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6 prosperity to comfort him. The light shall be dark in his tabernas
cie, and his candle shall be put out with him ; the lamp they
hung over his tent to spread a cheerful light, and all the glory of 7 his family, shall be put out and become contemptible. The steps
of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall
cast him down ; his boldest attempts shall not retrieve his cir. 8 cumstances. For he is cast into a net by his own feet, and he
walketh upon a snare ; he is entangled with difficulties, and every 9 step exposes him to them. The gin shall take [him] by the
heel, (and) the robber shall prevail against him ; he shall be tak
en like a wild beast or bird in a net, and 80 become an easy prey to 10 designing men. The snare (is) laid for him in the ground, and
a trap for him in the way ; he shall not foresee his danger, but 11 fall into it before he is aware. Terrors shall make him afraid on
every side, and shall drive him to his feet ; he shull run from
place to place for safety, but snares and terrors beset him on 12 every side, so that he shall not escape. His strength shall be
hungerbitten, shall decay for want of food, and destruction (shall
be) ready at his side ; mischief attends him wherever he goes. 13 It shall devour the strength of liis skin : [even] the firstborn
of death shall devour his strength ; 8071€ terrible disease, like a
furious beast, erceeding hungry, shall scize upon him, breaking his i4 ribs, and grinding to pieces his more substantial bones. His con
fidence shall be rooted out of his tabernacle, his family shall be
ruined, and it shall bring him to the king of terrors ; hasten his 15 death, and bring him to ihe most dreadful of all his enemies. It,
that is, destruction, shall dwell in his tabernacle, because (it is) none of his, being obtained by injustice and oppression : brim
stone shall be scattered upon his habitation ; sulphur and light16 ning shall destroy it, and it shall become like Sodom. His roots
shall be dried up beneath, and above shall his branch be cut off ;
he shall never be restored to his former prosperity, nor shall it ever 17 be enjoyed by his family. His remembrance shall perish from
the earth, and he shall have no name in the street ; though once
famous in public places, he shall be quite forgotten, or only spoken 18 of with infamy. He shall be driven from light into darkness, 19 and chased out of the world, as a filthy, offensive thing. He shall
neither have son nor nephew among his people, nor any re
maining in his dwellings ; neither son, nor grandson, nor any re20 lation to keep up the memory of his former grandeur. They that
come after [him) shall be astonied at his day, as they that went before were affrighted; future times shall hear of it with astonishment and awe ; or, 18 an ingenious critic renders it, “ the Wes
terns shall be astonished at him, and the Easterns be prossessed with 21 horror.” Surely such [are) the dwellings of the wicked, and
this [is] the place (of him that) knoweth not God. In all this he seems to glance at Job's case, and the calamitics that had come upon him and his family, Vol. IV.
E have a just idea of the misery which attends pasa
whether of love or hatred, desire or fear, especially of anger, brings torment to the mind which is under its influence, tears and injures the bodily constitution, especially tears the soul, destroys its composure and peace, and is injurious to every good principle and disposition. Let us labour after a calm and even temper; and if we desire our own happiness, let us in patience frossess our souls.
2. The view here given of death, as the king of terrors, is very awful and very instructive. Death is a king of great authority, and universal s vay. He is indeed a king of terrors to the wicked; all his forerunners and att.'ndants are terrible. He removes them from every thing they love and rejoice in, to every thing they fear and abhor ; from all their happiness, to great and everlasting misery. He is in some measure a king of terrors to good men; but Christ has taken away his chief terrors, controled his power, abolished his tyranny, and made him a friend. Let us then reverence, love and serve the captain of our salvation ; and employ our lives in his cauze. Then we shall be more than conquerors orer the king of terrors, through hiin that hath loved us. Observe,
3. The misery of wicked men in this world, and how it should make us afraid of this character. Bildad's remarks are both beauti: ful and just, though falsely applied to Job. His light shall be exchanger for darkness ; his pleasure, joy and hope are all fading; the things he pleased himself, entertained others, and made a fine show with, are all vanishing, all shall be put out ; no solid joy, or well grounded hope be left ; his guilty conscience arms terrors on erery side ; there is no avoiding them, no bearing them. He entails dishonour and misery on his family, and drowns himself in everlasting destruction, Surely such are the duellings of the wicked, and this is the niace of him that knoweth not God. Let us therefore stand in awe and not sin ; but endeavour to know and serve God; for gode liness hath the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to
Here Job answors to what Bildad had said ; he renews his complaints
of the unkind:2238 of his friends, and of his miserable condition ; he entreals their pity, and hopes for restoration, which will turn to their confusion.
soul with your censures and reproaches, ai d break me in 3 pieces with words? These ten times have ye re proached me,
that is, many times have ye advanced the same charges against me :
ye are not ashamed (that) ye make yourselves strange to me,
as if I was a stranger, and my former manner of life was utterly 4 unknown to you. And be it indeed [that] I have erred, mine
error remaineth with inyself ; I have suffered enough already, 3 and you need not make my case worse by your reproaches. If ina
deed will magnify [yourselves) against me, and plead against
me my reproach; if you will still pilcad my calami y as a ground 6 to condemn me, let this answer suffice you ; Know now that God
hath overthrown me, and halh compassed me with his net ;
God has brought unavoidable miseries upon me, 40 that I am closed 7 up by them, like a bird or fish in a net. Behold, I cry out of
wrong, but I am not heard : I cry aloud, but there is) no judg
ment; I am ignorant of the cause of them, and therefore can have 8 no redress, which makes my case the more pitiable. He hath fenci
ed up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in
my paths ; if there is any way to extricate mysclf, I cannot see it. 9 He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown (from) 10 my head ; all my dignity and authority is lost. He bath de
stroyed me on every side, and I am gone : and mine hope hath $1 be removed like a tree plucked up by the roots. He hath also
kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as
(one of] his enemies ; he hath done all this with such violence, as 12 if he was extremely incensed against me. His troops come to
gether, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round
about my tabernacle ; a whole army of calamities surround and 13 attack my defenceless habitation. He hath put my brethren far
from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me;
my neighbours and acquaintance act as if they did not know me. 14 My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten
me ; my relations by blood, and my familiar friends, refuse the 15 common offices of fri.ndshi.. They that dwell in mine house,
and my maids, count me for a stranger : I am an alien in their
sight; those who have been hiuspilubly entertained by me, yra, my 16 domestic servants count me as a stranger. I called my servant, and
he gave (me] no answer ; I entreated him with my mouth, as if 17 he had been my master. My breath is strange to my wife, though
I entreated for the children's (sake) of mine own body ; my wife
will not come near me, though I entreat her by the memory of our 18 dear children, Yea, young children despised me? orphans iha! I
had nourished and educated ; I arose, and they spake against
me; I arose to invite them, and they gaze me reprrachful lan19 guage. All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I
loved are turned against me ; those with whom I was most fa.
mnilier, and in whom I placed the greatest cor fidence, abhorr d me, 20 and became my enemies. My bone cleaveth to niy skin and to
my fesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth ; in con
sequence of all this, I am reduced to a skeleton, and have nothing 21 left but my lips to complain with ; therefore Have pity upon me,
have pily upon me, Oye my friends ; for the hand of God hark touched me; since I meet with pity no where else, do you et legges 22 pity me. Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not Batis.
fied with my flesh; as if you had as much right to afflict me as he,
and were not satisfied with my flesh, but would devour me alive? 23 Oh that my words, that is, my protestations of my own innocence
and integrity, were now written ! oh that they were printed in 24 a book ! inscribed on some durable substance :* That they were
graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! alluding 25 to the custom of putting inscriptions on stones or rocks. For I
know [that] my Redeemer liveth, and [that] he shall stand at 26 the latter [day] upon the earth : And (though) after my skin,
(worms] destroy this [body,) yet in my flesh shall I see God : 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and
not another ; (though] my reins be consumed within me.t 28 But ye should say, Why persecute we him, let us wait a while,
seeing the root of the matter is found in me? a principle of true
piety, which you ought to cherish, though I have many failings. 29. Be ye afraid of the sword, instead of threatening me, look to your
selves, lest the judgments of God seizi apon you : for wrath, that is, the wrath of God, [bringeth] the punishments of the sword, or some other dreadful calamity, that ye may know there is) a judgment more righteous and cquitable than yours.
E here see that the unfaithfulness and unkindness of re
lations and friends, is one of the most cutting aflictions ; there is none that Job more pathetically bewails, and under which he more earnestly entreats the pity of his friends. When men are in affliction their friends often forsake them, their relations prove unkind, and those who should support and pity, reproach or desert them. Let this teach us to cease from man, and not raise our expectations too high from any friend or relation. When such afllic
Printing was not known to the ancients.
+ There are great debates ainong the learned, whether Job refers in the twentyfifth, twentysixth, and twentyseventh verses to a resurrection of his body from the grave, or to his restoration to prosperity, which would be a proof of his righteousness. It is a very difficult question. The passage is viry obscure in the original, as may be seen by the many words Which our translators have been obliged to insert to make up the sense. If it is interpreted of the Resurrection, ho declares his belief, that not only his separate spirit should remail, but that his flesh should be recovered, and that at last he should see God appearing to plead his cause, though not only his fesh but his very vitals were consumed. To this interpretation it is objected, that the Jews seem to have had very imperfect notions of a resurrection , they never quote this place as a proof of it ; that job. not being of the family of Jacob, it is tiot likely that the author of the poem should put words into his mouth so expressive of a resurrection. Beside, Ezekiel, who was probably the author of this book, illustrates the restora tion of Israel from captivity, hy the vision of dry bones recovered ; which throws a light upon this passage ; and Zophar's argument in the next chapter, seems to be levelled against Job's expectation of tempora! prosperity returning.
On the other interpretation the words will stand thus, For I know thot mig deliverer, (that is, oot of this calanity) is the living, (that is, the living God) and at the latter endt, day is not in the original) at the end of this debate, he will stand upon the dust, (to plead the cause in my favour.) Nav, after this skin of nine is consumed a war, (by grief and sorrow) yet in my desh (which I shall recover again) shall I see God, whom I shall see, (not for myself, but) in my side (as the word is elsewhere rendered) tharis, as my friend and comforteri and mine eyes shall behold, and not a stranger (divested of compassion like you :) notmythstanding my very reins are consumed within me ; though I am reduced to the greatest extremity, and just dying.
The ingenious Mr. Thomas Scott, in his Appendix to the book of job. vindicates the former inse, as referring to a resurrection. Dr. Konnicutt gives the latter translation of it.
tions befal us, let us own the hand of God, and be more zealous to secure his friendship; he hath said to every one of his faithful servants, I will never leave nor forsake thee.
2. Job's expressions of an expected restoration, will naturally lead our thoughts to the general resurrection, if they did not immediately refer to it. We christians know assuredly that there shall be a resurrection of the dead ; that good men, if they are never restored to health and prosperity here, shall rise again at the last day, Though worms destroy their bodies, Christ shall renew and change them, and they shall see him appearing as their Redeemer. Let us be thankful for the clear discoveries of the New Testament on this important head; and give diligence to secure an interest in this liva ing Redeemer ; that when he appears the second time, it may be to our complete and everlasting salvation.
3. Let us be careful not to persecute our brethren, especially if we have reason to believe the root of the matter is in them. To persecute even wicked men, with bitter censures and reproaches, is not likely to do any good ; but it is highly criminal and abominable to treat those so, who appear to have a sincere principle of religion and regard to God, though they are chargeable with folly, weakness and mistakes. Let us therefore pity their affliction and infirmity, and endeavour to promote their progress in religion, their peace, and their hope. To excite us to this, let us remember there is a future judgment, and that hard reproaches and unkind usage, are then to be accounted for, as well as profaneness and hypocrisy. Seeing then that we look for the coming of Jtsus Christ, let us give diligence to be found of him in peace with God and with one another, and every way without spot and blameless.
Zofihar goes on to assert as before, that prosperous sinners are always
miserable ; that they shall be forced to restore their ill gotten goods'; shall entail a curse on their families ; and that they are in continual fear and danger.
'HEN answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said, There.
make haste; he draws an argument from what Job said in the close of the last chapter. As I would avoid the judgments of God and
not be an accomplice in thy crime, I must say what my inward conS victions of mind suggest to me. I have heard the check of my
reproach, and this might prut me in a rage, but I will restrain mya
self, and the spirit of my understanding causeth me to answer 4 rationally and calmly. Knowest thon (not) this of old, since man 5 was placed upon earth, That the triumphing of the wicked [is]
short ? Job having allowed that wicked men prosper in this world many times, Zophar maintains that it is but for a while, all their