Job humbly submits unto God. (1-6) Job intercedes for his friends. (7-9) His renewed prosperity. (10-17)
Verses 1-6 Job was now sensible of his guilt; he would no longer speak in his own excuse; he abhorred himself as a sinner in heart and life, especially for murmuring against God, and took shame to himself. When the understanding is enlightened by the Spirit of grace, our knowledge of Divine things as far exceeds what we had before, as the sight of the eyes excels report and common fame. By the teachings of men, God reveals his Son to us; but by the teachings of his Spirit he reveals his Son in us, ( Galatians 1:16 ) , and ( 2 Corinthians. 3:18 ) deeply humbled for the sins of which we are convinced. Self-loathing is ever the companion of true repentance. The Lord will bring those whom he loveth, to adore him in self-abasement; while true grace will always lead them to confess their sins without self-justifying.
Verses 7-9 After the Lord had convinced and humbled Job, and brought him to repentance, he owned him, comforted him, and put honour upon him. The devil had undertaken to prove Job a hypocrite, and his three friends had condemned him as a wicked man; but if God say, Well done, thou good and faithful servant, it is of little consequence who says otherwise. Job's friends had wronged God, by making prosperity a mark of the true church, and affliction a certain proof of God's wrath. Job had referred things to the future judgment and the future state, more than his friends, therefore he spake of God that which was right, better than his friends had done. And as Job prayed and offered sacrifice for those that had grieved and wounded his spirit, so Christ prayed for his persecutors, and ever lives, making intercession for the transgressors. Job's friends were good men, and belonged to God, and He would not let them be in their mistake any more than Job; but having humbled him by a discourse out of the whirlwind, he takes another way to humble them. They are not to argue the matter again, but they must agree in a sacrifice and a prayer, and that must reconcile them, Those who differ in judgment about lesser things, yet are one in Christ the great Sacrifice, and ought therefore to love and bear with one another. When God was angry with Job's friends, he put them in a way to make peace with him. Our quarrels with God always begin on our part, but the making peace begins on his. Peace with God is to be had only in his own way, and upon his own terms. These will never seem hard to those who know how to value this blessing: they will be glad of it, like Job's friends, upon any terms, though ever so humbling. Job did not insult over his friends, but God being graciously reconciled to him, he was easily reconciled to them. In all our prayers and services we should aim to be accepted of the Lord; not to have praise of men, but to please God.
Verses 10-17 In the beginning of this book we had Job's patience under his troubles, for an example; here, for our encouragement to follow that example, we have his happy end. His troubles began in Satan's malice, which God restrained; his restoration began in God's mercy, which Satan could not oppose. Mercy did not return when Job was disputing with his friends, but when he was praying for them. God is served and pleased with our warm devotions, not with our warm disputes. God doubled Job's possessions. We may lose much for the Lord, but we shall not lose any thing by him. Whether the Lord gives us health and temporal blessings or not, if we patiently suffer according to his will, in the end we shall be happy. Job's estate increased. The blessing of the Lord makes rich; it is he that gives us power to get wealth, and gives success in honest endeavours. The last days of a good man sometimes prove his best, his last works his best works, his last comforts his best comforts; for his path, like that of the morning light, shines more and more unto the perfect day.
Job 42:1-6 . JOB'S PENITENT REPLY.
2. In the first clause he owns God to be omnipotent over nature, as contrasted with his own feebleness, which God had proved ( Job 40:15 , 41:34 ); in the second, that God is supremely just (which, in order to be governor of the world, He must needs be) in all His dealings, as contrasted with his own vileness ( Job 42:6 ), and incompetence to deal with the wicked as a just judge ( Job 40:8-14 ).
thought--"purpose," as in Job 17:11 ; but it is usually applied to evil devices ( Job 21:27 , Psalms 10:2 ): the ambiguous word is designedly chosen to express that, while to Job's finite view, God's plans seem bad, to the All-wise One they continue unhindered in their development, and will at last be seen to be as good as they are infinitely wise. No evil can emanate from the Parent of good ( james 1:13 james 1:17 ); but it is His prerogative to overrule evil to good.
3. I am the man! Job in God's own words ( Job 38:2 ) expresses his deep and humble penitence. God's word concerning our guilt should be engraven on our hearts and form the groundwork of our confession. Most men in confessing sin palliate rather than confess. Job in omitting "by words" ( Job 38:2 ), goes even further than God's accusation. Not merely my words, but my whole thoughts and ways were "without knowledge."
too wonderful--I rashly denied that Thou hast any fixed plan in governing human affairs, merely because Thy plan was "too wonderful" for my comprehension.
4. When I said, "Hear," &c., Job's demand ( Job 13:22 ) convicted him of being "without knowledge." God alone could speak thus to Job, not Job to God: therefore he quotes again God's words as the groundwork of retracting his own foolish words.
5. hearing of the ear--( Psalms 18:44 , Margin). Hearing and seeing are often in antithesis ( Job 29:11 , Psalms 18:8 ).
seeth--not God's face ( Exodus 33:20 ), but His presence in the veil of a dark cloud ( Job 38:1 ). Job implies also that, besides this literal seeing, he now saw spiritually what he had indistinctly taken on hearsay before God's infinite wisdom. He "now" proves this; he had seen in a literal sense before, at the beginning of God's speech, but he had not seen spiritually till "now" at its close.
6. myself--rather "I abhor," and retract the rash speeches I made against thee ( Job 42:3 Job 42:4 ) [UMBREIT].
Job 42:7-17 . EPILOGUE, in prose.
7. to Eliphaz--because he was the foremost of the three friends; their speeches were but the echo of his.
right--literally, "well-grounded," sure and true. Their spirit towards Job was unkindly, and to justify themselves in their unkindliness they used false arguments ( Job 13:7 ); (namely, that calamities always prove peculiar guilt); therefore, though it was "for God" they spake thus falsely, God "reproves" them, as Job said He would ( Job 13:10 ).
as . . . Job hath--Job had spoken rightly in relation to them and their argument, denying their theory, and the fact which they alleged, that he was peculiarly guilty and a hypocrite; but wrongly in relation to God, when he fell into the opposite extreme of almost denying all guilt. This extreme he has now repented of, and therefore God speaks of him as now altogether "right."
offered by the Gentile prophet ( Numbers 23:1
). Job plainly lived before the legal priesthood, &c. The patriarchs acted as priests for their families; and sometimes as praying mediators ( Genesis 20:17
), thus foreshadowing the true Mediator ( 1 Timothy 2:5
), but sacrifice accompanies and is the groundwork on which the mediation rests. him
--rather, "His person
[face] only" The "person," must be first accepted, before God can accept his offering and work ( Genesis 4:4
can be only through Jesus Christ. folly
--impiety ( Job 1:22
9. The forgiving spirit of Job foreshadows the love of Jesus Christ and of Christians to enemies ( Matthew 5:44 , Luke 23:34 , Acts 7:60 , Acts 16:24 Acts 16:28 Acts 16:30 Acts 16:31 ).
10. turned . . . captivity--proverbial for restored, or amply indemnified him for all he had lost ( Ezekiel 16:53 , Psalms 14:7 , Hosea 6:11 ). Thus the future vindication of man, body and soul, against Satan ( Job 1:9-12 ), at the resurrection ( Job 19:25-27 ), has its earnest and adumbration in the temporal vindication of Job at last by Jehovah in person.
twice--so to the afflicted literal and spiritual Jerusalem ( Isaiah 40:2 , 60:7 , 61:7 , Zechariah 9:12 ). As in Job's case, so in that of Jesus Christ, the glorious recompense follows the "intercession" for enemies ( Isaiah 53:12 ).
11. It was Job's complaint in his misery that his "brethren," were "estranged" from him ( Job 19:13 ); these now return with the return of his prosperity ( Proverbs 14:20 , Proverbs 19:6 Proverbs 19:7 ); the true friend loveth at all times ( Proverbs 17:17 , 18:24 ). "Swallow friends leave in the winter and return with the spring" [HENRY].
eat bread--in token of friendship ( Psalms 41:9 ).
piece of money--Presents are usual in visiting a man of rank in the East, especially after a calamity ( 2 Chronicles 32:23 ). Hebrew, kesita. MAGEE translates "a lamb" (the medium of exchange then before money was used), as it is in Margin of Genesis 33:19 , Joshua 24:32 . But it is from the Arabic kasat, "weighed out" [UMBREIT], not coined; so Genesis 42:35 , 33:19 ; compare with Genesis 23:15 , makes it likely it was equal to four shekels; Hebrew kashat, "pure," namely, metal. The term, instead of the usual "shekel," &c., is a mark of antiquity.
earring--whether for the nose or ear ( Genesis 35:4 , Isaiah 3:21 ). Much of the gold in the East, in the absence of banks, is in the shape of ornaments.
12. Probably by degrees, not all at once.
13. The same number as before, Job 1:2 ; perhaps by a second wife; in Job 19:17 his wife is last mentioned.
14. Names significant of his restored prosperity ( Genesis 4:25 , 5:29 ).
Jemima--"daylight," after his "night" of calamity; but MAURER, "a dove."
Kezia--"cassia," an aromatic herb ( Psalms 45:8 ), instead of his offensive breath and ulcers.
Keren-happuch--"horn of stibium," a paint with which females dyed their eyelids; in contrast to his "horn defiled in the dust" ( Job 16:15 ). The names also imply the beauty of his daughters.
15. inheritance among . . . brethren--An unusual favor in the East to daughters, who, in the Jewish law, only inherited, if there were no sons ( Numbers 27:8 ), a proof of wealth and unanimity.
16. The Septuagint makes Job live a hundred seventy years after his calamity, and two hundred forty in all. This would make him seventy at the time of his calamity, which added to a hundred forty in Hebrew text makes up two hundred ten; a little more than the age (two hundred five) of Terah, father of Abraham, perhaps his contemporary. Man's length of life gradually shortened, fill it reached threescore and ten in Moses' time ( Psalms 90:10 ).
sons' sons--a proof of divine favor ( Genesis 50:23 , Psalms 128:6 , Proverbs 17:6 ).
17. full of days--fully sated and contented with all the happiness that life could give him; realizing what Eliphaz had painted as the lot of the godly ( Job 5:26 , Psalms 91:16 , Genesis 25:8 , 35:29 ). The Septuagint adds, "It is written, that he will rise again with those whom the Lord will raise up." Compare Matthew 27:52 Matthew 27:53 , from which it perhaps was derived spuriously.