Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he sees not; and he walks in the circuit of heaven.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Job 22:14. Thick clouds are a covering to him — He is surrounded, thou imaginest, with such thick clouds that they conceal us from his sight. And he walketh in the circuit of the heaven — His delight is in heaven, which is worthy of his care, but he will not burden himself with the care of earth; which was the opinion of many heathen philosophers, and, as his friends fancied, was Job’s opinion also.
And he walketh in the circuit of heaven - Upon the arch of heaven, as it seems to be bent over our heads. He walks above that cerulean, so high, that he cannot see what occurs on earth, and to punish mortals. This was not an uncommon sentiment among the ancients, though it is here, with the greatest injustice, attributed to Job. A similar sentiment is expressed by Lucretius, as quoted by Rosenmuller and Noyes:
Omnis enim per se Divum natura necesse est
Immortali aevo summa cum pace fruatur,
Semota a nostris rebus, sejunctaque longe.
Nam privata dolore omni, privata periclis,
Ipsa suis pollens opibus, nihil in liga nostri,
Nec bene promeritus capitur, nec tangitur ira.
Compare Isaiah 29:15.Job 34:21;
and he walketh in the circuit of heaven; within which he keeps himself, and never looks down upon the earth, or takes any notice of what is done there; quite contrary to Psalm 14:3; as if he only took his walks through the spacious orb of heaven, and delighted himself in viewing the celestial mansions, and the furniture of them, but had no regard to anything below them; whereas, though he walks in the circuit of heaven, he also sits upon the circle of the earth, Isaiah 41:22; Eliphaz seems here to ascribe the sentiments perhaps of the Zabians in former times to Job, and since adopted by some philosophers; that God only regards the heavenly bodies, and supports them in their beings, and regulates and directs their motions, and leaves all things below to be governed and influenced by them, as judging it unworthy of him to be concerned with things on earth. Indeed the earth and the inhabitants of it are unworthy of his notice and care, and of his providential visits, but he does humble himself to look upon things on earth as well as in heaven, Psalm 8:4; to make Job reason after this Epicurean manner was doing great injustice to his character, who most firmly believed both the being and providence of God, and that as extending to all things here below, see Job 12:13.Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not; and he walketh in the circuit of heaven.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. in the circuit of heaven] Rather, on the circle, i. e. the arch of heaven that overspans the earth, Isaiah 40:22.Verse 14. - Thick clouds are a covering to him, that he seeth not (see the comment on the preceding verse); and he walketh in the circuit of heaven; or, on the circumference of the heavens. The heavens are regarded as a solid vault, outside which is the place where God dwells. Job 20:19), or even by cunning and unfeeling practices, and is not deterred by any threat of a curse (Job 15:28): לו הארץ, he looked upon it as his, and his it must become; and since with his possessions his authority increased, he planted himself firmly in it, filled it out alone, like a stout fellow who takes the room of all others away. Umbr., Hahn, and others think Job's partiality for power and rank is described in Job 22:8; but both assertions read straightforward, without any intimation of co-operation. The address is here only suspended, in order to describe the man as he was and is. The all-absorbing love of self regulated his dealings. In possession of the highest power and highest rank, he was not easy of access. Widows and orphans, that they might not perish, were obliged to turn suppliantly to him. But the widows he chased away with empty hands, and the arms of the orphans were crushed. From the address a turn is also here taken to an objective utterance turned from the person addressed, intended however for him; the construction is like מצות יעכל, unleavened bread is eaten, Exodus 13:7, according to Ew. 295, b. The arms are not conceived of as stretched out for help (which would rather be ידי), nor as demanding back their perverted right, but the crushing of the arms, as Psalm 37:17; Ezekiel 30:22, and frequently implies a total destruction of every power, support, and help, after the analogy of the Arabic phrase compared by Ges. in his Thes. pp. 268b, 433b. The arm, זרוע (Arab. ḏirâ‛, oftener ‛aḍud or sâ‛id), signifies power, Job 40:9, Psalm 57:1-11 :16; force and violence, Job 22:8, Job 35:9; self-help, and help from without, Psalm 83:9 (comp. Psalm 44:4). Whatever the orphans possessed of goods, honour, and help still available, is not merely broken, it is beaten into fragments.
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