Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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).
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?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. 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.
2 Hear, oh hear, my speech,
And let this be instead of your consolations.
3 Suffer me, and I will speak,
And after I have spoken thou mayest mock.
4 As for me, then, doth my complaint concern man,
Or wherefore should I not become impatient?
5 Turn ye to me and be astonished,
And lay your hand upon your mouth.
6 Even if I think of it I am bewildered,
And my flesh taketh hold on trembling - :
The friends, far from being able to solve the enigma of Job's affliction, do not once recognise the mystery as such. They cut the knot by wounding Job most deeply by ever more and more frivolous accusations. Therefore he entreats them to be at least willing to listen (שׁמעוּ with the gerund) to his utterance (מלּה) respecting the unsolved enigma; then (Waw apodosis imper.) shall this attention supply the place of their consolations, i.e., be comforting to him, which their previous supposed consolations could not be. They are to bear with him, i.e., without interruption allow him to answer for himself (שׂאוּני with Kametz before the tone, as Jonah 1:12, comp. קחהוּ, 1 Kings 20:33, not as Hirz. thinks under the influence of the distinctive accent, but according to the established rule, Ges. 60, rem. 1); then he will speak (אנכי contrast to the "ye" in שׂאוני without further force), and after he has expressed himself they may mock. It is, however, not תלעיגוּ (as Olshausen corrects), but תלעיג (in a voluntative signific. equals תלעג), since Job here addresses himself specially to Zophar, the whole of whose last speech must have left the impression on him of a bitter sarcasm (sarkasmo's from sarka'zein in the sense of Job 19:22), and has dealt him the freshest deep blow. In Job 21:4 שׂיחת is not to be understood otherwise than as in Job 7:13; Job 9:27; Job 10:1; Job 23:2, and is to be translated "my complaint." Then the prominently placed אנכי is to be taken, after Ezekiel 33:17, Ges. 121, 3, as an emphatic strengthening of the "my": he places his complaint in contrast with another. This emphasizing is not easily understood, if one, with Hupf., explains: nonne hominis est querela mea, so that ה is equivalent to הלא (which here in the double question is doubly doubtful), and ל is the sign of the cause. Schultens and Berg, who translate לאדם more humano, explain similarly, by again bringing their suspicious ל comparativum
(Note: In the passage from Ibn-Kissa quoted above, p. 421, Schultens, as Fleischer assures me, has erroneously read Arab. lmchâlı̂b instead of kmchâlı̂b, having been misled by the frequent failing of the upper stroke of the Arab. k, and in general Arab. l is never equals k, and also ל never equals כ, as has been imagined since Schultens.)
here to bear upon it. The ל by שׂיחי (if it may not also be compared with Job 12:8) may certainly be expected to denote those to whom the complaint is addressed. We translate: As for me, then, does my complaint concern men? The אנכי which is placed at the beginning of the sentence comes no less under the rule, Ges. 145, 2, than 121, 3. In general, sufferers seek to obtain alleviation of their sufferings by imploring by words and groans the pity of sympathizing men; the complaint, however, which the three hear from him is of a different kind, for he has long since given up the hope of human sympathy, - his complaint concerns not men, but God (comp. Job 16:20).
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