Job 15:34
For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery.
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(34) Desolate.—This was Job’s own word (Job 3:7), and as it is an uncommon word, there may be some intentional reference to his use of it.

Job 15:34-35. For the congregation of hypocrites — Their children, servants, friends, and dependants; shall be desolate — That is, utterly destroyed; and fire — Some eminent and terrible judgment of God, often expressed by fire: see Isaiah 9:19; Isaiah 26:11; shall consume the tabernacles of bribery — Which were either built or maintained by extortion and bribery, or such unrighteous practises, of which they thought Job guilty, Job 22:8. They conceive mischief — They devise and contrive pernicious enterprises against others; and bring forth vanity — They execute what they had contrived. They produce iniquity, injury, or trouble, either to others, or rather to themselves: for the mischief they designed for others falls upon their own heads, and they reap what they sowed. And their belly — That is, their inward parts, their hearts and minds; prepareth deceit — For others, whom they design to cheat; and especially for themselves, who, while they seek to deceive others, shall find that they themselves are most deceived, as being deprived of all their desires and hopes wherewith they fed themselves, and cast into all those calamities which they thought to prevent by these artifices. This whole description is evidently pointed at the situation of Job. His prosperity was become vanity; his children were all cut off before their time; his family become solitary; and his hopes, to all appearance, an illusion. All the fine prospect with which the wicked man entertained himself, and for which he endured all the anguish here described, produced only a deceit. He hath imposed on himself. 15:17-35 Eliphaz maintains that the wicked are certainly miserable: whence he would infer, that the miserable are certainly wicked, and therefore Job was so. But because many of God's people have prospered in this world, it does not therefore follow that those who are crossed and made poor, as Job, are not God's people. Eliphaz shows also that wicked people, particularly oppressors, are subject to continual terror, live very uncomfortably, and perish very miserably. Will the prosperity of presumptuous sinners end miserably as here described? Then let the mischiefs which befal others, be our warnings. Though no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby. No calamity, no trouble, however heavy, however severe, can rob a follower of the Lord of his favour. What shall separate him from the love of Christ?For the congregation of hypocrites - The word rendered "congregation" here (עדה ‛êdâh) means properly an appointed meeting; a meeting convened by appointment or at stated times (from ידה yâdâh), and hence, an assembly of any kind. It is commonly applied to an assembly for public worship; but it may refer to a more private company - a family, or circle of friends, dependents, etc. It refers here, I suppose, to such a community that a man can get around him in his own dwelling - his family, servants, dependents, etc. The word rendered "hypocrites" (חנף chânêph) is in the singular number, and should be so rendered here. It does not mean that a worshipping assembly composed of hypocrites would be desolate - which may be true - but that the community which a man who is a hypocrite can gather around him shall be swept away. His children, his dependents, and his retinue of servants, shall be taken away from him, and he shall be left to solitude. Probably there was an allusion here to Job, who had been stripped in this manner; or at any rate the remark was one, if it were a quotation from the ancient sayings of the Arabians, which Job could not but regard as applied to himself.

And fire shall consume - This has all the appearance of being a proverb. The meaning is, that they who received a bribe would be certainly punished.

The tabernacles of bribery - The tents or dwellings of those who receive bribes, and who therefore are easily corrupted, and have no solid principles. There is probably an allusion here to Job; and no doubt Eliphaz meant to apply this severe remark to him. Job was a Sheik, an Emir, a head of a tribe, and, therefore, a magistrate; see Job 29:7, seq. Yet a part of his possessions and servants had been cut off by fire from heaven Job 1:16; and Eliphaz means probably to imply that it had been because he had been guilty of receiving a bribe. This ancient proverb declared that the dwellings of the man who could be bribed would be consumed by fire; and now he presumes that the fact that Job had been visited by the fire of heaven was full proof that he had been guilty in this manner. It was about on principles such as these that the reasoning of the friends of Job was conducted.

34. Rather, The binding together of the hypocrites (wicked) shall be fruitless [Umbreit].

tabernacles of bribery—namely, dwellings of unjust judges, often reprobated in the Old Testament (Isa 1:23). The "fire of God" that consumed Job's possessions (Job 1:16) Eliphaz insinuates may have been on account of Job's bribery as an Arab sheik or emir.

The congregation, i.e. their children, and servants, and friends, and dependents.

Desolate, i.e. utterly destroyed. Fire, i.e. some eminent and terrible judgment of God, which is oft expressed by fire; as Isaiah 9:19 26:11.

The tabernacles of bribery, i.e. which were either built or maintained by extortion and bribery, and suchlike unrighteous courses, whereof they thought Job guilty, Job 22:8. For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate,.... Hypocrites are such who seem to and would be thought to be, what they are not; they are outwardly righteous before men, but inwardly very wicked; have a form of godliness, but are destitute the power of it, 2 Timothy 3:5; pretend to much religion, and to be worshippers of God, when it is only in outward appearances, and not in reality and sincerity: and such as these have been in the congregations of the righteous, in all ages; but here Eliphaz speaks of a congregation of them, a society, a family of them; and very probably has his eye upon Job's, and would represent hereby that he, the head of his family, and his children, when living, and his servants and associates, were all hypocrites, and now become desolate, reduced to want and poverty, and in distressed circumstances: or were "solitary" (i) and alone, as the word is rendered in Job 3:7; destitute of friends, and of the comforts of life; and perhaps reference may be had to the future state of such, when they shall aloud be bid to depart from God, have no society with angels and saints, but shall have their portion with those of the same character with them, hypocrites, in the highest degree of torment and misery, Matthew 24:51;

and fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery; either such tents, or houses, as were built with money taken as bribes; see Habakkuk 2:12; or where such who received bribes dwelt; unjust judges, who took a gift that blinds the eyes, to pervert justice. Job is afterwards by Eliphaz represented as if he was an oppressor, a wicked magistrate, and guilty of such like crimes as here pointed at, Job 22:6; and the "fire" said to consume the dwelling places of such may be understood either of material fire, such as came down from heaven, and destroyed Job's sheep, Job 1:16; or figuratively, the wrath of God often compared to fire, which would appear in one way or another, to the utter ruin of such persons, their habitations, and those that dwelt in them.

"solitarium", Montanus; and to the same sense Vatablus, Beza, Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius, Cocceius.

For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate, and fire shall consume the tabernacles of {x} bribery.

(x) Who were built or maintained by bribery.

34. The same truth as that expressed in Job 15:31-32 now taught without figure, and reduced to a general principle.

congregation of hypocrites] Or, company of the ungodly, ch. Job 8:13; Job 13:16. “Desolate” is barren (ch. Job 3:7), unfruitful. The households of the godless are unfruitful, under God’s curse they come to nought; but it is puerile to make the grapes and flowers of Job 15:33 figures for children.

tabernacles of bribery] Bribery, a common method of perverting justice in the East, is here a general name for wrong and injustice.Verse 34. - For the congregation of hypocrites shall be desolate; or, shall be sterile or barren like the vine and olive of the preceding verse. The entire company of the wicked shall suffer this punishment. And fire shall consume the tabernacles of bribery. God's lightning shall fall from heaven, and burn up the tents (i.e. the habitations) of those who take bribes to pervert justice. It is suggested that Eliphaz intends to accuse Job of the two secret sins of hypocrisy and corruption. 25 Because he stretched out his hand against God,

And was insolent towards the Almighty;

26 He assailed Him with a stiff neck,

With the thick bosses of his shield;

27 Because he covered his face with his fatness,

And addeth fat to his loins,

28 And inhabited desolated cities,

Houses which should not be inhabited,

Which were appointed to be ruins.

29 He shall not be rich, and his substance shall not continue

And their substance boweth not to the ground.

30 He escapeth not darkness;

The flame withereth his shoots;

And he perisheth in the breath of His mouth.


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