Job 30:12
On my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) The youthi.e., the young brood, rabble.

Job 30:12. Upon my right hand — The place of adversaries or accusers in courts of justice, Psalm 109:6; Zechariah 3:1. Or this may be observed to show their boldness and contempt of him, in that they dared to place themselves on his right hand; rise the youth — Hebrew, young striplings. Those who formerly hid themselves from my presence, (Job 29:8,) now rise up, in the way of contempt and opposition, or to accuse and reproach me. They push away my feet — Either, 1st, Properly, they trip up my heels; or, rather, 2d, Metaphorically, they endeavour utterly to overthrow my goings, and to cast me down to the ground. And they raise up against me the ways of their destruction — That is, causeways or banks, alluding to soldiers who cast up banks against the city which they besiege. The meaning is, they prepare, contrive, and use several methods to destroy me. Heath renders the verse, On my right hand their brood start up; they trip up my heels. Their troops of destruction throw up an intrenchment round me.30:1-14 Job contrasts his present condition with his former honour and authority. What little cause have men to be ambitious or proud of that which may be so easily lost, and what little confidence is to be put in it! We should not be cast down if we are despised, reviled, and hated by wicked men. We should look to Jesus, who endured the contradiction of sinners.Upon my right hand rise the youth - The right hand is the place of honor, and therefore it was felt to be a greater insult that they should occupy even that place. The word rendered "youth" (פרחח pirchach) occurs nowhere else in the Hebrew Scriptures. It is probably from פרח pârach, "to sprout, germinate, blossom"; and hence, would mean "a progeny," and would be probably applied to beasts. It is rendered by Jerome, "calamities;" by the Septuagint, "Upon the right hand of the progeny, or brood (βλαστοῦ blastou), they rise," where Schleusner conjectures that βλαστοι_ blastoi should be read, "On the right hand rise a brood or progeny." Umbreit renders it, "eine Brut ... a brood." So Rosenmuller, Noyes, and Schultens. The idea then is, that this rabble rose up, even on his right hand, as a brood of wild animals - a mere rabble that impeded his way.

They push away my feet - Instead of giving place for me, they jostle and crowd me from my path. Once the aged and the honorable rose and stood in my presence, and the youth retired at my coming, but now this worthless rabble crowds along with me, jostles me in my goings, and shows me no manner of respect; compare Job 29:8.

And they raise up against me the ways of their destruction - They raise up against me destructive ways, or ways that tend to destroy me. The figure is taken from an advancing army, that casts up ramparts and other means of attack designed for the destruction of a besieged city. They were, in like manner, constantly making advances against Job, and pressing on him in a manner that was designed to destroy him.

12. youth—rather, a (low) brood. To rise on the right hand is to accuse, as that was the position of the accuser in court (Zec 3:1; Ps 109:6).

push … feet—jostle me out of the way (Job 24:4).

ways of—that is, their ways of (that is, with a view to my) destruction. Image, as in Job 19:12, from a besieging army throwing up a way of approach for itself to a city.

Upon my right hand. This circumstance is noted, either because this was the place of adversaries or accusers in courts of justice, Psalm 109:6 Zechariah 3:1; or to show their boldness and contempt of him, that they durst oppose him even on that side where his chief strength lay.

Rise, to wit, in way of contempt and opposition, or to accuse and reproach me, as my friends now do; as one who by my great, but secret, wickedness have brought these miseries upon myself.

The youth, Heb. young striplings, who formerly hid themselves from my presence, Job 29:8.

They push away my feet; either,

1. Properly, they trip up my heels Or rather,

2. Metaphorically, they endeavour utterly to overwhelm my goings, and to cast me down to the ground.

The ways, i.e. causeways, or banks; so it is a metaphor from soldiers, who raise or cast up banks against the city which they besiege. Or, they raise up a level, or smooth the path by continual treading it; they prepare, and contrive, and use several methods to destroy me.

Of their destruction; either,

1. Passively; so the sense is, they raise or heap upon me, i.e. impute to me, the ways, i.e. the causes, of their ruin; they charge me to be the author of their ruin. Or rather,

2. Actively, of that destruction which they design and carry on against me; which best suits with the whole context, wherein Job is constantly represented as the patient, and wicked men as the agents. Upon my right hand rise the youth,.... "Springeth", as Mr. Broughton translates the word; such as were just sprung into being, as it were; the word (n) seems to have the signification of young birds that are not fledged; have not got their feathers on them, but are just got out of the shell, as it were; and such were these young men: some render the word the "flower" (o); as if the flower of men, the chief and principal of them, were meant, such as were Job's three friends, who are here distinguished from the mean and baser sort before spoken of; but the word even in this sense signifies young men, who are like buds and flowers just sprung out, or who are beardless boys, or whose beards are just springing out; so the young priests are in the Misnah (p) called "the flowers of the priesthood": now such as these rose up, not in reverence to Job, as the aged before did, but in an hostile way, to oppose, resist, reproach, and deride him; they rose up on his right hand, took the right hand of him, as if they were his superiors and betters; or they stood at his right hand, took the right hand to accuse him, as Satan did at Joshua's; see Psalm 109:6;

they push away my feet; they brought heavy charges and violent accusations against him, in order to cast him down, and trample upon him; nor would they suffer him to stand and answer for himself; he could have no justice done him, and so there was no standing for him. If this was to be understood literally, of their pushing at him to throw him down to the ground, or of an attempt trip up his heels, so that his feet were almost gone, and his steps had well nigh slipped, it was very rude and indecent treatment of him indeed:

and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction; as, in besieging a town, mounts, forts, and batteries are raised to destroy it, so those persons made use of all ways and means to destroy Job; or they trod upon him, and made him as a path or causeway to walk upon, in order utterly to destroy him. Mr. Broughton renders the words, "they cast upon me the causes of their woe", imputed all their calamities and miseries to him, reproached him on that account, and now were resolved to revenge themselves on him.

(n) "pullities", Schultens. (o) "Flos", Schmidt, Michaelis. (p) Misn. Sanhedrin, c. 1. sect. 7.

Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the {h} ways of their destruction.

(h) That is, they sought by all means how they might destroy me.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. This verse reads,

Upon the right hand riseth up a (low) brood,

They push away my feet,

And they cast up against me their ways of destruction.

By “pushing away” his feet, appears to be meant thrusting him away from place to place. The last clause refers to the practice of besiegers casting up a “mount” or raised way on which to approach the beleaguered town and carry destruction to it; such “mounts” are here called “their ways of destruction.”Verse 12. - Upon my right hand rise the youth; literally, the brood; i.e. the rabble - a crowd of half-grown youths and boys, such as collects in almost any town to hoot and insult a respectable person who is in trouble and helpless. In the East such gatherings are very common and exceedingly annoying. They push away my feet; i.e. they try to throw me down as I walk. They raise up against me the ways of their destruction. They place obstacles in my way, impede my steps, thwart me in every way that they find possible. 5 They are driven forth from society,

They cry after them as after a thief.

6 In the most dismal valleys they must dwell,

In holes of the earth and in rocks.

7 Among the bushes they croak,

Under nettles are they poured forth,

8 Sons of fools, yea sons of base men:

They are driven forth out of the land! -

If, coming forth from their lurking-places, they allow themselves to be seen in the villages of the plain or in the towns, they are driven forth from among men, e medio pelluntur (to use a Ciceronian phrase). גּו (Syr. gau, Arab. gaww, guww) is that which is internal, here the circle of social life, the organized human community. This expression also is Hebraeo-Arabic; for if one contrasts a house of district with what is outside, he says in Arabic, jûwâ wa-barrâ, guwwâ wa-berrâ, within and without, or Arab. 'l-jûwâ-nı̂ wa-'l-brrâ-nı̂, el-guwwâni wa'l-berrâni, the inside and the outside. In Job 30:5, כּגּנּב, like the thief, is equivalent to, as after the thief, or since this generic Art. is not usual with us Germ. and Engl.: after a thief; French, on crie aprs eux comme aprs le voleur. In Job 30:6, לשׁכּן is, according to Ges. 132, rem. 1((comp. on Habakkuk 1:17), equivalent to היוּ לשׁכּן, "they are to dwell" equals they must dwell; it might also signify, according to the still more frequent usage of the language, habitaturi sunt; it here, however, signifies habitandum est eis, as לבלום, Psalm 32:9, obturanda sunt. Instead of בּערוּץ with Shurek, the reading בּערוץ with Cholem (after the form סגור, Hosea 13:8) is also found, but without support. ארוּץ is either a substantive after the form גּבוּל (Ges., as Kimchi), or the construct of ערוּץ equals נערץ, feared equals fearful, so that the connection of the words, which we prefer, is a superlative one: in horridissima vallium, in the most terrible valleys, as Job 41:22, acutissimae testarum (Ew., according to 313, c). The further description of the habitation of this race of men: in holes (חרי equals בּחרי) of the earth (עפר, earth with respect to its constituent parts) and rocks (lxx τρῶγλαι πετρῶν), may seem to indicate the aborigines of the mountains of the district of Seir, who are called החרים, τρωγλοδύνται (vid., Genesis, S. 507); but why not, which is equally natural, חורן, Ezekiel 47:16, Ezekiel 47:18, the "district of caverns," the broad country about Bosra, with the two Trachnes (τράχωνες), of which the smaller western, the Leg, is the ancient Trachonitis, and with Ituraea (the mountains of the Druses)?

(Note: Wetzstein also inclines to refer the description to the Ituraeans, who, according to Apuleius, were frugum pauperes, and according to others, freebooters, and are perhaps distinguished from the Arabes Trachonitae (if they were not these themselves), as the troglodytes are from the Arabs who dwell in tents (on the troglodytes in Eastern Hauran, vid., Reisebericht, S. 44, 126). "The troglodyte was very often able to go without nourishment and the necessaries of life. Their habitations are not unfrequently found where no cultivation of the land was possible, e.g., in Safa. They were therefore the rearers of cattle or marauders. The cattle-rearing troglodyte, because he cannot wander about from one pasture to another like the nomads who dwell in tents, often loses his herds by a failure of pasture, heavy falls of snow (which often produce great devastation, e.g., in Hauran), epidemics, etc. Losses may also arise from marauding attacks from the nomads. Still less is this marauding, which is at enmity with all the world, likely to make a race prosperous, which, like the troglodyte, being bound to a fixed habitation, cannot escape the revenge of those whom it has injured." - Wetzst.)

As Job 6:5 shows, there underlies Job 30:7 a comparison of this people with the wild ass. The פּרא, fer, goes about in herds under the guidance of a so-called leader (vid., on Job 39:5), with which the poet in Job 24:5 compares the bands that go forth for forage; here the point of comparison, according to Job 6:5, is their bitter want, which urges from them the cry of pain; for ינהקוּ, although not too strong, would nevertheless be an inadequate expression for their sermo barbarus (Pineda), in favour of which Schlottmann calls to mind Herodotus' (iv. 183) comparison of the language of the Troglodyte Ethiopians with the screech of the night-owl (τετρίγασι κατάπερ αι ̓ νυκτερίδες). Among bushes (especially the bushes of the shih, which affords them some nourishment and shade, and a green resting-place) one hears them, and hears from their words, although he cannot understand them more closely, discontent and lamentation over their desperate condition: there, under nettles (חרוּל, root חר, Arab. ḥrr, as urtica from urere), i.e., useless weeds of the desert, they are poured forth, i.e., spread about in disorder. Thus most moderns take ספח equals שׁפך, Arab. sfḥ, comp. סרוּח, profusus, Amos 6:4, Amos 6:7, although one might also abide by the usual Hebrew meaning of the verb ספח (hardened from ספה), adjungere, associare (vid., Habak. S. 88), and with Hahn explain: under nettles they are united together, i.e., they huddle together. But neither the fut. nor the Pual (instead of which one would expect the Niph. or Hithpa.) is favourable to the latter interpretation; wherefore we decide in favour of the former, and find sufficient support for a Hebr.-Arabic ספח in the signification effundere from a comparison of Job 14:19 and the present passage. Job 30:8, by dividing the hitherto latent subject, tells what sort of people they are: sons of fools, profane, insane persons (vid., on Psalm 14:1); moreover, or of the like kind (גּם, not אף), sons of the nameless, ignobilium or infamium, since בלי־שׁם is here an adj. which stands in dependence, not filii infamiae equals infames (Hirz. and others), by which the second בני is rendered unlike the first. The assertion Job 30:8 may be taken as an attributive clause: who are driven forth ... ; but the shortness of the line and the prominence of the verb are in favour of the independence of the clause like an exclamation in its abrupt and halting form. נכּאוּ is Niph. of נכא equals נכה (נכי), root נך, to hew, pierce, strike.

(Note: The root Arab. nk is developed in Hebr. נכה, הכּה, in Arab. naka'a and nakâ, first to the idea of outward injury by striking, hewing, etc.; but it is then also transferred to other modes of inflicting injury, and in Arab. nawika, to being injured in mind. The root shows itself in its most sensuous development in the reduplicated form Arab. naknaka, to strike one with repeated blows, fig. for: to press any one hard with claims. According to another phase, the obscene Arab. nâka, fut. i, and the decent Arab. nakaḥa, signify properly to pierce. - Fl.)

On הארץ, of arable land in opposition to the steppe, vid., on Job 18:17.

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