Job 27:4
My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.My lips shall not speak wickedness - This solemn profession made on oath might have done something to allay the suspicions of his friends in regard to him, and to show that they had been mistaken in his character. It is a solemn assurance that he did not mean to vindicate the cause of wickedness, or to say one word in its favor; and that as long as he lived he would never be found advocating it.

Nor my tongue utter deceit - I will never make any use of sophistry; I will not attempt to make "the worse appear the better reason;" I will not be the advocate of error. This had always been the aim of Job, and he now says that no circumstance should ever induce him to pursue a different course as long as he lived. Probably he means, also, as the following verse seems to imply, that no consideration should ever induce him to countenance error or to palliate wrong. He would not be deterred from expressing his sentiments by any dread of opposition, or even by any respect for his friends. No friendship which he might have for them would induce him to justify what he honestly regarded as error.

4. (Job 6:28, 30). The "deceit" would be if he were to admit guilt against the witness of his conscience. I will speak nothing but the truth with all plainness and impartiality, neither defending myself and cause by vain and false professions of those virtues or graces which I know I have not; nor yet, in compliance with your desire and design, falsely accusing myself of those crimes wherewith you charge me, whereof I know myself to be innocent. My lips shall not speak wickedness,.... This is the thing he swears to, this the matter of his oath, not only that he would not speak a wicked word not anything corrupt, unsavoury, unchaste, profane, and idle nor speak evil of his neighbours and friends or of any man; but that he would not speak wickedly of himself, as he must do, if he owned himself to be a wicked man and an hypocrite as his friends charged him, and they would have had him confessed; but he swears he would not utter such wickedness as long as he had any breath in him:

nor my tongue utter deceit; which respects the same thing; not merely any fallacy or lie, or what might impose upon and deceive another, which yet he was careful of; but such deceit and falsehood as would be a belying himself, which would be the case should he say that he was devoid of integrity and sincerity.

{b} My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.

(b) However men judge me, yet will I not speak contrary to that which I have said, and so do wickedly in betraying the truth.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. my lips shall not] Rather, do not. These words contain Job’s oath. He swears that he is sincere and speaks truly; comp. ch. Job 6:28. The words refer to his utterances in general, especially in regard to himself, but naturally in the main, as the connexion requires, to his assertions in regard to his innocence of wrong-doing (Job 27:5-6).Verse 4. - My lips shall not speak wickedness. Nothing shall induce him, Job says, to speak knowingly wicked words. Nor my tongue utter deceit. Neither will he be induced, whatever happens, to utter untruth. A confession of guilt, such as his friends have endeavoured to extort from him, would be both wicked and false. 11 The pillars of heaven tremble

And are astonished at His threatening.

12 By His power He rouseth up the sea,

And by His understanding He breaketh Rahab in pieces.

13 By His breath the heavens become cheerful;

His hand hath formed the fugitive dragon.

The mountains towering up to the sky, which seem to support the vault of the sky, are called poetically "the pillars of heaven." ירופפוּ is Pulal, like יחוללוּ, Job 26:5; the signification of violent and quick motion backwards and forwards is secured to the verb רוּף by the Targ. אתרופף equals התפּלּץ, Job 9:6, and the Talm. רפרף of churned milk, blinding eyes (comp. הרף עין, the twinkling of the eye, and Arab. rff, fut. i. o. nictare), flapping wings (comp. Arab. rff and rfrf, movere, motitare alas), of wavering thinking. גּערה is the divine command which looses or binds the powers of nature; the astonishment of the supports of heaven is, according to the radical signification of תּמהּ (cogn. שׁמם), to be conceived of as a torpidity which follows the divine impulse, without offering any resistance whatever. That רגע, Job 26:12, is to be understood transitively, not like Job 7:5, intransitively, is proved by the dependent (borrowed) passages, Isaiah 51:15; Jeremiah 31:35, from which it is also evident that רגע cannot with the lxx be translated κατέπαυσεν. The verb combines in itself the opposite significations of starting up, i.e., entering into an excited state, and of being startled, from which the significations of stilling (Niph., Hiph.), and of standing back or retreat (Arab. rj‛), branch off. The conjecture גּער after the Syriac version (which translates, go‛ar bejamo) is superfluous. רהב, which here also is translated by the lxx τὸ κῆτος, has been discussed already on Job 9:13. It is not meant of the turbulence of the sea, to which מחץ is not appropriate, but of a sea monster, which, like the crocodile and the dragon, are become an emblem of Pharaoh and his power, as Isaiah 51:9. has applied this primary passage: the writer of the book of Job purposely abstains from such references to the history of Israel. Without doubt, רהב denotes a demoniacal monster, like the demons that shall be destroyed at the end of the world, one of which is called by the Persians akomano, evil thought, another taromaiti, pride. This view is supported by Job 26:13, where one is not at liberty to determine the meaning by Isaiah 51:9, and to understand נחשׁ בּרח, like תּנּין in that passage, of Egypt. But this dependent passage is an important indication for the correct rendering of חללה. One thing is certain at the outset, that שׁפרה is not perf. Piel equals שׁפרה, and for this reason, that the Dagesh which characterizes Piel cannot be omitted from any of the six mutae; the translation of Jerome, spiritus ejus ornavit coelos, and all similar ones, are therefore false. But it is possible to translate: "by His spirit (creative spirit) the heavens are beauty, His hand has formed the flying dragon." Thus, in the signification to bring forth (as Proverbs 25:23; Proverbs 8:24.), חללה is rendered by Rosenm., Arnh., Vaih., Welte, Renan, and others, of whom Vaih. and Renan, however, do not understand Job 26:13 of the creation of the heavens, but of their illumination. By this rendering Job 26:13 and Job 26:13 are severed, as being without connection; in general, however, the course of thought in the description does not favour the reference of the whole of half of Job 26:13 to the creation. Accordingly, חללה is not to be taken as Pilel from חול (ליל), but after Isaiah 57:9, as Poel from חלל, according to which the idea of Job 26:13 is determined, since both lines of the verse are most closely connected.

(בּריח) נחשׁ בּרח is, to wit, the constellation of the Dragon,

(Note: Ralbag, without any ground for it, understands it of the milky way (העגול החלבי), which, according to Rapoport, Pref. to Slonimski's Toledoth ha-schamajim (1838), was already known to the Talmud b. Berachoth, 58 b, under the name of נהר דנוד.)

one of the most straggling constellations, which winds itself between the Greater and Lesser Bears almost half through the polar circle.

"Maximus hic plexu sinuoso elabitur Anguis

Circum perque duas in morem fluminis Arctos."

(Virgil, Georg. i.244f.)

continued...

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