Job 35:15
But now, because it is not so, he has visited in his anger; yet he knows it not in great extremity:
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(15) But now, because it is not so, is very obscure. The Authorised Version refers the first clause to God and the second to Job. Perhaps we may render, But now, what His anger has visited upon thee is as nothing (compared with thy deserts); yea, He hath not regarded the great abundance (of thy sin), i.e., hath not visited it with anger. Therefore doth Job, &c. Others render it, “But now, because it is not so (i.e., there is no judgment), He hath visited in His anger, saith Job, and He regardeth it not, saith He, in His exceeding arrogance;” or, “But now, because He hath not visited in His anger, neither doth He much regard arrogance, therefore Job,” &c. The word thus rendered arrogance is not found elsewhere; it appears to mean abundance or superfluity. Of these renderings, the first seems to give the better sense. The general bearing of the verse is perhaps apparent however rendered, namely, that Job is encouraged in his murmurings, because God hath dealt too leniently with him. Elihu’s reproaches must have been some of the heaviest that Job had to bear. Happily the judgment was not to be long deferred. (See Job 38:1.)

Job 35:15-16. But now, because it is not so — That is, because Job doth not acknowledge God’s justice and his own sins, and wait upon God in a proper way for mercy; he hath visited in his anger — God hath laid grievous afflictions upon him, all which appear to be too little to bring Job to a compliance with God’s will. Yet he knoweth it not — Job is not sufficiently sensible of it, so as to be humbled under God’s mighty hand. In great extremity — Or, though in great extremity, namely, of afflictions. Though Job hath hitherto been, and still is, exercised with very sore calamities: yet they have not brought him to the knowledge of God and himself. Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain — Hence it is manifest that he pours forth his complaints without any success, and gets no relief by them. He multiplieth words without knowledge — Thereby discovering his ignorance of God and of himself. 35:14-26 As in prosperity we are ready to think our mountain will never be brought low; so when in adversity, we are ready to think our valley will never be filled up. But to conclude that to-morrow must be as this day, is as absurd as to think that the weather, when either fair or foul, will be always so. When Job looked up to God, he had no reason to speak despairingly. There is a day of judgment, when all that seems amiss will be found to be right, and all that seems dark and difficult will be cleared up and set straight. And if there is Divine wrath in our troubles, it is because we quarrel with God, are fretful, and distrust Divine Providence. This was Job's case. Elihu was directed by God to humble Job, for as to some things he had both opened his mouth in vain, and had multiplied words without knowledge. Let us be admonished, in our afflictions, not so much to set forth the greatness of our suffering, as the greatness of the mercy of God.But now, because it is not so - This verse, as it stands in our authorized translation, conveys no intelligible idea. It is evident that the translators meant to give a literal version of the Hebrew, but without understanding its sense. An examination of the principal words and phrases may enable us to ascertain the idea which was in the mind of Elihu when it was uttered. The phrase in the Hebrew here (ועתה כי־אין kı̂y-'ayin ve‛attâh) may mean, "but now it is as nothing," and is to be connected with the following clause, denoting, "now it is comparatively nothing that he has visited you in his anger;" that is, the punishment which he has inflicted on you is almost as nothing compared with what it might have been, or what you have deserved. Job had complained much, and Elihu says to him, that so far from having cause of complaint, his sufferings were as nothing - scarcely worth noticing, compared with what they might have been.

He hath visited in his anger - Margin, that is, "God." The word rendered "hath visited" (פקד pâqad) means to visit for any purpose - for mercy or justice; to review, take an account of, or investigate conduct. Here it is used with reference to punishment - meaning that the punishment which he had inflicted was trifling compared with the desert of the offences.

Yet he knoweth it not - Margin, that is, "Job." The marginal reading here is undoubtedly erroneous. The reference is not to Job, but to God, and the idea is, that he did not "know," that is, did not "take full account" of the sins of Job. He passed them over, and did not bring them all into the account in his dealings with him. Had he done this, and marked every offence with the utmost strictness and severity, his punishment would have been much more severe.

In great extremity - The Hebrew here is מאד בפשׁ bapash me'ôd. The word פשׁ pash occurs nowhere else in the Hebrew. The Septuagint renders it παράπτωμα paraptōma, "offence." and the Vulgate "scelus," that is, "transgression." The authors of those versions evidently read it as if it were פשׁע pesha‛, iniquity; and it may be that the final ע (‛) has been dropped, like שו for שׁוא shâv', in Job 15:31. Gesenius, Theodotion and Symmachus in like manner render it "transgression." Others have regarded it as if from פוש "to be proud," and as meaning "in pride" or "arrogance;" and others, as the rabbis generally, as if from פוש, to "disperse," meaning "on account of the multitude," scil. of transgressions. So Rosenmuller, Umbreit, Luther, and the Chaldee. It seems probable to me that the interpretation of the Septuagint and the Vulgate is the correct one, and that the sense is, that he "does not take cognizance severely (מאד me'ôd) of transgressions;" that is, that he had not done it in the case of Job. This interpretation agrees with the scope of the passage, and with the view which Elihu meant to express - that God, so far from having given any just cause of complaint, had not even dealt with him as his sins deserved. Without any impeachment of his wisdom or goodness, his inflictions "might" have been far more severe.

15. As it is, because Job waited not trustingly and patiently (Job 35:14; Nu 20:12; Zep 3:2; Mic 7:9), God hath visited … ; yet still he has not taken (severe) cognizance of the great multitude (English Version wrongly, "extremity") of sins; therefore Job should not complain of being punished with undue severity (Job 7:20; 11:6). Maurer translates: "Because His anger hath not visited (hath not immediately punished Job for his impious complaints), nor has He taken strict (great) cognizance of his folly (sinful speeches); therefore," &c. For "folly," Umbreit translates with the Rabbins, "multitude." Gesenius reads with the Septuagint and Vulgate needlessly, "transgression." Because it is not so, i.e. because Job doth not acknowledge God’s justice and his own sins, and wait upon God in his way for mercy, according to the last advice given to him, Job 35:14.

He, to wit, God, to whom this great work of visiting is ascribed every where in Scripture.

Hath visited in his anger, i.e. hath laid grievous afflictions upon him; all which is too little to bring Job to compliance with God.

He knoweth it not; Job is not sufficiently sensible of it, so as to be humbled under God’s hand.

In great extremity; or, though (which particle is sometimes understood, of which examples have been before) in great extremity, or abundance, to wit, of afflictions. Though Job hath hitherto been and still is exercised with very sore calamities, yet they have not brought Job to the knowledge of God and of himself. But this verse is and may be rendered thus, And now know that his (i.e. God’s) anger hath visited thee little or nothing, (to wit, in comparison of what thou hast deserved and mightest reasonably expect,) neither hath he known (i.e. judged or punished, as this word is used, Proverbs 10:9, and elsewhere) thee in or according to (as the prefix beth is sometimes used) the great abundance, to wit, of thy sins. And therefore thy complaints against God are very unrighteous and unreasonable. But now, because it is not so,.... Because there was not such trust, hope, patience, and quiet expectation in Job that God would appear for him, and do him, justice openly and publicly; for though he had hope and confidence of an interest in his living Redeemer and Saviour, and of eternal life and happiness through him; yet not of his bringing his judgment to the light, and of his beholding his righteousness, as he ought to have had, see Psalm 37:5;

he hath visited in his anger; corrected and chastised in fatherly anger and displeasure, though not in wrath and vengeance, and in a way of punishment in strict justice; but consistent with his invariable love and free favour in Christ; being displeased at his want of faith and patience, failing in the exercise of which is oftentimes resented by the Lord, see Numbers 20:12;

yet he knoweth it not in great extremity: so stupid was Job, that though he was in the utmost extremity of affliction, in his body, family, and substance, yet was not sensible it was his duty to trust in God, and patiently wait for him; he knew that the hand of God was upon him, and that he had visited him in anger, and that his arrows stuck fast in him, and his hand pressed him sore; but was insensible of the cause of the continuance of it, his unbelief, impatience, and non-submission to the will of God. The word for "extremity" signifies "abundance" (d), and may be applied to an abundance and plenty of good things; and therefore some understand it of Job's prosperity, and take the sense to be, that God took no notice of this; it did not hinder him from visiting him, but he destroyed it all: though Mr. Broughton, on the other hand, interprets it of the great plenty of sorrows and distresses Job was attended with, the true cause of which he did not advert to: some (e) think the whole refers to the merciful dealings of God with Job, and read the first clause,

"know now his anger hath visited but a little or noticing;''

the affliction is but a light one comparatively speaking, scarce any thing at all in comparison of what sin deserves, being abundantly less than that:

"neither hath he made great inquisition, or inquired out the multitude''

of sins; not strictly and severely marking them, and dealing with and for them according to their deserts; see Ezra 9:13; with which compare 2 Corinthians 4:17; and therefore Job had no reason to complain of God, or of any hard usage from him.

(d) "in copia", Montanus; "ad auctum valde", Cocceius; "prosperitatem", De Dieu; so Patrick. (e) Tigurine version, Mercerus, Piscator; so Ben Gersom.

But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger; yet he knoweth it not in great extremity:
15. This verse is very obscure, and the A. V. competes worthily with the original in darkness. The word translated extremity does not occur again, and, if it be a word at all and not a mere error of copyists (the Sept. read “transgression”), its meaning can only be guessed at. The connexion, however, suggests what general meaning the expression must have. Perhaps the easiest way to construe the verse is to take it in connexion with Job 35:16,

15.  But now because his anger visiteth not,

And he doth not strictly regard transgression,

16.  Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vanity,

He multiplieth words without knowledge.

Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily (Ecclesiastes 8:11), and God seems as if He took no knowledge of wrong and oppression, therefore Job draws the futile conclusion (Job 35:2-3), that there is no advantage in being righteous more than in sinning. Elihu has already accounted for God’s refusal to interpose on very different grounds (Job 35:10-13), grounds which Job would do well to lay to heart. The word rendered “extremity” (fash) may have a correspondent in the Arab. fashsha of which Lane says, “fashsha is syn. with fâsha as meaning, He gloried or boasted and magnified himself, imagining (in himself) what he did not possess.” This would suggest such a meaning as pride or arrogancy.

Though this construction of Job 35:15 is simple it is doubtful if it be the true one. Job 35:16 certainly looks independent, and if so Job 35:15 is also complete in itself,

But now because his anger visiteth not,

Therefore he careth nothing for transgression!

the second clause expressing the conclusion which Job draws from God’s inactivity and His refraining to punish (first clause), namely that God was indifferent to evil, or as expressed in Job 35:2-3, that righteousness was of no profit to a man more than sin. The sense remains the same as on the other construction. And Job 35:16, as before, expresses Elihu’s verdict regarding Job,

Nay, Job openeth his mouth in vanity,

He multiplieth words without knowledge.Verses 15, 16. - Leaving his advice to sink into Job's mind, Elihu turns from him to the bystanders, and remarks, with some severity, that it is because Job has not been punished enough, because God has not visited him for his petulance and arrogance, that he indulges in "high swelling words of vanity," and continues to utter words which are foolish and" without knowledge." Verse 15. - But now, because it is not so, he hath visited in his anger. This is an impossible rendering. The Hebrew is perfectly plain, and is to be translated literally as follows: But now, because he hath not visited his (i.e. Job's) anger. (So Schultens, Canon Cook, and, with a slight difference, our Revisers.) God had not visited Job with any fresh afflictions on account of his vehement expostulations and overbold and reckless words. Yet he knoweth it not in great extremity. The Authorized Version again wholly misses the meaning. Translate, with the Revised Version, Neither doth he greatly regard (Job's) arrogance. 9 By reason of the multitude of oppressions they raise a cry,

They call for help by reason of the arm of the great,

10 But none saith: Where is Eloah my Creator,

Who giveth songs of praise in the night,

11 Who teacheth us by the beasts of the earth,

And maketh us wise by the fowls of heaven?

12 Then they cry, yet He answereth not,

Because of the pride of evil men.

13 Vanity alone God heareth not,

And the Almighty observeth it not.

In Job 35:9 the accentuation of מרוב with Dech, according to which Dachselt interprets: prae multitudine (oppressionum) oppressi clamabunt, is erroneous; it is to be written מרב, as everywhere else, and this (according to Codd. and the editions of Jablonski, Majus, Michaelis, and others) is to be accented with Munach, which is followed by עשׁוּקים with a vicarious Munach: prae multitudine oppressionum (עשׁוקים like Ecclesiastes 4:1, and probably also Amos 3:9) edunt clamorem (Hiph. in the intensive Kal signification, as e.g., הזנה, to commit fornication, Hosea 4:10). On זרוע, Job 35:9; רבּים are the great or lords (Arab. arbâb). The plur. with a general subj. is followed by the sing. in Job 35:10: and no one says (exactly as in האמר, Job 34:31). Elihu weakens the doubt expressed by Job in Job 24:12, that God allows injustice to prevail, and oppressed innocence remains without vindication. The failure of the latter arises from the fact of the sufferers complaining, but not seeking earnestly the only true helper, God their maker (עשׂים, intensive plur., as Isaiah 22:11; Isaiah 54:5; Psalm 149:2), who gives (to which may be compared a passage of the Edda: "Wuodan gives songs to the Scalds") songs (זמרות, from the onomatopoetic זמר) in the night, i.e., who in the night of sorrow puts songs of praise concerning the dawning light of help into the mouth of the sufferers. The singing of the glory of the nightly heavens (Stick., Hahn) is to be as little thought of as the music of the spheres; the night is, as Job 34:20, Job 34:25, the time of unexpectedly sudden change.

In Job 35:11 most expositors (last of all Schlottm.) take the two מן as comparative. Elihu would then, since he feels the absence of the asking after this God on the part of the sufferers, mean the conscious relation in which He has placed us to Himself, and in accordance with which the sufferer should not merely instinctively complain, but humbly bow himself and earnestly offer up prayer. But according to Job 12:7 (comp. Proverbs 6:6, וחכם), it is to be translated: who teaches (מלּפנוּ equals מאלּפנוּ, comp. 2 Samuel 22:40, Psalter i. 160) us from the beasts of the earth (so that from them as a means of instruction teaching comes to us), and makes us wise from the birds of heaven. The fut. interchanging with the part. better accords with this translation, according to which Job 35:11 is a continuation of the assertion of a divine instruction, by means of the animal creation; the thought also suits the connection better, for of the many things that may be learned from the animal creation, prayer here comes under consideration, - the lions roar, Psalm 104:21; the thirsty cattle cry to God, Joel 1:20; the ravens call upon God, Psalm 147:9. It we now determine the collective thought of Job 35:10, that affliction does not drive most men to God the almighty Helper, who will be humbly entreated for help: it is more natural to take שׁם (vid., on Job 23:7) in the sense of then (τότε), than, with reference to the scene of oppression, in the sense of there (lxx, Jer.: ibi). The division of the verse is correct, and H. B. Starcke has correctly interpreted: Tunc clamabunt (sed non respondebit) propter superbiam (insolentiam) malorum. מפּני is not to be connected with יענה in the sense of non exaudiet et servabit, by which constr. praegnans one would expect מן, Psalm 22:22, instead of מפני, nor in the sense of non exaudiet propter (Hirz., Schlottm.), for the arrogant רעים are not those who complain unheard: but, as the connection shows, those from whom the occasion of complaint proceeds. Therefore: not allowing themselves to be driven to God by oppression, they cry then, without, however, being heard of God, by reason of the arrogance of evil men which they have to endure. Job 35:13 gives the reason of their obtaining no answer: Only emptiness (i.e., mere motion of the lips without the true spirit of prayer) God heareth not, and the Almighty observeth it not. Hahn wrongly denies אך the significations certo and verumtamen; but we prefer the restrictive signification (sheer emptiness or hollowness) which proceeds from the affirmative primary signification

(Note: Vid., Hupfeld in the Zeitschr. fr Kunde des Morgenl. ii.441f.)


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