Job 36:6
He preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor.
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Job 36:6-7. He preserveth not the life of the wicked — Namely, for ever: but will in due time forsake them, and give them up to the destroyer. Ab. Ezra interprets it, The years of the wicked shall be shortened. But giveth right to the poor — He upholds, and will certainly, at the proper time, deliver his poor, oppressed ones, from all their oppressors. He will avenge their quarrel upon their persecutors, and force them to make restitution of what they have unjustly robbed them of. For if men will not right the injured poor, God will. He withdraweth not his eyes from the righteous — He never ceases to care for and watch over them; no, not when they are afflicted or persecuted, when he may seem to neglect them. If our eye be 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. With kings are they on the throne — He sometimes raises them to the highest offices that kings can confer upon them; yea, he doth establish them for ever — Their felicity is more stable and permanent than that of the wicked; they are established as long as they live. And they are exalted — Above the power of their enemies, that would pull them down: or, they continue to be exalted, and are not cast down from their dignity, as the wicked commonly are.

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.He preserveth not the life of the wicked - Elihu here maintains substantially the same sentiment which the three friends of Job had done, that the dealings of God in this life are in accordance with character, and that strict justice is thus maintained.

But giveth right to the poor - Margin, "or afflicted." The Hebrew word often refers to the afflicted, to the humble, or the lowly; and the reference here is to the "lower classes" of society. The idea is, that God deals justly with them, and does not overlook them because they are so poor and feeble that they cannot contribute anything to him. In this sentiment Elihu was undoubtedly right, though, like the three friends of Job, he seems to have adopted the principle that the dealings of God here are according to the "characters" of people. He had some views in advance of theirs. He saw that affliction is designed for "discipline" Job 33; that God is willing to show mercy to the sufferer on repentance; that he is not dependent upon human beings, and that his dealings "cannot" be graduated by any reference to what he would receive or suffer from people; but still he clung to the idea that the dealings of God here are a proof of the character of the afflicted. What was mysterious about it he resolved into sovereignty, and showed that man "ought" to be submissive to God, and to "believe" that he was qualified to govern. He lacked the views which Christianity has furnished, that the inequalities that appear in the divine dealings here will be made clear in the retributions of another world.

6. right … poor—He espouses the cause of the afflicted. He preserveth not the life of the wicked, to wit, for ever; but will in his due time forsake them, and give them up to the destroyer. Or, he doth not or will not preserve, is put for he will certainly and dreadfully destroy, by the figure called meiosis, used Proverbs 17:21, and oft elsewhere.

Giveth right to the poor; he doth uphold, and he certainly will in his time deliver, his poor oppressed ones from all their oppressors.

He preserveth not the life of the wicked,.... He makes a difference between wicked and righteous men, which shows him to be a holy and righteous God; though he preserves the life of all men so long as they live, yet not in the same way; he preserves the lives of wicked men in the common course of his providence, but not in a special way and manner, as he does the lives of the righteous, which are dear and precious to him; nor does he preserve to any great length such as are notorious sinners, who are guilty of capital crimes, as murder, &c. their lives are shortened, and they do not live out half their days: or he does not quicken them, bestow his spiritual favour upon them, in which only is life; and though they will be quickened and raised at the last day, as well as the righteous, yet not to the resurrection of life, but to the resurrection of damnation;

but giveth right to the poor; pleads their cause and rights their wrongs, administers justice to them, especially to the poor in spirit, who hunger and thirst after righteousness; to these he gives freely the righteousness of his son, which only denominates persons truly righteous: of whom in Job 36:7.

He {d} preserveth not the life of the wicked: but giveth right to the poor.

(d) Therefore he will not preserve the wicked, but to the humble and afflicted heart he will show grace.

6. Illustration of the operation of God’s understanding, giving to all conditions of men their due.

right to the poor] Rather, his right; poor may be, as marg., afflicted.

Verse 6. - He preserveth not the life of the wicked. There is no special providence over the life of the wicked, as Job had supposed, or pretended to suppose (Job 21:7; comp. Job 12:6). On the contrary, God "overturneth" wicked men "in the night, so that they are destroyed; he striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others" (Job 34:25, 26). But giveth right to the poor. The poor and afflicted, the meek and humble, God vindicates. They are his special charge. So far is he from favouring the ungodly. Job 36:6 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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