Job 38:3
Gird up now your loins like a man; for I will demand of you, and answer you me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 38:3. Gird up now thy loins — If thou hast the courage to argue the case with me, as thou hast often desired, make thyself ready for the debate. For I will demand of thee — Hebrew, אשׁאלךְ, eshelecha, I will ask thee questions; which he does in the following verses; and answer thou me — הודיעני, hodigneeni, make me know, or, inform me, concerning the things about which I inquire of thee. Give answers to my questions.38:1-3 Job had silenced, but had not convinced his friends. Elihu had silenced Job, but had not brought him to admit his guilt before God. It pleased the Lord to interpose. The Lord, in this discourse, humbles Job, and brings him to repent of his passionate expressions concerning God's providential dealings with him; and this he does, by calling upon Job to compare God's being from everlasting to everlasting, with his own time; God's knowledge of all things, with his own ignorance; and God's almighty power, with his own weakness. Our darkening the counsels of God's wisdom with our folly, is a great provocation to God. Humble faith and sincere obedience see farthest and best into the will of the Lord.Gird up now thy loins like a man - To gird up the loins, is a phrase which has allusion to the mode of dress in ancient times. The loose flowing robe which was commonly worn, was fastened with a girdle when men ran, or labored, or engaged in conflict; see the notes at Matthew 5:38-41. The idea here is, "Make thyself as strong and vigorous as possible; be prepared to put forth the highest effort." God was about to put him to a task which would require all his ability - that of explaining the facts which were constantly occurring in the universe. The whole passage is ironical. Job had undertaken to tell what he knew of the divine administration, and God now calls upon him to show his claims to the office of such an expositor. So wise a man as he was, who could pronounce on the hidden counsels of the Most High with so much confidence, could assuredly explain those things which pertained to the visible creation. The phrase "like a man" means boldly, courageously; compare the notes at 1 Corinthians 16:13.

I will demand of thee, and answer thou me - Margin, as in Hebrew, "make me known." The meaning is, "I will submit some questions or subjects of inquiry to you for solution. Since you have spoken with so much confidence of my government, I will propose some inquiries as a test of your knowledge."

3. a man—hero, ready for battle (1Co 16:13), as he had wished (Job 9:35; 13:22; 31:37). The robe, usually worn flowing, was girt up by a girdle when men ran, labored, or fought (1Pe 1:13). Gird up now thy loins; as warriors then did for the battle. Prepare thyself for the combat with me, which thou hast oft desired. I accept of thy challenge, Job 13:22, and elsewhere.

I will demand of thee; or, I will ask thee questions; which he doth in the following verses. Gird up now thy loins like a man,.... Like a man of valour that girds on his harness for battle: Job is bid to prepare for the controversy the Lord was entering into with him; and bring forth his strong reasons and most powerful arguments in his own defence. The allusion is to the custom in the eastern countries, where they wore long garments, to gird them about their loins, when they engaged in work or war. Job had blustered what he would do, and now he is dared to it; see Job 23:4;

for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me; put questions to him, to which he required a direct and positive answer. Jehovah takes the part of the opponent in this dispute, and gives that of the respondent to Job; since Job himself had put it to his option which to take, Job 13:22.

Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I {c} will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

(c) Because he wished to dispute with God, Job 23:3, God reasons with him, to declare his rashness.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. for I will demand] Rather, and I will. Jehovah now invites Job to prepare for that contention with Him which he had so often desired, Job 9:35, Job 13:10 seq.; and as Job had said, “Then call thou and I will answer, or let me speak and answer thou me” (ch. Job 13:22), Jehovah, as becomes Him, chooses the former half of the alternative, it may be that when He has “called” Job will be less ready than he thought to “answer” (ch. Job 40:3-5).Verse 3. - Gird up now thy loins like a man. Job had desired to contend with God, to plead with him, and argue out his case (Job 9:32-35; Job 13:3, 18-22; Job 23:4-7; Job 31:35). God now offers to grant his request, and bids him stand forth "as a man'" and "gird himself" for the contest, which he has challenged. For I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. He will begin with interrogatories which Job must answer; then Job will be entitled to put questions to him. Job, however, on the opportunity being given him, shrinks back, and says, "Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken: but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further" (Job 40:4, 5). The confident boldness which he felt when God seemed far off disappears in his presence, and is replaced by diffidence and distrust. 21 Although one seeth now the sunlight

That is bright in the ethereal heights:

A wind passeth by and cleareth them up.

22 Gold is brought from the north, -

Above Eloah is terrible majesty.

23 The Almighty, whom we cannot find out,

The excellent in strength,

And right and justice He perverteth not.

24 Therefore men regard Him with reverence,

He hath no regard for all the wise of heart.

He who censures God's actions, and murmurs against God, injures himself - how, on the contrary, would a patiently submissive waiting on Him be rewarded! This is the connection of thought, by which this final strophe is attached to what precedes. If we have drawn the correct conclusion from Job 37:1, that Elihu's description of a storm is accompanied by a storm which was coming over the sky, ועתּה, with which the speech, as Job 35:15, draws towards the close, is not to be understood as purely conclusive, but temporal: And at present one does not see the light (אור of the sun, as Job 31:26) which is bright in the ethereal heights (בּהיר again a Hebr.-Arab. word, comp. bâhir, outshining, surpassing, especially of the moon, when it dazzles with its brightness); yet it only requires a breath of wind to pass over it, and to clear it, i.e., brings the ethereal sky with the sunlight to view. Elihu hereby means to say that the God who his hidden only for a time, respecting whom one runs the risk of being in perplexity, can suddenly unveil Himself, to our surprise and confusion, and that therefore it becomes us to bow humbly and quietly to His present mysterious visitation. With respect to the removal of the clouds from the beclouded sun, to which Job 37:21 refers, זהב, Job 37:22, seems to signify the gold of the sun; esh-shemsu bi-tibrin, the sun is gold, says Abulola. Oriental and Classic literature furnishes a large number of instances in support of this calling the sunshine gold; and it should not perplex us here, where we have an Arabizing Hebrew poet before us, that not a single passage can be brought forward from the Old Testament literature. But מצּפון is against this figurative rendering of the זהב (lxx νέφη χρυσαυγοῦντα). In Ezekiel 1:4 there is good reason for the storm-clouds, which unfold from their midst the glory of the heavenly Judge, who rideth upon the cherubim, coming from the north; but wherefore should Elihu represent the sun's golden light as breaking through from the north? On the other hand, in the conception of the ancients, the north is the proper region for gold: there griffins (grupe's) guard the gold-pits of the Arimaspian mountains (Herod. iii. 116); there, from the narrow pass of the Caucasus along the Gordyaean mountains, gold is dug by barbarous races (Pliny, h. n. vi. 11), and among the Scythians it is brought to light by the ants (ib. xxxiii. 4). Egypt could indeed provide itself with gold from Ethiopia, and the Phoenicians brought the gold of Ophir, already mentioned in the book of Job, from India; but the north was regarded as the fabulously most productive chief mine of gold; to speak more definitely: Northern Asia, with the Altai mountains.

(Note: Vid., the art. Gold, S. 91, 101, in Ersch and Gruber. The Indian traditions concerning Uttaraguru (the "High Mountain"), and concerning the northern seat of the god on wealth Kuvra, have no connection here; on their origin comp. Lassen, Indische Alterthumskunde, i.848.)

Thus therefore Job 28:1, Job 28:6 is to be compared here.

continued...

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