Let mine enemy be as the wicked
Job in this, and some following verses, shows, that he was not, and could not, and would not be a wicked man and an hypocrite, or however had no opinion and liking of such persons; for whatever his friends might think of him, because he had said so much of their outward prosperity in this world; yet he was far from approving of or conniving at their wickedness and hypocrisy, or choosing them for his companions, and joining with them in their actions, or imagining they were really happy persons; so far from it, that he would not be in their condition and circumstances for all the world: for if he was to wish a bad thing to the greatest enemy he had, he could not wish him any worse than to be as a wicked and unrighteous man; that is, to be a wicked and unrighteous man; which it is impossible for a good man to wish, and indeed would be a needless wish, since all that are enemies to good men, as such, must be wicked; and such were Job's enemies, as the Chaldeans and Sabeans; but that they might be as such, in their state and circumstances, or rather as they will be in the consequence of things, most wretched and miserable; for they are always under the displeasure of God, and hated by him; and whatever fulness they may have of the things of this world, they have them with a curse, and they are curses to them, and their end will be everlasting ruin and destruction; wherefore the Septuagint version is,
``as the overthrow of the ungodly, and as the perdition of transgressors;''though some take this to be a kind of an ironic imprecation, and that by the wicked man here, and unrighteous in the next clause, he means himself, whom his friends reckoned a wicked and unrighteous man; and then the sense is, I wish you all, my friends, and even the worst enemies I have, were but as wicked Job is, as you call him; not that he wished they might be afflicted in body, family, and estate, as he was, but that they were as good men as he was, and partook of as much of the grace of God as he did, and had the same integrity and righteousness as he had, see ( Acts 26:29 ) ; and such a wish as this, as it serves to illustrate his own character, so it breathes charity and good will to others; and indeed it cannot be thought the words are to be taken in such a sense as that he wished the same evils might be retorted upon his enemies, whether open or secret, which they were the means of bringing upon him, which was contrary to the spirit of Job, ( Job 31:29 Job 31:30 ) . Some consider them not as an imprecation, but as a prediction, "mine enemy shall be as the wicked" F5; and may have respect to his friends, who were so ready to charge him with wickedness, and suggests that in the issue of thin; they would be found, and not he, guilty of sin folly, and to have said the things that were not right, neither of God, nor of him, which had its accomplishment, ( Job 42:7 ) ;
and he that riseth up against me as the
which is but another way of expressing the same thing; for an enemy, and one that rises up against a man, is the same person; only this the better explains what enemy is intended, even an open one, that rises up in an hostile manner, full of rage and fury; and so a wicked and an unrighteous man are the same, and are frequently put together as describing the same sort of persons, see ( Isaiah 55:7 ) .
F5 (ybya evrk yhy) "erit ut impius inimieus meus", Pagninus, Montanus, Boldacius; so Junius & Tremellius, Broughton, & Ramban.