|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 9. - They pluck the fatherless from the breast. Other oppressors, not of the marauding class, but dwellers in towns (ver. 12), are so cruel that they tear the unweaned child of the debtor from the mother's breast, as satisfaction for a debt, and carry him off into slavery (comp. 2 Kings 4:1; Nehemiah 5:5). And take a pledge of the poor; literally, take in pledge that which is on the poor - in other words, their clothing. They will not lend to them on any other terms, and so force them to part with their garments, and go about naked. Even Hebrew creditors seem to have done this (Exodus 22:26; Deuteronomy 24:12, 13); and the Mosaic Law did not forbid the practice, but only required the creditor to let the debtor have his garment at night, that he might sleep in it (Exodus 22:27; Deuteronomy 24:13).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They pluck the fatherless from the breast,.... Either on purpose to starve it, which must be extremely barbarous; or to sell it to be brought up a slave; or by obliging the mother to wean it before the due time, that she might be the better able to do work for them they obliged her to. Mr. Broughton renders the words, "of mischievousness they rob the fatherless"; that is, through the greatness of the mischief they do, as Ben Gersom interprets it; or through the exceeding mischievous disposition they are of; of which this is a flagrant instance; or
"they rob the fatherless of what remains for him after spoiling (n),''
or devastation, through the plunder of his father's substance now dead, which was exceeding cruel:
and take a pledge of the poor; either the poor himself, or his poor fatherless children, see 2 Kings 4:1; or what is "upon the poor" (o), as it may be rendered; that is, his raiment, which was commonly taken for a pledge; and, by a law afterwards established in Israel, was obliged to be restored before sunset, that he might have a covering to sleep in, Exodus 22:26; See Gill on Job 22:6.
(n) "per devastationem", some in Munster; "post vastationem", Tigurine version; so Nachmanides & Bar Tzemach. (o) "super inopem", Cocceius, Schultens; so Ben Gersom.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. from the breast—of the widowed mother. Kidnapping children for slaves. Here Job passes from wrongs in the desert to those done among the habitations of men.
pledge—namely, the garment of the poor debtor, as Job 24:10 shows.
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