Job 25:2
Dominion and fear are with him, he makes peace in his high places.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Dominion and fear are with him.—He is absolute in sovereignty and terrible in power, so that even in His high places, and among His celestial hosts, He maintaineth peace and harmony.

Job 25:2. Dominion and fear are with him — Absolute and sovereign power over all persons and things, so that it is both rebellion and madness to contend with him; and terror, which justly makes him dreadful to all men, and especially to all that undertake to dispute with him. In other words, awful majesty and infinite knowledge are his, whereby he is much better acquainted with men’s hearts and ways than they are themselves, and sees much sin in them, which themselves do not discover; and to him belong also exact purity and justice, which render him formidable to sinners. These are with him whom thou challengest; with him who is not lightly and irreverently to be named, much less to be contended with; and therefore it is thy duty to humble thyself before him, and quietly and modestly to submit thyself and thy cause to his pleasure. He maketh peace in his high places — This clause, as well as the following verse, seems to be added, to prove God’s dominion and dreadfulness; he keepeth and ruleth all persons and things in heaven, in peace and harmony. The angels, though they be very numerous, all own his sovereignty, and acquiesce in his pleasure. The stars, though vast in their bulk, and various in their motions, exactly keep the order which God hath appointed them: and therefore it is great folly for thee to quarrel with the methods of God’s dealings with thee.25:1-6 Bildad shows that man cannot be justified before God. - Bildad drops the question concerning the prosperity of wicked men; but shows the infinite distance there is between God and man. He represents to Job some truths he had too much overlooked. Man's righteousness and holiness, at the best, are nothing in comparison with God's, Ps 89:6. As God is so great and glorious, how can man, who is guilty and impure, appear before him? We need to be born again of water and of the Holy Ghost, and to be bathed again and again in the blood of Christ, that Fountain opened, Zec 13:1. We should be humbled as mean, guilty, polluted creatures, and renounce self-dependence. But our vileness will commend Christ's condescension and love; the riches of his mercy and the power of his grace will be magnified to all eternity by every sinner he redeems.Dominion and fear are with him - That is, God has a right to rule, and he ought to be regarded with reverence. The object of Bildad is to show that He is so great and glorious that it is impossible that man should be regarded as pure in his sight. He begins, therefore, by saying, that he is a Sovereign; that he is clothed with majesty, and that he is worthy of profound veneration.

He maketh peace in his high places - "High places," here refer to the heavenly worlds. The idea is, that he preserves peace and concord among the hosts of heaven. Numerous and mighty as are the armies of the skies, yet he keeps them in order and in awe. The object is to present an image of the majesty and power of that Being who thus controls a vast number of minds. The phrase does not necessarily imply that there had been variance or strife, and that then God had made peace, but that he preserved or kept them in peace.

2. Power and terror, that is, terror-inspiring power.

peace in his high places—implying that His power is such on high as to quell all opposition, not merely there, but on earth also. The Holy Ghost here shadowed forth Gospel truths (Col 1:20; Eph 1:10).

Dominion, i.e. absolute and sovereign power over all persons and things, with whom to contend is both rebellion and madness.

Fear, actively understood, or terror, i.e. that which justly makes him dreadful to all men, and especially to all that shall undertake to dispute with him; awful majesty, infinite knowledge, whereby he knows men’s hearts and ways far better than they know themselves, and sees much sin in them which themselves do not discover, and exact purity and justice, which renders him formidable to sinners.

Are with him; emphatically spoken; with him whom thou challengest; with him who is not lightly and irreverently to be named, much less to be contended with. And therefore it is thy duty to humble thyself for thy presumptuous words and carriages towards him, and quietly and modestly to submit thyself and thy cause to his pleasure.

He maketh peace in his high places. This clause, as well as the following verse, seems to be added to prove what he last said of God’s dominion and dreadfulness; he keepeth and ruleth all persons and things in heaven in peace and harmony; and the order which he hath established among them. The angels, though they be very numerous, and differing in orders and ministries, do all own his sovereignty, and acquiesce in his pleasure, without any disputing and murmuring. The stars and heavenly bodies, though vast in their bulk, and various in their motions, yet exactly keep their courses and the order which God hath appointed them; and therefore it is great folly and impudence to exempt thyself from God’s jurisdiction, or to quarrel with the methods of God’s dealings with thee. Dominion and fear are with him,.... Not with man, as Sephorno interprets it, as that with him is power to rule over the imagination (the evil figment of his heart) to choose the good, and refuse the evil; and with him is fear of punishment, and also the fear of God to restrain him from evil; but with God, as may easily be perceived from the whole context, though his name is not expressed in this clause, and not till Job 25:4; this dominion he is possessed of is universal; his kingdom rules over all, over all the angels, good and bad; over all men, over all the nations of the world, and the great men in it, the kings and princes of it; and over all, of every age, sex, and condition; and it is absolute and uncontrollable; he governs according to his will, and is not to be controlled in his ways; nor is he accountable to any for what he does, and his kingdom is an everlasting one, and his dominion for ever and ever: and by the fear that is with him is not meant actively, with which he fears; for he is afraid of none, be they ever so great and mighty, Job 22:4; but passively, with which he is feared; for holy and reverend is his name, and so his nature, and all that belong to him; he is feared by the angels in heaven, who cover their faces before him, and cast their crowns at his feet; and by the saints on earth, in whose assemblies he is served with reverence and godly fear; and should be stood in awe of by all the inhabitants of the world, because of the glory of his nature, the greatness of his works, and the goodness of his providence:

he maketh peace in his high places; in the high places of his earth, and among the great men of it, creating and commanding peace, and causing war among them to cease, whenever it is his pleasure; and in the regions of the air, where, though there are often thunder and lightning, storms and tempests of wind, hail, and rain, yet, when he says, Peace, be still, all is serene and quiet; and in the orbs of the heaven, the sun, moon, and stars, which know their appointed times and seasons, and keep their place or course, and do their work and office in the most easy and cheerful manner; and among the angels in the highest heaven, which are properly his high places, who, though their numbers are so great, and they themselves thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, and have various offices and different work assigned them, readily do his will, and are in the utmost harmony and concord among themselves, show no reluctance to him, nor any discord to each other: now Bildad would have Job consider whether he could think himself so significant, that cognizance would be taken of him and his cause by so great, glorious, and majestic a thing; or that he would suffer his high places, where peace reigned, to be disturbed by his noise and brawl.

{a} Dominion and fear are with him, he maketh peace in his high places.

(a) His purpose is to prove that although God may try and afflict the just, yet soon after he sends prosperity, and because he did not do so to Job he concludes that he is wicked.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. dominion and fear] To God belongs rule, and His majesty inspires terror; He is the Omnipotent ruler over all.

his high places] i. e. the heavens where He dwells. There He “maketh peace” through the dominion and fear belonging to Him. The idea of “making peace in his high places” is suggested first perhaps by the atmospheric phenomenon, the stilling of the warring elements in the tempest on high. When God intervenes the storm becomes a calm. But probably the idea was extended, and the words may include a reference to traditional discords among the heavenly hosts, comp. ch. Job 21:22, Job 40:10 seq.; Isaiah 24:21; Revelation 12:7.18 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.

continued...

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