J O B
The strain of this chapter is very unlike the rest
of this book. Job forgets his sores, and all his sorrows, and talks
like a philosopher or a virtuoso. Here is a great deal both of
natural and moral philosophy in this discourse; but the question
is, How does it come in here? Doubtless it was not merely for an
amusement, or diversion from the controversy; though, if it had
been only so, perhaps it would not have been much amiss. When
disputes grow hot, better lose the question than lose our temper.
But this is pertinent and to the business in hand. Job and his
friends had been discoursing about the dispensations of Providence
towards the wicked and the righteous. Job had shown that some
wicked men live and die in prosperity, while others are presently
and openly arrested by the judgments of God. But, if any ask the
reason why some are punished in this world and not others, they
must be told it is a question that cannot be answered. The
knowledge of the reasons of state in God's government of the world
is kept from us, and we must neither pretend to it nor reach after
it. Zophar had wished that God would show Job the "secrets of
wisdom" (ch. xi. 6).
No, says Job, "secret things belong not to us, but things
revealed," Deut. xxix. 29.
And here he shows, I. Concerning worldly wealth, how industriously
that is sought for and pursued by the children of men, what pains
they take, what contrivances they have, and what hazards they run
to get it, ver. 1-11.
II. Concerning wisdom, ver.
12. In general, the price of it is very great; it is of
inestimable value, ver.
15-19. The place of it is very secret, ver. 14, 20, 22. In
particular, there is a wisdom which is hidden in God (ver. 23-27) and there is a wisdom
which is revealed to the children of men, ver. 28. Our enquiries into the former must
be checked, into the latter quickened, for that is it which is our