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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
Job 7

 

 


Verse 1

Fourth long strophe — JOB BEWAILS THE VANITY OF LIFE, Job 7:1-11.

a. Eliphaz had drawn a glowing picture of justice and mercy as blended together in the divine ordering of human life. On the contrary, Job shows life to be a mingled scene of vanity and misery, Job 6:1-6. “Job’s inflamed eye throws up against the sky, in gigantic outline, an omnipotent slave driver, who fills the earth with miserable wretches overworked by day and shaken by feverish weariness and dreams of torture by night.” — Davidson.

1. An appointed time צבא, (Job 14:14; Isaiah 40:2,) a warfare. The word is properly used of military service, and is rendered by the Septuagint πειρατηριον, “a state of trial.” Life means service — the hard service of a soldier. “Life,” says Zoroaster, “is the post of man. It is forbidden to quit a post without the permission of the commander.” (Maxims.) “The fact that Job, in Job 7:1, brings his suffering into connexion with the misery of the whole race, indicates progress in relation to chapter iii, where, predominantly at least, he limited himself to the representation of his individual condition. By this advance, the question concerning God’s righteousness and love receives a much more forcible significance. The question is no longer about a solitary exception, which may have a secret personal reason for its existence. Job now stands forth as representative of the whole of suffering, oppressed humanity, arraigning God because of his injustice.” — Hengstenberg.


Verse 2

2. Earnestly desireth the shadow — Rather, longs for, שׁא, a word that in several oriental languages expresses strongest desire. See chap. Job 5:5. Kitto is rather disposed to think that the shadow means protection against the fierce rays of the sun to which the servant ( עבד, slave) is exposed. Dr. A. Clarke more properly interprets it of the night, and cites Virgil: “The morning had removed the humid shadow from the world.” Servius observes, “It makes no difference whether he says shadow or night, for night is the shadow of the earth.” The most ancient artificial mode of marking the progress of the day was by the shadow caused by the sun, which, falling from a pillar upon some graduated surface, by its length served to denote the hour of the day. (2 Kings 20:11.) The people of the East to the present day measure time by the length of their own shadow. “A person wishing to leave his toil says, How long my shadow is coming.” — Roberts.

His work — Wages. The word in the original פעל means both work and wages. As the two are closely identified in the Hebrew, so they seem to be in the thought before us. The hireling hopes for — “expects” — his wages; and shall man, the hireling of God, be of less consequence than the hireling of man? Shall he be “made to inherit” months of wretchedness and nights of trouble, and receive no compensation? Is there not here a reference to another life, where Job, too, should receive recompense? If not, the sense is incomplete — this second clause is superfluous; the first would have sufficed to introduce the comparison of Job 7:3.


Verse 3

3. Months of vanity — The misery, שׁוא, (not “vanity.”) that he is made to inherit month after month, is the pivot of the comparison. As a slave suffers and desires rest, so does Job. The suffering of the former is for a day, followed by its inseparable sweet night of repose; but Job’s misery is for months, with the ever-recurring nights, not of repose, but of distress. Job frequently refers to the night as the season when his sufferings culminated. This leads to the poetical culmination in “nights” rather than in “months.” The Arabs count their time by nights rather than by days. Job’s sufferings had evidently been long protracted before the friends came upon the scene.

Are appointed They appoint, or number out. The agent, as in many other similar cases, Job leaves unmentioned. Compare Job 4:18-19 : “they crush:” Job 18:18. “They shall drive him from light to darkness.” Also Job 19:26; Job 34:20. Dr. Tayler Lewis argues, in loc., that the real or supposed agent is some fearful or repulsive being, whom Job on this account dreads to mention. The grammarians, on the other hand, lay down that such forms of the verb may be used indefinitely. See Nordheimer, ii, p. 46.


Verse 4

4. When I lie down — “This is a fine touch. The longing for morn does not come, as to the Prometheus of AEschylus, after a night of suffering, but anticipates it. Job’s one thought, as he lies down hopeless of rest or respite, is, when will the light return, bringing with it, at least, more of consciousness and power to endure the agony.” — Canon Cook.

The night be gone מדד, is rendered by some, is long. Thus Dillmann, Hitzig, and Renan, “When shall I arise? and the night is prolonged.” Many others make middadh the construct state of a verbal noun, and read, “and the flight of the evening be” — evening being equivalent to night of the preceding verse. The accents favour this reading, which is substantially that of the Authorized Version. The use of the word evening heightens the beauty of the thought. If the evening twilight be so hard to bear in anticipation, what must the whole night be?


Verse 5

5. Worms — In the decaying sores, worms were engendered. “In cases of elephantiasis the body is covered with boils, in some of which maggots are bred, while others are covered over with a crust of dried corruption which often breaks out again.” — Justin.

Clod of dust Crusts of earth. Earth-coloured crust, or scabs of hardened sores, cover up the wholebody like a garment. (Dillmann.)

Is broken My skin heals and breaks open again. (Dillmann, Hitzig.) The meaning of רגע accords, according to Furst, with our Authorized Version, but Gesenius and others render it as above, heals; literally, “closes together.” In this disease the skin comes together and heals, and then breaks forth again and runs with pus. The incidental remarks of Job here and there in his speeches quite satisfactorily determine his disease to be the elephantiasis.


Verse 6

6. A weaver’s shuttle — The art of weaving reaches back to the dawn of civilization. It was carried to a high state of proficiency among the Egyptians, as is seen in the specimens of mummy clothing which still remain, and which are pronounced to be not inferior to the finest cambrics of modern times. (Wilkinson.) Hezekiah likened the cutting off of his life to a weaver’s cutting off of his thread. Thus in Arabsha’s life of Taimur we read: “Verily the thread of life is joined to that which cuts it: and the texture of existence is knitted together with death.” An acute writer has said, “Perhaps no angelic mind has quickness of thought enough to fix on a moment as present.”


Verse 7

b. Job turns supplicatingly to God that he may remember him, the incumbent of so miserable an estate, lest the opportunity to help should soon and forever evanish, Job 7:7-11.

7. No more see good — Literally, not return to see good; that is, in this world. “To see” is used in the sense of enjoy.


Verse 8

8. And I am not — Compare Revelation 20:11. When God maketh requisition for man, he at once ceases to be. God looks upon him and he is not.

A drop that trembles on the lotus leaf;

Such is this life, so soon dispelled, so brief.

Buddhistic Hymn, by Sankara.


Verse 9

9. The grave שׁאול, sheol. See Excursus III, at close of chapter.


Verse 10

10. No more to his house — According to the “Book of the Dead,” the Egyptians believed that the man who had successfully undergone the ordeal in Hades could return whenever he pleased to the house he had formerly occupied.

Know him — Among the people of the East, inanimate objects are often spoken of as if they knew their owners. A man who has sold his field says, “that will not know me any more.” — ROBERTS’ Scripture Illustrations.


Verse 11

11. Therefore I גם אני: also I. Compare Psalms 52:5, “also God.” I will have my turn now. The abrupt expression quivers with a sense of wrong — a feeling that God’s treatment of the speaker is founded in unreason. Job’s utter suspense of faith could not be more painfully declared than by this voluntary breaking down of all barriers. The pent-up emotions of despair are now free to roll forth as a flood.


Verse 12

12. Am I a sea — God sets bounds to the sea, and may thus be said to watch over it. The sea was fancied by the Hebrew poet to be in a state of rebellion, and as calling for divine restraint Jeremiah 31:35, etc. Job is not conscious of a similar revolt against the Divine Majesty, and hence he remonstrates against being treated like some wild “monster,” — a term that Virgil applies to the ocean. — AEneid, 5:849. Some suppose Job refers to the river Nile, which Isaiah (Isaiah 19:5) calls a sea; while Homer calls it ωκωανος, the ocean. The monster, then, would be the crocodile, against which men set guards. The monster (“whale”) Job speaks of bears a name ( תנין, Tannin) similar to that in the Egyptian ritual tanem, which designated a horrible serpent, the enemy of light and life. Bunsen gives the snake as one of the hieroglyphic signs for the letter “T.” — Egypt’s Place, etc., 1:568. Tiamat appears in the Assyrian documents as the name of the dragon mistress at Chaos, answering to Thalatth in the fragments of Berosus. — SMITH’S Chaldean Account, etc., pages 14, 99. Notwithstanding, it is more natural to suppose that Job refers to the sea, with its sublime restlessness, ever chafing against its shores. Such a figure would naturally suggest itself to one “full of tossings to and fro.” Job 7:4.

Whale Tannin. Sea monster. Species not defined. See above.

Watch — A bold conception. The pains and sorrows with which God visits man are heaven’s watch over him.


Verses 12-21

Fifth long strophe — AN ARRAIGNMENT OF GOD, Job 7:12-21.

The preceding thoughts upon the vanity of life, and its irretrievable destruction by death, forever sundering man from home and its endearments, arouse Job to violent expostulations and reproaches against God. As God deals so hard with man, and with himself in particular, he declares he will no longer restrain his mouth.

Strophe a. “The first conceivable cause of Job’s troubles — he might be a menace to heaven.” — Davidson and Hitzig. God treats him as if he were a monstrous adversary; whereas, he is at best an insignificant being, whose days are a breath. He asks not for life, but relief, Job 7:12-16.

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Verse 13

13. My bed — The bed ( ערשׂ) was a canopied couch; in Amos 3:12; Amos 6:4, the synonym of luxury, while the couch, משׁכב, was the ordinary term for bed.


Verse 14

14. Dreams — According to Avicenna, those afflicted with elephantiasis suffer from frequent melancholy dreams.


Verse 15

15. Strangling — Difficulty of swallowing is one of the symptoms of elephantiasis, (Bridel,) and suffocation is its usual end. (Delitzsch.) It often becomes necessary to open the jugular vein to relieve the hoarseness and the tendency to suffocation. (Avicenna.)

Life — Literally, my bones. So emaciated was he that he calls his body but mere bones. Schlottmann and Umbreit render מן“than,” from, and read from my bones, and attribute to Job the thought of suicide. But there is no authority for using “bones” in the sense of hands. Umbreit’s admission “that the sufferer is represented as strangling himself in agonizing dreams,” is fatal to his theory. “There is fearful irony,” says Davidson, “in the comparison of this skeleton, impotent and helpless, his very weakness a terror to himself and his on-lookers, to the great heaven-assaulting ocean, lifting itself up in the consciousness of infinite power, or to some dragon of the prime, in which the whole energy of creation in its youth lay compressed.”


Verse 16

16. I loathe it מאסתי. Some (Conant and Renan) would render it “waste away,” “dissolve,” 2 Corinthians 5:1 : its more ordinary meaning, to “loathe,” despise, is better here. Thus Delitzsch, etc.

I would not live alway — Sir Thomas Browne felicitated himself that “though it be in the power of the weakest arm to take away life, it is not in the strongest to deprive us of death.” — Works, 2:389. Plotinus, the Neo-Platonist, thanked God that his soul was not tied to an immortal body. Compare the hymn of Muhlenberg on this text with the pessimism of Schopenhauer. — See LIDDON, Elements of Religion, p. 132.

Let me alone Cease from me. As if he would say, Man’s life depends upon the presence, or the conscious putting forth, of power upon the part of God. If he withdraw that presence, or cease that activity, man perishes. There is no other way to account for life; that mysterious power which upholds the upright elaborated matter, a human body. How closely does the expression “cease from me” bring the living man into relationship to God. Comp. Psalms 104:29-30.

Vanity הבל, a breath; the name Abel bore.


Verse 17

17. Man… magnify him — Hirtzel is hardly justified in thinking that this verse is spoken in bitter irony. “Why shouldest thou break a fly upon a wheel?” — Wordsworth. The Psalmist subsequently enlarges upon the thought of the text, Psalms 8:3-5. His sublime conception, What is man that God should honour him and visit him ( פקד, as here) with blessings, is no more sublime than this of Job, that God should also think of man and unremittingly try him, even by making him the mark (Job 7:20) at which, like an archer, he shoots his arrows. In the one case man is dwarfed in the comparison with the wonder-working of God in the field of creation — here, in the comparison with his wonder-doing within the more wonderful scheme of Providence.


Verses 17-21

b. The other conceivable cause of Job’s sufferings — SIN. (Davidson.) Sorrowing man is too small an object for God’s disciplinary care, or (as Hitzig suggests) his hostile vigilance over him. Job questions whether sin be the reason (whether this solves the mystery) that God should make MAN the object of his painful visitations. Ewald well remarks that Job, for the first time, admits that sin may possibly be the hidden cause of his sorrows.


Verse 18

18. Visit him — How noble must that being be whom God deigns to visit every morning, and who is worthy of being unremittingly tried and tested. It is as if Job would grandly say, In the unceasing trial for eternity, God comes down each morning to mark the progress of the work; the patience elicited from sorrow; the faith, which is man’s strength, developed through temptation; and the ripeness of love that binds the soul to God. Cocceius thinks the idea is taken from a shepherd who inspects his flocks every morning in order to see if they are all there.


Verse 19

19. Swallow down my spittle — A proverbial expression for the briefest interval. Just as we would say, “Let me draw my breath;” or, “In the twinkling of an eye.” Camus explains it, “Give me only time enough to swallow my spittle.” A witty retort, cited by Schultens from the Arabic, (Telebius,) will help to illustrate: “Suffer me,” said one, “to swallow down my spittle.” To this his friend replied, “You may, if you please, swallow down even Tigris and Euphrates.”


Verse 20

20. I have sinned — “If I have sinned, what shall I be able to do,” etc. — Septuagint. Many regard it as hypothetical, thus: Have I sinned? what do I unto thee, (in what way can it affect thee,) thou observer ( נצד) of men? as if he referred to the sin to which Eliphaz seems to allude. Compare Job 35:6. The English version is a literal rendering of the original. The context, however, demands a conditional reading: Be it that I have sinned, what reparation or satisfaction can I make unto thee? “If I have deserved thy wrath, it is useless for thee to pour it forth on me.” — Hitzig. There is no question in Job’s mind as to his having been a sinner. The question at issue is one of specific sin. Sin belongs to man as man. The cry of the world is a twofold one: “I have sinned,” and, “What shall I do unto thee?” The thought of sin involves the thought of God, as darkness that of light, and death that of life. “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned.” Psalms 51:4. The Semitic mind was keenly alive to the nature of sin. Its varied ritual unceasingly pictured in characters of blood the enormity of moral guilt. “There is no philosophy from which the moral element is more entirely absent than the Hindu. Yet the confession of human sin finds acknowledgment even there. MULLEN’S Relig. Aspects of Hindu Philos., p. 224. The older hymns of the Vedas clearly recognised sin as an evil to be deprecated. “Deliver me from sin, as from a rope; let us obtain thy path of righteousness.… Varuna, take all fear away from me; be kind to me, O just king! Take away my sin… for afar from thee I am not the master even of a twinkling of the eye.” — Rig Veda, 2:28, 5: see also 2:29. 1. A mark against thee — Job regards himself as a mark, מפגע, a butt or target for God, ( לךְ, for thee, not against thee,) against which the arrows of the Almighty were directed. Job 6:4. A burden to myself — The Septuagint version renders, A burden to thee. The Masorites place this among the eighteen passages which they say were altered by transcribers. But the text agrees with the other Versions, and with most of the MSS. that have come down to us. The heaviest burden which sinful man is called to bear is himself.


Verse 21

21. But I shall not be — He fain conceives that God will relent from his apparent purpose of ill, and diligently seek him, in order to bestow favour upon him, but fears that it will be too late, as he will soon be asleep in the dust, (Psalms 22:15, “dust of death,”) and no more be found among men.

EXCURSUS No. III.

SHEOL.

Sheol, שׁאול, is the word employed in the Old Testament to represent the abode of the dead. This word occurs sixty-five times, and is rendered in the authorized version thirty-one times by grave, as many more by hell, and three times by pit; in the Septuagint sixty-one times by hades, twice by death, θανατος, while twice (Job 24:19, Ezekiel 32:21) the Greek translators omit it altogether. The more ancient lexicographers derived the word from שׁאל, to ask or crave; the more recent make the word cognate with שׁעל, to make hollow, (Gesenius,) or go down deep, (Furst,) a meaning which radically belongs to the German holle, and the same word in our own language, hell, (hollow;) Greek, κοιλου, Latin, coelum. So that the etymological result is reached, that the hollow beneath corresponds to the concave above. The sense of insatiableness and inexorable demand, that some of the more recent Hebrew writers (Proverbs 27:20; Proverbs 30:15-16; Isaiah 5:14; Habakkuk 2:5) attach to this word, tends to confirm the root idea to be that of “asking” or “seeking.” This craving they must have attributed to sheol objectively, as a place demanding to be filled, in keeping with the classical ideas, (“the rapacious Orcus” of Catullus, and “the robber,” αρπακτηρ, in Callimachus,) and not subjectively, as Dr. Tayler Lewis, following Horsley eloquently urges, to anxious inquirers into the mysteries of the unseen world.

1. The grave was evidently associated with all their conceptions of the gathering place of their conscious dead; so that sheol may be regarded as an ideal enlargement of the sepulchre. The gloom of the grave so intermingled itself with the dim light of a primeval revelation as to darken and confuse their conceptions of the place, and condition of the dead. Thus the popular mind regarded sheol as the nether region of the universe, corresponding in depth to the height of the heavens, (Deuteronomy 32:22; Job 11:8; Psalms 139:8; Ezekiel 31:14; Amos 9:2,) having depths of various gradations, (Psalms 86:13; Proverbs 9:18,) fastened with bars (Job 17:16) and gates, (Isaiah 38:10,) yet open and naked to God (Job 26:6). It also conceived sheol to be located somewhere within the bowels of the earth. Numbers 16:30; Numbers 16:33; 1 Samuel 28:13; Job 26:5; Job 38:16-17; Psalms 63:9; Ezekiel 26:20; Ezekiel 32:18. With respect to a conception so foreign to our ordinary ideas, Ruloff profoundly suggests that the “kingdom of death cannot, as a region of immaterial and therefore of spiritual being, be subjected to the laws of locality of material beings in the degree in which the things of the visible world are so. There are spiritual localities of which we can have no idea, very probably extending themselves throughout the whole dimension of visibility and beyond it.” Such are some of the local features of this underworld of the dead. See page 166. On hades, and the New Testament idea of the under world, see notes on Ephesians 4:9-10.

2. Notwithstanding, in the popular conception sheol was entirely distinct from the grave. The term sheol is used under circumstances where it is plain that the grave, in its ordinary meaning, cannot be intended. For instance, in Genesis 37:35, where the word first appears, Jacob says he will go down to sheol, שׁאלה, unto his son, mourning. But in a preceding verse (the 33d) he had expressed his convictions that an evil beast had devoured him.

Lucifer, the Babylonian monarch, is, according to Isaiah 14:15, brought down to sheol, “to the sides of the pit;” while the 19th verse represents him as denied the honour of a grave, קבד. In powerful figure sheol is moved from beneath to meet him at his coming, and to stir up the dead for him. Job 7:9.

The various etymological forms, in marked contradistinction to sheol, in which the older word ( קבד) for sepulchre appears, show that sheol, in its primary sense, did not mean the grave, but from the beginning was used in the more general and abstract meaning of abode or state of the dead. See Methodist Quar. Revelation, 1856, 7:281-287.

It is also to be remarked, that while קבר, the grave, appears perhaps a hundred times in the Scriptures, it is never used in connexion with nephesh, soul, as is sheol. The reason is, that the Hebrews employed the one for the receptacle of the body, the other for that of the soul.

3. Sheol was a state or place which the righteous expected to enter. Jacob, as we have seen, declared that he “will go down in mourning to sheol,” שׁאולה, toward sheol, or on the way to sheol, this being the terminus of his sad pilgrimage (also Job 42:38). Job felt that if he wait, it is for “sheol, his house,” Job 17:13; see also Job 14:13. David triumphantly predicts that he (or the Greater than he) “shall not be left to, or in, sheol,” לשׁאול, Psalms 16:10, also Acts 2:27, which St. Peter cites from the Septuagint, where it is rendered hades, whose meaning he could have hardly been ignorant of; (compare Psalms 139:8;) and Hezekiah assumes that had he died, sheol would have been his destination. Isaiah 38:17-18. See also Psalms 30:3; Psalms 49:15; Psalms 86:13; Isaiah 38:10; Hosea 13:14. The Hebrew mind, front the most ancient times, held fast the idea of a gathering place of the conscious dead, as is evinced in the oft-recurring expression “gathered to his people.” Genesis 25:8; Genesis 25:17; Genesis 35:29; Genesis 49:33; Numbers 20:24. Compare Job 7:28. That this cannot mean the burial together of their dead, may be shown not only from the burial of Aaron, but from the application of the same phrase to Moses, (Numbers 27:13,) whom God buried apart from all others. Even Warburton admits that “the phrase originally arose (whatever people first employed it) from the notion of some common receptacle of souls.” — Divine Legation, vi, section iii, p. 4.

The righteous entered sheol with dread. It was an existence shrouded in mystery, one of indescribable darkness, (see note on Job 10:21-22,) “without any order;” the realm, not only for vague and flitting spirits, but for fears and dark forebodings. The very name its inhabitants bore, רפאים, rephaim, (“the weak,” “the powerless,” from rapha, to be weak, see note on Job 26:5, like Homer’s οι καμοντες, the wearied, for the dead,) was in keeping with the popular idea that death, even for the good, meant loss, not to say descent in being: a descent from the knowledge, the religious privileges, the prerogatives of life. Psalms 6:5; Psalms 30:3; Psalms 30:9; Isaiah 38:18. There were evidently fluctuations, both of faith and knowledge, as to the state of the dead, during the long centuries embraced by the patriarchal and Mosaical dispensations — twilights not only of light but of darkness — alternating periods of rational faith and doubt, if not despair. Such, Job embodied in himself. Yet it is plain under every dispensation that “the righteous had hope in his death.” He took with him into the darkness faith in his God, a child-like faith that the man of deliverance should come.

4. Into a world bearing the same name (sheol) the wicked were cast for purposes of punishment at the close of life. “They went down alive into sheol.” Numbers 16:33. “Sheol violently takes those who have sinned.”

Job 24:19, (margin:) “The wicked shall be turned into sheol.” Psalms 9:17 : “Let them be silent,” or, “cut off,” (margin,) in or to sheol. Psalms 31:17. See also Deuteronomy 32:22; Proverbs 5:5; Proverbs 9:18; Isaiah 57:9. Since the abodes of both good and bad were called sheol, we may be justified in inferring that the Hebrews believed themselves to enter, at death, either into one common receptacle, and to be separated from each other by laws of affiliation apparently implied in the frequent expression, “slept with his fathers;” or, as is more probable, into compartments or separate dwellings of the one great under world determined and fixed by God himself. See Peter’s Critical Diss. on Job, part iii, sec. 8. But the condition of the two vast classes was not at all similar. There were grades of punishment even in sheol. Moses spoke of a fire that burned unto the lowest sheol. Deuteronomy 32:22. Compare Job 31:12; Psalms 86:13. Moreover, the ancient Scriptures gave indications of depths, or a world of retribution, that lay beneath or beyond sheol, to which they gave the name of abaddon. This was total perdition. Our translators have accordingly rendered it destruction. Job 26:6; Job 28:22; Job 31:12; Psalms 88:11; Proverbs 15:11; Proverbs 27:20.

5. There are intimations in the Scriptures that the Hebrews regarded sheol as a temporary abode for the righteous. We have seen how they shuddered to enter it, and yet we are told that they looked for “a better” (country), even “a heavenly,” and that they endured, “that they might obtain a better resurrection.” Hebrews 11:16; Hebrews 11:35. Faith plainly overleaped the dismal sojourn in sheol, and planted itself within the region of hope beyond. The later Hebrews descried a time when the dead should arise and sing. Isaiah 26:19. This was meridian light, preceded by a long-protracted dawn.

A dying Jacob strangely interrupts his predictions with the ejaculation, “I wait (piel form) for thy salvation, O Jehovah!” Genesis 49:18. Job compares his sojourn in sheol to the lot of a sentinel patiently waiting to be relieved, Job 14:14-15; see note. The psalmist declares God shall not leave his soul in, or to, sheol, Psalms 16:10; but He shall ransom it from the hand, that is, the grasp, of sheol, Psalms 49:15; (comp. Hosea 13:14,) and that he himself shall awake in the likeness of God, Psalms 17:15. God shall swallow up death forever, לנצח, exclaims Isaiah, (Isaiah 25:8, a passage which the apostle refers to the resurrection, 1 Corinthians 15:54,) and “the earth shall cast out the rephaim,” the dwellers in sheol. Isaiah 26:19.

With these views agrees the remarkable language of Josephus: “They [the Pharisees] also believe that souls have an immortal vigour in them, and that under the earth there will be rewards or punishments, according as they have lived virtuously or viciously in this life; and that the latter are to be detained in an everlasting prison, but that the former shall have power to revive and live again.” — Antiquities, xviii, chap. Job 1:3. About four centuries previously Plato had spoken of “an ancient saying which we,” he says, “now call to mind, that souls departing hence exist there, [in hades,] and return hither again, and are produced from the dead.” — Phaedo, sec.

40. The ancient Egyptians, too, according to Plutarch, gave the name amenthes to “that subterraneous region whither they imagine the souls of those who die go to after their decease; a name,” he says, “which expressly signifies the receiver and GIVER.” — De Iside, ch. 29.

The word shaal, the root of sheol, has among its significations, to demand or crave as A LOAN. 1 Samuel 1:28; 2 Kings 6:5. See also Furst, s.v. Thus the very word itself, like amenthes, may imply that the prey of sheol is to be rendered back.

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 7:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-7.html. 1874-1909.

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