Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,Job 27:1-4. Job continued his parable — His grave and weighty discourse. As God liveth — He confirms the truth of his expressions by an oath, because he found them very backward to believe what he professed. Who hath taken away my judgment — Who, though he knows my integrity, yet does not plead my cause against my friends. All the while my breath is in me — Which is the constant companion and certain sign of life; or my soul or life is in me; and Spirit of God — Or rather, the breath of God; is in my nostrils — I protest, that as long as I have breath in my body, and he shall enable me to speak a word; my lips shall not speak wickedness, &c. — My tongue shall be the faithful interpreter of my heart, and I will never speak otherwise than I think.
As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul;
All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils;
My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.
God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.Job 27:5-6. God forbid that I should justify you — In your opinion concerning me, and censure of me; till I die, &c. — Never hope that I will yield to your judgment, which I know to be false: no, I abhor the thought of it, and will sooner die than confess the guilt which you charge upon me. My righteousness I hold fast — You shall never extort that from me, but I will resolutely maintain my uprightness, and not be persuaded by any reason to desert its defence. My heart shall not reproach me, &c. — With betraying my own cause and innocence; my conscience doth not hitherto accuse me, and it shall not upbraid me hereafter.
My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live.
Let mine enemy be as the wicked, and he that riseth up against me as the unrighteous.Job 27:7. Let mine enemy be as the wicked — I am so far from loving and practising wickedness, whereof you accuse me, that I abhor the thoughts of it; and if I might and should wish to be revenged of mine enemy, I could wish him no greater mischief than to be a wicked man. This does not imply that we may lawfully wish any man to be wicked, or that any man who is not wicked should be treated as wicked; but we ought all rather to choose to be in the condition of a beggar, an outlaw, a galley-slave, any thing rather than in the condition of the wicked, though in ever so much outward pomp and prosperity.
For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?Job 27:8. What is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained? — There is no reason why I should envy or desire the portion of wicked men: although they ofttimes prosper in the world, and seem to be great gainers; yet death, which hasteneth to all men, and to me especially, will show that they are far greater losers, and die in a most wretched and desperate condition, having no hope either of continuing in this life, which they chiefly desire, or of enjoying a better life, which they never regarded. But I have a firm and well-grounded hope, not of that temporal restitution which you promise, but of a blessed immortality after death; and therefore I am not a hopeless hypocrite, as you think me to be. When God taketh away his soul — When, much against his will, and by an act of violence, (as the word ישׁל, jeshel, here used, signifies,) God, as the Judge, takes his soul out of his body, that it may be tried and determined to its everlasting state. What will his hope be then? It will be vanity and a lie; it will stand him in no stead. The wealth of this world, which he hoped in, he must leave behind him, and the happiness of the other world, which he hoped for, he will certainly fall short of; his hopes, therefore, will disappoint and make him ashamed.
Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him?Job 27:9. Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh? — When any calamity comes upon him; or, when his conscience accuses him, and his guilt flies in his face? Will God pay any regard to the cries of one who regarded him so little?
Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon God?Job 27:10. Will he delight himself in the Almighty? — When he has nothing else to delight in? No: his delight is in the things of the world, which now sink under him. Will he always call upon God? — Will he have the confidence to pray to God, and expect any comfort from him? Nay, will he not rather despond in such a case, and cease to call upon him? Certainly those who do not delight in God will not long call upon him.
I will teach you by the hand of God: that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal.Job 27:11. I will teach you by the hand of God — That is, by God’s help and inspiration; or, by such arguments as are irresistible. The words, however, may be rendered, concerning the hand of God; that is, concerning his counsel and providence in governing the world, or the manner of his dealing with men, and especially with wicked men, of whom he discourses, Job 27:13, &c., showing how far the hand of God is either for them, upon, or against them. That which is with the Almighty — That is, in his counsel, and how he executes his secret purposes concerning them; I will not conceal — I will declare the truth of God, and the doctrine that he hath taught his church about these matters.
Behold, all ye yourselves have seen it; why then are ye thus altogether vain?Job 27:12. Ye yourselves have seen it — I speak no false or strange things: but what is known and confirmed by your own experience, and that of others. Why then are ye thus altogether vain? — In maintaining such a foolish and false opinion against your own knowledge and experience?
Why do you so obstinately defend your opinion, and not comply with mine, for the truth of which I appeal to your own consciences?
This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty.Job 27:13. This is the portion of a wicked man — Namely, that which is mentioned in the following verses; with God — Either laid up with God, namely, in his counsel and appointment; or, which he shall have from God, as the next words explain it; and the heritage of oppressors — Who are mighty, fierce, terrible, and mischievous, as the word עריצים, gnaritzim, implies; whom, therefore, men cannot destroy, but God will.
If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword: and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread.Job 27:14-15. It is for the sword — That they may be cut off by the sword, either of war or of justice: and his offspring, &c. — Shall be starved, or shall want necessaries. Those that remain of him — Who survive that sword and famine; shall be buried in death — “Shall be reduced to so great a degree of misery,” says Schultens, “that where they die, there they shall rot, and no person shall bury them: they shall have death itself, (so he renders the text,) for their sepulchre.” It is put in antithesis, or by way of contrast to the monuments of the rich. And his widows — For they had many wives; shall not weep — Because they, as well as other persons, groaned under his tyranny, and, therefore, rejoice in their deliverance from it.
Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows shall not weep.
Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay;Job 27:16-18. Prepare raiment as the clay — In great abundance. But the just shall put it on — Either because it shall be given to him by the magistrate, to recompense him for those injuries which he had received from the oppressor; or because the right of it is, in some other way, transferred upon him by divine providence. He buildeth his house as a moth — Which settleth itself in a garment, but is quickly and unexpectedly dispossessed of its dwelling, and crushed to death. And as a booth, &c. — Which the keeper of a garden or vineyard suddenly rears up in fruit-time, and as quickly pulls down again.
He may prepare it, but the just shall put it on, and the innocent shall divide the silver.
He buildeth his house as a moth, and as a booth that the keeper maketh.
The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he openeth his eyes, and he is not.Job 27:19. The rich man shall lie down — In death; but he shall not be gathered — Namely, in burial, as this word יאסŠ, jeaseph, is often used. Instead of that honourable interment with his fathers, which he expected, his carcass shall lie like dung upon the earth. He openeth, or, one openeth his eyes, and he is not — That is, while a man can open his eyes, in a moment, or in the twinkling of an eye, he is as if he had never been; he is dead and gone, and his family and name are extinct with him.
Terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest stealeth him away in the night.Job 27:20. Terrors take hold on him — From the sense of approaching death or judgment. As waters — As violently and irresistibly as a river breaking its banks, or a deluge of waters bears down all before it. A tempest stealeth, &c. — God’s wrath cometh upon him like a tempest, and withal unexpectedly like a thief in the night.
The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place.Job 27:21-22. The east wind — Some terrible judgment, fitly compared to the east wind, which, in those parts, was most vehement, furious, pestilential, and destructive; carrieth him away — Out of his place, as it follows; out of his stately mansion, where he expected to dwell for ever; whence he shall be carried, either by an enemy or by death. For God shall cast upon him — His darts or plagues, one after another and not spare — That is, shall show no pity or mercy to him when he crieth to him for it. As there is no Hebrew for God, we may attribute this power to the storm occasioned by the east wind. For, if the tempest, Job 27:20, steals him away, according to the same kind of phraseology, the storm may be said to cast itself upon him, and not spare. He would fain flee out of his hand — That is, God’s hand, or from the power and violence of the storm. He earnestly desires and endeavours, by all possible ways, to escape the judgments of God, but in vain. Those that will not be persuaded to flee to the arms of divine grace, which are now stretched out to receive them, will not be able to flee from the arms of divine wrath, which will shortly be stretched out to destroy them.
For God shall cast upon him, and not spare: he would fain flee out of his hand.
Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place.Job 27:23. Men — Who shall see and observe these things; shall clap their hands at him — In token of their joy, at the removal of such a public pest and tyrant; and by way of astonishment, as also in contempt and scorn; all which this action signifies in Scripture. And shall hiss him out of his place — In token of detestation and derision.