Job 30:5
They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;)
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 30:5-6. They were driven forth from among men — As unworthy of human society; and for their beggary and dishonesty, suspected and avoided of all men; they cried after them as after a thief — Giving one another warning of their danger from them.

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.They were driven forth from among men - As vagabonds and outcasts. They were regarded as unfit to live among the civilized and the orderly, and were expelled as nuisances.

(They cried after them as after a thief.) - The inhabitants of the place where they lived drove them out with a loud outcry, as if they were thieves and robbers. A class of persons are here described who were mere vagrants and plunderers, and who were not allowed to dwell in civilized society, and it was one of the highest aggravations of the calamities of Job, that he was now treated with derision by such outcasts.

5. they cried—that is, "a cry is raised." Expressing the contempt felt for this race by civilized and well-born Arabs. When these wild vagabonds make an incursion on villages, they are driven away, as thieves would be. Giving one another warning of their danger from them.

They were driven from among men,.... From towns and cities, and all civil society, as unfit to be among them; not for any good, it may be observed, but for crimes that they had done, like our felons, and transported persons:

they cried after them as after a thief; as they were driven and run along, the people called after them, saying, there goes a thief; which they said by way of abhorrence of them, and for the shame of them, and that all might be warned and cautioned against them; and, generally speaking, such as are idle and slothful, and thereby become miserable, are pilferers and thieves.

They were {d} driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;)

(d) Job shows that those who mocked him in his affliction were like their fathers, wicked and lewd fellows, such as he here describes.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5–6. Such creatures when they approach civilized dwellings are driven forth and pursued with cries as men do a thief.

They are driven forth from among men,

They cry after them as after a thief,

And they must dwell in the clefts of the valleys, &c.

The word “cliffs” in the ordinary texts here is either a misprint for “clifts” or clefts, or is used in that sense.

Verse 5. - They were driven forth from among men. Weak races retreat before strong ones, who occupy their lands, and whose will they do not dare to dispute. They are not intentionally "driven out," for the strong raecs would gladly make them their drudges; but they retire into the most inaccessible regions, as the primitive population has done in India and elsewhere. They cried after them as after a thief. Outcast tribes naturally, and almost necessarily, become robber-tribes. Deprived of their productive lands, and driven into rocky deserts, want makes them thieves and marauders. Then those who have made them what they are vilify and decry them. Job 30:5 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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