Job 21:8
Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Their seed is established in their sight.—Not only are they mighty in power themselves, but they leave their power to their children after them (comp. Psalm 17:14). This contradicts what Eliphaz had said (Job 15:34), what Bildad had said (Job 18:19), and what Zophar had said (Job 20:10).

21:7-16 Job says, Remarkable judgments are sometimes brought upon notorious sinners, but not always. Wherefore is it so? This is the day of God's patience; and, in some way or other, he makes use of the prosperity of the wicked to serve his own counsels, while it ripens them for ruin; but the chief reason is, because he will make it appear there is another world. These prospering sinners make light of God and religion, as if because they have so much of this world, they had no need to look after another. But religion is not a vain thing. If it be so to us, we may thank ourselves for resting on the outside of it. Job shows their folly.Their seed - Their children - their posterity.

Is established in their sight - Around them, where they may often see them - where they may enjoy their society. The friends of Job had maintained, with great positiveness and earnestness, that the children of wicked people would be cut off. See Job 18:19; Job 20:28. This position Job now directly controverts, and says that it is a fact, that so far from being cut off, they are often established in the very presence of their ungodly parents, and live and prosper. How, he asks, is this consistent with the position, that God deals with people in this life according to their character?

8. In opposition to Job 18:19; 5:4. Their seed; either,

1. The fruits of their ground; or rather,

2. Their children; as it is explained in the next branch of the verse, the words both here and there used being commonly so understood.

Their seed is established, i.e. they multiply and prosper greatly. In their sight; which is a great addition to their happiness.

Their seed is established in their sight with them,.... Which is to be understood not of seed sown in the earth, and of the permanence and increase of that, but of their children; to have a numerous progeny, was reckoned a great temporal blessing, and to have them settled happily and comfortably in the world was an additional one; and what contributed still more to their felicity was, that they were well settled during their life, or they yet living, and with their eyes beholding their prosperous and stable condition; and also "with them"; near them, in the same neighbourhood, or at no great distance from them; or even in like circumstances with them, equally as well settled and as prosperous as themselves, as this phrase is sometimes used, see Psalm 106:6;

and their offspring before their eyes; their children's children, as the Targum, and so the Vulgate Latin version; so that prosperity attends not only wicked men and their children, but also their grandchildren, and they live to see these grown up and settled in the world, and in thriving circumstances; all which must give them pleasure, and be matter of honour and glory to them, Proverbs 17:6. Now this is diametrically opposite to Zophar's notion of the short continuance of the prosperity of wicked men, and of the low and miserable condition of their children, Job 20:5.

Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. They have the additional felicity of seeing their children grow up beside them—a pathetic touch from the hand of the man whose sons had been taken from him.

Verse 8. - Their seed is established in their sight with them (comp. Psalm 17:14; and see below, Job 27:14). It could scarcely be doubted that the wicked had as many children as the righteous, and often established them in posts of honour and emolument. And their offspring before their eyes. A pleonastic repetition. Job 21:8 7 Wherefore do the wicked live,

Become old, yea, become mighty in power?

8 Their posterity is established before them about them,

And their offspring before their eyes.

9 Their houses have peace without fear,

And the rod of Eloah cometh not upon them.

10 His (the evil-doer's) bull gendereth and faileth not;

His cow calveth easily, and casteth not her calf.

11 They let their little ones run about as a flock,

And their children jump about.

The question in Job 21:7 is the same as that which Jeremiah also puts forth, Job 12:1-3. It is the antithesis of Zophar's thesis, Job 20:5, and seeks the reason of the fact established by experience which had also well-nigh proved the ruin of Asaph (Psalm 73:comp. Malachi 3:13-15), viz., that the ungodly, far from being overtaken by the punishment of their godlessness, continued in the enjoyment of life, that they attain to old age, and also a proportionately increasing power and wealth. The verb עתק, which in Job 14:18; Job 18:4 (comp. the Hiph. Job 9:5; Job 32:15), we read in the signification promoveri, has here, like the Arabic ‛ataqa, ‛atuqa, the signification to become old, aetate provehi; and גּבר חיל, to become strong in property, is a synonym of השׂגּה חיל, to acquire constantly increasing possessions, used in a similar connection in Psalm 73:12. The first feature in the picture of the prosperity of the wicked, which the pang of being bereft of his own children brings home to Job, is that they are spared the same kind of loss: their posterity is established (נכון, constitutus, elsewhere standing in readiness, Job 12:5; Job 15:23; Job 18:12, here standing firm, as e.g., Psalm 93:2) in their sight about them (so that they have to mourn neither their loss by death nor by separation from their home), and their offspring (צאצאים, a word common only to the undisputed as well as to the disputed prophecies of Isaiah and the book of Job) before their eyes; נכון must be carried over to Job 21:8 as predicate: they are, without any loss, before their eyes. The description passes over from the children, the corner-stones of the house (vid., Ges. Thes., s.v. בנה), to the houses themselves. It is just as questionable here as in Job 5:24; Isaiah 41:3, and elsewhere, whether שׁלום is a subst. ( equals בשׁלום) or an adj.; the substantival rendering is at least equally admissible in such an elevated poetic speech, and the plur. subject בּתּיהם, which, if the predicate were intended to be taken as an adj., leads one to expect שׁלומים, decides in its favour. On מפּחד, without (far from) terrifying misfortune, as Isaiah 22:3, מקשׁת, without a bow, vid., on Job 19:26. That which is expressed in Job 21:9, according to external appearance, is in Job 21:9 referred to the final cause; Eloah's שׁבט, rod, with which He smites in punishment (Job 9:34; Job 37:13, comp. Isaiah 10:24-26, where שׁוט, scourge, interchanges with it), is not over them, i.e., threatens and smites them not.

Job 21:10 comes specially to the state of the cattle, after the state of the household in general has been treated of. Since שׁורו and פּרתו are interchangeable, and are construed according to their genus, the former undoubtedly is intended of the male, not also epikoi'noos of the female (lxx ἡ βοῦς, Jerome, Saadia), as Rosenm., after Bochart, believes it must be taken, because `br is never said de mare feminam ineunte, but always de femina quae concipit. In reality, however, it is with עבר otherwise than with עדה, whose Pael and Aphel certainly signify concipere (prop. transmittere sc. semen in a passive sense). On the other hand, עבר, even in Kal, signifies to be impregnated (whence עובר, the embryo, and the biblical אבוּר, like the extra-biblical עבּוּר, the produce of the land), the Pael consequently to impregnate, whence מעבּרא (from the part. pass. מעבּר) impregnated (pregnant), the Ithpa. to be impregnated, as Rabb. Pual מעבּרת, impregnated (by which עברת also signifies pregnant, which would be hardly possible if עבר in this sexual sense were not radically distinct from עבר, περ-ᾶν). Accordingly the Targ. translates עבּר by מבטין (impraegnans), and Gecatilia translates שׁורו by Arab. fḥlhm (admissarius eorum), after which nearly all Jewish expositors explain. This explanation also suits לא יגעל, which lxx translates οὐκ οὀμοτόκησε (Jer. non abortivit), Symm. in a like sense οὐκ ἐξέτρωσε, Aq. οὐκ εξέβαλε, Saad. la julziq. The reference of שׁורו to the female animal everywhere assumed is incorrect; on the contrary, the bullock kept for breeding is the subject; but proceeding from this, that which is affirmed is certainly referred to the female animal. For גּעל signifies to cast out, cast away; the Hiph. therefore: to cause to cast out; Rabb. in the specified signification: so to heat what has sucked in that which is unclean, that it gives it back or lets it go (לפלוט הבלוע). Accordingly Raschi explains: "he injects not useless seed into her, which might come back and be again separated (נפלט) from her inward part, without impregnation taking place." What therefore עבּר says positively, ולא יגעיל says negatively: neque efficit ut ejiciat.

(Note: The Aruch under גּעל, quotes a passage of the Tosefta: מוזרות נפשׁ היפה תאכלם גיעולי ביצים מותרים באכילה, the cast away (Wrflinge) eggs (i.e., such as have fallen away from the hen from a stroke on the tail of some other cause, and which are not completely formed) are allowed as food; he may eat them who does not loathe them.)

It is then further, in Job 21:9, said of the female animal which has been impregnated that she does not allow it to glide away, i.e., the fruit, therefore that she brings forth (פּלּט as מלּט, המליט), and that she does not cause or suffer any untimely birth.

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