Job 27:1
Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XXVII.

(1) Job continued his parable.—The remainder of Job’s speech—now, for the first time, called his parable—consists of his determination not to renounce his righteousness (Job 27:2-6); his own estimate of the fate of the wicked (Job 27:7-23); his magnificent estimate of the nature of wisdom (Job 28); his comparison of his former life (Job 29) with that of his present experience (Job 30); his final declaration of his innocent and irreproachable conduct (Job 31).

Job 27:1-4. Job continued his parable — His grave and weighty discourse. As God liveth — He confirms the truth of his expressions by an oath, because he found them very backward to believe what he professed. Who hath taken away my judgment — Who, though he knows my integrity, yet does not plead my cause against my friends. All the while my breath is in me — Which is the constant companion and certain sign of life; or my soul or life is in me; and Spirit of God — Or rather, the breath of God; is in my nostrils — I protest, that as long as I have breath in my body, and he shall enable me to speak a word; my lips shall not speak wickedness, &c. — My tongue shall be the faithful interpreter of my heart, and I will never speak otherwise than I think.

27:1-6 Job's friends now suffered him to speak, and he proceeded in a grave and useful manner. Job had confidence in the goodness both of his cause and of his God; and cheerfully committed his cause to him. But Job had not due reverence when he spake of God as taking away his judgment, and vexing his soul. To resolve that our hearts shall not reproach us, while we hold fast our integrity, baffles the designs of the evil spirit.Job continued - Margin, as in Hebrew "added to take up." Probably he had paused for Zophar to reply, but since he said nothing he now resumed his argument.

His parable - A parable properly denotes a comparison of one thing with another, or a fable or allegorical representation from which moral instruction is derived. It was a favorite mode of conveying truth in the East, and indeed is found in all countries; see the notes at Matthew 13:3. It is evident, however, that Job did not deliver his sentiments in this manner; and the word rendered "parable" here (משׁל mâshâl) means, as it often does, a sententious discourse or argument. The word is used in the Scriptures to denote a parable, properly so called; then a sententious saying; an apothegm; a proverb; or a poem or song; see the notes at Isaiah 14:4. It is rendered here by the Vulgate, parabolam; by the Septuagint, προοιμίῳ prooimiō - "Job spake by preface;" Luther, fuhr fort - Job continued; Noyes, discourse; Good, high argument. The meaning is, that Job continued his discourse; but there is in the word a reference to the kind of discourse which he employed, as being sententious and apothegmatical.

CHAPTER 27

Job 27:1-23.

It was now Zophar's turn to speak. But as he and the other two were silent, virtually admitting defeat, after a pause Job proceeds.

1. parable—applied in the East to a figurative sententious embodiment of wisdom in poetic form, a gnome (Ps 49:4).

continued—proceeded to put forth; implying elevation of discourse.He will not renounce his integrity, Job 27:1-6. The character of a hypocrite, and his misery, Job 27:7-10. The portion and heritage of the wicked, Job 27:11-23.

When he had waited a while to hear what his friends would reply, and perceived them to be silent. His parable; his grave and weighty, but withal dark and difficult, discourse, such as are oft called parables, as Numbers 23:7 24:3-15 Psalm 49:4 88:2 Proverbs 26:7.

Moreover Job continued his parable,.... Having finished his discourse concerning the worlds and ways of God, and the display of his majesty, power, and glory, in them, he pauses awhile, waiting for Zophar, whose turn was next to rise up, and make a reply to him; but neither he, nor any of his friends, reassumed the debate, but kept a profound silence, and chose not to carry on the dispute any further with him; either concluding him to be an obstinate man, not open to conviction, and on whom no impressions could be made, and that it was all lost time and labour to use any argument with him; or else being convicted in their minds that he was in the right, and they in the wrong, though they did not choose to own it; and especially being surprised with what he had last said concerning God and his works, whereby they perceived he had great knowledge of divine things, and could not be the man they had suspected him to be from his afflictions: however, though they are silent, Job was not, "he added to take or lift up his parable" (a), as the words may be rendered; or his oration, as Mr. Broughton, his discourse; which, because it consisted of choice and principal things, which command regard and attention, of wise, grave, serious, and sententious sayings, and some of them such as not easy to be understood, being delivered in similes and figurative expressions, as particularly in the following chapter, it is called his parable; what are called parables being proverbial phrases, dark sayings, allegorical or metaphorical expressions, and the like; and which way of speaking Job is here said to take, "and lift up", which is an eastern phraseology, as appears from Balaam's use of it, Numbers 23:7; and may signify, that he delivered the following oration with great freedom, boldness, and confidence, and with a high tone and loud voice; to all which he might be induced by observing, through the silence of his friends, that he had got the advantage of them, and had carried his point, and had brought them to conviction or confusion, or however to silence, which gave him heart and spirit to proceed on with his oration, which he added to his former discourse:

and said; as follows.

(a) "et addidit assumere suam parabolam", Pagninus, Montanus.

Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verses 1-23. - This chapter divides itself into three distinct portions. In the first, which extends to the end of ver. 6, Job is engaged in maintaining, with the utmost possible solemnity (ver. 2), both his actual integrity (ver. 6) and his determination to hold fast his integrity as long as he lives (vers. 4-6). In the second (vers. 7-10) he implicates a curse upon his enemies. In the third (vers. 11-23) he returns to the consideration of God's treatment of the wicked, and retracts the view which he had maintained controversially in Job 24:2-24, with respect to their prosperity, impunity, and equalization with the righteous in death. The retractation is so complete, the concessions are so large, that some have been induced to question whether they can possibly have been made by Job, and have been led on to suggest that we have here a third speech of Zophar's, such as "the symmetry of the general form" requires, which by accident or design has been transferred from him to Job. But the improbability of such a transfer, considering how in the Book of Job the speech of each separate interlocutor is introduced, is palpable; the dissimilarity between the speech and the other utterances of Zophar is striking; and (;he judgment of two such liberal critics as Ewald and Renan, that the passage is rightly placed, and rightly assigned to Job, should set all doubt at rest, and make an end of controversy (see Mr. Froude's 'Short Studies on Great Subjects,' vol. 1 pp. 315, 316; and Canon Cook's "Introduction to the Book of Job," in the 'Speaker's Commentary,' vol. 4. p. 7). Verse 1. - Moreover Job continued his parable, and said. The word translated "parable" (משׁל) is only used previously in Numbers 23, and 24. It is thought to "comprehend all discourses in which the results of discursive thought are concisely or figuratively expressed" (Cook). The introduction of a new term seems to imply that the present discourse occupies a position different from that of all the preceding ones. It is not tentative, controversial, or emotional, but expresses the deliberate judgment of the patriarch on the subjects discussed in it. Note the repetition of the term in Job 29:1. Job 27:1 1 Then Job continued to take up his proverb, and said:

2 As God liveth, who hath deprived me of my right,

And the Almighty, who hath sorely saddened my soul -

3 For still all my breath is in me,

And the breath of Eloah in my nostrils -

4 My lips do not speak what is false,

And my tongue uttereth not deceit!

5 Far be it from me, to grant that you are in the right:

Till I die I will not remove my innocence from me.

6 My righteousness I hold fast, and let it not go:

My heart reproacheth not any of my days.

7 Mine enemy must appear as an evil-doer,

And he who riseth up against me as unrighteous.

The friends are silent, Job remains master of the discourse, and his continued speech is introduced as a continued שׂאת משׁלו (after the analogy of the phrase נשׂא קול), as in Numbers 23:7 and further on, the oracles of Balaam. משׁל is speech of a more elevated tone and more figurative character; here, as frequently, the unaffected outgrowth of an elevated solemn mood. The introduction of the ultimatum, as משׁל, reminds one of "the proverb (el-methel) seals it" in the mouth of the Arab, since in common life it is customary to use a pithy saying as the final proof at the conclusion of a speech.

continued...

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