Job 22:6
For you have taken a pledge from your brother for nothing, and stripped the naked of their clothing.
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(6) Thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother.—These specific charges, false as they were, show the depth to which Eliphaz had sunk.

Job 22:6. For thou hast taken a pledge — Or, surely thou hast taken. He speaks thus, by way of conjecture, or strong presumption: as if he had said, When I consider thy grievous and unusual calamities, I justly conclude thou art guilty of some, or all, of these following crimes; and do thou search thy own conscience whether it be not so with thee. From thy brother — Of thy neighbour, or of thy kinsman; for naught — Without a sufficient and justifiable cause. And stripped the naked of their clothing — By taking their garments for a pledge, and thereby rendering them naked; or, by robbing them of their rights, all other injuries being comprehended under this.22:5-14 Eliphaz brought heavy charges against Job, without reason for his accusations, except that Job was visited as he supposed God always visited every wicked man. He charges him with oppression, and that he did harm with his wealth and power in the time of his prosperity.For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought - The only evidence which Eliphaz seems to have had of this was, that this was a heinous sin, and that as Job seemed to be severely punished, it was to be "inferred" that he must have committed some such sin as this. No way of treating an unfortunate and a suffering man could be more unkind. A "pledge" is that which is given by a debtor to a creditor, for security for the payment of a debt, and would be, of course, that which was regardcd as of value. Garments, which constituted a considerable part of the wealth of the Orientals, would usually be the pledge which would be given. With us, in such cases, watches, jewelry, notes, mortgages, are given as collateral security, or as pledges. The law of Moses required, that when a man took the garment of his neighbor for a pledge, it should be restored by the time the sun went down, Exodus 22:26-27. The crime here charged on Job was, that he had exacted a pledge from another where there was no just claim to it; that is, where no debt had been contracted, where a debt; had been paid, or where the security was far beyond the value of the debt. The injustice of such a course would be obvious. It would deprive the man of the use of the property which was pledged, and it gave him to whom it was pledged an opportunity of doing wrong, as he might retain it, or dispose of it, and the real owner see it no more.

And stripped the naked of their clothing - Margin, "clothes of the naked." That is, of those who were poorly clad, or who were nearly destitute of clothes. The word naked is often used in this sense in the Scriptures; see the notes at John 21:7. The meaning here is, that Job had taken away by oppression even the garments of the poor in order to enrich himself.

6. The crimes alleged, on a harsh inference, by Eliphaz against Job are such as he would think likely to be committed by a rich man. The Mosaic law (Ex 22:26; De 24:10) subsequently embodied the feeling that existed among the godly in Job's time against oppression of debtors as to their pledges. Here the case is not quite the same; Job is charged with taking a pledge where he had no just claim to it; and in the second clause, that pledge (the outer garment which served the poor as a covering by day and a bed by night) is represented as taken from one who had not "changes of raiment" (a common constituent of wealth in the East), but was poorly clad—"naked" (Mt 25:36; Jas 2:15); a sin the more heinous in a rich man like Job. For thou hast taken, or, surely thou hast taken. He speaks thus by way of conjecture, or strong presumption. When I consider thy grievous and unusual calamities, I justly conclude thou art guilty of all or some of these following crimes; and do thou search thine own conscience, whether it be not so with thee.

From thy brother, i.e. either of thy neighbour, or of thy kinsman; which are both called by the name of brother. This is added to aggravate the offence.

For nought, i.e. without sufficient and justifiable cause; which he might do many ways; either by taking what he ought not to take, Deu 24:6; or from whom he ought not, to wit, the poor, to whom he should give Proverbs 3:27 or when and in such manner as he ought not, of which See Poole "Deu 24:10", See Poole "Deu 24:11"; or by keeping it longer than he should, as when the poor man’s necessity requires it, or when the debt is satisfied, Ezekiel 18:16.

Stripped the naked of their clothing; either by taking their garment for a pledge, against the law, Exodus 22:26; or otherwise by robbing them of their rights, all other injuries being synecdochically comprehended under this.

Quest. How could he strip the naked?

Answ. He calls them naked, either,

1. Because they had but very few and mean clothes, such being oft called naked, as Deu 28:48 1 Corinthians 14:11 Jam 2:15. Or,

2. From the effect, because though he did not find them naked, yet he made them so. The like phrases we have Isaiah 47:2, grind meal, i.e. by grinding corn make it meal; Amos 8:5, falsifying the deceitful balances, i.e. by falsifying making true balances deceitful. And so here, to strip the naked, is by stripping them to make them naked. For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought,.... It can hardly be thought that it was for nothing at all, on no consideration whatever, or that nothing was lent, for which the pledge was taken; but that it was a small trifling sum, and comparatively nothing, not to be spoken of; or it was borrowed for so short a time, that there needed not any pledge it; and it was unkind to take it, especially of a brother, whether in nature, or in religion, whether a near kinsman, or friend, or neighbour. Some render the words, "thou hast taken thy brother", or "brothers, for a pledge" (p); them themselves, their persons, as a security for what was lent, in order to sell them, and pay off the debt with the money, or detain them as bondmen till it was paid, 2 Kings 4:1. If Eliphaz said this, and what follows, only as conjectures, as some think, or upon supposition, concluding from his afflictions that those things, or something like them, had been done by him; it is contrary to that charity that thinks no ill, and hopes the best; and if they are positive assertions of matters of fact, as they rather seem to be, delivered upon hearsay, and slender proof, it shows a readiness to receive calumnies and false accusations against his friend, and can scarcely be excused from the charge of bearing false testimony against him, since Job does in the most solemn manner deny those things in Job 31:1;

and stripped the naked of their clothing; not such as were stark naked, because they have no clothes to be stripped of; but such that were poorly clothed, scarce sufficient to cover their nakedness, and preserve them from the inclemencies of weather; these were stripped of their clothing, and being stripped, were quite naked and exposed, which to do was very cruel and hardhearted; perhaps it may respect the same persons from whom the pledge was taken, and that pledge was their clothing, which was no uncommon thing, see Exodus 22:26.

(p) , Sept. "capies in pignus fratres tuos", Montanus.

For thou hast taken a {c} pledge from thy brother for nought, and stripped the naked of their clothing.

(c) You have been cruel and without charity, and would do nothing for the poor, but for your own advantage.

6. Compare the laws, Exodus 22:26; Deuteronomy 24:10. The “naked” are those poorly clad. See Job’s reply to this, ch. Job 31:19.Verse 6. - For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought; i.e. thou hast lent to thy brother on pledge, without reasonable cause, when thou weft rich enough to need no security (comp. Nehemiah 5:2-11). And stripped the naked of their clothing. When thy brother, on borrowing from thee, pledged his raiment, thou didst retain it, and so didst leave him to shiver all night without covering (see Exodus 22:26, 27). We may, perhaps, gather from this that the Mosaic Law on the subject was founded on an anterior custom widely prevalent in SouthWestern Asia. 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.


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