Job 13:11
Shall not his excellency make you afraid? and his dread fall on you?
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Job 13:11-12. Shall not his excellency — His infinite wisdom, which sees your secret falsehood, and his justice and power, which can and will punish you for it; make you afraid? — Of speaking rashly or falsely of his ways and counsels. Your remembrances — Hebrew, זכרניכם, zichronechem, your memorials; or, as Chappelow translates it, memorabilia vestra, your remarkable things, your discourses, and arguments, and memorable actions; are like unto ashes — Contemptible and unprofitable, Hebrew, משׁלי אפר, mishle epher, are parables or speeches of dust or ashes, mouldering, as it were, and coming to nothing. All that is most excellent and memorable in you; your wealth, and dignity, and wit, and reputation, or whatsoever it is for which you expect to be remembered, it is all but poor despicable dust and ashes; for, your bodies are like to bodies of clay — Though they be not full of sores and biles as mine is, yet they are but dust, and to dust they shall return, as well as mine. The consideration of our mortality should make us afraid of offending God.13:1-12 With self-preference, Job declared that he needed not to be taught by them. Those who dispute are tempted to magnify themselves, and lower their brethren, more than is fit. When dismayed or distressed with the fear of wrath, the force of temptation, or the weight of affliction, we should apply to the Physician of our souls, who never rejects any, never prescribes amiss, and never leaves any case uncured. To Him we may speak at all times. To broken hearts and wounded consciences, all creatures, without Christ, are physicians of no value. Job evidently speaks with a very angry spirit against his friends. They had advanced some truths which nearly concerned Job, but the heart unhumbled before God, never meekly receives the reproofs of men.Shall not his excellency - His exaltation שׂאת śe'êth from נשׂא nâśâ' to exalt, to lift up), or his majesty, Genesis 49:3.

Make you afraid - Fill you with awe and reverence. Shall it not restrain you from fallacy, from sophisms, and from all presumptuous and unfounded reasoning? The sense here is, that a sense of the greatness and majesty of God should fill the mind with solemnity and reverence, and make us serious and sincere; should repress all declamation and mere assertion, and should lead us to adduce only those considerations which will bear the test of the final trial. The general proposition, however, is not less clear, that a sense of the majesty and glory of God should at all times fill the mind with solemn awe, and produce the deepest veneration. See Jeremiah 5:22; Jeremiah 10:7-10; Genesis 28:17.

And his dread - The fear of him. You should so stand in awe of him as not to advance any sentiments which he will not approve, or which will not bear the test of examination. Rosenmuller, however, and after him Noyes, supposes that this is not so much a declaration of what ought to be, implying that the fear of God ought to produce veneration, as a declaration of what actually occurred - implying that they were actually influenced by this slavish fear in what they said. According to this it means that they were actuated only by a dread of what God would do to them that led them to condemn. Job without proof, and not by a regard to truth. But the common interpretation seems to me most in accordance with the meaning of the passage.

11. make you afraid?—namely, of employing sophisms in His name (Jer 10:7, 10). His excellency; his infinite wisdom, which sees your secret falsehoods; and his justice and power, which can and will punish you for it.

Make you afraid of speaking rashly or falsely of his ways and counsels. Shall not his excellency make you afraid,.... To commit sin, any sin, and particularly that just mentioned, which they might expect to be reproved for; there is an excellency in the name of God, which is fearful and dreadful, and in the nature and perfections of God, his power, justice, and holiness, in which he is glorious and tremendous, and should deter men from sinning against him; and there is an excellency in his works of nature and providence, which are wondrous, and show him to be near at hand, and can at once, if he pleases, take vengeance for sin: or "shall not his height" (b), &c. his sublimity, his superiority to all beings; he is the most high God, higher than the highest among men, he is above all gods, all that are so called; and therefore all the inhabitants of the earth should stand in awe of him, and not sin: or "shall not his lifting up" (c)? &c. on a throne of judgment, as the Targum adds; he is the Judge of the whole earth, and will judge his people, and right their wrongs; he sits on a throne high, and lifted up, judging righteously; and will maintain the cause of the innocent, and avenge himself on those that injure them, and therefore it must be a fearful thing to fall into his hands: some render it, "shall not his burning" (d); or flaming fire, &c. as Jarchi observes, and apply it to hell fire, and the everlasting burnings of the lake which burns with fire and brimstone; and which are very terrible, and may well frighten men from sinning against God; but the first sense seems to be best:

and his dread fall upon you? the dread of men, of powerful and victorious enemies, is very terrible, as was the dread of the Israelites which fell upon the inhabitants of Canaan, Joshua 2:9; but how awful must be the terror of the great and dreadful God, when that falls upon men, or his terrible wrath and vengeance are revealed from heaven, and threaten every moment to fall upon the transgressors of his law, upon those that mock him and injure his people.

(b) "celsitudo ejus", Montanus, Vatablus, Bolducius; "sublimitas ejus", Beza, Mercerus. (c) "Elevatio, erectio", Drusius. (d) So some in Jarchi & Bar Tzemach.

Shall not his excellency make you afraid? and his dread fall upon you?
11. his excellency] His majesty affright you. They shall be paralyzed when they stand before God who searches the heart.Verse 11. - Shall not his excellency make you afraid! and his dread fall upon you? Will not the very excellency and perfection of God cause you all the more to fear, since they will be arrayed against you? God, who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, who is no respecter of persons, and hates those who are respecters of persons, will by his very purity and truth be offended at your conduct, and induced to punish it, 3 But I would speak to the Almighty,

And I long to reason with God.

4 And ye however are forgers of lies,

Physicians of no value are ye all.

5 Oh that ye would altogether hold your peace,

It would be accounted to you as wisdom.

6 Hear now my instruction,

Ando hearken to the answers of my lips!

He will no longer dispute with the friends; the more they oppose him, the more earnestly he desires to be able to argue his cause before God. אוּלם (Job 13:3) is disjunctive, like ἀλλά, and introduces a new range of thoughts; lxx ου ̓ μήν δὲ ἀλλά, verum enim vero. True, he has said in Job 9 that no one can maintain his cause before God; but his confidence in God grows in proportion as his distrust of the friends increases; and at the same time, the hope is begotten that God will grant him that softening of the terror of His majesty which he has reserved to himself in connection with this declaration (Job 9:34, comp. Job 13:20.). The infin. absol. הוכח, which in Job 6:25 is used almost as a substantive, and indeed as the subject, is here in the place of the object, as e.g., Isaiah 5:5; Isaiah 58:6 : to prove, i.e., my cause, to God (אל־אל, like Job 13:15, אל־פּניו) I long. With ואוּלם (Job 13:4) the antithesis is introduced anew: I will turn to God, you on the contrary (καὶ ὑμεῖς δὲ). Since the verb טפל, from its primary meaning to spread on, smear on (whence e.g., Talmudic טפלה, the act of throwing on, as when plastering up the cracks of an oven), cogn. תּפל (whence תּפל, plaster, and perhaps also in the signification tasteless, Job 6:6 equals sticky, greasy, slimy), does not signify, at least not at first, consuere, but assuere (without any relation of root with תּפר), we explain, not with Olshausen and others, concinnatores mendacii, such as sew together lies as patchwork; but with Hirzel and others, assutores mendacii, such as patch on lies, i.e., charge falsely, since they desire throughout to make him out to be a sinner punished according to his desert. This explanation is also confirmed by Job 14:17. Another explanation is given by Hupfeld: sarcinatores false equals inanes, inutiles, so that שׁקר signifies what lies equals what deceives, as in the parallel member of the verse אלל,

(Note: In the Talmudic, the jugular vein, the cutting of which produces death, is called אלל (later עצב, Arab. ‛ṣb), according to which (b. Chullin 121a) it is explained: healer of the jugular artery, i.e., those who try to heal what is incurable, therefore charlatans, - a strange idea, which has arisen from the defective form of writing אלל. The lxx translates ἰαταὶ κακῶν.)

nothingness, and also עמל (Job 16:2) in a similar connection, is not an objective but attributive genitive; but Psalm 119:69 is decisive against this interpretation of שׁקר טפלי. The parallelism is not so exactly adjusted, as e.g., even רפאי does not on account of the parallel with טפלי signify patchers, ῥάπται, but: they are not able to heal Job's wounds with the medicine of consolation; they are medici nihili, useless physicians. Proverbs 17:28, "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise," applies to them, si tacuisses, sapiens mansisses; or, as a rabbinical proverb of similar meaning, quoted by Heidenheim, says, השׂגה בהשׂגה הלאות, "the fatigue of comprehension is comprehension," i.e., the silent pause before a problem is half the solution. The jussive form וּתהי, it would be (Ges. 128, 2), is used in the conclusion of the wish. Thus he challenges them to hear his תּוכחת (תּוכחה) and his רבוה. Hirzel is quite right when he says the former does not mean defence (justification), nor the latter proofs (counter-evidence); תוכחת is, according to his signification (significatus, in distinction from sensus), ἔλεγχος, correptio (lxx, Vulg.), and here not so much refutation and answer, as correction in an ethical sense, in correspondence with which רבות is also intended of reproaches, reproofs, or reprimands.

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