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Job’s Eighth Speech (concluded)
1-6. Job protests that he is innocent.
Job 27:1-6 are an enlargement of what Job had previously said (Job 13:16) of his determination not to admit that he was being punished for his sins, since he felt that he was innocent of any great offence. This much is plain, but the rest of the chapter (Job 27:7-23) is puzzling; inasmuch as the sentiments expressed regarding the fate of the wicked seem opposed to Job’s views in the rest of the book when he enlarges on the prosperity of sinners in this life: see e.g. Job 21 and notes. It is therefore commonly considered that Job 27:7-23 are really a misplaced speech of Zophar’s corresponding with the final speeches of Eliphaz and Bildad (Job 22, 25), and this view is strongly confirmed by the subject-matter. Job 27:11-12 are Job’s (see intro. to Job 22-31).
1. Parable] i.e. discourse: cp. Numbers 23:7.
2. My judgment] RV ’my right.’ God has not yet vindicated Job’s uprightness, on which his sufferings throw doubt.
3a. RV ’For my life is yet whole in me.’ The v. is a parenthesis, explaining that Job is in full possession of all his faculties, when he makes this deliberate utterance. Spirit of God] cp. Genesis 2:7.
4. He will not acknowledge guilt of which he is unconscious.
5. I should justify you] i.e. by admitting their contention that he was suffering for his sins.
6b. RM ’My heart doth not reproach me for any of my days.’
7-23. The fate of the wicked. Here it would seem that Zophar speaks.
7. Hypocrite] RV ’godless.’
8. Though he hath gained] RM ’when God cutteth him off.’
15. Buried in death] rather, ’buried by death.’ ’Death’ should here be rendered, ’pestilence’: cp. Jeremiah 15:2; Jeremiah 18:21. In such a case there would be only maimed funeral rites.
18. As a moth] like the frail chrysalis or cocoon. As a booth] like the temporary shelter of the vineyard watchman.
19-23. The passage refers to the final fall of the wicked. In the Persian sacred books we read that the dead pious man is led by an angel created by his own good life to the ’bridge of the gatherer’ leading to heaven, whilst a storm sweeps the wicked man to hell. The same idea seems to occur here. The sinner is not ’gathered,’ but blown away into darkness.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Job 27". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19