|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:23-29 The Spirit of God, at this time, seems to have powerfully wrought on the mind of Job. Here he witnessed a good confession; declared the soundness of his faith, and the assurance of his hope. Here is much of Christ and heaven; and he that said such things are these, declared plainly that he sought the better country, that is, the heavenly. Job was taught of God to believe in a living Redeemer; to look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come; he comforted himself with the expectation of these. Job was assured, that this Redeemer of sinners from the yoke of Satan and the condemnation of sin, was his Redeemer, and expected salvation through him; and that he was a living Redeemer, though not yet come in the flesh; and that at the last day he would appear as the Judge of the world, to raise the dead, and complete the redemption of his people. With what pleasure holy Job enlarges upon this! May these faithful sayings be engraved by the Holy Spirit upon our hearts. We are all concerned to see that the root of the matter be in us. A living, quickening, commanding principle of grace in the heart, is the root of the matter; as necessary to our religion as the root of the tree, to which it owes both its fixedness and its fruitfulness. Job and his friends differed concerning the methods of Providence, but they agreed in the root of the matter, the belief of another world.
Verse 25. - For I know that my Redeemer liveth. Numerous endeavours have been made to explain away the mysterious import of this verse. First, it is noted that a goel is any one who avenges or ransoms another, and especially that it is "the technical expression for the avenger of blood" (Froude, 'Short Stories,' vol. 1. p. 284) so often mentioned in the Old Testament. It is suggested, therefore, that Job's real meaning may be that he expects one of his relatives to arise after his death as the avenger of his blood, and to exact retribution for it. But unless in the case of a violent death at the hands of a man, which was not what Job expected for himself, there could be no avenger of blood. Job has already expressed his desire to have a thirdsman between him and God (Job 9:32-35), which thirdsman can scarcely be other than a Divine Personage. In Job 16:19 be has declared his conviction that" his Witness is in heaven." In ver. 21 of the same chapter he longs to have an advocate to plead his cause with God. In Job 17:3 he calls upon God to be Surety for him. Therefore, as Dr. Stanley Leathes points out, "he has already recognized God as his Judge his Umpire his Advocate his Witness and his Surety in some cases by formal confession of the fact, in others by earnest longing after, and aspiration for, some one to act in that capacity." After all this, it is not taking a very long step in advance to see and acknowledge in God his Goel, or "Redeemer." And that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; rather, and that at the last he shall stand up over my dust. אַחַדון is not "one who comes after me;" but, if a noun, "the last one" as רִאשׁון is "the first one "(Isaiah 44:6); if intended adverbially, "at the last" - i.e, at the end of all things. "At the latter day" is not an improper translation.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For I know,.... The particle which is sometimes rendered by the copulative "and", by an adversative "but", and sometimes as a causal particle "for", should not be rendered here by either; but as an explanative, "to wit", or "namely", as it is by Noldius (y); in connection with the preceding words; in which Job wishes some words of his were written in a book, or engrossed on sheets of lead, or were cut out on some rock, and particularly were engraved on his tombstone; "namely", these following, "I know that my Redeemer liveth", &c. and to this agrees Broughton, "how that my Redeemer liveth"; let these be the words written, engraved, and cut out there: by my Redeemer, he means not any mere man that should rise up and vindicate him; for the account of his then living, and of his standing on the earth in the latter day, will not agree with such an one; nor God the Father, to whom the character of a Redeemer is seldom or ever given, nor did he ever appear or stand on earth, nor was his shape seen at any time, John 5:37; but the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our "Goel", the word here used, our near kinsman, and so our Redeemer, to whom the right of redemption belonged; and who was spoken of by all the holy prophets, from the beginning of the world, as the Redeemer of his people, who should redeem them from all their sins; from the law, its curses and condemnation; from Satan, and his principalities and powers; from death and hell, and everlasting destruction; and that by giving himself a ransom for them; all which was known in the times of Job, Job 33:24; and known by him, who speaks of him as living; he then existed not only as a divine Person, as he did from all eternity, but in his office capacity as Mediator, and under the character of a Redeemer; for the virtue of his future redemption reached to all the ages before it, from the foundation of the world; besides, the epithet "living" points at him as the "living God", as he is, Hebrews 3:12; and so equal to the work of redemption, and able to redeem, and mighty to save; of whom it is said, not that he has lived, or shall live, but "liveth"; ever lives; and so an expression of the eternity of Christ, who is from everlasting to everlasting, the same today, yesterday, and for ever; and who, though he died in human nature, yet is alive, and lives for evermore; he has life in and of himself, as he is God over all blessed for ever; and has life in him for all his people, as Mediator; and is the author of spiritual life in them, and the donor of eternal life to them; and because he lives, they shall live also. Now Job had an interest in him as the living Redeemer, and knew he had, which is the greatest blessing that can be enjoyed; an interest in Christ is of infinitely more worth than the whole world, and the knowledge of it exceeds all others; this knowledge was not merely speculative, nor only approbational and fiducial, though such Job had, Job 13:15; but the knowledge of assurance of interest; to know Christ as a Redeemer of men, and not our Redeemer, is of no avail; the devils know him to be a Redeemer, but not theirs: men may have an interest in Christ, and as yet not know it; interest is before knowledge; it is neither knowledge nor faith that gives interest, but God of his grace gives both interest and knowledge: and such a knowledge as here expressed is a peculiar favour; it is owing to an understanding given to know him that is true, and that we are in him that is true; and to the spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the knowledge of Christ, and to the testimony which he bears; and such knowledge will support under the greatest afflictions and sorest trials; under the ill usage of friends, and the loss of nearest and dearest relations, and in the views of death and eternity; all which was Job's case:
and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; appear in the world in human nature; be the seed of the woman, and born of one, be made flesh, and dwell among men, and converse with them, as Jesus did; who stood upon the land of Judea, and walked through Galilee, and went about doing good to the bodies and souls of men; and this was in the last days, and at the end of the world, Hebrews 1:1; as a pledge of this there were frequent appearances of the son of God in an human form to the patriarchs; nor need it seem strange that Job, though not an Israelite, had knowledge of the incarnation of Christ, when it is said to (z) be the opinion of the Indian Brahmans that God often appeared in the form and habit of some great men, and conversed among men; and that Wistnavius, whom, they say, is the second Person of the triune God, had already assumed a body nine times, and sometimes also an human one; and that the same will once more be made by him; and Confucius, the Chinese philosopher (a), left it in writing, that the Word would be made flesh, and foresaw the year when it would be: or, "he shall rise the last out of the earth" (b); and so it may respect his resurrection from the dead; he was brought to the dust of death, and was laid in the grave, and buried, in the earth, and was raised out of it; and whose resurrection is of the greatest moment and importance, the justification, regeneration, and resurrection of his people depending on it: but this is not to be understood as if he was the last that should rise from the dead; for he is the firstfruits of them that sleep, and the firstborn from the dead, the first that rose to an immortal life; but that he who, as to his divine nature, is the first and the last; or that, in his state of humiliation, is the last, the meanest, and most abject of men (c); or rather, who, as the public and federal head of his people, is "the last Adam", 1 Corinthians 15:45; and who did rise as such for their justification, which makes the article of his resurrection an unspeakable benefit: or, "he shall stand over the earth in the latter day" (d) in the last times of all, in the close of time, at the end of the world, at his appearing and kingdom, when he shall come to judge the quick and dead; those that will be alive, and those that will be raised from the dead, who will meet him in the air over the earth, and shall be for ever with him; and even then "he shall stand upon the earth"; for it is expressly said, that when he shall come, and all the saints with him, "his feet shall stand on the mount of Olives", Zechariah 14:4; or, "he shall stand against the earth at the latter days" (e); in the resurrection morn, and shall exercise his authority over it, and command the earth and sea to give up their dead; and when at his all commanding voice the dead shall come out of their graves, as Lazarus came out of his, he shall stand then upon the dust of the earth, and tread upon it as a triumphant Conqueror, having subdued all his enemies, and now the last enemy, death, is destroyed by the resurrection of the dead: what a glorious and enlarged view had Job of the blessed Redeemer!
(y) "nempe ego", Nold. Ebr. Concord. Partic. p. 696. No. 1750. (z) Huet. Alnetan. Quaest. l. 2. c. 13. p. 234. (a) Martin. Sinic. Hist. l. 4. p. 131. (b) "qui postremus ex palvere (terra) surget", Nold. ib. (c) "Novissimus", i.e. "miserrimus et abjectus", Bolducius; "sic ultimus miserorum", Ciceron. Orat. pro Flacco 24. (d) "Supra pulverem", Cocceius, Schultens. (e) "Adhibebit suam vim pulveri", Tigurine version.
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
19:25 For - This is the reason of his confidence in the goodness of his cause, and his willingness to have the matter depending between him and his friends, published and submitted to any trial, because he had a living and powerful Redeemer to plead his cause, and to give sentence for him. My Redeemer - In whom I have a particular interest. The word Goel, here used; properly agrees to Jesus Christ: for this word is primarily used of the next kinsman, whose office it was to redeem by a price paid, the sold or mortgaged estate of his deceased kinsman; to revenge his death, and to maintain his name and honour, by raising up seed to him. All which more fitly agrees to Christ, who is our nearest kinsman and brother, as having taken our nature upon him; who hath redeemed that everlasting inheritance which our first parents had utterly lost, by the price of his own blood; and hath revenged the death of mankind upon the great contriver of it, the devil, by destroying him and his kingdom; and hath taken a course to preserve our name, and honour, and persons, to eternity. And it is well observed, that after these expressions, we meet not with such impatient or despairing passages, as we had before; which shews that they had inspired him with new life and comfort. Latter day - At the day of the general resurrection and judgment, which, as those holy patriarchs well knew and firmly believed, was to be at the end of the world. The earth - The place upon which Christ shall appear and stand at the last day. Heb. upon the dust; in which his saints and members lie or sleep, whom he will raise out of it. And therefore he is fitly said to stand upon the dust, or the grave, or death; because then he will put that among other enemies under his feet.
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