Darby's Bible Synopsis
Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,
The following commentary covers Chapters 4 through 31.
As to the friends of Job, they do not call for any extended remarks. They urge the doctrine that God's earthly government is a full measure and manifestation of His righteousness, and of the righteousness of man, which would correspond with it: a doctrine which proves a total ignorance of what God's righteousness is, and of His ways; as well as the absence of all real knowledge of what God is, or man as a sinner. We do not see either that the feelings of their hearts were influenced by communion with God. Their argument is a false and cold estimate of the exact justice of His government as an adequate manifestation of His relationship with man, though they say many true commonplace things which even the Spirit of God adopts as just. Although Job was not before God in his estimate of himself, he judges rightly in these respects. He shews that although God shews His disapprobation of the wicked, yet the circumstances in which they are often found overthrow the arguments of his friends. We see in Job a heart which, although rebellious, depends upon God, and would rejoice to find Him. We see, too, that when he can extricate himself, by a few words, from his friends, who, he is quite sensible, understands nothing of his case, nor of the dealings of God, he turns to God (although he does not find Him, and although he complains that His hand is heavy upon him), as in that beautiful and touching chapter 23, and the reasonings as to divine government, chapters 24, 21. That is to say, we see one who has tasted that God is gracious, whose heart, wounded indeed and unsubdued, yet claims those qualities for God-because it knows Him-which the cold reasonings of his friends could not ascribe to Him; a heart which complains bitterly of God, but which knows that, could it once come near Him, it would find Him all that it had declared Him to be, and not such as they had declared Him to be, or were themselves-could he find Him, he would not be as they were, He would put words in his mouth; a heart which repelled indignantly the accusation of hypocrisy; for Job was conscious that he looked to God, and that he had known God and acted with reference to Him, though God thought fit to bring his sin to remembrance.
Therefore do my thoughts cause me to answer, and for this I make haste.
I have heard the check of my reproach, and the spirit of my understanding causeth me to answer.
Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth,
That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?
Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds;
Yet he shall perish for ever like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he?
He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: yea, he shall be chased away as a vision of the night.
The eye also which saw him shall see him no more; neither shall his place any more behold him.
His children shall seek to please the poor, and his hands shall restore their goods.
His bones are full of the sin of his youth, which shall lie down with him in the dust.
Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue;
Though he spare it, and forsake it not; but keep it still within his mouth:
Yet his meat in his bowels is turned, it is the gall of asps within him.
He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly.
He shall suck the poison of asps: the viper's tongue shall slay him.
He shall not see the rivers, the floods, the brooks of honey and butter.
That which he laboured for shall he restore, and shall not swallow it down: according to his substance shall the restitution be, and he shall not rejoice therein.
Because he hath oppressed and hath forsaken the poor; because he hath violently taken away an house which he builded not;
Surely he shall not feel quietness in his belly, he shall not save of that which he desired.
There shall none of his meat be left; therefore shall no man look for his goods.
In the fulness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits: every hand of the wicked shall come upon him.
When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath upon him, and shall rain it upon him while he is eating.
He shall flee from the iron weapon, and the bow of steel shall strike him through.
It is drawn, and cometh out of the body; yea, the glittering sword cometh out of his gall: terrors are upon him.
All darkness shall be hid in his secret places: a fire not blown shall consume him; it shall go ill with him that is left in his tabernacle.
The heaven shall reveal his iniquity; and the earth shall rise up against him.
The increase of his house shall depart, and his goods shall flow away in the day of his wrath.
This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God.