|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:1-13 In this answer Job declared that he did not doubt the justice of God, when he denied himself to be a hypocrite; for how should man be just with God? Before him he pleaded guilty of sins more than could be counted; and if God should contend with him in judgment, he could not justify one out of a thousand, of all the thoughts, words, and actions of his life; therefore he deserved worse than all his present sufferings. When Job mentions the wisdom and power of God, he forgets his complaints. We are unfit to judge of God's proceedings, because we know not what he does, or what he designs. God acts with power which no creature can resist. Those who think they have strength enough to help others, will not be able to help themselves against it.
Verse 13. - If God will not withdraw his anger, the proud helpers do stoop under him. There is no "if" in the original; and the passage is best taken categorically: "God does not withdraw his anger;" i.e. the anger which he feels against those who resist him. "The helpers of Rahab do stoop [or, 'are prostrate'] under him." Rahab in this passage, and also in Job 26:12, as well us in Isaiah 51:9, seems to be used as the proper name of some great power of evil Such a power was recognized in the mythology of Egypt, under the names of Set (or Typhon) and of Apophia, the great serpent, continually represented as pierced by Horus (Rawlinson's 'Herodotus,' vol. 2. p. 257; 'History of Ancient Egypt,' vol. 1. p. 395). In the earlier Aryan myths there is a similar personification of evil in Vitre, called Dasiya, "the Destroyer," and at perpetual enmity with Indra and Agni ('Religions of the Ancient World,' p. 114). The Babylonians and Assyrians had a tradition of a great "war in heaven" ('Records of the Past,' vol. 5. pp. 133-136). carried on by seven spirits, who were finally reduced to subjection. All these seem to be distorted reminiscences of that great conflict, whereof the only trustworthy account is the one contained in the Revelation of St. John, "There was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels" - the "helpers" of the present passage - "and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven" (Revelation 12:7, 8). Job, it seems, had inherited one of such traditions, one in which the power of evil was known as Rahab, "the Proud One;" and he means here to say that God not only holds men in subjection, but also beings much more powerful than man, as Rahab and his helpers, who had rebelled and made war on God, and been east down from heaven, and were now prostrate under God's feet.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
If God will not withdraw his anger,.... Or "God will not withdraw his anger" (m); he is angry, or at least seems to be angry with his own people, in their apprehension, when he afflicts them and hides his face from them, or does not immediately appear to their relief and assistance; but this does not always last, he does not retain or keep anger for ever; but shows great mercies to them, and with everlasting kindness has mercy on them, by discovering his love to them, applying his pardoning grace and mercy, and comforting them with the consolations of his spirit; but then he is angry with the wicked every day, for their continual transgressions; and he never withdraws his anger from them, neither here nor hereafter, but punishes them with everlasting destruction, and casts them into everlasting fire, to which his wrath and anger are compared: the consequence of which is:
the proud helpers do stoop under him; or "the helpers of pride" (n), or helpers of proud men; proud, wicked, and ungodly men, who combine together and help one another against God, his people, cause and interest; men of power, rule and government, as Aben Ezra explains it; civil magistrates, men in authority, who, instead of being terrors to evil doers, encourage them, and help them forward in their wickedness; but though both those that help, and those that are helped, may continue for a while, and be supported, yet they shall sooner or later fall under the mighty hand of God, his power and wrath, and be crushed by it. Some regard may be had either to the giants, the men of the old world, who filled the earth with violence, and were swept away with the flood, Genesis 6:13; or rather to the builders of Babel, who helped one another to build a tower to make them a name, and secure themselves, and in opposition to God; but he being angry with them, made them desist, and they bowed under him, Genesis 11:4. Some render it, "the helpers of Rahab"; that is, of Egypt (o), Rahab being a name of Egypt, Psalm 87:4. The devils are meant, whose sin was pride, and by which they fell, and which they have endeavoured to promote and cherish among men; but these proud spirits are cast out of heaven and into hell, where they are reserved in chains of darkness to the great judgment, Jde 1:6; and are obliged, whether they will or not, to stoop to the Lord, and even to the son of God in human nature, which their proud stomachs cannot well bear; but are forced to it, the anger of God lying upon them, and his wrath, which will never be withdrawn from them.
(m) "Deus non revocabit furorem suum", Pagninus, Beza. (n) "adjutores superbiae", Montanus, Vatablus, Drusius, Junius & Tremellius, Schmidt, Michaelis. (o) So Jarchi.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. If God—rather, "God will not withdraw His anger," that is, so long as a mortal obstinately resists [Umbreit].
the proud helpers—The arrogant, who would help one contending with the Almighty, are of no avail against Him.
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