Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yes, and searched it out.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Job 28:27. Then did he see it — Namely, wisdom, which is the subject of the present discourse. This God saw, not without, in any creature formed by him, but within himself; he looked upon it in his own eternal mind, as the rule by which he would proceed in the creation and government of all things. And declared it — Made it evident, first to angels, and then to man, when he created this lower world; that is, discovered by his works the deep wisdom which lay hid before in his own breast. He prepared it — He had it in readiness for the doing of all his works, as if he had, for a long time, been preparing materials for them. So it is spoken of God after the manner of men. Or, as הכינה, hechinah, may be properly rendered, he established it, namely, the order which he first fixed in the world, that it should continue in after ages. And searched it out — Not properly; for so searching implies ignorance, and requires time and industry, all which is repugnant to the divine perfections; but figuratively, he did, and doth, all things with that absolute and perfect wisdom, so exactly and perfectly, as if he had bestowed a long time in searching, to find them out.Proverbs 8:27-30, "When he prepared the heavens, I((wisdom) was there; when he set a compass upon the face of the depth; when he established the clouds above; when he strengthened the foundations of the deep; when he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment; when he appointed the foundations of the earth; then I was by him as one brought up with him; I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him."
And declare it - Margin, "number." The word (ספר sâphar) means, however, rather to "declare," or to "narrate;" and the idea is, that even then he made known to intelligent beings the true principles of wisdom, as consisting in the fear of the Lord, and in suitable veneration for the Most High. "In what way" this was made known, Job does not say; but there can be no doubt of the fact to which he adverts, that even in his time the great principles of all real wisdom were made known to created intelligences, as consisting in profound veneration of God, in a willingness to bow under his dispensations, and to confide in him.
He prepared it - Made it a matter of "thought" and "inquiry" to find out what was real wisdom, and communicated it in a proper way to his creatures. The idea is, that it was not the result of chance, nor did it spring up of its own accord, but it was a matter of "intelligent investigation" on the part of God to know what constituted true wisdom. Probably, also, Job here means to refer to the attempts of man to investigate it, and to say that its value was enhanced from the fact that it had even required "the search of God" to find it out. Beautiful eulogiums of Wisdom may be seen in the Apocryphal book Ecclesiasticus, of which the following is a specimen:
Wisdom shall praise herself,
And shall glory in the midst of her people.
In the congregation of the Most High shall she open her mouth,
And triumph before his power.
I came out of the mouth of the Most High,
And covered the earth as a cloud.
I dwell in high places,
And my throne is in a cloudy pillar.
I alone compassed the circuit of heaven,
And walked in the bottom of the deep.
In the waves of the sea, and in all the earth,
prepared—not created, for wisdom is from everlasting (Pr 8:22-31); but "established" her as Governor of the world.
searched … out—examined her works to see whether she was adequate to the task of governing the world [Maurer].Then; either from eternity, when he decreed what he would do, or when he first created them.
Did he see it, i.e. wisdom, which is the subject matter of the present discourse. This God saw not abroad, but within himself; he looked or reflected upon it in his own mind, as the rule by which he would proceed in the creation and government of all things, managing them in such ways and methods as were most agreeable to his own most wise and unsearchable counsels, which no human or created wit can reach or pierce into. Or, he saw it, so as to declare it, as it follows; so as to make it visible and manifest in some measure to his creatures. Or, he saw it, i.e. he enjoyed it, seeing being oft put for enjoying, as Psalm 27:13 34:12 Ecclesiastes 2:1 3:13. Compare Proverbs 8:22.
Declare it, i.e. he made it evident, he discovered his deep wisdom, which lay hid before in his own breast; or he laid the foundation of that discovery of it, which then was, or afterward should be, made to angels and men, as the heavens did in themselves declare the glory of God, Psalm 19:1, before there was such a creature as man to take notice of it, because the object was visible in itself, and not made so by the eye which afterwards beheld it. Or, did number it, i.e. showed it as it were by number; not only in gross, but as it were by retail, in all the several works which he made.
He prepared it, i.e. he had it in readiness for the doing of all his works, as if he had been for a long time preparing materials for them. So it is a speech of God after the manner of men. Or, he disposed it, i.e. used or employed it in his works. Or, he settled or established it, i.e. he firmly purposed to do such and such things in such manner as he thought meet, and he established the order which he first made in the world, that it should continue in after-ages. Or, he directed it, and directed and ordered all things by it.
Searched it out; not properly; for so searching implies ignorance, and that a man is at a loss, and requires time and industry, all which is repugnant to the Divine reflections; but figuratively, as such expressions are oft used concerning God, i.e. he did and doth all things with that absolute and perfect wisdom, and he knoweth all his own counsels and actions, and the reasons of them, so exactly and perfectly, as if he had bestowed a long time in searching and judging to find them out. And this and the other acts mentioned in this verse are to be understood of God solely and exclusively, it being here, as it is oft elsewhere in this book, sufficiently implied, that this kind of Divine wisdom, which consists in the accurate knowledge of all God’s counsels and works, is far above, out of man’s reach. Man doth not see this wisdom but only so far as God is pleased to reveal it to him, and therefore he cannot
declare it to others; man did not prepare, nor order, nor contrive it, and therefore no wonder if he cannot search it out. And so this is most fitly connected with the following verse; for as here he tells us what wisdom is denied to man, so there he informeth us what is granted to him.
he prepared it, yea, and searched it out; he prepared it in his counsels, according to which he wrought all things in the creation, and still does in Providence; and his searching out denotes his perfect knowledge of it, and the way and course of it, or he takes with it, though it is unsearchable, and past finding out by us. Mr. Broughton understands this of a person, as do some others, even Christ, the Wisdom of God; rendering the words, "then he saw her, and showed her", &c. and so the passages in Proverbs 8:27, may be a comment on these words and the foregoing; for when the above decrees were formed in the divine mind, then he "saw" his Wisdom, his Logos, his eternal Son; for he was by him, and with him, and in him, lying in his bosom; he looked at him in creation, and made man after his image, the idea he had formed of his human nature, and made all things for his sake; and he viewed him with the utmost delight and pleasure, as being the express image of his person; he declared him to be his only begotten Son, saying, "this day I have begotten thee", Psalm 2:7; be made him known to the angels, as the Targum here expresses it, and what he designed to do by him, and with him; which occasioned the revolt of many of them from him; and he declared him to Adam as soon as there was an opportunity and occasion for it; he prepared him in his eternal purposes to be the Redeemer and Saviour of his people, to be the Head of the church, and the Judge of quick and dead; he searched him out in his infinite wisdom, and found him, singled him out, laid help on him with his holy oil anointed him, and appointed him to be the ransomer of his chosen ones, Job 33:24.Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27. then did he see it] then, i. e. when He made a decree for the rain—in the act or at the time of creation, when He gave material agencies their laws. Then He “saw” Wisdom, she presented herself to His view.
and declare it] The margin number or count (ch. Job 38:37) gives a very good sense, the meaning being that God went over, enumerated or surveyed the parts and complex powers of Wisdom. The meaning will not be greatly different if the rendering “declare” be retained and taken in the sense of uttered. This might be done by pronouncing the name of Wisdom, as God presents before His own mind the meaning of any servant or agent of His by calling him by his name (Isaiah 43:1; Isaiah 45:3). Others take “declare” in the sense that God gave expression to Wisdom in the varied works of creation. This is a very unnatural sense in which to take “declare.” Besides, of the four expressions used, “saw,” “declared,” “established,” “searched out,” the first and last refer exclusively to acts of the Divine mind and it is improbable that the middle terms should refer to acts or operations of God’s creative hand. Nor is there allusion to any to whom the declaration was made, God alone being referred to in the verse.
he prepared it] Or, established it. The sense appears to be the same as in Proverbs 8:22 “the Lord formed me,” i. e. gave me existence. The Writer conceives Wisdom, if not as a person, at least as something that has being or existence of its own. According to Proverbs 8:23 seq. Wisdom received its existence prior to the creation of the world. In the present passage it is not quite easy to say whether the idea be that Wisdom received existence in creation or before it, at least it did so in connexion with creation (“then”). It is unnecessary, however, and contrary to the Poet’s vivid conception of Wisdom as a real thing or being, to suppose that it was “established” when embodied in the stable, permanent order of created things, as if, being merely an idea before, with wavering outlines, it then became fixed. Neither can the meaning be that God “set up” Wisdom before Him merely as an object of contemplation; much less that He set it up as a “model” after which to work in creating the world, or constituted it “the conductor of the whole general order of the world.” These are all additional ideas, hardly warranted by the expression employed.
yea, and searched it out] The word yea implies that this searching out of Wisdom was something higher than the preceding acts. God explored Wisdom, He saw through it, and brought before Himself the full idea of all that was in its nature and its powers. The word can hardly mean He proved it, e. g. to see whether it was suitable or able for its great function, the guidance of the course of things in the world. This again is an additional idea, which the word does not express.Verse 27. - Then did he see it, and declare it. From the creation of the world, and before it, God foresaw all that was necessary to maintain his universe in the perfect order and the perfect beauty that he designed for it. At the Creation he, in a certain sense, "declared it," or set it forth, before such intelligences as then existed. Subsequently, in part to Adam, in part to Noah, in part to Moses, he further declared, by revelation, at any rate a portion of the design of his creation, and of the laws by which it was regulated. He prepared it, yea, and searched it out. This is an inversion of what seems to us the natural order, whereof there are many examples. God must first have investigated and searched out, in his own secret counsels, the entire scheme of creation, and afterwards have proceeded to the "preparation" or "establishment" of it.
And concealed from the fowls of heaven.
22 Destruction and death say:
With our ears we heard a report of it. -
23 Elohim understandeth the way to it,
And He - He knoweth its place.
24 For He looketh to the ends of the earth,
Under the whole heaven He seeth.
No living created being (כּל־חי, as Job 12:10; Job 30:23) is able to answer the question; even the birds that fly aloft, that have keener and farther-seeing eyes than man, can give us no information concerning wisdom; and the world at least proclaims its existence in a rich variety of its operations, but in the realm of Abaddon and of death below (comp. the combination שׁאול ואבדון, Proverbs 15:11, ᾅδου καὶ τοῦ θανάτου, Revelation 1:18) it is known only by an indistinct hearsay, and from confused impressions. Therefore: no creature, whether in the realm of the living or the dead, can help us to get wisdom. There is but One who possesses a perfect knowledge concerning wisdom, namely Elohim, whose gave extends to the ends of the earth, and who sees under the whole heaven, i.e., is everywhere present (תּחת, definition of place, not equivalent to אשׁר תּחת; comp. on Job 24:9), who therefore, after the removal of everything earthly (sub-celestial), alone remains. And why should He with His knowledge, which embraces everything, not also know the way and place of wisdom? Wisdom is indeed the ideal, according to which He has created the world.
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