Job’s Final Address to His Friends.

JOB’S AGAIN PROTESTS HIS INNOCENCE. — V. 1. Moreover, Job continued his parable, his proverbial discourse, and said, v. 2. As God liveth, a solemn oath intended to impress his hearers with the importance of his statements, who hath taken away my judgment, who refused to give Job right in this case, who would not declare him innocent, and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul, filling it with bitter anxiety and sorrow, v. 3. all the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils, Job still possessed life and breath, he could still give a valid testimony concerning his innocence: v. 4. my lips shall not speak wickedness, falseness, lies, nor my tongue utter deceit! Such were the contents of Job’s solemn oath that he would speak the full truth without fear or favor. V. 5. God forbid that I should justify you, that is, Far be it from me to declare you to be right; till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me, he would not cease to assert his innocence. V. 6. My righteousness I hold fast and will not let it go, in spite also of the sneering remark of his wife, chap. 2, 9; my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live, not blaming him for one deliberate wickedness during his whole life. V. 7. Let mine enemy be as the wicked and he that riseth up against me, the adversary of Job, as the unrighteous, that being the just reward of Job’s enemies for doubting and disputing his innocence. V. 8. For what is the hope of the hypocrite, of an ungodly person, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul, when God cuts off, when God draws forth his soul? The evildoer has nothing to hope for any more when God once severs the thread of his life and takes his soul from him. V. 9. Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? Cp. Ps. 66, 18. The answer evidently is that the Lord would pay no attention to him, but would let him be submerged in his misery. V. 10. Will he delight himself in the Almighty? Will he always call upon God? There is no possibility of a trusting, joyful, loving fellowship between the ungodly person and God. Even when the heart of the believer is filled with dread and apprehension, his trust in God is unwavering, even though it be necessary for the Spirit to make intercession for him with groanings which cannot be uttered.

BELIEF IN THE FINAL DESTRUCTION OF THE UNGODLY. — V. 11. I will teach you by the hand of God, concerning the way, the manner, in which His hand works; that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal, he would declare to his friends the very counsels and thoughts of God which govern His dealings with men. V. 12. Behold, all ye yourselves have seen it, he concedes that the final lot of the wicked is often one of extreme affliction, he agrees to accept this observation; why, then, are ye thus altogether vain, guided so completely by empty and foolish delusions? V. 13. This is the portion of the wicked man with God, the lot which is bound to strike him, and the heritage of oppressors which they shall receive of the Almighty, the judgment of God being carried out chiefly in three forms of punishment, as Job now shows. V. 14. If his children be multiplied, their great number being considered a proof of the divine blessing, it is for the sword, that being the first great scourge in the hand of God; and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread, famine being a second scourge of nations. V. 15. Those that remain of him shall be buried in death, those who escaped the first punishments would become victims of the pestilence; and his widows shall not weep, being hindered even from observing the usual ceremonies of mourning by the severity of the plague. V. 16. Though he heap up silver as the dust, in immeasurable quantities, and prepare raiment, fine garments, as the clay, that they are as numerous, as common, as the mud of the streets; v. 17. he may prepare it, but the just shall put it on, for he will enter into the heritage of the godless, and the innocent shall divide the silver, Cp. Ps. 37, 29. 34; Eccl. 2, 16. V. 18. He buildeth his house as a moth, a frail and temporary dwelling, and as a booth that the keeper maketh, a shed which a watchman puts up for a few days. V. 19. The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered, he lies down once and not again, that is, he never arises; he openeth his eyes, and he is not, at the time of awakening he is gone, snatched away suddenly by the hand of death. V. 20. Terrors take hold on him as waters, the fear of death comes upon him like the torrents of an overflowing stream; a tempest stealeth him away in the night, a sudden gust of the violent east wind carries him off. V. 21. The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth, going off without returning; and as a storm hurleth him out of his place, he being helpless in its power. V. 22. For God shall cast upon him and not spare, hurling the arrows of His wrath and vengeance upon him; he would fain flee out of his hand, all his attempts to escape the doom at the hand of God are futile. V. 23. Men shall clap their hands at him, in mockery and derision, and shall hiss him out of his place, forcing him to leave his dwelling under their scornful jeering. Job thus pictured the final misfortune of the wicked in terms which even went beyond those employed by his friends.