Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Job 9:34-35. Let not his fear terrify me — The fear and dread of his majesty and justice. Let him not deal with me according to his perfect justice, but according to his grace and clemency. Then would I speak, and not fear — I would speak freely for myself, being freed from that dread, which takes away my spirit and courage. But it is not so with me — I am not free from his terror, and therefore cannot plead my cause with him. His fear; objectively so called, i.e. the fear and dread of him, of his majesty and justice. Let him not deal with me rigorously, according to his sovereign dominion and perfect justice, but according to his wonted grace and clemency.
and let not his fear terrify me; not the fear of him as a father, which is not terrifying, but the fear of him as a judge; the terror of his majesty, the dread of his wrath and vengeance, the fearful apprehensions he had of him as a God of strict justice; that would by no means clear the guilty, yea, would not hold him innocent, though he was with respect to the charge of his friends; being now without those views of him as a God gracious and merciful; to these words Elihu seeks to have respect, Job 33:6.Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)34. The subject is God, not the daysman—let God remove His rod, His afflictions.
his fear terrify me] Or, his terror affright me. The “terror” of God is His overawing majesty, cf. ch. Job 13:21, Job 33:7, the last passage with direct reference to the present one.Verse 34. - Let him take his rod away from me; rather, who would remove his rod from me. Job means that it would be a part of the duty of the "daysman" to see that God's rod was removed from him before he was called upon to plead, so that he might not labour under so erect a disadvantage as his sufferings would place him under. And let not his fear terrify me; or, and would not suffer his fear to terrify me; i.e. would not allow Job to be placed under the disadvantage, either of pain or of fear, either of actual or prospective suffering.
They fled away without seeing prosperity,
26 They shot by as ships of reeds,
As an eagle which dasheth upon its prey.
27 If my thought is: I will forget my complaint,
I will give up my dark looks and look cheerful;
28 I shudder at all my pains,
I feel that Thou dost not pronounce me innocent.
Such, as described in the preceding strophe, is the lot of the innocent in general, and such (this is the connection) is also Job's lot: his swiftly passing life comes to an end amidst suffering, as that of an evil-doer whom God cuts off in judgment. In the midst of his present sufferings he has entirely forgotten his former prosperity; it is no happiness to him, because the very enjoyment of it makes the loss of it more grievous to bear. The days of prosperity are gone, have passed swiftly away without טובה, i.e., without lasting prosperity. They have been swifter רץ מנּי. By reference to Job 7:6, this might be considered as a figure borrowed from the weaver's loom, since in the Coptic the threads of the weft (fila subteminis) which are wound round the shuttle are called "runners" (vid., Ges. Thesaurus); but Rosenmller has correctly observed that, in order to describe the fleetness of his life, Job brings together that which is swiftest on land (the runners or couriers), in water (fast-sailing ships), and in the air (the swooping eagle). עם, Job 9:26, signifies, in comparison with, aeque ac. But we possess only a rather uncertain tradition as to the kind of vessels meant by אבה אניות. Jerome translates, after the Targ.: naves poma portantes, by which one may understand the small vessels, according to Edrisi, common on the Dead Sea, in which corn and different kinds of fruits were carried from Zoar to Jericho and to other regions of the Jordan (Stickel, S. 267); but if אבה were connected with אב, we might rather expect אבּה, after the form אשּׁה (from אשׁ), instead of אבה. Others derive the word from אבה, avere: ships of desire, i.e., full-rigged and ready for sea (Gecatilia in Ges. Thes. suppl. p. 62), or struggling towards the goal (Kimchi), or steering towards (Zamora), and consequently hastening to (Symmachuc, σπευδούσαις), the harbour; but independently of the explanation not being suited to the description, it should then be accented beh, after the form נדה, קצה, instead of bh. The explanation, ships of hostility (Syr.),
(Note: Luther also perhaps understood pirate ships, when he translated, "wie die starcken Schiff.")
i.e., ships belonging to pirates or freebooters, privateers, which would suit the subject well, is still less admissible with the present pointing of the text, as it must then be אבה (איבה), with which the Egyptian uba, against, and adverse (contrarius), may be compared. According to Abulwalid (Parchon, Raschi), אבה is the name of a large river near the scene of the book of Job; which may be understood as either the Babylonian name for river Arab. 'bby, or the Abyssinian name of the Nile, ab; and אבה may be compared with לבנה in relation to the Arabic, lubna. But a far more satisfactory explanation is the one now generally received, according to the comparison with the Arabic abâ'un, a reed (whence abaa-t-un, a reed, a so-called n. unitatis): ships made from reeds, like גּמא כּלי, Isaiah 18:2, vessels of papyrus, βαρίδες παπύριναι. In such small ships, with Egyptian tackling, they used to travel as far as Taprobane. These canoes were made to fold together, plicatiles, so that they could be carried past the cataracts; Heliodorus describes them as ὀξυδρομώτατα.
(Note: There is no Egyptian word which can be compared to אבה, whereas han (hani) or an (ana) in Egyptian, like the Hebrew אניה, means a ship (vid., Chabas, Le Papyrus magique Harris, p. 246, No. 826, cf. pp. 33, 47); it is written with the sign for set equals downwards, since they fastened a stone at the front of the vessel, as was even known to Herodotus, in order to accelerate its speed in descending the river. From this one might conjecture for the passage before us אבן אניות equals swift sailers.)
The third figure is the eagle, which swoops down upon its prey; טוּשׂ, like Chaldee טוּס, by which the Targ. translates השׁ, Habakkuk 1:8; Grtz' conjecture of ישׁוּט (which is intended to mean flutters) is superfluous. Just as unnecessary is it, with Olshausen, to change אמרי אם into אמרתי אם: "if my saying (thinking)" is equivalent to, "as often as I say (think)." פנים is here (as in the German phrase, ein Gesicht machen) an ill-humoured, distorted, wry face. When Job desires to give up this look of suffering and be cheerful (הבליג, like Job 10:20, hilaritatem prae se ferre, vultum hilarem induere), the certainty that he is not favoured of God, and consequently that he cannot be delivered from his sufferings, all his anguish in spite of his struggles against it comes ever afresh before his mind. It is scarcely necessary to remark that תנקני is addressed to God, not to Bildad. It is important to notice that Job does not speak of God without at the same time looking up to Him as in prayer. Although he feels rejected of God, he still remains true to God. In the following strophe he continues to complain of God, but without denying Him.
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