Job 22:4
Will he reprove you for fear of you? will he enter with you into judgment?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) Will he reprove thee.—That is, Because He standeth in awe of thee. Will He justify his dealings with thee?

Job 22:4. Will he reprove thee — That is, rebuke, chastise, or punish thee; for fear of thee? — Because he is afraid lest, if he should let thee alone, thou wouldst grow too great and powerful for him: surely no. As thy righteousness cannot profit him, so thy wickedness can do him no hurt.22:1-4 Eliphaz considers that, because Job complained so much of his afflictions, he thought God was unjust in afflicting him; but Job was far from thinking so. What Eliphaz says, is unjustly applied to Job, but it is very true, that when God does us good it is not because he is indebted to us. Man's piety is no profit to God, no gain. The gains of religion to men are infinitely greater than the losses of it. God is a Sovereign, who gives no account of his conduct; but he is perfectly wise, just, faithful, good, and merciful. He approves the likeness of his own holiness, and delights in the fruits of his Spirit; he accepts the thankful services of the humble believer, while he rejects the proud claim of the self-confident.Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? - Or, rather, will he come into trial, and argue his cause before a tribunal, because he is afraid that his character will suffer, or because he feels himself bound to appear, and answer to the charges which may be brought? The language is all taken from courts of justice, and the object is, to reprove Job as if he felt that it was necessary that God should appear and answer to what he alleged against him.

Will he enter with thee into judgment? - Will he condescend to enter on a trial with one like thee? Will he submit his cause to a trial with man, as if he were an equal, or as if man had any right to such an investigation? It is to be remembered, that Job had repeatedly expressed a desire to carry his cause before God, and that God would meet him as an equal, and not take advantage of his majesty and power to overwhelm him; see Job 13:3, note; Job 13:20-21, notes. Eliphaz here asks, whether God could be expected to meet "a man," one of his own creatures, in this manner, and to go into a trial of the cause. He says that God was supreme; that no one could bring him into court; and that he could not be restrained from doing his pleasure by any dread of man. These sentiments are all noble and correct, and worthy of a sage. Soon, however, he changes the style, and utters the language of severe reproach, because Job had presumed to make such a suggestion. Perhaps, also, in this verse, a special emphasis should be placed on "thee." "Will God enter into trial with thee ... a man whose wickedness is so great, and whose sin is infinite?" Job 22:4-5.

4. Is the punishment inflicted on thee from fear of thee, in order to disarm thee? as Job had implied (see on [512]Job 7:12; [513]Job 7:20; and [514]Job 10:17).

will he enter … into judgment?—Job had desired this (Job 13:3, 21). He ought rather to have spoken as in Ps 143:2.

Will, or doth, or

would he reprove thee, i.e. punish thee? For this word is frequently used of real rebukes or chastisements, as hath been oft noted.

For fear of thee; because he is afraid, lest if he should let thee alone, thou wouldst grow too great and powerful for him, as princes ofttimes crush those subjects of whom they are afraid. Surely no. As thy righteousness cannot profit him, so thy wickedness can do him no hurt. Or, for thy piety or religion, which is commonly called by the name of fear. Doth he punish thee because thou fearest and servest him, as thou dost insinuate? No surely, but for thy sins, as it follows.

Will he enter with thee into judgment, and condemn thee? to wit, for the reason last mentioned, as appears from the Hebrew text, where the words lie thus, Will he for fear of thee

reprove thee, or

enter with thee into judgment? Will he reprove thee for fear of thee?.... That is, chastise, correct, and afflict, for fear that hurt should be done unto him; no, he will not; for as the goodness of men does not profit him, the sinfulness of men does not hurt him, see Job 35:6. Kings and civil magistrates sometimes chastise offenders, not only to do justice to them, but through fear of them, lest, if spared or connived at, they should be hurtful to the state, and overturn it; but though sin is an act of hostility against God, and strikes at his being and government, yet he is in no fear of being ruined or dethroned, or of having his government taken out of his hands, and therefore does not chastise men on that account: or "for thy fear" (m), for thy fear of God, thy piety; or "for thy religion", as Mr. Broughton translates the word. Job had often suggested that good men, such that truly feared God, are afflicted by him, and therefore his own afflictions were no objection to his character, as a man that feared God, and eschewed evil, Job 1:1; and in this sense Eliphaz uses the word, Job 4:6; and here he intimates, as if, according to the notion of Job, that God afflicted him, and other good men, because they feared him, and which he observes, as a great absurdity; whereas, on the contrary, he chastised him for his sins, as Job 22:5 shows; but though God does not afflict men for their goodness, but for sins, yet they are only such that fear him, and whom he loves, that he chastises in a fatherly way, see Hebrews 12:6;

will he enter with thee into judgment? that is, will he, in reverence to thee, out of respect to so great a person (speaking ironically), in condescension to one of so much consequence, will he regard thy request, so often made, as to come into judgment with thee, and to admit of thy cause being pleaded before him, and to give the hearing of it, and decide the affair in controversy? or rather, will he not plead against thee, and condemn thee for thy sins, as follow? in this sense it is to be deprecated, and not desired, see Psalm 143:2.

(m) "an de religione tua", Junius & Tremellius; "ob timorem tuum", so some in Drusius; "num ob pietatem tuam", others in Michaelis.

Will he reprove thee for fear {b} of thee? will he enter with thee into judgment?

(b) Lest you should reprove or hurt him?

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. God’s treatment of men being for their sakes and according to what they are, it is inconceivable that He should chastise them for their piety.

for fear of thee] Rather, for thy (godly) fear, thy piety; comp. ch. Job 4:6, Job 15:4 for this use of the word fear by Eliphaz. The words scarcely contain the idea that if God derived advantage from men’s piety He might be supposed to afflict them in order to increase their godliness (Ew.). The simple thought is that man’s conduct does not affect God. If God deals with man it is on account of man himself. Can it be supposed then that God would afflict a man because he is pious? (Job 22:4). This is too extravagant a suggestion, therefore if Job is afflicted it is for his sins (Job 22:5). Job 22:4 forms a mere foreground to Job 22:5 seq., in order to suggest by contrast the real cause of Job’s calamities.Verse 4. - Will he reprove thee for fear of thee? rather, Is it for thy fear of him that he reproveth thee? Surely not. If he reproves thee, it must be because thou fearest him not. The fact of thy reproof is sure evidence of the fact of thy guilt. Will he enter with thee into judgment? rather, that he entereth with thee into judgment (see the Revised Version). 32 And he is brought to the grave,

And over the tomb he still keepeth watch.

33 The clods of the valley are sweet to him,

And all men draw after him,

As they preceded him without number.

. . . . . .

34 And how will ye comfort me so vainly!

Your replies are and remain perfidy.

During life removed at the time of dire calamity, this unapproachable evil-doer is after his death carried to the grave with all honour (יוּבל, comp. Job 10:19), and indeed to a splendid tomb; for, like משׁכנות above, קברות is also an amplificative plural. It is certainly the most natural to refer ישׁקד, like יוּבל, to the deceased. The explanation: and over the tomb one keeps watch (Bttch., Hahn, Rd., Olsh.), is indeed in itself admissible, since that which serves as the efficient subject is often left unexpressed (Genesis 48:2; 2 Kings 9:21; Isaiah 53:9; comp. supra, on Job 18:18); but that, according to the prevalent usage of the language, ישׁקד would denote only a guard of honour at night, not also in the day, and that for clearness it would have required גּדישׁו instead of גּדישׁ, are considerations which do not favour this explanation, for שׁקד signifies to watch, to be active, instead of sleeping or resting; and moreover, the placing of guards of honour by graves is an assumed, but not proved, custom of antiquity. Nevertheless, ישׁקד might also in general denote the watchful, careful tending of the grave, and the maqâm (the tomb) of one who is highly honoured has, according to Moslem custom, servants (châdimı̂n) who are appointed for this duty. But though the translation "one watches" should not be objected to on this ground, the preference is to be given to a commendable rendering which makes the deceased the subject of ישׁקד. Raschi's explanation does not, however, commend itself: "buried in his own land, he also in death still keeps watch over the heaps of sheaves." The lxx translates similarly, ἐπὶ σωρῶν, which Jerome improperly, but according to a right sentiment, translates, in congerie mortuorum. For after the preceding mention of the pomp of burial, גּדישׁ, which certainly signifies a heap of sheaves in Job 5:26, is favoured by the assumption of its signifying a sepulchral heap, with reference to which also in that passage (where interment is likewise the subject of discourse) the expression is chosen. Haji Gaon observes that the dome (קבּה, Arab. qbbt, the dome and the sepulchral monument vaulted over by it)

(Note: Vid., Lane's Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (translated by Zenker).)

erected over graves according to Arab custom is intended; and Aben-Ezra says, that not exactly this, but in general the grave-mound formed of earth, etc., is to be understood. In reality, גדישׁ (from the verb גדשׁ, cumulare, commonly used in the Talmud and Aramaic) signifies cumulus, in the most diversified connections, which in Arabic are distributed among the verbs jds, kds, and jdš, especially tumulus, Arab. jadatun (broader pronunciation jadafun). If by grave-mound a mound with the grave upon it can be understood, a beautiful explanation is presented which accords with the preference of the Beduin for being buried on an eminence, in order that even in death he may be surrounded by his relations, and as it were be able still to overlook their encampment: the one who should have had a better lot is buried in the best place of the plain, in an insignificant grave; the rich man, however, is brought up to an eminence and keeps watch on his elevated tomb, since from this eminence as from a watch-tower he even in death, as it were, enjoys the wide prospect which delighted him so while living.

(Note: "Take my bones," says an Arabian poem, "and carry them with you, wherever you go; and if ye bury them, bury them opposite your encampment! And bury me not under a vine, which would shade me, but upon a hill, so that my eye can see you!" Vid., Ausland, 1863, Nr. 15 (Ein Ritt nach Transjordanien).)

But the signification collis cannot be supported; גדישׁ signifies the hill which is formed by the grave itself, and Job 21:33 indeed directs us to the wady as the place of burial, not to the hill. But if גדישׁ is the grave-mound, it is also not possible with Schlottm. to think of the pictures on the wall and images of the deceased, as they are found in the Egyptian vaults (although in Job 3:14 we recognised an allusion to the pyramids), for it cannot then be a גדישׁ in the strict sense that is spoken of; the word ought, like the Arabic jdṯ (which the Arab. translation of the New Testament in the London Polyglott uses of the μνημεῖον of Jesus), with a mingling of its original signification, to have been used in the general signification sepulcrum. This would be possible, but it need not be supposed. Job's words are the pictorial antithesis to Bildad's assertion, Job 18:17, that the godless man dies away without trace or memorial; it is not so, but as may be heard from the mouth of people who have experience in the world: he keeps watch over his tomb, he continues to watch although asleep, since he is continually brought to remembrance by the monument built over his tomb. A keeping watch that no one approaches the tomb disrespectfully (Ew.), is not to be thought of. שׁקד is a relative negation of the sleep of death: he is dead, but in a certain manner he continues to live, viz., in the monument planting forward his memory, which it remains for the imagination to conceive of as a mausoleum, or weapons, or other votive offerings hung upon the walls, etc. In connection with such honour, which follows him even to and beyond death, the clods of the valley (est ei terra levis) are sweet (מתקוּ is accentuated with Mercha, and לו without Makkeph with little-Rebia) to him; and if death in itself ought to be accounted an evil, he has shared the common fate which all men after him will meet, and which all before him have met; it is the common end of all made sweet to him by the pageantry of his burial and his after-fame. Most modern expositors (Ew., Hirz., Umbr., Hlgst., Welte) understand the ימשׁך, which is used, certainly, not in the transitive signification: to draw after one's self, but in the intransitive: to draw towards (lxx απελεύσεται), as Judges 4:6 (vid., Ges. Thes.), of an imitative treading of the same way; but כּל־אדם would then be an untrue hyperbole, by which Job would expose himself to the attack of his adversaries.

In Job 21:34 Job concludes his speech; the Waw of ואיך, according to the idea (as e.g., the Waw in ואני, Isaiah 43:12), is an inferential ergo. Their consolation, which is only available on condition of penitence, is useless; and their replies, which are intended to make him an evil-doer against the testimony of his conscience, remain מעל. It is not necessary to construe: and as to your answers, only מעל remains. The predicate stands per attractionem in the sing.: their answers, reduced to their true value, leave nothing behind but מעל, end in מעל, viz., באלהים, Joshua 22:22, perfidious sinning against God, i.e., on account of the sanctimonious injustice and uncharitableness with which they look suspiciously on him.

continued...

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