Job 29:22
After my words they spoke not again; and my speech dropped on them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
29:18-25 Being thus honoured and useful, Job had hoped to die in peace and honour, in a good old age. If such an expectation arise from lively faith in the providence and promise of God, it is well; but if from conceit of our own wisdom, and dependence on changeable, earthly things, it is ill grounded, and turns to sin. Every one that has the spirit of wisdom, has not the spirit of government; but Job had both. Yet he had the tenderness of a comforter. This he thought upon with pleasure, when he was himself a mourner. Our Lord Jesus is a King who hates iniquity, and upon whom the blessing of a world ready to perish comes. To Him let us give ear.After my words they spake not again - The highest proof which could be given of deference. So full of respect were they that they did not dare to dispute him; so sagacious and wise was his counsel that they were satisfied with it, and did not presume to suggest any other.

And my speech dropped upon them - That is, like the dew or the gentle rain. So in Deuteronomy 32:2 :

My doctrine shall drop as the rain;

My speech shall distil as the dew,

As the small rain upon the tender herb,

And as the showers upon the grass.

So Homer speaks of the eloquence of Nestor,

Τοῦ καὶ ἀπὸ γλώσσης μέλιτος γλυκίων ῥέεν αὐδή.

Tou kai apo glōssēs melitos glukiōn rēn audē.

"Words sweet as honey from his lips distill'd."

Pope

So Milton, speaking of the eloquence of Belial, says,

- Though his tongue

Dropt manna, and could make the worse appear

continued...

22. not again—did not contradict me.

dropped—affected their minds, as the genial rain does the soil on which it gently drops (Am 7:16; De 32:2; So 4:11).

After my words they spake not again; either to confute them as false, or to add to them as lame and imperfect.

Dropped upon them, to wit, as the rain, as the next verse explains it, which when it comes down gently and droppingly upon the earth, is most acceptable and beneficial to it; not so when it comes in great and violent showers. After my words they spake not again,.... Did not or would not make any reply to them; they did not attempt to change and alter them, to add unto them, or take from them, or in any wise to correct them, and much less to contradict them, and treat them with contempt; or "differed not", as Mr. Broughton renders it; differed not from them, but agreed to them; and differed not among themselves, but united in what Job said, as being full to the purpose, after which nothing more could be said; see Ecclesiastes 2:12;

and my speech dropped upon them; his prophecy, as Jarchi, prophesying being expressed by dropping, Amos 7:16; his doctrine dropped from his lips like the honeycomb, and was sweet, grateful, and delightful to his hearers, as the church's lips, Sol 4:11; or rather like the rain, as in Deuteronomy 32:2, when it falls and drops gently and easily, and so penetrates and soaks into the earth, and abides and does good: in like manner, when good and sound doctrine drops upon the hearers, so as to enter into their hearts, and work effectually in them, it does them good, and they rejoice at it, and are far from having anything to say against it.

After my words they spake not again; and my speech {o} dropped upon them.

(o) That is, was pleasant to them.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. dropped upon them] i. e. like a refreshing, quickening rain, when they were wearied and perplexed in counsel.Verse 22. - After my words they spake not again. When Job had spoken, the debate commonly came to an end. It was felt that all had been said, and that further remark would be superfluous. And my speech dropped upon them (comp. Deuteronomy 32:2, "My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew"). The silent, penetrating influence of wise counsel is glanced at. 15 I was eyes to the blind,

And feet was I to the lame.

16 I was a father to the needy,

And the cause of the unknown I found out,

17 And broke the teeth of the wicked,

And I cast the spoil forth out of his teeth.

The less it is Job's purpose here to vindicate himself before the friends, the more forcible is the refutation which the accusations of the most hard-hearted uncharitableness raised against him by them, especially by Eliphaz, Job 22, find everywhere here. His charity relieved the bodily and spiritual wants of others - eyes to the blind (לעוּר with Pathach), feet to the lame. A father was he to the needy, which is expressed by a beautiful play of words, as if it were: the carer for the care-full ones; or what perhaps corresponds to the primary significations of אב and אביון:

(Note: There is an old Arabic defective verb, bayya, which signifies "to seek an asylum for one's self," e.g., anâ baj, I come as one seeking protection, a suppliant, in the usual language synon. of Arab. dachala, and thereby indicating its relationship to the Hebr. בּוא, perhaps the root of בּית (בּתּים), the ת of which would then not be a radical letter, but, as according to Ges. Thes. in זית, used only in the forming of the word, and the original meaning would be "a refuge." Traced to a secondary verb, אבה (properly to take up the fugitive, qabila-l-bı̂ja) springing from this primitive verb, אב would originally signify a guardian, protector; and from the fact of this name denoting, according to the form פּעל, properly in general the protecting power, the ideal femin. in אבות (Arab. abawât' and the Arabic dual abawain (properly both guardians), which embraces father and mother, would be explained and justified. Thus the rare phenomenon that the same אבה signifies in Hebr. "to be willing," and in Arab. "to refuse," would be solved. The notion of taking up the fugitive would have passed over in the Hebrew, taken according to its positive side, into the notion of being willing, i.e., of receiving and accepting (אבּל, qabila, e.g., 1 Kings 20:8, לא תעבה equals la taqbal); in the Arabic, however, taken according to its negative side, as refusing the fugitive to his pursuer, into that of not being willing; and the usage of the language favours this: abâhu ‛aleihi, he protected him against (Arab. 'lâ) the other (refused him to the other); Arab. abı̂yun equals ma'bin, protected, inaccessible to him who longs for it; Arab. ibyat, the protection, i.e., the retention of the milk in the udder. Hence אביון, from the Hebrew signif. of the verb, signifies one who desires anything, or a needy person, but originally (inasmuch as אבה is connected with Arab. byy) one who needs protection; from the Arabic signif. of Arab. 'abâ, one who restrains himself because he is obliged, one to whom what he wants is denied. To the Arab. ibja (defence, being hindered) corresponds in form the Hebr. אבה, according to which אניות אבה, Job 9:26, may be understood of ships, which, with all sails set and in all haste, seek the sheltering harbour before the approaching storm. We leave this suggestion for further research to sift and prove. More on Job 34:36. - Wetzst.)

the protector of those needing (seeking) protection. The unknown he did not regard as those who were nothing to him, but went unselfishly and impartially into the ground of their cause. לא־ידעתּי is an attributive clause, as Job 18:21; Isaiah 55:5; Isaiah 41:3, and freq., with a personal obj. (eorum) quos non noveram, for the translation causam quam nesciebam (Jer.) gives a tame, almost meaningless, thought. With reference to the suff. in אחקרהוּ, on the form ehu used seldom by Waw consec. (Job 12:4), and by the imper. (Job 40:11), chiefly with a solemn calm tone of speech, vid., Ew. 250, c. Further: He spared not to render wrong-doers harmless, and snatched from them what they had taken from others. The cohortative form of the fut. consec., ואשׁבּרה, has been discussed already on Job 1:15; Job 19:20. The form מתלּעות is a transposition of מלתּעות, to render it more convenient for pronunciation, for the Arab. ṭl‛, efferre se, whence a secondary form, Arab. tl‛, although used of the appearing of the teeth, furnishes no such appropriate primary signification as the Arab. lḏg, pungere, mordere, whence a secondary form, Arab. ltg; the Aethiopic maltâht, jawbone (maxilla), also favours מלתעה as the primary form. He shattered the grinders of the roguish, and by moral indignation against the robber he cast out of his teeth what he had stolen.

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