Job 30:26
When I looked for good, then evil came to me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) When I looked for good.—Before, in Job 3:25-26, he had spoken as one who did not wish to be the fool of prosperity, and so overtaken unawares by calamity, and who therefore looked at things on the darker side; now he speaks as one who hoped for the best, and yet, notwithstanding that hope, was disappointed and deceived.

30:15-31 Job complains a great deal. Harbouring hard thoughts of God was the sin which did, at this time, most easily beset Job. When inward temptations join with outward calamities, the soul is hurried as in a tempest, and is filled with confusion. But woe be to those who really have God for an enemy! Compared with the awful state of ungodly men, what are all outward, or even inward temporal afflictions? There is something with which Job comforts himself, yet it is but a little. He foresees that death will be the end of all his troubles. God's wrath might bring him to death; but his soul would be safe and happy in the world of spirits. If none pity us, yet our God, who corrects, pities us, even as a father pitieth his own children. And let us look more to the things of eternity: then the believer will cease from mourning, and joyfully praise redeeming love.When I looked for good - When I supposed that respect would be shown me; or when I looked forward to an honored old age. I expected to be made happy and prosperous through life, as the result of my uprightness and benevolence; but, instead of that, calamity came and swept all my comforts away. He experienced the instability which most people are called to experience, and the divine dealings with him showed that no reliance could be placed on confident plans of happiness in this life. 26. I may be allowed to crave help, seeing that, "when I looked for good (on account of my piety and charity), yet evil," &c.

light—(Job 22:28).

Instead of the return of the like pity to me, which I might justly challenge and expect whensoever I should stand in need of it, I meet with a sad disappointment, and my pity is recompensed with others’ cruelty to me. When I looked for good,.... As he thought he might reasonably expect it, since he had shown such a sympathizing spirit to persons in trouble, and such pity and mercy to the poor: in the time of his prosperity, he looked for a continuance of the good things he enjoyed, and expected to have had them for many years to come, and to have died in the possession of them, Job 29:18; and even in his adversity, though he had received evil things at the hand of God, which he took patiently; yet at first he did not think they would always continue, but that there would be a turn of affairs, and he should again receive good at his hands; and he had been looking for it, as good men have reason to expect it; since God is good and does good, and especially to his own people, and has laid up goodness for them that fear him, and such an one Job was; and has promised good things unto them, both temporal and spiritual; for godliness and godly men have the promise of this life, and of that which is to come: but Job was disappointed in his expectation; for, says he,

then evil came unto me, the evil of affliction, one upon the back of another, even when in the height of his prosperity; and since repeated evil, new afflictions, came upon him by the appointment, order, and direction of God:

and when I waited for light; for the light of outward prosperity, such as he had formerly enjoyed; and for the light of God's countenance, which he most earnestly sought after, and longed for, and was in a waiting posture for it, as good men have reason to be; since light is sown for them in the purposes and decrees of God, in his counsel and covenant, in his Gospel, and the promises of it; and therefore should wait for the springing of it up, as the husbandman does for the springing up of the corn sown in the earth, and lying under the clods; and seeing that to the upright there arises light in darkness; and though God hides his face from them, for a moment, he will have mercy on them, and therefore should wait his time to be gracious to them; but Job had waited long, and, as he thought, to no purpose: for

there came darkness; the darkness of adversity, still thicker and darker, and no appearance of spiritual light and favour, or any discoveries of the love of God to him, or enjoyment of his presence; see Jeremiah 8:15.

When I looked for good, then {r} evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.

(r) Instead of comforting they mocked me.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. This being his feeling towards those in trouble he looked that his own prosperity would continue; his afflictions were unexpected.Verse 26. - When I looked for flood, then evil came unto me. Job was "looking for good," expecting fully the continuance of his great wealth and prosperity, when the sudden shock of calamity fell upon him It was wholly unexpected, and therefore the harder to bear. And when I waited for light, there came darkness. This may refer to periods, after his calamities began, when he had hopes that his prayers would be answered, and a rest or pause, an interval of repose, be granted him (Job 9:34; Job 10:20), but when his hopes were disappointed, and the darkness closed in upon him thicker and murkier than ever. 20 I cry to Thee for help, and Thou answerest not;

I stand there, and Thou lookest fixedly at me.

21 Thou changest Thyself to a cruel being towards me,

With the strength of Thy hand Thou makest war upon me.

22 Thou raisest me upon the stormy wind,

Thou causest me to drive along And vanish in the roaring of the storm.

23 For I:know: Thou wilt bring me back to death,

Into the house of assembly for all living.

If he cries for help, his cry remains unanswered; if he stands there looking up reverentially to God (perhaps עמד, with משּׁוּע to be supplied, has the sense of desisting or restraining, as Genesis 29:35; Genesis 30:9), the troubling, fixed look of God, who looks fixedly and hostilely upon him, anything but ready to help (comp. Job 7:20; Job 16:9), meets his upturned eye. התבּנן, to look consideringly upon anything, is elsewhere joined with אל, על, עד, or even with the acc; here, where a motionless fixed look is intended, with בּ ( equals fi). It is impossible to draw the לא, Job 30:20, over to ותּתבּנן (Jer., Saad., Umbr., Welte, and others), both on account of the Waw consec. (Ew. 351a), and on account of the separation by the new antecedent עמדתּי. On the reading of two Codd. ותתכנן ("Thou settest Thyself against me"), which Houbigant and Ew. prefer, Rosenm. has correctly pronounced judgment: est potius pro mendo habenda. Instead of consolingly answering his prayer, and instead of showing Himself willing to help, God, who was formerly so kind towards him, changes towards him, His creature, into a cruel being, saevum (אכזר in the book of Job only here and Job 41:2, where it signifies "foolhardy;" comp. לאויב in the dependent passage, Isaiah 63:10), and makes war upon him (שׂטם as Job 16:9) by causing him to feel the strength of His omnipotent hand (עצם יד as Deuteronomy 8:17, synon. חזק).

It is not necessary in Job 30:22 to forsake the accentuation, and to translate: Thou raisest me up, Thou causest me go in the wind (Ew., Hirz., and others); the accentuation of רוח is indeed not a disjunctive Dech, but a conjunctive Tarcha, but preceded by Munach, which, according to the rule, Psalter ii. 500, 5, here, where two conjunctives come together, has a smaller conjunctive value. Therefore: elevas me in ventum, equitare facis me, viz., super ventum (Dachselt), for one does not only say הרכּיב על, 1 Chronicles 13:7, or ל, Psalm 66:12, but also אל, 2 Samuel 6:3; and accordingly תּשּׂאני אל־רוּח is also not to be translated: Thou snatchest me into the wind or storm (Hahn, Schlottm.), but: Thou raisest me up to the wind or storm, as upon an animal for riding (Umbr., Olsh.). According to Oriental tradition, Solomon rode upon the east wind, and in Arabic they say of one who hurried rapidly by, racab al-genâhai er-rih, he rides upon the wings of the wind; in the present passage, the point of comparison is the being absolutely passively hurried forth from the enjoyment of a healthy and happy life to a dizzy height, whence a sudden overthrow threatens him who is unwillingly removed (comp. Psalm 102:11, Thou hast lifted me up and hurled me forth).

The lot which threatens him from this painful suspense Job expresses (Job 30:22) in the puzzling words: וּתמגגני תשׁיּה. Thus the Keri, after which lxx transl. (if it has not read מישׁוּעה), καὶ ἀπέῤῥηιψάς με ἀπὸ σωτηρίας. The modern expositors who follow the Keri, by taking ותמגגני for ותמגג לי (according to Ges. 121, 4), translate: Thou causest counsel and understanding (Welte), happiness (Blumenf.), and the like, to vanish from me; continuance, existence, duration would be better (vid., Job 6:13, and especially on Job 26:3). The thought it appropriate, but the expression is halting. Jerome, who translates valide, points to the correct thing, and Buxtorf (Lex. col. 2342f.) by interpreting the not less puzzling Targum translation in fundamento equals funditus or in essentia equals essentialiter, has, without intending it, hit upon the idea of the Hebr. Keri; תשׁיּה is intended as a closer defining, or adverbial, accusative: Thou causest me to vanish as to existence, ita ut tota essentia pereat h.e. totaliter et omnino. Perhaps this was really the meaning of the poet: most completely, most thoroughly, altogether, like the Arab. ḥaqqan. But it is unfavourable to this Keri, that תושׁיה (from the verb ושׁי), as might be expected, is always written plene elsewhere; the correction of the תשׁוה is violent, and moreover this form, correctly read, gives a sense far more consistent with the figure, Job 30:22. Ges., Umbr., and Carey falsely read תּשׁוּה, terres me; this verb is unknown in Hebr., and even in Chaldee is only used in Ithpeal, אשׁתּוי ( equals Hebr. חרד); for a similar reason Bttcher's תּשׁוה (which is intended to mean: in despair) is also not to be used. Even Stuhlmann perceived that תשׁוה is equivalent to תּשׁוּאה; it is, with Ew. and Olsh., to be read תּשׁוּה (not with Pareau and Hirz. תּשׁוה without the Dag.), and this form signifies, as תשׁואה, Job 36:29, from שׁוא equals שׁאה, from which it is derived by change of consonants, the crash of thunder, or even the rumbling or roar as of a storm or a falling in (procellae sive ruinae). The meaning is hardly, that he who rides away upon the stormy wind melts and trickles down like drops of rain among the pealing of the thunder, when the thunder-storm, whose harbinger is the stormy wind, gathers; but that in the storm itself, which increases in fury to the howling of a tempest, he dissolves away. תּשׁוּה for בּתּשׁוּה, comp. Psalm 107:26 : their soul melted away (dissolved) בּרעה. The compulsory journey in the air, therefore, passes into nothing or nearly nothing, as Job is well aware, Job 30:23 : "for I:know: (without כּי, as Job 19:25; Psalm 9:21) Thou wilt bring me back to death" (acc. of the goal, or locative without any sign). If תּשׁיבני is taken in its most natural signification reduces, death is represented as essentially one with the dust of death (comp. Job 1:21 with Genesis 3:19), or even with non-existence, out of which man is come into being; nevertheless השׁיב can also, by obliterating the notion of return, like redigere, have only the signification of the turn of destiny and change of condition that is effected. The assertion that שׁוּב always includes an "again," and retains it inexorably (vid., Khler on Zechariah 13:7, S. 239), is untenable. In post-biblical Hebrew, at least, it is certain that שׁוּב signifies not only "to become again," but also "to become," as Arab. ‛âd is used as synon. of jâ'in, devenir.

(Note: Vid., my Anekdota der mittelalterlichen Scholastik unter Juden und Moslemen, S. 347.)

With מות, the designation of the condition, is coupled the designation of the place: Hades (under the notion of which that of the grave is included) is the great involuntary rendezvous of all who live in this world.

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