Job 24:6
They reap every one his corn in the field: and they gather the vintage of the wicked.
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(6) They reap every one his corn.—Or, probably, the corn, that is, of the wicked tyrant. While they reap his corn and cut his provender, they have to go without themselves.

Job 24:6. They reap every one his corn in the field — The words, every one, are not in the original, and ought not to have been inserted here, as they alter the sense. The clause would be better translated without them. They reap his corn in the field; that is, these plunderers make incursions, reap and take away the corn of the honest, industrious husbandman, which he had sown for the support of his family. They gather the vintage of the wicked — Or, rather, the vintage of wickedness; that is, they plunder the vineyards of the honest, just man, as well as his corn-fields.24:1-12 Job discourses further about the prosperity of the wicked. That many live at ease who are ungodly and profane, he had showed, ch. xxi. Here he shows that many who live in open defiance of all the laws of justice, succeed in wicked practices; and we do not see them reckoned with in this world. He notices those that do wrong under pretence of law and authority; and robbers, those that do wrong by force. He says, God layeth not folly to them; that is, he does not at once send his judgments, nor make them examples, and so manifest their folly to all the world. But he that gets riches, and not by right, at his end shall be a fool, Jer 17:11.They reap every one his corn - Margin, "mingled corn," or "dredge." The word used here (בליל belı̂yl) denotes, properly, "meslin," mixed provender, made up of various kinds of grain, as of barley, vetches, etc., prepared for cattle; see the notes at Isaiah 30:24.

In the field - They break in upon the fields of others, and rob them of their grain, instead of cultivating the earth themselves. So it is rendered by Jerome - Agrum non suum deme-runt; et vineam ejus, quem vi. oppresserint vindemiant. The Septuagint renders it, "A field, not their own, they reap down before the time - πρὸ ὥρας pro hōras.

They gather the vintage of the wicked - Margin, "the wicked gather the vintage." Rather, they gather the vintage of the oppressor. It is not the vintage of honest industry; not a harvest which is the result of their own labor, but of plunder. They live by depredations on others. This is descriptive of those who support themselves by robbery.

6. Like the wild asses (Job 24:5) they (these Bedouin robbers) reap (metaphorically) their various grain (so the Hebrew for "corn" means). The wild ass does not let man pile his mixed provender up in a stable (Isa 30:24); so these robbers find their food in the open air, at one time in the desert (Job 24:5), at another in the fields.

the vintage of the wicked—Hebrew, "the wicked gather the vintage"; the vintage of robbery, not of honest industry. If we translate "belonging to the wicked," then it will imply that the wicked alone have vineyards, the "pious poor" (Job 24:4) have none. "Gather" in Hebrew, is "gather late." As the first clause refers to the early harvest of corn, so the second to the vintage late in autumn.

They; either,

1. The poor, who are forced to gather in the corn and grapes of their wicked oppressors; or rather,

2. The oppressors, of whom he speaks Job 4:4,5,7.

His corn, i.e. the corn of the wicked, as it is in the next clause. Or, that which

is not their own; as the LXX., and Chaldee, and Vulgar Latin translate it, reading the Hebrew as two distinct words: they reap other men’s labours.

In the field, i.e. in the field of the right owner, from whom they take it. He notes their great power and boldness, that they did not come suddenly, and carry away their corn when it was laid up in the barns, or in heaps; but they proceeded leisurely, and staid to reap the corn, and by degrees carried it away, as it were in triumph, not fearing any interruption or hinderance either from God or man.

The vintage of the wicked; of such as themselves: so they promiscuously robbed all, even their own brethren in iniquity; whereby also he may intimate the righteous judgment of God in punishing one wicked man by another, and in depriving men of those goods which they had wickedly gotten. Or, the wicked (the singular number being used collectively for the plural, as is frequent; the oppressors)

gather the vintage, to wit, belonging to other men. They reap everyone his corn in the field,.... Not the poor, who are obliged to reap the corn of the wicked for them without any wages, as some; but rather the wicked reap the corn of the poor; they are so insolent and impudent, that they do not take the corn out of their barns by stealth, but while it is standing in the field; they come openly and reap it down, as if it was their own, without any fear of God or men: it is observed, that the word (k) signifies a mixture of the poorer sorts of corn, which is scarce anything better than food for cattle; yet this they cut down and carry off, as forage for their horses and asses at least. Some of the ancient versions, taking it to be two words, render them, "which is not their own" (l); they go into a field that is not theirs, and reap corn that do not belong to them, that they have no right unto, and so are guilty of great injustice, and of doing injury to others:

and they gather the vintage of the wicked; gather the grapes off of the vines of wicked men, which are gathered, as the word signifies, at the latter end of the year, in autumn; and though they belong to wicked men like themselves, yet they spare them not, but seize on all that come to hand, whether the property of good men or bad men; and thus sometimes one wicked man is an instrument of punishing another: or "the wicked gather the vintage" (m); that is, of the poor; as they reap where they have not sown, they gather of that they have not planted.

(k) "migma suum", Bolducius; "farraginem ejus vel suam", Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis. (l) Sept. "non suum", V. L. so the Targum, and Aben Ezra, Grotius, Codurcus. (m) "et in vinea (aliena) vindemiant impii", Tigurine version; "vineasque vindemiant impii", Castalio.

They reap every one {f} his corn in the field: and they gather the {g} vintage of the wicked.

(f) Meaning the poor man's.

(g) Signifying that one wicked man will not spoil another, but for necessity.

6. The verse reads,

They reap their fodder in the field,

And glean the vineyard of the wicked.

The coarse food which they can possess themselves of is called by the poet “their fodder”; it is scarcely grain; and for fruit they have only the forgotten or neglected late gleanings of the vineyard of the wicked. The term “wicked” seems to mean here the rich, inhumane lords of the soil; comp. the converse use of “rich” for “wicked,” Isaiah 53:9.Verse 6. - They reap every one his corn in the field. When they have scoured the desert, the marauders approach the cultivated ground bordering on it, and thence carry off, each of them. a quantity of "fodder," or "provender" (Revised Version), for the sustentation of their horses. And they gather the vintage of the wicked; rather, as in the margin, and the wicked gather the vintage. (So Rosenmuller and Professor Lee.) Sometimes they burst into the vineyards, and rob them, carrying off the ripe grapes. 14 For He accomplisheth that which is appointed for me,

And much of a like kind is with Him.

15 Therefore I am troubled at His presence;

If I consider it, I am afraid of Him.

16 And God hath caused my heart to be dejected,

And the Almighty hath put me to confusion;

17 For I have not been destroyed before darkness,

And before my countenance, which thick darkness covereth.

Now it is the will of God, the absolute, which has all at once turned against him, the innocent (Job 23:13); for what He has decreed against him (חקּי) He also brings to a complete fulfilment (השׁלים, as e.g., Isaiah 44:26); and the same troubles as those which he already suffers, God has still more abundantly decreed for him, in order to torture him gradually, but surely, to death. Job intends Job 23:14 in reference to himself, not as a general assertion: it is, in general, God's way of acting. Hahn's objection to the other explanation, that Job's affliction, according to his own previous assertions, has already attained its highest degree, does not refute it; for Job certainly has a term of life before him, though it be but short, in which the wondrously inventive (Job 10:16) hostility of God can heap up ever new troubles for him. On the other hand, the interpretation of the expression in a general sense is opposed by the form of the expression itself, which is not that God delights to do this, but that He purposes (עמּו) to do it. It is a conclusion from the present concerning the future, such as Job is able to make with reference to himself; while he, moreover, abides by the reality in respect to the mysterious distribution of the fortunes of men. Therefore, because he is a mark for the enmity of God, without having merited it, he is confounded before His countenance, which is so angrily turned upon him (comp. פנים, Psalm 21:10; Lamentations 4:16); if he considers it (according to the sense fut. hypothet., as Job 23:9), he trembles before Him, who recompenses faithful attachment by such torturing pain. The following connection with ל and the mention of God twice at the beginning of the affirmations, is intended to mean: (I tremble before Him), and He it is who has made me faint-hearted (הרך Hiph. from the Kal, Deuteronomy 20:3, and freq., to be tender, soft, disconcerted), and has troubled me; which is then supported in Job 23:17.

His suffering which draws him on to ruin he perceives, but it is not the proper ground of his inward destruction; it is not the encircling darkness of affliction, not the mysterious form of his suffering which disconcerts him, but God's hostile conduct towards him, His angry countenance as he seems to see it, and which he is nevertheless unable to explain. Thus also Ew., Hirz., Vaih., Hlgst., and Schlottm. explain the passage. The only other explanation worthy of mention is that which finds in Job 23:17 the thought already expressed in Job 3:10 : For I was not then destroyed, in order that I might experience such mysterious suffering; and interpretation with which most of the old expositors were satisfied, and which has been revived by Rosenm., Stick., and Hahn. We translate: for I have not been destroyed before darkness (in order to be taken away from it before it came upon me), and He has not hidden darkness before my face; or as an exclamation: that I have not been destroyed! which is to be equivalent to: Had I but been ... ! Apart from this rendering of the quod non equals utinam, which cannot be supported, (1) It is doubly hazardous thus to carry the לא forward to the second line in connection with verbs of different persons. (2) The darkness in Job 23:17 appears (at least according to the usual interpret. caliginem) as that which is being covered, whereas it is naturally that which covers something else; wherefore Blumenfeld explains: and darkness has not hidden, viz., such pain as I must now endure, from my face. (3) The whole thought which is thus gained is without point, and meaningless, in this connection. On the other hand, the antithesis between מפּניו and מפּני, ממּנוּ and מפּני־חשׁך, is at once obvious; and this antithesis, which forces itself upon the attention, also furnishes the thought which might be expected from the context. It is unnecessary to take נצמת in a different signification from Job 6:17; in Arabic ṣmt signifies conticescere; the idea of the root, however, is in general a constraining depriving of free movement. חשׁך is intended as in the question of Eliphaz, Job 22:11 : "Or seest thou not the darkness?" to which it perhaps refers. It is impossible, with Schlottm., to translate Job 23:17: and before that darkness covers my face; מן is never other than a praep., not a conjunction with power over a whole clause. It must be translated: et a facie mea quam obtegit caligo. As the absolute פנים, Job 9:27, signifies the appearance of the countenance under pain, so here by it Job means his countenance distorted by pain, his deformed appearance, which, as the attributive clause affirms, is thoroughly darkened by suffering (comp. Job 30:30). But it is not this darkness which stares him in the face, and threatens to swallow him up (comp. מפני־חשׁך, Job 17:12); not this his miserable form, which the extremest darkness covers (on אפל, vid., Job 10:22), that destroys his inmost nature; but the thought that God stands forth in hostility against him, which makes his affliction so terrific, and doubly so in connection with the inalienable consciousness of his innocence. From the incomprehensible punishment which, without reason, is passing over him, he now again comes to speak of the incomprehensible connivance of God, which permits the godlessness of the world to go on unpunished.

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