All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again to dust.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)All flesh, i.e. every man, who is called flesh, Genesis 6:3,17 Isa 40:6.
Together, or, alike, without any exception, be they great or mean, wise or foolish, good or bad; if God design to destroy them, they cannot withstand his power, but must needs perish by his stroke. The design of this and the foregoing verse is the same with that of Job 34:13, See Poole "Job 34:13", namely, to declare God’s absolute and uncontrollable sovereignty over all men, to dispose of them either to life or to death, as it pleaseth him, and consequently to show that Job had cause to be thankful to God, who had continued his life so long to him, which he might have taken away as soon as ever he had given it, and had no cause to complain of him, or to tax him with injustice for afflicting him, as he did. Ecclesiastes 7:15;
and man shall turn again unto dust; from whence he came, as the body does at death; when those earthly tabernacles of the bodies of men, which have their foundation in the dust, are dissolved and sink into it. Now though this is the case of particular persons, one after another, yet it is not a general case, as it would be if God was to exert his power, as he might without any charge of injustice: and this shows the merciful kindness of God to man, so far is he from doing any thing injurious or unjust.All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 15. - All flesh shall perish together (comp. Psalm 104:29). Without God's sustaining hand, all creatures would fall back into nothingness. And man shall turn again unto dust, Either Elihu refers here to Genesis 3:19, or else he has a traditional knowledge of man's origin, handed down from a remote antiquity, which is in entire conformity with the Hebrew belief.
"And God hath put aside my right.
6 "Shall I lie in spite of my right,
"Incurable is mine arrow without transgression."
7 Where is there a man like Job,
Who drinketh scorning like water,
8 And keepeth company with the workers of iniquity,
And walketh with wicked men,
9 So that he saith: "A man hath no profit
"From entering into fellowship with God"?!
That in relation to God, thinking of Him as a punishing judge, he is righteous or in the right, i.e., guiltless (צדקתּי with Pathach in pause, according to Ew. 93, c, from צדק equals צדק, but perhaps, comp. Proverbs 24:30; Psalm 102:26, because the Athnach is taken only as of the value of Zakeph), Job has said verbatim in Job 13:18, and according to meaning, Job 23:10; Job 27:7, and throughout; that He puts aside his right (the right of the guiltless, and therefore not of one coming under punishment): Job 27:2. That in spite of his right (על, to be interpreted, according to Schultens' example, just like Job 10:7; Job 16:17), i.e., although right is on his side, yet he must be accounted a liar, since his own testimony is belied by the wrathful form of his affliction, that therefore the appearance of wrong remains inalienably attached to him, we find in idea in Job 9:20 and freq. Elihu makes Job call his affliction חצּי, i.e., an arrow sticking in him, viz., the arrow of the wrath of God (on the objective suff. comp. on Job 23:2), after Job 6:4; Job 16:9; Job 19:11; and that this his arrow, i.e., the pain which it causes him, is incurably bad, desperately malignant without (בּלי as Job 8:11) פּשׁע, i.e., sins existing as the ground of it, from which he would be obliged to suppose they had thrust him out of the condition of favour, is Job's constant complaint (vid., e.g., Job 13:23.). Another utterance of Job closely connected with it has so roused Elihu's indignation, that he prefaces it with the exclamation of astonishment: Who is a man like Job, i.e., where in all the world (מי as 2 Samuel 7:23) has this Job his equal, who ... . The attributive clause refers to Job; "to drink scorn (here: blasphemy) like water," is, according to Job 15:16, equivalent to to give one's self up to mockery with delight, and to find satisfaction in it. ארח לחברה, to go over to any one's side, looks like a poeticized prose expression. ללכת is a continuation of the ארח, according to Ew. 351, c, but not directly in the sense "and he goes," but, as in the similar examples, Jeremiah 17:10; Jeremiah 44:19; 2 Chronicles 7:17, and freq., in the sense of: "he is in the act of going;" comp. on Job 36:20 and Habakkuk 1:17. The utterance runs: a man does not profit, viz., himself (on the use of סכן of persons as well as of things, vid., on Job 22:2), by his having joyous and familiar intercourse (בּרצתו, as little equivalent to בּרוּץ as in Psalm 50:18) with God. Job has nowhere expressly said this, but certainly the declaration in Job 9:22, in connection with the repeated complaints concerning the anomalous distribution of human destinies (vid., especially Job 21:7, Job 24:1), are the premises for such a conclusion. That Elihu, in Job 34:7, is more harsh against Job than the friends ever were (comp. e.g., the well-measured reproach of Eliphaz, Job 15:4), and that he puts words into Job's moth which occur nowhere verbatim in his speeches, is worked up by the Latin fathers (Jer., Philippus Presbyter, Beda,
(Note: Philippus Presbyter was a disciple of Jerome. His Comm. in Iobum is extant in many forms, partly epitomized, partly interpolated (on this subject, vid., Hieronymi Opp. ed. Vallarsi, iii. 895ff.). The commentary of Beda, dedicated to a certain Nectarius (Vecterius), is fundamentally that of this Philippus.)
Gregory) in favour of their unfavourable judgment of Elihu; the Greek fathers, however, are deprived of all opportunity of understanding him by the translation of the lxx (in which μυκτηρισμόν signifies the scorn of others which Job must swallow down, comp. Proverbs 26:6), which here perverts everything.
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