Job 38:13
That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it?
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(13) Shaken out of it.—The figure is that of a man shaking a cloth (Job 24:15-17).

38:12-24 The Lord questions Job, to convince him of his ignorance, and shame him for his folly in prescribing to God. If we thus try ourselves, we shall soon be brought to own that what we know is nothing in comparison with what we know not. By the tender mercy of our God, the Day-spring from on high has visited us, to give light to those that sit in darkness, whose hearts are turned to it as clay to the seal, 2Co 4:6. God's way in the government of the world is said to be in the sea; this means, that it is hid from us. Let us make sure that the gates of heaven shall be opened to us on the other side of death, and then we need not fear the opening of the gates of death. It is presumptuous for us, who perceive not the breadth of the earth, to dive into the depth of God's counsels. We should neither in the brightest noon count upon perpetual day, nor in the darkest midnight despair of the return of the morning; and this applies to our inward as well as to our outward condition. What folly it is to strive against God! How much is it our interest to seek peace with him, and to keep in his love!That it might take hold of the ends of the earth - Margin, as in Hebrew "wings." Wings are in the Scriptures frequently given to the earth, because it seems to be spread out, and the expression refers to its extremities. The language is derived from the supposition that the earth was a plain, and had limits or bounds. The idea here is, that God causes the light of the morning suddenly to spread to the remotest parts of the world, and to reveal everything which was there.

That the wicked might be shaken out of it - Out of the earth; that is, by the light which suddenly shines upon them. The sense is, that the wicked perform their deeds in the darkness of the night, and that in the morning light they flee away. The effect of the light coming upon them is to disturb their plans, to fill them with alarm, and to cause them to flee. The idea is highly poetic. The wicked are engaged in various acts of iniquity under cover of the night. Robbers, thieves, and adulterers, go forth to their deeds of darkness as though no one saw them. The light of the morning steals suddenly upon them, and they flee before it under the apprehension of being detected. "The dawn," says Herder, "is represented as a watchman, a messenger of the Prince of heaven, sent to chase away the bands of robbers." It may illustrate this to observe that it is still the custom of the Arabs to go on plundering excursions before the dawn. When on their way this faithful watchman, the aurora, goes out to spread light about them, to intimidate them, and to disperse them; compare the notes at Job 24:13-17.

13. take hold of the ends, &c.—spread itself over the earth to its utmost bounds in a moment.

wicked—who hate the light, and do their evil works in the dark (Job 24:13).

shaken out of it—The corners (Hebrew, "wings" or "skirts") of it, as of a garment, are taken hold of by the dayspring, so as to shake off the wicked.

That this morning light should in a moment spread itself over the face of the whole earth, from one end of the hemisphere to the other.

Shaken out of it, from the face of the earth. And this effect the morning light hath upon the wicked, partly because it discovers them, and drives them into their lurking holes; whereas the darkness hides them, and draws them forth, and gives them opportunity to execute their villanies without observation, Job 24:15-17; and partly because it brings them to condign punishment, the morning being the most fit and the most usual time for executing judgment; of which see Psalm 101:8 Jeremiah 21:12.

That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,.... As when the morning light springs forth, it quickly does, reaching in a short time the extreme part of the hemisphere; which, and what goes before, may be applied to the light of the Gospel, and the direction of that under divine Providence in the several parts of the world, and unto the ends of it; see Psalm 19:4;

that the wicked might be shaken out of it? the earth, by means of the light; which may be understood either of wicked men who have been all night upon works of darkness, and be take themselves on the approach of light to private lurking places, like beasts of prey, so that the earth seems to be, as it were, clear of them; or of their being taken up in the morning for deeds done in the night, and brought to justice, which used to be exercised in mornings, Jeremiah 21:12; and so the earth rid of them: thus wicked men shun the light, of the Gospel, and are condemned by it; and in the latter day light and glory they will cease from the earth; see John 3:19.

That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be {k} shaken out of it?

(k) Who having in the night been given to wickedness, cannot abide the light, but hide themselves.

13. ends of the earth] lit. skirts or wings of the earth. The figure is beautiful; the dawn as it pours forth along the whole horizon, on both sides of the beholder, lays hold of the borders of the earth, over which night lay like a covering; and seizing this covering by its extremities it shakes the wicked out of it. The wicked flee from the light. The dawn is not a physical phenomenon merely, it is a moral agent.

Verse 13. - That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? The idea seems to he that the dawn, suddenly appearing, seizes hold of all the ends of the earth "at one rush" (Canon Cook), and lights up the whole terrestrial region. The wicked, lovers of darkness, are taken by surprise, and receive a shock from which they recover with difficulty (comp. Job 24:16, 17). That they are "shaken from the earth" must be regarded as Oriental hyperbole. Job 38:1312 Hast thou in thy life commanded a morning,

Caused the dawn to know its place,

13 That it may take hold of the ends of the earth,

So that the evil-doers are shaken under it?

14 That it changeth like the clay of a signet-ring,

And everything fashioneth itself as a garment.

15 Their light is removed from the evil-doers,

And the out-stretched arm is broken.

The dawn of the morning, spreading out from one point, takes hold of the carpet of the earth as it were by the edges, and shakes off from it the evil-doers, who had laid themselves to rest upon it the night before. נער, combining in itself the significations to thrust and to shake, has the latter here, as in the Arab. nâ‛ûra, a water-wheel, which fills its compartments below in the river, to empty them out above. Instead of ידּעתּה שׁחר with He otians, the Keri substitutes ידּעתּ השׁחר. The earth is the subj. to Job 38:14: the dawn is like the signet-ring, which stamps a definite impress on the earth as the clay, the forms which floated in the darkness of the night become visible and distinguishable. The subj. to Job 38:14 are not morning and dawn (Schult.), still less the ends of the earth (Ew. with the conjecture: יתיבצו, "they become dazzlingly white"), but the single objects on the earth: the light of morning gives to everything its peculiar garb of light, so that, hitherto overlaid by a uniform darkness, they now come forth independently, they gradually appear in their variegated diversity of form and hue. In כּמו לבוּשׁ, לבוש is conceived as accusative (Arab. kemâ libâsan, or thauban), while in כלבושׁ (Psalm 104:6, instar vestis) it would be genitive. To the end of the strophe everything is under the logical government of the ל of purpose in Job 38:13. The light of the evil-doers is, according to Job 24:17, the darkness of the night, which is for them in connection with their works what the light of day is for other men. The sunrise deprives them, the enemies of light in the true sense (Job 24:13), of this light per antiphrasin, and the carrying out of their evil work, already prepared for, is frustrated. The ע of רשׁעים, Job 38:13 and Job 38:15, is תלויה עין [Ayin suspensum,] which is explained according to the Midrash thus: the רשׁעים, now עשׁירים (rich), become at a future time רשׁים (poor); or: God deprives them of the עין (light of the eye), by abandoning them to the darkness which they loved.

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