Job 36:11
If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.
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(11) They shall spend their days in prosperity.—It is, perhaps, not more easy to reconcile this teaching of Elihu’s with the realities of actual fact than it is the notions of Job’s friends as to direct retribution in life.

Job 36:11-12. If they obey — God’s admonition and command; they shall spend their days in prosperity — They shall be restored to their former prosperity, and shall live and die in it. This he says according to the tenor of God’s promises, especially in the Old Testament state of the church, and according to the common course of God’s providence in those days, which Elihu and other good men had observed; and their years in pleasures — Abounding in worldly comforts, and delighting themselves in the love and favour of God thereby manifested to them. But if they obey not — If the righteous, spoken of Job 36:7, opposed to the hypocrites, mentioned in the next verse, be disobedient to the divine admonitions; they shall perish by the sword — They shall be cut off by some extraordinary or remarkable judgment; and they shall die without knowledge — Shall die in or for their inadvertency or folly, or, because they are without knowledge, as בבלי דעת, bibli dagnath, may be rendered, because they are ignorant, or brutish, and will not learn the lessons which God so plainly teaches them.36:5-14 Elihu here shows that God acts as righteous Governor. He is always ready to defend those that are injured. If our eye is ever toward God in duty, his eye will be ever upon us in mercy, and, when we are at the lowest, will not overlook us. God intends, when he afflicts us, to discover past sins to us, and to bring them to our remembrance. Also, to dispose our hearts to be taught: affliction makes people willing to learn, through the grace of God working with and by it. And further, to deter us from sinning for the future. It is a command, to have no more to do with sin. If we faithfully serve God, we have the promise of the life that now is, and the comforts of it, as far as is for God's glory and our good: and who would desire them any further? We have the possession of inward pleasures, the great peace which those have that love God's law. If the affliction fail in its work, let men expect the furnace to be heated till they are consumed. Those that die without knowledge, die without grace, and are undone for ever. See the nature of hypocrisy; it lies in the heart: that is for the world and the flesh, while perhaps the outside seems to be for God and religion. Whether sinners die in youth, or live long to heap up wrath, their case is dreadful. The souls of the wicked live after death, but it is in everlasting misery.If they obey and serve him - That is, if, as the result of their afflictions, they repent of their sins, seek his mercy, and serve him in time to come, they shall be prospered still. The design of affliction, Elihu says, is, not to cut them off, but to bring them to repentance. This sentiment he had advanced and illustrated before at greater length; see the notes at Job 33:23-28. The object of all this is, doubtless, to assure Job that he should not regard his calamities either as proof that he had never understood religion - as his friends maintained; or that God was severe, and did not regard those that loved and obeyed him - as Job had seemed to suppose; but that there was something in his life and conduct which made discipline necessary, and that if he would repcnt of that, he would find returning prosperity, and end his days in happiness and peace. 11. serve—that is, worship; as in Isa 19:23. God is to be supplied (compare Isa 1:19, 20). If they obey God’s admonition and command.

They shall spend their days in prosperity; they shall be restored to their farmer prosperity, and shall live and die in it. This he speaks according to the tenor of God’s promises, especially in the Old Testament state of the church, and according to the common course and method of God’s providence, which Elihu and other good men had observed.

Their years in pleasures; abounding in worldly comforts, and being enabled by God to rejoice in them, which is God’s gift, Ecclesiastes 3:13, and delighting themselves in God’s love and favour to them. If they obey and serve him,.... That is, God, to whom so many things are ascribed in the preceding verses; and who only is to be obeyed and served in a religious way, with the obedience of faith and love, in all his commands and ordinances. But here not so much obedience to his word, his law or Gospel, as to his rod is intended: "if they hear", &c. (q); hear the rod and him that has appointed it; hearken to his reproving, instructing, and commanding voice, in affliction; to his calls, cautions, and admonitions thereby given; and act according to them; humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, and return from iniquity:

they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures; which intimates, that those to whom afflictions are sanctified, and they obedient under them, when recovered out of them shall enjoy long life; not only live many days, but years, and those in great prosperity and pleasure; be blessed with much temporal prosperity, which lies in riches and wealth, as this word is rendered in Job 21:13; and in bodily health, which is a considerable part of outward prosperity; but more especially prosperity of soul may be intended, see 3 John 1:2; which is enjoyed when a man is favoured with the discoveries of the love of God to him; with applications of pardoning grace and mercy; when grace is in lively exercise in him, and he has a spiritual appetite for the good word of God, and is fruitful in every good work: and so pleasures do not so much design corporeal pleasures, though ever so innocent and lawful; for though they may at proper times be indulged unto, yet a man's days and years are not to be spent in them; but rather spiritual pleasures, which are had in views of the wonderful love of God in Christ; in the enjoyment of the gracious presence of God, and communion with him; and which the people of God are favoured with, in his house and ordinances, ways and worship: and when those years are gone, endless pleasures at God's right hand, and in his presence, will follow.

(q) "si audierint et fecerint", Codurcus.

If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.
11, 12. Such afflictions, though graciously meant, may have different issues according as men receive them. On the expression “the sword” in Job 36:12 see ch. Job 33:18.Verse 11. - If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures (comp. Job 12:13-19; Jeremiah 7:23; Jeremiah 26:13). Under the old covenant, prosperity was promised to the righteous, and even to the repentant, frequently, and in the most definite terms. Under the new, when any such promise is made, it is carefully guarded (Mark 10:30); while in many passages the promise is of an opposite character - the righteous are told to expect tribulations and persecutions (John 16:33; Acts 14:22; 2 Timothy 3:12: Hebrews 12:1-11; 1 Peter 4:12, 13, etc.). 5 Behold, God is mighty, and yet doth not act scornfully,

Mighty in power of understanding.

6 He preserveth not the life of the ungodly,

And to the afflicted He giveth right.

7 He withdraweth not His eyes from the righteous,

But with kings on the throne

He establisheth them for ever, and they are exalted.

The obj. that must be mentally supplied to ימאס ולא is, as in Job 42:6, to be derived from the connection. The idea of the verb is, as in Job 8:20 : He is exalted, without however looking down disdainfully (non despicit) from His height, or more definitely: without setting Himself above the justice due to even the meanest of His creatures - great in power of heart (comp. Job 34:33 אנשׁי לבב, Arab. ûlû-l-elbâb), i.e., understanding (νοῦς πνεῦμα), to see through right and wrong everywhere and altogether. Job 36:6, Job 36:7 describe how His rule among men evinces this not merely outward but spiritual superiority coupled with condescension to the lowly. The notion of the object, ואת־מלכים לכּסּא (as Isaiah 9:11 the subject), becomes the more distinctly prominent by virtue of the fut. consec. which follows like a conclusion, and takes it up again. Ewald thinks this explanation contrary to the accents and the structure of the sentence itself; but it is perfectly consistent with the former, and indisputably syntactic (Ges. 129, 2, b, and Ew. himself, 344, b). Psalm 9:5, comp. Psalm 132:12, Isaiah 47:1, shows how לכסא is intended (He causes them to sit upon the throne). Job 5:11; 1 Samuel 2:8; Psalm 113:7. are parallel passages.

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