Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 22:24

And place your gold in the dust, And the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks,
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Backsliders;   Gold;   Ophir;   Penitent;   Prosperity;   Righteous;   Wicked (People);   Thompson Chain Reference - Ophir;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Brooks;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Eliphaz;   Gold;   Ophir;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Gold;   Ophir;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   Ophir;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ophir ;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Ophir;   Smith Bible Dictionary - O'phir;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Eliphaz (2);   Flint;   Gold;   Ophir;   Stone;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Gold;   Metals;   Ophir;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust - The original is not fairly rendered in this translation, בצר עפר על ושית veshith al aphar batser, which Montanus renders: Et pone super pulverem munitionem, "And fix a tower upon the dust;" אופיר נחלים ובצור ubetsur nechalim Ophir, et in petra torrentes Ophir, "and in the rock, the torrents of Ophir." The Vulgate is widely different: Dabit pro terra silicem, et pro silice torrentes aureos, "He will give thee flint for earth: and torrents of gold for flint;" which Calmet thus paraphrases: "Instead of brick thou shalt build with solid stone; and for ornaments, instead of stone as formerly, thou shalt have massive gold!" All the versions are different. Mr. Good translates: "Then count thou treasure as dust: then shall he make fountains to gush forth amidst the rocks."

Coverdale is different from all: We shal give the an harvest which, in plenty and abundance, shal exceade the dust of the earthe, and the golde of Ophir like ryver stones.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 22:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-22.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust - Margin, or, “on the dust.” Dr. Good renders this, “Thou shalt then count thy treasure as dust” - implying that he would have much of it. Noyes, “Cast to the dust thy gold” - implying that he would throw his gold away as of no account, and put his dependence on God alone. Kim-chi, and, after him, Grotius, suppose that it means, “Thy gold thou shalt regard no more than dust, and gold of Ophir no more than the stones of the brook; God shall be to thee better than gold and silver.” The editor of the Pictorial Bible supposes that there is here a distinct reference to the sources from which gold was for merly obtained, as being washed down among the stones of the brooks. The word rendered “gold” here בצר betser is from בצר bâtsar - to cut off, Psalm 76:12, and was properly applied to the ore of precious metals in the rude state, as cut or dug out of mines.

Hence, it properly refers to the metals in their crude state, and before they were subjected to the fire. Then it comes to mean precious metals, and is parallel with gold of Ophir in the other hemistich. The word occurs only in the following places; Job 22:24; Job 36:19, where it is rendered “gold,” and Job 22:25, where it is rendered “defense.” The literal translation here would be, “Cast to the dust the precious metals; on the stones of the brooks (the gold of) Ophir.” The Vulgate renders it, “He shall give for earth flint, and for flint golden torrents.” The Septuagint, “Thou shalt be placed on a mount in a rock, and as a rock of the torrent of Ophir.” Chaldaen: “And thou shalt place upon the dust thy strong tower תקיף כרך, and as a rock of the torrents the gold of Ophir.” The word here is probably synonymous with “precious treasure,” whether consisting in gold or silver; and the idea is, that he should cast to the dust all that treasure, or regard it as valueless; that he should cease to make it an object of solicitude to gain it, and “then” the Almighty would be to him a treasure of more value than gold. According to this, the idea is, not that he would be recompensed with gold and silver as the consequence of returning to God, but that God would afford him more happiness than he had found in the wealth which he had sought, and on which Eliphaz supposed his heart had been set. He regarded Job as covetous of property, as mourning over that which he had lost, and he entreats him now to cease to grieve on account of that, and to come and put his trust in God.

And the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks - Or, rather, “Cast the gold of Ophir to the stones of the valley, or let it remain in its native valley among the stones of the brook, as of no more value than they are.” There is, probably, allusion here to the fact, that gold was then commonly found in such places, as it is often now. It was washed down by mountain torrents, and lodged among the stones of the valley, and was thence collected, and the sand being washed out, the gold remained. Ophir is uniformly mentioned in the Scriptures as a place abounding in gold, and as well known; see 1 Kings 9:28; 2 Chronicles 8:18; 2 Chronicles 9:10; 1 Kings 10:11; 1 Kings 22:48; 1 Chronicles 29:4. Much perplexity has been felt in reference to its situation, and the difficulty has not been entirely removed. In regard to the opinions which have been held on the point, the reader may consult the notes at Isaiah 13:12, the note in the Pictorial Bible on 2 Chronicles 20:36, and the Dissertation of Martin Lipenius “de Ophir,” in Ugolin‘s Thesaur. Sacr. Ant. Tom. vii. pp. 262-387; also, the Dissertation of John C. Wichmanshausen, “de navigatione Ophiritica,” and Reland‘s Dissertation “de Ophir” in the same volume. From the mention of this place at a period so early as the time of Job, it is reasonable to suppose that it was not a very remote region, as there is no evidence that voyages were made then to distant countries, or that the knowledge of geography was very extensive. The presumption would be, that it was in the vicinity of Arabia.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 22:24". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-22.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust,.... Have such plenty of it, as not to be counted:

and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks; which was reckoned the best, probably in Arabia; not in the East and West Indies, which were not known to Job; though some take this to be an exhortation to despise riches, and as a dissuasion from covetousness, rendering the words, "put gold upon the dust", or earthF9ושית על עפר בצר "pone aurum super pulverem", Codurcus; "in pulvere aurum", Cocceius; "abjice humi aurum", Beza; so Grotius. , and trample upon it, as a thing not esteemed by thee, as Sephorno interprets it; make no more account of it than of the dust of the earth; let it be like dirt unto thee, "and among the stones of the brooks", OphirF11ובציר נחלים אופיר "et inter saxa torrentium Ophir", Codurcus. ; that is, the gold of Ophir, reckon no more of it, though the choicest gold, than the stones of the brook; or thus, "put gold for dust, and the gold of Ophir for the flint of the brooks"F12"Pro rupe aurum Ophirinum", Junius & Tremellius; so Schultens. ; esteem it no more than the dust of the earth, or as flint stones; the latter clause I should choose rather to render, "and for a flint the rivers of Ophir", or the golden rivers, from whence the gold of Ophir was; and it is notorious from historians, as StraboF13Geograph. l. 11. p. 344. and others, that gold is taken out of rivers; and especially from the writers of the history of the West IndiesF14Pet. Martyr. Decad. 3. l. 4. .

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 22:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-22.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Then shalt thou lay up gold as s dust, and the [gold] of Ophir as the stones of the brooks.

(s) Which will be in abundance like dust.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 22:24". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-22.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Rather, containing the protasis from the last clause of Job 22:23, “If thou regard the glittering metal as dust”; literally, “lay it on the dust”; to regard it of as little value as the dust on which it lies. The apodosis is at Job 22:25, Then shall the Almighty be, etc. God will take the place of the wealth, in which thou didst formerly trust.

gold — rather, “precious” or “glittering metal,” parallel to “(gold) of Ophir,” in the second clause [Umbreit and Maurer].

Ophir — derived from a Hebrew word “dust,” namely, gold dust. Heeren thinks it a general name for the rich countries of the South, on the African, Indian, and especially the Arabian coast (where was the port Aphar. El Ophir, too, a city of Oman, was formerly the center of Arabian commerce). It is curious that the natives of Malacca still call their mines Ophirs.

stones of the brooks — If thou dost let the gold of Ophir remain in its native valley among the stones of the brooks; that is, regard it as of little worth as the stones, etc. The gold was washed down by mountain torrents and lodged among the stones and sand of the valley.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 22:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-22.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 22:24 Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the [gold] of Ophir as the stones of the brooks.

Ver. 24. Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust] Which is as much as to say, saith one, Thou shalt make pavements of gold. See 2 Chronicles 1:15, Psalms 68:30. Then shalt thou have thy desire; for thou shalt be rich with content, which is worth a million, as another paraphraseth it. Beza rendereth it thus: Cast thy gold on the ground (even that worldly wealth, whereto thou hast been wholly addicted), and let the gold of Ophir be unto thee as the pebble stones of the brooks (make no more account of it than of those small stones), and let the Almighty be thy tower, let him be unto thee as plenty of silver. The Spaniards are said to have found in the mines of America more gold than earth. Perhaps Eliphaz here promiseth Job, that upon his return to God his land should have many rich veins of gold. And so Senault paraphraseth this text thus, Then shall you acquit yourself of all your losses, and you shall recover with usury what was taken from you; for, for barren lands, which could bring forth nothing, you shall have such as in their entrails shall produce porphyry; and instead of those unprofitable rocks which made a part of your estate, you shall have fertile mines, from whence shall issue rivers of gold. Agreeable whereunto is that exposition of Brentius, Reponetur pro pulvere aurum, pro vili preciosure, pro fluviis arenam trahentibus torrentes aureis lapillis impleti, Thou shalt have for dust gold, for vile things those that are precious, for sandy rivers golden torrents. A hyperbolic expression.

And the gold of Ophir] Where the best gold grew. Possibly the same with Peru, the letters only transposed. Ophir, Genesis 10:29, was one of the sons of Joktan, who came from Shem, from whom, saith Josephus, a country in India, abounding with gold, had its name. Hine aurum obrizum dictum, quasi Ophirizum. Ophir is here put for the gold of Ophir; for the word gold is not in the original.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 22:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-22.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 22:24. Then shalt thou lay up gold, &c.— And count the fine gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks: Job 22:25. For, the Almighty shall be thy fine gold, &c. Heath; who observes, that Grotius has given a right exposition of the 24th verse: Value not the gold more than dust, nor the gold of Ophir than the stones of the torrent.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 22:24". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-22.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Gold; solid or choice gold, as the word signifies.

As dust, i.e. in great abundance. Or, upon the dust, or ground; it shall be so plentiful, and therefore vile, that thou shalt not lock it up in chests and treasuries, but scatter it any where, and let it lie even upon the ground.

As the stones of the brook; as plentifully as if the places of gold were but so many pebble stones, which are to be found in and near every brook. Or, for the stones, i.e. instead of them. Or, in the rock, or among the rocks: gold shall be so abundant, that thou mayst lay it any where, even upon or among the rocks.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 22:24". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-22.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

24.Lay up gold as dust, etc. — Literally, And cast to the dust the precious ore; even gold of Ophir to the stones of the brooks. Then the Almighty shall be thy precious ores, and plenty of silver to thee. “To lay shining metal on the dust, is a way of speaking to regard them equally little,” (Umbreit.) Augustine’s thought, that “the Christian counts gold as dust,” well conveys that of Eliphaz. For a similar use of , see Job 30:1, to “set with,” put on a level with, “the dogs of my flock.” In the original there is a play of words between betser, precious ore, and betsour, to the stone. Canon Cook (Speaker’s Com.) sees in the promises of gold in the text, the reflection of a “selfish and sordid” nature, on the supposition that his name, Eliphaz — “gold is my god” — indicated his true character. (See note, Job 2:11.) This leads Eliphaz, he thinks, to “exhort Job to a speedy repentance, which he assures him will be immediately rewarded by abundance of wealth.” But the rendering as above, which is hinted at in the margin, and substantially accepted by most of the recent scholars, redeems this beautiful exhortation from so mercenary a blur, and makes it one of the most precious promises of the word of God.

Ophir — Used for gold of Ophir, as Amos (like ourselves) calls the cloth of Damascus “damask” — “in Damascus in a couch;” literally, damask of the bed. Amos 3:12. The natives of Malacca at the present day call their gold mines Ophirs. The site of these famous mines of antiquity is still as much as ever in dispute.

Heeren thinks that, like Thule, the name denotes no particular spot, but only a certain region or part of the world, such as the East or West Indies in modern geography. Hence Ophir was the general name for the rich countries of the south, lying on the African, Arabian, or Indian coasts, as far as at that time known. — Hist. Res., 1:335. According to Ritter, Ewald, and Lassen, Ophir lay in India; while Niebuhr, Winer, and Kalisch place it in Arabia; Rawlinson, in Ceylon.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 22:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-22.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Gold, to build and adorn thy habitation, ver. 23. Hebrew, "He will give thee gold instead of dust; (or more abundant) yea, gold of the torrents of Ophir." The Phasis is said to roll gold dust, which is of the purest kind, Genesis ii. 11. (Calmet) --- "Thou shalt lay upon gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir, as the stones of the brooks." (Protestants) (Haydock) --- This is an exaggeration, (3 Kings x. 27.; Calmet) and a sort of proverb, intimating that strength and plenty should succeed to infirmity. The foundations should be the hard rock, instead of earth, &c.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 22:24". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-22.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"Place your gold in the dust": Which appears to mean, "quit trusting in your wealth". "How could Eliphaz prove that Job trusted in his material things? In fact he now had no gold in which to trust!" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 746). Or, does this verse suggest that Job still had some personal wealth in the form of money or gold? "Ophir" was located on the southwestern Arabian coast.

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 22:24". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-22.html. 1999-2014.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks.

Rather, containing the protasis from the last clause of Job 22:23, If thou regard the glittering metal as dust-literally, lay it on the dust-to regard it of as little value as the dust on which it lies. The apodosis is at Job 22:25. Then shall the Almighty be, etc. God will take the place of the wealth in which thou didst formerly trust.

Gold - rather, 'precious' or 'glittering metal,' parallel to "(gold) of Ophir," in the second clause (Umbeit and Maurer).

Ophir - derived from a Hebrew word, dust-namely, gold dust. Heeren thinks it a general name for the rich countries of the South, on the African, Indian, and especially the Arabian coast (where the port Aphar was. El Ophir, too, a city of Oman, was formerly the center of Arabian commerce). It is curious, the natives of Malacca still call their mines Ophirs.

Stones of the brooks - if thou dost let the gold of Ophir remain in its native valley among the stones of the brooks; i:e., regard it as of as little worth as the stones, etc. The gold was washed down by mountain torrents, and lodged among the stones and sand of the valley.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 22:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-22.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(24) The gold of Ophir.—And, moreover, that the wealth for which he was so famous among the children of the East was the accumulation of iniquity and wrong-doing. The sense probably is, “Put thy treasure on a level with the dust, and the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brooks”: that is, reckon it of no more value than such stones; do not set thine heart upon it. The situation of Ophir has always been a matter of dispute. Josephus placed it in India (Antt. viii. 6, § 4), as do some moderns; others suppose it to have been an Indian colony in Southern Arabia, and others have placed it on the east coast of Africa.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 22:24". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-22.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then shalt thou lay up gold as dust, and the gold of Ophir as the stones of the brooks.
lay up
1 Kings 10:21; 2 Chronicles 1:5; 9:10,27
as dust
or, on the dust. Ophir.
Genesis 10:29; 1 Kings 9:28; 22:48; Psalms 45:9; Isaiah 13:12
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 10:27 - the king;  1 Chronicles 1:23 - Ophir;  2 Chronicles 1:15 - the king;  Job 8:5 - thou wouldest;  Job 21:19 - layeth;  Job 27:16 - heap up;  Job 42:10 - the Lord;  Zechariah 9:3 - heaped

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 22:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-22.html.