Job 22:6
For thou hast taken a pledge from thy brother for nought, 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. Job 22:6 6 For thou distrainedst thy brother without cause,

And the clothes of the naked thou strippedst off.

7 Thou gavest no water to the languishing,

And thou refusedst bread to the hungry.

8 And the man of the arm-the land was his,

And the honourable man dwelt therein.

9 Thou sentest widows away empty,

And the arms of the orphan are broken.

The reason of exceeding great suffering most be exceeding great sins. Job must have committed such sins as are here cited; therefore Eliphaz directly attributes guilt to him, since he thinks thus to tear down the disguise of the hypocrite. The strophe contains no reference to the Mosaic law: the compassionate Mosaic laws respecting duties towards widows and orphans, and the poor who pledge their few and indispensable goods, may have passed before the poet's mind; but it is not safe to infer it from the expression. As specific Mohammedan commandments among the wandering tribes even in the present day have no sound, so the poet dare not assume, in connection with the characters of his drama, any knowledge, of the Sinaitic law; and of this he remains conscious throughout: their standpoint is and remains that of the Abrahamic faith, the primary commands (later called the ten commands of piety, el-felâhh) of which were amply sufficient for stigmatizing that to which this strophe gives prominence as sin. It is only the force of the connection of the matter here which gives the futt. which follow כי a retrospective meaning. חבל is connected either with the accusative of the thing for which the pledge is taken, as in the law, which meets a response in the heart, Exodus 22:25.; or with the accus. of the person who is seized, as here אחיך; or, if this is really (as Br asserts) a mistake that has gained a footing, which has Codd. and old printed editions against it, rather אחיך. lxx, Targ., Syr., and Jer. read the word as plural. ערוּמים (from ערום), like γυμνοί, James 2:15, nudi (comp. Seneca, de beneficiis, v. 13: si quis male vestitum et pannosum videt, nudum se vidisse dicit), are, according to our mode of expression, the half-naked, only scantily (vid., Isaiah 20:2) clothed.

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