Job 24:25
And if it be not so now, who will make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth?
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(25) And if it be not so now.—Job also has his facts, as ready and as incontrovertible as those of his friends, and yet irreconcilable with theirs.

Job 24:25. And if it be not so now — Namely, as I have discoursed; if God does not often suffer wicked men to live long and prosperously in the world, before he punishes them; and if good men be not sometimes sorely afflicted here; if all things do not fall alike to all men in these matters; and if it do not from hence follow, that I am unjustly injured and condemned: who will make me a liar? Or, as Sol. Jarchi interprets the words, Let one of you come and make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth — Let them that can undertake to prove that my discourse is either false in itself, and then they prove me a liar; or foreign, and nothing to the purpose, and then they prove it frivolous and nothing worth. That, indeed, which is false is nothing worth: where there is not truth, how can there be goodness? But they that speak the words of truth and soberness, need not fear having what they say brought to the test, but can cheerfully submit it to a fair examination, as Job here submits what he had spoken. 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.And if it be not so now, who will make me a liar? - A challenge to anyone to prove the contrary to what he had said. Job had now attacked their main position, and had appealed to facts in defense of what he held. He maintained that, as a matter of fact, the wicked were prospered, that they often lived to old age, and that they then died a peaceful death, without any direct demonstration of the divine displeasure. He boldly appeals, now, to anyone to deny this, or to prove the contrary. The appeal was decisive. The fact was undeniable, and the controversy was closed. Bildad Job 25:1-6 attempts a brief reply, but he does not touch the question about the facts to which Job had appealed, but utters a few vague and irrelevant proverbial maxims, about the greatness of God, and is silent. His proverbs appear to be exhausted, and the theory which he and his friends had so carefully built up, and in which they had been so confident, was now overthrown. Perhaps this was one design of the Holy Spirit, in recording the argument thus far conducted, to show that the theory of the divine administration, which had been built up with so much care, and which was sustained by so many proverbial maxims, was false. The overthrow of this theory was of sufficient importance to justify this protracted argument, because:

(1) it was and is of the highest importance that correct views should prevail of the nature of the divine administration; and

(2) it is of special importance in comforting the afflicted people of God.

Job had experienced great aggravation, in his sufferings, from the position which his friends had maintained, and from the arguments which they had been able to adduce, to prove that his sufferings were proof that he was a hypocrite. But it is worth all which it has cost; all the experience of the afflicted friends of God, and all the pains taken to reveal it, to show that affliction is no certain proof of the divine displeasure, and that important ends may be accomplished by means of trial.

25. (So Job 9:24). If it be not so now, to wit, as I have discoursed; if God doth not suffer wicked men to live long and prosperously in the world before he punisheth them; and if good men be not sometimes sorely afflicted there, if all things do not fall alike to all men in these matters. And if it be not so now,.... If this is not the case of men of such wicked lives as above described, do not prosper in the world, and increase in riches, and do not pass through the world with impunity, and die quietly, in the full possession of their honour and wealth:

who will make me a liar? where is the man? let him stand forth and appear, and disprove what has been said, and make out the doctrine delivered to be false doctrine, and a lie; for no lie is of the truth:

and make my speech nothing worth; vain, useless, and unprofitable; truth is valuable, like gold, silver and precious stones; but error is as wood, hay, and stubble, and nothing worth, yea, to be detested and rejected: or let him make what I have said to stand "for nothing" (l); let him show, if he can, that it is impertinent, and not to the purpose, that it does not prove the point for which it is brought: thus Job was willing to have what he had said tried by every method that could be made use of, that it might appear whether what he had said was true or false, worthy to be regarded, or worthless; and he here bids defiance to his friends, or to any other, and triumphs over them, as having gained his point; and, as it appears by the sequel, he had, at least in a great measure, and however with respect to this matter, that good men are afflicted in this life, and wicked men prosper; of which there are many instances,

(l) "ad nihilum", Pagninus, Montanus; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Mercerus, Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens.

And if it be not {z} so now, who will make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth?

(z) That is, contrary to your reasoning no man can give perfect reasons for God's judgments, let me be reproved.

25. Job alas! is only too sure of his facts, and conscious that he has history and experience at his back he victoriously exclaims, Who will make me a liar?

Job has gained his victory over his friends, but he has received, or rather inflicted on himself, an almost mortal wound in achieving it. He has shewn that God’s rule of the world is not just, in the sense in which the friends insisted that it was just, and in the sense in which his own moral feeling demanded that it should be just. God is not righteous, in the sense that he punishes wickedness with outward calamity and rewards the righteous with outward good. So far the three friends are defeated, and with their defeat on the general question their inferences from Job’s calamities as to his guilt fall to the ground. To this extent Job has gained a victory. But his victory, if it secures the possibility of his own innocence, leaves to his mind a God whom he believes to be unrighteous. For his view of what could be called “righteousness” in the Ruler of the world coincides entirely with the view of his friends.Verse 25. - And if it be not so now; i.e. "if these things be not as I say." Who will make me a liar? Which of you will stand forth and disprove them, and so "make me a liar "? And make my speech nothing worth! Show, i.e. my whole discourse to be valueless. This bold challenge no one attempts to take up.

18 For he is light upon the surface of the water;

Their heritage is cursed upon the earth;

He turneth no more in the way of the vineyard.

19 Drought, also heat, snatch away snow water -

So doth Shel those who have sinned.

20 The womb forgetteth him, worms shall feast on him,

He is no more remembered;

So the desire of the wicked is broken as a tree -

21 He who hath plundered the barren that bare not,

And did no good to the widow.

The point of comparison in Job 24:18 is the swiftness of the disappearing: he is carried swiftly past, as any light substance on the surface of the water is hurried along by the swiftness of the current, and can scarcely be seen; comp. Job 9:26 : "My days shoot by as ships of reeds, as an eagle which dasheth upon its prey," and Hosea 10:7, "Samaria's king is destroyed like a bundle of brushwood (lxx, Theod., φρύγανον) on the face of the water," which is quickly drawn into the whirlpool, or buried by the approaching wave.

(Note: The translation: like foam (spuma or bulla), is also very suitable here. Thus Targ., Symm., Jerome, and others; but the signification to foam cannot be etymologically proved, whereas קצף in the signification confringere is established by קצפה, breaking, Joel 1:7, and Arab. qṣf; so that consequently קצף, as synon. of אף, signifies properly the breaking forth, and is then allied to אברה.)

But here the idea is not that of being swallowed up by the waters, as in the passage in Hosea, but, on the contrary, of vanishing from sight, by being carried rapidly past by the rush of the waters. If, then, the evil-doer dies a quick, easy death, his heritage (חלקה, from חלק, to divide) is cursed by men, since no one will dwell in it or use it, because it is appointed by God to desolation on account of the sin which is connected with it (vid., on Job 15:28); even he, the evil-doer, no more turns the way of the vineyard (פּנה, with דּרך, not an acc. of the obj., but as indicating the direction equals אל־דּרך; comp. 1 Samuel 13:18 with 1 Samuel 13:17 of the same chapter), proudly to inspect his wide extended domain, and overlook the labourers. The curse therefore does not come upon him, nor can one any longer lie in wait for him to take vengeance on him; it is useless to think of venting upon him the rage which his conduct during life provoked; he is long since out of reach in Shel.

That which Job says figuratively in Job 24:18, and in Job 21:13 without a figure: "in a moment they go down to Shel," he expresses in Job 24:19 under a new figure, and, moreover, in the form of an emblematic proverb (vid., Herzog's Real-Encyklopdie, xiv. 696), according to the peculiarity of which, not כּן, but either only the copulative Waw (Proverbs 25:25) or nothing whatever (Proverbs 11:22), is to be supplied before שׁאול חטאו. חטאוּ is virtually an object: eos qui peccarunt. Job 24:19 is a model-example of extreme brevity of expression, Ges. 155, 4, b. Sandy ground (ציּה, arid land, without natural moisture), added to it (גּם, not: likewise) the heat of the sun - these two, working simultaneously from beneath and above, snatch away (גּזלוּ, cogn. גּזר, root גז, to cut, cut away, tear away; Arab. jzr, fut. i, used of sinking, decreasing water) מימי שׁלג, water of (melted) snow (which is fed from no fountain, and therefore is quickly absorbed), and Shel snatches away those who have sinned ( equals גּזלה את־אשׁר חטאוּ). The two incidents are alike: the death of those whose life has been a life of sin, follows as a consequence easily and unobserved, without any painful and protracted struggle. The sinner disappears suddenly; the womb, i.e., the mother that bare him, forgets him (רחם, matrix equals mater; according to Ralbag: friendship, from רחם, to love tenderly; others: relationship, in which sense Arab. raḥimun equals רחם is used), worms suck at him (מתקו for מתקתּוּ, according to Ges. 147, a, sugit eum, from which primary notion of sucking comes the signification to be sweet, Job 21:33 : Syriac, metkat ennun remto; Ar. imtasahum, from the synonymous Arab. maṣṣa equals מצץ, מצה, מזה), he is no more thought of, and thus then is mischief (abstr. pro concr. as Job 5:16) broken like a tree (not: a staff, which עץ never, not even in Hosea 4:12, directly, like the Arabic ‛asa, ‛asât, signifies). Since עולה is used personally, רעה וגו, Job 24:21, can be connected with it as an appositional permutative. His want of compassion (as is still too often seen in the present day in connection with the tyrannical conduct of the executive in Syria and Palestine, especially on the part of those who collected the taxes) goes the length of eating up, i.e., entirely plundering, the barren, childless (Genesis 11:30; Isaiah 54:1), and therefore helpless woman, who has no sons to protect and defend her, and never showing favour to the widow, but, on the contrary, thrusting her away from him. There is as little need for regarding the verb רעה here, with Rosenm. after the Targ., in the signification confringere, as cognate with רעע, רצץ, as conversely to change תּרעם, Psalm 2:9, into תּרעם; it signifies depascere, as in Job 20:26, here in the sense of depopulari. On the form ייטיב for יימיב, vid., Ges. 70, 2, rem.; and on the transition from the part. to the v. fin., vid., Ges. 134, rem. 2. Certainly the memory of such an one is not affectionately cherished; this is equally true with what Job maintains in Job 21:32, that the memory of the evil-doer is immortalized by monuments. Here the allusion is to the remembrance of a mother's love and sympathetic feeling. The fundamental thought of the strophe is this, that neither in life nor in death had he suffered the punishment of his evil-doing. The figure of the broken tree (broken in its full vigour) also corresponds to this thought; comp. on the other hand what Bildad says, Job 18:16 : "his roots dry up beneath, and above his branch is lopped off" (or: withered). The severity of his oppression is not manifest till after his death.


Job 24:25 Interlinear
Job 24:25 Parallel Texts

Job 24:25 NIV
Job 24:25 NLT
Job 24:25 ESV
Job 24:25 NASB
Job 24:25 KJV

Job 24:25 Bible Apps
Job 24:25 Parallel
Job 24:25 Biblia Paralela
Job 24:25 Chinese Bible
Job 24:25 French Bible
Job 24:25 German Bible

Bible Hub

Job 24:24
Top of Page
Top of Page