Job 21:15
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’

King James Bible
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?

American Standard Version
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what doth it profit us if we pray to him?

English Revised Version
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?

Webster's Bible Translation
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray to him?

Job 21:15 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

7 Wherefore do the wicked live,

Become old, yea, become mighty in power?

8 Their posterity is established before them about them,

And their offspring before their eyes.

9 Their houses have peace without fear,

And the rod of Eloah cometh not upon them.

10 His (the evil-doer's) bull gendereth and faileth not;

His cow calveth easily, and casteth not her calf.

11 They let their little ones run about as a flock,

And their children jump about.

The question in Job 21:7 is the same as that which Jeremiah also puts forth, Job 12:1-3. It is the antithesis of Zophar's thesis, Job 20:5, and seeks the reason of the fact established by experience which had also well-nigh proved the ruin of Asaph (Psalm 73:comp. Malachi 3:13-15), viz., that the ungodly, far from being overtaken by the punishment of their godlessness, continued in the enjoyment of life, that they attain to old age, and also a proportionately increasing power and wealth. The verb עתק, which in Job 14:18; Job 18:4 (comp. the Hiph. Job 9:5; Job 32:15), we read in the signification promoveri, has here, like the Arabic ‛ataqa, ‛atuqa, the signification to become old, aetate provehi; and גּבר חיל, to become strong in property, is a synonym of השׂגּה חיל, to acquire constantly increasing possessions, used in a similar connection in Psalm 73:12. The first feature in the picture of the prosperity of the wicked, which the pang of being bereft of his own children brings home to Job, is that they are spared the same kind of loss: their posterity is established (נכון, constitutus, elsewhere standing in readiness, Job 12:5; Job 15:23; Job 18:12, here standing firm, as e.g., Psalm 93:2) in their sight about them (so that they have to mourn neither their loss by death nor by separation from their home), and their offspring (צאצאים, a word common only to the undisputed as well as to the disputed prophecies of Isaiah and the book of Job) before their eyes; נכון must be carried over to Job 21:8 as predicate: they are, without any loss, before their eyes. The description passes over from the children, the corner-stones of the house (vid., Ges. Thes., s.v. בנה), to the houses themselves. It is just as questionable here as in Job 5:24; Isaiah 41:3, and elsewhere, whether שׁלום is a subst. ( equals בשׁלום) or an adj.; the substantival rendering is at least equally admissible in such an elevated poetic speech, and the plur. subject בּתּיהם, which, if the predicate were intended to be taken as an adj., leads one to expect שׁלומים, decides in its favour. On מפּחד, without (far from) terrifying misfortune, as Isaiah 22:3, מקשׁת, without a bow, vid., on Job 19:26. That which is expressed in Job 21:9, according to external appearance, is in Job 21:9 referred to the final cause; Eloah's שׁבט, rod, with which He smites in punishment (Job 9:34; Job 37:13, comp. Isaiah 10:24-26, where שׁוט, scourge, interchanges with it), is not over them, i.e., threatens and smites them not.

Job 21:10 comes specially to the state of the cattle, after the state of the household in general has been treated of. Since שׁורו and פּרתו are interchangeable, and are construed according to their genus, the former undoubtedly is intended of the male, not also epikoi'noos of the female (lxx ἡ βοῦς, Jerome, Saadia), as Rosenm., after Bochart, believes it must be taken, because `br is never said de mare feminam ineunte, but always de femina quae concipit. In reality, however, it is with עבר otherwise than with עדה, whose Pael and Aphel certainly signify concipere (prop. transmittere sc. semen in a passive sense). On the other hand, עבר, even in Kal, signifies to be impregnated (whence עובר, the embryo, and the biblical אבוּר, like the extra-biblical עבּוּר, the produce of the land), the Pael consequently to impregnate, whence מעבּרא (from the part. pass. מעבּר) impregnated (pregnant), the Ithpa. to be impregnated, as Rabb. Pual מעבּרת, impregnated (by which עברת also signifies pregnant, which would be hardly possible if עבר in this sexual sense were not radically distinct from עבר, περ-ᾶν). Accordingly the Targ. translates עבּר by מבטין (impraegnans), and Gecatilia translates שׁורו by Arab. fḥlhm (admissarius eorum), after which nearly all Jewish expositors explain. This explanation also suits לא יגעל, which lxx translates οὐκ οὀμοτόκησε (Jer. non abortivit), Symm. in a like sense οὐκ ἐξέτρωσε, Aq. οὐκ εξέβαλε, Saad. la julziq. The reference of שׁורו to the female animal everywhere assumed is incorrect; on the contrary, the bullock kept for breeding is the subject; but proceeding from this, that which is affirmed is certainly referred to the female animal. For גּעל signifies to cast out, cast away; the Hiph. therefore: to cause to cast out; Rabb. in the specified signification: so to heat what has sucked in that which is unclean, that it gives it back or lets it go (לפלוט הבלוע). Accordingly Raschi explains: "he injects not useless seed into her, which might come back and be again separated (נפלט) from her inward part, without impregnation taking place." What therefore עבּר says positively, ולא יגעיל says negatively: neque efficit ut ejiciat.

(Note: The Aruch under גּעל, quotes a passage of the Tosefta: מוזרות נפשׁ היפה תאכלם גיעולי ביצים מותרים באכילה, the cast away (Wrflinge) eggs (i.e., such as have fallen away from the hen from a stroke on the tail of some other cause, and which are not completely formed) are allowed as food; he may eat them who does not loathe them.)

It is then further, in Job 21:9, said of the female animal which has been impregnated that she does not allow it to glide away, i.e., the fruit, therefore that she brings forth (פּלּט as מלּט, המליט), and that she does not cause or suffer any untimely birth.

continued...

Job 21:15 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

What is

Exodus 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go.

Psalm 12:4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

Proverbs 30:9 Lest I be full, and deny you, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Hosea 13:6 According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me.

and what

Job 34:9 For he has said, It profits a man nothing that he should delight himself with God.

Job 35:3 For you said, What advantage will it be to you? and, What profit shall I have, if I be cleansed from my sin?

Isaiah 30:11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

Malachi 1:13,14 You said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and you have snuffed at it, said the LORD of hosts; and you brought that which was torn...

if we

Isaiah 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not to the seed of Jacob, Seek you me in vain...

Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you:

John 16:24 Till now have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Cross References
Exodus 5:2
But Pharaoh said, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the LORD, and moreover, I will not let Israel go."

Job 22:17
They said to God, 'Depart from us,' and 'What can the Almighty do to us?'

Job 34:9
For he has said, 'It profits a man nothing that he should take delight in God.'

Psalm 73:13
All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence.

Jeremiah 9:6
Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit, they refuse to know me, declares the LORD.

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