Job 22:16
Which were cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflowed with a flood:
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(16) Which were cut down out of time.—Or, which were snatched away before their time. It is generally supposed that there is an allusion here to the history of the Flood; if so, the reference is of course very important in its bearing on the age of that record, since the Book of Job can hardly fail to be very old itself.

Whose foundation was overflown with a flood.—Or, upon whose foundation a stream was poured out; or, whose foundation became as a flowing stream; or, whose foundation is like a flowing stream: that is, their principles are infectious, and bear all before them.

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.Which were cut down - Who were suddenly destroyed by a flood. On the word used here (קמט qâmaṭ) see the notes at Job 16:8. It occurs only in that place and this. Its primary notion is that of drawing together or contracting - as the feet of a lamb or calf are drawn together and tied preparatory to being killed; and the meaning here is, probably, "who were huddled together by the waters," or who were driven in heaps by the deluge, so rapidly and suddenly did it come upon them.

Out of time - Hebrew "And there was no time;" that is, it was done in a moment, or suddenly. No time was given them; no delay was granted. The floods rushed over them, and nothing could stay them.

Whose foundation was overflown - Margin, or, "a flood was poured upon their foundation." That is, all on which they relied was swept away. The word "foundation" refers to that on which their happiness and security rested, as a house rests on its foundation, and when that is swept away the house falls.

With a flood - Hebrew (נהר nâhâr) "river." The word is commonly applied to a river; and in the Scriptures, by way of eminence, to the Euphrates; see Isaiah 7:20, note; Isaiah 8:7, note. It may be used, however, to denote a river which is swollen, and then a flood - and it is several times rendered "flood" in the Scriptures; Job 14:11; Jonah 2:3 (where it means the sea); Joshua 24:2-3, Joshua 24:14-15; Psalm 66:6; Job 28:11; Psalm 24:2; Psalm 93:3; Sol 8:7. Prof. Lee supposes that the allusion here is to some overflowing of the Euphrates, but the reference seems to be decidedly to the deluge in the time of Noah. The "language" is such as would be used in referring to that, and the fact is just such an one as would be pertinent to the argument of Eliphaz. The fact was undoubtedly well known to all, so that a bare allusion to it would be enough.

16. cut down—rather, "fettered," as in Job 16:8; that is, arrested by death.

out of time—prematurely, suddenly (Job 15:32; Ec 7:17); literally, "whose foundation was poured out (so as to become) a stream or flood." The solid earth passed from beneath their feet into a flood (Ge 7:11).

Out of time, i.e. before their time; who died a violent and untimely death.

Whose foundation was overflown with a flood; who, together with their foundation, to wit, the earth, and all their supports and enjoyments in it, were destroyed by the general deluge; which doubtless was very well known to them, because they lived not long after it; and which was most proper for this argument. Or,

whose foundation, i.e. all their power, and riches, and policy, upon which they build all their hopes and happiness, was like a flood poured forth; which made a great show and noise for a time, but speedily vanished and came to nothing. Which were cut down out of time,.... Sent out of time into eternity, time being no more with men, and they no longer in time, when death seizes upon them; or "before time" (a), before the common term of life, which, according to the course of nature, and human probability, they might have arrived unto: as this is spoken of the men of the old world that lived before the flood, when the lives of men were very long, it is highly probable there, were many that were destroyed by the general deluge, who, had it not for that, might have lived many hundreds of years, according to the usual course: or "without time" (b), without any delay suddenly, at once, at an unawares; for, though they had notice of the flood, they did not regard it, but lived careless and secure; and it came upon them without any further warning, and swept them away, when they were "cut down", as trees by the axe laid to the root of them, to which wicked, men in great power and flourishing circumstances are sometimes compared, Psalm 37:35; or like grass by the scythe, which it is not able to resist, and to which all men are like for their numbers and weaknesses, and who are cut down by death as easily as the grass is by the mower, see Psalm 37:1. Some render it "wrinkled" (c), as in Job 16:8; as bodies when dead are, and especially such as are drowned, and have been long floating in the water, as those that perished by the flood were, for to such the words have respect, as appears by what follows:

whose foundation was overflown with a flood; either of water, or of fire and brimstone, as Jarchi observes; the former is most likely to be meant; for by the flood, or universal deluge, all that was thought firm and permanent, and might be called a foundation, was overflown and carried away, as houses, goods, furniture, wealth, and riches, and everything that men had a dependence upon for the support and comfort of life; yea, the earth itself, on which they dwelt, and was reckoned "terra firma", this being founded upon, and over the waters; or, as the Apostle Peter describes it, "it standing out of the water and in the water", 2 Peter 3:5; or "their foundation was a flood poured out" (d); what they thought were solid, and firm, and durable, and built their hopes of happiness upon, were like a flood of water, poured, dissipated, and scattered, and which disappeared and came to nothing: and such is every foundation that a man builds his hope, especially of eternal happiness, upon, short of Christ, the only sure foundation laid in Zion, his person, grace, blood, and righteousness; everything else, let it seem ever so firm, is as sand, yea, as water, as a flood of water that spreads itself, and quickly comes to nothing.

(a) "ante tempus suum", V. L. Mercerus; "ante tempus", Cocceius, Schultens. (b) "Sine mora", Cocceius; "in momento", Codurcus. (c) "corrugati sunt", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Bolducius, Cocceius. (d) "fundamentum eorum ut flumen diffluxit", Tigurine version; "fluvius effusus fundamentum eorum", Codurcus, Beza; to the same sense Drusius, Mercerus, Cocceius, Schultens.

Which were {l} cut down out of time, whose foundation was overflown with a flood:

(l) He proves God's providence by the punishment of the wicked, whom he takes away before they can bring their wicked purposes to pass.

16. out of time] i. e. before their time, prematurely, by the judgment of God for their sin. Comp. Job 15:32.

whose foundation was overthrown] lit. whose foundation was poured away and became a flood—that on which they stood became a flood in which they sank. The reference is probably to the Deluge, though others, e.g. Ewald, think of the Cities of the Plain.Verse 16. - Which were cut down (rather, swept or snatched away) out of time; i.e. before their time, prematurely. Whose foundation was overflown with a flood. Some suppose an allusion to the general destruction of mankind by the Noachian Deluge; but perhaps no more is meant than that the supports of the wicked are ordinarily loosened and carried away by a flood of calamity. No single event need be referred to. 10 Therefore snares are round about thee,

And fear terrifieth thee suddenly;

11 Or percievest thou not the darkness,

And the overflow of waters, which covereth thee?

On account of this inhuman mode of action by which he has challenged the punishment of justice, snares are round about him (comp. Bildad's picture of this fate of the evil-doer, Job 18:8-10), destruction encompasses him on every side, so that he sees no way out, and must without any escape succumb to it. And the approaching ruin makes itself known to him time after time by terrors which come suddenly upon him and disconcert him; so that his outward circumstances being deranged and his mind discomposed, he has already in anticipation to taste that which is before him. In Job 22:11, לא תראה is by no means to be taken as an eventual circumstantial clause, whether it is translated affirmatively: or darkness (covers thee), that thou canst not see; or interrogatively: or does darkness (surround thee), that thou seest not? In both cases the verb in the principal clause is wanting; apart from the new turn, which או introduces, being none, it would then have to be explained with Lwenthal: or has the habit of sinning already so dulled thy feeling and darkened thine eye, that thou canst not perceive the enormity of thy transgression? But this is a meaning forced from the words which they are not capable of; it must have been at least או חשׁך בּעדך, or something similar. Since או חשׁך (to be accented without Makkeph with Mnach, Dech) cannot form a principal clause of itself, תראה is without doubt the verb belonging to it: or (או as Job 16:3) seest thou not darkness? Because, according to his preceding speeches, Job does not question the magnitude of his sufferings, but acknowledges them in all their fearfulness; therefore Hahn believes it must be explained: or shouldst thou really not be willing to see thy sins, which encompass thee as thick dark clouds, which cover thee as floods of water? The two figures, however, can only be understood of the destruction which entirely shrouds Job in darkness, and threatens to drown him. But destruction, in the sense in which Eliphaz asks if Job does not see it, is certainly intended differently to what it was in Job's complaints. Job complains of it as being unmerited, and therefore mysterious; Eliphaz, on the other hand, is desirous that he should open his eyes that he may perceive in this darkness of sorrow, this flood of suffering, the well-deserved punishment of his heinous sins, and anticipate the worst by penitence. לא תכסּךּ is a relative clause, and belongs logically also to חשׁך, comp. Isaiah 60:2, where שׁפעת is also found in Job 22:6 (from שׁפע, abundare; comp. Arab. šf‛, ספק, Job 20:22). Eliphaz now insinuates that Job denies the special providence of God, because he doubts the exceptionless, just government of God. In the second strophe he has explained his affliction as the result of his uncharitableness; now he explains it as the result of his unbelief, which is now become manifest.

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