Job 24:5
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Behold, like wild donkeys in the desert the poor go out to their toil, seeking game; the wasteland yields food for their children.

King James Bible
Behold, as wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness yieldeth food for them and for their children.

American Standard Version
Behold, as wild asses in the desert They go forth to their work, seeking diligently for food; The wilderness yieldeth them bread for their children.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Others like wild asses in the desert go forth to their work: by watching for a prey they get bread for their children.

English Revised Version
Behold, as wild asses in the desert they go forth to their work, seeking diligently for meat; the wilderness yieldeth them food for their children.

Webster's Bible Translation
Behold, as wild asses in the desert, they go forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness yieldeth food for them and for their children.

Job 24:5 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

14 For He accomplisheth that which is appointed for me,

And much of a like kind is with Him.

15 Therefore I am troubled at His presence;

If I consider it, I am afraid of Him.

16 And God hath caused my heart to be dejected,

And the Almighty hath put me to confusion;

17 For I have not been destroyed before darkness,

And before my countenance, which thick darkness covereth.

Now it is the will of God, the absolute, which has all at once turned against him, the innocent (Job 23:13); for what He has decreed against him (חקּי) He also brings to a complete fulfilment (השׁלים, as e.g., Isaiah 44:26); and the same troubles as those which he already suffers, God has still more abundantly decreed for him, in order to torture him gradually, but surely, to death. Job intends Job 23:14 in reference to himself, not as a general assertion: it is, in general, God's way of acting. Hahn's objection to the other explanation, that Job's affliction, according to his own previous assertions, has already attained its highest degree, does not refute it; for Job certainly has a term of life before him, though it be but short, in which the wondrously inventive (Job 10:16) hostility of God can heap up ever new troubles for him. On the other hand, the interpretation of the expression in a general sense is opposed by the form of the expression itself, which is not that God delights to do this, but that He purposes (עמּו) to do it. It is a conclusion from the present concerning the future, such as Job is able to make with reference to himself; while he, moreover, abides by the reality in respect to the mysterious distribution of the fortunes of men. Therefore, because he is a mark for the enmity of God, without having merited it, he is confounded before His countenance, which is so angrily turned upon him (comp. פנים, Psalm 21:10; Lamentations 4:16); if he considers it (according to the sense fut. hypothet., as Job 23:9), he trembles before Him, who recompenses faithful attachment by such torturing pain. The following connection with ל and the mention of God twice at the beginning of the affirmations, is intended to mean: (I tremble before Him), and He it is who has made me faint-hearted (הרך Hiph. from the Kal, Deuteronomy 20:3, and freq., to be tender, soft, disconcerted), and has troubled me; which is then supported in Job 23:17.

His suffering which draws him on to ruin he perceives, but it is not the proper ground of his inward destruction; it is not the encircling darkness of affliction, not the mysterious form of his suffering which disconcerts him, but God's hostile conduct towards him, His angry countenance as he seems to see it, and which he is nevertheless unable to explain. Thus also Ew., Hirz., Vaih., Hlgst., and Schlottm. explain the passage. The only other explanation worthy of mention is that which finds in Job 23:17 the thought already expressed in Job 3:10 : For I was not then destroyed, in order that I might experience such mysterious suffering; and interpretation with which most of the old expositors were satisfied, and which has been revived by Rosenm., Stick., and Hahn. We translate: for I have not been destroyed before darkness (in order to be taken away from it before it came upon me), and He has not hidden darkness before my face; or as an exclamation: that I have not been destroyed! which is to be equivalent to: Had I but been ... ! Apart from this rendering of the quod non equals utinam, which cannot be supported, (1) It is doubly hazardous thus to carry the לא forward to the second line in connection with verbs of different persons. (2) The darkness in Job 23:17 appears (at least according to the usual interpret. caliginem) as that which is being covered, whereas it is naturally that which covers something else; wherefore Blumenfeld explains: and darkness has not hidden, viz., such pain as I must now endure, from my face. (3) The whole thought which is thus gained is without point, and meaningless, in this connection. On the other hand, the antithesis between מפּניו and מפּני, ממּנוּ and מפּני־חשׁך, is at once obvious; and this antithesis, which forces itself upon the attention, also furnishes the thought which might be expected from the context. It is unnecessary to take נצמת in a different signification from Job 6:17; in Arabic ṣmt signifies conticescere; the idea of the root, however, is in general a constraining depriving of free movement. חשׁך is intended as in the question of Eliphaz, Job 22:11 : "Or seest thou not the darkness?" to which it perhaps refers. It is impossible, with Schlottm., to translate Job 23:17: and before that darkness covers my face; מן is never other than a praep., not a conjunction with power over a whole clause. It must be translated: et a facie mea quam obtegit caligo. As the absolute פנים, Job 9:27, signifies the appearance of the countenance under pain, so here by it Job means his countenance distorted by pain, his deformed appearance, which, as the attributive clause affirms, is thoroughly darkened by suffering (comp. Job 30:30). But it is not this darkness which stares him in the face, and threatens to swallow him up (comp. מפני־חשׁך, Job 17:12); not this his miserable form, which the extremest darkness covers (on אפל, vid., Job 10:22), that destroys his inmost nature; but the thought that God stands forth in hostility against him, which makes his affliction so terrific, and doubly so in connection with the inalienable consciousness of his innocence. From the incomprehensible punishment which, without reason, is passing over him, he now again comes to speak of the incomprehensible connivance of God, which permits the godlessness of the world to go on unpunished.

Job 24:5 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

wild asses

Job 39:5-7 Who has sent out the wild donkey free? or who has loosed the bands of the wild donkey...

Jeremiah 2:24 A wild donkey used to the wilderness, that snuffs up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away?...

Hosea 8:9 For they are gone up to Assyria, a wild donkey alone by himself: Ephraim has hired lovers.

rising

Job 24:14 The murderer rising with the light kills the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thief.

Proverbs 4:16 For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

Hosea 7:6 For they have made ready their heart like an oven, whiles they lie in wait: their baker sleeps all the night...

Micah 2:1 Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil on their beds! when the morning is light, they practice it...

Zephaniah 3:3 Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.

John 18:28 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas to the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall...

Acts 23:12 And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse...

the wilderness

Job 5:5 Whose harvest the hungry eats up, and takes it even out of the thorns, and the robber swallows up their substance.

Job 12:6 The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God brings abundantly.

Genesis 16:12 And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him...

Genesis 27:40 And by your sword shall you live, and shall serve your brother; and it shall come to pass when you shall have the dominion...

Cross References
Genesis 16:12
He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen."

Job 24:6
They gather their fodder in the field, and they glean the vineyard of the wicked man.

Job 39:5
"Who has let the wild donkey go free? Who has loosed the bonds of the swift donkey,

Job 39:6
to whom I have given the arid plain for his home and the salt land for his dwelling place?

Psalm 104:23
Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening.

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