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النشر الإلكتروني

CHAP. XLI.

CAMS

In pursuance of the design of the former chapter, God is here repre,

sented as discoursing of the great strength of the leviathan ; and of his wisdom and power conspicuous in the heavens. 1 YANST thou draw out leviathan* with an hook ? or his

tongue with a cord (which] thou lettest down ? to repre2 sent the difficulty of takirg this creature. Canst thou put an hook 3 into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn? Will he

make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft (words] 4 unto thee? Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take 5 him for a servant for ever? Wilt thou play with him as [with] 6 a bird ? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens ? Shall thy com

panions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the 7 merchants ? Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons ? or his 8 head with fish spears ? Lay thine hand upon him, remember

the battle, do no more ; he who once cometh near him will never 9 venture a second attack. Behold, the hope of taking him is in

vain : shall not [one] be cast down even at the sight of him? 10 None (is so) fierce that dare stir him up, when he is asleep upon 11 the shore : who then is able to stand before me? Who hath

prevented me, with offices or services done for me, that I should repay [him ;] that I should be obliged in justice 10 requite him, or 10 do nothing but what he likes ? (whatsoever is) under the

whole heaven is mine, and therefore I may dispose of them as I 12 please. I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his

comely proportion ; his scales, his wide mouth, his double rows of 13 teeth. Who can discover the face of his garment ? [or) who 14 can come [to him) with his double bridle ? Who can open the 15 doors of his face ? his teeth Care) terrible round about. [His]

scales (are his] pride, shut up together (as with) a close seal, 16 remarkably close and strong. One is so near to another, that no 17 air can come between them. They are joined one to another,

they stick together, that they cannot be sundered ; no weapon

can pierce them; they are proof against a bullet ; there is no way 18 of killing him bit by wounding him in his belly. By his neesings

a light doth shine, and his eyes (are] like the eyelids of the 19 morning.t Out of his mouth go burning lamps, (and) sparks 20 of fire leap out.' Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as (out) of a 21 seething pot or caldron. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame

goeth out of his mouth ; after lying lung under water, and being forced to hold his brealh, it is so hot, and bursts out so violer:ly

when he rise!h above the water, chat it resembles fire and smoke. 22 In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy

• The description of this animal does not answer to the whale, but to the crocodile : a creature well known in those parts, some of which are near one hundred feet long When Alignstus subdued Egypt, he struck a meda), which represented a crocodile chained to a tree, with this inscription, No one ever before caught him.

+ The Egyptian hieroglyphic for the morning light was the crocodile's eye, it is so bright and piercing.

23 before him.* The flakes of his flesh are joined together : they 24 are firm in themselves ; they cannot be moved. His heart is

as firm as a stone ; yea as hard as a piece of the nether (nil. 25 stone.) When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid ;

by reason of breakings they purify themselves ; lerrified at that unusual dashing of the waves which attends his coming up, they

are reduced to their wits' end, and beg forgiveness of their sins, 26 and mercy of God. The sword of him that layeth at him cannot 27 hold : the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon. He esteemeth 28 iron as straw, [and] brass as rotten wood. The arrow cannot

make him fee : sling stones are turned with him into stubble, 29 Darts are counted as stubble : he laugheth at the shaking of a 30 spear ; he is impenetrable by all kinds of weapons. Sharp stones

[are] under him : he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the

mire ; he lies upon sharp stones and rocks without being hurt, 31 He maketh the deep to boil like a pot : he maketh the sea like 32 a pot of ointment. He maketh a path to shine after him ; (one) 33 would think the deep (to be] hoary. Upon earth there is not

his like, who is made without fear, so that he is to be found on the 34 earth as well as in the waters. He beholdeth all high [things :)

he [is] a king over all the children of pride ; he looks with con. tempt on the tallest and proudest creatures, and sets them all at defiance.

REFLECTIONS. 1. E are taught, that God is not indebted to any of his crea:

tures. Who hath prevented him with offices or services done for him, that he should be obliged in justice to requite him, or do nothing but what he likes ? St. Paul quotes these words in .Rom. xi. 35, to show that all the favours we receive from God are the result of his free goodness and mercy. All the benefits we receive are mercies from God ; he may dispose of his favours as he pleaseth ; and it is our duty to be thankful for whatever share of them he grants to us.

2. The great use to be made of all is, to reverence the wisdom and power of God as displayed in his works, especially in those terrible creatures here described. Th who have seen a crocodile, observed his wide mouth, bis double rows of teeth, his large, close, impenetrable scales, &c. will best enter into the beauty of this chapter. To others, the description will be sufficient to show them how much the power of God must be displayed in so formidable an ani: mal; how liltie power and strength man has to boast of, when these creatures keep him in awe ; and how great a Being he must be who formed them. The psalmist takes notice of these as some of the extraordinary productions of divine wisdom, Psalın civ. 26. There (in the sea) is that teviathan whom thou hast made 10 play therein. Let us reverence this glorious God; give him the honour of his stupendous works, and never dare to repine at any of his proceedings, or rebel against any of his laws.

• This would be better r ndered, sorrow rejoices before him, that is, marcheth before himme and sizes on all that mecilim

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CHAP. XLII.

In thich Job repeats his submission, entreats divine mercy, and resigns

himself to divine instruction. God accepts his repentance, and for his sake pardons his friends, and amply rewards him with greater prosperity than he had before.

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1 'HEN Job; struck with these awful descriptions, submis. 2 sively answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou

canst do every [thing,] thou hast authority and power to do what trou pleasest, and (that) no thought can be withholden from

thee ; or, no thought of thine can be hindered, no purpose of thine 3 can be prevented by any of thy creatures. Who [is] he that hid

eth counsel without knowledge ? thou askest who doth 80 ? I an. swer, with shame and sorror', I have done it: therefore have I uttered that I understood not ; things too wonderful for me,

which I knew not; I have talked rashly and foolishly of things 4. above my capacity. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak : I

will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me; begging of God 5 to accept his humble submission, and to instruct him better. I have

heard of thee by the hearing of the ear : but now mine eye seeth thee ; I knew something of thy greatness, power, and wis

dom before ; but now more clearly see it; by these awful appeara 6 ances, and these majestic descriptions. Wherefore I abhor [my

self,) and repent in dust and ashes ; I therefore repent in the deepest humiliation ; I abhor myself for my indecent complaint, and

expostulations, and my eager desire of death.* 7 And it was (so,) that after the Lord had spoken these words

unto Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends : for ye have not spoken of me (the thing that is) right, as my servant Job (hath.] Eliphaz is here addressed by the Almighty, because he had been the chief accuser. God was displeased with him and his two friends because they had put a perverse construction on

Job's afflictions, and treated him roughly and uncharitably, whom 8 God still owns (8 his servant. Therefore take unto you now

seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering ; and my servant Job shall pray for you : for him will I accept : lest I deal with you (after your) foily, in that ye have not spoken of me (the thing which is) right, like niy servant Job ; they were to offer a costly sacrifice, Job was to intercede for them, and then God would par

don ihem ; otherwise they must expret some heavy judgment, 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite [and] Zo

phar the Naamathite went, and did according as the Lord commanded them: the LORD also accepted Job ; he heard their prayer, and was reconciled to them ; probably he gave a visible to

Thus far the poetic part of the book go-s ; the rest, like the epilogues of the dra, matic pieces of the ancients, is historical, designed to inforin che reader how the whole scene Goncluded.

ken of his accepting the sacrifice, by sending fire to consume it. 10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for

his friends : also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before ; he restored the cattle of which he had been before plun

dered, healed his bodily disorders, and restored the peace of his Il mind. Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all bis

sisters, and all they that had been of his acquaintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house : and they bemoaned him, and comforted him over all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him : every man also gave him a piece of moncy, and every one an earring of gold ; his acquaintance and rela

tions, seeing his innocence cleared, came and made him presents by 12 way of atonement for their past neglect. So the Lord blessed

the latter end of Job more than his beginning : for he had four. teen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses; the Lord doubled his

former substance. 13 He had also seven sons and three daughters ; God gave him 14 as many children as he had before. And he called the name of

the first, Jemima ; and the name of the second, Kezia ; and the 15 name of the third, Kerenhappuch.* And in all the land were

no women found (so) fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren ; made them

cohcirs with them. 16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, (the Seventy

say, iwo hundred and ten years in all) and saw his sons, and his 17 sons' sons, (even] four generations. So Job died, [being] old and full of days it in a good old age.

REFLECTIONS.

1.

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ularities of their temper. Though they may not be chargeable with gross enormities, yet passion, peevishness, and discontent, are sins displeasing to God, and what good men ought to be humbled for and to guard against, especially in seasons of affliction.

2. 'The better acquainted we are with God, the more reason we shall see to be lowly in our own eyes. Our notions of God are too general, or else we should not be in so much danger of pride. If we knew more of him, and felt more of the power of those truths we admit concerning him, we should abhor ourselves for any proud, haughty carriage, and especially for any censures of his government and providence.

Many commentators suppose that he gave his daughters significant names, to preserve the rememtrance of God's kindness to him. Jemima signifies the day of comfort, ateer the nicht of affi ction ; Kezia signifies spices of a fragrant sinell, to intimate that his sores were Kerled, and his health restored; Keren happuch signifies the horn of plenty, because his prosperity was increased.

+ The Seventy add to this verso, And he shall rise again with these quhom the Lordreiseth 16. His name is still celebrated in Arabia; and the greatest families glory in being desconded from him; the fanno's Saladin in particular, whose name was also job.

3. Those who plead the cause of God in an angry, passionate manner, will find that he will give them no thanks for it. Though Job's friends had pleaded the cause of God, yet because they bore hard upon Job, and were uncharitable in their censures of him, he expresseth his displeasure against them. Elihu was not censured, because he discoursed calmly, and acted as moderator. Let us always remember, that the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God ; that moderation is a virtue pleasing in his sight; and that it is a dangerous thing to judge uncharitably of the spiritual state of our brethren. If we censure and condemn those whom God will own and approve as his servants, he may deal with us after our fol. ly, and measure to us that severe judgment we have measured to others.

4. Job's successful intercession for his friends, naturally directs our thoughts to the intercession of Christ. He is God's servant, and appointed to pray for us; him he will accept. To him let us go with our prayers, that he may present them to God ; rejoicing that we have an advocate with the father, whom God heareth always. Through him let us offer up the sacrifices of prayer and praise, even through him who ever liveth to make intercession for us.

5. Here is a beautiful view of the uncertainty of human friendship, and what little dependence is to be placed upon it. Job's friends forsook him, his relations disowned him, when he was poor and sick, but came to condole with him and bring him presents, when his prosperity returned. Instances of such a conduct are very common; and they teach us not to raise our expectations from men, to look to a higher hand, and secure a better friend ; who, if we are faithful to him, will never leave us nor forsake us.

6. To conclude, in the words of St. James, ch. v.v. 11. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord: that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. The great lesson which we are to learn from the whole book is, to be patient under the troubles of life, to judge nothing before the time : whatever we suffer, or however we may be censured, to wait on the Lord, and hold fast our righteousness; then God will bring forth our judgment as the light. Though men may censure us, yet he will acknowledge and approve us as his faithful servants. And though he should never appear for us in any extraordinary manner in this world, yet in the day of the revelation of his righteous judgment, our works of faith and labours of love and patience shall be abundantly rewarded. Blessed is the man that endur. eth temptation ; for after he hath been tried and found faithful, he shall receive the crown of life, which God hath promised to all them ihar love him. Amen.

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