If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword: and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Job 27:14-15. It is for the sword — That they may be cut off by the sword, either of war or of justice: and his offspring, &c. — Shall be starved, or shall want necessaries. Those that remain of him — Who survive that sword and famine; shall be buried in death — “Shall be reduced to so great a degree of misery,” says Schultens, “that where they die, there they shall rot, and no person shall bury them: they shall have death itself, (so he renders the text,) for their sepulchre.” It is put in antithesis, or by way of contrast to the monuments of the rich. And his widows — For they had many wives; shall not weep — Because they, as well as other persons, groaned under his tyranny, and, therefore, rejoice in their deliverance from it.Job 27:14-18; the next are those that would come upon himself, Job 27:19-23. All the sentiments here expressed are found in the various speeches of the friends of Job, and, according to the interpretation suggested above, this is designed to represent their sentiments. They maintained that if a wicked man was blessed with a numerous family, and seemed to be prosperous, it was only that the punishment might come the more heavily upon him, for that they certainly would be cut off; see Job 18:19-20; Job 20:10.
And his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread - This sentiment was advanced by Zophar, Job 20:10; see the notes at that verse.It is for the sword; that they may be cut off by the sword, either of war or of justice.
Shall not be satisfied with bread; shall be starved, or want necessaries. A figure called meiosis. Esther 9:12,
it is for the sword; for them that kill with the sword, as the Targum; to be killed with it, as in the two instances above; Haman's ten sons were slain by the sword of the Jews, Esther 9:13, and Ahab's seventy sons by the sword of Jehu, or those he ordered to slay them, 2 Kings 10:7. The children of such wicked persons are oftentimes put to death, either by the sword of the enemy, fall in battle in an hostile way, which is one of God's four sore judgments, Ezekiel 14:21; or, leading a most wicked life, commit such capital crimes as bring them into the hand of the civil magistrate, who bears not the sword in vain, but is the minister of God, a revengeful executioner of wrath on wicked men; or else they die by the sword of the murderer, being brought into the world for such, and through their riches become their prey, Hosea 9:13; or if neither of these is the case, yet they at last, let them prosper as they will, fall a sacrifice to the glittering sword of divine justice, whetted and drawn in wrath against them; the sword of the enemy seems chiefly intended:
and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread; such of them as die not by the sword shall perish by famine, which is another of God's sore judgments; though this may respect the grandchildren of wicked men, whom God visits to the third and fourth generation; the Targum paraphrases it, his children's children, and so Sephorno; to which agrees the Vulgate Latin version: the sense is, that the posterity of such wicked men, when they are dead and gone, shall be so reduced as to beg their bread, and shall not have a sufficiency of that for the support of nature, but shall die for want of food.If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword: and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. With the sentiment of this verse compare Job’s former words in regard to the wicked, “Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They spend their days in wealth,” ch. Job 21:8 seq.Verse 14. - If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword. Among the items of prosperity which Job had assigned to the wicked man in one of his previous discourses (Job 21:8, 11) was a numerous and flourishing offspring. Now he feels forced to admit that, frequently at any rate, this flourishing offspring is overtaken by calamity (Job 21:19) - it falls by the sword, either in predatory warfare, to which it was bred up, or as the consequence of a blood-feud inherited from its progenitor. They who "take the sword," either in their own persons or in their posterity, "perish with the sword." And his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. If they escape this fate, then, mostly, they fall into poverty, and suffer want, no one caring to relieve them, since they have an ill reputation, the memory of their parent's wickedness clinging to them long after his decease.
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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