Job 13:5
O that you would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) O that ye would altogether hold your peace! is singularly like the sentiment of Proverbs 17:28. Their wisdom will consist in listening to his wisdom rather than displaying their own folly.

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.Oh that ye would altogether hold your peace! - You would show your wisdom by silence. Since you can say nothing that is adapted to give comfort, or to explain the true state of the case, it would be wise to say nothing; compare Proverbs 17:28 : "Even a fool when he holdeth his peace is counted wise." 5. (Pr 17:28). The Arabs say, "The wise are dumb; silence is wisdom." For then your ignorance and folly had been concealed, which is now manifest. Compare Proverbs 17:28. And that ye would altogether hold your peace,.... Since what they said of him was not true, nor anything to the purpose, or that tended to the comfort of his afflicted soul, but the reverse; and therefore he could have wished they had never broke silence, but continued as they were the first seven days of their visit; and now, since they had spoken, and had done no good by speaking, but hurt, he desires for the future they would be silent, and say no more:

and it should be your wisdom: it would be the greatest evidence of it they could give; they had shown none by speaking; it would be a proof of some in them, should they hold their peace; a very biting expression this see Proverbs 17:28.

O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. This verse is suggested by the last clause of the preceding—their impotence to help was such that their silence would be the most helpful thing they could offer. There is a final sarcasm at Zophar’s speech in the reference to “wisdom”; cf. Proverbs 17:28, Even a fool when he holdeth his peace is counted wise; and the si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses, quoted by all the commentators.Verse 5. - Oh that ye would altogether hold your peace! The friends had "held their peace" for seven days after their arrival (Job 2:13). Oh that they would have held it altogether! Their words had done nothing but exasperate and goad almost to madness. There is a mournful pathos in Job's entreates to them to be silent (comp ver. 13). And it should be your wisdom. "Speech," it has been said, "is silvern, silence is golden." No doubt" there is a time for everything... a time to keep silence, and a time to speak" (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7); nor is the rule of La Trappe altogether a wise one. But probably ten times as much harm is done in the world by speaking as by keeping silence. "Words for God" need especial care and caution. If they do not do good, the harm that they may do is incalculable. 22 He discovereth deep things out of darkness,

And bringeth out to light the shadow of death;

23 He giveth prosperity to nations and then destroyeth them,

Increase of territory to nations and then carrieth them away;

24 He taketh away the understanding of the chief people of the land,

And maketh them to wander in a trackless wilderness;

25 They grope in darkness without light,

He maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.

The meaning of Job 12:22 in this connection can only be, that there is nothing so finely spun out that God cannot make it visible. All secret plans of the wicked, all secret sins, and the deeds of the evil-doer though veiled in deep darkness, He bringeth before the tribunal of the world. The form of writing given by the Masora is עמוּקות with koph raphatum, consequently plur. from עמוּק, like ערוּמים, עצוּמים from ערוּם, עצוּם, not from עמק.

(Note: Kimchi in his Wrterbuch adopts the form עמקּות, but gives Abulwalid as an authority for the lengthened form, which, according to the Masora on Leviticus 13:3, Leviticus 13:25, is the traditional. The two exceptions where the form occurs with a long vowel are Proverbs 23:27 and this passage.)

The lxx translates משגיא πλανῶν, as it is also explained in several Midrash-passages, but only by a few Jewish expositors (Jachja, Alschech) by מטעה. The word, however, is not משׁגּיא, but משׂגּיא with ש sinistrum, after which in Midrash Esther it is explained by מגדיל; and Hirzel correctly interprets it of upward growth (Jerome after the Targ. unsuitably, multiplicat), and שׁטח, on the other hand, of growth in extent. The latter word is falsely explained by the Targ. in the sense of expandere rete, and Abenezra also falsely explains: He scatters nations, and brings them to their original peace. The verb שׁטח is here connected with ל, as הפתּה (Genesis 9:27); both signify to make a wider and longer space for any one, used here of the ground where they dwell and rule. The opposite, in an unpropitious sense, is הנחה, which is used here, as 2 Kings 18:11, in a similar sense with הגלה (abducere, i.e., in servitutem). We have intentionally translated גוים nations, עם people; for גּוי, as we shall show elsewhere, is the mass held together by the ties of a common origin, language, and country; (עם) עם, the people bound together by unity of government, whose membra praecipua are consequently called העם ראשׁי. הארץ is, in this connection, the country, although elsewhere, as Isaiah 24:4, comp. Job 42:5, הארץ עם signifies also the people of the earth or mankind; for the Hebrew language expresses a country as a portion of the earth, and the earth as a whole, by the same name. Job dwells longer on this tragic picture, how God makes the star of the prosperity of these chiefs to set in mad and blind self-destruction, according to the proverb, quem Deus perdere vult prius dementat. This description seems to be echoed in many points in Isaiah, especially in the oracle on Egypt, Job 19 (e.g., כּשּׁכּור, Job 19:14). The connection ברך לא בתהו is not genitival; but דרך לא is either an adverbial clause appended to the verb, as חקר לא, Job 34:24, בנים לא, 1 Chronicles 2:30, 1 Chronicles 2:32, or, which we prefer as being more natural, and on account of the position of the words, a virtual adjective: in a trackless waste, as אישׁ לא, Job 38:26; עבות לא, 2 Samuel 23:4 (Olsh.).

Job here takes up the tone of Eliphaz (comp. Job 5:13.). Intentionally he is made to excel the friends in a recognition of the absolute majesty of God. He is not less cognizant of it than they.

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