Job 19

CHAPTER XIX

Job complains of the cruelty of his friends, 1-5.

Pathetically laments his sufferings, 6-12.

Complains of his being forsaken by all his domestics, friends,

relatives, and even his wife, 13-19.

Details his sufferings in an affecting manner, calls upon his

friends to pity him, and earnestly wishes that his speeches

may be recorded, 20-24.

Expresses his hope in a future resurrection, 25-27.

And warns his persecutors to desist, lest they fall under

God's judgments, 28, 29.

NOTES ON CHAP. XIX

Verse 2. How long will ye vex my soul] Every thing that was

irritating, vexatious, and opprobrious, his friends had recourse

to, in order to support their own system, and overwhelm him. Not

one of them seems to have been touched with a feeling of

tenderness towards him, nor does a kind expression drop at any

time from their lips! They were called friends; but this term, in

reference to them, must be taken in the sense of cold-blooded

acquaintances. However, there are many in the world that go under

the sacred name of friends, who, in times of difficulty, act a

similar part. Job's friends have been, by the general consent of

posterity, consigned to endless infamy. May all those who follow

their steps be equally enrolled in the annals of bad fame!

Verse 3. These ten times] The exact arithmetical number is not

to be regarded; ten times being put for many times, as we have

already seen. See particularly Clarke's note on "Ge 31:7".

Ye make yourselves strange to me.] When I was in affluence and

prosperity, ye were my intimates, and appeared to rejoice in my

happiness; but now ye scarcely know me, or ye profess to consider

me a wicked man because I am in adversity. Of this you had no

suspicion when I was in prosperity! Circumstances change men's

minds.

Verse 4. And be it indeed that I have erred] Suppose indeed that

I have been mistaken in any thing, that in the simplicity of my

heart I have gone astray, and that this matter remains with

myself, (for most certainly there is no public stain on my life,)

you must grant that this error, whatsoever it is, has hurt no

person except myself. Why then do ye treat me as a person whose

life has been a general blot, and whose example must be a public

curse?

Verse 6. Know now that God hath overthrown me] The matter is

between him and me, and he has not commissioned you to add

reproaches to his chastisements.

And hath compassed me with his net.] There may be an allusion

here to the different modes of hunting which have been already

referred to in the preceding chapter. But if we take the whole

verse together, and read the latter clause before the former,

thus, "Know, therefore, that God hath encompassed me with his net,

and overthrown me;" the allusion may be to an ancient mode of

combat practised among the ancient Persians, ancient Goths, and

among the Romans. The custom among the Romans was this: "One of

the combatants was armed with a sword and shield, the other with a

trident and net. The net he endeavoured to cast over the head of

his adversary, in which, when he succeeded, the entangled person

was soon pulled down by a noose that fastened round the neck, and

then despatched. The person who carried the net and trident was

called Retiarius, and the other who carried the sword and shield

was termed Secutor, or the pursuer, because, when the Retiarius

missed his throw, he was obliged to run about the ground till he

got his net in order for a second throw, while the Secutor

followed hard to prevent and despatch him." The Persians in old

times used what was called [Persic] kumund, the noose. It was not

a net, but a sort of running loop, which horsemen endeavoured to

cast over the heads of their enemies that they might pull them off

their horses.

That the Goths used a hoop net fastened to a pole, which they

endeavoured to throw over the heads of their foes, is attested by

Olaus Magnus, Hist. de Gentibus Septentrionalibus, Rom. 1555,

lib. xi., cap. 13, De diversis Modis praeliandi Finnorum. His

words are, Quidam restibus instar retium ferinorum ductilibus

sublimi jactatione utuntur: ubi enim cum hoste congressi sunt,

injiciunt eos restes quasi laqueos in caput resistentis, ut equum

aut hominem ad se trahant. "Some use elastic ropes, formed like

hunting nets, which they throw aloft; and when they come in

contact with the enemy, they throw these ropes over the head of

their opponent, and by this means they can then drag either man or

horse to themselves." At the head of the page he gives a wood-cut

representing the net, and the manner of throwing it over the head

of the enemy. To such a device Job might allude, God hath

encompassed me with his NET, and overthrown me.

Verse 7. I cry out of wrong] I complain of violence and of

injustice; but no one comes to my help.

Verse 8. He hath fenced up my way] This may allude to the mode

of hunting the elephant, described at the conclusion of the

preceding chapter; or to the operations of an invading army. See

under Job 19:11.

Verse 9. He hath stripped me of my glory] I am reduced to such

circumstances, that I have lost all my honour and respect.

Verse 10. Mine hope hath he removed like a tree.] There is no

more hope of my restoration to affluence, authority, and respect,

than there is that a tree shall grow and flourish, whose roots are

extracted from the earth. I am pulled up by the roots, withered,

and gone.

Verse 11. And he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.]

From the seventh to the thirteenth verse there seems to be an

allusion to a hostile invasion, battles, sieges, &c. 1. A

neighbouring chief, without provocation, invades his neighbour's

territories, and none of his friends will come to his help. "I cry

out of wrong, but I am not heard," Job 19:7. 2. The foe has

seized on all the passes, and he is hemmed up. "He hath fenced up

my way that I cannot pass," Job 19:8. 3. He has surprised and

carried by assault the regal city, seized and possessed the

treasures. "He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown

from my head," Job 19:9. 4. All his armies are routed in the

field, and his strong places carried. "He hath destroyed me on

every side," Job 19:10. 5. The enemy proceeds to the greatest

length of outrage, wasting every thing with fire and sword. "He

hath kindled his wrath against me, and treateth me like one of his

adversaries, Job 19:11. 6. He is cooped up in a small camp with

the wrecks of his army; and in this he is closely besieged by all

the power of his foes, who encompass the place, and raise forts

against it. "His troops come together, and raise up their way

against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle." 7. Not

receiving any assistance from friends or neighbours, he abandons

all hope of being able to keep the field, escapes with the utmost

difficulty, and is despised and neglected by his friends and

domestics because he has been unfortunate. "I am escaped with the

skin of my teeth," Job 19:20. "My kinsfolk have failed-all my

intimate friends abhorred me," Job 19:14-19.

Verse 14. My kinsfolk have failed] Literally, departed: they

have all left my house, now there is no more hope of gain.

Verse 15. They that dwell in mine house] In this and the

following verses the disregard and contempt usually shown to men

who have fallen from affluence and authority into poverty and

dependence, are very forcibly described: formerly reverenced by

all, now esteemed by none. Pity to those who have fallen into

adversity is rarely shown; the rich have many friends, and to him

who appears to be gaining worldly substance much court is paid;

for many worship the rising sun, who think little of that which is

gone down. Some are even reproached with that eminence which they

have lost, though not culpable for the loss. A bishop, perhaps

Bale, of Ossory, being obliged to leave his country and fly for

his life, in the days of bloody Queen Mary, and who never regained

his bishopric, was met one morning by one like those whom Job

describes, who, intending to be witty at the expense of the

venerable prelate, accosted him thus: "Good morrow, BISHOP

quondam." To which the bishop smartly replied, "Adieu, KNAVE

semper."

Verse 17. Though I entreated for the children's sake of mine own

body.] This may imply no more than adjuring her by the tenderest

ties, by their affectionate intercourse, and consequently by the

children which had been the seals of their mutual affection,

though these children were no more.

But the mention of his children in this place may intimate that

he had still some remaining; that there might have been young

ones, who, not being of a proper age to attend the festival of

their elder brothers and sisters, escaped that sad catastrophe.

The Septuagint have, προσεκαλουμηνδεκολακευωνυιουςπαλλακιδων

μου, "I affectionately entreated the children of my concubines."

But there is no ground in the Hebrew text for such a strange

exceptionable rendering. Coverdale has, I am fayne to speake fayre

to the children of myne own body.

Verse 19. My inward friends] Those who were my greatest

intimates.

Verse 20. My bone cleaveth to my skin.] My flesh is entirely

wasted away, and nothing but skin and bone left.

I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.] I have had the most

narrow escape. If I still live, it is a thing to be wondered at,

my sufferings and privations have been so great. To escape with

the skin of the teeth seems to have been a proverbial expression,

signifying great difficulty. I had as narrow an escape from death,

as the thickness of the enamel on the teeth. I was within a hair's

breadth of destruction; see on Job 19:11.

Verse 21. Have pity upon me] The iteration here strongly

indicates the depth of his distress, and that his spirit was worn

down with the length and severity of his suffering.

Verse 22. Why do ye persecute me as God] Are not the afflictions

which God sends enough? Do ye not see that I have as much as I can

bear? When the papists were burning Dr. Taylor at Oxford, while

wrapped in the flames, one of the true sons of the Church took a

stick out of the faggots, and threw it at his head, and split open

his face. To whom he calmly said, Man, why this wrong? Do not I

suffer enough?

And are not satisfied with my flesh?] Will ye persecute my soul,

while God is persecuting my body? Is it not enough that my body is

destroyed? Why then labour to torment my mind?

Verse 23. O that my words were now written!] Job introduces the

important subject which follows in a manner unusually solemn; and

he certainly considers the words which he was about to utter of

great moment, and therefore wishes them to be recorded in every

possible way. All the modes of writing then in use he appears to

refer to. As to printing, that should be out of the question, as

no such art was then discovered, nor for nearly two thousand years

after. Our translators have made a strange mistake by rendering

the verb yuchaku, printed, when they should have used

described, traced out. O that my words were fairly traced out in

a book! It is necessary to make this remark, because superficial

readers have imagined that the art of printing existed in Job's

time, and that it was not a discovery of the fifteenth century of

the Christian era: whereas there is no proof that it ever existed

in the world before A.D. 1440, or thereabouts, for the first

printed book with a date is a psalter printed by John Fust, in

1457, and the first Bible with a date is that by the same artist

in 1460.

Three kinds of writing Job alludes to, as being practised in his

time: 1. Writing in a book, formed either of the leaves of the

papyrus, already described, (see on Job 8:11,) or on a sort of

linen cloth. A roll of this kind, with unknown characters, I

have seen taken out of the envelopments of an Egyptian mummy.

Denon, in his travels in Egypt, gives an account of a book of

this kind, with an engraved facsimile, taken also out of an

Egyptian mummy. 2. Cutting with an iron stile on plates of lead.

3. Engraving on large stones or rocks, many of which are still

found in different parts of Arabia.

To the present day the leaves of the palm tree are used in the

East instead of paper, and a stile of brass, silver, iron, &c.,

with a steel point, serves for a pen. By this instrument the

letters are cut or engraved on the substance of the leaf, and

afterwards some black colouring matter is rubbed in, in order to

make the letters apparent. This was probably the oldest mode of

writing, and it continues among the Cingalese to the present day.

It is worthy of remark that PLINY (Hist. Nat., lib. xiii., c. 11)

mentions most of these methods of writing, and states that the

leaves of the palm tree were used before other substances were

invented. After showing that paper was not used before the

conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great, he proceeds: In palmarum

foliis primo scriptitatum; deinde quarundam arborum libris: postea

publica monumenta plumbeis voluminibus, mox et privata linteis

confici caepta, aut ceris. "At first men wrote on palm tree

leaves, and afterwards on the bark or rind of other trees. In

process of time, public monuments were written on rolls of lead,

and those of a private nature on linen books, or tables covered

with wax."

Pausanias, lib. xii., c. 31, giving an account of the Boeotians,

who dwelt near fount Helicon, states the following fact:-καιμοι

μολιβδονεδεικνυσανενθαηπηγηταπολλαυποτουχρονου

λελυμασμενονεγγεγραπταιγαραυτωταεργα; "They showed me a

leaden table near to the fountain, all which his works

(Hesiod's) were written; but a great part had perished by the

injuries of time."

Verse 24. Iron pen and lead] Some suppose that the meaning of

this place is this: the iron pen is the chisel by which the

letters were to be deeply cut in the stone or rock; and the

lead was melted into those cavities in order to preserve the

engraving distinct. But this is not so natural a supposition as

what is stated above; that Job refers to the different kinds of

writing or perpetuating public events, used in his time: and the

quotations from Pliny and Pausanias confirm the opinion

already expressed.

Verse 25. For I know that my Redeemer liveth] Any attempt to

establish the true meaning of this passage is almost hopeless. By

learned men and eminent critics the words have been understood

very differently; some vehemently contending that they refer to

the resurrection of the body, and the redemption of the human race

by Jesus Christ; while others, with equal vehemence and show of

argument, have contended that they refer only to Job's restoration

to health, family comforts, and general prosperity, after the

present trial should be ended. In defense of these two opinions

larger treatises have been written than the whole book of Job

would amount to, if written even in capitals. To discuss the

arguments on either side the nature of this work forbids; but my

own view of the subject will be reasonably expected by the reader.

I shall therefore lay down one principle, without which no mode of

interpretation hitherto offered can have any weight. The principle

is this: Job was now under the especial inspiration of the Holy

Spirit, and spoke prophetically.

Now, whether we allow that the passage refers to the general

resurrection and the redemption by Christ, or to Job's restoration

to health, happiness, and prosperity, this principle is equally

necessary. 1. In those times no man could speak so clearly

concerning the general resurrection and the redemption by Jesus

Christ as Job, by one class of interpreters, is supposed here to

do, unless especially inspired for this very purpose. 2. Job's

restoration to health and happiness, which, though it did take

place, was so totally improbable to himself all the way through,

so wholly unexpected, and, in every sense, impossible, except to

the almighty power of God, that it could not be inferred from any

thing that had already taken place, and must be foreshown by

direct inspiration. Now, that it was equally easy to predict

either of these events, will be at once evident, because both were

in futurity, and both were previously determined. Nothing

contingent could exist in either; with them man had nothing to

do; and they were equally within the knowledge of Him to whose

ubiquity there can be neither past nor future time; in whose

presence absolute and contingent events subsist in their own

distinctive characters, and are never resolved into each other.

But another question may arise, Which was most likely to be the

subject of this oracular declaration, the general resurrection and

redemption by Christ; or the restoration of Job to health and

affluence?

If we look only to the general importance of these things, this

question may be soon decided; for the doctrine of human

redemption, and the general resurrection to an eternal life, are

of infinitely greater importance than any thing that could affect

the personal welfare of Job. We may therefore say, of two things

which only the power of God can effect, and one of which only

shall be done it is natural to conclude he will do that which is

of most importance; and that is of most importance by which a

greater measure of glory is secured to himself, and a greater sum

of good produced to mankind.

As, therefore, a revelation by which the whole human race, in

all its successive generations, to the end of time, may be most

essentially benefited, is superior in its worth and importance to

that by which one man only can be benefited, it is natural to

conclude here, that the revelation relative to the general

resurrection, &c., is that which most likely the text includes.

But to this it may be answered, God does not do always in the

first instance that which is most necessary and important in

itself, as every thing is done in that order and in that time

which seems best to his godly wisdom; therefore, a thing of less

importance may be done now, and a thing of greater importance

left to a future time. So, God made the earth before he made man,

produced light before he formed the celestial luminaries, and

instituted the Mosaic economy before the Christian dispensation.

This is all true, for every thing is done in that season in which

it may best fulfil the designs of providence and grace. But the

question still recurs, Which of the predictions was most congruous

to the circumstances of Job, and those of his companions; and

which of them was most likely to do most good on that occasion,

and to be most useful through the subsequent ages of the world?

The subject is now considerably narrowed; and, if this question

could be satisfactorily answered, the true meaning of the passage

would be at once found out. 1. For the sake of righteousness,

justice, and truth, and to vindicate the ways of God with man, it

was necessary that Job's innocence should be cleared; that the

false judgments of his friends should be corrected; and that, as

Job was now reduced to a state of the lowest distress, it was

worthy the kindness of God to give him some direct intimation that

his sufferings should have a happy termination. That such an event

ought to take place, there can be no question: and that it did

take place, is asserted in the book; and that Job's friends saw

it, were reproved, corrected, and admitted into his favour of whom

they did not speak that which was right, and who had, in

consequence, God's wrath kindled against them, are also attested

facts. But surely there was no need of so solemn a revelation to

inform them of what was shortly to take place, when they lived to

see it; nor can it be judged essentially necessary to the support

of Job, when the ordinary consolations of God's Spirit, and the

excitement of a good hope through grace, might have as completely

answered the end.

2. On the other hand, to give men, who were the chiefs of their

respective tribes, proper notice of a doctrine of which they

appear to have had no adequate conception, and which was so

necessary to the peace of society, the good government of men, and

the control of unruly and wayward passions, which the doctrine of

the general resurrection and consequent judgment is well

calculated to produce; and to stay and support the suffering godly

under the afflictions and calamities of life; were objects worthy

the highest regards of infinite philanthropy and justice, and of

the most pointed and solemn revelation which could be given on

such an occasion. In short, they are the grounds on which all

revelation is given to the sons of men: and the prophecy in

question, viewed in this light, was, in that dark age and country,

a light shining in a dark place; for the doctrine of the general

resurrection and of future rewards and punishments, existed among

the Arabs from time immemorial, and was a part of the public creed

of the different tribes when Mohammed endeavoured to establish his

own views of that resurrection and of future rewards and

punishments, by the edge of the sword. I have thus endeavoured

dispassionately to view this subject; and having instituted the

preceding mode of reasoning, without foreseeing where it would

tend, being only desirous to find out truth, I arrive at the

conclusion, that the prophecy in question was not designed to

point out the future prosperity of Job; but rather the future

redemption of mankind by Jesus Christ, and the general

resurrection of the human race.

After what has been stated above, a short paraphrase on the

words of the text will be all that is necessary to be added.

I know, yadati, I have a firm and full persuasion, that

my Redeemer, goali, my Kinsman, he whose right it was

among the ancient Hebrews to redeem the forfeited heritages

belonging to the family, to vindicate its honour, and to avenge

the death of any of his relatives by slaying the murderer;

(Le 25:25; Nu 35:12; Ru 3:13;) but here it must refer to

Christ, who has truly the right of redemption, being of the same

kindred, who was born of woman, flesh of flesh and bone of our

bone.

Liveth, chai, is the living One, who has the keys of hell

and death: the Creator and Lord of the spirits of all flesh, and

the principle and support of all life.

And that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. The

latter day, acharon, the latter day, or time, when God

comes to judgment; or finally, or at last, or in the last time,

or latter days, as the Gospel is termed, he shall be manifested in

the flesh.

He shall stand, yakum, he shall arise, or stand up,

i.e., to give sentence in judgment: or he himself shall arise from

the dust, as the passage has been understood by some to refer to

the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

Upon the earth, al aphar, over the dead, or those

who are reduced to dust. This is the meaning of aphar in

Ps 30:9:

What profit is there in my blood when I go down to the pit?

Shall the DUST (i.e., the dead) praise thee? He shall arise over

the dust-over them who sleep in the dust, whom he shall also raise

up.

Verse 26. And though after my skin worms destroy this body] My

skin, which is now almost all that remains of my former self,

except the bones; see Job 19:20.

They destroy this-not body. nikkephu zoth,

they-diseases and affliction, destroy THIS wretched composition

of misery and corruption.

Yet in my flesh shall I see God] Either, I shall arise from the

dead, have a renewed body and see him with eyes of flesh and

blood, though what I have now shall shortly moulder into dust, or,

I shall see him in the flesh; my Kinsman, who shall partake of my

flesh and blood, in order that he may ransom the lost inheritance.

Verse 27. Whom I shall see for myself] Have a personal interest

in the resurrection, as I shall have in the Redeemer.

And mine eyes shall behold] That very person who shall be the

resurrection, as he is the life.

And not another] velo zar, and not a stranger, one

who has no relation to human nature; but goali, my redeeming

Kinsman.

Though my reins be consumed within me.] Though I am now

apparently on the brink of death, the thread of life being spun

out to extreme tenuity.

This, on the mode of interpretation which I have assumed,

appears to be the meaning of this passage. The words may have a

somewhat different colouring put on them; but the basis of the

interpretation will be the same.

I shall conclude with the version of Coverdale:-

For I am sure that my Redeemer liveth;

And that I shal ryse out of the earth in the latter daye;

That I shal be clothed againe with this skynne

And se God in my flesh.

Yee, I myself shal beholde him,

Not with other, but with these same eyes.

My reins are consumed within me, when ye saye,

Why do not we persecute him?

We have founde an occasion against him.

Verse 28. But ye should say] Or, Then ye shall say.

Why persecute we him] Or, as Mr. Good, How did we persecute him!

Alas! we are now convinced that we did wrong.

Seeing the root of the matter] A pure practice, and a sound

hope, resting on the solid ground of sound faith, received from

God himself. Instead of bi, in ME, bo, in HIM, is the

reading of more than one hundred of Kennicott's and De Rossi's

MSS., and in several of the versions. Seeing the root of the

matter is found in HIM.

Verse 29. Be ye afraid of the sword] Of God's judgments.

For wrath bringeth] Such anger as ye have displayed against me,

God will certainly resent and punish.

That ye may know there is a judgment.] That ye may know that God

will judge the world; and that the unequal distribution of riches

and poverty, afflictions and health, in the present life, is a

proof that there must be a future judgment, where evil shall be

punished and virtue rewarded.

IT would not be fair, after all the discussion of the preceding

verses in reference to the two grand opinions and modes of

interpretation instituted by learned men, not to inform the reader

that a third method of solving all difficulties has been proposed,

viz., that Job refers to a Divine conviction which he had just

then received, that God would appear in the most evident manner to

vindicate his innocence, and give the fullest proofs to his

friends and to the world that his afflictions had not been sent as

a scourge for his iniquities. Dr. Kennicott was the proposer of

this third mode of solving these difficulties, and I shall give

his method in his own words.

"These five verses, though they contain but twelve lines, have

occasioned controversies without number, as to the general meaning

of Job in this place, whether he here expressed his firm belief of

a resurrection to happiness after death, or of a restoration to

prosperity during the remainder of his life.

"Each of these positions has found powerful as well as numerous

advocates; and the short issue of the whole seems to be, that each

party has confuted the opposite opinion, yet without establishing

its own. For how could Job here express his conviction of a

reverse of things in this world, and of a restoration to temporal

prosperity, at the very time when he strongly asserts that his

miseries would soon be terminated by death? See

Job 6:11; 7:21; 17:11-15; 19:10, and particularly in Job 7:7:

O remember that my life is wind; mine eye shall no more see

good.

"Still less could Job here express a hope full of immortality,

which sense cannot be extorted from the words without every

violence. And as the possession of such belief is not to be

reconciled with Job's so bitterly cursing the day of his birth in

Job 3:1-3, so the declaration of such belief would have solved

at once the whole difficulty in dispute.

"But if neither of the preceding and opposite opinions can be

admitted, if the words are not meant to express Job's belief

either of a restoration or of a resurrection, what then are we to

do? It does not appear to me that any other interpretation has yet

been proposed by the learned; yet I will now venture to offer a

third interpretation, different from both the former, and which,

whilst it is free from the preceding difficulties, does not seem

liable to equal objections.

"The conviction, then, which I suppose Job to express here, is

this: That though his dissolution was hastening on amidst the

unjust accusations of his pretended friends, and the cruel insults

of his hostile relations; and though, whilst he was thus

singularly oppressed with anguish of mind, he was also tortured

with pains of body, torn by sores and ulcers from head to foot,

and sitting upon dust and ashes; yet still, out of that miserable

body, in his flesh thus stripped of skin, and nearly dropping into

the grave, HE SHOULD SEE GOD, who would appear in his favour, and

vindicate THE INTEGRITY of his character. This opinion may perhaps

be fairly and fully supported by the sense of the words

themselves, by the context, and by the following remarks.

"We read in Job 2:7, that

Job was smitten with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto

his crown; and Job 2:8, 'He sat down among the

ashes.' In Job 7:5, Job says, 'My flesh is clothed with worms,

and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome.' In

Job 16:19: 'Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my

record is on high.' Then come the words of Job, Job 19:25-29. And

then, in opposition to what Job had just said, that God would soon

appear to vindicate him, and that even his accusing friends would

acquit him, Zophar says, Job 20:27, that

'the heaven would reveal his iniquity, and the earth would rise

up against him.' Lastly, this opinion concerning Job's words, as

to God's vindication of him, is confirmed strongly at the end of

the book, which records the conclusion of Job's history. His firm

hope is here supposed to be that, before his death, he should,

with his bodily eyes, see GOD appearing and vindicating his

character. And from the conclusion we learn that God did thus

appear: Now, says Job, mine eye seeth thee. And then did God most

effectually and for ever brighten the glory of Job's fame, by four

times calling him HIS SERVANT; and, as his anger was kindled

against Job's friends, by speaking to them in the following words:

'Ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant

Job hath. Go to my servant Job,-and my servant Job shall pray for

you,-in that ye have not spoken of me the thing which is right,

like my servant Job,' Job 40:7, 8."

Dr. K. then gives the common version, and proposes the following

as a new version:-

Ver. 25. For I know that my Vindicator liveth,

And he at last shall arise over this dust.

26. And after that mine adversaries have mangled me thus,

Even in my flesh shall I see God.

27. Whom I shall see on my side;

And mine eyes shall behold, but not estranged from me:

All this have I made up in mine bosom.

28. Verily ye shall say, Why have we persecuted him;

Seeing the truth of the matter is found with him?

29. Tremble for yourselves at the face of the sword;

For the sword waxeth hot against iniquities:

Therefore be assured that judgment will take place.

KENNICOTT'S Remarks on Select Passages of Scripture, p. 165.

There is something very plausible in this plan of Dr. Kennicott;

and in the conflicting opinions relative to the meaning of this

celebrated and much controverted passage, no doubt some will be

found who will adopt it as a middle course. The theory, however,

is better than some of the arguments by which it is supported. Yet

had I not been led, by the evidence mentioned before, to the

conclusion there drawn, I should probably have adopted Dr. K.'s

opinion with some modification: but as to his new version, it is

what I am persuaded the Hebrew text can never bear. It is even too

loose a paraphrase of the original, as indeed are most of the new

versions of this passage. Dr. Kennicott says, that such a

confidence as those cause Job to express, who make him speak

concerning the future resurrection, ill comports with his cursing

so bitterly the day of his birth, &c. But this objection has

little if any strength, when we consider that it is not at all

probable that Job had this confidence any time before the moment

in which he uttered it: it was then a direct revelation, nothing of

which he ever had before, else he had never dropped those words of

impatience and irritation which we find in several of his

speeches. And this may be safely inferred from the consideration,

that after this time no such words escaped his lips: he bears the

rest of his sufferings with great patience and fortitude; and

seems to look forward with steady hope to that day in which all

tears shall be wiped away from off all faces, and it be fully

proved that the Judge of all the earth has done right.

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