Job 27:16
Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 27:16-18. Prepare raiment as the clay — In great abundance. But the just shall put it on — Either because it shall be given to him by the magistrate, to recompense him for those injuries which he had received from the oppressor; or because the right of it is, in some other way, transferred upon him by divine providence. He buildeth his house as a moth — Which settleth itself in a garment, but is quickly and unexpectedly dispossessed of its dwelling, and crushed to death. And as a booth, &c. — Which the keeper of a garden or vineyard suddenly rears up in fruit-time, and as quickly pulls down again.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?Though he heap up silver as the dust - That is, in great quantities - as plenty as dust; compare 1 Kings 10:27, "And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones."

And prepare raiment - Oriental wealth consisted much in changes of raiment. Sir John Chardin says that in the East it is common to gather together immense quantities of furniture and clothes. According to D'Herbelot, Bokteri, an illustrious poet; of Cufah in the ninth century, had so many presents made him in the course of his life, that when he died he was found possessed of an hundred complete suits of clothes, two hundred shirts, and five hundred turbans. compare Ezra 2:69, and Nehemiah 7:70 see Bochart IIieroz. P. II. Lib. iv. c. xxv. p. 617. This species of treasure is mentioned by Virgil;

Dives equom, dives pictai vestis et auri.

Aeneid ix. 26.

The reason why wealth consisted so much in changes of raiment, is to be found in the fondness for display in Oriental countries, and in the fact that as fashions never change there, such treasures are valuable until they are worn out. In the ever-varying fashions of the West such treasures are comparatively of much less value.

As the clay - As the dust of the streets; or as abundant as mire.

16. dust … clay—images of multitudes (Zec 9:3). Many changes of raiment are a chief constituent of wealth in the East. i.e. In great abundance. Though he heap up silver as the dust,.... Which, as it denotes the great abundance of it collected together, so it expresses the bias and disposition of such a man's mind, that he cannot be content without amassing great quantities of it, and also his diligence and success therein, see 1 Kings 10:27;

and prepare raiment as the clay; not merely, for use, but pomp and show, to fill his wardrobes with; and formerly, raiment was part of the treasure of great men: the phrase signifies that he might have such a variety of raiment, and such large quantities of it, that he would value it no more than so much clay; or else that his riches, consist of what it would, would be both polluting and troublesome to him; the Septuagint version reads "gold" instead of "raiment", as in Zechariah 9:3, where like expressions are used of Tyre.

Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. The “dust” and “clay” or mire are images that express extreme abundance, Zechariah 9:3, 1 Kings 10:27. Great wardrobes of costly garments are a usual element of Oriental wealth, Genesis 24:53, Joshua 7:21, 2 Kings 7:8, Matthew 6:19.Verse 16. - Though he heap up silver as the dust. The city of Tyro, we are told by Zechariah, "heaped up silver as the dust" (Zechariah 9:3), i.e. in vast quantities, beyond count. So might the wicked man do. He might also prepare raiment as the clay; i.e. fill his house with rich dresses, partly for his own wear, partly to be given as robes of honour to his friends and boon companions (setup. Genesis 45:22; 2 Kings 5:22; 2 Kings 10:22, Matthew 6:19; James 5:2). Robes of honour are still kept in store by Eastern monarchs, and presented as marks of favour to visitors of importance, 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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