Job 11:17
And your age shall be clearer than the noonday: you shall shine forth, you shall be as the morning.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) Thine age shall be clearer than the noonday.—Rather, there shall arise for thee a lifetime brighter than the noonday; thou shalt soar on high; thou shalt be like the morning, which is conceived of as having wings (Psalm 139:9). (Comp. Malachi 4:2, of the Sun of Righteousness.) This is how we understand the word rendered thou shalt shine forth. Many take it as a substantive, meaning darkness, in which case we must render, though there be darkness, thou shalt be as the morning.

Job 11:17. And thine age shall be clearer than the noon-day — The remainder of thy life in this world shall be more glorious than the sun at noon. Hebrew, יקים, jakum, shall arise above the noon-day, or above the sun at noon-day, when it is at its greatest height, as well as in its greatest glory. Thou shalt shine forth — Thy light shall arise out of obscurity, and thou shalt be prosperous and happy; thou shalt be as the morning — Thy night of trouble shall certainly and speedily be followed with the morning of deliverance and comfort, which, like the morning light, shall shine brighter and brighter till the perfect day. Light, in the Scripture, commonly signifies prosperity and glory.11:13-20 Zophar exhorts Job to repentance, and gives him encouragement, yet mixed with hard thoughts of him. He thought that worldly prosperity was always the lot of the righteous, and that Job was to be deemed a hypocrite unless his prosperity was restored. Then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; that is, thou mayst come boldly to the throne of grace, and not with the terror and amazement expressed in ch. 9:34. If we are looked upon in the face of the Anointed, our faces that were cast down may be lifted up; though polluted, being now washed with the blood of Christ, they may be lifted up without spot. We may draw near in full assurance of faith, when we are sprinkled from an evil conscience, Heb 10:22.And thine age - Thy life. This does not mean old age, but the idea is, that his life would be cheerful and happy.

Clearer than the noon-day - Margin, "Arise above the noon-day." The margin is a literal rendering; but the sense is clear in the text. The idea is, that the remainder of his life would be bright as the sun if he would return to God.

Thou shalt shine forth - Or rather, "thou art now in darkness, but thou shalt be as the morning." The word used here - תעפה tā‛upâh is from עוּף ‛ûph, to cover - as with wings, to fly, to cover with darkness. In no instance does it mean to shine, or to be clear and bright; and why our translators attached that idea to it, it is now difficult to conjecture. The Chaldee and Syriac read the word as a noun, and render the passage, "and thy darkness shall be as the aurora." The Vulgate renders it, "and meridian splendor, as it were, shall arise upon thee at the evening." The Septuagint, "and thy prayer shall be like the morning star, and life shall rise upon thee from noon-day." The sense in the Hebrew is plain. He was then in darkness. Clouds and calamities were round about him, but if he would return to God, he would be permitted to enjoy a bright day of prosperity. Such a day would return to him like the morning after a long and gloomy night.

17. age—days of life.

the noon-day—namely, of thy former prosperity; which, in the poet's image, had gone on increasing, until it reached its height, as the sun rises higher and higher until it reaches the meridian (Pr 4:18).

shine forth—rather, "though now in darkness, thou shall be as the morning"; or, "thy darkness (if any dark shade should arise on thee, it) shall be as the morning" (only the dullness of morning twilight, not nocturnal darkness) [Umbreit].

Thine age, i.e. the remainder of thy life and time in this world.

Shall be clearer, Heb. shall arise. Men are said to fall into troubles, and to arise out of them.

Than the noon-day; or, above the noon-day, or above the sun at noon-day, when it is at its highest pitch, as well as in its greatest glory.

Thou shalt shine forth: light in Scripture commonly signifies prosperity and glory, as Esther 8:16 Job 18:5,6 38:15 Proverbs 4:18. Or, if thou art in darkness, as this word properly signifies, Job 10:22 Amos 4:13, i.e. if thou comest into any distress and trouble. Shalt be as the morning, i.e. that night of trouble shall certainly and speedily be followed with the morning of deliverance and comfort, which, like the morning light, shall shine brighter and brighter until the perfect day. And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday,.... That is, the remainder of his days; the latter part of his life, which was yet to come, should be no more attended with the darkness of adversity; but the light of prosperity should shine upon him, and exceed the light of the sun at noonday: the phrase is expressive of the wonderful change there should be in his state and circumstances; see Isaiah 58:10;

thou shall shine forth; like the rising sun, or as when it breaks forth out of a cloud; in a temporal sense, it may be understood of his enjoying health, wealth, and friends, the candle of the Lord shining upon him, as in days past; and in a spiritual sense, of his being favoured with the light of God's countenance, the Sun of righteousness rising upon him, with healing in his wings; the graces of the Spirit being brightened, and in lively exercise, and a large share of spiritual light and knowledge being given: the word used has a contrary sense, and signifies darkness and obscurity, and may be rendered "although thou art", or hast been, or mayest "be dark" (x); under dark and afflictive providences, as he had been, and still was and in darkness of soul, under the hidings of God's face: yet

thou shall be as the morning; whose light breaks forth suddenly, and makes everything gay and cheerful; especially a morning without clouds, when it is bright and clear, and is increasing more and more: by this metaphor is signified, that Job would at once emerge out of his darkness, afflictions, and trouble, and have abundance of joy and comfort, which would be increasing in every sense; see Proverbs 4:18.

(x) "tenebresces", Montanus, Drusius, Mercerus; to the same sense, Tigurine version, Cocceius, Schmidt, Schultens; so Ben Melech.

And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday: thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. and thine age] Or, as we should say, and life, Psalm 17:14; Psalm 39:5.

thou shalt shine forth] Rather, if there be darkness, it shall be as the morning. Even should temporary darkness occur it will not be utter, but light like the morning. This seems said in opposition to Job’s mournful words, ch. Job 10:22, “where the light is as darkness.” The present words might also mean that the darkness shall be not a continual obscurity but one which a morning comes to dispel.Verse 17. - And thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; literally, shall arise above the noonday; i.e. "exceed it in splendour." Instead of the "thick darkness" to which Job is looking forward (Job 10:21, 22), he shall bask in a light brighter than that of the sun at noon. Thou shalt shine forth. The Hebrew cannot possibly bear this meaning. The uncommon word used is allied with עֵיפָה, "obscurity," and, if a verb, should mean "thou shalt be obscure," rather than "thou shalt shine forth." But it is perhaps a substantive, meaning "darkness;" and the translation of the Revised Version is perhaps correct: "Though there be darkness." Thou shalt be as the morning. "Thy light," as Professor Lee explains, "shall gradually rise and expand itself far and wide." It shall dispel the darkness, and take its place," shining more and more unto the perfect day" (Proverbs 4:18). 10 When He passes by and arrests

And calls to judgment, who will oppose Him?

11 For He knoweth the men devoid of principle,

And seeth wickedness without observing it.

12 But before an empty head gaineth understanding,

A wild ass would become a man.

In יחלף God is conceived as one who manifests himself by passing to and fro in the powers of nature (in the whirlwind, Isaiah 21:1). Should He meet with one who is guilty, and seize and bring him to judgment, who then (waw apod.) will turn Him back, i.e., restrain Him? הקהיל is used of bringing to judgment, with reference to the ancient form of trial which was in public, and in which the carrying out of the sentence was partly incumbent on the people (1 Kings 21:9; Ezekiel 16:40; Ezekiel 23:46). One might almost imagine that Zophar looks upon himself and the other two friends as forming such an "assembly:" they cannot justify him in opposition to God, since He accounts him guilty. God's mode of trial is summary, because infallible: He knows altogether שׁוא מתי, people who hypocritically disguise their moral nothingness (on this idea, vid., on Psalm 26:4); and sees (looks through) און (from the root n, to breathe), otherwise grief, with which one pants, in a moral sense worthlessness, without any trace whatever of worth or substance. He knows and sees this moral wretchedness at once, and need not first of all reflect upon it: non opus habet, as Abenezra has correctly explained, ut diu consideret (comp. the like thought, Job 34:23).

Job 11:12 has been variously misinterpreted. Gesenius in his Handwrterbuch

(Note: Vid., Lexicon, Engl. edition, s.v. לבב Niphal. - Tr.)

translates: but man is empty and void of understanding; but this is contrary to the accentuation, according to which נבוב אישׁ together form the subject. Olshausen translates better: an empty man, on the other hand, is without heart; but the fut. cannot be exactly so used, and if we consider that Piel has never properly a privative meaning, though sometimes a privative idea (as e.g., סקּל, operam consumere in lapidos, scil. ejiciendos), we must regard a privative Niphal as likewise inadmissible. Stickel translates peculiarly: the man devoid of understanding is enraged against God; but this is opposed to the manifest correlation of נבוב and ילּבב, which does not indicate the antithesis of an empty and sulky person (Bttcher): the former rather signifies empty, and the latter to acquire heart or marrow (Heidenheim, לב יקנה), so that לב fills up the hollow space. Hirzel's rendering partly bears out the requirement of this correlation: man has understanding like a hollow pate; but this explanation, like that of Gesenius, violates the accentuation, and produces an affected witticism. The explanation which regards Job 11:12 as descriptive of the wholesome effect of the discipline of the divine judgments (comp. Isaiah 26:9) is far better; it does not violate the accent, and moreover is more in accordance with the future form: the empty one becomes discerning thereby, the rough, humane (thus recently Ewald, Heiligst., Schlottm.); but according to this explanation, Job 11:12 is not connected with what immediately precedes, nor is the peculiarity of the expression fully brought out. Hupfeld opens up another way of interpreting the passage when he remarks, nil dicto facilius et simplicius; he understands Job 11:12 according to Job 11:12: But man is furnished with an empty heart, i.e., receives at his birth an empty undiscerning heart, and man is born as a wild ass's colt, i.e., as stupid and obstinate. This thought is satisfactorily connected with the preceding; but here also נבוב is taken as predicate in violation of the accentuation, nor is justice done to the correlation above referred to, and the whole sentence is referred to the portion of man at his birth, in opposition to the impression conveyed by the use of the fut. Oehler appears to us to have recognised the right sense: But an empty man is as little endowed with sense, as that a wild ass should ever be born as man - be, so to speak, born again and become a man.

(Note: Wetzstein explains: "But a man that barks like a dog (i.e., rages shamelessly) can become sensible, and a young wild ass (i.e., the wildest and roughest creature) be born again as a man (i.e., become gentle and civilised)," from נבב equals נבח, since נבח is the commoner word for "barking" in the Syrian towns and villages, and נבב, on the other hand, is used among those who dwelt in tents. But we must then point it נבּוּב, and the antithesis ילּבב is more favourable the Hebrew meaning, "hollowed out, empty.")

The waw in ועיר is just like Job 5:7; Job 12:11, and brings into close connection the things that are to be compared, as in the form of emblematic proverbs (vid., Herzog's Real Encyklopdie, xiv. 696): the one will happen not earlier than, and as little as, the other. The Niphal נולד, which in Proverbs 17:17 signifies to become manifest, here borders on the notion of regenerari; a regeneration would be necessary if the wild ass should become human, - a regeneration which is inconceivable. It is by nature refractory, and especially when young (ועיר from Arab. ‛âr, fut. i in the signification vagari, huc illuc discurrere, of a young, restless, wild, frisking animal). Just so, says Zophar, the vacuum in an empty man is incapable of being filled up, - a side hit at Job, which rebounds on Zophar himself; for the dogma of the friends, which forms the sole contents of their hollowness, can indeed not fill with brightness and peace a heart that is passing through conflict. The peculiarity of the expression is no longer unintelligible; Zophar is the most impassioned of the three friends.

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