It was now Zophar's turn to speak. But as he and the
other two were silent, virtually admitting defeat, after a pause Job
1. parable—applied in the East to a
figurative sententious embodiment of wisdom in poetic form, a gnome
continued—proceeded to put forth;
implying elevation of discourse.
2. (1Sa 20:3).
taken away … judgment—words
unconsciously foreshadowing Jesus Christ (Isa 53:8; Ac
8:33). God will not give Job
his right, by declaring his innocence.
vexed—Hebrew, "made bitter"
3. Implying Job's knowledge of the fact that
the living soul was breathed into man by God (Ge 2:7). "All the while." But Maurer, "As yet all my breath is in me"
(notwithstanding my trials): the reason why I can speak so boldly.
4. (Job 6:28, 30). The "deceit" would be if he were to
admit guilt against the witness of his conscience.
5. justify you—approve of your
mine integrity—which you deny, on
account of my misfortunes.
6. Rather, my "heart" (conscience) reproaches
"not one of my days," that is, I do not repent of any of my days since
I came into existence [Maurer].
7. Let … be—Let mine enemy be
accounted as wicked, that is, He who opposes my asseveration of
innocence must be regarded as actuated by criminal hostility. Not a
curse on his enemies.
8. "What hope hath the hypocrite,
notwithstanding all his gains, when?" &c. "Gained" is antithetic to
"taketh away." Umbreit's translation is
an unmeaning tautology. "When God cuts off, when He taketh away
taketh away—literally, "draws out" the
soul from the body, which is, as it were, its scabbard (Job
4:21; Ps 104:29; Da 7:15).
Job says that he admits what Bildad said (Job 8:13) and Zophar (Job 20:5). But he says the very fact of his still
calling upon God (Job 27:10)
amid all his trials, which a hypocrite would not dare to do, shows he
is no "hypocrite."
9. (Ps 66:18).
10. Alluding to Job 22:26.
always call—He may do so in times of
prosperity in order to be thought religious. But he will not, as I do,
call on God in calamities verging on death. Therefore I cannot be a
"hypocrite" (Job 19:25; 20:5; Ps 62:8).
11-23. These words are contrary to Job's
previous sentiments (see on Job 21:22-33; Job 24:22-25). Job 21:22-33; 24:22-25). They therefore seem to be Job's
statement, not so much of his own sentiments, as of what Zophar would
have said had he spoken when his turn came (end of the twenty-sixth
chapter). So Job stated the friends' opinion (Job
21:17-21; 24:18-21). The
objection is, why, if so, does not Job answer Zophar's opinion, as
stated by himself? The fact is, it is probable that Job tacitly, by
giving, in the twenty-eighth chapter, only a general answer, implies,
that in spite of the wicked often dying, as he said, in
prosperity, he does not mean to deny that the wicked are in the
main dealt with according to right, and that God herein vindicates
His moral government even here. Job therefore states Zophar's
argument more strongly than Zophar would have done. But by comparing
Job 27:13 with Job 20:29 ("portion," "heritage"), it will be
seen, it is Zophar's argument, rather than his own, that Job states.
Granting it to be true, implies Job, you ought not to use it as an
argument to criminate me. For (Job 28:1-28) the ways of divine wisdom in afflicting
the godly are inscrutable: all that is sure to man is, the fear of the
Lord is wisdom (Job 28:28).
by the hand—rather, concerning
the hand of God, namely, what God does in governing men.
with the Almighty—the counsel or
principle which regulates God's dealings.
12. "Ye yourselves see" that the wicked
often are afflicted (though often the reverse, Job 21:33). But do you "vainly" make this an
argument to prove from my afflictions that I am wicked?
13. (See on Job
14. His family only increases to perish by
sword or famine (Jer 18:21; Job 5:20, the converse).
15. Those that escape war and famine (Job 27:14) shall be buried by the deadly
plague—"death" (Job 18:13; Jer 15:2; Re 6:8). The plague of the Middle Ages
was called "the black death." Buried by it implies that they
would have none else but the death plague itself (poetically
personified) to perform their funeral rites, that is, would have no
his—rather, "their widows."
Transitions from singular to plural are frequent.
Polygamy is not implied.
16. dust … clay—images of
multitudes (Zec 9:3). Many
changes of raiment are a chief constituent of wealth in the East.
17. Introverted parallelism. (See Introduction). Of the four clauses in the
two verses, one answers to four, two to three (so Mt 7:6).
18. (Job 8:14; 4:19). The transition is natural from
"raiment" (Job 27:16)
to the "house" of the "moth" in it, and of it, when in its larva state.
The moth worm's house is broken whenever the "raiment" is shaken
out, so frail is it.
booth—a bough-formed hut which the
guard of a vineyard raises for temporary shelter (Isa 1:8).
19. gathered—buried honorably (Ge 25:8;
2Ki 22:20). But Umbreit, agreeably to Job 27:18, which describes the short
continuance of the sinner's prosperity, "He layeth himself rich in
his bed, and nothing is robbed from him, he openeth his eyes,
and nothing more is there." If English Version be
retained, the first clause probably means, rich though he be in
dying, he shall not be honored with a funeral; the
second, When he opens his eyes in the unseen world, it is only
to see his destruction: the Septuagint reads for "not
gathered," He does not proceed, that is, goes to his bed no
more. So Maurer.
20. (Job 18:11; 22:11, 21). Like a sudden violent flood (Isa
8:7, 8; Jer 47:2): conversely
21. (Job 21:18; 15:2; Ps
22. cast—namely, thunderbolts (Job 6:4; 7:20; 16:13; Ps 7:12, 13).
23. clap … hands—for joy at his
downfall (La 2:15; Na 3:19).
hiss—deride (Jer 25:9). Job alludes to Bildad's words (Job 18:18).