Job 19:29
Be you afraid of the sword: for wrath brings the punishments of the sword, that you may know there is a judgment.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(29) Be ye afraid . . .—Job threatens his friends with that condign punishment of which they regarded him as a conspicuous example.

Job 19:29. Be ye afraid of the sword — Of some considerable judgment to be inflicted on you, which is called the sword; as Deuteronomy 32:41, and elsewhere. That is, if ye continue to persecute me. So Houbigant understands him, interpreting these words in connection with the preceding, thus: But if ye shall say, Let us persecute him, and devise some cause of accusation against him: then be afraid for yourselves from the threatening sword. Job may be considered, however, as threatening them with punishment on account of their past uncharitable and unrighteous judgment of him, and severe treatment of him. For wrath bringeth the punishment of the sword — That wrath, or fury, which is in your hearts, and breaks forth from your lips against me, deserves and will certainly bring upon you the punishment of the sword, that is, a dreadful judgment from God. The Hebrew word here rendered punishment, עונות, gnavonoth, properly means iniquities, but is sometimes used, by a metonymy, for the punishment of iniquities, which our translators judged was its meaning here. The sense, however, is good, if the word be rendered literally, thus: Wrath (the sin of wrath, or anger against man, especially against one in affliction) bringeth, or implies, iniquities of the sword, that is, iniquities fit to be punished by the sword, or by some eminent judgment. Thus, Job 31:19, An iniquity of the judges, means an iniquity to be punished by the judges, as our translation has it. That ye may know there is a judgment — I give you this admonition, that you may know in time, and may seriously consider it for your good, that there will be a time of judgment, when God will call men to an account for all their hard speeches and miscarriages, and particularly for their rash and uncharitable censures of their brethren, Matthew 7:1; Romans 14:4; James 4:11; either in this life, or at that last and dreadful day of the general resurrection and judgment, of which I have just spoken. God sees and observes, and will judge all your words and actions, and therefore do not flatter yourselves with vain hopes of impunity. 19:23-29 The Spirit of God, at this time, seems to have powerfully wrought on the mind of Job. Here he witnessed a good confession; declared the soundness of his faith, and the assurance of his hope. Here is much of Christ and heaven; and he that said such things are these, declared plainly that he sought the better country, that is, the heavenly. Job was taught of God to believe in a living Redeemer; to look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come; he comforted himself with the expectation of these. Job was assured, that this Redeemer of sinners from the yoke of Satan and the condemnation of sin, was his Redeemer, and expected salvation through him; and that he was a living Redeemer, though not yet come in the flesh; and that at the last day he would appear as the Judge of the world, to raise the dead, and complete the redemption of his people. With what pleasure holy Job enlarges upon this! May these faithful sayings be engraved by the Holy Spirit upon our hearts. We are all concerned to see that the root of the matter be in us. A living, quickening, commanding principle of grace in the heart, is the root of the matter; as necessary to our religion as the root of the tree, to which it owes both its fixedness and its fruitfulness. Job and his friends differed concerning the methods of Providence, but they agreed in the root of the matter, the belief of another world.Be ye afraid of the sword - Of the sword of justice, of the wrath of God. In taking such views, and using such language, you ought to dread the vengeance of God, for he will punish the guilty.

For wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword - The word "bringeth" is supplied by the translators, and as it seems to me improperly. The idea is, that wrath or anger such as they had manifested, was proper for punishment; that such malice as they had shown was a crime that God would not suffer to escape unpunished. They had, therefore, everything to dread. Literally, it is, "for wrath the iniquities of the sword;" that is, wrath is a crime for the sword.

That ye may know that there is a judgment - That there is justice; that God punishes injuries done to the character, and that he will come forth to vindicate his friends. Probably Job anticipated that when God should come forth to vindicate "him," he would inflict exemplary punishment on "them;" and that this would be not only by words, but by some heavy judgment, such as he had himself experienced. The vindication of the just is commonly attended with the punishment of the unjust; the salvation of the friends of God is connected with the destruction of his foes. Job seems to have anticipated this in the case of himself and his friends; it will certainly occur in the great day when the affairs of this world shall be wound up in the decisions of the final judgment. See Matthew 25.

29. wrath—the passionate violence with which the friends persecuted Job.

bringeth, &c.—literally, "is sin of the of the sword"

that ye may know—Supply, "I say this."

judgment—inseparably connected with the coming of the Vindicator. The "wrath" of God at His appearing for the temporal vindication of Job against the friends (Job 42:7) is a pledge of the eternal wrath at the final coming to glorify the saints and judge their enemies (2Th 1:6-10; Isa 25:8).

Of the sword, i.e. of some considerable judgment to be inflicted on you, which is called the sword; as Deu 32:41, and oft elsewhere. Do not please yourselves with such pretences and crafty evasions, as if the blame were wholly in me, not in you: God will not be mocked by you; he sees and will punish your most unrighteous and uncharitable judgment of me, and dealing with me.

Wrath bringeth the punishment of the sword: for that wrath or fury which is in your hearts, and breaks out of your lips against me, doth deserve, and will certainly bring upon you, the punishment (Heb. punishments or iniquities; but iniquity is oft put for punishment)

of the sword, i.e. a dreadful judgment from God. Or without any supplement, except that which is generally understood,

for wrath (that sin of wrath or rage against a man, especially against one in affliction) is an iniquity (Heb. iniquities, the plural number being used by way of aggravation; as Psalm 73:22, and elsewhere: or, of the iniquities; the Hebrew prefix mem being here understood, as it is in many other places)

of the sword, i.e. one of those iniquities which use to be, or are fit to be, punished by the Sword, i.e. by some eminent judgment; as Job 31:11, an iniquity of the judges, is an iniquity to be punished by the judges, as our translation hath it. That ye may know: the sense is either,

1. This admonition I now give you, that you may know it in time, and for your good, that you may seriously consider and prevent it. Or,

2. This judgment will come upon you, that you may be taught by your own sad and costly experience what you would not learn without it. That there is a judgment, i.e. that there will be a time of judgment, when God will call men to an account for all their hard speeches and miscarriages, and particularly for their rash and uncharitable censures of their brethren, Matthew 7:1 Romans 14:4 Jam 4:11, either in this life, or at that last and dreadful day of the general resurrection (of which he spoke Job 19:25, &c.) and judgment. God sees, and observes, and will judge all your words and actions, and therefore do not flatter yourselves with vain hopes of impunity. Be ye afraid of the sword,.... Not of the civil magistrate, nor of a foreign enemy, but of the avenging sword of divine justice; lest God should whet the glittering sword of his justice, and his hand should take hold of judgment, in order to avenge the wrongs of the innocent; unless the other should also be considered as his instruments:

for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, or "sins of the sword" (l): the sense is, either that the wrath of men, in persecuting the people of God, puts them upon the commission of such sins as deserve to be punished with the sword, either of the civil magistrate, or of a foreign enemy, or of divine justice; or else the wrath of God brings on more punishments for their sins by means of the sword; and to this sense is the Targum,

"when God is angry for iniquities, he sends those that slay with the sword:''

that ye may know there is a judgment; that is executed in the world by the Judge of all the earth, who will do right; and that there is a future judgment after death, unto which everything in this world will be brought, when God will judge the world in righteousness by Christ, whom he has ordained to be Judge of quick and dead; and which will be a righteous judgment, that none can escape; and when, Job suggests, the controversy between him and his friends would be determined; and it would be then seen who was in the right, and who in the wrong; and unto which time he seems willing to refer his cause, and to have no more said about it; but his friends did not choose to take his advice; for Zophar the Naamathite starts up directly; and makes a reply, which is contained in the following chapter.

(l) "iniquitates gladii", Montanus, Schmidt, Michaelis; so Cocceius, Schultens.

Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the {t} punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.

(t) God will be avenged of this harsh judgment by which you condemned me.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
29. for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword] This translation seems to assume that “wrath” here is that of men, such wrath as Job’s friends shewed towards him. But the word is too strong to be taken in this sense. The Divine “wrath” or fury is meant. The phrase “punishments of the sword” means most naturally, the punishments inflicted by the sword. The whole expression would thus mean, for wrath (i. e. in wrath, or, wrathful) are the punishments of the sword—the “sword” being as before God’s judicial sword. Others render, “transgressions of the sword,” i. e. such transgressions as bring down the Divine sword; but the phrase “transgressions of the sword are wrath,” i. e. have to bear wrath as their reward or chastisement, (Delitzsch) is exceedingly cumbrous.

that … there is a judgment] The reference is not to any final or general judgment, but to the fact that God does in truth judge and punish injustice, such as the friends were guilty of; cf. Job 13:10 seq. The translation assumes a form of the relative conjunction that which nowhere else occurs in the Book of Job, and there may be some fault in the text. Ewald and others by a slight change of spelling obtain the meaning, that ye may know the Almighty.Verse 29. - Be ye afraid of the sword; i.e. "the sword of God's justice, which will assuredly smite you if you persecute an innocent man." For wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword; rather, for wrath is among the transgressions of the sward; i e. among the transgressions for which the sword is the fit punishment. It is "wrath" which leads Job's "comforters" to Persecute him. That ye may know there is a judgment; or, so that ye will know there is a judgment When the blow comes upon them they will recognize that it has come upon them on account of their ill treatment of their friend.



21 Have pity upon me, have pity upon me,

O ye my friends, For the hand of Eloah hath touched me.

22 Wherefore do ye persecute me as God,

And are never satisfied with my flesh?

23 Oh that my words were but written,

That they were recorded in a book,

24 With an iron pen, filled in with lead,

Graven in the rock for ever!

25 And I:know: my Redeemer liveth,

And as the last One will He arise from the dust.

In Job 19:21 Job takes up a strain we have not heard previously. His natural strength becomes more and more feeble, and his voice weaker and weaker. It is a feeling of sadness that prevails in the preceding description of suffering, and now even stamps the address to the friends with a tone of importunate entreaty which shall, if possible, affect their heart. They are indeed his friends, as the emphatic רעי אתּם affirms; impelled towards him by sympathy they are come, and at least stand by him while all other men flee from him. They are therefore to grant him favour (חנן, prop. to incline to) in the place of right; it is enough that the hand of Eloah has touched him (in connection with this, one is reminded that leprosy is called נגע, and is pre-eminently accounted as plaga divina; wherefore the suffering Messiah also bears the significant name חוּרא דבי רבּי, "the leprous one from the school of Rabbi," in the Talmud, after Isaiah 53:4, Isaiah 53:8), they are not to make the divine decree heavier to him by their uncharitableness. Wherefore do ye persecute me - he asks them in Job 19:22 - like as God (כּמו־אל, according to Saad. and Ralbag equals כמו־אלּה, which would be very tame); by which he means not merely that they add their persecution to God's, but that they take upon themselves God's work, that they usurp to themselves a judicial divine authority, they act towards him as if they were superhuman (vid., Isaiah 31:3), and therefore inhumanly, since they, who are but his equals, look down upon him from an assumed and false elevation. The other half of the question: wherefore are ye not full of my flesh (de ma chair, with מן, as Job 31:31), but still continue to devour it? is founded upon a common Semitic figurative expression, with which may be compared our Germ. expression, "to gnaw with the tooth of slander" comp. Engl. "backbiting". In Chaldee, אכל קרצוהי די, to eat the pieces of (any one), is equivalent to, to slander him; in Syriac, ochelqarsso is the name of Satan, like διάβολος. The Arabic here, as almost everywhere in the book of Job, presents a still closer parallel; for Arab. 'kl lḥm signifies to eat any one's flesh, then (different from אכל בשׂר, Psalm 27:2) equivalent to, to slander,

(Note: Vid., Schultens' ad Prov. Meidanii, p. 7 (where "to eat his own flesh," equivalent to "himself," without allowing others to do it, signifies to censure his kinsmen), and comp. the phrase Arab. aclu-l-a‛râdhi in the signification arrodere existimationem hominum in Makkari, i. 541, 13.)

since an evil report is conceived of as a wild beast, which delights in tearing a neighbour to pieces, as the friends do not refrain from doing, since, from the love of their assumption that his suffering must be the retributive punishment of heinous sins, they lay sins to his charge of which he is not conscious, and which he never committed. Against these uncharitable and groundless accusations he wishes (Job 19:23) that the testimony of his innocence, to which they will not listen, might be recorded in a book for posterity, or because a book may easily perish, graven in a rock (therefore not on leaden plates) with an iron style, and the addition of lead, with which to fill up the engraved letters, and render them still more imperishable. In connection with the remarkable fidelity with which the poet throws himself back into the pre-Israelitish patriarchal time of his hero, it is of no small importance that he ascribes to him an acquaintance not only with monumental writing, but also with book and documentary writing (comp. Job 31:35).

The fut., which also elsewhere (Job 6:8; Job 13:5; Job 14:13, once the praet., Job 23:3, noverim) follows מי־יתּן, quis dabat equals utinam, has Waw consec. here (as Deuteronomy 5:26 the praet.); the arrangement of the words is extremely elegant, בּסּפר stands per hyperbaton emphatically prominent. כּתב and חקק (whence fut. Hoph. יחקוּ with Dag. implicitum in the ח, comp. Job 4:20, and the Dag. of the ק omitted, for יוּחקּוּ, according to Ges. 67, rem. 8) interchange also elsewhere, Isaiah 30:8. ספר, according to its etymon, is a book formed of the skin of an animal, as Arab. sufre, the leathern table-mat spread on the ground instead of a table. It is as unnecessary to read לעד (comp. Job 16:8, lxx, εἰς μαρτύριον) instead of לעד here, as in Isaiah 30:8. He wishes that his own declaration, in opposition to his accusers, may be inscribed as on a monument, that it may be immortalized,

continued...

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