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Wednesday, October 4th, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Bible Commentaries
Job 28

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-28



Verses 1-28:

Verses 1, 2 use a lesson from the earth to suggest the frequent design of God for affection. As there is a mine from which silver comes forth out of the earth, and a place where gold may be found in the earth, to be refined for the use of men, so man must often pass through refining sorrows and troubles to bring out the greatest glow from his soul, 1 Peter 4:12-16; Malachi 3:3. "Tribulation worketh patience and patience works hope," etc. Romans 5:3-5.

As iron is taken in "ore-form" and brass or copper is melted out of "stone-rock" from out of the earth, so must man be tried in the heat of God’s testing ground, before his greatest usefulness to God may often be reached. It was so with Joseph in prison, Moses in Midian, Daniel in the den of lions, Paul in prison repeatedly, and John exiled on the Isle of Patmos, Hebrews ch. 11; Yet these persevered to the honor of God, in faith. See also Isaiah 1:25; Zechariah 13:9. The better refined the silver and gold the clearer an image will shine in it. The parallel lesson is that men often must pass through refining heat, great stress and trials, before the image of God can shine brightly from them.

Verse 3 states that man makes an end of darkness in searching out all perfection; He takes a torch-light and keeps on digging, till he completes mining the vein of silver, gold, or brass and copper ore, Proverbs 2:4; Ecclesiastes 1:13; Habakkuk 2:13; Matthew 6:23; Luke 16:8. He doesn’t give up in the midst of the vein because the job is tedious or because it is dark. So must men go on in the work of God, knowing the best is yet to be, 1 Corinthians 15:58; Galatians 6:9.

Verse 4 relates three hardships faced in mining beneath the earth: 1) First, the mines may suddenly strike an underground stream, far from the inhabitants of the earth above; 2) Second, they are "forgotten of the foot," no longer supported by their feet, but suspended by a rope from above the earth; and 3) Third, they are dried up, gone away from men. The unseen streams are blessings in the dark, from which those upon the earth may draw to quench their thirst, and survive the scorching heat, ere they dry up and perish. The spirit calls thirsty souls to coma and drink, but he will not always call, Isaiah 55:1-3; John 4:14; John 7:37; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:17.

Verses 5, 6 continue description of natural phenomena of the earth. Out of it comes bread, from fertile soil, from which food plants grow. Yet from beneath it, deeper down comes forth fire, heat-pressed precious stones that glow like fire. Precious stones are formed by much heat pressure, so are great, glowing, precious jewels in God’s service; It is added that "under it," the earth that gives bread, are the stones of sapphire and gold dust or gold ore, heated and pressed by pressure and by time. Let the suffering and the persecuted find comfort, hope and assurance in this Divine thought, Matthew 5:11-12; Malachi 3:16-18.

Verses 7, 8 relate that a path exists where no fowl has ever been and no eagle’s eye has ever seen. Neither has the lion’s whelp passed over it or the ferocious lion passed by it, Isaiah 46:11. That is the path the miner makes by faith. Keen as the eye of the eagle and vulture is to locate its prey and bold as the lion is to search for food, neither ventures as far below earth as man in search of wealth.

Verses 9,10 certify that there is a sovereign, living God who rules and controls the universe, reaching forth His hand at will to cleave the flint rock, overturning the mountains by the roots, cutting rivers among the rocks, while His eye continually observes every precious thing upon and beneath the earth. In His own purpose He performs His own will and observes the good and the bad in His universe, Psalms 11:4; "Beholding the evil and the good," Proverbs 15:3.

Verse 11 asserts that it is the Lord who binds or restricts the floods from overflowing, keeps the waters in prepared places, for the good of all the earth. And the thing that is hid He brings to light in His own time and for His own glory. Hidden sins will all one day be judged. And rewards merited will one day be given by the hand of a just God, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; 1 Corinthians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 3:13-15; 2 Timothy 4:7-8.

Verses 12, 13 Introduce the source and price of wisdom. Just where may wisdom be found? And where is the place of understanding? It is asked. Job’s answer was that no man knows its purchase price nor is it found in the land of the living, among deprived, mortal men. Nor can it be mined from the earth like silver and gold. Divine, true wisdom is found in a person, a greater than Solomon, even in Jesus Christ the Son of God; He is wisdom concealed and personified in the Old Testament and revealed in the New, Deuteronomy 30:11-14; Deuteronomy 1 Kg 3:9; Psalms 36:6; Psalms 51:6; Psalms 139:6; Proverbs 2:4; Proverbs 3:9; Ecclesiastes 7:23; Ecclesiastes 7:25; 1 Corinthians 1:19-20. This wisdom is of price untold, Proverbs 3:15; Matthew 13:44-46.

Verse 14 relates that earth’s depth cries out that the price or worth of wisdom exceeds all that is in her bowels, the gold, the silver, the iron, the brass, the precious stones of sapphire and diamonds. And the sea cries out that the worth or value of wisdom is more than her wealth of minerals, of pearls, and shells; Wisdom’s price is unspeakable; Romans 11:33 expresses Paul’s praise of her value.

Verses 15,16 declare that wisdom can not be gotten in exchange for purest gold, nor secured by any measure or weight of silver, 1Kg 6:20. The precious metals were weighed out for exchange before coining was known, Genesis 23:16; Proverbs 3:13-15; Proverbs 8:10; Proverbs 16:16. It is added that it can not be valued even by the gold of Ophir, the most precious of gold, Job 22:24; Psalms 45:9. Nor can wisdom be secured in exchange for jewels or vessels of fine gold, sapphires, or onyx, Genesis 2:12. Truly the "fear of the Lord" is the beginning of wisdom, that leads to Jesus Christ, the true source of wisdom, Proverbs 1:7; In Him and by Him all things exist, Colossians 1:16-17.

Verses 17-19 add that neither gold, nor crystal, nor transparent jewels of the finest gold can purchase or be exchanged for wisdom.

And no mention is to be made of exchanging red coral or crystal. like pearls for wisdom, for its price exceeds the value of the urim and thummin, symbolizing light and perfection. They were still only symbols of the value of Divine wisdom. The topaz of Ethiopia (Cush) would never equal the value of wisdom; Nor would it ever be valued in comparison with God. He who has this wisdom receives it in and through Jesus Christ, 1 Corinthians 1:30.

Verses 20, 21 Inquire where then may wisdom be found? and from where does it come? and where is the place of understanding? It is a repeat of v.12, requiring rapt attention. It is hidden from the eyes of all living creatures and kept close from the fowls of the air. They have instincts, but not wisdom in them. Heathen attributed divination to the birds, fowls of the air, but it is hidden from their keenest sight; It escapes the eye of the keenest of vulture or eagle’s vision, Ecclesiastes 10:20.

Verses 22, 23 give speeches to death and destruction which witness that they have heard of wisdom with their ears. Wisdom speaks through death and calamities, is the idea. Then it is added by Job that "God understandeth or comprehendeth thereof," of the place and source of wisdom, Ecclesiastes 9:10. See also Acts 15:18; Hebrews 4:13. For "all things are naked and open to Him."

Verses 24, 25 add that the Great Almighty God "made a decree for the rain," regulating the time, place, and in what quantity it would fall, on the just and unjust; He also made a way for the lighting of the thunder, through the parted clouds, Job 38:25; Zec 101; Matthew 5:45.

Verse 26 states that the Great, Almighty God "made a decree for the rain," regulating the time, place, and in what quantity it would fall on the just and unjust; He also made a way for the lightning of the thunder, through the parted clouds, Job 38:25; Zechariah 10:1; Matthew 5:45.

Verse 27 declares that "then," at that time, did He see and declare His wisdom in His works! He prepared it, not created it, for wisdom is from everlasting; He declared His works to be good, Psalms 19:1-2; Genesis 1:10; Genesis 1:31; Proverbs 8:30. He searched it out, to see if wisdom could govern His universe; And He can and does, in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, Colossians 1:16-18,

Verse 28 concludes that He then said to man, "Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is (exists as) wisdom," and to choose to depart from evil is evidence of understanding, of being wise, Psalms 19:9; Proverbs 1:7. And How may one have, hold, or possess this Divine wisdom? The answer is "let him ask of God," who liberally gives, and will not even chide, James 1:5; John 7:17. Job infers that his friends could have that wisdom and understanding if they would seek it from the Lord, (adonai or master) instead of trying to fix imagined evil on him, that they had caused his afflictions. He understood his afflictions were for the glory of the God of wisdom, not because of personal sins, John 9:2-3; See also Deuteronomy 4:6; Psalms 111:10; Proverbs 9:10; Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Job 28". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/job-28.html. 1985.
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