Job 5:5

5 The hungry consume his harvest, even taking it out of the thorns.[a] The thirsty[b] pant for his children's wealth.[c]

Job 5:5 Meaning and Commentary

Job 5:5

Whose harvest the hungry eateth up
This is to be understood of the foolish rich man before described, as taking root and flourishing; though he sows, and reaps and gathers in his harvest, and fancies he has goods laid up for many years, to be enjoyed by him, yet he is taken away by death, and another eats what he has gathered; either his hungry heirs, that he has kept bare, and without the proper necessaries of life; or the poor whom he has oppressed, who, driven by hunger, seize upon his harvest, and eat it up, whether he be alive or dead: Sephorno interprets this of the wicked man himself, who should eat up his own harvest, and not have enough to satisfy him, the curse of God being upon his land; and another learned interpreter F19 thinks the sense is, that such should be the curse of God on the fields of wicked men, that they should produce no more than what was usually left to the poor, and therefore should have no need to gather it:

and taketh it even out of the thorns;
that is, either the hungry man takes the harvest out of the thorns, among which it grows, see ( Matthew 13:7 ) ; or which he had gotten "through the thorns", as Mr. Broughton renders it; that is, the owner, through many difficulties; and hunger will break through many to get at it; or though his harvest being got in, is enclosed with a thorn hedge, the hungry man gets through it, and takes it out from it, surrounded by it; the above mentioned Jewish writer understands this also of the wicked man, who takes his own harvest out from among the thorns, so that there is nothing left for the poor and his friends, as it is meet there should: the word F20 for "thorns" has also the signification of armour, particularly of shields; hence the Targum is,

``and armed men with warlike arms shall take it away;''

to which agrees the Vulgate Latin version,

``and the armed men shall take it away;''

that is, soldiers should forage, spoil, and destroy it:

and the robber swalloweth up their substance;
the house robber, who breaks in and devours all at once, and makes a clear riddance of it; some render it "the hairy man" F21 either that neglects his hair, as beggars, or such that live in desert places, as robbers, that they may appear the more terrible; or that take care of it, and nourish it, and tie it up in locks, and behind their heads, as Bar Tzemach and Ben Melech observe they do in Turkey; others translate it "the thirsty" {w}, and so it answers to the hungry in the preceding clause, and designs such who thirst, and gape after, and covet the substance of others, and greedily catch at it, and swallow it up at once, at one draught, as a thirsty man does a large quantity of liquor, see ( Proverbs 1:12 Proverbs 1:13 ) ; this may have some respect to the Sabeans and Chaldeans, that swallowed up Job's substance, and took away his cattle from him at once, and were no other than bands of robbers; and the use of the word for a thief or a robber, as we take it, is confirmed by a learned man {x}, who derives it from the Arabic word <arabic> which signifies to smite with a club or stone.


F19 Schmidt.
F20 (Mynum) "de lanceis", Bolducius. (hnu) "est et elypeus, umbo", Codurcus.
F21 (Mymu) "comatus", Cocceius, Schmidt; "horridus", Junius & Tremellius.
F23 Sitientes, V. L. "sitibundi", Montanus, Bolducius; so Simeon Bar Tzemach.
F24 Hinckelman. Praefat. ad Alcoran. p. 28, 29.

Job 5:5 In-Context

3 I have seen a fool taking root, but I immediately pronounced a curse on his home.
4 His children are far from safety. They are crushed at the [city] gate, with no one to defend [them].
5 The hungry consume his harvest, even taking it out of the thorns. The thirsty pant for his children's wealth.
6 For distress does not grow out of the soil, and trouble does not sprout from the ground.
7 But mankind is born for trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.

Footnotes 3

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