|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:1-12 Job discourses further about the prosperity of the wicked. That many live at ease who are ungodly and profane, he had showed, ch. xxi. Here he shows that many who live in open defiance of all the laws of justice, succeed in wicked practices; and we do not see them reckoned with in this world. He notices those that do wrong under pretence of law and authority; and robbers, those that do wrong by force. He says, God layeth not folly to them; that is, he does not at once send his judgments, nor make them examples, and so manifest their folly to all the world. But he that gets riches, and not by right, at his end shall be a fool, Jer 17:11.
Verse 4. - They turn the needy out of the way. Either "they force poor men to turn out of the road when they are using it, and wait till they have passed" (compare the recent practice of the Japanese daimios), or "they make the highways so dangerous with their violence that they compel the poor and needy to seek byways for safety" (Judges 5:6). The second hemistich favours the latter interpretation. The poor of the earth (or, the meek of the earth) hide themselves together. In the East there have always been superior and subject races, as well as proud nobles and down-trodden men of the same race. It is not clear of which of these two Job speaks. The former were often hunted out of all the desirable lands, and forced to fly to rooks and caves and holes in the ground, whence they were known as "Troglodytes." The latter, less frequently, handed together, and withdrew to remote and sequestered spots, where they might hope to live unmolested by their oppressors (Hebrews 11:38).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They turn the needy out of the way,.... Either, in a moral sense, out of the right way, the way of righteousness and truth, by their bad examples, or by their threatenings or flatteries; or, in a civil sense, out of the way of their livelihood, by taking that from them by which they got it; or, in a literal sense, obliging them to turn out of the way from them, in a supercilious and haughty manner, or causing them, through fear of them, to get out of the way, that they might not meet them, lest they should insult them, beat and abuse them, or take that little from them they had, as follows:
the poor of the earth hide themselves together; who are not only poor in purse, but poor in spirit, meek, humble, and lowly, and have not spirit and courage to stand against such oppressors, but are easily crushed by them; these through fear of them hide themselves in holes and corners in a body, in a large company together, lest they should fall into their cruel hands, and be used by them in a barbarous manner, see Proverbs 28:28.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. Literally, they push the poor out of their road in meeting them. Figuratively, they take advantage of them by force and injustice (alluding to the charge of Eliphaz, Job 22:8; 1Sa 8:3).
poor—in spirit and in circumstances (Mt 5:3).
hide—from the injustice of their oppressors, who have robbed them of their all and driven them into unfrequented places (Job 20:19; 30:3-6; Pr 28:28).
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