Job 24:22
He draws also the mighty with his power: he rises up, and no man is sure of life.
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(22) He draweth also the mighty.—He now appears to revert to his former line, and describes another case—that, namely, of a great tyrant who draws others by his influence and example to the same courses.

He riseth up, and no man is sure of his life.—Being so completely under his sway.

Job 24:22. He draweth also the mighty with his power — He draweth into his net, as Psalm 10:9, or to his party, to assist and serve him in his enterprises, those who are mighty in place, or wealth, or power; he practiseth upon these as well as upon the poor: he riseth up — Namely, against any man, as the same word קום, kum, is rendered, Psalm 18:39; Psalm 44:5. When he sets himself against a man and resolves to destroy him, no man is sure of life — None of them, whom he so opposes, can be secure of holding his life, but all such give themselves up as lost men, as knowing they cannot resist his greater power.24:18-25 Sometimes how gradual is the decay, how quiet the departure of a wicked person, how is he honoured, and how soon are all his cruelties and oppressions forgotten! They are taken off with other men, as the harvestman gathers the ears of corn as they come to hand. There will often appear much to resemble the wrong view of Providence Job takes in this chapter. But we are taught by the word of inspiration, that these notions are formed in ignorance, from partial views. The providence of God, in the affairs of men, is in every thing a just and wise providence. Let us apply this whenever the Lord may try us. He cannot do wrong. The unequalled sorrows of the Son of God when on earth, unless looked at in this view, perplex the mind. But when we behold him, as the sinner's Surety, bearing the curse, we can explain why he should endure that wrath which was due to sin, that Divine justice might be satisfied, and his people saved.He draweth also the mighty with his power - The word here rendered draweth (משׁך mâshak), means to draw; and then, to lay hold of, to take, to take away, and, hence, to remove, to destroy; Psalm 28:3; Ezekiel 22:20. The idea here seems to be, that his acts of oppression and cruelty were not confined to the poor and the defenseless. Even the great and the mighty were also exposed, and he spared none. No one was safe, and no rights could be regarded as secure. The character here described is one that pertains to a tyrant, or a conqueror, and Job probably meant to describe some such mighty man, who was regardless alike of the rights of the high and the low.

He riseth up - When he rises up; that is, when he enters on an enterprise, or goes forth to accomplish his wicked purposes.

And no man is sure of life - From the dread of him even the great and mighty have no security. This language will well describe the character of an Oriental despot. Having absolute power, no man, not even the highest in rank, can feel that his life is safe if the monarch becomes in any way offended. Yet, Job says that even such a despot was permitted to live in prosperity, and to die without any remarkable proof of the divine displeasure.

22-25. Reply of Job to the opinion of the friends. Experience proves the contrary. Translate: "But He (God) prolongeth the life of (literally, draweth out at length; Ps 36:10, Margin) the mighty with His (God's) power. He (the wicked) riseth up (from his sick bed) although he had given up hope of (literally, when he no longer believed in) life" (De 28:66). He draweth, either into his net, as Psalm 10:9, or to his party, to assist and serve him in his enterprises.

The mighty; who are mighty in place, or wealth, or power; he practiseth upon these as well as upon the poor.

With his power; which being greater than theirs, he soon forceth them to comply with his desires and demands.

He riseth up, to wit, against any man, as this phrase is used, Psalm 18:38 44:5; when he sets himself against a man, and resolves to destroy him.

No man is sure of life, i.e. none of them whom he so opposeth can be secure or confident of holding his life, but all such give up themselves for lost men, as knowing they cannot resist his greater might: compare Deu 28:26. He draweth also the mighty with his power,.... Such a wicked man not only maltreats the weak, the helpless, and the defenceless, but even attacks the mighty and powerful; such as are in great power and authority, and abound in wealth and riches, only somewhat inferior in both to himself: wherefore, by his superior force, he draws them to be of his party, to join with him in acts of rapine and violence, oppression and cruelty; or he draws them by power or policy, or by both, as the wicked man does the poor with his net, Psalm 10:9; and so makes a prey of him and his substance. Some understand this of the punishment of wicked men, and interpret it, as Jarchi does, of God's drawing him to punishment; God sometimes does indeed draw and hurl the mighty from their seats; though they are set in high, yet in slippery places, and are brought down to destruction in a moment; and he will draw them all to his judgment seat hereafter, whether they will or not, and send them into everlasting punishment; but the former sense is best:

he riseth up, and no man is sure of life; he rises up in the morning:, either from his bed, or from his lurking place, where he was all night with a murdering intention, and no man he meets with is safe, but in the utmost danger of his life, Job 24:14; or, he rises in the world to great power and dignity, and increases in wealth and riches, which he abuses to the hurt of others; so that they flee from him and hide themselves, not caring to trust their life with him, Proverbs 28:28; or he riseth up against a man in an hostile way, and against whomsoever he does, they are in the utmost jeopardy, and cannot be secure of their lives; though this also is by some interpreted as the punishment of a wicked man, who, when he rises in the morning, "trusteth not his own life" (f), as the words may be rendered, and as they are in the margin of our Bibles; but his life is in suspense, being surrounded with a thousand dangers, and has no assurance of it, and is in continual fear, and often fears where no fear is; see Deuteronomy 28:66; or, if a man rises up against him, the wicked tyrant and cruel oppressor, he the tyrant is not sure of his life but may be slain by him that rises up against him; but the former sense is best.

(f) "non fidit suae vitae", Tigurine version, Piscator; so V. L.

He draweth also the {y} mighty with his power: he riseth up, and no man is sure of life.

(y) He declares that after the wicked have destroyed the weakest, they will do the same to the stranger, and therefore are justly punished by God's judgments.

22. he draweth also the mighty] Rather as above, he continueth the mighty, i. e. He (God) prolongeth their life and continueth them in their place. The “mighty” are the oppressive lords of the soil, Job 24:2 seq. And it is God that upholds them by His power; comp. ch. Job 9:24.

he riseth up, and no man is sure of life] Rather as above. Even when they fall under calamity or sickness and “believe not that they shall live,” i. e. despair of recovery or of regaining their former prosperity, they are raised up again, their life and power being prolonged.

22–24. The other picture drawn by Job’s own hand to exhibit the actual truth. Such (Job 24:18-21), according to the popular imagination, is the fate and history of the wicked; the following (Job 24:22-24) is their history according to facts:

22.  Nay, he continueth the mighty by his power,

They rise up, though they believed not that they should live.

23.  He giveth them to be in safety, and they are upheld,

And his eyes are upon their ways.

24.  They are exalted: in a moment they are not;

They are brought low, and gathered in as all others,

And are cut off as the tops of the ears of corn.Verse 22. - He draweth also the mighty with his power; i.e. he draws to his side, and makes his helpers, those who are mighty, attracting them or compelling them to join him by the power which he already has. He riseth up, and no man is sure of life. This is also the translation of the Revised Version. Some commentators, however, prefer to render, "He riseth up, when he has despaired of life; "i.e. the wicked man, when he has been brought into trouble, either sickness or danger of death at the hands of Justice, to men's surprise, "riseth up" - is delivered from the danger, and recovers his prosperity. 16 In the dark they dig through houses,

By day they shut themselves up,

They will know nothing of the light.

17 For the depth of night is to them even as the dawn of the morning,

For they know the terrors of the depth of night.

The handiwork of the thief, which is but slightly referred to in Job 24:14, is here more particularly described. The indefinite subj. of חתר, as is manifest from what follows, is the band of thieves. The בּ, which is elsewhere joined with chtr (to break into anything), is here followed by the acc. בּתּים (to be pronounced bâttim, not bottim),

(Note: Vid., Aben-Ezra on Exodus 12:7. The main proof that it is to be pronounced bâttim is, that written exactly it is בּתּים, and that the Metheg according to circumstances, is changed into an accent, as Exodus 8:7; Exodus 12:7; Jeremiah 18:22; Ezekiel 45:4, which can only happen by Kametz, not by Kometz (K. chatph); comp. Khler on Zechariah 14:2.)

as in the Talmudic, חתר שׁנּו, to pick one's teeth (and thereby to make them loose), b. Kidduschin, 24 b. According to the Talmud, Ralbag, and the ancient Jewish interpretation in general, Job 24:16 is closely connected to btym: houses which they have marked by day for breaking into, and the mode of its accomplishment; but חתם nowhere signifies designare, always obsignare, to seal up, to put under lock and key, Job 14:17; Job 9:7; Job 37:7; according to which the Piel, which occurs only here, is to be explained: by day they seal up, i.e., shut themselves up for their safety (למו is not to be accented with Athnach, but with Rebia mugrasch): they know not the light, i.e., as Schlottm. well explains: they have no fellowship with it; for the biblical ידע, γινώσκειν, mostly signifies a knowledge which enters into the subject, and intimately unites itself with it. In Job 24:17 one confirmation follows another. Umbr. and Hirz. explain: for the morning is to them at once the shadow of death; but יחדּו, in the signification at the same time, as we have taken יחד in Job 17:16 (nevertheless of simultaneousness of time), is unsupportable: it signifies together, Job 2:11; Job 9:32; and the arrangement of the words למו...יחדּו (to them together) is like Isaiah 9:20; Isaiah 31:3; Jeremiah 46:12. Also, apart from the erroneous translation of the יחדו, which is easily set aside, Hirzel's rendering of Job 24:17 is forced: the morning, i.e., the bright day, is to them all as the shadow of death, for each and every one of them knows the terrors of the daylight, which is to them as the shadow of death, viz., the danger of being discovered and condemned. The interpretation, which is also preferred by Olshausen, is far more natural: the depth of night is to them as the dawn of the morning (on the precedence of the predicate, comp. Amos 4:13 and Amos 5:8 : walking in the darkness of the early morning), for they are acquainted with the terrors of the depth of night, i.e., they are not surprised by them, but know how to anticipate and to escape them. Job 38:15 also, where the night, which vanishes before the rising of the sun, is called the "light" of the evil-doer, favours this interpretation (not the other, as Olsh. thinks). The accentuation also favours it; for is בקר had been the subj., and were to be translated: the morning is to them the shadow of death, it ought to have been accented בקר למו צלמות, Dech, Mercha, Athnach. It is, however, accented Munach, Munach, Athnach, and the second Munach stands as the deputy of Dech, whose value in the interpunction it represents; therefore בקר למו is the predicate: the shadow of death is morning to them. From the plur. the description now, with יכּיר, passes into the sing., as individualizing it. בּלהות constr. of בּלּהות, is without a Dagesh in the second consonant. Mercier admirably remarks here: sunt ei familiares et noti nocturni terrores, neque eos timet aut curat, quasi sibi cum illis necessitudo et familiaritas intercederet et cum illis ne noceant foedus aut pactum inierit. Thus by their skill and contrivance they escape danger, and divine justice allows them to remain undiscovered and unpunished, - a fact which is most incomprehensible.

It is now time that this thought was once again definitely expressed, that one may not forget what these accumulated illustrations are designed to prove. But what now follows in Job 24:18 seems to express not Job's opinion, but that of his opponents. Ew., Hirz., and Hlgst. regard Job 24:18, Job 24:22, as thesis and antithesis. To the question, What is the lot that befalls all these evil-doers? Job is thought to give a twofold answer: first, to Job 24:21, an ironical answer in the sense of the friends, that those men are overtaken by the merited punishment; then from Job 24:22 is his own serious answer, which stands in direct contrast to the former. But (1) in Job 24:18 there is not the slightest trace observable that Job does not express his own view: a consideration which is also against Schlottman, who regards Job 24:18 as expressive of the view of an opponent. (2) There is no such decided contrast between Job 24:18 and Job 24:22, for Job 24:19 and Job 24:24 both affirm substantially the same thing concerning the end of the evil-doer. In like manner, it is also not to be supposed, with Stick., Lwenth., Bttch., Welte, and Hahn, that Job, outstripping the friends, as far as Job 24:21, describes how the evil-doer certainly often comes to a terrible end, and in Job 24:22 how the very opposite of this, however, is often witnessed; so that this consequently furnishes no evidence in support of the exclusive assertion of the friends. Moreover, Job 24:24 compared with Job 24:19, where there is nothing to indicate a direct contrast, is opposed to it; and Job 24:22, which has no appearance of referring to a direct contrast with what has been previously said, is opposed to such an antithetical rendering of the two final strophes. Job 24:22 might more readily be regarded as a transition to the antithesis, if Job 24:18 could, with Eichh., Schnurr., Dathe, Umbr., and Vaih., after the lxx, Syriac, and Jerome, be understood as optative: "Let such an one be light on the surface of the water, let ... be cursed, let him not turn towards," etc., but Job 24:18 is not of the optative form; and Job 24:18, where in that case אל־יפנה would be expected, instead of אל־יפנה, shows that Job 24:18, where, according to the syntax, the optative rendering is natural, is nevertheless not to be so rendered. The right interpretation is that which regards both Job 24:18 and Job 24:22 as Job's own view, without allowing him absolutely to contradict himself. Thus it is interpreted, e.g., by Rosenmller, who, however, as also Renan, errs in connecting Job 24:18 with the description of the thieves, and understands Job 24:18 of their slipping away, Job 24:18 of their dwelling in horrible places, and Job 24:18 of their avoidance of the vicinity of towns.

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