Job 42:12
So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.
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(12) Fourteen thousand sheep.—The number of Job’s cattle here is exactly the double of those in Job 1:3. That Job’s latter end should be blessed had been the promise of all his friends (Job 5:24, &c., Job 8:7-20, &c., Job 11:16, &c., 22:27, &c.), but then it was hampered with a condition which involved the falsehood of all Job’s previous life, and it was the unjust imputation of this falsehood to Job which was an offence against the truth of God, and Was so regarded by Him. Truth had to be violated in order that God’s justice might stand, which was the greatest possible offence and indignity to the Divine justice.

Job 42:12. So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job — Not only with spiritual, but also with temporal blessings. For he had fourteen thousand sheep, &c. — Just double to what they were, Job 1:3. This is a remarkable instance of the extent of the divine providence to things that seem minute as this, the exact number of a man’s cattle: as also of the harmony of providence, and the reference of one event to another: for known unto God are all his works, from the beginning to the end.42:10-17 In the beginning of this book we had Job's patience under his troubles, for an example; here, for our encouragement to follow that example, we have his happy end. His troubles began in Satan's malice, which God restrained; his restoration began in God's mercy, which Satan could not oppose. Mercy did not return when Job was disputing with his friends, but when he was praying for them. God is served and pleased with our warm devotions, not with our warm disputes. God doubled Job's possessions. We may lose much for the Lord, but we shall not lose any thing by him. Whether the Lord gives us health and temporal blessings or not, if we patiently suffer according to his will, in the end we shall be happy. Job's estate increased. The blessing of the Lord makes rich; it is he that gives us power to get wealth, and gives success in honest endeavours. The last days of a good man sometimes prove his best, his last works his best works, his last comforts his best comforts; for his path, like that of the morning light, shines more and more unto the perfect day.So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job - To wit, by giving him double what he had possessed before his calamities came upon him; see Job 42:10.

For he had fourteen thousand sheep ... - The possessions which are here enumerated are in each instance just twice as much as he possessed in the early part of his life. In regard to their value, and the rank in society which they indicated, see the notes at Job 1:3. The only thing which is omitted here, and which it is not said was doubled, was his "household," or "husbandry" (Job 1:3, "margin"), but it is evident that this must have been increased in a corresponding manner to have enabled him to keep and maintain such flocks and herds. We are not to suppose that these were granted to him at once, but as he lived an hundred and forty years after his afflictions, he had ample time to accumulate this property.

12. Probably by degrees, not all at once. The Lord blessed Job, not only with spiritual, but also with temporal and earthly blessings. So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning,.... Which verified the words of Bildad, Job 8:6; though they were spoken by him only by way of supposition. All blessings are of the Lord, temporal and spiritual; and sometimes the last days of a good man are his best, as to temporal things, as were David's, and here Job's; though this is not always the case: however, if their last days are but the best in spiritual things, that is enough: if they have more faith, hope, love, patience, humility, and self-denial, and resignation of will to the will of God; are more holy, humble, spiritually and heavenly minded; have more light and knowledge in divine things; have more peace and joy, and are more fruitful in every good work, and more useful; and often they are in their very last moments most cheerful and comfortable: the best wine is reserved till last;

for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses: just double the number of each of what he had before, Job 1:3.

So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had {l} fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.

(l) God made him twice as rich in cattle as he was before, and gave him as many children as he had taken from him.

12. The exact doubling of Job’s former possessions shews that we are not reading literal history here.Verse 12. - So the Lord blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning (comp. above, ver. 10). The restoration of prosperity, prophesied by Eliphaz (Job 5:18 26), Bildad (Job 8:20, 21), and Zophar (Job 11:13-19), but not expected by Job, came, not in consequence of any universal law, but by the will of God, and his pure grace and favour. It in no way pledged God to compensate worldly adversity by worldly prosperity in the case of any other sufferer; and certainly the general law seems to be that such earthly compensation is withheld. But, in combination with the instinct which demands that retributive justice shall prevail universally, it may be taken as an earnest of God's ultimate dealings with men, and a sure indication that, if not on earth, at least in the future state; each man shall receive "the deeds done in the body," according to that he hath done, whether it be good or evil. For he had (rather, and he had) fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she-asses. In every case the exact double of his original possessions (see Job 1:3; and comp. above, ver. 12). We need not suppose, however, that either the round numbers, or the exact duplicity, are historical. 4 O hear now, and I will speak:

I will ask Thee, and instruct Thou me.

5 I had heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear,

And now mine eye hath seen Thee.

6 Therefore I am sorry, and Irepent

In dust and ashes.

The words employed after the manner of entreaty, in Job 42:4, Job also takes from the mouth of Jehovah, Job 38:3; Job 40:7. Hitherto Jehovah has interrogated him, in order to bring him to a knowledge of his ignorance and weakness. Now, however, after he has thoroughly perceived this, he is anxious to put questions to Jehovah, in order to penetrate deeper and deeper into the knowledge of the divine power and wisdom. Now for the first time with him, the true, living perception of God has its beginning, being no longer effected by tradition (ל of the external cause: in consequence of the tidings which came to my ears, comp. Psalm 18:45, comp. Isaiah 23:5), but by direct communication with God. In this new light he can no longer deceive himself concerning God and concerning himself; the delusion of the conflict now yields to the vision of the truth, and only penitential sorrow for his sin towards God remains to him. The object to אמאס is his previous conduct. נחם is the exact expression for μετανοεῖν, the godly sorrow of repentance not to be repented of. He repents (sitting) on dust and ashes after the manner of those in deep grief.

If the second speech of Jehovah no longer has to do with the exaltation and power of God in general, but is intended to answer Job's doubt concerning the justice of the divine government of the world, the long passage about the hippopotamus and the crocodile, Job 40:15-41:34, in this second speech seems to be devoid of purpose and connection. Even Eichhorn and Bertholdt on this account suppose that the separate portions of the two speeches of Jehovah have fallen into disorder. Stuhlmann, Bernstein, and De Wette, on the other hand, explained the second half of the description of the leviathan, Job 41:12-34, as a later interpolation; for this part is thought to be inflated, and to destroy the connection between Jehovah's concluding words, Job 41:2-3, and Job's answer, Job 42:2-6. Ewald forcibly rejected the whole section, Job 40:15, by ascribing it to the writer of Elihu's speeches-an opinion which he has again more recently abandoned. In fact, this section ought to have had a third poet as its writer. But he would be the double (Doppelgnger) of the first; for, deducting the somewhat tame לא אחרישׁ בדיו, Job 41:12, - which, however, is introduced by the interrupted description being resumed, in order now to begin in real earnest, - this section stands upon an equally exalted height with the rest of the book as a poetic production and lofty description; and since it has not only, as also Elihu's speeches, an Arabizing tinge, but also the poetic genius, the rich fountain of thought, the perfection of technical detail, in common with the rest of the book; and since the writer of the book of Job also betrays elsewhere an acquaintance with Egypt, and an especial interest in things Egyptian, the authenticity of the section is by no means doubted by us, but we freely adopt the originality of its present position.

But before one doubts the originality of its position, he ought, first of all, to make an earnest attempt to comprehend the portion in its present connection, into which it at any rate has not fallen from pure thoughtlessness. The first speech of Jehovah, moreover, was surprisingly different from what was to have been expected, and yet we recognised in it a deep consistency with the plan; perhaps the same thing is also the case in connection with the second.

After Job has answered the first speech of Jehovah by a confession of penitence, the second can have no other purpose but that of strengthening the conviction, which urges to this confession, and of deepening the healthful tone from which it proceeds. The object of censure here is no longer Job's contending with Jehovah in general, but Job's contending with Jehovah on account of the prosperity of the evil-doer, which is irreconcilable with divine justice; that contending by which the sufferer, in spite of the shadow which affliction casts upon him, supported the assertion of his own righteousness. Here also, as a result, the refutation follows in the only way consistent with the dignity of Jehovah, and so that Job must believe in order to perceive, and does not perceive in order not to be obliged to believe. Without arguing the matter with Job, as to why many things in the government of the world are thus and not rather otherwise, Jehovah challenges Job to take the government of the world into his own hand, and to give free course to his wrath, to cast down everything that is exalted, and to render the evil-doer for ever harmless. By thus thinking of himself as the ruler of the world, Job is obliged to recognise the cutting contrast of his feebleness and the divine rule, with which he has ventured to find fault; at the same time, however, he is taught, that - what he would never be able to do - God really punishes the ungodly, and must have wise purposes when, which He indeed might do, He does not allow the floods of His wrath to be poured forth immediately.

Thus far also Simson is agreed; but what is the design of the description of the two Egyptian monsters, which are regarded by him as by Ewald as out of place here? To show Job how little capable he is of governing the world, and how little he would be in a position to execute judgment on the evil-doer, two creatures are described to him, two unslain monsters of gigantic structure and invincible strength, which defy all human attack. These two descriptions are, we think, designed to teach Job how little capable of passing sentence upon the evil-doer he is, who cannot even draw a cord through the nose of the behmoth, and who, if he once attempted to attack the leviathan, would have reason to remember it so long as he lived, and would henceforth let it alone. It is perhaps an emblem that is not without connection with the book of Job, that these בהמות and לויתן (תנין), in the language of the Prophets and the Psalms, are the symbols of a worldly power at enmity with the God of redemption and His people. And wherefore should Job's confession, Job 42:2, not be suitably attached to the completed description of the leviathan, especially as the description is divided into two parts by the utterances of Jehovah, Job 41:2-3, which retrospectively and prospectively set it in the right light for Job?

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