Job 28:1-28 . JOB'S SPEECH CONTINUED.
15. Not the usual word for "gold"; from a Hebrew root, "to shut up" with care; that is, purest gold ( 1 Kings 6:20 , Margin).
weighed--The precious metals were weighed out before coining was known ( Genesis 23:16 ).
16. gold of Ophir--the most precious
onyx--( Genesis 2:12 ). More valued formerly than now. The term is Greek, meaning "thumb nail," from some resemblance in color. The Arabic denotes, of two colors, white preponderating.
17. crystal--Or else glass, if then known, very costly. From a root, "to be transparent."
18. Red coral ( Ezekiel 27:16 ).
pearls--literally, "what is frozen." Probably crystal; and Job 28:17 will then be glass.
rubies--UMBREIT translates "pearls" (see Lamentations 4:1 , Proverbs 3:15 ). The Urim and Thummim, the means of consulting God by the twelve stones on the high priest's breastplate, "the stones of the sanctuary" ( Lamentations 4:1 ), have their counterpart in this chapter; the precious stones symbolizing the "light" and "perfection" of the divine wisdom.
19. Ethiopia--Cush in the Hebrew. Either Ethiopia, or the south of Arabia, near the Tigris.
20. Job 28:12 repeated with great force.
21. None can tell whence or where, seeing it, &c.
fowls--The gift of divination was assigned by the heathen especially to birds. Their rapid flight heavenwards and keen sight originated the superstition. Job may allude to it. Not even the boasted divination of birds has an insight into it ( Ecclesiastes 10:20 ). But it may merely mean, as in Job 28:7 , It escapes the eye of the most keen-sighted bird.
22. That is, the abodes of destruction and of the dead. "Death" put for Sheol ( Job 30:23 , 26:6 , Psalms 9:13 ).
We have [only] heard--the report of her. We have not seen her. In the land of the living ( Job 28:13 ) the workings of Wisdom are seen, though not herself. In the regions of the dead she is only heard of, her actings on nature not being seen ( Ecclesiastes 9:10 ).
23. God hath, and is Himself, wisdom.
24. "Seeth (all that is) under," &c.
25. God has adjusted the weight of the winds, so seemingly imponderable, lest, if too weighty, or too light, injury should be caused. He measureth out the waters, fixing their bounds, with wisdom as His counsellor ( Proverbs 8:27-31 Isaiah 40:12 ).
27. declare--manifest her, namely, in His works ( Psalms 19:1 Psalms 19:2 ). So the approval bestowed by the Creator on His works ( Genesis 1:10 Genesis 1:31 ); compare the "rejoicing" of wisdom at the same ( Proverbs 8:30 ; which UMBREIT translates; "I was the skilful artificer by His side").
prepared--not created, for wisdom is from everlasting ( Proverbs 8:22-31 ); but "established" her as Governor of the world.
searched . . . out--examined her works to see whether she was adequate to the task of governing the world [MAURER].
28. Rather, "But unto man," &c. My wisdom is that whereby all things are governed; Thy wisdom is in fearing God and shunning evil, and in feeling assured that My wisdom always acts aright, though thou dost not understand the principle which regulates it; for example, in afflicting the godly ( John 7:17 ). The friends, therefore, as not comprehending the Divine Wisdom, should not infer Job's guilt from his sufferings. Here alone in Job the name of God, Adonai, occurs; "Lord" or "master," often applied to Messiah in Old Testament. Appropriately here, in speaking of the Word or Wisdom, by whom the world was made ( Proverbs 8:22-31 , John 1:3 ; Ecclesiasticus 24:1-34).