NOTES ON The Book of JOB

Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Chapter XVI
Chapter XVII
Chapter XVIII
Chapter XIX
Chapter XX
Chapter XXI
Chapter XXII
Chapter XXIII
Chapter XXIV
Chapter XXV
Chapter XXVI
Chapter XXVII
Chapter XXVIII
Chapter XXIX
Chapter XXX
Chapter XXXI
Chapter XXXII
Chapter XXXIII
Chapter XXXIV
Chapter XXXV
Chapter XXXVI
Chapter XXXVII
Chapter XXXIX
Chapter XL
Chapter XLI
Chapter XLII

The preceding books of scripture are, for the most part, plain and easy narratives, which he that runs may read and understand: but in the five poetical books, on which we are now entering, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Solomon's song, are many things hard to be understood. These therefore require a more close application of mind, which yet the treasures they contain will abundantly recompence. The former books were mostly historical: these are doctrinal and devotional. And they are wrote in verse, according to the ancient rules of versifying, tho' not in rhythm, nor according to the rules of latter tongues. Job is a kind of heroic poem; the book of Psalms a collection of sacred odes, Solomon's song, a Divine pastoral. They are all poetical, yet serious and full of majesty. They have a poetic force and flame, without poetic fury, move the affections, without corrupting the imagination; and while they gratify the ear, improve the mind, and profit the more by pleasing. We have here much of God, his infinite pefections, and his government both of the world, and of the church. And we have much of Christ, who is the spring, and soul, and center of revealed religion. Here is what may enlighten our understandings, and acquaint us with the deep things of God. And this divine light may bring into the soul a divine fire, which will kindle and inflame devout affections, on which wings we may soar upwards, until we enter into the holiest. We are certain that the book of Job is a true history. That there was such a man as Job, undeniably appears, from his being mentioned by the prophet, together with Noah and Daniel, Ezek 14:14, and the narrative we have of his prosperity and piety, his strange afflictions and exemplary patience, the substance of his conferences with his friends, and God's discourse with him out of the whirlwind, with his return to a prosperous condition, are no doubt exactly true. We are sure also this book is very ancient, probably of equal date with the book of Genesis itself. It is likely, Job was of the posterity of Nahor, Abraham's brother, whose first - born was Uz, and in whose family religion was kept up, as appears Gen 31:53, where God is called not only the God of Abraham, but the God of Nahor. He lived before sacrifices were confined to one altar, before the general apostacy of the nations, and while God was known by the name of God Almighty, more than by the name of Jehovah: for he is called Shaddai, the Almighty, above thirty times in this book. And that he lived before (probably very little before) the deliverance of the children of Israel out of Egypt, we may gather from hence, that there is no allusion at all to that grand event throughout the whole book.

In this noble poem we have,

  1. A monument of primitive theology;
  2. A specimen of Gentile piety: for Job was not of the promised seed, no Israelite, no proselyte:
  3. An exposition of the book of providence, and a clear solution of man difficult passages therein:
  4. A great example of patience and close adherence to God in the deepest calamities: and
  5. An illustrious type of Christ, emptied and humbled, in order to his greater glory.

In this book we have, an account of Job's sufferings, chap. 1, 2, Not without a mixture of human frailty, chap. 3. A dispute between him and his three friends, chap. 4 - 31. The interposal of Elihu, and of God himself, chap. 32 - 41. The end of all in Job's prosperity, chap. 42.

Chapter I

Job's piety, children, substance, ver. 1 - 5. Satan obtains leave to try him, ver. 6 - 12. His oxen, sheep, camels and servants destroyed, ver. 13 - 17. His sons and daughters killed, ver. 18, 19. His patience and piety, ver. 20 - 22.

1 Uz - Part of Arabia. Perfect - Not legally or exactly, but as to his sincere intentions, hearty affections, and diligent endeavours to perform all his duties to God and men. Upright - Heb. right, exact and regular in all his dealings, with men; one of an unblameable conversation. Feared - One truly pious, and devoted to God. Eschewed - Carefully avoiding all sin against God or men.
3 Camels - Camels in these parts were very numerous, and very useful, both for carrying burdens in these hot and dry countries, as being able to endure thirst much better than other creatures, and for service in war. Asses - He - asses also may be included in this expression, because the greatest part of them (from which the denomination is usually taken) were she asses. The greatest - That lived in those parts. The account of his piety and prosperity comes before the account of his afflictions, to shew that neither of these will secure us from the common, no, nor from the uncommon calamities of human life.
4 Feasted - To testify and maintain their brotherly love. His day - Each his appointed day, perhaps his birth - day, or the first day of the month.
5 When - When each of them had had his turn. Satisfied - He exhorted them to examine their own consciences, to repent of any thing, which had been amiss in their feasting, and compose their minds for employments of a more solemn nature. Early - Thereby shewing his ardent zeal in God's service. May be - His zeal for God's glory, and his true love to his children, made him jealous. Cursed - Not in a gross manner, which it is not probable either that they should do, or that Job should suspect it concerning them, but despised or dishonoured God; for both Hebrew and Greek words signifies cursing, are sometimes used to note only, reviling or setting light by a person. Hearts - By slight and low thoughts of God, or by neglecting to give God the praise for the mercies which they enjoyed. Thus - It was his constant course at the end of every feasting time, to offer a sacrifice for each. Parents should be particular in their addresses to God, for the several branches of their family; praying for each child, according to his particular temper, genius and disposition.
6 A day - A certain time appointed by God. The sons - The holy angels, so called, chap.38:7 Dan 3:25,28, because of their creation by God, for their resemblance of him in power, and dignity, and holiness, and for their filial affection and obedience, to him. Before - Before his throne, to receive his commands, and to give him an account of their negotiations. But you must not think that these things are to be understood literally; it is only a parabolical representation of that great truth, that God by his wise and holy providence governs all the actions of men and devils: It being usual with the great God to condescend to our shallow capacities, and to express himself, as the Jews phrase it, in the language of the sons of men. And it is likewise intimated, that the affairs of earth are much the subject of the counsels of the unseen world. That world is dark to us: but we lie open to it.
9 For nought - Out of pure love and respect to thee? No. It is policy, not piety, that makes him good; he doth not serve thee, but serveth himself of thee, serving thee for his own ends.
12 Behold, &c. - It seems strange, that, God should give Satan such a permission as this. But he did it for his own glory, for the honour of Job, for the explanation of providence, and the encouragement of his afflicted people in all ages.
14 Messenger, &c. - One messenger immediately followed another; Satan so ordering by God's permission, that there might seem to be more than ordinary displeasure of God against him in his troubles, and that he might not have leisure to recollect himself, but be overwhelmed by a complication of calamities.
15 Sabeans - A people of Arabia, who led a wandering life, and lived by robbery and spoil. I - Whom Satan spared, that Job might have speedy and certain intelligence of his calamity.
16 The fire of God - As thunder is the voice of God, so lightning is his fire. How terrible then were the tidings of this destruction, which came immediately from the hand of God! And seemed to shew, that God was angry at his very offerings, and would receive no more from his hands.
17 Chaldeans - Who also lived upon spoil, as Xenephon and others observe.
19 The young men - This was the greatest of Job's losses, and therefore Satan reserved it to the last, that if the other provocations failed, this might make him curse God. They died by a wind of the devils raising, but which seemed to be the immediate hand of God. And they were taken away, when he had the most need of them, to comfort him under all his other losses. Such miserable comforters are creatures: in God we have a constant and sufficient help.
20 Shaved - Caused his hair to be shaved or cut off, which was then an usual ceremony in mourning. Worshipped - Instead of cursing God, which Satan said he would do, he adored him, and gave him the glory of his sovereignty, of his justice, and of his goodness also, in this most severe dispensation.
21 Naked - I brought none of these things with me, when I came out of my mother's womb into the world, but I received them from the hand of God, who hath now required his own again. Return thither - I shall be as rich when I die as I was when I was born, and therefore have reason to be contented with my condition, which also is the common lot of all men. Into the lap of our common mother, the earth, as the weary child lays its head in its mother's bosom. We go out of the world naked; the body doth, tho' the sanctified soul goes clothed. (2Cor 5:3.) Death strips us of all our enjoyments: clothing can neither warm nor adorn a dead body. Taken - He hath taken away nothing but his own, and what he so gave that he reserved the supreme disposal of in his own hand. And what is it to me, by what hand he that gives, resumes what he gave?
22 Charged - Heb. not imputed folly to God; so far was he from blaspheming God, that he did not entertain any dishonourable thought of God, as if he had done anything unworthy of his infinite wisdom, or justice, or goodness, but heartily acquiesced in his good pleasure, and in his righteous though sharp proceedings against him. Discontent and impatience do in effect impute folly to God. Against the workings of these we should carefully watch, acknowledging that God has done well, but we have done foolishly.

Chapter II

Satan moves for another trial of Job, which God permits, ver. 1 - 6. Satan smites him with boils from head to foot, ver. 7,8. He is tempted by his wife, but resists the temptation, ver. 9,10 His friends come to comfort him, ver. 11 - 13.

3 Still - Notwithstanding all his afflictions, and thy suggestion to the contrary. Movedst - This, as the rest of this representation, is not to be understood literally: But the design is to signify both the devil's restless malice in promoting man's misery and God's permission of it for wise and holy ends.
4 Skin, &c. - The sense is, this is so far from being an evidence of Job's sincere and generous piety, that it is only an act of mere self - love; he is contented with the loss of his estate, and children too, so long as he sleeps in a whole skin; and he is well pleased, that thou wilt accept of these a ransom in his stead; and it is not true patience which makes him seem to bear his crosses so submissively, but policy, that he may appease thy wrath against him, and prevent those farther plagues, which, for his hypocrisy, he fears thou wilt otherwise bring upon his own carcase.
6 In thine hand - If God did not chain up the roaring lion, how soon would he devour us! As far as he permits the wrath of Satan and wicked men, to proceed against his people, he will make it turn to his praise and theirs, and the remainder thereof he will restrain. Job, in being thus maligned of Satan, was a type of Christ. He had permission to bruise his heel, to touch his bone and his flesh; yea, and his life also; because by dying he was to do what Job could not do, to destroy him that had the power of death.
7 Boils - Like those inflicted upon the Egyptians, which are expressed by the same word, and threatened to apostate Israelites, Deut 28:27, whereby he was made loathsome to himself, and to his nearest relations, and filled with consuming pains in his body, and no less torments and anguish in his mind.
8 Scrape - This he did not with soft linen clothes, either because he had not now a sufficient quantity of them; or because therein he must have had the help of others who abhorred to come near him. Nor with his own hands or fingers, which were also ulcerous, and so unfit for that use; but with potsherds, either because they were next at hand, and ready for his present use; or in token of his deep humiliation under God's hand, which made him decline all things that favoured of tenderness and delicacy. Heb. in dust or ashes, as mourners used to do. If God lay him among the ashes, there he will contentedly sit down. A low spirit becomes low circumstances, and will help to reconcile us to them.
9 Then said his wife - Whom Satan spared, to be a troubler and tempter to him. It is his policy, to send his temptations by the hands of those that are dear to us. We must therefore carefully watch, that we be not drawn to any evil, by them whom we love and value the most. Die - I see thou art set upon blessing of God, thou blessest God for giving, and thou blessest God for taking away, and thou art still blessing God for thy loathsome diseases, and he rewards thee accordingly, giving thee more and more of that kind of mercy for which thou blessest him. Go on therefore in thy generous course, and bless God, and die as a fool dieth.
10 Shall we - Shall we poor worms give laws to our supreme Lord, and oblige him never to afflict us? And shall not those great and manifold mercies, which from time to time God hath given us, compensate these short afflictions? Ought we not to bless God for those mercies which we did not deserve; and contentedly bear those corrections which we do deserve. And if we receive so much good for the body, shall we not receive some good for our souls? That is, some affliction, whereby we may be made partakers of his holiness? Let murmuring therefore, as well as boasting, be forever excluded. Sin with his lips - By any reflections upon God, by any impatient or unbecoming expression.
11 They - Who were persons eminent for birth and quality, for wisdom and knowledge, and for the profession of the true religion, being probably of the posterity of Abraham, a - kin to Job, and living in the same country. Eliphaz descended from Teman, the grandson of Esau, Gen 36:11. Bildad probably from Shuah, Abraham's son by Keturah, Gen 25:2. Zophar is thought to be same with Zepho, (Gen 36:11.) a descendant from Esau. The preserving of so much wisdom and piety among those who were not children of the promise, was an happy presage of God's grace to the Gentiles, when the partition wall should be taken down.
13 Upon the ground - In the posture of mourners condoling with him. Seven days - Which was the usual time of mourning for the dead, and therefore proper both for Job's children, and for Job himself, who was in a manner dead, while he lived: not that they continued in this posture so long together, which the necessities of nature could not bear; but they spent the greatest part of that time in sitting with him, and silent mourning over him. None spake - About his afflictions and the causes of them. The reason of this silence was the greatness of their grief for him, and their surprize and astonishment at his condition; because they thought it convenient to give him time to vent his own sorrows, and because as yet they knew not what to say to him: for though they had ever esteemed him to be a truly good man, and came with full purpose to comfort him, yet the prodigious greatness of his miseries, and that hand of God which they perceived in them, made them now question his sincerity, so that they could not comfort him as they had intended, and yet were loth to grieve him with reproofs.

Chapter III

We have here Job cursing his birth day, and complaining that he was born, ver. 1 - 10. Complaining that he did not die as soon as he was born, ver. 11 - 19. Complaining that his life was continued, now he was in misery, ver. 20 - 26.

1 His day - His birth - day, in vain do some endeavour to excuse this and the following speeches of Job, who afterwards is reproved by God, and severely accuseth himself for them, chap.38:2 40:4 13:3,6. And yet he does not proceed so far as to curse God, but makes the devil a liar: but although he does not break forth into direct reproaches of God, yet he makes indirect reflections upon his providence. His curse was sinful, both because it was vain, being applied to a thing, which was not capable of blessing and cursing, and because it cast a blame upon God for bringing that day, and for giving him life on that day.
3 Let the day - Let the remembrance of that day be utterly lost.
4 Darkness - I wish the sun had never risen upon that day, or, which is all one, that it had never been; and whensoever that day returns, I wish it may be black, and gloomy, and uncomfortable. Regard - From heaven, by causing the light of the sun which is in heaven to shine upon it.
5 Death - A black and dark shadow like that of the place of the dead, which is a land of darkness. Slain - Take away its beauty and glory. Terrify - That is, men in it. Let it be always observed as a frightful and dismal day.
6 Darkness - Constant and extraordinary darkness, without the least glimmering of light from the moon or stars. Be joined - Reckoned as one, or a part of one of them.
8 The day - Their birth - day: when their afflictions move them to curse their own birth - day, let them remember mine also, and bestow some curses upon it. Mourning - Who are full of sorrow, and always ready to pour out their cries, and tears, and complaints.
9 The stars - Let the stars, which are the glory and beauty of the night, be covered with thick darkness, and that both in the evening twilight, when the stars begin to shine; and also in the farther progress of the night, even 'till the morning dawns. Look - Let its darkness be aggravated with the disappointment of its expectations of light. He ascribes sense or reasoning to the night, by a poetical fiction, usual in all writers. Dawning - Heb. the eye - lids of the day, the morning - star which ushers in the day, and the beginning, and progress of the morning light, let this whole natural day, consisting of night and day, be blotted out of the catalogue of days.
10 It - The night or the day: to which those things are ascribed which were done by others in them, as is frequent in poetical writings. Womb - That it might never have brought me forth. Nor hid - Because it did not keep me from entering into this miserable life, and seeing, or experiencing, these bitter sorrows.
12 The knees - Why did the midwife or nurse receive and lay me upon her knees, and not suffer me to fall upon the bare ground, 'till death had taken me out of this miserable world, into which their cruel kindness hath betrayed me? Why did the breasts prevent me from perishing through hunger, or supply me that should have what to suck? Thus Job unthankfully despises these wonderful mercies of God towards poor helpless infants.
14 Kings - I had then been as happy as the proudest monarchs, who after all their great achievements and enjoyments, go down into their graves. Built - Who to shew their wealth and power, or to leave behind them a glorious name, rebuilt ruined cities, or built new cities and palaces, in places where before there was mere solitude and wasteness.
16 Hidden - Undiscerned and unregarded. Born before the due time. Been - In the land of the living.
17 There - In the grave. The wicked - The great oppressors and troublers of the world cease from their vexations, rapins and murders. Weary - Those who were here molested and tired out with their tyrannies, now quietly sleep with them.
18 The oppressor - Or, taskmaster, who urges and forces them to work by cruel threatenings and stripes. Job meddles not here with their eternal state after death, of which he speaks hereafter, but only their freedom from worldly troubles, which is the sole matter of his present discourse.
19 Small and great - Persons of all qualities and conditions. Are there - In the same place and state, all those distinctions being forever abolished. A good reason, why those who have power should use it moderately, and those that are in subjection should take it patiently.
20 Light - The light of life. Bitter - Unto those to whom life itself is bitter and burdensome. Life is called light, because it is pleasant and serviceable for walking and working; and this light is said to be given us, because it would be lost, if it were not daily renewed to us by a fresh gift.
21 Dig - Desire with as much earnestness as men dig for treasure: but it is observable, Job durst not do anything to hasten or procure his death: notwithstanding all his miseries, he was contented to wait all the days of his appointed time, 'till his change came, chap.14:14.
22 Glad, &c. - To be thus impatient of life, for the sake of the trouble we meet with, is not only unnatural in itself, but ungrateful to the giver of life, and shews a sinful indulgence of our own passion. Let it be our great and constant care, to get ready for another world: and then let us leave it to God, to order the circumstances of our removal thither.
23 Hid - From him; who knows not his way, which way to turn himself, what course to take to comfort himself in his miseries. Hedged in - Whom God hath put as it were in a prison, so that he can see no way or possibility of escape.
24 Before, &c. - Heb. before the face of my bread, all the time I am eating, I fall into sighing and weeping, because I am obliged to eat, and to support this wretched life, and because of my uninterrupted pains of body and of mind, which do not afford me one quiet moment. Roarings - My loud outcries, more befitting a lion than a man. Poured out - With great abundance, and irresistible violence, and incessant continuance, as waters flow in a river, or as they break the banks, and overflow the ground.
25 Feared - Even in the time of my prosperity, I was full of fears, considering the variety of God's providences, the changeableness of this vain world, God's justice, and the sinfulness of all mankind. And these fears of mine, were not in vain, but are justified by my present calamities.
26 Quiet - I did not misbehave myself in prosperity, abusing it by presumption, and security, but I lived circumspectly, walking humbly with God, and working out my salvation with fear and trembling. Therefore in this sense also, his way was hid, he knew not why God contended with him.

Chapter IV

Eliphaz owns Job's former usefulness, but infers from his present state and behaviour, that he was an hypocrite, ver. 1 - 6. He affirms that God never afflicts man, but for his wickedness, ver. 7 - 11. He confirms his assertion, by the words he heard in a vision, ver. 12 - 21. By all this he aims to make Job both penitent and patient under his sufferings.

2 If we, &c. - He speaks with great modesty. He will not undertake the cause alone, but joins his friends with him. He will not promise much, but only assay, or try if he could propose any thing pertinent to Job's case. Withhold - When he hears such words from such a person as thou art.
4 Feeble knees - Such as were weak hearted, and fainting under their trials.
6 Thy fear - We now plainly see what was the nature of thy fear of God, thy confidence in him, the uprightness of thy ways, and thy hope in God's mercy. Thy present carriage discovers that it was but mere talk and appearance.
7 Innocent - Therefore thou art guilty of some great, though secret crimes, and thy sin hath now found thee out. Cut off - By the sickle of Divine vengeance before his time, which is like to be thy case. Eliphaz here advances another argument to prove Job an hypocrite; taken not only from his impatience under afflictions, but from his afflictions themselves.
8 Even - As thou hast never seen any example of a righteous man cut off, so I have seen many of wicked men cut off for their wickedness. They - They that designedly work wickedness, first preparing themselves for it, and then continuing to execute it, as husbandmen first plow the ground, and then cast in the feed. Reap - The fruit of their iniquity, the just punishment of it.
9 The blast - Of his nostrils, as it follows; by his anger, which in men shews itself, in the nostrils, by hot and frequent breathings there, by a secret, but mighty judgment of God, they are blown away as chaff by the wind.
10 The roaring - Nor can they escape, even were they strong as lions, yea, as the strongest and fiercest of them. Broken - Which is true literally; the lions when taken having most commonly their teeth broken, as ancient and modern writers relate. But this is meant of powerful tyrants, who are fitly compared to lions, Ezek 32:2 38:13, who though for a time they persecute and oppress other men, yet in due time they are restrained, and broken, and crushed in pieces by the mighty power of God. Possibly he may secretly accuse Job, or his children, that being persons of great wealth and power, they had abused it to ruin their neighbours, and therefore were justly cut off.
11 Scattered - Gone from their dens several ways to hunt for prey, and can find none.
12 Now - To convince Job of the sin and folly of impatience, Eliphaz relates a vision he had had, perhaps since he came to him. Which in that age and state of the church, before the holy scriptures were written, was the usual way of God's discovering his mind to those that sought him. A thing - Heb. a word, from God, a message. Secretly - Heb. was stolen, or brought by stealth unto me, privately and secretly, as the word of God used to come to the prophets, being spoken in their ear, as it was to Samuel, with a low and still voice. He does not pretend to have understood it fully; but something of it he perceived. How little a portion is heard of God! How little do we know of him in this world.
13 In thoughts - These thoughts arose from the visions of the night, which it is probable he had seen before. Visions differed from dreams herein, that God imparted his mind to men in dreams when asleep, but in visions, when they were awake. And these visions sometimes happened by day, but most frequently by night. Sleep - In the dead of the night, when men usually are in a deep sleep; though Eliphaz was not now asleep.
15 A spirit - An angel in visible shape, otherwise he could not have discerned it. Stood up - Through that excessive horror caused by so glorious, unusual, and terrible a presence.
16 Stood - Having passed by him to, and again, he made a stand, and addressed himself to speak. The form - Exactly and distinctly. An image - I saw some visible resemblance, though in a confused manner. Silence - The spirit, which possibly had made some noise with his motion, now standing still made no noise; all other persons and things about me were silent, and I also kept in my voice and breath, that I might distinctly hear. In the Hebrew, the words run thus, silence and a voice I heard.
17 More just - Pretend more strictly to observe the laws of justice? Shall (enosh) mortal, miserable man (so the word signifies) be thus insolent? Nay, shall geber, the strongest and most eminent man, stand in competition with God? Those that find fault with the directions of the Divine law, the dispensations of the Divine grace, or the disposal of the Divine providence, do make themselves more just and pure than God: who being their maker, is their Lord and owner: and the author of all the justice and purity that is in man.
18 Servants - They are called his servants by way of eminency, that general name being here appropriated to the chief of the kind, to intimate that sovereign dominion which the great God hath over the angels, and much more over men. With folly - Without all doubt, this refers to those angels who foolishly and wickedly fell from God.
19 How, &c. - The sense is, what strange presumption then is it for a foolish and mortal man, to make himself more just than God. In them - Who though they have immortal spirits, yet those spirits dwell in mortal bodies, which are great clogs, and incumbrances, and snares to them. These are called houses, (because they are the receptacles of the soul, and the places of its settled abode) and houses of clay, because they were made of clay, or earth, and to note their great frailty and mutability; whereas the angels are free spirits, unconfined to such carcasses, and dwell in celestial, and glorious, and everlasting mansions. Whose - Whose very foundation, no less than the rest of the building, is in the dust; had their original from it, and must return to it. We stand but upon the dust: some have an higher heap of dust to stand upon than others. But still it is the earth that stays us up, and will shortly swallow us up. Before - Sooner than a moth is crushed, which is easily done by a gentle touch of the finger. Or, at the face of a moth. No creature is so contemptible, but one time or other it may have the body of man in its power.
20 Destroyed - All the day long, there is not a moment wherein man is not sinking towards death and corruption. Perish - In reference to this present worldly life, which when once lost is never recovered. Regarding - Heb. without putting the heart to it, this is so common a thing for all men, though never so high and great, to perish in this manner, that no man heeds it, but passes it by as a general accident not worthy of observation.
21 Excellency - Whatsoever is by common estimation excellent in men, all their natural, and moral, and civil accomplishments, as high birth, great riches, power and wisdom, these are so far from preserving men from perishing, that they perish themselves, together with those houses of clay in which they are lodged. Without wisdom - Even without having attained that only wisdom for which they came into the world. Shall such mean, weak, foolish, sinful, dying creatures as this, pretend to be more just than God, more pure than his maker? No: instead of quarrelling with his afflictions, let him admire that he is out of hell.

Chapter V

Sin occasions destruction, ver. 1 - 5. Affliction is the common lot of mankind, ver. 6 - 7. In affliction we should fly to God, who is both able and willing to help, ver. 8 - 16. He will deliver them that trust in him, ver. 17 - 27.

1 Call - Call them all as it were by their names: will not every good man confirm what I say? If - Try if there be any one saint that will defend thee in these bold expostulations with God. Thou mayst find fools or wicked men, to do it: but not one of the children of God.
2 Killeth - A man's wrath, and impatience, preys upon his spirit, and so hastens his death; and provokes God to cut him off. The foolish - The rash and inconsiderate man, who does not weigh things impartially. Envy, &c. - I perceive thou art full of envy at wicked men, who seem to be in a happier condition than thou, and of wrath against God; and this shews thee to be a foolish and weak man. For those men, notwithstanding their present prosperity, are doomed to great and certain misery. I have myself seen the proof of this.
3 Foolish - The wicked man. Root - Not only prosperous for the present, but, as it seemed, firm and secure for the future. Suddenly - In a moment, beyond mine, and his own, and all other mens expectation. Cursed - l saw by the event which followed his prosperity, that he was a man accursed of God.
4 Children - Whose greatness he designed in all his enterprizes, supposing his family would be established for ever. Safely - Are exposed to dangers and calamities, and can neither preserve themselves, nor the inheritance which their fathers left them. There is no question but he glances here, at the death of Job's children.
5 Harvest - Which they confidently expect to reap after all their cost and labour, but are sadly and suddenly disappointed. The hungry - The hungry Sabeans eat it up. Thorns - Out of the fields: in spite of all dangers or difficulties in their way.
6 The dust - It springs not up by merely natural causes, as herbs grow out of the earth: but from God. Eliphaz here begins to change his voice, as if he would atone for the hard words he had spoken.
7 Is born - He is so commonly exposed to various troubles, as if he were born to no other end: affliction is become natural to man, and is transmitted from parents, to children, as their constant inheritance; God having allotted this portion to mankind for their sins. And therefore thou takest a wrong course in complaining so bitterly of that which thou shouldest patiently bear, as the common lot of mankind. As - As naturally, and as generally, as the sparks of fire fly upward. Why then should we be surprized at our afflictions as strange, or quarrel with them, as hard?
8 I would - If I were in thy condition. Seek - By prayer, and humiliation, and submission, imploring his pardon, and favour.
9 Who, &c. - Here Eliphaz enters upon a discourse of the infinite perfection of God's nature and works; which he doth as an argument to enforce the exhortation to seek and commit his cause to God, ver.8, because God was infinitely able either to punish him yet far worse, if he continued to provoke him; or to raise him from the dust, if he humbly addressed himself to him: and that by a representation of God's excellency and glory, and of that vast disproportion which was between God and Job, he might convince Job of his great sin in speaking so boldly and irreverently of him. Marvellous - Which (though common, and therefore neglected and despised, yet) are matter of wonder to the wisest men. The works of nature are mysteries: the most curious searches come far short of full discoveries: and the works of Providence are still more deep and unaccountable.
10 Rain - He begins with this ordinary work of God, in which he implies that there is something wonderful, as indeed there is in the rise of it from the earth, in the strange hanging of that heavy body in the air, and in the distribution of it as God sees fit; and how much more in the hidden paths of Divine Providence?
11 To set up - That is, he setteth up. Another example of God's great and wonderful works. He gives this instance to comfort and encourage Job to seek to God, because he can raise him out of his greatest depths.
13 The wise - Men wise to do evil, and wise in the opinion of the world, he not only deceives in their hopes and counsels, but turns them against themselves. Froward - Or, wrestlers: such as wind and turn every way, as wrestlers do, and will leave no means untried to accomplish their counsels. Is carried - Is tumbled down and broken, and that by their own precipitation.
14 Meet - In plain things they run into gross mistakes, and chuse those courses which are worst for themselves. Darkness often notes misery, but here ignorance or error. Grope - Like blind men to find their way, not knowing what to do.
15 Mouth - Which was ready to swallow them up.
16 So - So he obtains what he hoped for from God, to whom he committed his cause. Iniquity - Wicked men. Stoppeth - They are silenced and confounded, finding that not only the poor are got out of their snares, but the oppressors themselves are ensnared in them.
17 Behold - Eliphaz concludes his discourse, with giving Job a comfortable hope, if he humbled himself before God. Happy - Heb. Blessednesses (various and great happiness) belong to that man whom God rebukes. The reason is plain, because afflictions are pledges of God's love, which no man can buy too dear; and are necessary to purge out sin, and thereby to prevent infinite and eternal miseries. Without respect to this, the proposition could not be true. And therefore it plainly shews, that good men in those ancient times, had the belief, and hope of everlasting blessedness. Despise not - Do not abhor it as a thing pernicious, refuse it as a thing useless, or slight it as an unnecessary thing. But more is designed than is exprest. Reverence the chastening of the Lord: have an humble, aweful regard to his correcting hand, and study to answer the design of it. The Almighty - Who is able to support and comfort thee in thy troubles, and deliver thee out of them: and also to add more calamities to them, if thou art obstinate and incorrigible.
18 For he, &c. - God's usual method is, first to humble, and then to exalt. And he never makes a wound too great, too deep for his own cure.
19 Deliver - If thou seekest to him by prayer and repentance. Here he applies himself to Job directly. Six - Manifold and repeated. Touch - So as to destroy thee. Thou shalt have a good issue out of all thy troubles, though they are both great and many.
20 He shall - These things he utters with more confidence, because the rewards or punishments of this life, were more constantly distributed to men in the Old Testament according to their good or bad behaviour, than they are now: and because it was his opinion, that great afflictions were the certain evidences of wickedness; and consequently, that great deliverances would infallibly follow upon true repentance.
22 Laugh - With a laughter of joy and triumph, arising from a just security and confidence in God's watchful and gracious providence.
23 League - Thou shalt be free from annoyance thereby, as if they had made an inviolable league with thee. This is a bold metaphor, but such as are frequent both in scripture and other authors. This is an addition to the former privilege; they shall not hurt thee, ver.22, nay, they shall befriend thee, as being at peace with thee. Our covenant with God is a covenant with all the creatures, that they shall do us no hurt, but serve and be ready to do us good.
24 Know - By certain experience.
25 Know - By assurance from God's promises, and the impressions of his Spirit; and by experience in due time.
26 Full age - In a mature and old, but vigorous age, as the word implies. It is a great blessing, to live to a full age, and not to have the number of our years cut short. Much more, to be willing to die, to come chearfully to the grave: and to die seasonably, just in the bed - time, when our souls are ripe for God.
27 Searched - This is no rash or hasty conceit, but what both I and my brethren have learned by deep consideration, long experience, and diligent observation. Know thou - Know it for thyself; (So the word is) with application to thy own case. That which we thus hear and know for ourselves, we hear and know for our good.

Chapter VI

Job shews that he has reason to complain, ver. 1 - 7. He compassionately wishes for death, ver. 8 - 13. Reproves his friends for their uncharitable censures, ver. 14 - 30.

2 My grief - The cause of my grief. Weighed - Were fully understood, and duly considered. O that I had an equal judge! that would understand my case, and consider whether I have not cause for complaints. Together - Together with any other most heavy thing to be put into the other scale.
3 Sea - Which is heavier than dry sand. Swallowed - My voice and spirit fail me. I cannot find, or utter words sufficient to express my sorrow or misery.
4 Arrows - So he fitly calls his afflictions, because, like arrows, they came upon him swiftly and suddenly one after another, immediately shot by God into his spirit. Poison - Implying that these arrows were more keen than ordinary, being dipped in God's wrath, as the barbarous nations used to dip their arrows in poison, that they might not only pierce, but burn up and consume the vital parts. Drinketh - Exhausteth and consumeth my soul. In array - They are like a numerous army, who invade me on every side. This was the sorest part of his calamity, wherein he was an eminent type of Christ, who complained most of the sufferings of his soul. Now is my soul troubled. My soul is exceeding sorrowful. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Indeed trouble of mind is the sorest trouble. A wounded spirit who can bear.
5 Doth, &c. - Even the brute beasts, when they have convenient food, are quiet and contented. So it is no wonder that you complain not, who live in ease and prosperity, any more than I did, when I wanted nothing.
6 Can, &c. - Do men use to eat unsavoury meats with delight, or without complaint? Men commonly complain of their meat when it is but unsavoury, how much more when it is so bitter as mine is?
7 The things, &c. - The sense may be, those grievous afflictions, which I dreaded the very thought of, are now my daily, though sorrowful bread.
9 Destroy - To end my days and calamities together.
10 Harden - I would bear up with courage under all my torments, with the hopes of death, and blessedness after death. Spare - Not suffer me to live any longer. Concealed - As I have steadfastly believed them, and not wilfully departed from them, so I have not been ashamed, nor afraid, boldly to profess and preach the true religion in the midst of Heathens. And therefore I know if God doth cut me off, I shall be a gainer by it.
11 Strength - My strength is so spent, that it is vain for me to hope for such restitution as thou hast promised me, chap.5:22. End - What is death to me? It is not terrible, but comfortable. That - Then why should I desire to prolong my life. But as desirous of death as Job was, yet he never offered to put an end to his own life. Such a thought will never be entertained by any, that have the least regard to the law of God and nature. How uneasy soever the soul's confinement in the body may be, it must by no means break the prison, but wait for a fair discharge.
12 Is, &c. - I am not made of stone or brass, but of flesh and blood, as others are, therefore I am unable to endure these miseries longer, and can neither hope for. nor desire the continuance of my life.
13 What, &c. - If my outward condition be helpless and hopeless? Have I therefore lost my understanding, cannot I judge whether it is more desirable for me to live or to die, whether I be an hypocrite or no, whether your words have truth and weight in them; whether you take the right method in dealing with me?
14 To him - Heb. to him that is melted or dissolved with affections. But. &c. - But thou hast no pity for thy friend; a plain evidence that thou art guilty of what thou didst charge me with, even of the want of the fear of God. The least which those that are at ease can do for them that are pained, is to pity them, to feel a tender concern for them, and to sympathize with them.
15 Brethren - Friends; for though Eliphaz only had spoken, the other two shewed their approbation of his discourse. Deceitfully - Adding to the afflictions which they said they came to remove. And it is no new thing, for even brethren to deal deceitfully. It is therefore our wisdom to cease from man. We cannot expect too little from the creature, or too much from the creator.
16 Which - Which in winter when the traveller neither needs nor desires it, are full of water congealed by the frost. Snow - Under which the water from snow, which formerly fell, and afterward was dissolved, lies hid. So he speaks not of those brooks which are fed by a constant spring, but of them which are filled by accidental falls of water or snow.
17 Warm - When the weather grows milder. Hot - In the hot season, when waters are most refreshing and necessary.
18 Perish - They are gone out of their channel, flowing hither and thither, 'till they are quite consumed.
19 Tema - This place and Sheba were both parts of the hot and dry country of Arabia, in which waters were very scarce, and therefore precious and desirable, especially to travellers. Companies - Men did not there travel singly, as we do, but in companies for their security against wild beasts and robbers.
20 Hoped - They comforted themselves with the expectation of water. Ashamed - As having deceived themselves and others. We prepare confusion for ourselves, by our vain hopes: the reeds break under us, because we lean upon them.
21 Nothing - You are to me as if you had never come to me; for I have no comfort from you. Afraid - You are shy of me, and afraid for yourselves, lest some further plagues should come upon me, wherein you for my sake, should be involved: or, lest I should be burdensome to you.
22 Did I say - Give me something for my support or relief. You might have at least given me comfortable words, when I expected nothing else from you.
23 Deliver - By the force of your arms, as Abraham delivered Lot. Redeem - By price or ransom.
24 Teach - Convince me by solid arguments. I will - I will patiently hear and gladly receive your counsels.
25 Forcible - The words of truth have a marvellous power. Reprove - But there is no truth in your assertions or weight in your arguments.
26 Words - Do you think it is sufficient to quarrel with some of my words, without giving allowance for human infirmity, or extreme misery. Desperate - Of a poor miserable, hopeless and helpless man. As wind - Which pass away and are forgotten.
27 Overwhelm - You load with censures and calumnies. Desolate - Me who am deprived of all my children, my estate, and my friends. I spoke all I thought, as to my friends, and you thence occasion to cast me down.
28 Look - Consider my cause better than you have done, that you may give a more righteous judgment. Evident - You will plainly discover it.
29 Return - Turn from your former judgment. Iniquity - Or, there shall be no iniquity, in my words. Righteousness - In this cause or matter between you and me; and you will find the right to be on my side.
30 Is there - Consider if there be any untruth or iniquity in what I have already said, or shall farther speak. Taste - My judgment, which judgeth of words and actions, as the palate doth of meats.

Chapter VII

Job bemoans himself to his friends, ver. 1 - 6. To God, ver. 7 - 16. Begs for pardon and death, ver. 17 - 21.

1 Is there not - Job is here excusing what he cannot justify, his passionate longing for death. A time - Is there not a time limited by God, wherein man shall live in this sinful, and miserable world? And is it a crime in me, to desire that God would bring me to that joyful period? Our time on earth is limited and short, according to the narrow bounds of this earth. But heaven cannot be measured, nor the days of heaven numbered. Hireling - Whose time is short, being but a few years, or days, whose condition is full of toil and hardship.
2 Shadow - That is, the sun - set, the time allotted for his rest.
3 So - This so respects not so much the desire of an hired servant, as the ground of it, his hard toil and service. Possess - God, hath given me this as my lot and inheritance. Months - So he calls them rather than days, to note the tediousness of his affliction. Vanity - Empty and unsatisfying. Nights - He mentions nights, because that is the saddest time for sick and miserable persons; the darkness and solitude of the night being of themselves uncomfortable, and giving them more opportunity for solemn and sorrowful reflections.
5 Worms - Which were bred out of Job's corrupted flesh and sores. Dust - The dust of the earth upon which he lay. Broken - By ulcers in all parts of it.
6 Swifter - The time of my life hastens to a period. Shuttle - Which passes in a moment from one end of the web to the other. Hope - Of enjoying any good day here.
7 O - He turns his speech to God. Perhaps observing, that his friends grew weary of hearing it. If men will not hear us, God will: if men cannot help us, he can: for his arm is not shortened, neither is his ear heavy.
8 No more - In this mortal state: I shall never return to this life again. Am not - If thou cast one angry look upon me, I am not; thou canst look me into eternity.
9 No more - Never until the general resurrection. When we see a cloud which looked great, as if it would eclipse the sun, of a sudden dispersed and disappearing, say, Just such a thing is the life of man, a vapour that appears for a while and then vanisheth away.
10 Any more - He shall no more be seen and known in his former habitation. It concerns us to secure a better place when we die: for this will own us no more.
11 Therefore - Since my life is so vain and short, and when once lost, without all hopes of recovery. I will plead with God for pity before I die; I will not smother my anguish within my breast, but will ease myself by pouring out my complaints.
12 A sea - Am I as fierce and unruly as the sea, which, if thou didst not set bounds to it, would overwhelm the earth? Or, am I a vast and ungovernable sea - monster? Which thou must restrain by thy powerful providence. That, &c. - That thou shouldest guard and restrain me with such heavy and unexampled miseries? We are apt in affliction to complain of God, as if he laid more upon us than there is occasion for: whereas we are never in heaviness, but when there is need, nor more than there is need.
17 What, &c. - What is there in that poor, mean, creature called man, miserable man, as this word signifies, which can induce thee to take any notice of him, or to make such account of him? Man is not worthy of thy favour, and he is below thy anger; that thou shouldest concern thyself so much about him, as one near and dear to thee?
18 And try, &c. - What is man that vain, foolish creature, that thou shouldest magnify or regard, or visit him, (with thy mercy and blessings, that thou shouldest so far honour and regard him, as by thy visitation to preserve his spirit, or hold his soul in life) and try him, which God doth not only by afflictions, but also by prosperity and both inward and outward blessings? That thou shouldst observe his motions every moment, as in care for him, and jealous over him?
19 How long - How long will it be ere thou withdraw thy afflicting hand? Swallow - That I may have a breathing time: a proverbial expression.
20 Sinned - Although I am free from those crying sins, for which my friends suppose thou hast sent this judgment upon me, yet, I freely confess I am a sinner, and therefore obnoxious to thy justice. What, &c. - To satisfy thy justice, or regain thy favour? Who dost know and diligently observe all mens inward motions, and outward actions; and therefore, if thou shalt be severe to mark mine iniquities, I have not what to say or do unto thee. My case is singular, none is shot at as I am.
21 Pardon - Seeing thou art so gracious to others, why may not I hope for the same favour from thee? Dust - If thou dost not speedily help me, it will be too late. But I shall not be - It will be to late to shew me favour.

Chapter VIII

Bildad affirms, that Job had spoken amiss, ver. 1 - 3. That if he would sincerely seek to God, God would help him, ver. 4 - 7. That it is usual with God, to destroy the hypocrite, ver. 8 - 19. The joy of the upright, ver. 20 - 22.

2 Strong wind - Boisterous and violent.
3 Doth God - Heb. The might God, as this word signifies, the Almighty, or All - sufficient God, as the next name of God implies. These names are emphatically used, to prove that God cannot deal unjustly or falsely with men, because he hath no need of it, nor temptation to it, being self - sufficient for his own happiness, and being able by his own invincible power to do whatsoever pleaseth him. Pervert - Judge unrighteously? No, this is inconsistent with God's nature, and with his office of governor of the world.
4 If - If thou wast innocent, thy children, upon whom a great part of these calamities fell, might be guilty; and therefore God is not unrighteous in these proceedings.
5 Betimes - Heb. rise early to seek him, if thou wouldest seek him speedily, early and diligently.
6 Habitation - The concerns of thy house and family; which thou hast got and managed with righteousness.
8 Search - Seriously and industriously search the ancient records.
9 We, &c. - But lately born, and therefore have but little knowledge and experience. We live not so long as they did, to make observations on the methods of Divine Providence.
10 Utter - Not partially, but sincerely, speaking their inward thoughts; not rashly, but from deep consideration; not by hearsay, but their own knowledge.
11 Can, &c. - The hypocrite cannot build his hope, without some false, rotten ground or other, any more than the rush can grow without mire, or the flag without water.
12 Greenness - Whereby it promises long continuance. Tho' no man cut it down, it withers of itself, sooner than other herbs.
13 Paths - Of wicked men. By their paths he doth not understand their manner of living, but the events which befall them, God's manner of dealing with them.
14 Hope - Whose wealth and outward glory, the matter of his hope, and trust, shall be cut off suddenly and violently taken away from him. Web - Which tho' it be formed with great art and industry, is easily swept down, or pulled in pieces.
15 House - He shall trust to the multitude of his children and servants, and to his wealth, all which come under the name of a man's house in scripture. Hold it - To uphold himself by it. But his web, that refuge of lies, will be swept away, and he crushed in it.
16 He - The secure and prosperous sinner may think himself wronged, when he is compared to a rush or flag. Compare him then to a flourishing and well - rooted tree. Yet even then shall he be suddenly cut off. Green - Flourisheth in the world. Before the sun - Publickly and in the view of all men. Branch - His children, who are here mentioned as additions not only to his comfort, but also to his strength and safety. Garden - A place where it is defended from those injuries to which the trees of the field are subject, and where, besides the advantages common to all trees, it hath peculiar helps from the art and industry of men. So he supposes this man to be placed in the most desirable circumstances.
17 Heap - Of stones. This circumstance is added, to signify its firmness and strength, that it was not in loose and sandy ground, which a violent wind might overthrow, but in solid ground, within which were many stones, which its numerous and spreading roots embrace, folding and interweaving themselves about them. Seeth - The tree reacheth thither, takes the advantage of that place for the strengthening of itself.
18 He - God, who is the saviour of good men, and the destroyer of the wicked. It - The place; to which denying him, and seeing him, are here ascribed figuratively. Not seen - He shall be so utterly extirpated and destroyed, that there shall be no memorial of him left.
19 Behold - This is the issue of the flourishing state. This all his joy comes to. And, &c. - Out of the same earth or place shall another tree grow.
20 Behold - God who will not help the evildoer, will not cast away a good man, tho he may be cast down. Yet it may be, he will not be lifted up in this world: and therefore Bildad could not infer, that if Job was not restored to temporal prosperity, he was not a good man. Let us judge nothing before the time, but wait 'till the secrets of all hearts are revealed, and the present difficulties of providence solved, to universal and everlasting satisfaction.
21 'Till, &c. - And what I have said in general of good men, shall be made good to thee, if thou art such: God will not forsake thee, nor desist from doing thee good, 'till he give thee abundant matter of rejoicing.

Chapter IX

God's justice, wisdom, power and sovereignty, ver. 1 - 13. Job condemns himself, as not able to contend with God, ver. 14 - 21. Shews that we cannot judge men by their outward condition, ver. 22 - 24. And complains of the greatness of his troubles, and the loss he was at, what to say or do, ver. 25 - 35.

2 I know - That God is just in all his ways, that he doth ordinarily bless the righteous, and punish the wicked. Before God - And I know that no man is absolutely just, if God be severe to mark what is amiss in him.
3 One - One accusation among a thousand which God shall produce against him.
4 He - He is infinitely wise, and searcheth all mens hearts and ways, and discovers a multitude of sins which mens short sighted - eyes cannot see; and therefore can charge them with innumerable evils, where they thought themselves innocent, and sees far more malignity than men could discern in their sins. Mighty - So that whether men contend with God by wisdom or by strength: God will be conqueror. Hardened himself - Obstinately contended with him. The devil promised himself that Job in the day of his affliction, would curse and speak ill of God. But instead of that, he sets himself to honour God, and speak highly of him. As ill pained as he is, and as much as he is taken up with his own miseries, when he has occasion to mention the wisdom and power of God, he forgets his complaints and expatiates with a flood of eloquence on that glorious subject.
5 Who - He proceeds to give evidence of the Divine power and wisdom. Removeth - Suddenly and unexpectedly. They - The mountains, to which he ascribes sense and knowledge figuratively. In anger - In token of his displeasure with the men that live upon them.
6 The earth - Great portions of it, by earthquakes, or by removing islands. Pillars - The deep and inward parts of it, which like pillars supported those parts that appear to our view.
8 Who. &c. - A farther description of a black and tempestuous season, wherein the heavens seem to be brought down nearer to the earth. Treadeth - Represseth and ruleth them when they rage and are tempestuous: for treading upon any thing, signifies in scripture using power and dominion over it.
9 Ordereth - Disposeth them, governeth their rising and setting, and all their influences. These he names as constellations of greatest eminency; but under them he seems to comprehend all the stars, which as they were created by God, so are under his government. Arcturus is a northern constellation, near that called the Bear. Orion is a more southerly constellation, that rises to us in December. The Pleiades is a constellation not far from Orion, which we call the seven stars: by the chambers, (or inmost chambers, as the word signifies) of the south, he seems to understand those stars and constellations which are toward the southern pole, which are called inward chambers, because they are for the most part hid and shut up from these parts of the world.
10 Doth great things, &c. - Job here says the same that Eliphaz had said, chap.5:9, and in the original, in the very same words, with design to shew his full agreement with him, touching the Divine perfections.
11 Goeth - He works by his providence in ways of mercy or judgment. Passeth - He goeth from place to place: from one action to another: he speaks of God after the manner of men.
12 Taketh - If he determines to take away from any man his children or servants, or estate, who is able to restrain him from doing it? Or who dare presume to reprove him for it? And therefore far be it from me to quarrel with God, whereof you untruly accuse me.
13 Helpers - Those who undertake to uphold and defend one another against him. Stoop - Fall and are crushed by him.
14 How shall I - Since no creature can resist his power, and no man can comprehend his counsels and ways; how can I contend with him? Answer his allegations and arguments, produced against me.
15 Tho' - Though I were not conscious to myself of any sin. Would not - I durst not undertake to plead my cause against him; or maintain my integrity before him, because he knows me better than I know myself. Supplication - That he would judge favourably of me and my cause, and not according to the rigour of his justice.
16 Yet - I could not believe that God had indeed granted my desire, because I am still full of the tokens of his displeasure; and therefore should conclude that it was but a pleasant dream, and not a real thing.
17 Breaketh - Unexpectedly, violently, and irrecoverably. Cause - Not simply without any desert of his, but without any special cause of such singular afflictions; and peculiar and extraordinary guilt, such as his friends charged him with.
18 Breath - My pains are continual, and I have not so much as a breathing time free from them.
19 If - If my cause were to be decided by power. Is Strong - Stronger than I. Judgment - If I would contend with him in a way of right. Who - There is no superior judge that can summon him and me together.
20 Justify - If I plead against God mine own righteousness and innocency.
21 Perfect - If I should think myself perfect, yet I would not know, not acknowledge, my soul; I could not own nor plead before God the integrity of my soul, but would only make supplication to my judge, I would abhor, or condemn my life, I would not trust to the integrity either of my soul and heart, or of my life, so as to justify myself before the pure and piercing eyes of the all - seeing God.
22 This - In the other things which you have spoken of God's greatness, and justice, I do not contend with you, but this one thing I do, and must affirm against you. He - God sends afflictions promiscuously upon good and bad men.
23 Suddenly - If some common judgment come upon a people. Laugh - God will be well pleased, to see how the same scourge, which is the perdition of the wicked, is the trial of the innocent, and of their faith, which will be found unto praise and honour and glory.
24 The earth - The dominion over it. Into - Into their power. As good men are frequently scourged, so the wicked are advanced. Faces - Meantime he covers the faces of wise and good men, fit to be judges, and buries them alive in obscurity, perhaps suffers them to be condemned, and their faces covered as criminals, by those to whom the earth is given. This is daily done: if it be not God that doth it, where and who is he that doth?
25 Now - What he had said of the calamities which God frequently inflicts upon good men, he now exemplifies in himself. My days - The days of my life. Post - Who rides upon swift horses. See - I enjoy no good in them. Seeing is often put for experiencing either good or evil.
26 Eagle - Which flies swiftly, especially when in the sight of his prey. See here how swift the motion of time is! It is always upon the wing, hastening to its period. What little need have we of past - times! What great need to redeem time, which runs out, runs on so fast toward eternity! And how vain are the enjoyments of time, which we may be deprived of, even while time continues! Our day may be longer than our sunshine: and when that is gone, it is as if it had never been.
28 Afraid - I find all such endeavours vain; for if my griefs be suspended for a time, yet my fears continue. Will not - I plainly perceive thou, O God, (to whom he makes a sudden address, as he doth also, ver.31,) wilt not clear my innocency by removing those afflictions which make them judge me guilty of some great crime. Words proceeding from despair and impatience.
29 I shall - I shall be used like a wicked man still. Why - Why then should I comfort myself with vain hopes of deliverance, as thou advisest me.
30 If - If I clear myself from all imputations, and fully prove my innocency before men.
31 Yet - God would prove him to be a most guilty creature, notwithstanding all his purity before men. Abhor - I shall be so filthy, that my own clothes, if they had any sense in them, would abhor to touch me.
32 A man - But one infinitely superior to me in majesty, and power, and wisdom, and justice. That - That I should presume to debate my cause with him. Come - Face to face, to plead upon equal terms.
33 Days - man - Or, umpire. Lay his hand - Order and govern us in pleading; and oblige us to stand to his decision. Our Lord Jesus is now the blessed days - man, who has mediated between heaven and earth, has laid his hand upon us both: to him the father hath committed all judgment. But this was not made so clear then, as it is now by the gospel, which leaves no room for such a complaint as this.
34 Fear - The fear and dread of his majesty and justice. Let him not deal with me according to his perfect justice, but according to his grace and clemency.
35 Then - I would speak freely for myself, being freed from that dread, which takes away my spirit and courage. It is not - I am not free from his terror, and therefore cannot plead my cause with him.

Chapter X

Job complains of the hardships he was under, ver. 1 - 7. Pleads with God, that he is his workmanship, ver. 8 - 13. Complains again, that God deals severely with him, ver. 14 - 17. Comforts himself with the thoughts of death, ver. 18 - 22.

1 Shall I - Shall I give over complaining?
2 Condemn - Or, pronounce me not to be a wicked man, neither deal with me as such, as I confess thou mightest do in rigorous justice: O discover my integrity by removing this stroke, for which my friends condemn me. Wherefore - For what ends and reasons, and for what sins; for I am not conscious to myself of any peculiar sins by which I have deserved to be made the most miserable of all men. When God afflicts, he contends with us: when he contends with us, there is always a reason for it. And it is desirable to know, what that reason is, that we may forsake whatever he has a controversy with us for.
3 Good - Dost thou take any pleasure in it? Far be it from Job, to think that God did him wrong. But he is at a loss to reconcile his providences with his justice. And so other good men have often been, and will be, until the day shall declare it.
4 Eyes of faith - No. Eyes of flesh cannot see in the dark: but darkness hideth not from God. Eyes of flesh are but in one place at a time, and can see but a little way. But the eyes of the Lord are in every place, and run to and fro thro' the whole earth. Eyes of flesh will shortly be darkened by age, and shut up by death. But the eyes of God are ever the same, nor does his sight ever decay. As man - Man sees the outside only, and judges by appearances: but thou seest mine heart.
5 Man's - Man's time is short and uncertain, and therefore he must improve it, and diligently search out the crimes of malefactors, lest by death he lose the opportunity of doing justice: but thou art eternal, and seest at one view all mens hearts, and all their actions present and to come; and therefore thou dost not need to proceed with me in this manner, by making so long a scrutiny into my heart and life.
6 Searchest - Keeping me so long upon the rack, to compel me to accuse myself.
7 Wicked - An hypocrite, as my friends account me. Deliver - But thou art the supreme ruler of the world; therefore I must wait thy time, and throw myself on thy mercy, in submission to thy sovereign will.
9 Clay - As a potter makes a vessel of clay; so this may note both the frailty of man's nature, which of itself decays and perishes, and doth not need such violent shocks to overthrow it; and the excellency of the Divine artifice commended from the meanness of the materials; which is an argument why God should not destroy it. Again - I must die by the course of nature, and therefore while I do live, give me some ease and comfort.
10 As milk - Thus he modestly and accurately describes God's admirable work in making man out of a small and liquid, and as it were milky substance, by degrees congealed and condensed into that exquisite frame of man's body.
11 Clothed - Covered my inward and more noble parts; which are first formed. So he proceeds in describing man's formation gradually. Bones - The stay and strength of the body; and some of them, as the skull and ribs, enclose and defend its vital parts.
12 Life - Thou didst not only give me a curious body, but also a reasonable soul: thou didst at first give me life, and then maintain it in me; both when I was in the womb (which is a marvellous work of God) and afterward when I was unable to do anything to preserve my own life. Favour - Thou didst not give mere life, but many other favours, such as nourishment by the breast, education, knowledge, and instruction. Visitation - The care of thy providence watching over me for my good, and visiting me in mercy. Preserved - My life, which is liable to manifold dangers, if God did not watch over us every day and moment. Thou hast hitherto done great things for me, given me life, and the blessings of life, and daily deliverances: and wilt thou now undo all that thou hast done? And shall I who have been such an eminent monument of thy mercy, now be a spectacle of thy vengeance.
13 Hid - Both thy former favours and thy present frowns. Both are according to thy own will, and therefore undoubtedly consistent, however they seem. When God does what we cannot account for, we are bound to believe, there are good reasons for it hid in his heart. It is not with us, or in our reach to assign the cause; but I know this is with thee.
14 Markest - If I am a wicked man, I cannot hide it from thee; and thou wilt punish me for it.
15 Wicked - An hypocrite, as my friends esteem me. Righteous - An upright man; so whether good or bad, all comes to one. Yet - Yet I have no comfort, or hopes of any good. Confusion - I am confounded within myself, not knowing what to say or do. Let my extremity move thee to pity, and help me.
16 Lion - Which hunteth after his prey with great eagerness, and when he overtakes it, falls upon it with great fury. Returnest - The lion tears its prey speedily, and so ends its torments; but thou renewest my calamities again and again, and makest my plagues wonderful both for kind and extremity, and continuance.
17 Witnesses - Thy judgments, which are the evidences both of my sins, and of thy wrath. Indignation - My miseries are the effects of thine anger. Army - Changes may denote the various kinds, and an army the great number of his afflictions.
20 Cease - My life is short, and of itself hastens to an end, there is no need that thou shouldest grudge me some ease for so small a moment.

Chapter XI

Zophar charges Job with falsehood and pride, ver. 1 - 4. Wishes that God would convince him of his wisdom, justice, and unsearchable perfections, ver. 5 - 9. Of his sovereignty, power and the cognisance he takes of men, ver. 10 - 12. He assures him, that on his repentance, God would restore him to prosperity, but that the wicked should perish, ver. 13 - 20.

1 Then answered - How hard is it, to preserve calmness, in the heat of disputation! Eliphaz began modestly: Bildad was a little rougher: But Zophar falls upon Job without mercy. "Those that have a mind to fall out with their brethren, and to fall foul upon them, find it necessary, to put the worst colours they can upon them and their performances, and right or wrong to make them odious."
2 Answered - Truly, sometimes it should not. Silence is the best confutation of impertinence, and puts the greatest contempt upon it.
3 Lies - Both concerning thy own innocency, and concerning the counsels and ways of God. Mockest - Our friendly and faithful counsels, chap.6:14,15,25,26.
4 Doctrine - Concerning God and his providence. Clean - I am innocent before God; I have not sinned either by my former actions, or by my present expressions. But Zophar perverts Job's words, for he did not deny that he was a sinner, but only that he was an hypocrite.
5 Speak - Plead with thee according to thy desire: he would soon put thee to silence. We are commonly ready with great assurance to interest God in our quarrels. But they are not always in the right, who are most forward, to appeal to his judgment, and prejudge it against their antagonists.
6 Secrets - The unsearchable depths of God's wisdom in dealing with his creatures. Double - That they are far greater (the word double being used indefinitely for manifold, or plentiful) than that which is manifested. The secret wisdom of God is infinitely greater than that which is revealed to us by his word or works: the greatest part of what is known of God, is the least part of those perfections that are in him. And therefore thou dost rashly in judging so harshly of his proceedings with thee, because thou dost not comprehend the reasons of them, and in judging thyself innocent, because thou dost not see thy sins; whereas the all - knowing God sees innumerable sins in thee, for which he may utterly destroy thee.
7 Find out - Discover all the depths of his wisdom, and the reasons of his actions?
10 Cut off - A person or family. Shut - Its a prison, or in the hands of an enemy. Gather - Whether it pleaseth God to scatter a family, or to gather them together from their dispersions. Hinder - Or, who can contradict him, charge him with injustice in such proceedings?
11 Knoweth - Though men know but little of God, yet God knows man exactly. He knoweth that every man in the world is guilty of much vanity and folly, and therefore seeth sufficient reason for his severity against the best men. Wickedness - He perceiveth the wickedness of evil men, though it be covered with the veil of religion. Consider - Shall he only see it as an idle spectator, and not observe it as a judge to punish it?
12 Man - That since the fall is void of all true wisdom, pretends to be wise, and able to pass a censure upon all God's ways and works. Colt - Ignorant, and dull, and stupid, as to divine things, and yet heady and untractable.
13 Heart - To seek God; turning thy bold contentions with God into humble supplications.
15 Lift up - Which denotes chearfulness, and holy boldness. Without spot - Having a clear and unspotted conscience. Steadfast - Shall have a strong and comfortable assurance of God's favour.
16 As waters - Thou shalt remember it no more, than men remember a land - flood, which as it comes, so it goes away suddenly.
17 Shine - Light in scripture commonly signifies prosperity and glory. Thy comfort, like the morning - light shall shine brighter and brighter, until the perfect day.
18 Secure - Thy mind shall be quiet and free from terrors, because thou shalt have a firm and well - grounded confidence in God. Dig - Either to fix thy tents, which after the manner of the Arabians were removed from place to place: or to plough the ground, as he had done, chap.1:14, or to make a fence about thy dwelling.
20 Fail - Either with grief and tears for their sore calamities: or with long looking for what they shall never attain. Their hope - They shall never obtain deliverance out of their distresses, but shall perish in them. Ghost - Shall be as vain and desperate as the hope of life is in a man, when he is at the very point of death.

Chapter XII

Job blames his friends for their self - conceit and unkind behaviour, ver. 1 - 5. Shews that the wicked often prosper, ver. 6 - 11. Confirms and enlarges upon what had been said, of the wisdom, power and providence of God, ver. 12 - 25.

2 Ye - You have engrossed all the reason of mankind; and each of you has as much wisdom as an whole people put together. All the wisdom which is in the world, lives in you, and will be utterly lost when you die. When wise and good men die, it is a comfort to think that wisdom and goodness do not die with them: it is folly to think, that there will be a great, irreparable loss of us when we are gone, since God has the residue of the spirit, and can raise up others more fit to do his work.
3 But - In these things, which he speaks not in a way of boasting, but for the just vindication both of himself, and of that cause of God, which for the substance of it he maintained rightly, as God himself attests, chap.42:7. Such things - The truth is, neither you nor I have any reason to be puffed up with our knowledge of these things: for the most barbarous nations know that God is infinite in wisdom, and power, and justice. But this is not the question between you and me.
4 Upon God - Even by my religious neighbours, by those who call upon God, and not in vain; whose prayers therefore I covet, not their reproaches. The just - I, who, notwithstanding all their hard censures dare still own it, that through God's grace I am an upright man.
5 Slip with his feet - And fall into trouble; tho' he had formerly shone as a lamp, he is then looked upon as a lamp going out, as the snuff of a candle, which we throw to the ground and tread upon; and accordingly is despised in the thought of him that is at ease.
6 Are secure - Job's friends had all supposed, that wicked men cannot prosper long in the world. This Job opposes, and maintains, that God herein acts as sovereign, and reserves that exact distribution of rewards and punishments for the other world.
7 But - If thou observest the beasts, and their properties and actions, and events, from them thou mayst learn this lesson: that which Zophar had uttered with so much pomp and gravity, chap.11:7,8,9, concerning God's infinite wisdom, saith Job, thou needest not go into heaven or hell to know. but thou mayst learn it even from the beasts.
9 Lord - This is the only time that we meet with the name Jehovah in all the discourses between Job and his friends. For God in that age was more known by the name of Shaddai, the Almighty.
11 Doth not - This may be a preface to his following discourse; whereby he invites them to hear and judge of his words candidly and impartially; that they and he too might agree in disallowing what should appear to be false, and owning of every truth.
12 Wisdom - These words contain a concession of what Bildad had said, chap.8:8,9, and a joining with him in that appeal; but withal, an intimation that this wisdom was but imperfect, and liable to many mistakes; and indeed mere ignorance and folly, if compared with the Divine wisdom, and therefore that antiquity ought not to be received against the truths of the most wise God.
14 No opening - Without God's permission. Yea, he shuts up in the grave, and none can break open those sealed doors. He shuts up in hell, in chains of darkness, and none can pass that great gulf.
15 The waters - Which are reserved its the clouds, that they may not fall upon the earth. They - The waters upon the earth, springs, and brooks, and rivers. As at the time of the general deluge, to which here is a manifest allusion.
16 With him - The same thing he had said before, ver.13, but he repeats it here to prepare the way for the following events, which are eminent instances, both of his power and wisdom. Are his - Wholly subject to his disposal. He governs the deceiver and sets bounds to his deceits, how far they shall extend; he also over - rules all this to his own glory, and the accomplishment of his righteous designs of trying the good, and punishing wicked men, by giving them up to believe lies. Yet God is not the author of any error or sin, but only the wise and holy governor of it.
17 Spoiled - The wise counsellors or statesmen, by whom the affairs of kings and kingdoms are ordered, he leadeth away as captives in triumph, being spoiled either of that wisdom which they had, or seemed to have; or of that power and dignity which they had enjoyed. Fools - By discovering their folly, and by infatuating their minds, and turning their own counsels to their ruin.
18 Looseth - He freeth them from that wherewith they bind their subjects to obedience, their power and authority, and that majesty which God stamps upon kings, to keep their people in awe. Girdeth - He reduces them to a mean and servile condition; which is thus expressed, because servants did use to gird up their garments (that after the manner of those parts were loose and long) that they might be fitter for attendance upon their masters: he not only deposes them from their thrones, but brings them into slavery.
20 The speech - By taking away or restraining the gift of utterance from them. Or, by taking away their understanding which should direct their speech. Trusty - Of those wise and experienced counsellors, that were trusted by the greatest princes.
22 Darkness - The most secret counsels of princes, which are contrived and carried on in the dark.
23 Nations - What hitherto he said of princes, he now applies to nations, whom God does either increase or diminish as he pleases.
25 Grope - Thus are the revolutions of kingdoms brought about by an overruling providence. Heaven and earth are shaken: but the Lord remaineth a king forever.

Chapter XIII

Job sharply reproves his friends, ver. 1 - 13. Professes his faith, ver. 14 - 16. Desires to be heard, ver. 17 - 19. Expostulates with God, ver. 20 - 28.

1 Lo - All this which either you or I have discoursed concerning the infinite power and wisdom of God. I know, both by seeing it, by my own observation and experience, and by hearing it from my ancestors.
3 Surely - I had rather debate the matter with God than with you. I am not afraid of presenting my person and cause before him, who is a witness of my integrity.
8 Accept - Not judging according to the right of the cause, but the quality or the person.
12 Remembrance - Mouldering and coming to nothing. And the consideration of our mortality should make us afraid of offending God. Your mementos are like unto ashes, contemptible and unprofitable.
14 Wherefore - And this may be a reason of his desire of liberty of speech, because he could hold his tongue no longer, but must needs tear himself to pieces, if he had not some vent for his grief. The phrase having his life in his hand, denotes a condition extremely dangerous.
17 Hear - He now comes more closely to his business, the foregoing verses being mostly in way of preface.
18 Behold - I have seriously considered the state of my case, and am ready to plead my cause.
19 The ghost - My grief would break my heart, if I should not give it vent.
21 Withdraw - Suspend my torments during the time of my pleading with thee, that my mind may be at liberty. Do not present thyself to me in terrible majesty, neither deal with me in rigorous justice.
22 Then - This proposal savoured of self - confidence, and of irreverence towards God; for which, and the like speeches, he is reproved by God, chap.38:2,3 40:2.
23 My sin - That I am a sinner, I confess; but not that I am guilty of such crimes as my friends suppose, if it be so, do thou, O Lord, discover it.
25 Leaf - One that can no more resist thy power, than a leaf, or a little dry straw can resist the wind or fire.
26 Writest - Thou appointest or inflictest. A metaphor from princes or judges, who anciently used to write their sentences.
28 He - He speaks of himself in the third person, as is usual in this and other sacred books. So the sense is, he, this poor frail creature, this body of mine; which possibly he pointed at with his finger, consumeth or pineth away.

Chapter XIV

Man's life is but short, sorrowful, and sinful; on which consideration he pleads for mercy, ver, 1 - 6. Other creatures revive, but man does not, ver. 7 - 12. Various wishes and complaints, ver. 13 - 22.

1 Man - A weak creature, and withal corrupt and sinful, and of that sex by which sin and all other calamity was brought into the world.
2 Flower - The flower is fading, and all its beauty soon withers and is gone. The shadow is fleeting, and its very being will soon be lost in the shadows of night. Of neither do we make any account, in neither do we put any confidence.
4 Not one - No man. This is the prerogative of thy grace, which therefore I humbly implore.
5 Determined - Limited to a certain period. With thee - In thy power and disposal. Thou hast appointed a certain end of his days, beyond which he cannot prolong his life.
6 Turn - Withdraw thine afflicting hand from him, that he may have some present ease. 'Till - He come to the period of his life, which thou hast allotted to him, as a man appoints a set time to an hired servant.
8 Die - To outward appearance.
9 Scent - By means of water. Scent or smell, is figuratively ascribed to a tree.
10 Man - Two words are here used for man. Geber, a mighty man, tho' mighty, dies. Adam, a man of earth, returns to it. Before death, he is dying daily, continually wasting away. In death, he giveth up the ghost, the spirit returns to God that gave it. After death, where is he? Not where he was: his place knows him no more. But is he nowhere? Yes, he is gone to the world of spirits, gone into eternity, gone, never to return to this world!
11 As - So it is with man. Or thus, as when the waters fail from the sea, when the sea forsakes the place into which it used to flow, the river which was fed by it, decayeth and drieth up without all hopes of recovery.
12 Lieth - In his bed, the grave. 'Till - Until the time of the general resurrection, when these visible heavens shall pass away.
13 The grave - The grave is not only a resting - place, but an hiding - place to the children of God. He hides them in the grave, as we hide our treasure in a place of secrecy and safety. Hide me there, not only from the storms of this life, but for the glory of a better. Until thy wrath be past - As long as our bodies lie in the grave, there are some fruits of God's wrath against sin: until the set time comes, for their being remembered, as Noah was remembered in the ark, Gen 8:1. Our bodies shall not be forgotten in the grave, there is a time set for their being enquired after.
14 Shall he live? - He shall not in this world. Therefore I will patiently wait 'till that change comes, which will put a period to my calamities.
15 Answer thee - Thou shalt call my soul to thyself: and I will chearfully answer, Here I am: knowing thou wilt have a desire to the work of thy hands - A love for the soul which thou hast made, and new - made by thy grace.
16 Numbereth - Thou makest a strict enquiry into all my actions.
17 Sealed - As writings or other choice things, that they may all be brought forth upon occasion, and not one of them forgotten. Thou keepest all my sins in thy memory. But herein Job speaks rashly.
18 And - As when a great mountain falls, by an earthquake or inundation, it moulders away like a fading leaf, (as the Hebrew word signifies) and as the rock, when by the violence of winds or earthquakes it is removed out of its place, and thrown down, is never re - advanced: and as the waters by continual droppings, wear away the stones, so that they can never be made whole again: and as thou wastest away, by a great and violent inundation, the things which grow out of the dust of the earth, herbs, and fruits, and plants, which once washed away are irrecoverably lost; in like manner, thou destroyest the hope of man: when man dies, all hope of his living again in this world is lost.
20 Prevailest - When once thou takest away this life, it is gone forever. Sendest - To his long home.
21 Knoweth not - Either is ignorant of all such events: or, is not concerned or affected with them. A dead or dying man minds not these things.

Chapter XV

Eliphaz reproves Job for justifying himself, ver. 1 - 13. Persuades him to humble himself before God, ver. 14 - 16. Describes the misery of wicked men, ver. 17 - 35.

2 Fill - Satisfy his mind and conscience. East wind - With discourses not only unprofitable, but also pernicious both to himself and others; as the east - wind was in those parts.
4 Castest off - Heb. thou makes void fear; the fear of God, piety and religion, by thy unworthy speeches of God, and by those false and pernicious principles, that God makes no difference between good and bad in the course of his providence, but equally prospers or afflicts both: thou dost that which tends to the subversion of the fear and worship of God. Restrainest prayer - Thou dost by thy words and principles, as far as in thee lies, banish prayer out of the world, by making it useless and unprofitable to men.
5 Uttereth - Thy words discover the naughtiness of thy heart. Crafty - Thou speakest wickedly, and craftily: thou coverest thy impious principles with fair pretences of piety.
11 Are - Are those comforts, which we have propounded to thee on condition of thy repentance, small and contemptible in thine eyes? Secret - Hast thou any secret and peculiar way of comfort which is unknown to us, and to all other men?
12 Why - Why dost thou suffer thyself to be transported by the pride of thine heart, to use such unworthy expressions? Wink - Why dost thou look with such an angry, supercilious, and disdainful look?
13 Against God - Eliphaz here does in effect give the cause on Satan's side, and affirms that Job had done as he said he would, Curse God to his face.
15 Saints - In his angels, chap.4:18, who are called his saints or holy ones, Deut 33:2 Psal 103:20. Who though they were created holy, yet many of them fell. Heavens - The angels that dwell in heaven; heaven being put for its inhabitants. None of these are pure, simply and perfectly, and comparatively to God. The angels are pure from corruption, but not from imperfection.
16 Who - Who besides his natural proneness to sin, has contracted habits of sinning; and sins as freely, as greedily and delightfully, as men, especially in those hot countries, drink up water.
17 I - I will prove what I have affirmed, that such strokes as thine are peculiar to hypocrites. Seen - I speak not by hear - say, but from my own experience.
18 Hid - They judged it to be so certain and important a truth, that they would not conceal it in their own breasts.
19 To whom - By the gracious gift of God: this he alleges to make their testimony more considerable, because these were no obscure men, but the most worthy and famous men in their ages; and to confute what Job had said, chap.9:24, that the earth was given into the hand of the wicked. By the earth he means the dominion and possession of it. Stranger - No person of a strange nation and disposition, or religion. Passed - Through their land, so as to disturb, or spoil them, as the Sabeans and Chaldeans did thee. God watched over those holy men so, that no enemy could invade them; and so he would have done over thee, if thou hadst been such an one.
20 Pain - Lives a life of care, and fear, and grief, by reason of God's wrath, the torments of his own mind, and his outward calamities. Hidden - He knows not how short the time of his life is, and therefore lives in continual fear of losing it. Oppressor - To the wicked man: he names this one sort of them, because he supposed Job to be guilty of this sin, in opposition of what Job had affirmed of the safety of such persons, chap.12:6, and because such are apt to promise themselves a longer and happier life than other men.
21 A sound - Even when he feels no evil, he is tormented with perpetual fears. Come upon him - Suddenly and unexpectedly.
22 Believeth not - When he falls into trouble, he despairs of deliverance, by reason of his guilty conscience. Waited for - Besides the calamity which is upon him, he is in constant expectation of greater; the sword is used for any grievous affliction.
23 Knoweth - From his own guilty conscience.
25 For - Now he gives the reason of all the fore - mentioned calamities, which was his great wickedness. Against God - He sinned against God with an high hand. The Almighty - Which aggravates the madness of this poor worm that durst fight against the omnipotent God.
26 He - The wicked man. Neck - As a stout warrior who cometh close to his adversary and grapples with him. He acts in flat opposition to God, both to his precepts and providences. Bosses - Even where his enemy is strongest.
27 Because - This is mentioned as the reason of his insolent carriage towards God, because he was fat, rich, potent, and successful, as that expression signifies, Deut 32:15 Psal 78:31 Jer 46:21. His great prosperity made him proud and secure, and regardless of God and men. Fat - His only care is to pamper himself.
28 But - This is fitly opposed to the prosperity last mentioned, and is the beginning of the description of his misery.
29 Substance - What he had gotten shall be taken from him.
30 Depart - His misery shall have no end. Flame - God's anger and judgment upon him. Branches - His wealth, and power, and glory, wherewith he was encompassed, as trees are with their branches. His mouth - And this expression intimates, with how much ease God subdueth his enemies: his word, his blast; one act of his will is sufficient. Go - Heb. go back: that is, run away from God faster than he ran upon him, ver.26. So it is a continuation of the former metaphor of a conflict between two persons.
31 Vanity - In the vain and deceitful things of this world, he subjoins a general caution to all men to take heed of running into the same error and mischief. Vanity - Disappointment and dissatisfaction, and the loss of all his imaginary felicity. Recompence - Heb. his exchange; he shall exchange one vanity for another, a pleasing vanity for a vexatious vanity.
32 Accomplished - That vanity should be his recompence. Before - When by the course of nature, and common providence he might have continued much longer.

Chapter XVI

Job upbraids his friends with unkindness, ver. 1 - 5. Bemoans himself, ver. 6 - 16. Appeals from their censure to the righteous judgment of God, ver. 17 - 22.

2 Such things - These things are but vulgar and trivial. And so are all creatures, to a soul under deep conviction of sin, or the arrest of death.
3 End - When wilt thou put an end to these impertinent discourses? He retorts upon him his charge, chap.15:2,3.
7 He - God, as appears by the following words. Weary - Either of complaining, or, of my life. Desolate - Hast turned my society into desolation, by destroying my children and servants.
9 Eyes - Looks upon me with a fierce, and sparkling eye, as enraged persons use to do.
10 They - My friends. Gaped - Opened their mouths wide against me. In all this Job was a type of Christ. These very expressions are used in the predictions of his sufferings, Psal 22:13. They gaped upon me with their mouths, and Mic 5:1. They shall smite the judge of Israel upon the check.
11 The wicked - And thus Christ was delivered into wicked hands, by the determinate counsel of God.
12 Shaken - As a mighty man doth with some stripling, when he wrestleth with him. Mark - That he may shoot all his arrows in me.
13 His archers - Whoever are our enemies, we must look on them as God's archers, and see him directing the arrow.
15 I have - So far am I from stretching out my hand against God, chap.15:25, that I have humbled myself deeply under his hand. I have not only put on sackcloth, but sewed it on, as being resolved to continue my humiliation, as long as my affliction continues. Defiled my horn - I have willingly parted with all my wealth, and power, and glory (as the horn often signifies in scripture,) and been content to lie in the dust.
17 Not - And all this is not come upon me for any injurious dealing, but for other reasons known to God only. Pure - I do not cast off God's fear and service, chap.15:4. I do still pray and worship God, and my prayer is accompanied with a sincere heart.
18 Earth - The earth is said to cover that blood, which lies undiscovered and unrevenged: but saith Job, if I be guilty of destroying any man, let the earth disclose it; let it be brought to light. Cry - Let the cry of my complaints to men, or prayers to God, find no place in the ears or hearts of God or men, if this be true.
19 Witness - Besides the witness of my conscience, God is witness of my integrity.
22 Go - To the state and place of the dead, whence men cannot return to this life. The meaning is, my death hastens, and therefore I earnestly desire that the cause depending, between me and my friends, may be determined, that if I be guilty of these things, I may bear the shame of it before all men, and if I be innocent, that I may see my own integrity, and the credit of religion, (which suffers upon this occasion) vindicated. How very certainly, and how very shortly are we likewise to go this journey.

Chapter XVII

Job still bemoans himself, ver. 1 - 7. Encourages good men to hold on their way, ver. 8, 9. Declares he looks for no ease but in the grave, ver. 10 - 16. Job in this chapter suddenly passes from one thing to another as is usual for men in much trouble.

1 The graves - He speaks of the sepulchres of his fathers, to which he must be gathered. The graves where they are laid, are ready for me also. Whatever is unready, the grave is ready for us: it is a bed soon made. And if the grave be ready for us, it concerns us, to be ready for the grave.
2 Are not - Do not my friends, instead of comforting, mock me? Thus he returns to what he had said, chap.16:20, and intimates the justice of his following appeal.
3 Surety - These words contain, an humble desire to God that he would be his surety, or appoint him a surety who should maintain his righteous cause against his opposers. Strike hands - Be surety to me; whereof that was the usual gesture.
4 Hid - Thou hast blinded the minds of my friends: therefore I desire a more wise and able judge. Therefore - Thou wilt not give them the victory over me in this contest, but wilt make them ashamed of their confidence.
7 As a shadow - I am grown so poor and thin, that I am not to be called a man, but the shadow of a man.
8 Astonied - At the depth and mysteriousness of God's judgments, which fall on innocent men, while the worst of men prosper. Yet - Notwithstanding all these sufferings of good men, and the astonishment which they cause, he shall the more zealously oppose those hypocrites, who make these strange providences of God an objection to religion.
10 Come - And renew the debate, as I see you are resolved to do.
11 My days - The days of my life. I am a dying man, and therefore the hopes you give me of the bettering of my condition, are vain. Purposes - Which I had in my prosperous days, concerning myself and children.
12 They - My thoughts so incessantly pursue and disturb me, that I can no more sleep in the night, than in the day. The light - The day - light, which often gives some comfort to men in misery, seems to be gone as soon as it is begun. Darkness - Because of my grievous pains and torments which follow me by day as well as by night.
13 Wait - For deliverance, I should be disappointed; for I am upon the borders of the grave, I expect no rest but in the dark grave, for which therefore I prepare myself. I endeavour to make it easy, by keeping my conscience pure, by seeing Christ lying in this bed, (so turning it into a bed of spices) and by looking beyond it to the resurrection.
14 Corruption - Heb. to the pit of corruption, the grave. Father - I am near a - kin to thee, and thou wilt receive and keep me in thy house, as parents do their children.
15 Hope - The happiness you would have me expect.
16 They - My hopes, of which he spake in the singular number, ver.15, which he here changes into the plural, as is usual in these poetical books. Bars - Into the innermost parts of the pit: my hopes are dying, and will be buried in my grave. We must shortly be in the dust, under the bars of the pit, held fast there, 'till the general resurrection. All good men, if they cannot agree now will there rest together. Let the foresight of this cool the heat of all contenders, and moderate the disputers of this world.

Chapter XVIII

Bildad sharply reproves Job, as proud and impatient, ver. 1 - 4. And enlarges on the misery of the wicked, ver. 5 - 12.

2 Ye - Thou, O Job; of whom he speaks here, as also ver.3, in the plural number, as was a common idiotism of the Eastern language, to speak thus of one person, especially where he was one of eminency. Mark - Consider the matter better.
3 Beasts - Ignorant, and stupid men, chap.17:4,10.
4 He - Job. Thou art thy own tormentor. Forsaken - Shall God give over the government of the earth for thy sake, to prevent thy complaints and clamours? Shall the counsels of God, which are more immoveable than rocks, and the whole course of his providence be altered to comply with thy humours?
7 Steps - His strong steps, by a vulgar Hebraism: his attempts and actions; such of them as seem to be contrived with greatest strength of understanding, and carried on with greatest resolution. Straitened - Shall be hindered and entangled. He shall be cast into difficulties and perplexities, so that he shall not be able to proceed, and to accomplish his enterprizes.
8 Feet - By his own designs and actions.
13 First - born - A terrible kind of death. The first - born was the chief of his brethren, and therefore this title is given to things eminent in their kind.
14 Confidence - All the matter of his confidence, his riches, and children. Terrors - To death, which even Aristotle called, The most terrible of all terribles. And this it will do, either because it will expose him to his enemies, who will kill him; or because the sense of his disappointments, and losses, and dangers, will break his heart.
15 It - Destruction, expressed ver.12, shall fix its abode with him. Because - Because it is none of his own, being got from others by deceit or violence. Brimstone - It shall be utterly destroyed, as it were, by fire and brimstone. He seems to allude both to the destruction of Sodom, which happened not long before these times, and to the judgment which befel Job, chap.1:16.
18 Darkness - From a prosperous life to disgrace and misery, and to the grave, the land of darkness.
20 Astonied - At the day of his destruction. They shall be amazed at the suddenness, and dreadfulness of it. Before - Before the persons last mentioned. Those who lived in the time and place where this judgment was inflicted.
21 The place - The condition.

Chapter XIX

Job complains of the wicked usage of his friends, ver. 1 - 7. Of the shyness and strangeness of his relations and intimates, ver. 8 - 19. Pleads for pity, ver. 20 - 22. Testifies his firm belief of the resurrection, ver. 23 - 27. Cautions his friends against persisting in their hard censures, ver. 28, 29.

3 Ten - Many times. A certain number for an uncertain. Strange - That you carry yourselves like strangers to me, and condemn me as if you had never known my integrity.
4 Erred - If I have sinned, I myself suffer for my sins, and therefore deserve your pity rather than reproaches.
7 Cry - Unto God. Wrong - That I am oppressed by my friends.
9 Glory - Of my estate, children, authority, and all my comforts. Crown - All my power, and laid my honour in the dust.
10 Every side - In all respects, my person, and family, and estate. Gone - I am a lost and dead man. Hope - All my hopes of the present life, but not of the life to come. Tree - Which being once plucked up by the roots, never grows again. Hope in this life is a perishing thing. But the hope of good men, when it is cut off from this world, is but removed like a tree, transplanted from this nursery to the garden of God.
12 Troops - My afflictions, which are God's soldiers marching under his conduct. Raise - Cast up a trench round about me.
13 Estranged - As we must eye the hand of God, in all the injuries we receive from our enemies, so likewise in all the slights and unkindnesses we receive from our friends.
15 Maids - Who by reason of their sex, commonly have more compassionate hearts than men.
18 Arose - From my seat, to shew my respect to them, though they were my inferiors.
19 Inward - My intimates and confidants, to whom I imparted all my thoughts and counsels.
20 Skin - Immediately, the fat and flesh next to the skin being consumed. As - As closely as it doth to these remainders of flesh which are left in my inward parts.
21 Touched me - My spirit is touched with a sense of his wrath, a calamity of all others the most grievous.
22 As God - As if you had the same infinite knowledge which God hath, whereby you can search my heart and know my hypocrisy, and the same sovereign authority to say and do what you please with me. Not satisfied - Are like wolves or lions that are not contented with devouring the flesh of their prey, but also break their bones.
23 My words - The words which I am now about to speak. And that which Job wished for, God granted him. His words are written in God's book; so that wherever that book is read, there shall this glorious confession be declared, for a memorial of him.
24 Lead - Anciently they used to grave the letters in a stone with an iron tool, and then to fill up the cuts with lead, that the words might be more plainly seen.
25 For - This is the reason of his confidence in the goodness of his cause, and his willingness to have the matter depending between him and his friends, published and submitted to any trial, because he had a living and powerful Redeemer to plead his cause, and to give sentence for him. My Redeemer - In whom I have a particular interest. The word Goel, here used; properly agrees to Jesus Christ: for this word is primarily used of the next kinsman, whose office it was to redeem by a price paid, the sold or mortgaged estate of his deceased kinsman; to revenge his death, and to maintain his name and honour, by raising up seed to him. All which more fitly agrees to Christ, who is our nearest kinsman and brother, as having taken our nature upon him; who hath redeemed that everlasting inheritance which our first parents had utterly lost, by the price of his own blood; and hath revenged the death of mankind upon the great contriver of it, the devil, by destroying him and his kingdom; and hath taken a course to preserve our name, and honour, and persons, to eternity. And it is well observed, that after these expressions, we meet not with such impatient or despairing passages, as we had before; which shews that they had inspired him with new life and comfort. Latter day - At the day of the general resurrection and judgment, which, as those holy patriarchs well knew and firmly believed, was to be at the end of the world. The earth - The place upon which Christ shall appear and stand at the last day. Heb. upon the dust; in which his saints and members lie or sleep, whom he will raise out of it. And therefore he is fitly said to stand upon the dust, or the grave, or death; because then he will put that among other enemies under his feet.
26 Though - Though my skin is now in a great measure consumed, and the rest of it, together with this body, shall be devoured by the worms, which may seem to make my case desperate. Flesh - Or with bodily eyes; my flesh or body being raised from the grave, and re - united to my soul. God - The same whom he called his Redeemer, ver.25, who having taken flesh, and appearing in his flesh or body with and for Job upon the earth, might well be seen with his bodily eyes. Nor is this understood of a simple seeing of him; but of that glorious and beatifying vision of God, which is promised to all God's people.
27 See - No wonder he repeats it again, because the meditation of it was most sweet to him. For - For my own benefit and comfort. Another - For me or in my stead. I shall not see God by another's eyes, but by my own, and by these self - same eyes, in this same body which now I have. Though - This I do confidently expect, tho' the grave and the worms will consume my whole body.
28 Therefore - Because my faith and hope are in God. The root - The root denotes, a root of true religion. And the root of all true religion is living faith.
29 Sword - Of some considerable judgment to be inflicted on you which is called the sword, as Deut 32:41, and elsewhere. That - This admonition I give you, that you may know it in time, and prevent it. A judgment - God sees and observes, and will judge all your words and actions.

Chapter XX

Zophar, after a short preface, asserts, that the prosperity, of the wicked is short, and his ruin sure, ver. 1 - 9. He describes his misery in many particulars, ver. 10 - 29.

2 Therefore - For this thy severe sentence. Make haste - I speak sooner than I intended. And possibly interrupted Job, when he was proceeding in his discourse.
3 The check - Thy opprobrious reproofs of us. Understanding - I speak, not from passion, but certain knowledge.
4 This - Which I am now about to say. Since - Since the world was made.
6 Though - Though he be advanced to great dignity and authority.
11 Bones - His whole body, even the strongest parts of it. The sin - Of the punishment of it.
12 Mouth - To his taste; though it greatly please him for the present. Hide - As an epicure doth a sweet morsel, which he keeps and rolls about his mouth, that he may longer enjoy the pleasure of it.
14 Turned - From sweet to bitter. Gall of asps - Exceeding bitter and pernicious. Gall is most bitter; the gall of serpents is full of poison; and the poison of asps is most dangerous and within a few hours kills without remedy.
15 Vomit - Be forced to restore them. God, &c. - If no man's hand can reach him, God shall find him out.
17 See - Not enjoy that abundant satisfaction and comfort, which good men through God's blessings enjoy.
18 Swallow - So as to hold it. He shall not possess it long, nor to any considerable purpose. Yea, he shall be forced to part with his estate to make compensations for his wrongs. So that he shall not enjoy what he had gotten, because it shall be taken from him.
20 Belly - He shall have no peace in his mind. Desired - Any part of his desirable things, but shall forfeit and lose them all.
21 Therefore - It being publickly known that he was totally ruined, none of his kindred shall trouble themselves about any relicks of his estate.
22 In, &c. - In the height of prosperity he shall be distressed. Hand, &c. - So his wickedness shall be punished by those as wicked as himself.
23 Rain - This phrase denotes both the author of his plagues, God, and the nature and quality of them, that they shall come upon him like rain; with great vehemency, so that he cannot prevent or avoid it. Eating - As it fell upon thy sons.
24 Flee - From the sword or spear; and so shall think him self out of danger.
25 It - The arrow, which had entered into his body, and now was drawn out of it either by himself or some other person; having in general said, that it came out of his body, he determines also the part of the body, the gall; which shews that the wound was both deep and deadly. Terrors - The terrors of death; because he perceived his wound was incurable.
26 Darkness - All sorts of miseries. Hid - Or, laid up; by God for him. It is reserved and treasured up for him, and shall infallibly overtake him. Secret - In those places where he confidently hopes to hide himself from all evil: even there God shall find him out. Not blown - By man, but kindled by God himself. He thinks by his might and violence to secure himself from men, but God will find him out. With him - With his family, who shall inherit his curse as well as his estate.
27 Heaven - God shall be a swift witness against him by extraordinary judgments; still he reflects upon Job's case, and the fire from heaven. Earth - All creatures upon earth shall conspire to destroy him. If the God of heaven and earth be his enemy, neither heaven nor earth will shew him any kindness, but all the host of both are, and will he at war with him.
28 Increase of his house - His estate. Depart - Shall be lost. Flow - Like waters, swiftly and strongly, and so as to return no more. His - Of God's wrath.
29 Heritage - Heb. the heritage; so called, to denote the stability and assurance of it, that it is as firm as an inheritance to the right heir; and in opposition to that inheritance which he had gotten by fraud and violence.

Chapter XXI

Job's preface to his answer, ver. 1 - 6. He describes the prosperity of wicked men, ver. 7 - 13. Hardening them in their impiety, ver. 14 - 16. He foretells their final ruin, ver. 17 - 21. He observes a great variety in the ways of God, ver. 22 - 26. He shews, that tho' sinners are always punished in the other world, they often escape in this, ver. 27 - 34.

2 Hear, &c. - If you have no other comfort to administer, at least afford me this. And it will be a comfort to yourselves in the reflection, to have dealt tenderly with your afflicted friend.
3 Speak - without interruption. Mock - If I do not defend my cause with solid arguments, go on in your scoffs.
4 Is - I do not make my complaint to, or expect relief from you, or from any men, hut from God only: I am pouring forth my complaints to God. If - If my complaint were to man, have I not cause?
5 Mark - Consider what I am about to say concerning the prosperity of the worst of men, and the pressures of some good men, and it is able to fill you with astonishment. Lay, &c. - Be silent.
6 Remember - The very remembrance of what is past, fills me with dread and horror.
13 Moment - They do not die of a lingering and tormenting disease.
14 Therefore - Because of their constant prosperity. Say - Sometimes in words, but commonly in their thoughts and the language of their lives.
16 Lo - But wicked men have no reason to reject God, because of their prosperity, for their wealth, is not in their hand; neither obtained, nor kept by their own might, but only by God's power and favour. Therefore I am far from approving their opinion, or following their course.
17 Often - I grant that this happens often though not constantly, as you affirm. Lamp - Their glory and outward happiness.
19 Layeth up - In his treasures, Rom 2:5. Iniquity - The punishment of his iniquity; he will punish him both in his person and in his posterity.
20 See - He shall be destroyed; as to see death, is to die.
21 For, &c. - What delight can ye take in the thoughts of his posterity, when he is dying an untimely death? When that number of months, which by the course of nature, he might have lived, is cut off by violence.
22 Teach - How to govern the world? For so you do, while you tell him that he must not afflict the godly, nor give the wicked prosperity. That he must invariably punish the wicked, and reward the righteous in this world. No: he will act as sovereign, and with great variety in his providential dispensations. High - The highest persons, on earth, he exactly knows them, and gives sentence concerning them, as he sees fit.
25 Another - Another wicked man. So there is a great variety of God's dispensations; he distributes great prosperity to one, and great afflictions to another, according to his wise but secret counsel.
26 Alike - All these worldly differences are ended by death, and they lie in the grave without any distinction. So that no man can tell who is good, and who is bad by events which befall them in this life. And if one wicked man die in a palace, and another in a dungeon, they will meet in the congregation of the dead and damned; and the worm that dieth not, and the fire that is not quenched will be the same to both: which makes those differences inconsiderable, and not worth perplexing ourselves about.
27 Me - I know that your discourses, though they be of wicked, men in general, yet are particularly levelled at me.
29 Them - Any person that passes along the high - way, every one you meet with. It is so vulgar a thing, that no man of common sense is ignorant of it. Tokens - The examples, or evidences, of this truth, which they that go by the way can produce.
30 They - He speaks of the same person; only the singular number is changed into the plural, possibly to intimate, that altho' for the present only some wicked men were punished, yet then all of them should suffer. Brought - As malefactors are brought forth from prison to execution.
31 Declare - His power and splendor are so great, that scarce any man dare reprove him.
32 And - The pomp of his death shall be suitable to the glory of his life. Brought - With pomp and state, as the word signifies. Grave - Heb. to the graves; to an honourable and eminent grave: the plural number being used emphatically to denote eminency. He shall not die a violent but a natural death.
33 Valley - Of the grave, which is low and deep like a valley. Sweet - He shall sweetly rest in his grave. Draw - Heb. he shall draw every man after him, into the grave, all that live after him, whether good or bad, shall follow him to the grave, shall die as he did. So he fares no worse herein than all mankind. He is figuratively said to draw them, because they come after him, as if they were drawn by his example.
34 How - Why then do you seek to comfort me with vain hopes of recovering my prosperity, seeing your grounds are false, and experience shews, that good men are often in great tribulation, while the vilest of men prosper.

Chapter XXII

Eliphaz, checks Job for his complaints of God, ver. 1 - 4. Charges miseries on his sins, ver, 5 - 14. Compares his case to that of the old world, ver. 15 - 20. Assures him, that if he would return to God, he would shew him mercy, ver. 21 - 30.

2 Can, &c. - Why dost thou insist so much upon thy own righteousness, as if thou didst oblige God by it.
3 Is it - Such a pleasure as he needs for his own ease and contentment. Nay, God needs not us, or our services. We are undone, forever undone without him: but he is happy, forever happy without us.
4 Reprove - Punish thee. Because he is afraid, lest if he should let thee alone, thou wouldst grow too great and powerful for him: surely no. As thy righteousness cannot profit him, so thy wickedness can do him no hurt.
5 Evil - Is not thy evil, thy affliction, are not thy calamities procured by, and proportionable to thy sins.
6 Surely - He speaks thus by way of strong presumption, when I consider thy unusual calamities, I conclude thou art guilty of all, or some of these crimes. Brother - Of thy neighbour. Nought - Without sufficient and justifiable cause. Stripped - By taking their garment for a pledge, or by robbing them of their rights, all other injuries being comprehended under this.
8 Dwelt - Either by thy sentence or permission, he had a peaceable and sure possession of it, whether he had right to it, or no.
9 Arms - Their supports, and rights.
11 Or - Either thou art troubled with fear of further evils or with the gross darkness of thy present state of misery. Waters - Variety of sore afflictions, which are frequently compared to water.
12 Heaven - And from that high tower looketh down upon men, to behold, and govern, and recompense all their actions, whether good or bad. How high - Yet God is far higher than they, and from thence can easily see all things.
14 Walketh - His delight is in heaven, which is worthy of his care, but he will not burden himself with the care of earth: which was the opinion of many Heathen philosophers, and, as they fancied, was Job's opinion also.
15 Old way - Heb. the way of antiquity, of men living in ancient times, their end or success.
16 Out of - Before their time. A flood - Who, together with their foundation, the earth and all their supports and enjoyments in it, were destroyed by the general deluge.
17 Who - He repeats Job's words, chap.21:14,15, but to a contrary purpose. Job alleged them to shew that they prospered notwithstanding their wickedness; and Eliphaz produces them to shew that they were cut off for it.
18 Yet - Yet it is true, that for a time God did prosper them, but at last, cut them off in a tremendous manner, But - He repeals Job's words, chap.21:16, not without reflection: thou didst say so, but against thy own principle, that God carries himself indifferently towards good and bad; but I who have observed God's terrible judgments upon wicked men, have much more reason to abhor their counsels.
20 Because - Because when wicked men are destroyed, they are preserved. He should have said their substance; but he changes the person, and saith, our substance; either as including himself in the member of righteous persons, and thereby intimating that he pleaded the common cause of all such, while Job pleaded the cause of the wicked, or because he would hereby thankfully acknowledge some eminent and particular preservation given to him amongst other righteous men. Remnant - All that was left undestroyed in the general calamity. Fire - Sodom and Gomorrah. As if he had said, thou mayest find here and there an instance, of a wicked man dying in peace. But what is that to the two great instances of the final perdition of ungodly men, the drowning the whole world, and the burning of Sodom and Gomorrah.
21 Him - With God, renew thy acquaintance with God by prayer, and repentance for all thy sins, and true humiliation under his hand, and hearty compliance with all his commands, and diligent care to serve and enjoy him. It is our honour, that we are made capable of this acquaintance, our misery that by sin we have lost it; our privilege, that through Christ we may return to it; and our unspeakable advantage, to renew and cultivate it. And be at peace - At peace with God, and at peace with thyself, not fretful or uneasy. Good shall come unto thee - All the good thou canst desire, temporal, spiritual, eternal.
22 Receive - Take the rule whereby thou governest thy thoughts, and words, and whole life, not from thy own imaginations or passions, but from God, from his law, which is written in thy own mind, and from the doctrines and instructions of the holy men of God. And do not only hear them with thine ears, but let them sink into thy heart.
23 If - The Hebrew phrase is emphatical, and implies a thorough turning from sin, to God, so as to love him, and cleave to him, and sincerely devote a man's self to his fear and service. Built - God will repair thy ruins, and give thee more children, and bless thee with prosperity. Thou shalt - It is either,
  1. a spiritual promise, if thou dost sincerely repent, God will give the grace effectually to reform thyself and family: or,
  2. a temporal promise, thou shalt put away iniquity, or the punishment of thy sins; as iniquity is very often used: far from thy tabernacles; from all thy dwellings, and tents, and possessions.
26 Lift up - Look up to him, with chearfulness and confidence.
27 Make - The word is, thou shalt multiply thy prayer. Under all thy burdens, in all thy wants, cares and fears, thou shalt send to heaven for wisdom, strength and comfort. Pay - Thou shalt obtain those blessings for which thou didst make vows to God, and therefore, according to thy obligation, shalt pay thy vows to him.
28 Established - Thy purposes shalt not be disappointed, but ratified by God. And in all thy counsels, and actions, God shall give thee the light of his direction and governance, and of comfort and success.
29 Cast down - All round about thee, in a time of general calamity. There is - God will deliver thee. He - God.
30 He, &c. - God will have so great a respect to thy innocency, that for thy sake he will deliver those that belong to thee, or live with thee, or near thee, thought in themselves they be ripe for destruction. Their hands - By thy prayers proceeding from a pure heart and conscience. So Eliphaz and his two friends, who in this matter were not innocent, were delivered by the pureness of Job's hands, chap.42:8.

Chapter XXIII

Here seems to be a struggle throughout this chapter between nature and grace, Job complains of his condition, yet with an assurance of God's clemency, ver. 1 - 7. He cannot understand God's dealings, nor hope for relief, yet holds fast his integrity, ver. 8 - 14. He is in deep trouble, ver. 15 - 17

2 To - day - Even at this time, notwithstanding all your pretended consolations. Stroke - The hand or stroke of God upon me. Groaning - Doth exceed my complaints.
3 O - I desire nothing more than his acquaintance and presence; but alas, he hides his face from me. Seat - To his throne or judgment - seat to plead my cause before him.
5 Know - If he should discover to me any secret sins, for which he contendeth with me, I would humble myself before him, and accept of the punishment of mine iniquity.
6 No - He would not use his power against me, but for me; by enabling me to plead my cause, and giving sentence according to that clemency, which he uses towards his children.
7 There - At that throne of grace, where God lays aside his majesty, and judges according to his wonted clemency. Dispute - Humbly propounding the grounds of their confidence. So - Upon such a fair and equal hearing. Delivered - From the damnatory sentence of God. This and some such expressions of Job cannot be excused from irreverence towards God, for which God afterwards reproves him, and Job abhorreth himself.
8 Is not - As a judge to hear and determine my causes, otherwise he knew God was essentially present in all places.
10 Gold - Which comes out of the furnace pure from all dross.
11 Steps - The steps or paths which God hath appointed men to walk in.
14 Performeth - Those calamities which he hath allotted to me. And - There are many such examples of God's proceeding with men.
16 Soft - He hath bruised, and broken, or melted it, so that I have no spirit in me.
17 Because - God did not cut me off by death. Before - These miseries came upon me. Covered - By hiding me in the grave.

Chapter XXIV

Job shews that open sinners are often prosperous, ver. 1 - 12. That secret sinners often pass undiscovered, ver. 13 - 18. That God punishes such by secret judgments, and reserves them for future judgment, ver. 19 - 25.

1 Why - Why (how comes it to pass) seeing times, (the fittest seasons for every, action, and particularly for the punishment of wicked men,) are not hidden from, or unknown to the Almighty God, (seeing all times, and men that live, and things that are done, or to be done in their times and seasons, are exactly known to God) do they that know him, (who love and obey him) not see (whence is it that they cannot discern) his (that is, God's) days? His times and seasons which he takes for the punishment of ungodly men; which if they were constant and fixed in this life, they would not be unknown to good men, to whom God uses to reveal his secrets.
3 Pledge - Contrary to God's law, first written in mens hearts, and afterwards in holy scripture, Exod 22:26,27.
4 Way - Out of the path or place in which these oppressors walk and range. They labour to keep out of their way for fear of their farther injuries. Hide - For fear of these tyrants.
5 Wild asses - Which are lawless, and fierce, and greedy of prey. Desert - Which is the proper habitation of wild asses. They - The oppressors. Go - To spoil and rob.
6 They - The oppressors. Wicked - Of such as themselves: so they promiscuously robbed all, even their brethren in iniquity.
7 Naked - Those whom they stripped of their garments and coverings.
8 Wet - With the rain - water, which runs down the rocks or mountains into the caves, to which they fled for shelter. Rock - Are glad when they can find a cleft of a rock in which they may have some protection against the weather.
9 They - The oppressors. Pluck - Out of covetousness; they will not allow the mother time for the suckling of her infant.
10 The sheaf - That single sheaf which the poor man had got with the sweat of his brow to satisfy his hunger.
11 Walls - Within the walls of the oppressors for their use. Suffer - Because they are not permitted to quench their thirst out of the wine which they make.
12 Groan - Under grievous oppressions. Soul - The life or blood of those who are wounded to death, as this word properly signifies, crieth aloud to God for vengeance. Yet - Yet God doth not punish them.
13 Light - As well the light of reason and conscience, as the light of Divine revelation, which was then in good measure imparted to the people of God, and shortly after committed to writing. Know not - They do not approve, nor love, or chuse them.
14 Poor - Where he finds nothing to satisfy his covetousness, he exercises his cruelty.
16 They - The robber: having on that occasion inserted the mention of the adulterer as one who acted his sin in the same manner as the night - thief did, he now returns to him again.
17 Is - Terrible and hateful.
18 Swift - That is, he quickly passeth away with all his glory, as the waters which never stay in one place, but are always hasting away. Portion - His habitation and estate which he left behind him. He - He shall never more see or enjoy his vineyards, or other pleasant places and things, which seem to be comprehended under this particular.
20 Womb - His mother that bare him in her womb. Wickedness - The wicked man. Broken - Broken to pieces, or violently broken down, as the word signifies. Tree - Which being once broken down never grows again.
21 He - He here returns to the declaration of his farther wickednesses, the cause of these judgments. Barren - Barrenness was esteemed a curse and reproach; and so he added affliction to the afflicted.
22 Draweth - Into his net.
23 Yet - Yet his eyes are upon their ways: although God gives them such strange successes, yet he sees and observes them all, and will in due time punish them.
24 The way - Out of this world. Other - They can no more prevent or delay their death, than the meanest men in the world. Corn - In its greatest height and maturity.

Chapter XXV

Bildad teaches us, to think highly and honourably of God, and to think meanly of ourselves, ver. 1 - 6.

1 Answered - Not to that which Job spake last, but to that which seemed most reprovable in all his discourses; his censure of God's proceedings with him, and his desire of disputing the matter with him. Perhaps Bildad and the rest now perceived that Job and they did not differ so much as they thought. They owned that the wicked might prosper for a while. And Job owned, they would be destroyed at the last.
2 Dominion - Sovereign power over all persons and things. Fear - Terror, that which justly makes him dreadful to all men, and especially to all that undertake to dispute with him. He - This clause, as well as the following verse, seems to be added to prove God's dominion and dreadfulness: he keepeth and ruleth all persons and things in heaven, in peace and harmony. The angels, though they be very numerous, all own his sovereignty, and acquiesce in his pleasure. The stars, tho' vast in their bulk, and various in their motions: exactly keep the order which God hath appointed them: and therefore it is great folly for thee to quarrel with the methods of God's dealings with thee.
3 Armies - Of the angels, and stars, and other creatures, all which are his hosts. Light - The light of the sun is communicated to all parts of the world. This is a faint resemblance, of the cognisance and care which God takes of the whole creation. All are under the light of his knowledge: all partake of the light of his goodness: his pleasure is to shew mercy: all the creatures live upon his bounty.
4 Man - The word signifies man that is miserable, which supposes him to be sinful; and shall such a creature quarrel with that dominion of God, to which the sinless, and happy, and glorious angels submit? God - Before God's tribunal, to which thou dost so boldly appeal.
5 Moon - The moon, tho' bright and glorious, if compared with the Divine Majesty, is without any lustre or glory. By naming the moon, and thence proceeding to the stars, the sun is also included.
6 Worm - Mean, and vile, and impotent; proceeding from corruption, and returning to it. The son - For miserable man in the last branch he here puts the son of any man, to shew that this is true even of the greatest and best of men. Let us then wonder at the condescension of God, in taking such worms into covenant and communion with himself!

Chapter XXVI

Job observes, that Bildad's discourse was foreign to the matter, ver. 1 - 4. Enlarges on the power and greatness of God, which yet are unsearchable, ver. 5 - 14.

4 To whom - For whose instruction hast thou uttered these things? For mine? Dost thou think I do not know, that which the meanest persons are not unacquainted with; that God is incomparably greater and better than his creatures? Whose spirit - Who inspired thee with this profound discourse of thine?
5 Dead things - Job having censured Bildad's discourse, proceeds to shew how little he needed his information in that point. Here he shews that the power and providences of God reaches not only to the things we see, but also to the invisible parts of the world, not only to the heavens above and their inhabitants, and to men upon earth, of which Bildad discoursed, chap.25:2,3, but also to such persons or things as are under the earth, or under the waters; which are out of our sight and reach; yet not out of the ken of Divine providence. These words may be understood; either,
  1. of dead, or lifeless things, such as amber, pearl, coral, metals, or other minerals, which are formed or brought forth; by the almighty power of God, from under the waters; either in the bottom of the sea, or within the earth, which is the lowest element, and in the scripture and other authors spoken of as under the waters; this being observed as a remarkable work of God's providence, that the waters of the sea, which are higher than the earth, do not overwhelm it. Or,
  2. of dead men, and of the worst of them, such as died in their sins, and after death were condemned to farther miseries; for of such this very word seems to be used, Prov 2:18 9:18, who are here said to mourn or groan from under the waters; from the lower parts of the earth, or from under those subterranean waters, which are supposed to be within and under the earth; Psalm 33:7, and from under the inhabitants thereof; either of the waters or of the earth, under which these waters are, or with the other inhabitants thereof; of that place under the waters, namely, the apostate spirits.
So the sense is, that God's dominion is over all men, yea, even the dead, and the worst of them, who though they would not own God, nor his providence, while they lived, yet now are forced to acknowledge and feel that power which they despised, and bitterly mourn under the sad effects of it in their infernal habitations.
6 Hell - Is in his presence, and under his providence. Hell itself, that place of utter darkness, is not hid from his sight. Destruction - The place of destruction.
7 North - The northern part of the heavens, which is put for the whole visible heaven, because Job and his friends lived in a northern climate. Nothing - Upon no props or pillars, but his own power and providence.
9 Holdeth - From our view, that his glory may not dazzle our sight; he covereth it with a cloud. Throne - The heaven of heavens, where he dwelleth.
11 Pillars - Perhaps the mountains which by their height and strength seem to reach and support the heavens. Astonished - When God reproveth not them, but men by them, manifesting his displeasure by thunders, or earthquakes.
14 Parts - But small parcels, the outside and visible work. Portion - Of his power and wisdom, and providence. His Power - His mighty power, is aptly compared to thunder; in regard of its irresistible force, and the terror which it causes to wicked men.

Chapter XXVII

Job protests his integrity, ver. 1 - 6. And his dread of hypocrisy, ver. 7 - 10. Shews the miserable end of the wicked, notwithstanding their long prosperity, ver. 11 - 23.

1 Parable - His grave and weighty discourse.
2 Who - Though he knows my integrity, yet doth not plead my cause against my friends.
6 Reproach - With betraying my own cause and innocency.
7 Let - I am so far from practicing wickedness, that I abhor the thoughts of it, and if I would wish to be revenged of my enemy, I could wish him no greater mischief than to be a wicked man.
8 Though - Though they prosper in the world. God, as the judge takes it away, to be tried, and determined to its everlasting state. And what will his hope be then? It will be vanity and a lie; it will stand him in no stead.
10 Delight - When he has nothing else to delight in? No: his delight is in the things of the world, which now sink under him. And those who do not delight in God, will not always, will not long, call upon him.
12 Have seen - I speak what is confirmed by your own, as well as others experiences. Vain - To condemn me for a wicked man, because I am afflicted.
15 Remain - Who survive that sword and famine. Widows - For they had many wives. Weep - Because they also, as well as other persons, groaned under their tyranny, and rejoice in their deliverance from it.
16 As clay - In great abundance.
18 A moth - Which settleth itself in a garment, but is quickly and unexpectedly dispossessed of its dwelling, and crushed to death. A booth - Which the keeper of a garden or vineyard suddenly rears up in fruit - time, and as quickly pulls down again.
19 Lie down - In death. Not gathered - Instead of that honourable interment with his fathers, his carcase shall lie like dung upon the earth. One openeth his eyes - That is, while a man can open his eyes, in the twinkling of an eye. He is as if he had never been, dead and gone, and his family and name extinct with him.
20 Terrors - From the sense of approaching death or judgment. Waters - As violently and irresistibly, as a river breaking its banks, or deluge of waters bears down all before it. A tempest - God's wrath cometh upon him like a tempest, and withal unexpectedly like a thief in the night.
21 East - wind - Some terrible judgment, fitly compared to the east - wind, which in those parts was most vehement, and pernicious. Carrieth him - Out of his palace wherein he expected to dwell forever; whence he shall be carried either by an enemy, or by death.
22 Cast - His darts or plagues one after another. Would flee - He earnestly desires to escape the judgments of God, but in vain. Those that will not be persuaded to fly to the arms of Divine grace, which are now stretched out to receive them, will not be able to flee from the arms of Divine wrath, which will shortly be stretched out to destroy them.
23 Clap - In token of their joy at the removal of such a publick pest, by way of astonishment: and in contempt and scorn, all which this gesture signifies in scripture use. His - In token of detestation and derision.

Chapter XXVIII

The wisdom of God in the works of nature, ver. 1 - 11. A wisdom like this cannot be found in man, neither can it be bought at any price, ver. 12 - 21. Death makes a report concerning it, ver. 22. It is hid in God, ver. 23 - 27. To fear God is man's wisdom, ver. 28.

1 Surely - Job having in the last chapter discoursed of God's various providences toward wicked men, and shewed that God doth sometimes, for a season, give them prosperity, but afterwards calls them to a sad account, and having shewed that God doth sometimes prosper the wicked all their days, so they live and die without any visible token of God's displeasure, when on the contrary, good men are exercised with many calamities; and perceiving that his friends were, scandalized at these methods of Divine providence, and denied the thing, because they could not understand the reason of such dispensations: in this chapter he declares that this is one of the depths of Divine wisdom, not discoverable by any mortal man, and that although men had some degree of wisdom whereby they could search out many hidden things, as the veins of silver, and gold, yet this was a wisdom of an higher nature, and out of man's reach. The caverns of the earth he may discover, but not the counsels of heaven.
3 Perfection - Whatever is deeply wrought in the deepest caverns. Stones of darkness - The precious stones which lie hid in the dark bowels of the earth, where no living thing can dwell.
4 Breaketh out - While men are searching, water breaks in upon them. Inhabitants - Out of that part of the earth which the miners inhabit. Forgotten - Untrodden by the foot of man. Dried up - They are dried up, (or, drawn up, by engines made for that purpose) from men, from the miners, that they may not be hindered in their work.
5 Fire - Coals, and brimstone, and other materials of fire. Unless this refer, as some suppose, to a central fire.
6 Sapphires - Of precious stones; the sapphire, is one of the most eminent, being put for all the rest. In some parts of the earth, the sapphires are mixed with stones, and cut out of them and polished. Hath - The earth continueth. Dust - Distinct from that gold which is found in the mass, both sorts of gold being found in the earth.
7 A path - In the bowels of the earth. Vulture's eye - Whose eye is very quick, and strong, and searcheth all places for its prey.
8 Lion - Which rangeth all places for prey. The birds and beasts have often led men to such places as otherwise they should never have found out; but they could not lead them to these mines, the finding out of them is a special gift of God.
9 He, &c. - This and the two next verses mention other eminent works of God, who overturneth rocks, and produceth new rivers.
10 Seeth - Even those which no human art or industry was ever able to discover.
12 That wisdom - Man hath one kind of wisdom, to discover the works of nature, and to perform the operations of art; but as for that sublime wisdom which consists in the knowledge of God and ourselves, no man can discover this, but by the special gift of Cod.
13 Found - Among men upon earth, but only among those blessed spirits that dwell above.
14 The depth - This is not to he found in any part of the sea, though a man may dig or dive ever so deep to find it, nor to be learned from any creature.
20 Whence, &c. - By a diligent inquiry, we find at length, that there is a twofold wisdom; one hid in God, which belongs not to us, the other revealed to man, which belongs to us and to our children.
21 Hid - The line and plummet of human reason, can never fathom the abyss of the Divine counsels. Who can account for the maxims, measures and methods of God's government? Let us then be content, not to know the future events of providence, 'till time discover them: and not to know the secret reasons of providence, 'till eternity brings them to light.
22 Death - The grave, the place of the dead, to 'which these things are here ascribed, as they are to the depths, and to the sea, by a common figure. Though they cannot give an account of it themselves yet there is a world, on which these dark regions border, where we shall see it clearly. Have patience, says death: I will fetch thee shortly to a place where even this wisdom shall be found. When the veil of flesh is rent, and the interposing clouds are scattered, we shall know what God doth, though we know not now.
23 God - God alone. The way - The methods which he takes in the management of all affairs, together with its grounds and ends in them. The place - Where it dwells, which is only in his own mind.
24 For - He, and he only knows it, because his providence, is infinite and universal, reaching to all places, and times, past, present, and to come; whereas the most knowing men have narrow understandings, and the wisdom, and justice, and beauty of God's works are not fully seen 'till all the parts of them be laid together.
25 Winds - God manageth them all by weight, appointing to every wind that blows, its season, its proportion, its bounds, when, and where, and how much, and how long each shall blow. He only doth all these things, and he only knows why he doth them. He instanceth in some few of God's works, and those which seem to be most trivial, and uncertain, that thereby he might more strongly imply that God doth the same in other things which are more considerable, that he doth all things in the most exact order, and weight, and measure. The waters - Namely, the rain - waters, which God layeth up in his store - houses, the clouds, and thence draws them forth, and sends them down upon the earth in such times and proportions as he thinks fit. Measure - For liquid things are examined by measure, as other things are by weight: and here is both weight and measure to signify with what perfect wisdom God governs the world.
26 When - At the first creation, when he settled that course and order which should he continued. A decree - An appointment and as it were a statute law, that it should fall upon the earth, in such times, and places, and proportions.
27 It - Wisdom, which is the subject of the present discourse. This God saw within himself; he looked upon it in his own mind, as the rule by which he would proceed in the creation and government of all things. Declare - Or reveal it. Prepared - He had it in readiness for doing all his works, as if he had been for a long time preparing materials for them. So it is a speech of God after the manner of men. Searched - Not properly; for so searching implies ignorance, and requires time and industry, all which is repugnant to the Divine perfections; but figuratively, he did, and doth, all things with that absolute and perfect wisdom, so exactly, and perfectly, as if he had bestowed a long time in searching, to find them out.
28 Man - Unto Adam in the day in which he was created. And in him, to all his posterity. Said - God spake it, at first to the mind of man, in which he wrote this with his own finger, and afterwards by the holy patriarchs, and prophets, and other teachers, whom he sent into the world to teach men true wisdom. Behold - Which expression denotes the great importance of this doctrine, and withal man's backwardness to apprehend it. The fear of the Lord - True religion. Wisdom - In man's wisdom, because that, and that only, is his duty, and safety, and happiness, both for this life and for the next. Evil - From sin, which is called evil eminently, as being the chief evil, and the cause of all other evils. Religion consists of two branches, doing good, and forsaking evil; the former is expressed in the former clause of this verse, and the latter in these words; and this is the best kind of knowledge or wisdom to which man can attain in this life. The design of Job in this close of his discourse, is not to reprove the boldness of his friends, in prying into God's secrets, and passing such a rash censure upon him, and upon God's carriage towards him; but also to vindicate himself from the imputation of hypocrisy, which they fastened upon him, by shewing that he had ever esteemed it to be his best wisdom, to fear God, and to depart from evil.

Chapter XXIX

Job, after pausing a little while, shews, what comfort he formerly had in his house and family, ver. 1 - 6. What honour and power he had in his country, ver. 7 - 10. What good he did as a magistrate, ver. 11 - 17. And what a prospect he had of the continuance of his prosperity, ver. 18 - 25

2 Preserved - From all those miseries which now I feel.
3 Darkness - I passed safely through many difficulties, and dangers, and common calamities.
7 Seat - When I caused the seat of justice to be set for me. By this, and several other expressions, it appears that Job was a magistrate. Street - In that open place, near the gate, where the people assembled for the administration of justice.
10 Cleaved - It lay as still as if he had done so.
11 Witness - Gave testimony to my pious, and just, and blameless conversation.
14 Put on, &c. - Perhaps he did not wear these: but his steady justice was to him instead of all those ornaments.
18 Multiply - See how apt even good men are, to set death at a distance from them!
20 Glory - My reputation was growing every day. Bow - My strength which is signified by a bow, Gen 49:24 1Sam 2:4, because in ancient times the bow and arrows were the principal instruments of war.
22 Dropped - As the rain, which when it comes down gently upon the earth, is most acceptable and beneficial to it.
24 Laughed - Carried myself so familiarly with them, that they could scarce believe their eyes and ears. Cast not down - They were cautious not to give me any occasion to change my countenance towards them.
25 I chose - They sought to me for advice in all difficult cases, and I directed them what methods they should take. Sat - As a prince or judge, while they stood waiting for my counsel. A king - Whose presence puts life, and courage, into the whole army. As one - As I was ready to comfort any afflicted persons, so my consolations were always welcome to them.

Chapter XXX

Job's honour is turned into contempt, ver. 1 - 14. His prosperity, into fears, pains, and a sense of the wrath of God, ver. 15 - 22. He looks for nothing but death, ver. 23. And rest therein, ver. 24. Reflects on his former sympathy with the afflicted, ver. 25. And describes his own present calamities, ver. 26 - 31.

1 Younger - Whom both universal custom, and the light of nature, taught to reverence their elders and betters. Whose fathers - Whose condition was so mean, that in the opinion, of the world, they were unworthy to be my shepherds the companions of my dogs which watch my flocks.
3 Solitary - Although want commonly drives persons to places of resort for relief, yet they were so conscious of their own guilt, that they shunned company, and for fear or shame fled into, and lived in desolate places.
4 Who cut - Bitter herbs, which shews their extreme necessity. Juniper - Possibly the word may signify some other plant, for the Hebrews themselves are at a loss for the signification of the names of plants.
7 Brayed - Like the wild asses, for hunger or thirst. Thorns - Under which they hide themselves, that they might not be discovered when they are sought out for justice.
10 Spit - Not literally, for they kept far from him, but figuratively, they use all manner of reproachful expressions, even to my face. Herein, also we see a type of Christ, who was thus made a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
11 He - God. Cord - Hath slackened the string of my bow, and so rendered my bow and arrows useless; he hath deprived me of my strength or defence. Let loose - They cast off all former restraints of humanity, or modesty, and do those things before mine eyes, which formerly they trembled lest they should come to my ears.
12 Right hand - This was the place of adversaries or accusers in courts of justice. The youth - Heb. young striplings, who formerly hid themselves from my presence, chap.29:8. Push - Metaphorically, they endeavour to overwhelm me. Ways - Cause - ways, or banks: so it is a metaphor from soldiers, who cast up banks, against the city which they besiege. Destruction - To destroy me.
13 Mar - As I am in great misery, so they endeavour to stop all my ways out of it. Set forward - Increasing it by their invectives, and censures. Even they - Who are themselves in a forlorn and miserable condition.
14 Waste place - In the waste place; in that part of the bank which was broken down. They rolled - As the waters, come rolling in at the breach.
15 Terrors - If he endeavoured to shake them off, they turned furiously upon him: if he endeavoured to out run them, they pursued his soul, as swiftly and violently as the wind.
20 I stand - I pray importunately and continually.
21 Turned - As if thou hadst changed thy very nature, which is kind, and merciful, and gracious.
22 Thou - Thou exposest me, to all sorts of storms and calamities; so that I am like chaff or stubble lifted up to the wind, and violently tossed hither and thither in the air. Substance - By which, my body is almost consumed, and my heart is melted within me.
23 House appointed - The grave is a narrow, dark, cold house, but there we shall rest and be safe. It is our home, for it is our mother's lap, and in it we are gathered to our fathers. It is an house appointed for us, by him that has appointed the bounds of all our habitations. And it is appointed for all living. It is the common receptacle for rich and poor: we must all be brought thither, and that shortly.
24 To the grave - The hand of God's wrath will not follow me beyond death; I shall then be safe and easy: Tho' men cry in his destruction: tho' most men cry and are affrighted, while they are dying, while the body is sinking into destruction; yet I desire it, I have nothing to fear therein, since I know that my redeemer liveth.
25 Did not I - Have I now judgment without mercy, because I afforded no mercy to others in misery? No; my conscience acquits me from this inhumanity: I did mourn over others in their miseries.
26 Upon me - Yet trouble came upon myself, when I expected it not.
27 Affliction - Came upon me suddenly, and unexpectedly, when I promised myself peace and prosperity.
28 Without the sun - Heb. black, not by the sun. My very countenance became black, tho' not by the sun, but by the force of my disease.
29 A brother - By imitation of their cries: persons of like qualities are often called brethren. Dragon - Which howl and wail mournfully in the deserts.

Chapter XXXI

Job's protestation of his innocence, with regard to wantonness, ver. 1 - 4. Fraud and injustice, ver. 5 - 8. Adultery, ver. 9 - 12. Haughtiness and severity toward his servants, ver. 13 - 15. Unmercifulness to the poor, ver. 16 - 23. Confidence in his wealth, ver. 24, 25. Idolatry, ver. 26 - 28. Revenge, ver. 29 - 31. Neglect of poor strangers, ver. 32 Hypocrisy, or not reproving others, ver. 33, 34. He wishes God would answer and that his words might be recorded, ver. 35 - 37. Protests his innocence, as to oppression, ver. 38 - 40.

1 I made - So far have I been from any gross wickedness, that I have abstained from the least occasions and appearances of evil.
2 For - What recompence may be expected from God for those who do otherwise. Above - How secretly soever unchaste persons carry the matter, so that men cannot reprove them, yet there is one who stands upon an higher place, whence he seeth in what manner they act.
5 Walked - Dealt with men. Vanity - With lying, or falsehood. Deceit - If when I had an opportunity of enriching myself, by wronging others, I have readily and greedily complied with It.
6 Let me - I desire nothing more than to have my heart and life weighed in just balances, and searched out by the all - seeing God. That God - Or, and he will know; (upon search he will find out: which is spoken of God after the manner of men:) Mine integrity - So this is an appeal to God to be witness of his sincerity.
7 Heart - If I have let my heart loose to covet forbidden things, which mine eyes have seen: commonly sin enters by the eye into the heart. A blot - Any unjust gain.
8 Increase - All my plants, and fruits, and improvements.
10 Then - Not as if Job desired this; but that if God should give up his wife to such wickedness, he should acknowledge his justice in it.
11 This - Adultery. It is - Heb. an iniquity of the judges; which belongs to them to take cognizance of, and to punish, even with death; and that not only by the law of Moses, but even by the law of nature, as appears from the known laws and customs of the Heathen nations.
12 Destruction - Lust is a fire in the soul; it consumes all that is good there, the convictions, the comforts; and lays the conscience waste. It consumes the body, consumes the substance, roots out all the increase. It kindles the fire of God's wrath, which if not quenched by the blood of Christ, will burn to the lowest hell.
16 If I - Denied them what they desired of me. To fail - With tedious expectation of my justice or charity. Job is most large upon this head, because in this matter Eliphaz had most particularly accused him.
18 Youth - As soon as I was capable of managing mine own affairs. With me - Under my care. A father - With all the diligence and tenderness of a father. Her - The widow mentioned ver.16. From - From my tender years; ever since I was capable of discerning good and evil.
19 Perish - When it was in my power to help them.
21 When - When I saw I could influence the judges to do what I pleased.
23 For - I stood in awe of God and of his judgments. I could not - I knew myself unable either to oppose his power, or to bear his wrath. Even good men have need to restrain themselves from sin, with the fear of Destruction from God. Even when salvation from God is a comfort to us, yet destruction from God should be a terror to us. Adam in innocency was awed by a threatning.
26 I - This place speaks of the worship of the host of heaven, and especially of the sun and moon, the most eminent and glorious of that number, which was the most ancient kind of idolatry, and most frequent in the eastern countries. Shined - In its full strength and glory.
27 Kissed - In token of worship, whereof this was a sign.
28 The judge - The civil magistrate; who being advanced and protected by God, is obliged to maintain and vindicate his honour, and consequently to punish idolatry. Denied God - Not directly but by consequence, because this was to rob God of his prerogative, by giving to the creature, that worship which is peculiar to God.
29 Lift up - Heb. stirred up myself to rejoice and insult over his misery.
31 If - My domesticks and familiar friends. His flesh - This is farther confirmation of Job's charitable disposition to his enemy. Although all who were daily conversant with him, and were witnesses of his and their carriage, were so zealous in Job's quarrel, that they protested they could eat their flesh, and could not be satisfied without. Yet he restrained both them and himself from executing vengeance upon them.
33 As Adam - As Adam did in Paradise.
34 Did I fear - No: all that knew Job knew him to be a man of resolution, that boldly appeared, spoke and acted, in defence of religion and justice. He durst not keep silence, or stay within, when called to speak or act for God. He was not deterred by the number, or quality, or insults of the injurious, from reproving them, and doing justice to the injured.
35 Had written - Had given me his charge written in a book or paper, as the manner was in judicial proceedings. This shews that Job did not live, before letters were in use. And undoubtedly the first letters were those wrote on the two tables, by the finger of God. He wishes, his friends, who charged him with hypocrisy, would draw up the charge in writing.
36 Take it - As a trophy or badge of honour.
37 Him - My judge, or adversary. My steps - The whole course of my life. A prince - With undaunted courage and confidence.
38 Cry - Because I have gotten it by fraud or violence.
39 Without money - Either without paying the price for the land, or by defrauding my workmen of their wages. Life - Killing them that I might have undisturbed possession of it, as Ahab did Naboth.

Chapter XXXII

Some account of Elihu, and his sentiments concerning the dispute between Job and his friends, ver. 1 - 5. He excuses his own youth, ver. 6 - 10. and pleads, that he had heard all they had to say, ver. 11 - 13. That he had something new to offer, ver. 14 - 17. Could not refrain from speaking, ver. 18 - 20. And would speak impartially, ver. 21, 22.

1 Because - So they said: but they could not answer him.
2 The Buzite - Of the posterity of Buz, Nahor's son, Gen 22:21. Ram - Or, of Aram; for Ram and Aram are used promiscuously; compare 2Kings 8:28 2Chron 22:5. His pedigree is thus particularly described, partly for his honour, as being both a wise and good man, and principally to evidence the truth of this history. He justified - Himself not without reflection upon God, as dealing severely with him, he took more care to maintain his own innocency, than God's glory. The word Elihu signifies, my God is he. They had all tried in vain to convince Job: but my God is he who both can and will do it.
3 No answer - To Job's arguments as to the main cause. Condemned - As a bad man.
4 'Till Job - And his three friends.
6 Afraid - Of being thought forward and presumptuous.
8 Spirit - The spirit of God. Giveth - To whom he pleaseth.
9 Judgment - What is just and right.
12 Convinced - By solid and satisfactory answers.
13 Left - God thus left you to your own weakness, lest you should ascribe the conquering or silencing of Job to your own wisdom. God - This is alleged by Elihu, in the person of Job's three friends; the sense is, the judgments which are upon Job, have not been brought upon him by man originally, but by the hand of God, for his gross, though secret sins: but, saith Elihu, this argument doth not satisfy me, and therefore bear with me if I seek for better.
19 Bottles - Bottles of new wine.
22 I know not - The more closely we eye the majesty of God as our maker, the more we dread his wrath and justice, the less danger shall we be in of a sinful fearing or flattering of men.

Chapter XXXIII

Elihu offers himself to Job as the person he had so often wished for, ver. 1 - 7. He charges him with reflecting upon God, ver. 8 - 11. He aggravates this by shewing him God's sovereign power over man, and the various means he uses to do him good, ver. 12 - 14. Particularly dreams, ver. 15 - 18. And sickness, ver. 19 - 30. He requests Job to answer him, or let him go on, ver. 31 - 33.

3 My words - I will not speak passionately or partially, but from a sincere desire to do thee good. Clearly - What I speak will be plain, not hard to be understood.
4 Life - I am thy fellow creature, and am ready to discourse with thee upon even terms, according to thy desire.
6 Behold - I will plead with thee in God's name and stead, which thou hast often wished, and I am God's creature like thyself.
9 Clean - Not absolutely, for he often confesses himself to be a sinner, but no such transgression, as might give God just occasion to punish him so severely, as is implied, where he blames God for finding occasions against him, implying that he had given him none by his sins. And thus far Elihu's charge was just, and herein it differs from the charge of Job's three friends, who often accuse him, for asserting his own innocency; although they did it, because they thought him an hypocrite, whereas Elihu does it upon other grounds, even because Job's justification of himself was accompanied with reflections upon God.
11 Marketh - He narrowly prys into all my actions, that he may find matter against me.
12 Not just - Thou art in the wrong. Greater - Not only in power and majesty, but also in justice, and wisdom, and goodness, and therefore thou dost foolishly, in censuring his judgments, thou castest off that awe and reverence which thou shouldest constantly maintain towards thy sovereign Lord.
13 He - Useth not to give an account to his creatures of the grounds and reasons of his judgments or dispensations as being the supreme governor of all persons and things, in whose will it becometh all men to acquiesce.
14 Yet - Although he doth not give men an account of his matters, yet he doth that which is sufficient for them. Twice - When once speaking doth not awaken men, God is graciously pleased to give them another admonition: though he will not gratify men's curiosity in enquiring into his hidden judgments, yet he will acquaint them with their duty. God speaks to us by conscience, by providence, and by ministers, of all which Elihu here treats at large, to shew Job, that God was now telling him his mind, and endeavouring to do him good. He shews first, how God admonishes men by their own consciences.
16 Sealeth - He imprints those instructions upon their minds.
17 Pride - And God by this means is said to hide pride from man, because by these glorious representations of his Divine majesty to man, he takes him off from the admiration of his own excellency, and brings him to a sight of his own weakness, and to an humble and ready submission to his will.
18 Keepeth - By his gracious admonitions whereby he leads him to repentance.
19 Pain - The second way whereby God instructs men and excites them to repentance.
22 The destroyers - The pangs of death, here called the destroyers, are just ready to seize him.
23 A messenger - A prophet or teacher. To expound the providence, and point out the design of God therein. One, &c. - A person rightly qualified for this great and hard work, such as there are but very few. To shew - To direct him to the right way how he may please God, and procure that mercy which he thirsts after; which is not by quarrelling with God, but by an humble confession. and supplication for mercy through Christ the redeemer.
24 He - God. A ransom - Although I might justly destroy him, yet I will spare him, for I have found out a way of ransoming sinners from death, which is the death of my son, the redeemer of the world, and with respect to which I will pardon them that repent and sue for mercy. Observe how God glories in the invention! I have found, I have found a ransom; a ransom for poor, undone sinners! I, even I am he that hath done it.
26 Render - He will deal with him as with one reconciled to him through the mediator, and turning from sin to righteousness.
28 Life - His life which was endangered, shall be restored and continued. Yea, farther, God shall Deliver his soul from going into the pit of hell: and his life shall see the light, all good, in the vision and fruition of God.
29 Lo - All these ways God uses to convince, and save sinners.
30 To bring - That he may save men from being forever miserable, and make them forever happy. "Lord, what is man, that thou shouldest thus visit him? This should engage us, to comply with God's designs, to work with him for our own good, and not to counter - work him. And this will render those that perish inexcusable, that, so much was done to save them, and they would not he healed." So Mr. Henry. Excellent words! But how much did God do to save them? Did he ever do any thing to save them? Did he ever design to save them? If not, how does that which was never done, no nor designed, "render them inexcusable?"

Chapter XXXIV

Elihu proceeding bespeaks the attention of the company, ver. 1 - 4. Charges Job with other indecent expressions, ver. 5 - 9. Shews God's justice, sovereignty, power, omniscience, ver. 10 - 25. His severity against sinners, ver. 26 - 28. His over - ruling providence, ver. 29, 30. Teaches Job what he ought to say, ver. 31, 32. Appeals to his own conscience, and concludes with reproving him for murmuring, ver. 33 - 37.

2 Ear - The ear, is put for the mind to which things are conveyed by it.
4 Let us - Not contend for victory, but for truth and equity. Know - Let us shew one another who hath the best cause.
5 Said - I am so far righteous, that I have not deserved, such hard usage from God. Had taken - So Job had said, chap.27:2, he denies me that which is just and equal, to give me a fair hearing.
6 Should I lie - So Job had said in effect, chap.27:4,5,6, should I falsely accuse myself of sins of which I am not guilty? Without transgression - Without any such crying, sin, as might reasonably bring down such terrible judgments upon my head.
7 Like water - Abundantly and greedily: who doth so break forth into scornful expressions, not only against his friends, but in some sort against God himself.
8 Who goeth - Although I dare not say, that he is a wicked man, yet in this matter he speaks and acts like one of them.
9 He said - Not in express terms, but by consequence; because he said that good men were no less, nay, sometimes more miserable here than the wicked.
12 Pervert - As Job hath affirmed.
13 Who - Who or where is his superior that made the world, and, then delivered the government of it to God? God himself is the sole creator, the absolute Lord of all, and therefore cannot do unjustly: because the creator and Lord of the world must needs have all possible perfections in himself, and amongst others, perfect justice. Disposed - Or, committed, to him, to be governed by him, in the name, of his Lord, to whom he must give an account.
15 All - The design of this and the foregoing verse is the same with that of ver.13, namely, to declare God's absolute and uncontrollable sovereignty over all men.
17 Shall he - That is unrighteous. Govern - Elihu's argument is the same with that of Abraham, Gen 18:25, and that of St. Paul, Rom 3:5,6. If God be unrighteous, how shall he judge or govern the world? And the argument is undeniable: if God were unjust, there would be nothing but injustice and confusion in the world, whereas we see there is a great deal of justice administered in the world, and all this must proceed from him who is the fountain of all justice, and rule, and authority. And he that makes men just, shall he be unjust? Most just - God, who hath given so many clear and unquestionable evidences of his justice, in giving just and holy laws, in encouraging and rewarding righteous persons in this life, and inflicting dreadful judgments upon tyrants and oppressors.
18 Wicked - Though a king may be wicked, yet his subjects neither may nor dare call him so.
21 For - God doth not destroy either prince or people unjustly, no nor out of his mere pleasure, but for their sins, which he sees exactly, although they use all possible arts to hide them.
26 As - Because they are wicked men. In the open light - In publick view for their greater shame, and for the greater glory of his justice.
28 Cry of the poor - Their case is bad, who have the prayers and tears of the poor against them: for these will draw down vengeance sooner or later, on the heads of their oppressors.
29 Whether - God can carry on his work either of mercy or justice, as irresistible upon an whole nation as upon one particular person.
30 Reign not - May not continue his tyranny, lest the people be ensnared, lest the people should be longer kept in the the snares of oppression; God doth this to free poor oppressed people from the snares which ungodly men lay for them.
32 That - The secret sins which I cannot discover, manifest thou to me.
33 Should it be - Doth God need thy advice how to govern the world, and whom, and when to reward or punish? Refuse - To submit as is expressed, ver.32. Therefore - If thou canst say any thing for thyself, I am ready to hear thy defence.
34 Let - I am content that any wise man should judge of my words, and let such consider what I say.
36 End - Throughly and exactly, 'till the cause be brought to an issue. Wicked men - On their behalf; he hath put arguments into their mouths against God and his providence.
37 Addeth - He sinned before, by impatience under his afflictions, now he is grown obstinate, and instead of humbling himself for his sins, justifies himself, and accuses the blessed God. Clapped - Insulting and triumphing. Against God - In effect, though not directly.

Chapter XXXV

Our righteousness profits ourselves, not God, ver. 1 - 7. Our wickedness hurts not him, but other men, whom God would help, if they cried to him sincerely, ver. 8 - 13. Why he delayed to help Job, ver. 14 - 16.

2 Thou saidst - Not that Job said this in express terms, but he said those things from which this might seem to follow, as that God had punished him more than he deserved.
3 Thou saidst - Another imputation upon God. Unto thee - Unto me; such changes of persons being frequent in the Hebrew language. What profit, &c. - God does not reward so much as I deserve. But it was not fair to charge this upon Job, which he had neither directly nor indirectly affirmed.
5 Clouds, &c. - They are far above us, and God is far above them. How much then is he out of the reach either of our sins or our services?
9 Cry - Thus one man's wickedness may hurt another.
10 None - Few or none of the great numbers of oppressed persons. God - They cry out to men, but they seek not God, and therefore if God do not hear their cries it is not unjust. Maker - Who alone made me, and who only can deliver me. Who when our condition is ever so dark and sad, can turn our darkness into light, can quickly put a new song in our mouth, a thanksgiving unto our God.
11 Who - This is an aggravation of mens neglect of God in their misery. God hath given men, what he hath denied to beasts, wisdom to know God and themselves. Therefore they are inexcusable, for not using that wisdom, by calling on God in the time of trouble.
12 Because - God doth not answer their cries, because they are both evil, wicked and impenitent, and proud, unhumbled for those sins for which God brought these miseries upon them.
13 Vanity - Vain persons, that have no wisdom or piety in them.
14 See him - Thou canst not understand his dealings with thee. Here Elihu answers another objection of Job's: and tells him that though God may for a season delay to answer, yet he will certainly do him right. Judgment - Justice is at his tribunal, and in all his ways and administrations. Trust - Instead of murmuring, repent of what is past, humble thyself under God's hand, wait patiently in his way, 'till deliverance come; for it will certainly come if thou dost not hinder it.
15 Because - Because Job doth not acknowledge God's justice and his own sins. He - God. Anger - Hath laid grievous afflictions upon him. He - Job is not sensible of it, so as to be humbled under God's hand.

Chapter XXXVI

Elihu desires a farther hearing, ver. 1 - 4. Describes the methods of providence, ver. 5 - 15. Warns and counsels Job, ver. 16 - 21. Shews God's sovereignty and omnipotence, ver. 22 - 33.

3 Afar - From remote times, and places, and things. I will not confine my discourse to thy particular case, but wilt justify God by declaring his great and glorious works of creation and providence both in the heaven and in the earth, and the manner of his dealing with men in other parts and ages of the world. Ascribe - I will clear and maintain this truth, that God is righteous in all his ways.
4 He, &c. - Thou hast to do with a God of perfect knowledge, by whom all thy words and actions are weighed.
5 Despiseth - His greatness doth not make him (as it doth men) despise, or oppress the meanest. Wisdom - His strength is guided by wisdom, and therefore cannot do any thing unbecoming God, or unjust to his creatures.
6 But - He will certainly in his time deliver his oppressed ones.
7 He - Never ceases to care for and watch over them. Exalted - They continue to be exalted; they are not cast down from their dignity, as the wicked commonly are.
8 If - Through the vicissitude of worldly affairs, they are brought from their throne into a prison, as sometimes hath been done.
9 Work - Their evil works, by these afflictions he brings them to a sight of their sins. Exceeded - That they have greatly sinned by abusing their power and prosperity; which even good men are too prone to do.
10 Openeth - He inclines them to hearken to what God speaks by the rod.
13 Cry not - Unto God for help. Bindeth - With the cords of affliction.
14 Die - They provoke God to cut them off before their time. Unclean - Or, Sodomites; to whose destruction, he may allude. They shall die by some exemplary stroke of Divine vengeance. Yea, and after death, their life is among the unclean, the unclean spirits, the devil and his angels, for ever excluded from the new Jerusalem, into which no unclean thing shall enter.
15 Openeth - Causeth them to hear, and understand, and do, the will of God.
16 He would - If thou hadst opened thine ear to God's counsels. Into - A state of ease and freedom.
17 The judgment - Or, the sentence, thou hast justified the hard speeches which wicked men utter against God. Therefore - Therefore the just judgment of God takes hold on thee. Thou hast maintained their cause against God, and God passes against thee the sentence of condemnation due to wicked men.
18 Wrath - Conceived by God against thee. Then - If once God's wrath take hold of thee, no ransom will be accepted for thee.
19 Thy riches - If thou hadst as much of them as ever. Forces - The strongest forces.
20 The night - The night of death, which Job had often desired, for then, thou art irrecoverably gone: take heed of thy foolish and often repeated desire of death, lest God inflict it upon thee in anger.
21 Chosen - Thou hast chosen rather to quarrel with God, and censure his judgments, than quietly to submit to them.
22 Behold - God is omnipotent; and therefore can, either punish thee far worse, or deliver thee, if thou dost repent. He is also infinitely wise; and as none can work like him, so none can teach like him. Therefore do not presume to teach him how to govern the world. None teacheth with such authority and convincing evidence, with such condescension and compassion, with such power and efficacy as God doth, he teaches by the bible, and that is the best book; by his son, and he is the best master.
24 Remember - Call to mind this thy duty. Magnify - Every work which he doth; do not condemn any of his providential works, but adore them as done with admirable wisdom, and justice. Behold - With admiration and astonishment.
25 It - The power, and wisdom, and greatness of God are so manifest in all his works, that all who are not stupid, must see and acknowledge it. Afar off - The works of God are so great and conspicuous, that they may be seen at a great distance. Hence Elihu proceeds to give some instances, in the works of nature and common providence. His general aim is to shew,
  1. That God is the first cause and supreme director of all the creatures; whom therefore we ought with all humility and reverence to adore,
  2. That it is presumption in us to prescribe to him in his special providence toward men, when the operations even of common providence about the meteors, are so mysterious and unaccountable.
26 Neither - He is eternal, as in his being, so in all his counsels; which therefore must be infinitely above the comprehension of short - lived men.
27 For - Having affirmed that God's works are incomprehensibly great and glorious, he now proves it from the most common works of nature and providence. And hence he leaves it to Job to consider how much more deep and inconceivable the secret counsels of God must be. Water - He orders matters so wisely, that the waters which are in the clouds, do not fall down at once in spouts, which would be pernicious to the earth and to mankind; but by degrees, and in drops. According - According to the proportion of vapours which the heat of the sun hath drawn up by the earth or sea. So it notes that great work of God by which the rain is first made of vapours, and afterwards resolved into vapours, or into the matter of succeeding vapours, by a constant rotation.
29 Understand - Whence it comes to pass, that a small cloud, no bigger than a man's hand, suddenly spreads over the whole heavens: how the clouds come to be suddenly gathered, and so condensed as to bring forth thunder and lightning. Noise - The thunder produced in the clouds, which are often called God's tent or tabernacle.
30 Light - The lightning; fitly God's light, because God only can light it. It - Upon the cloud, which is in a manner the candlestick in which God sets up this light. The sea - The lightning spreads far and wide over all the parts of the sea, and pierceth deep, reaching even to the bottom of it.
31 Judgeth - By thunder and lightning, and rain from the clouds, he executes his judgments against ungodly people. Meat - Giveth meat. By the same clouds, he provides plentiful showers dropping fatness on the earth.
32 Clouds - With thick and black clouds spread over the whole heavens. Light - The sun. The cloud - Which God interposes as a veil between the sun and earth.
33 The noise - The thunder gives notice of the approaching rain. Also - And as the thunder, so also the cattle sheweth, concerning the vapour, concerning the coming of the rain, by a strange instinct, seeking for shelter, when a change of weather is near.

Chapter XXXVII

Elihu observes the hand of God, in thunder and lighting, ver. 1 - 5. In frost and snow, rain and wind, ver. 6 - 13. Challenges Job to account for these, ver. 14 - 22. Concludes, that God is great and greatly to be feared, ver. 23, 24

2 Hear - It is probable that while Elihu was speaking it thundered, and that tempest was begun, wherewith God ushered in his speech. And this might occasion his return to that subject of which he had discoursed before. Voice - The thunder is called God's voice. Because by it God speaks to the children of men, to fear before him. Mouth - That is produced by God's word or command, which is often signified by his mouth.
3 Directeth - His voice: which he guideth like an arrow to the mark, that it may do that work for which he sends it.
4 After - After the lightning, which is seen before the thunder is hard. Them - The lightnings spoken of in the beginning of the verse.
6 Strength - Those storms of rain which come with great force and irresistible violence.
7 Sealeth - By these snows and rains he drives men out of the fields, and seals or binds up their hands from their work. That - They may seriously contemplate on these, and other great and glorious works of God.
9 Cold - Freezing winds.
10 The waters - The waters which had freely spread themselves before, are congealed and bound up in crystal fetters.
11 Watering - The earth. They spend themselves and are exhausted watering the earth, until they are weary. Wearieth - Them with much water, and making them to go long journeys to water remote parts, and at last to empty themselves there: all which things make men weary; and therefore are here said to make the clouds weary by a common figure. Scattereth - As for the white and lightsome clouds, he scatters and dissolves them by the wind or sun.
12 Turned - The clouds are carried about to this or that place. Not by chance (though nothing seems to be more casual than the motions of the clouds) but by his order and governance.
13 Correction - To scourge or correct men by immoderate showers. Earth - The whole earth, which is said to be the Lord's, Psal 24:1 50:12, and so this may denote a general judgment by excessive rains inflicted upon the earth, and all its inhabitants, even the universal deluge, which came in great measure out of the clouds. Mercy - For the benefit of mankind and for the cooling of the air and improving the fruits of the earth.
14 Consider - If there be so much matter of wonder in the most obvious works of God, how wonderful must his secret counsels be?
15 Them - The things before mentioned, the clouds, rain, snow, and other meteors. Did God acquaint thee with his counsels in the producing and ordering of them? His cloud - Probably the rainbow, seated in a cloud, which may well be called God's cloud, because therein God puts his bow, Gen 9:13.
16 Balancings - How God doth as it were weigh the clouds in balances, so that although they are full of water, yet they are kept up by the thin air.
17 Quieteth - The air about the earth. From the south - By the sun's coming into the southern parts, which makes the air quiet and warm.
18 With him - Wast thou his assistant in spreading out the sky like a canopy over the earth? Strong - Which though it be very thin and transparent, yet is also firm and compact and steadfast. Looking glass - Made of brass and steel, as the manner then was. Smooth and polished, without the least flaw. In this, as in a glass, we may behold the glory of God and the wisdom of his handy - work.
19 Teach us - If thou canst. Say unto him - Of these things. Order - To maintain discourse with him, both because of the darkness of the matter, God's counsels being a great depth; and because of the darkness of our minds.
20 Shall - I send a challenge to God, or a message that I am ready to debate with him concerning his proceedings? Speak - If a man should be so bold to enter the lists with God. Swallowed up - With the sense of his infinite majesty.
21 Light - The sun; which is emphatically called light, and here the bright light: which men cannot behold or gaze on, when the sky is very clear: and therefore it is not strange if we cannot see God, or discern his counsels and ways. Them - The sky by driving away those clouds which darkened it.
22 North - From the northern winds which scatter the clouds, and clear the sky. Elihu concludes with some short, but great sayings, concerning the glory of God. He speaks abruptly and in haste, because it should seem, he perceived God was approaching, and presumed he was about to take the work into his own hands.
23 Find - We cannot comprehend him: his power, wisdom, justice, and his counsels proceeding from them are past our finding out. Power - Therefore as he doth not need any unrighteous action to advance himself, so he cannot do it, because all such things are acts of weakness. Judgment - In the just administration of judgment, he never did, nor can exercise that power unjustly, as Job seemed to insinuate. Afflict - Without just cause.
24 Fear - Fear or reverence him, and humbly submit to him, and not presume to quarrel or dispute with him. Wise of heart - Wise in their own eyes.


God begins with an awakening challenge, ver. 1 - 3. Proceeds to several proofs of Job's inability to contend with him, because of his ignorance and weakness: for he knew nothing of the founding of the earth, ver. 4 - 7. The limiting of the sea, ver. 8 - 11. Of the morning light, ver. 12 - 15. The recesses of the sea and earth, ver. 16 - 21. Of the treasures in the clouds, ver. 22 - 27. He could do nothing toward the making of his own soul, the producing of rain, frost, lightning, or the directing of the stars and their influences, ver. 28 - 38. He could not provide for the lions or the ravens, ver. 39 - 41. How then should he direct God's secret counsels? Here God takes up the argument, begun by Elihu, and prosecutes it in inimitable words, exceeding his, and all other mens in the loftiness of the style, as much as thunder does a whisper.

1 Lord - The eternal word, Jehovah, the same who spake from mount Sinai. Answered - Out of a dark and thick cloud, from which he sent a tempestuous wind, as the harbinger of his presence. In this manner God appears and speaks to awaken Job and his friends, to the more serious attention to his words; and to testify his displeasure both against Job, and them, that all of them might be more deeply humbled and prepared to receive, and retain the instructions which God was about to give them.
2 Counsel - God's counsel. For the great matter of the dispute between Job and his friends, was concerning God's counsel and providence in afflicting Job; which Job had endeavoured to obscure and misrepresent. This first word which God spoke, struck Job to the heart. This he repeats and echoes to, chap.42:3, as the arrow that stuck fast in him.
3 Gird up - As warriors then did for the battle.
4 Where - Thou art but of yesterday; and dost thou presume to judge of my eternal counsels! When - When I settled it as firm upon its own center as if it had been built upon the surest foundations.
5 Measures - Who hath prescribed how long and broad and deep it should be. Line - the measuring line to regulate all its dimensions.
6 Foundations - This strong and durable building hath no foundations but God's power, which hath marvelously established it upon itself. Cornerstone - By which the several walls are joined and fastened together, and in which, next to the foundations, the stability of a building consists. The sense is, who was it that built this goodly fabrick, and established it so firmly that it cannot be moved.
7 Stars - The angels, who may well be called morning - stars, because of their excellent lustre and glory. Sons of God - The angels called the sons of God, because they had their whole being from him, and because they were made partakers of his Divine and glorious image. Shouted - Rejoiced in and blessed God for his works, whereby he intimates, that they neither did advise or any way assist him, nor dislike or censure any of his works, as Job had presumed to do.
8 Doors - Who was it, that set bounds to the vast and raging ocean, and shut it up, as it were with doors within its proper place, that it might not overflow the earth? Break forth - From the womb or bowels of the earth, within which the waters were for the most part contained, and out of which they were by God's command brought forth into the channel which God had appointed for them.
9 The cloud - When I covered it with vapours and clouds which rise out of the sea, and hover above it, and cover it like a garment. Darkness - Black and dark clouds. Swaddling band - Having compared the sea to a new - born infant, he continues the metaphor, and makes the clouds as swaddling - bands, to keep it within its bounds: though indeed neither clouds, nor air, nor sands, nor shores, can bound the sea, but God alone.
10 Break up - Made those hollow places in the earth, which might serve for a cradle to receive and hold this great and goodly infant when it came out of the womb. And set - Fixed its bounds as strongly as if they were fortified with bars and doors.
12 Morning - Didst thou create the sun, and appoint the order and succession of day and night. Since - Since thou wast born: this work was done long before thou wast born. To know - To observe the punctual time when, and the point of the heavens where it should arise; which varies every day.
13 That - That this morning light should in a moment spread itself, from one end of the hemisphere to the other. Shaken - From the face of the earth. And this effect the morning - light hath upon the wicked, because it discovers them, whereas darkness hides them; and because it brings them to condign punishment, the morning being the usual time for executing judgment.
14 It - The earth. Turned - Is changed in its appearance. By the seal - The seal makes a beautiful impression upon the clay, which in itself hath no form, or comeliness. So the earth, which in the darkness of night lies like a confused heap without either form or beauty, when the light arises and shines upon it, appears in excellent order and glory. They - The men and things of the earth, whether natural, as living creatures, herbs and trees; or artificial, as houses or other buildings. Stand - Present themselves to our view. Garment - Wherewith the earth is in a manner clothed and adorned.
15 Withheld - That light which enjoyed by others is withholden from them, either by their own choice, because they chuse darkness rather than light; or by the judgment of God, or the magistrate, by whom they are cut off from the light of the living. Arms - Their great strength which they used to the oppression of others.
16 Springs - Heb. the tears; the several springs out of which the waters of the sea flow as tears do from the eyes. Walked - Hast thou found out the utmost depth of the sea, which in divers places could never be reached by the wisest mariner? And how then canst thou fathom the depths of my counsels?
17 Death - Hast thou seen, or dost thou know the place and state of the dead; the depths and bowels of that earth in which the generality of dead men are buried. Death is a grand secret? We know not when or by what means we shall be brought to death: by what road we must go the way, whence we shall not return. We cannot describe what death is; how the knot is untied between soul and body, or how the spirit goes "To be we know not what, and live we know not how." With what dreadful curiosity does the soul launch out into an untried abyss? We have no correspondence with separate souls, nor any acquaintance with their state. It is an unknown, undiscovered region, to which they are removed. While we are here in a world of sense, we speak of the world of spirits, as blind men do of colours, and when we remove thither, shall be amazed to find how much we were mistaken.
18 Breadth - The whole compass and all the parts of it?
19 Dwelleth - Hath its constant and settled abode. Whether goes the sun when it departs from this hemisphere? Where is the tabernacle and the chamber in which he is supposed to rest? And seeing there was a time when there was nothing but gross darkness upon the face of the earth, what way came light into the world? Which was the place where light dwelt at that time, and whence was it fetched? And whence came that orderly constitution and constant succession of light and darkness? Was this thy work? Or wast thou privy to it, or a counsellor, or assistant in it?
20 Take it - Bring or lead it: and this it refers principally to the light, and to darkness, as the consequent of the other. Bound - Its whole course from the place of its abode whence it is supposed to come, to the end of its journey. Know - Where thou mayst find it, and whence thou mayst fetch it.
22 Treasures - Dost thou know where I have laid up those vast quantities of snow and hail which I draw forth when I see fit?
23 Trouble - When I intend to bring trouble upon any people for their sins.
24 Distributed - In the air, and upon the face of the earth. This is variously distributed in the world, shining in one place and time, when it doth not shine in another, or for a longer time, or with greater brightness and power than it doth in another. All which are the effects of God's infinite wisdom and power, and such as were out of Job's reach to understand. Which - Which light scattereth, raises the east - wind, and causes it to blow hither and thither upon the earth? For as the sun is called by the poets, the father of the winds, because he draws up those exhalations which give matter to the winds, so in particular the east - wind is often observed to rise together with the sun.
25 Overflowing - For the showers of rain which come down orderly, and gradually, as if they were conveyed in pipes or channels; which, without the care of God's providence, would fall confusedly, and overwhelm the earth. Lightning - For lightning and thunder? Who opened a passage for them out of the cloud in which they were imprisoned? And these are joined with the rain, because they are commonly accompanied with great showers of rain.
26 To cause - That the clouds being broken by lightning and thunder might pour down rain. No man - To water those parts by art and industry, as is usual in cultivated places.
27 To bring forth - Hitherto God has put such questions to Job, as were proper to convince him of his ignorance. Now he comes to convince him of his impotence. As it is but little that he can know, and therefore he ought not to arraign the Divine counsels, so it is but little he can do; and therefore he ought not to oppose Divine providence.
28 Father - Is there any man that can beget or produce rain at his pleasure?
31 Bind - Restrain or hinder them. Pleiades - The seven stars, which bring in the spring. Bands - By which it binds up the air and earth, by bringing storms of rain and hail or frost and snow. Orion - This constellation rises in November, and brings in winter. Both summer and winter will have their course? God indeed can change them when he pleases, can make the spring cold, and so bind the influences of Pleiades, and the winter warm, and so loose the bands of Orion; but we cannot.
32 Bring forth - Canst thou make the stars in the southern signs arise and appear? Arcturus - Those in the northern. His sons - The lesser stars, which are placed round about them; and attend upon them, as children upon their parents.
33 Ordinances - The laws which are firmly established concerning their order, motion, or rest, and their powerful influences upon this lower world. Didst thou give these laws? Or dost thou perfectly know them? Canst thou - Manage and over rule their influences.
34 Cover thee - Thy land when it needs rain.
38 Mire - By reason of much rain.
39 Hunt - Is it by thy care that the lions who live in desert places are furnished with necessary provisions? This is another wonderful work of God.
41 Raven - Having mentioned the noblest of brute creatures, he now mentions one of the most contemptible; to shew the care of God's providence over all creatures, both great and small. Their young ones are so soon forsaken by their dams, that if God did not provide for them in a more than ordinary manner, they would be starved to death. And will he that provides for the young ravens, fail to provide for his own children.

Chapter XXXIX

The more fully to convince Job of his ignorance, God here discourses, Of the wild goats and hinds, ver. 1 - 4. Of the wild ass, ver. 5 - 8. Of the unicorn, ver. 9 - 12. Of the peacock and ostrich, ver. 13 - 18. Of the horse, ver. 19 - 25. Of the hawk and eagle, ver, 26 - 30.

4 Young ones - Notwithstanding their great weakness caused by their hard entrance into the world. Grow up - As with corn, that is, as if they were fed with corn. Go forth - Finding sufficient provisions abroad by the care of God's providence.
5 Sent - Who hath given him this disposition that he loves freedom, and hates that subjection which other creatures quietly endure? Loosed - Who keeps him from receiving the bands, and submitting to the service of man.
7 Scorneth - He feareth them not when they pursue him, because he is swift, and can easily escape them. Driver - He will not be brought to receive his yoke, nor to do his drudgery.
8 Mountains - He prefers that mean provision with his freedom, before the fattest pastures with servitude.
9 Unicorn - It is disputed whether this be the Rhinoceros; or a kind of wild bull.
16 Her labour - In laying her eggs is in vain, because she hath not the fear and tender concern for them, which she should have.
17 Deprived - Because God hath not implanted in her that instinct, and affection, which he hath put into other birds and beasts toward their young.
18 Lifteth - To flee from her pursuer: to which end she lifts up her head and body, and spreads her wings. Scorneth - She despises them thro' her swiftness; for though she cannot fly, yet by the aid of her wings she runs so fast, that horse - men cannot reach her.
19 Thunder - A strong metaphor, to denote force and terror.
21 Valley - Battles used to be pitched in valleys, or low grounds, especially horse battles.
23 Quiver - The quiver is here put for the arrows contained in it, which being shot against the horse and rider, make a rattling noise.
24 Swalloweth - He is so full of rage and fury, that he not only champs his bridle, but is ready to tear and devour the very ground on which he goes. Believeth - He is so pleased with the approach of the battle, and the sound of the trumpet calling to it, that he can scarce believe his ears for gladness.
25 Ha, ha - An expression of joy and alacrity declared by his proud neighings. Thunder - The loud and joyful clamour begun by the commanders, and followed by the soldiers when they are ready to join battle.
26 Fly - So strongly, constantly, unweariedly, and swiftly. South - At the approach of winter, when wild hawks fly into warmer countries, as being impatient of cold. The birds of the air are proofs of the wonderful providence of God, as well as the beasts of the earth. God instances in two stately ones.
27 Mount - Flies directly upward 'till she be out of thy sight; which no other bird can do.
29 Her eyes - Her sight is exceeding sharp and strong, so that she is able to look upon the sun with open eyes, and to behold the smallest prey upon the earth or sea, when she is mounted out of our sight.
33 Blood - There are divers eagles who do not feed upon carcases, but many eagles do feed on them. She - In an instant, flying thither with admirable celerity.

Chapter XL

Job humbles himself before God, ver. 1 - 5. God challenges him to vie with him, in justice, power, majesty, and dominion over the proud, ver. 6 - 14. And gives an instance of his power in the Behemoth, ver. 15 - 24.

1 Answered - Having made a little pause to try what Job could answer. This is not said to be spoken out of the whirlwind, and therefore some think God said it in a still, small voice, which wrought more upon Job, (as upon Elijah) than the whirlwind did. Tho' Job had not spoken any thing, yet God is said to answer him. For he knows mens thoughts, and can return a fit answer to their silence.
2 Reproveth - That boldly censureth his ways or works; it is at his peril.
5 Answer - Speak again; I will contend no more with thee. Twice - Often, the definite number being used indefinitely.
6 Whirlwind - Which was renewed when God renewed his charge upon Job, whom he intended to humble more throughly.
8 Wilt thou - Every word is emphatical, wilt (art thou resolved upon it) thou (thou Job, whom I took to be one of a better mind) also (not only vindicate thyself, but also accuse me) disannul (not only question, but even repeal and make void, as if it were unjust) my judgment? My sentence against thee, and my government and administration of human affairs? Wilt thou make me unrighteous that thou mayst seem to be righteous?
10 Deck - Seeing thou makest thyself equal, yea, superior to me, take to thyself thy great power, come and sit in my throne, and display thy Divine perfections in the sight of the world.
13 Hide - Kill every one of them at one blow. Bind - Condemn or destroy them. He alludes to the manner of covering the faces of condemned persons, and of dead men. In secret - In a secret place, bury them in their graves.
15 Behemoth - Very learned men take the leviathan to be the crocodile, and the behemoth to be the river - horse, which may fitly be joined with the crocodile, both being well known to Joband his friends, as being frequent in the adjacent parts, both amphibious, living and preying both in the water and upon the land. And both creatures of great bulk and strength. Made - As I made thee. Grass - The river - horse comes out of the river upon the land to feed upon corn, and hay, or grass, as an ox doth, to whom also he is not unlike in the form of his head and feet, and in the bigness of his body, whence the Italians call him, the sea - ox.
16 Strength - He hath strength answerable to his bulk, but this strength by God's wise and merciful providence is not an offensive strength, consisting in, or put forth by horns or claws, as it is in ravenous creatures, but only defensive and seated in his loins, as it is in other creatures.
17 Tail - Which though it be but short, yet when it is erected, is exceeding stiff and strong. Thighs - The sinews of his thighs. His thighs and feet are so sinewy and strong, that one of them is able to break or over - turn a large boat.
19 The chief - He is one of the chief of God's works, in regard of its great bulk and strength.
20 Mountains - Though he lives most in the water, yet he often fetches his food from the land, and from the mountains or hills, which are nigh the river Nile. Play - They not only feed securely, but sport themselves by him, being taught by experience that he is gentle and harmless.
22 Brook - Or, of the Nile, of which this word is often used in scripture. His constant residence is in or near this river, or the willows that grow by it.
23 River - A great quantity of water, hyperbolically called a river. Hasteth not - He drinks not with fear and caution; but such is his courage, that he fears no enemy either by water or by land. He drinks as if he designed, to drink up the whole river. He mentions Jordan, as a river well known, in and nigh unto Job's land.
24 Sight - Can any man take him in his eyes? Openly and by force? Surely not. His strength is too great for man to overcome: and therefore men are forced to use wiles and engines to catch him.

Chapter XLI

To convince Job of his wickedness, he is here challenged to subdue and tame the leviathan, ver. 1 - 10. A particular description of him. ver. 11 - 34.

1 Leviathan - Several particulars in the following description, agree far better with the crocodile, than the whale. It is highly probable, that this is the creature here spoken of. Cord - Canst thou take him with a hook and a line, as anglers take ordinary fishes.
2 Thorn - Or, with an iron hook, or instrument as sharp as a thorn; wherewith thou usest to carry little fishes.
3 Supplications - Doth he dread thine anger or power? Or will he earnestly beg thy favour? It is a metaphor from men in distress, who use these means to them to whose power they are subject.
7 Fill - A whale's you may: but the skin of a crocodile is so hard that an iron or spear will not pierce it.
8 Lay - Seize upon him, if thou darest. Battle - But ere thou attempt it consider what thou art doing, and with whom, thou art going to fight. Do no more - Proceed no farther, draw back thy hand.
9 Hope - The hope of taking or conquering him.
10 Stand - To the battle. Me - To contend with me who created him?
11 Prevented - Hath laid the first obligation upon me, for which I am indebted to him. Who can be before - hand with me in kindnesses, since all things under heaven are mine.
13 Discover - Or, uncover, or take off from him. Face - The upper or outward part of his garment, or, the garment itself: the word face being often redundant. And by the garment is meant the skin which covers the whole body; who dare attempt to touch his very skin? Much less to give him a wound. His double bridle - His fast jaws, which have some resemblance to a double bridle: whence the Greeks call those parts of the face which reach to the jaws on both sides, the bridles.
14 Doors - His mouth. If it be open, none dare enter within, and if it be shut, none dare open it.
15 Shut - Closely compacted together, as things that are fastened together by a seal. This likewise is true of the crocodile, but the skin of the whale is smooth and entire without any scales at all.
18 Sneesings - This the crocodile is said frequently to do. Eyes - To which they seem very fitly compared, because the eyes of the crocodile are dull and dark under the water, but as soon as they appear above water, cast a bright and clear light; like the morning light, suddenly breaking forth after the dark night.
19 Lamps - This also better agrees with the crocodile, which breathes like the river - horse, of which ancient authors affirm, that his nostrils are very large, and he breathes forth a fiery smoke like that of a furnace.
21 Kindleth coals - An hyperbolical expression, denoting extraordinary heat.
22 And sorrow - Sorrow is his companion and harbinger, which attends upon him wheresoever he goes. So anger and fear are said by the poets to accompany the God of war.
24 Nether mill - stone - Which being to bear the weight of the upper, ought to be the harder and stronger of the two.
25 Raiseth - Upon the top of the waters. Mighty - Even the stout - hearted. Breakings - By reason of their great danger and distress; which is expressed by this very word, Psal 60:2 Jonah 2:4. Purify - Those who ordinarily live in the neglect of God, they cry unto God in their trouble, and endeavour to purge their consciences from the guilt of their sins.
26 Hold - Heb. cannot stand, cannot endure the stroke, but will be broken by it. The crocodile's skin, no sword, nor dart, nor musquet bullet can pierce.
28 Turned - Hurt him no more than a blow with a little stubble.
30 Stones - His skin is so impenetrable, that the sharpest stones or shells are as easy unto him as the mire.
31 Boil - To swell, and foam, and froth by his strong and vehement motion, as any liquor does when it is boiled in a pot, especially boiling ointment. The sea - The great river Nile, is called a sea, both in scripture, as Isa 11:15, and in other authors, as Euphrates is called the sea of Babylon, Isa 21:1 Jer 51:36. Lakes also are most frequently called seas both in the Old and New Testament: and in such lakes the crocodiles are as well as in the Nile.
32 Shine - By the white froth or foam upon the waters. The same may be observed in the wake of a ship by night.
34 King, &c. - He can tame both the behemoth and leviathan, as strong and stout - hearted as they are. This discourse concerning them was brought in, to prove that it is God only, who can look upon proud men and abase them, bring them low, and hide them in the dust, he it is that beholdeth all high things, and wherein men dealt proudly, he is above them. He is king over all the children of pride, brutal or rational, and makes them either bend or break before him.

Chapter XLII

Job throughly humbles himself before God, ver. 1 - 6. God reproves his friends, for whom Job intercedes, and God accepts them, ver. 7 - 9. God blesses and restores Job to his prosperity, ver. 10 - 15. His age and death, ver. 16,17

2 Thou canst, &c. - Job here subscribes to God's unlimited power, knowledge and dominion, to prove which was the scope of God's discourse out of the whirlwind. And his judgment being convinced of these, his conscience also was convinced, of his own folly in speaking so irreverently concerning him. No thought can be withholden from thee - No thought of ours can be withholden from thy knowledge. And there is no thought of thine, which thou canst be hindered from bringing into execution.
3 Who - What am I that I should be guilty of such madness! Therefore - Because my mind was without knowledge. Knew not - I have spoken foolishly and unadvisedly of all things far above my reach.
4 Hear - Hear and accept my humble confession. Enquire - I will no more dispute the matter with thee, but beg information from thee. The words which God had uttered to Job by way of challenge, Job returns to him in way of submission.
5 Seeth thee - The knowledge which I had of thy nature, perfections and counsels, was hitherto grounded chiefly, upon the instructions of men; but now it is clear and certain, as being immediately inspired into my mind by this thy glorious apparition and revelation, and by the operation of thy holy spirit; which makes these things as evident to me, as if I saw them with my bodily eyes. When the mind is enlightened by the spirit of God, our knowledge of Divine things as far exceeds what we had before, as knowledge by ocular demonstration, exceeds, that by common fame.
7 Eliphaz - As the eldest of the three, and because he spoke first, and by his example led the rest into the same miscarriages. Two friends - Elihu is not here reproved, because he dealt more mercifully with Job, and did not condemn his person, but only rebuked his sinful expressions. Ye have not, &c. - This is not to be understood absolutely, but comparatively. Job was not so much to be blamed as they, because his opinion concerning the methods of God's providence, and the indifferency of its dispensations towards good and bad men was truer than theirs, which was, that God did always reward good men and punish sinners in this life.
8 My servant - Whom though you condemned as an hypocrite, I own for my faithful servant. Offer - By the hand of Job, whom I hereby constitute your priest to pray and sacrifice for you. Lest I deal - Lest my just judgment take hold of you for your false and foolish speeches.
9 Accepted Job - And as Job prayed and offered sacrifice for those who had grieved and wounded his spirit, so Christ prayed and died for his persecutors, and ever lives, making intercession for transgressors.
10 Captivity - All his bodily distempers were thoroughly healed, and probably in a moment. His mind was calmed, his peace returned, and the consolations of God were not small with him. Prayed - Whereby he manifests his obedience to God and his true love to them.
11 Then - When Job had humbled himself, and God was reconciled to him. Sisters - His kindred. Eat - Feasted with him, to congratulate with him God's great and glorious favour. Bemoaned - They declared the sense which they had of his calamities while they were upon him, although they had hitherto wanted opportunity to express it.
12 Blessed - Not only with spiritual, but also with temporal blessings. Just double to what they were, chap.1:3. This is a remarkable instance of the extent of the Divine providence, to things that seem minute as this, the exact number of a man's cattle; as also of the harmony of providence, and the reference of one event to another: for known unto God are all his works, from the beginning to the end.
14 Jemima - The day, either because of her eminent beauty, or because she was born in the day of his prosperity, after a dark night of affliction. Kezia is the name of a spice of a very fragrant smell, commonly called Cassia. Keren - happuch signifies plenty restored.
15 So fair - In the Old Testament we often find women praised for their beauty, but never in the New, because the beauty of holiness is brought to a much clearer light by the gospel.
16 After this, &c. - Some conjecture, that he was seventy when his trouble came. If so his age was doubled, as his other possessions.
17 Full of days - So coming to his grave, as Eliphaz had spoken, like a ripe shock of corn in its season.

This document (last modified October 01, 1997) from