Job 22:15
Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden?
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(15) Hast thou marked the old way . . .?—Rather, Dost thou keep the old way which the wicked men trod? Dost thou hold their tenets?

Job 22:15-16. Hast thou marked the old way? — Hebrew, ארח עולם, orach gnolam, the way of antiquity, that is, of men living in ancient times, or former ages. And, by their way, he either means their course, and common practice, or their end and success. Which were cut down out of time — Before their time; who died a violent and untimely death. Whose foundation was overflown, &c. — Who, together with their foundation the earth, and all their supports and enjoyments, were destroyed by a flood of waters. As the universal deluge was a most signal and memorable instance of God’s displeasure against wickedness and wicked men, and was, doubtless, very well known in those days, Eliphaz takes occasion to enlarge upon it, for five or six verses together, as a proper lesson (so he thought it) for his friend; and then closes it with the mention of another destruction by fire, either past or to be expected, which is described to be as general and as fatal to the wicked.

22:15-20 Eliphaz would have Job mark the old way that wicked men have trodden, and see what the end of their way was. It is good for us to mark it, that we may not walk therein. But if others are consumed, and we are not, instead of blaming them, and lifting up ourselves, as Eliphaz does here, we ought to be thankful to God, and take it for a warning.Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden? - Hast thou seen what has happened in former times to wicked people? Job had maintained that God did not deal with people in this world according to their character. To meet this, Eliphaz now appeals to ancient facts, and especially refers to the deluge, when the wicked were cut off by a flood for their sins. Schultens, Dr. Good, Noyes, and Reiske, however, suppose that tbe word here rendered "mark," means to "pursue," or "imitate," and that the sense is," Are you willing to adopt the principles of those wicked people who lived in the time of the deluge?" But the sense is not materially affected. The general design is to refer Job to the case of the impious generation that was swept off by a flood. The judgments of God on them were a full refutation, in his view, of the sentiments of Job. 15. marked—Rather, Dost thou keep to? that is, wish to follow (so Hebrew, 2Sa 22:22). If so, beware of sharing their end.

the old way—the degenerate ways of the world before the flood (Ge 6:5).

Heb. the way of antiquity, i.e. of men living in ancient times, or former ages. By this way is here meant, either,

1. Their course or common practice; or,

2. Their end or success; as the

way is taken, 1 Samuel 9:6,8; and as death, which is, and is called, the end of all men, Ecclesiastes 7:2, is also called the way of all the earth, Joshua 23:14 1 Kings 2:2.

Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden? The evil way that wicked men have walked in ever since man apostatized from God, the way of Cain and his descendants, who were of the wicked one, and lived wicked lives and conversations; "the way of the old world", as Mr. Broughton renders the phrase here, the imagination of the thoughts of whose hearts was evil, and that continually; who filled the earth with rapine and violence, and all flesh corrupted their way with all manner of impurity and wickedness, and indulged themselves in the gratification of their sensual lusts and pleasures; and were, as the Apostle Peter calls them, "the world of the ungodly"; and here, "men of wickedness", or "iniquity" (y); such who gave themselves up to it, and were immersed in it; these trod the paths of sin, and made it a beaten road; they frequented this way, they walked continually in it; their life was a series and course of iniquity, in which they obstinately persisted, and proceeded from evil to evil, to more and more ungodliness. Now Job is asked if he had "marked" this their way and course of life; the evil of their way should have been marked, in order to avoid it; it being an old way should not recommend it; and the end of it, which was sudden ruin and destruction, should be marked to deter from it: but it is suggested that Job kept in this way, and observed it himself, and walked in it; for the words may be rendered, "truly thou keepest the old way", or "the way of the world" (z); trod in the steps of wicked men, was a close follower of them, and companied with them; like manner is Job charged by Elihu, Job 34:7; and this sense agrees with what goes before.

(y) "viri iniquitatis", Montanus, Mercerus; so Drusius, Michaelis. (z) "profecto viam seculi servas", Schultens.

Hast thou marked the old way {k} which wicked men have trodden?

(k) How God has punished them from the beginning?

15. It was under a similar feeling in regard to God that the great sinners before the Flood filled the earth with violence, and Eliphaz asks Job whether he will go the length of accepting the principles and following the conduct of such men? Compare the words of Elihu, ch. Job 34:8.

Hast thou marked the old way] Rather, wilt thou keep …? i. e. follow the path they walked in.

Verse 15. - Hast thou marked the old way which wicked men have trodden? rather, Wilt thou keep the old way etc.? (see the Revised Version). Eliphaz assumes that it is Job's intention to cast in his lot with these persons whose prosperous wickedness he has described in the preceding chapter (vers. 7-15). And this notwithstanding Job's final protest, "Be the counsel of the wicked far from me" (ver. 16). He calls the mode of life pursued by these wicked persons "the old way," either with allusion to the seed of Cain before the Flood, who "corrupted their way" (Genesis 6:12), or perhaps with reference to the descendants of Nimrod after it (see Professor Lee's 'Book of Job,' p. 361). Job 22:1515 Wilt thou observe the way of the ancient world,

Which evil men have trodden,

16 Who were withered up before their time,

Their foundation was poured out as a stream,

17 Who said unto God: Depart from us!

And what can the Almighty do to them?

18 And notwithstanding He had filled their houses with good-

The counsel of the wicked be far from me!

While in Psalm 139:24 דרך עולם prospectively signifies a way of eternal duration (comp. Ezekiel 26:20, עם עולם, of the people who sleep the interminably long sleep of the grave), ארח עולם signifies here retrospectively the way of the ancient world, but not, as in Jeremiah 6:16; Jeremiah 18:15, the way of thinking and acting of the pious forefathers which put their posterity to shame, but of a godless race of the ancient world which stands out as a terrible example to posterity. Eliphaz asks if Job will observe, i.e., keep (שׁמר as in Psalm 18:22), this way trodden by people (מתי, comp. אנשׁי, Job 34:36) of wickedness. Those worthless ones were withered up, i.e., forcibly seized and crushed, ולא־עת, when it was not yet time (ולא after the manner of a circumstantial clause: quum nondum, as Psalm 139:16), i.e., when according to God's creative order their time was not yet come. On קמּטוּ,

(Note: This קמטו, according to the Masora, is the middle word of the book of Job (חצי הספר).)

vid., on Job 16:8; lxx correctly, συνελήφθησαν ἄωροι, nevertheless συλλαμβάνειν is too feeble as a translation of קמט; for as Arab. qbṣ signifies to take with the tip of the finer, whereas Arab. qbḍ signifies to take with the whole bent hand, so קמט, in conformity to the dull, emphatic final consonant, signifies "to bind firmly together." In Job 22:16 יוּצק is not perf. Pual for יצּק (Ew. 83, b), for this exchange, contrary to the law of vowels, of the sharp form with the lengthened form is without example; it must at least have been written יוּצּק (comp. Judges 18:29). It is fut. Hoph., which, according to Job 11:15, might be יצּק; here, however, it is with a resolving, not assimilation, of the Jod, as in Leviticus 21:10. The fut. has the signification of the imperfect which it acquires in an historic connection. It is not to be translated: their place became a stream which has flowed away (Hirz.), for the היה which would be required by such an interpretation could not be omitted; also not: flumen effusum est in fundamentum eorum (Rosenm., Hahn, and others), which would be ליסודם, and would still be very liable to be misunderstood; also not: whose foundation was a poured-out stream (Umbr., Olsh.), for then there would be one attributive clause inserted in the other; but: their solid ground became fluid like a stream (Ew., Hlgst., Schlottm.), so that נהר, after the analogy of the verbs with two accusative, Ges. 139, 2, is a so-called second acc. of the obj. which by the passive becomes a nominative (comp. Job 28:2), although it might also be an apposition of the following subj. placed first: a stream (as such, like such a one) their solid ground was brought into a river; the ground on which they and their habitations stood was placed under water and floated away: without doubt the flood is intended; reference to this perfectly accords with the patriarchal pre-and extra-Israelitish standpoint of the book of Job; and the generation of the time of the flood (דור המבול) is accounted in the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament as a paragon of godlessness, the contemporaries of Noah are the απειθοῦντες, סוררים, κατ ̓ ἐξοχήν (comp. 1 Peter 3:20 with Psalm 68:19).

Accordingly they are now here also further described (Job 22:17) as those who said to God, "Depart from us," and what could the Almighty do to them (למו instead of לנוּ, which was to be expected, since, as in Job 19:28, there is a change from the oratio directa to obliqua)! Olshausen explains with Hahn: "with respect to what thou sayest: and what then does the Almighty do to them (for it)? He fills their houses with prosperity, while the counsel of the wicked is far from me (notwithstanding I am unfortunate)." But this explanation is as forced (since ומה without a אמרת or תאמר standing with it is taken as the word of Job) as it is contrary to the syntax (since the circumstantial clause with והוא is not recognised, and on the other hand ועצת וגו, instead of which it ought at least to have been וּממּנּי וגו, is regarded as such an one). No indeed, just this is an exceedingly powerful effect, that Eliphaz describes those godless ones who dismiss God with סור ממנו, to whom, according to Job's assertion, Job 21:13., undimmed prosperity is portioned out, by referring to a memorable fact as that which has fallen under the strict judgment of God; and that with the very same words with which Job, Job 21:16, declines communion with such prosperous evil-doers: "the counsel of the wicked be far from me," he will have nothing more to do, not with the wicked alone, but, with a side glance at Job, even with those who place themselves on a level with them by a denial of the just government of God in the world. פּעל ל, as the following circumstantial clause shows, is intended like Psalm 68:29, comp. Job 31:20; Isaiah 26:12 : how can the Almighty then help or profit them? Thus they asked, while He had filled their houses with wealth - Eliphaz will have nothing to do with this contemptible misconstruction of the God who proves himself so kind to those who dwell below on the earth, but who, though He is rewarded with ingratitude, is so just. The truly godly are not terrified like Job 17:8, that retributive justice is not to be found in God's government of the world; on the contrary, they rejoice over its actual manifestation in their own case, which makes them free, and therefore so joyous.

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