Job 24:16
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
In the dark they dig through houses; by day they shut themselves up; they do not know the light.

King James Bible
In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.

American Standard Version
In the dark they dig through houses: They shut themselves up in the day-time; They know not the light.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He diggeth through houses in the dark, as in the day they had appointed for themselves, and they have not known the light.

English Revised Version
In the dark they dig through houses: they shut themselves up in the daytime; they know not the light.

Webster's Bible Translation
In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the day-time: they know not the light.

Job 24:16 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

9 They tear the fatherless from the breast,

And defraud the poor.

10 Naked, they slink away without clothes,

And hungering they bear the sheaves.

11 Between their walls they squeeze out the oil;

They tread the wine-presses, and suffer thirst.

12 In the city vassals groan, And the soul of the oppressed crieth out -

And Eloah heedeth not the anomaly.

The accentuation of Job 24:9 (יגזלו with Dech, משׁד with Munach) makes the relation of שׁד יתום genitival. Heidenheim (in a MS annotation to Kimchi's Lex.) accordingly badly interprets: they plunder from the spoil of the orphan; Ramban better: from the ruin, i.e., the shattered patrimony; both appeal to the Targum, which translates מביזת יתום, like the Syriac version, men bezto de-jatme (comp. Jerome: vim fecerunt depraedantes pupillos). The original reading, however, is perhaps (vid., Buxtorf, Lex. col. 295) מבּיזא, ἀπὸ βυζίου, from the mother's breast, as it is also, the lxx (ἀπὸ μαστοῦ), to be translated contrary to the accentuation. Inhuman creditors take the fatherless and still tender orphan away from its mother, in order to bring it up as a slave, and so to obtain payment. If this is the meaning of the passage, it is natural to understand יחבּלוּ, Job 24:9, of distraining; but (1) the poet would then repeat himself tautologically, vid., Job 24:3, where the same thing is far more evidently said; (2) חבל, to distrain, would be construed with על, contrary to the logic of the word. Certainly the phrase חבל על may be in some degree explained by the interpretation, "to impose a fine" (Ew., Hahn), or "to distrain" (Hirz., Welte), or "to oppress with fines" (Schlottm.); but violence is thus done to the usage of the language, which is better satisfied by the explanation of Ralbag (among modern expositors, Ges., Arnh., Vaih., Stick., Hlgst.): and what the unfortunate one possesses they seize; but this על equals אשׁר על directly as object is impossible. The passage, Deuteronomy 7:25, cited by Schultens in its favour, is of a totally different kind.

But throughout the Semitic dialects the verb חבל also signifies "to destroy, to treat injuriously" (e.g., Arab. el-châbil, a by-name of Satan); it occurs in this signification in Job 34:31, and according to the analogy of הרע על, 1 Kings 17:20, can be construed with על as well as with ל. The poet, therefore, by this construction will have intended to distinguish the one חבל from the other, Job 22:6; Job 24:3; and it is with Umbreit to be translated: they bring destruction upon the poor; or better: they take undue advantage of those who otherwise are placed in trying circumstances.

The subjects of Job 24:10 are these עניים, who are made serfs, and become objects of merciless oppression, and the poet here in Job 24:10 indeed repeats what he has already said almost word for word in Job 24:7 (comp. Job 31:19); but there the nakedness was the general calamity of a race oppressed by subjugation, here it is the consequence of the sin of merces retenta laborum, which cries aloud to heaven, practised on those of their own race: they slink away (הלּך, as Job 30:28) naked (nude), without (בּלי equals מבּלי, as perhaps sine equals absque) clothing, and while suffering hunger they carry the sheaves (since their masters deny them what, according to Deuteronomy 25:4, shall not be withheld even from the beasts). Between their walls (שׁוּרת like שׁרות, Jeremiah 5:10, Chaldee שׁוּריּא), i.e., the walls of their masters who have made them slaves, therefore under strict oversight, they press out the oil (יצהירוּ, ἅπ. γεγρ.), they tread the wine-vats (יקבים, lacus), and suffer thirst withal (fut. consec. according to Ew. 342, a), without being allowed to quench their thirst from the must which runs out of the presses (נּתּות, torcularia, from which the verb דּרך is here transferred to the vats). Bttch. translates: between their rows of trees, without being able to reach out right or left; but that is least of all suitable with the olives. Carey correctly explains: "the factories or the garden enclosures of these cruel slaveholders." This reference of the word to the wall of the enclosure is more suitable than to walls of the press-house in particular. From tyrannical oppression in the country,

(Note: Brentius here remarks: Quantum igitur judicium in eos futurum est, qui in homines ejusdem carnis, ejusdem patriae, ejusdem fidei, ejusdem Christi committunt quod nec in bruta animalia committendum est, quod malum in Germania frequentissimum est. Vae igitur Germaniae!)

Job now passes over to the abominations of discord and was in the cities.

Job 24:16 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

in the dark

Exodus 22:2,3 If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him...

Ezekiel 12:5-7,12 Dig you through the wall in their sight, and carry out thereby...

Matthew 24:43 But know this, that if the manager of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched...

they know

Job 24:13 They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.

Job 38:12,13 Have you commanded the morning since your days; and caused the dayspring to know his place...

John 3:20 For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

Ephesians 5:11-13 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them...

Cross References
Matthew 6:19
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,

John 3:20
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.

Exodus 22:2
If a thief is found breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him,

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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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