Job 34:25
Therefore he knows their works, and he overturns them in the night, so that they are destroyed.
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(25) Therefore.—We should expect because rather; but the writer, believing in God’s justice, infers that since God acts thus He knoweth the works of man, and has grounds for acting as He acts.

34:16-30 Elihu appeals directly to Job himself. Could he suppose that God was like those earthly princes, who hate right, who are unfit to rule, and prove the scourges of mankind? It is daring presumption to condemn God's proceedings, as Job had done by his discontents. Elihu suggests divers considerations to Job, to produce in him high thoughts of God, and so to persuade him to submit. Job had often wished to plead his cause before God. Elihu asks, To what purpose? All is well that God does, and will be found so. What can make those uneasy, whose souls dwell at ease in God? The smiles of all the world cannot quiet those on whom God frowns.Therefore he knoweth their works - Or, "Because he knoweth their works." The word (לכן lākên) here rendered "therefore" is evidently used as denoting that since or because he was intimately acquainted with all which they did, he could justly bring vengeance upon them without long investigation.

And he overturneth them in the night - literally, "he turneth night;" meaning, probably, he turns night upon them; that is, he brings calamity upon them. The word "night" is often used to denote calamity, or ruin. Umbreit understands it in the sense of "turning about the night;" that is, that they had covered up their deeds as in the night, but that God "so turns the night about" as to bring them to the light of day. The Vulgate renders it "et ideireo inducit noctem," "and therefore he brings night;" that is, he brings adversity and ruin. This is probably the correct interpretation.

So that they are destroyed - Margin, "crushed." The idea is, that when God thus brings adversity upon them, they are prostrated beneath his power.

25. Therefore—because He knows all things (Job 34:21). He knows their works, without a formal investigation (Job 34:24).

in the night—suddenly, unexpectedly (Job 34:20). Fitly in the night, as it was in it that the godless hid themselves (Job 34:22). Umbreit, less simply, for "overturneth," translates, "walketh"; that is, God is ever on the alert, discovering all wickedness.

i.e. Hence it appears that he knows all their evil works, because he judgeth them for them. God or men are ofttimes said in Scripture to know or do a thing, when they only manifest their knowing and doing of it. Or, became, &c., as this particle is used, Isaiah 26:14 61:7. So this is subjoined as the ground or reason why he punisheth them, as is related both in the foregoing and in the following words, because he sees all their wicked designs and actions.

He overturneth them in the night, i.e. when they are at rest and secure; at midnight, as it is Job 34:20. Or, he turneth or bringeth upon them the night, to wit, of calamity and tribulation, as the next words explain it, and as the words

night and darkness are oft used. Or, he turneth the night, to wit, into day, i.e. he knoweth all their deeds of darkness, and bringeth them to light. See above, Job 34:22.

So that they are destroyed, Heb. and (or then, or therefore; for both these ways this particle is sometimes used) they shall be destroyed, or broken to pieces. Therefore he knoweth their works,.... Being God omniscient, or rather takes notice of them, weighs and considers them, and gives to man according to them; or rather makes them known, for of his omniscience Elihu had spoken before; he makes them known to themselves, fastens convictions of their evil ways and works on their consciences, and obliges them to confess them, as the instances of Cain, Pharaoh, and others, show; and he makes them known to others by the judgment he executes, as on the old world, Sodom and Gomorrah; and the works of all will be made manifest at the day of judgment;

and he overturneth them in the night; literally taken, as the firstborn of the Egyptians were slain in the night, Exodus 12:30; and Pharaoh and his host were drowned in the Red sea in the night, Exodus 15:4; and the Assyrian army were destroyed by an angel in one night, 2 Kings 19:35; and Belshazzar was killed in the night, and the Babylonian empire translated to the Medes and Persians at the same time, Daniel 5:30, or figuratively, that is, suddenly, at unawares, and by surprise, and as quickly and easily as the night is turned into day; and such a revolution is made, as when he turns the night into day, and discovers and makes known all their secret actions committed in the dark; or he turns the night of calamity upon them, and puts an end to their light of temporal happiness and prosperity; or turns the night of death and everlasting wrath and justice on them, the blackness of darkness upon them:

so that they are destroyed; both in a temporal sense, on every side, with an utter destruction; and in a spiritual sense, with an everlasting one.

Therefore he knoweth their {s} works, and he overturneth them in the {t} night, so that they are destroyed.

(s) Make it known that they are wicked.

(t) Declare the things that were hid.

25–27. Armed with such omniscient insight (therefore, Job 34:25) He knoweth men’s works, and His judgment overtakes them without fail.Verse 25. - Therefore (i.e. to that end or with that object in view) he knoweth (rather, taketh knowledge of) their works. As God governs the world, and governs it, to a large extent, by exalting some men and depressing others, he is bound to take strict account of their conduct, that he may exalt the worthy and depress the unworthy. And he overturneth them in the night (comp. ver. 20). So that they are destroyed; literally, crushed. God's judgments fall on men suddenly, either "in the night," or as "In the night, i.e. suddenly, unexpectedly, when they are quite unprepared; and fall on them with "crushing" force, with a might that is wholly irresistible, The interrogative ה is joined to the inf., not, however, as Job 40:2 (num litigare cum Deo castigator, scil. vult), with the inf. absol., but with the inf. constr.; the form אמר for אמר occurs also in Proverbs 25:7, and is also otherwise not rare, especially in combination with particles, e.g., בּאכל, Numbers 26:10, Olsh. 160, b.

(Note: Ezekiel 25:8 is also to be read אמר according to the Masora and old editions (as אבד Deuteronomy 7:20, אכל Deuteronomy 12:23, אחז 1 Kings 6:6), for distinction from the imperatives, which have Chateph-Segol.)

It is unnecessary to suppose that the inf. constr., which sometimes, although rarely, does occur (Ges. 131, rem. 2), is used here instead of the inf. absol.; it is thus, as after טּוב, e.g., Judges 9:2 (המשׁל), Proverbs 24:7; Psalm 133:1, and Psalm 40:6 after אין, used as n. actionis, since ha in a pregnant sense is equivalent to num licet (הטוב), if one does not prefer, with Olsh., to suppose an aposiopesis: "(dare one be so bold as) to say to a king: Thou worthless one! Thou evil-doer! to princes?" The reading האמר is an unnecessary lightening of the difficulty. It were a crimen laesae, if one reproached a king with being unjust, and therefore thereby denied him the most essential requisite of a ruler; and now even Him (Merc. correctly supplies tanto minus ei) who does not give the preference to the person (נשׂא פּני as Job 13:8; Job 32:21) of princes, and does not (with preference) regard (on נכּר vid., on Job 21:29, also here Piel, and according to the statement of the Masora, Milel, for an acknowledged reason which can be maintained even in remarkable instances, like Deuteronomy 10:5 in ויהיו, Ezekiel 32:26 in מחללי, whereas 1 Samuel 23:7 is Milra) the rich before (לפני in the sense of prae) the poor! therefore the King of kings, who makes no partial distinction, because the king and the beggar are the work of His hands: they stand equally near to Him as being His creatures, and He is exalted above both alike as their Creator, this order and partiality are excluded; - what a nota bene against the doctrine of the decretum absolutum, which makes the love of the Creator a partial love, and turns this love, which in its very nature is perfect love, into caprice! In Job 34:20 Elihu appeals to human history in favour of this impartiality of the Ruler of the world. It may there appear as though God with partiality suffered rulers and peoples in authority in the world to do as they please; but suddenly they die away, and in fact in the middle of the night (here Mercha-mahpach), the individuals of a great people (thus must עם be understood in accordance with the prominently-placed plur. predicate, Ges. 146, 1) tremble and perish; and they remove (ויסירוּ instead of the passive, as Job 4:20 and frequently) the mighty - לא־ביד. It is not the hand of man which does this, but an invisible higher power (which, if it is called yd, only bears this name per anthropomorphismum); comp. Daniel 2:34, לא בידין; Daniel 8:25, בּאפס יד; and also Job 20:26, like the New Testament use of ου ̓ χειροποίητος. The subj. of Job 34:20 are the previously mentioned princes. The division according to the accents may be received with hesitation, since the symmetry of the sticks, which it restores, is not unfrequently wanting in the Elihu section. Job 34:20 refers back to the possessors of power, and in the interval, Job 34:20 describes the fate of those who belong to the people which has become subservient to their lust of conquest, for עם cannot signify "in crowds" (Ew., Hahn); it is therefore, and especially when mentioned as here between princes and rulers, the people, and in fact, in distinction from gwy, the people together forming a state.

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