Job 22:29
When men are cast down, then you shall say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.
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(29) There is lifting up.—This may be its meaning, but some understand it in a bad sense: “When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, It was pride that caused their fall.”

22:21-30 The answer of Eliphaz wrongly implied that Job had hitherto not known God, and that prosperity in this life would follow his sincere conversion. The counsel Eliphaz here gives is good, though, as to Job, it was built upon a false supposition that he was a stranger and enemy to God. Let us beware of slandering our brethren; and if it be our lot to suffer in this manner, let us remember how Job was treated; yea, how Jesus was reviled, that we may be patient. Let us examine whether there may not be some colour for the slander, and walk watchfully, so as to be clear of all appearances of evil.When men are cast down - The meaning of this is, probably, when people are usually cast down, or in the times of trial and calamity, which prostrate others, you shall find support. You shall then be enabled to say, "there is lifting up, or there is support." Or, more probably still, it may mean, "in times when others are cast down and afflicted, thou shalt be able to raise them up, or to aid them. Thou shalt be able to go to them and say, 'Be of good cheer. Do not be cast down. There is consolation.' And thou shalt be able to procure important blessings for them by thy counsels and prayers;" see the notes at Job 22:30.

And he shall save the humble person - That is, either, "Thou shalt save the humble person," by a change from the second person to the third, which is not uncommon in Hebrew; or, "thou shalt be able from thine own experience to say, "He," that is, "God," will save the humble person, or the one that is cast down." Margin, "him that hath low eyes." The Hebrew is like the margin. In affliction the eyes are cast upon the ground; and so, also, a casting the eyes to the ground is indicative of dejection, of humility, or of modesty. It refers here to one who experiences trials; and Eliphaz says that Job would be able to save such an one; that is, to support him in his afflictions, and furnish the helps necessary to restore him again to comfort.

29. Rather, When (thy ways; from Job 22:28) are cast down (for a time), thou shalt (soon again have joyful cause to) say, There is lifting up (prosperity returns back to me) [Maurer].


humble—Hebrew, "him that is of low eyes." Eliphaz implies that Job is not so now in his affliction; therefore it continues: with this he contrasts the blessed effect of being humble under it (Jas 4:6; 1Pe 5:5 probably quote this passage). Therefore it is better, I think, to take the first clause as referred to by "God resisteth the proud." When (men) are cast down, thou shalt say (behold the effects of) pride. Eliphaz hereby justifies himself for attributing Job's calamities to his pride. "Giveth grace to the humble," answers to the second clause.

When men are cast down, Heb. When they (i.e. they who do this work. It is an indefinite and impersonal speech, which is very common in the Hebrew language) shall cast down or overthrow; either,

1. Proud and wicked men, as may be guessed by the opposition of the humble and innocent, who should be saved, whilst these were destroyed. So the sense is, When there shall come a general calamity, which shall sweep away all the wicked round about them. Or,

2. Thee, or thine; which pronoun is oft understood. So the sense is, When through God’s permission thou shalt be brought into some trouble, which God sees fit for thee.

Thou shalt say within thyself, with good assurance and confidence.

There is lifting up; or, There shall be lifting up, either,

1. For them; if they repent and humble themselves, they shall be preserved or restored. And this thou wilt assure them of from thy own experience. Or,

2. For thee and thine; God will deliver thee, when others are crushed and destroyed. And; or, for; this particle being oft put causally, as hath been formerly noted. So the following words contain a reason why he might confidently say, that there would be such a lifting up for a person so humbled.

He, i.e. God, unto whom only salvation belongeth, Psalm 3:8.

Shall save; either,

1. Eternally; or,

2. Temporally, to wit, from the evils here mentioned.

The humble person, Heb. him that hath low or cast-down eyes; which phrase may here note, either,

1. Humility and lowliness of mind and disposition, as pride is oft expressed by high or lofty looks, as Psalm 18:27 101:5 131:1 Proverbs 6:17. And so this is a tacit admonition and reproof for Job, whom for his confident justification of himself, and his contemptuous expressions and censures concerning them, they judged to Job guilty of intolerable pride of heart. Or,

2. Lowness of estate or condition, as Jam 1:10. So it notes him whose eyes and countenance are dejected by reason of his great troubles and miseries; as, on the contrary, prosperity makes persons lift up their eyes and faces. When men are cast down,.... Wicked men are brought down from a state of prosperity to a state of adversity, are in low circumstances, great straits and difficulties:

then thou shall say, there is lifting up; that is, for himself and his; when others are in adversity, he should be in prosperity; when others are cast down into a very low estate and distressed condition, he should be exalted to a very high estate, and be in affluent circumstances, see Psalm 147:6; or else the sense is, when thou and thine, and what belong to thee, are humbled and brought low, then thou mayest promise thyself a restoration and change for the better; and boldly say, they will be lifted up, and raised up again, since God's usual method is to exalt the humble, and to abase the proud, Luke 14:11; or rather, this may respect the benefit and advantage that humble persons wound gain by Job, and his prayers for them, and may be rendered and interpreted thus: "when they have humbled" (q) themselves, and bowed themselves low at thy feet, and especially before God, "then thou shall say", pray unto God for them, that "there may be a lifting up", raising them up out of their low estate, and thou shall be heard:

and he shall save the humble person; that is, "low of eyes" (r), humble in his eyes; who is so pressed with troubles and distress, that he hangs down his head, looks upon the ground, and will not lift up his eyes, but is of a dejected countenance; or that is low in his own eyes, has humble thoughts of himself, esteems others better than himself, and lies low before God under a sense of his sinfulness and unworthiness, and casts himself entirely upon the grace and mercy of God; such an one he saves, in a spiritual sense, out of his troubles and afflictions; he does not forget the cry of such humble ones, but remembers them, and grants their desires: and he saves the lowly and humble with a spiritual and eternal salvation; gives more grace unto them, and outfits them for glory, and at last gives glory itself; raises them on high to sit among princes, and to inherit the throne of glory; the meek shall inherit the earth, the new heavens and earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, James 4:6.

(q) "quum humiliaverint", Montanus, Cocceius, Michaelis. (r) "demissum oculis", Montanus, Beza, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "humilem oculis", Vatablus.

{u} When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.

(u) God will deliver his when the wicked are destroyed round about them, as in the flood and in Sodom.

29. When men are cast down] The words must mean either: when they (i. e. thy ways, Job 22:28) go downwards, when decline or misfortune befalls thee; or, when men cast thee down.

there is lifting up] The word “lifting up” or simply, “Up!” is that which Job shall utter in prayer. The “humble person,” lit. him that is lowly of eyes, is of course Job himself.Verse 29.- When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; rather, when men cast down and thou shalt say, Let there be lifting upIf he return to the Almighty (שׁוּב עד as freq., e.g., Isaiah 19:22, comp. Isaiah 45:24, instead of the otherwise usual שׁוב אל, of thorough and complete conversion), he will be built up again, by his former prosperity being again raised from its ruins. בּנה, to build, always according to the connection, has at one time the idea of building round about, continuing to build, or finishing building (vid., on Job 20:19); at another of building up again (Job 12:14; Isaiah 58:12), referred to persons, the idea of increasing prosperity (Malachi 3:15), or of the restoration of ruined prosperity (Jeremiah 24:6; Jeremiah 33:7), here in the latter sense. The promissory תּבּנה is surrounded by conditional clauses, for Job 22:23 (comp. Job 11:14) is a second conditional clause still under the government of אם, which is added for embellishment; it opens the statement of that in which penitence must be manifested, if it is to be thorough. The lxx translates ἐὰν δὲ ἐπιστραφῇς καὶ ταπεινώσῃς, i.e., תּענה, which Ewald considers as the original; the omission of the אם (which the poet otherwise in such connections has formerly heaped up, e.g., Job 8:5., Job 11:13) is certainly inconvenient. And yet we should not on that account like to give up the figure indicated in תבנה, which is so beautiful and so suited to our poet. The statement advanced in the latter conditional clause is then continued in Job 22:24 in an independent imperative clause, which the old versions regard as a promise instead of exhortation, and therefore grossly misinterpret. The Targ. translates: and place on the dust a strong city (i.e., thou shalt then, where there is now nothing but dust, raise up such), as if בּצר could be equivalent to בּצּרון or מבצר, - a rendering to which Saadia at least gives a turn which accords with the connection: "regard the stronghold (Arab. 'l-ḥṣn) as dust, and account as the stones of the valleys the gold of Ophir;" better than Eichhorn: "pull down thy stronghold of violence, and demolish (הפיר) the castles of thy valleys." On the other hand, Gecatilia, who understands בצר proportionately more correctly of treasures, translates it as a promise: so shalt thou inherit treasures (Arab. dchâyr) more numerous than dust, and gold ore (Arab. tbr') (more than) the stones of the valleys; and again also Rosenm. (repones prae pulvere argentum) and Welte interpret Job 22:24 as a promise; whereas other expositors, who are true to the imperative שׁית, explain שׁית ni aestimare, and על־עפר pulveris instar (Grot., Cocc., Schult., Dathe, Umbr.), by falsely assigning to על here, as to ל elsewhere, a meaning which it never has anywhere; how blind, on the other hand, since the words in their first meaning, pone super pulverem, furnish an excellent thought which is closely connected with the admonition to rid one's self of unjust possessions. בּצר, like Arab. tibr (by which Abulwalid explains it), is gold and silver ore, i.e., gold and silver as they are broken out of the mine, therefore (since silver is partially pure, gold almost pure, and always containing more or less silver) the most precious metal in its pure natural state before being worked, and consequently also unalloyed (comp. Arab. nḍı̂r and nuḍâr, which likewise signifies aurum argentumve nativum, but not ab excidendo, but a nitore); and "to lay in the dust" is equivalent to, to part with a thing as entirely worthless and devoid of attraction. The meaning is therefore: put away from thee the idol of previous metal with contempt (comp. Isaiah 2:20), which is only somewhat differently expressed in the parallel: lay the Ophir under the quartz (וּבצוּר agreeing with בצר) of the brooks (such as is found in the beds of empty wdys), i.e., place it under the rubble, after it has lost for thee its previous bewitching spell. As cloth woven from the filaments of the nettle is called muslin, from Mossul, and cloth with figures on it "damask, דּמשׁק" (Amos 3:12), from Damascus,

(Note: We leave it undecided whether in a similar manner silk has its name μέταξα (μάταξα), Armenian metaks, Aramaic מטכסא, מטקסין, from Damascus (Ewald and Friedr. Mller).)

and aloes-wood Arab. mndl, from Coromandel; so the gold from Ophir, i.e., from the coast of the Abhra, on the north coast of the Runn (Old Indian Irina, i.e., Salt Sea), east of the mouth of the Indus,

(Note: Thus אופיר has been explained by Lassen in his pamphlet de Pentapotamia, and his Indische Alterthumskunde (i. 539). The lxx (Cod. Vat.) and Theodot. have Σωφείρ, whence Ges. connects Ophir with Arrian's Οὔππαρα and Edrisi's Sufra in Guzerat, especially since Sofir is attested as the Coptic name for India. The matter is still not settled.)

is directly called אופיר. When Job thus casts from him temporal things, by the excessive cherishing of which he has hitherto sinned, then God himself will be his imperishable treasure, his everlasting higher delight. He frees himself from temporal בּצר; and the Almighty, therefore the absolute personality of God himself, will be to him instead of it בּצרים, gold as from the mine, in rich abundance. This is what the contrast of the plur. (בצרך without Jod plur. is a false reading) with the sing. implies; the lxx, Syriac version, Jerome, and Arabic version err here, since they take the בּ of בּצריך as a preposition.

The ancient versions and lexicographers furnish no explanation of תּועפות. The Targ. translates it תּקוף רוּמא, and accordingly it is explained by both חסן (strength) and גבה (height), without any reason being assigned for these significations. In the passage before us the lxx transl. ἀργύριον πεπυρωμένον from עף, in the Targum signification to blow, forge; the Syriac versions, argentum computationum (חושׁבנין), from עף in the Targum-Talmudic signification to double ( equals Hebr. כפל). According to the usage of the language in question, יעף, from the Hiph. of which תועפות is formed, signifies to become feeble, to be wearied; but even if, starting from the primary notion, an available signification is attained for the passage before us (fatigues equals toilsome excitement, synon. יגיע) and Psalm 95:4 (climbings equals heights), the use of the word in the most ancient passages citable, Numbers 23:22; Numbers 24:8, כּתועפת ראם לו, still remains unexplained; for here the notion of being incapable of fatigue, invincibility, or another of the like kind, is required, without any means at hand for rightly deriving it from יעף, to become feeble, especially as the radical signification anhelare supposed by Gesenius (comp. און from the root אן) is unattested. Accordingly, we must go back to the root וף, יף, discussed on Psalm 95:4, which signifies to rise aloft, to be high, and from which יפע, or with a transposition of the consonants יעף (comp. עיף and יעף), acquires the signification of standing out, rising radiantly, shining afar off, since יעף, to become weary, is allied to the Arab. wgf, fut. i; this יעף (יפע), on the other hand, to Arab. yf', ascendere, adolescere, Arab. wf‛, elatum, adultum esse, and Arab. wfâ, eminere, and tropically completum, perfectum esse. Thus we obtain the signification enimentiae for תועפות. In Psalm 95:4, as a numerical plur., it signifies the towerings (tops) of the mountains, and here, as in the passages cited from Numbers, either prominent, eminent attributes, or as an intensive plur. excellence; whence, agreeing with Ewald, we have translated "silver of the brightest lustre" (comp. יפעה, eminentia, splendor, Ezekiel 28:7).

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