Job 15:23
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
He wanders abroad for bread, saying, ‘Where is it?’ He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand;

King James Bible
He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.

American Standard Version
He wandereth abroad for bread,'saying , Where is it? He knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.

Douay-Rheims Bible
When he moveth himself to seek bread, he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.

English Revised Version
He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand:

Webster's Bible Translation
He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at his hand.

Job 15:23 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

17 I will inform thee, hear me!

And what I have myself seen that I will declare,

18 Things which wise men declare

Without concealment from their fathers -

19 To them alone was the land given over,

And no stranger had passed in their midst - :

Eliphaz, as in his first speech, introduces the dogma with which he confronts Job with a solemn preface: in the former case it had its rise in a revelation, here it is supported by his own experience and reliable tradition; for חזיתי is not intended as meaning ecstatic vision (Schlottm.). The poet uses חזה also of sensuous vision, Job 8:17; and of observation and knowledge by means of the senses, not only the more exalted, as Job 19:26., but of any kind (Job 23:9; Job 24:1; Job 27:12, comp. Job 36:25; Job 34:32), in the widest sense. זה is used as neuter, Genesis 6:15; Exodus 13:8; Exodus 30:13; Leviticus 11:4, and freq.

(Note: So also Psalm 56:10, where I now prefer to translate "This I know," זה neuter, like Proverbs 24:12, and referring forward as above, Job 15:17.)

(comp. the neuter הוּא, Job 13:16, and often), and זה־חזיתי is a relative clause (Ges. 122, 2): quod conspexi, as Job 19:19 quos amo, and Psalm 74:2 in quo habitas, comp. Psalm 104:8, Psalm 104:26; Proverbs 23:22, where the punctuation throughout proceeds from the correct knowledge of the syntax. The waw of ואספרה is the waw apodosis, which is customary (Ngelsbach, 111, 1, b) after relative clauses (e.g., Numbers 23:3), or what is the same thing, participles (e.g., Proverbs 23:24): et narrabo equals ea narrabo. In Job 15:18 ולא כחדו is, logically at least, subordinate to יגידו, as in Isaiah 3:9,

(Note: Heidenheim refers to Hosea 8:2 for the position of the words, but there Israel may also be an apposition: we know thee, we Israel.)

as the Targum of the Antwerp Polyglott well translates: "what wise men declare, without concealing (ולא מכדבין), from the tradition of their fathers;" whereas all the other old translations, including Luther's, have missed the right meaning. These fathers to whom this doctrine respecting the fate of evil-doers is referred, lived, as Eliphaz says in Job 15:19, in the land of their birth, and did not mingle themselves with strangers, consequently their manner of viewing things, and their opinions, have in their favour the advantage of independence, of being derived from their own experience, and also of a healthy development undisturbed by any foreign influences, and their teaching may be accounted pure and unalloyed.

Eliphaz thus indirectly says, that the present is not free from such influences, and Ewald is consequently of opinion that the individuality of the Israelitish poet peeps out here, and a state of things is indicated like that which came about after the fall of Samaria in the reign of Manasseh. Hirzel also infers from Eliphaz' words, that at the time when the book was written the poet's fatherland was desecrated by some foreign rule, and considers it an indication for determining the time at which the book was composed. But how groundless and deceptive this is! The way in which Eliphaz commends ancient traditional lore is so genuinely Arabian, that there is but the faintest semblance of a reason for supposing the poet to have thrown his own history and national peculiarity so vividly into the working up of the rôle of another. Purity of race was, from the earliest times, considered by "the sons of the East" as a sign of highest nobility, and hence Eliphaz traces back his teaching to a time when his race could boast of the greatest freedom from intermixture with any other. Schlottmann prefers to interpret Job 15:19 as referring to the "nobler primeval races of man" (without, however, referring to Job 8:8), but הארץ does not signify the earth here, but: country, as in Job 30:8; Job 22:8, and elsewhere, and Job 15:19 seems to refer to nations: זר equals barbarus (perhaps Semitic: בּרבּר, ὁ ἔξω). Nevertheless it is unnecessary to suppose that Eliphaz' time was one of foreign domination, as the Assyrian-Chaldean time was for Israel: it is sufficient to imagine it as a time when the tribes of the desert were becoming intermixed, from migration, commerce, and feud.

Now follows the doctrine of the wise men, which springs from a venerable primitive age, an age as yet undisturbed by any strange way of thinking (modern enlightenment and free thinking, as we should say), and is supported by Eliphaz' own experience.

(Note: Communication from Consul Wetzstein: If this verse affirms that the freer a people is from intermixture with other races, the purer is its tradition, it gives expression to a principle derived from experience, which needs no proof. Even European races, especially the Scandinavians, furnish proof of this in their customs, language, and traditions, although in this case certain elements of their indigenous character have vanished with the introduction of Christianity. A more complete parallel is furnished by the wandering tribes of the 'Aneze and Sharrt of the Syrian deserts, people who have indeed had their struggles, and have even been weakened by emigration, but have certainly never lost their political and religious autonomy, and have preserved valuable traditions which may be traced to the earliest antiquity. It is unnecessary to prove this by special instance, when the whole outer and inner life of these peoples can be regarded as the best commentary on the biblical accounts of the patriarchal age. It is, however, not so much the fact that the evil-doer receives his punishment, in favour of which Eliphaz appeals to the teaching handed down from the fathers, as rather the belief in it, consequently in a certain degree the dogma of a moral order in the world. This dogma is an essential element of the ancient Abrahamic religion of the desert tribes - that primitive religion which formed the basis of the Mosaic, and side by side with it was continued among the nomads of the desert; which, shortly before the appearance of Christianity in the country east of Jordan, gave birth to mild doctrines, doctrines which tended to prepare the way for the teaching of the gospel; which at that very time, according to historical testimony, also prevailed in the towns of the Higz, and was first displaced again by the Jemanic idolatry, and limited to the desert, in the second century after Christ, during the repeated migrations of the southern Arabs; which gave the most powerful impulse to the rise of Islam, and furnished its best elements; which, towards the end of the last century, brought about the reform of Islamism in the province of Negd, and produced the Wahabee doctrine; and which, finally, is continued even to the present day by the name of Dn Ibrhm, "Religion of Abraham," as a faithful tradition of the fathers, among the vast Ishmaelitish tribes of the Syrian desert, "to whom alone the land is given over, and into whose midst no stranger has penetrated." Had this cultus spread among settled races with a higher education, it might have been taught also in writings: if, however, portions of writings in reference to it, which have been handed down to us by the Arabic, are to be regarded as unauthentic, it may also in 'Irk have been mixed with the Sabian worship of the stars; but among the nomads it will have always been only oral, taught by the poets in song, and contained in the fine traditions handed down uncorrupted from father to son, and practised in life.

continued...

Job 15:23 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

wandereth

Job 30:3,4 For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste...

Genesis 4:12 When you till the ground, it shall not from now on yield to you her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shall you be in the earth.

Psalm 59:15 Let them wander up and down for meat, and grudge if they be not satisfied.

Psalm 109:10 Let his children be continually vagabonds, and beg: let them seek their bread also out of their desolate places.

Lamentations 5:6,9 We have given the hand to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied with bread...

Hebrews 11:37,38 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins...

the day

Job 18:5,6,12,18 Yes, the light of the wicked shall be put out, and the spark of his fire shall not shine...

Ecclesiastes 11:8 But if a man live many years, and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many...

Joel 2:2 A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread on the mountains...

Amos 5:20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?

Zephaniah 1:15 That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess...

Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Cross References
Job 15:22
He does not believe that he will return out of darkness, and he is marked for the sword.

Job 15:24
distress and anguish terrify him; they prevail against him, like a king ready for battle.

Job 15:30
he will not depart from darkness; the flame will dry up his shoots, and by the breath of his mouth he will depart.

Psalm 59:15
They wander about for food and growl if they do not get their fill.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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