If thy children have sinned against him
As no doubt they had, and, as Bildad thought, in a very notorious manner, and therefore were righteously punished for them; this instance is produced as a proof of God's not perverting, but doing justice, and the rather, because it was on account of this that it was supposed that Job charged, or was ready to charge, God with injustice; this was so far from it, that it was a righteous thing to do it, "if" or "seeing" his children had sinned; or "because" they have sinned, or "though" they have sinned, as the words F8 are by some differently rendered; and either way shows that God did not pervert justice, but acted agreeably to it. Mr. Broughton renders them, "as thy children have sinned against him, so hath he sent them into the hand of their trespass"; as a righteous retaliation for it: that Job's children had sinned, there is no question to be made of it; they were born in sin, though born of godly parents; and though they had a religious education, yet no doubt were guilty of sin in their younger years, as well as when grown up; and even though good men, as there may be reason to conclude they were, yet daily sinning, for there are none without sin; and also it is true, that all sin is against God, contrary to his nature and will, a breach and transgression of his law, and an act of hostility against himself, and a trampling under foot, or at least a neglect, of his legislative power and authority, which is an aggravation of it; yet it does not appear that Job's children were guilty of any notorious sins or atrocious crimes, or lived a sinful course of life, for which the judgments of God came upon them; nor is it a clear case that they were taken away by death in the manner they were on account of their sins, but rather purely for the trial of Job's integrity, faith, and patience:
and he have cast them away for their transgression;
or "by the hand of it" F9; by means of it, because of it, being provoked with it. Bildad represents them as abandoned sinners, as castaways and reprobates, rejected of God with abhorrence, and utterly ruined. Some render it, "hath sent them into the hand of their transgression" F11, or trespass; that is, delivered them up to the power and dominion of sin, gave them up to their hearts' lusts, and to vile affections, to do things not convenient, and which they pursued to their ruin; the Targum is,
``he sent them into the place of their transgression F12;''into hell, which their transgressions deserved, and for which they were fitted by them. Some a little more mildly render the words, "he sent them away" F13; that is, dismissed them out of the world, took them out of it by death; which dismission is sometimes in peace, as good old Simeon prayed for, and sometimes in wrath, as Saul was taken away, see ( Luke 2:29 ) ( Hosea 13:11 ) ; the latter is the meaning here.
F8 (Ma) "quandoquidem", Michaelis; "quia", Vatablus; "etiamsi", V. L.
F9 (Mevp dyb) "in manu iniquitatis suae", V. L. so Montanus, Cocceius.
F11 "In manum transgressionis ipsorum", Piscator, Beza, Schmidt, Michaelis, Schultens; "in potestatem defectionis ipsorum", Junius & Tremellius.
F12 So Munster
F13 (mxlvyw) "et dimisit eos", Drusius; "e mundo", Pagninus, Vatablus; so Gersom.