Job 34:26
He strikes them as wicked men in the open sight of others;
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(26) He striketh them as wicked men.—Rather, in the place of wicked men he striketh them: i.e., the wicked—that is, “He executeth His judgments in the sight of all beholders, striking down wicked men in their very place, so that there can be no doubt as to who are stricken or why they are stricken.”

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.He striketh them as wicked men - literally, "Under the wicked, or on account of the wicked, he smites them." That is, he deals with them "as if" they were wicked; he regards and treats them as such. He deals with them "under" the general character of wicked people, and punishes them accordingly.

In the open sight of others - Margin, as in Hebrew "in the place of beholders." The idea is, that it is done openly or publicly. Their sins had been committed in secret, but they are punished openly. The manifestation of the divine displeasure is in the presence of spectators, or is so open and public, that it cannot but be seen. It is very probable that in all this description Elihu had his eye upon the public calamities which had come upon Job, and that he meant to include him among the number of mighty men whom God thus suddenly overturned.

26. He striketh them—chasteneth.

as—that is, because they are wicked.

sight of others—Sinners hid themselves in darkness; therefore they are punished before all, in open day. Image from the place of public execution (Job 40:12; Ex 14:30; 2Sa 12:12).

As wicked men, i.e. as he useth to smite wicked men, with a grievous and terrible stroke. Compare Isaiah 27:7. Or, for wicked men; or, because they are wicked men, therefore he destroys them without any regard to their quality.

In the open sight of others; in public view, for their greater shame, and for the greater glory of God’s justice, and for the greater terror of other oppressors, and comfort of the oppressed. He striketh them as wicked men,.... Such is the strict justice of God, that he never strikes men, or inflicts punishment on them, or brings down his judgments upon them, but as wicked men, and because of their wickedness; the casting of man out of Eden was for his sin, as well as the casting down the angels from heaven that sinned; the drowning of the old world, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the ruin of Pharaoh and his host, the driving the Canaanites out of their land, the various captivities of the Israelites, with other instances of God's displeasure with men in this world, and the everlasting punishment of them in another, are only of them as wicked men, and for sin; and therefore he is not chargeable with any unrighteousness. Sephorno interprets it, "instead of wicked men", and illustrates it by the shaking out of Pharaoh and his host into the sea in the room and stead of the wicked Israelites, that came up from thence,

in the open sight of others: which the same interpreter refers to the Israelites seeing the Egyptians dead on the seashore; or "in the place of them that see" (f), that is, in a public manner, as generally malefactors are executed, to which the allusion may be; it denotes the publicness of God's righteous judgments on wicked men, for the greater declaration of his power and justice, and for the greater shame and disgrace of such wicked men, and for the joy and comfort of the righteous delivered from them.

(f) "in loco videntium", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Piscator, Michaelis; "in loco spectantium", Beza, Cocceius, Schultens.

He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of {u} others;

(u) Meaning, openly in the sight of all men.

Verse 26. - He striketh them as wicked men; i.e. as open and acknowledged malefactors. In the open sight of others; literally, in the place of beholders; i.e. publicly, openly, where their fate is an example to others. 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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