Job 27:11
I will teach you by the hand of God: that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal.
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(11) I will teach you.—Better, I will teach you of the hand of God; or, what is in the power of God.

Job 27:11. I will teach you by the hand of God — That is, by God’s help and inspiration; or, by such arguments as are irresistible. The words, however, may be rendered, concerning the hand of God; that is, concerning his counsel and providence in governing the world, or the manner of his dealing with men, and especially with wicked men, of whom he discourses, Job 27:13, &c., showing how far the hand of God is either for them, upon, or against them. That which is with the Almighty — That is, in his counsel, and how he executes his secret purposes concerning them; I will not conceal — I will declare the truth of God, and the doctrine that he hath taught his church about these matters.

27:11-23 Job's friends, on the same subject, spoke of the misery of wicked men before death as proportioned to their crimes; Job considered that if it were not so, still the consequences of their death would be dreadful. Job undertook to set this matter in a true light. Death to a godly man, is like a fair gale of wind to convey him to the heavenly country; but, to a wicked man, it is like a storm, that hurries him away to destruction. While he lived, he had the benefit of sparing mercy; but now the day of God's patience is over, and he will pour out upon him his wrath. When God casts down a man, there is no flying from, nor bearing up under his anger. Those who will not now flee to the arms of Divine grace, which are stretched out to receive them, will not be able to flee from the arms of Divine wrath, which will shortly be stretched out to destroy them. And what is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and thus lose his own soul?I will teach you by the hand of God - Margin, "or, being in." Coverdale, "In the name of God." So Tindal, Noyes, "Concerning the hand of God." Good, "Concerning the dealings of God." The Chaldee renders it אלהא בנביאת - "By the prophecy of God." Luther, "I will teach you by the hand of God." The idea evidently is, that Job would instruct them by what God had done. He would appeal to his works, and to the dispensations of his providence; and by the indications of wisdom and skill which were to be found there, he would derive important lessons for their instruction on the great principles of his administration. Accordingly, in the remainder of this chapter, he makes his appeal to what actually occurs in the dispensations of Providence, and in the next, he refers to various scientific subjects, evincing the wisdom which God had shown in the mineral kingdom. The hand is the instrument by which we accomplish anything, and hence, it is used here to denote what God does.

That which is with the Almighty will I not conceal - That is, I will appeal to his works, and show what traces of wisdom there are in them.

11-23. These words are contrary to Job's previous sentiments (see on [520]Job 21:22-33; [521]Job 24:22-25). Job 21:22-33; 24:22-25). They therefore seem to be Job's statement, not so much of his own sentiments, as of what Zophar would have said had he spoken when his turn came (end of the twenty-sixth chapter). So Job stated the friends' opinion (Job 21:17-21; 24:18-21). The objection is, why, if so, does not Job answer Zophar's opinion, as stated by himself? The fact is, it is probable that Job tacitly, by giving, in the twenty-eighth chapter, only a general answer, implies, that in spite of the wicked often dying, as he said, in prosperity, he does not mean to deny that the wicked are in the main dealt with according to right, and that God herein vindicates His moral government even here. Job therefore states Zophar's argument more strongly than Zophar would have done. But by comparing Job 27:13 with Job 20:29 ("portion," "heritage"), it will be seen, it is Zophar's argument, rather than his own, that Job states. Granting it to be true, implies Job, you ought not to use it as an argument to criminate me. For (Job 28:1-28) the ways of divine wisdom in afflicting the godly are inscrutable: all that is sure to man is, the fear of the Lord is wisdom (Job 28:28).

by the hand—rather, concerning the hand of God, namely, what God does in governing men.

with the Almighty—the counsel or principle which regulates God's dealings.

By the hand of God, i.e. by God’s help and inspiration; as God is said to speak to the prophet with or by a strong hand, Isaiah 8:11. I will not teach you my own vain conceits, but what God himself hath taught me. Or, concerning (as the prefix beth is oft used, as Exodus 12:43,44 Psa 63:6 87:3 Proverbs 4:11)

the hand of God, i.e. his counsel and providence in governing the world, or the manner of his dealing with men, and especially with wicked men, of whose portion he discourseth Job 27:13,14, &c., showing how far the hand of God is either for them, or upon them, and against them.

That which is with the Almighty, i.e. what is in his breast or counsel, and how he executes his secret purposes concerning them; or the truth of God, the doctrine which he hath taught his church about these matters.

I will teach you by the hand of God,.... To serve God, and speak truth, says one of the Jewish commentators (g); rather the works of God, and methods of his providence, with wicked men and hypocrites; the wisdom of God in his dispensations towards them; the reasons why he suffers them to live in outward prosperity and happiness, and what in the issue will be their case and circumstances; wherefore some render the words, "I will teach you the hand of God", or "of", or "concerning the hand of God" (h); and so Mr. Broughton, of God, his hand; not his works of nature which his hand had wrought, of which he had discoursed in the preceding chapter; but his works of providence, and those more mysterious ones relating to the afflictions of the godly, and the prosperity of the wicked. Job had been a teacher and instructor of others in the times of his prosperity, and his words had upheld, strengthened, and comforted many, Job 4:3; and he was not the less qualified for, nor the less capable of such an office now in his adversity, which had been a school to him, in which he had learned many useful lessons himself, and so was in a better capacity of teaching others. Thus some render the words, "I will teach you", being in or "under the hand of God" (i); under his mighty hand, his afflicting, chastising hand, which had touched him, and pressed him sore, and yet had guided and instructed him in many things, and particularly relating to the subject he proposed to instruct his friends in; who, though they were men of knowledge, and in years, yet he apprehended needed instruction; and he undertook to give them some by the good hand of God upon him, through his help and assistance, and under the influences and teachings of his spirit. The Targum is,

"I will teach you by the prophecy of God;''

see Ezekiel 1:3;

that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal; meaning not the secret purposes and decrees of God within himself, which cannot be known, unless he reveals them; rather secret truths, which are not obvious to everyone, the mysteries of the kingdom, the wisdom of God in a mystery, the knowledge of which the Lord vouchsafes to some of his people in a very peculiar manner; though the mysteries of Providence seem chiefly intended, which those that carefully observe attain to an understanding of, so as to be capable of instructing others; and indeed what is in reserve with God for men among his treasures, whether of grace or glory for his own peculiar people, or especially of wrath and vengeance for wicked men and hypocrites, may be here designed; and whatever knowledge men have of the mysteries of nature, providence, and grace, which may be profitable unto others, and make for the glory of God, should not be concealed from men, see Job 6:10.

(g) Simeon Bar Tzemach. (h) "manum Dei", Beza, Cocceius; "de manu Dei", Mercerus, Piscator, Drusius, Schmidt, Michaelis, Schultens. (i) "In plaga Dei fortis versans", Junius & Tremellius.

I will teach you by the hand of {g} God: that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal.

(g) That is, what God reserves for himself, and of which he gives not knowledge to all.

11. by the hand of God] Rather, concerning the hand of God. In a brief preface Job intimates that he will instruct his friends regarding the hand of God, that is, His operation, His method of dealing with the wicked.

with the Almighty] There is no just ground for restricting the phrase with the Almighty to the meaning, the plans or purposes of the Almighty, the general principles of His government, which continue to be His principles though they may not for a time appear in actual operation. Such a limitation is interpolated into the text, and is contrary to the parallelism of the first clause. In Job 27:13 the same phrase occurs, “the portion of the wicked man with God,” which is interpreted in the next clause as “the heritage which they receive from the Almighty.” The words refer to no ideal of moral government, such as always exists and may always manifest itself; they describe God’s actual treatment of the wicked man, apart from all limitation. This is the doctrine of the three friends; that of Job in ch. 21, and even ch. 24 was very different.

11–23. The disastrous fate of the wicked man at the hand of God.

Job 27:7-10 drew a contrast between the internal state of the mind of the speaker and that of the sinner; in these verses the contrast is pursued in a terrible picture of the external history and fate of the sinner at the hand of God. From Job’s hand such a picture can have no meaning, unless either he now anticipates for himself a happy issue out of his afflictions, and restoration to prosperity, while the calamities that befall the wicked are final; or regards his own afflictions, even though they should bring him unto death, as altogether different in their character and marks from those that bring the wicked man to destruction. Either side of the alternative sets Job in complete contradiction to his position in the chapters that precede and follow this one. On the former side see on Job 27:10. The latter side supposes Job now to take a view of his afflictions entirely opposed to that which he has hitherto taken and continues to take, namely that they are due to the enmity and hostility of God (ch. Job 13:24, Job 16:9, Job 19:11; Job 19:22, but also ch. Job 30:21, and even the present chap. Job 27:2-6)—a view which Elihu severely animadverts upon, ch. Job 33:10 seq. And the idea that to become the prey of pestilence and sword (Job 27:14-15) is a sure mark of a wicked man, while to be the victim of a fatal and loathsome malady is no such proof of wickedness (Delitzsch), is one which it is difficult to treat with seriousness.

Verses 11-23. - It is impossible to deny that this passage directly contradicts Job's former utterances, especially Job 24:2-24. But the hypotheses which would make Job irresponsible for the present utterance and fix on him, as his steadfast conviction, the opposite theory, are unsatisfactory and have no solid basis. To suppose that Zophar is the real speaker is to imagine the absolute loss and suppression of two entire verses - one between vers. 10 and 11, assigning the speech to him, and another at the beginning of ch. 28, reintroducing Job and making him once more the interlocutor. That this should have happened by accident is inconceivable. Τὰ κατὰ τύχην οὐ πάνυ συνδυάζεται To ascribe it to intentional corruption by a Hebrew redactor, bent on maintaining the old orthodox view, and on falsely and wickedly giving the authority of Job to it (Froude 'Short Studies on Great Subjects,' vol. 1. p. 316), is to take away all authority from the existing text of the Hebrew Scriptures, and to open a door to any amount of wild suggestion and conjectural emendation. The other hypothesis - that of Eichhorn - that Job is here simply anticipating what his adversaries will say, though a less dangerous view, is untenable, since Job never does this without following up his statement of the adversaries' ease with a reply, and here is no reply whatever, but a simple turning away, after ver. 23, to another subject. The explanation of the contradiction by supposing that Job's former statement was tentative and controversial, or else hasty and ill-considered, and that now, to prevent misconception, he determines to set himself right, is, on the other hand, thoroughly defensible, and receives a strong support from the remarkable introduction in ver. 11, which "prepares us, if not for a recantation, yet (at any rate) for a modification of statements wrung from the speaker when his words flowed over from a spirit drunk with the poison of God's arrows" (see the remarks of Canon Cook, in the 'Speaker's Commentary,' vol. 4. p. 90, which are in substantial agreement with those of Ewald said Dillmann). Verse 11. - I will teach you by (or, concerning) the hand of God. Job is now at last about to deliver his real sentiments respecting God's dealings with men in the world, and prefaces his. remarks with this solemn introduction, to draw special attention to them. He is aware that his previous statements on the subject, especially in Job 24:2-24, have been overstrained and exaggerated, and wishes, now that he is uttering his last words (Job 31:40), to correct his previous hasty utterances, and put on record his true views. That which is with the Almighty will I not conceal. By "that which is with the Almighty" Job means the Divine principles of action. Job 27:11 8 For what is the hope of the godless, when He cutteth off,

When Eloah taketh away his soul?

9 Will God hear his cry

When distress cometh upon him?

10 Or can he delight himself in the Almighty,

Can he call upon Eloah at all times?

11 I will teach you concerning the hand of God,

I will not conceal the dealings of the Almighty.

12 Behold, ye have all seen it,

Why then do ye cherish foolish notions?

In comparing himself with the רשׁע, Job is conscious that he has a God who does not leave him unheard, in whom he delights himself, and to whom he can at all times draw near; as, in fact, Job's fellowship with God rests upon the freedom of the most intimate confidence. He is not one of the godless; for what is the hope of one who is estranged from God, when he comes to die? He has no God on whom his hope might establish itself, to whom it could cling. The old expositors err in many ways respecting Job 27:8, by taking בצע, abscindere (root בץ), in the sense of (opes) corradere (thus also more recently Rosenm. after the Targ., Syr., and Jer.), and referring ישׁל to שׁלה in the signification tranquillum esse (thus even Blumenfeld after Ralbag and others). נפשׁו is the object to both verbs, and בצע נפשׁ, abscindere animam, to cut off the thread of life, is to be explained according to Job 6:9; Isaiah 38:12. שׁלח נפשׁ, extrahere animam (from שׁלה, whence שׁליח Arab. salan, the after-birth, cogn. שׁלל . Arab. sll, נשׁל Arab. nsl, nṯl, nšl), is of similar signification, according to another figure, wince the body is conceived of as the sheath (נדנה, Daniel 7:15) of the soul

(Note: On the similar idea of the body, as the kosha (sheath) of the soul, among the Hindus, vid., Psychol. S. 227.)

(comp. Arab. sll in the universal signification evaginare ensem). The fut. apoc. Kal ישׁל ( equals ישׁל) is therefore in meaning equivalent to the intrans. ישּׁל, Deuteronomy 28:40 (according to Ew. 235, c, obtained from this by change of vowel), decidere; and Schnurrer's supposition that ישׁל, like the Arab. ysl, is equivalent to ישׁאל (when God demands it), or such a violent correction as De Lagarde's

(Note: Anm. zur griech. Uebers. der Proverbien (1863), S. VI.f., where the first reason given for this improvement of the text is this, that the usual explanation, according to which ישׁל and יבצע have the same subj. and obj. standing after the verb, is altogether contrary to Semitic usage. But this assertion is groundless, as might be supposed from the very beginning. Thus, e.g., the same obj. is found after two verbs in Job 20:19, and the same subj. and obj. in Nehemiah 3:20.)


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