Job 17:8
Upright men shall be astonished at this, and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite.
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(8) Upright men shall be astonied.—“As a result of the warning my case would give, upright men would be astonished at it, innocent men would be encouraged, and the righteous would persevere and wax bold.”

Job 17:8. Upright men shall be astonied at this — Wise and good men, when they shall see me, and consider my calamities, will not be so forward to censure and condemn me as you are, but will rather stand and wonder at the depth and mysteriousness of God’s judgments, which fall so heavily upon innocent men, while the worst of men prosper. And, or, rather, but, or yet, the innocent shall stir himself up against the hypocrite — Notwithstanding all these sufferings of good men, and the astonishment which they cause, he shall be so far from joining his opinions, counsels, and interest with those profane men, who take occasion from thence to censure afflicted persons, and desert, condemn, and reproach the profession and practice of godliness, that he will the more zealously oppose those hypocrites who make these strange providences of God an objection to religion, and will prefer afflicted piety to prosperous iniquity.17:1-9 Job reflects upon the harsh censures his friends had passed upon him, and, looking on himself as a dying man, he appeals to God. Our time is ending. It concerns us carefully to redeem the days of time, and to spend them in getting ready for eternity. We see the good use the righteous should make of Job's afflictions from God, from enemies, and from friends. Instead of being discouraged in the service of God, by the hard usage this faithful servant of God met with, they should be made bold to proceed and persevere therein. Those who keep their eye upon heaven as their end, will keep their feet in the paths of religion as their way, whatever difficulties and discouragements they may meet with.Upright men shall be astonished at this - At the course of events in regard to me. They will be amazed that God has suffered a holy man to be plunged into such calamities, and to be treated in this manner by his friends. The fact at which he supposes they would be so much astonished was, that the good were afflicted in this manner, and that no relief was furnished.

And the innocent shall stir up himself - Shall rouse himself, or assume vigor to resist the wicked.

The hypocrite - The wicked - alluding probably to his professed friends. The idea of hypocrisy which the sentence conveys arises from the fact, that they professed to be "his" friends, and had proved to be false; and that they had professed to be the friends of God, and yet had uttered sentiments inconsistent with any right views of him. He now says, that that could not go unnoticed. The world would be aroused at so remarkable a state of things, and a just public indignation would be the result.

8. astonied—at my unmerited sufferings.

against the hypocrite—The upright shall feel their sense of justice wounded ("will be indignant") because of the prosperity of the wicked. By "hypocrite" or "ungodly," he perhaps glances at his false friends.

Wise and good men, when they shall see and consider my calamities, will not be so forward to censure and condemn me as you are, but will rather stand and wonder at the depth and mysteriousness of God’s counsels and judgments, which fall so heavily upon innocent men, while the worst of men prosper.

And the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite: but, or yet, (notwithstanding all these sufferings of good men and the astonishment which they cause,)

innocent (or religious persons shall be so far from joining their opinions, and counsels, and interests, with

hypocrites, or profane men, who thence take occasion to censure the afflicted person, and to reproach, and condemn, and desert the profession and practice of godliness, that they) will stir up themselves against them in holy indignation, and will oppose their wicked courses, and will prefer afflicted piety before prosperous iniquity. Upright men shall be astonished at this,.... Such as were upright in heart, and in their walk conversation, sincere and honourable in their profession of religion, these would be amazed at the afflictions of Job, and the unkindness of his friends; it is hereby suggested, that it would be then, and in ages to come, a matter of surprise to truly gracious persons, when they should hear of such sore afflictions laid upon so good a man, and he told what censures, calumnies, and reproaches, were cast upon him by his friends; this would be so astonishing, that they would not know how to believe it, and still more at a loss how to account for it, that such things should be permitted in Providence, there being reason to believe the truth of them:

and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite; that is, such, who though they are not free from sin, yet live holy and harmless lives and conversations among men, so that they are not chargeable with any gross iniquity, or what is scandalous and unbecoming their character; these shall rise up with indignation against such persons as pretend to a great deal of sanctify and devotion, and yet have no charity or love to an afflicted saint, but censure and reproach him, and add affliction to his affliction. Thus Job retorts the charge of hypocrisy his friends brought against him upon them; for he seems tacitly to design them, and delivers these words as a kind of solace to himself; that though he was thus used by them at that time, yet good men in future time would have different apprehensions of him, and rise up and vindicate his name and character.

Upright men shall be astonied at {i} this, and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite.

(i) That is, when they see the godly punished: but in the end they will come to understanding and know what will be the reward of the hypocrite.

8, 9. Effect produced on religious minds by the sight of such sufferings inflicted on the godly. Such moral perversions in the rule of the world “confound” religious men, and rouse their moral indignation against the wicked, who are prosperous; cf. similar thoughts Psalm 37:1 seq., Psalm 73:2 seq. The word this refers to Job’s case as an instance of the moral wrong that is observed in the rule of the world. On “hypocrite,” i. e. godless, see ch. Job 8:13.Verse 8. - Upright men shall be astonied at this. When Job's case comes to beknown, "upright men" will be astonished at it. They will marvel how it came to pass that such a man - so true, so faithful, so "perfect" (Job 1:1) - could have been allowed by God to suffer so terribly. In a world where, up to Job's time, prosperity had been taken as the measure of goodness, the marvel was naturally great. Even now many a Christian is surprised and disturbed in mind if he gives the case prolonged and serious attention, though he holds the clue to it in that most enlightening phrase, "perfect through sufferings" (Hebrews 2:10). And the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite. On astonishment will follow indignation. When it becomes generally recognized that, in a vast number of cases, the righteous suffer, while the wicked enjoy great prosperity, good men's feelings will be stirred up against these prosperous ones; they will wax indignant, and take part against them. 1 My breath is corrupt,

My days are extinct,

The graves are ready for me.

2 Truly mockery surrounds me,

And mine eye shall loiter over their disputings.

Hirz., Hlgst., and others, wrongly consider the division of the chapter here to be incorrect. The thought in Job 16:22 is really a concluding thought, like Job 10:20., Job 7:21. Then in Job 17:1 another strain is taken up; and as Job 16:22 is related, as a confirmation, to the request expressed in Job 16:19-21, so Job 17:1, Job 17:2 are related to that expressed in Job 17:3. The connection with the conclusion of Job 16 is none the less close: the thoughts move on somewhat crosswise (chiastisch). We do not translate with Ewald: "My spirit is destroyed," because חבּל (here and Isaiah 10:27) signifies not, to be destroyed, but, to be corrupted, disturbed, troubled; not the spirit (after Arab. chbl, usually of disturbance of spirit), but the breath is generally meant, which is become short (Job 7:15) and offensive (Job 19:17), announcing suffocation and decay as no longer far distant. In Job 17:1 the ἅπ. γεγρ. נזעכוׁ is equivalent to נדעכו, found elsewhere. In Job 17:1 קברים is used as if the dead were called, Arab. ssâchib el-kubûr, grave-companions. He is indeed one who is dying, from whom the grave is but a step distant, and still the friends promise him long life if he will only repent! This is the mockery which is with him, i.e., surrounds him, as he affirms, Job 17:1. A secondary verb, התל, is formed from the Hiph. התל (of which we had the non-syncopated form of the fut. in Job 13:9), the Piel of which occurs in 1 Kings 18:27 of Elijah's derision of the priests of Baal, and from this is formed the pluralet. התלים (or, according to another reading, התלּים, with the same doubling of the ל as in מהתלּות, deceitful things, Isaiah 30:10; comp. the same thing in Job 33:7, אראלּם, their lions of God equals heroes), which has the meaning foolery, - a meaning questioned by Hirz. without right, - in which the idea of deceit and mockery are united. Gecatilia and Ralbag take it as a part.: mockers; Stick., Wolfson, Hahn: deluded; but the analogy of שׁעשׁעים, תעלולים, and the like, speaks in favour of taking it as a substantive. אם־לא is affirmative (Ges. 155, 2, f). Ewald renders it as expressive of desire: if only not (Hlgst.: dummodo ne); but this signification (Ew. 329, b) cannot be supported. On the other hand, it might be intended interrogatively (as Job 30:25): annon illusiones mecum (Rosenm.); but this אם־לא, corresponding to the second member of a disjunctive question, has no right connection in the preceding. We therefore prefer the affirmative meaning, and explain it like Job 22:20; Job 31:36, comp. Job 2:5. Truly what he continually hears, i.e., from the side of the friends, is only false and delusive utterances, which consequently sound to him like jesting and mockery. The suff. in Job 17:2 refers to them. המּרות (with Dag. dirimens, which renders the sound of the word more pathetic, as Job 9:18; Joel 1:17, and in the Hiph. form כנּלתך, Isaiah 33:1), elsewhere generally (Joshua 1:18 only excepted) of rebellion against God, denotes here the contradictory, quarrelsome bearing of the friends, not the dispute in itself (comp. Arab. mry, III. to attack, VI. to contend with another), but coming forward controversially; only to this is תּלן עיני suitable. הלין must not be taken as equals הלּין here; Ewald's translation, "only let not mine eye come against their irritation," forces upon this verb, which always signifies to murmur, γογγύζειν, a meaning foreign to it, and one that does not well suit it here. The voluntative form תּלן equals תּלן (here not the pausal form, as Judges 19:20, comp. 2 Samuel 17:16) quite accords with the sense: mine eye shall linger on their janglings; it shall not look on anything that is cheering, but be held fast by this cheerless spectacle, which increases his bodily suffering and his inward pain. From these comforters, who are become his adversaries, Job turns in supplication to God.

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