Job 29:17
And I broke the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 29:17. I brake the jaws of the wicked — Hebrew, מתלעות, methallegnoth, dentes molares vel maxillas cum dentibus, the grinders, or the jawbones with the teeth, the sharpest and strongest teeth in the jaw; that is, the power and violence wherewith they used to oppress others. It is a metaphor taken from wild beasts, which tear and crush their prey with their teeth. And plucked the spoil out of his teeth — Forced him to restore what he had violently taken away.29:7-17 All sorts of people paid respect to Job, not only for the dignity of his rank, but for his personal merit, his prudence, integrity, and good management. Happy the men who are blessed with such gifts as these! They have great opportunities of honouring God and doing good, but have great need to watch against pride. Happy the people who are blessed with such men! it is a token for good to them. Here we see what Job valued himself by, in the day of his prosperity. It was by his usefulness. He valued himself by the check he gave to the violence of proud and evil men. Good magistrates must thus be a restraint to evil-doers, and protect the innocent; in order to this, they should arm themselves with zeal and resolution. Such men are public blessings, and resemble Him who rescues poor sinners from Satan. How many who were ready to perish, now are blessing Him! But who can show forth His praises? May we trust in His mercy, and seek to imitate His truth, justice, and love.And I brake the jaws of the wicked - Margin, "jaw-teeth, or, grinders." The Hebrew word מתלעה methalle‛âh, the same, with the letters transposed, as מתלעות, is from לתע, to "bite" - and means "the biters," the grinders, the teeth. It is not used to denote the jaw. The image here is taken from wild beasts, with whom Job compares the wicked, and says that he rescued the helpless from their grasp, as he would a lamb from a lion or wolf.

And plucked - Margin, "cast." The margin is a literal translation, but the idea is, that he violently seized the spoil or prey which the wicked had taken, and by force tore it from him.

17. Image from combating with wild beasts (Job 4:11; Ps 3:7). So compassionate was Job to the oppressed, so terrible to the oppressor!

jaws—Job broke his power, so that he could do no more hurt, and tore from him the spoil, which he had torn from others.

The jaws; or, the jaw-bones; or, the grinders, the sharpest and strongest teeth in the jaw, i.e. their power and violence wherewith they used to oppress others. It is a metaphor from wild beasts, which break their prey with their teeth. Compare Psalm 3:7 57:4 58:6.

Plucked the spoil out of his teeth, i.e. forced them to restore what they had violently and unjustly taken away. And I brake the jaws of the wicked,.... Their jaw teeth, or grinders, alluding to beasts of prey, who have such teeth, very large; the meaning may be, that Job confuted the arguments which wicked men made use of in their own defence, and against the poor, exposed the weakness of them, and made them ineffectual to answer their purposes; disabled tyrants and cruel oppressors from doing any further hurt and damage to the fatherless and helpless; was an instrument in the hand of God of breaking the power, and weakening the hands of such persons, and hindering them from doing the mischief they otherwise would; see Proverbs 30:14;

and plucked the spoil out of his teeth; as David took the lamb out of the mouth of the bear and lion that came into his father's flock, and carried it off: thus Job delivered the poor out of the hands of such monsters in nature, comparable to beasts of prey, and saved them from being utterly ruined by them, and obliged them to restore unto them what they had in an unrighteous manner taken from them.

And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. The figure is that of a beast of prey, who has its booty already in its teeth. The verse carries on Job 29:16; even when the unjust oppressor seemed already to have triumphed and carried off his prey, it was torn from his jaws.Verse 17. - And I brake the jaws of the wicked (comp. Psalm 58:6). It is scarcely meant, as Canon Cook supposes, that Job was himself the executioner. "Quod facit per allure facit per so." Job would regard as Age doing what he ordered to be done. And plucked the spoil out of his teeth. Either by disappointing him of a prey which he was on the verge of making ms own, or by compelling him to make restitution of a prey that he had actually laid hold of. 11 For an ear heard, and called me happy;

And an eye saw, and bear witness to me:

12 For I rescued the sufferer who cried for help,

And the orphan, and him that had no helper.

13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me,

And I made the widow's heart rejoice.

14 I put on justice, and it put me on;

As a robe and turban was my integrity.

Thus imposing was the impression of his personal appearance wherever he appeared; for (כּי explic.) the fulness of the blessing of the possession of power and of prosperity which he enjoyed was so extraordinary, that one had only to hear of it to call him happy, and that, especially if any one saw it with his own eyes, he was obliged to bear laudatory testimony to him. The futt. consec. affirm what was the inevitable consequence of hearing and seeing; העיד, seq. acc., is used like הזכּיר in the signification of laudatory recognition. The expression is not brachylogical for ותּעד לּי (vid., on Job 31:18); for from 1 Kings 21:10, 1 Kings 21:13, we perceive that העיד with the acc. of the person signifies to make any one the subject of assertion, whether he be lower or higher in rank (comp. the New Testament word, especially in Luke, μαρτυρεῖσθαι). It was, however, not merely the outward manifestation of his unusual prosperity which called forth such admiration, but his active benevolence united with the abundant resources at his command. For where there was a sufferer who cried for help he, relieved him, especially orphans and those who had no helper. ולא־עזר לו is either a new third object, or a closer definition of what precedes: the orphan and (in this state of orphanhood) helpless one. The latter is more probable both here and in the Salomonic primary passage, Psalm 72:12; in the other case ואשׁר אין־עזר לח might be expected.

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