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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, (Job 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, (Job 11:7-9),
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, (Job 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.