequent. Polygamy is not implied.

Verse 16. Dust ... clay - images of multitudes (Zechariah 9:3). Many changes of raiment are a chief constituent of wealth in the East.

Verse 17. Introverted parallelism. See my Introduction. Of the four clauses in the two verses, 1 answers to 4; 2 corresponds to 3 (so Matthew 7:6).

Verse 18. (Job 8:14; Job 4:19.) The transition is natural from "raiment" (Job 27:16), to "the house" of the "moth" in it, and of it, when in its larva state. The moth-worm's house is broken whenever the "raiment" is shaken out, so frail is it.

Booth - a bough-formed hut which the guard of a vineyard raises for temporary shelter (Isaiah 1:8).

Verse 19. Gathered , [ yee'aaceep (Hebrew #622)] - buried honourably (Genesis 25:8; 2 Kings 22:20). But Umbreit, agreeably to Job 27:18, which describes the short continuance of the sinner's prosperity, 'He layeth himself rich in his bed, and nothing is robbed from him; he openeth his eyes, and nothing more is there.' If the English version be retained, the first clause probably means, Rich though he be in dying, he shall not be honoured with a funeral; the second, When he opens his eyes in the unseen world, it is only to see his destruction. The Septuagint read, for "not gathered," He does not proceed [yowqiyp] - i:e., goes to his bed no more. So Maurer.

Verse 20. (Job 18:11; Job 22:11; Job 22:21.) Like a rapid violent flood (Isaiah 8:7-8; Jeremiah 47:2): conversely (Psalms 32:6 ).

Verse 21. (Job 21:18; Job 15:2; Psalms 58:9.)

Verse 22. Cast - namely, thunderbolts (Job 6:4; Job 7:20; Job 16:13; Psalms 7:12-13).

Verse 23. Clap hands - for joy at his downfall (Lamentations 2:15; Nahum 3:19).

Hiss - deride (Jeremiah 25:9 ). Job alludes to Bildad's words (Job 18:18).

Remarks:

(1) There is no sight so sublime as that of an afflicted, tempted, and dying child of God still maintaining his integrity to the last (Job 27:5). We cannot command at will health and prosperity, but we can make it the one aim of life, even unto the end, to "live, in all good conscience before God" (Acts 23:1); "to hold fast to righteousness, and not to let it go;" and to give no place to the stings of self-reproach so long as we live (Job 27:6).

(2) Let us not, however, make the mistake of making good conscience and our own integrity the means and ground of salvation. Though Job's sacrifices (Job 1:5) show that he knew the truth, that "without shedding of blood there is no remission," yet, for a time, he undoubtedly rested too much on his own righteousness. No righteousness will avail us for justification, but the perfect righteousness of Him "who of God is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption" (1 Corinthians 1:30).

(3) Perseverance in prayer at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances (Job 27:10), is the touchstone which tests who is the hypocrite and formalist-who the true servant and child of God. The instinct of fleeing for refuge to God in all troubles, as the child when alarmed turns to the mother, cannot be simulated, and must be real.

(4) Though many cases occur of prosperity apparently attending the ungodly throughout life, reminding us that we have to wait for the coming judgment and rectification of all things, yet, in the main, even in this disordered world, God vindicates His righteousness by causing just retribution to overtake transgressors and their seed. How often the wealth which the ungodly have accumulated by wrong has been transferred (Job 27:16-17) to the just: and the inspired saying has been fulfilled, that it is only "the blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it" (Proverbs 10:22).

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 27:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-27.html. 1871-8.

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Friday, January 24th, 2020
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