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Bible Commentaries
Job 28

Hawker's Poor Man's CommentaryPoor Man's Commentary

Verse 1


Job's discourse is still prosecuted through this Chapter. The man of Uz makes many striking observations in the display of the divine glory.

Job 28:1

(1) ¶ Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it.

If I do not greatly mistake, here is much of JESUS in this chapter, and under this idea I would bespeak the Reader's attention with me to be searching for JESUS, as for more than veins of silver or the place of fine gold. And conscious that after all our search, unless that HOLY SPIRIT which guided the eastern sages to JESUS at his birth, go before us, and point, as the star did, to the very spot where JESUS was, we shall make no discovery of him; I would look up at the opening of each chapter, and pray the HOLY SPIRIT, whose gracious office it is to lead to JESUS, that he would direct both the hand that writes, and the eye that reads, and the ear that hears, that we may have the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, who is the sum and substance of all the Bible, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, one with the FATHER, over all GOD, blessed forever. Amen.

Verses 2-11

(2) Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone. (3) He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection: the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death. (4) The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant; even the waters forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they are gone away from men. (5) As for the earth, out of it cometh bread: and under it is turned up as it were fire. (6) The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold. (7) There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye hath not seen: (8) The lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it. (9) He putteth forth his hand upon the rock; he overturneth the mountains by the roots. (10) He cutteth out rivers among the rocks; and his eye seeth every precious thing. (11) He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light.

In those verses the sacred writer points out to what a vast extent in things of nature and of art, the faculties of the human mind are capable of being carried. How beautiful the language is! how strikingly magnificent! The discoveries which men have made in things of the earth; and the vast improvements made by the wisdom of man for the splendor and conveniency of life, are among the most incontestible testimonies, how great are the faculties of the mind of man. In natural things to what an height hath the human intellect soared? And if we pass on from the days of Job to the present age of the world, and take but the most slight and superficial view of things, how noble, how endowed, how intelligent is man: But Reader! do not fail to recollect at the same time, and connect with it into the same point of view, that with all man's boasted wisdom in things of nature and art; yet in respect of divine things, since the fall, the wisest of men, and the most learned, have uniformly been living witnesses to that divine truth, the world by wisdom knew not GOD : 1 Corinthians 1:21 . And it should seem indeed as if GOD had been pleased, in order to draw a line of distinction between natural and revealed knowledge, to furnish certain of his creatures with greater insight, larger abilities, than others; and to have enabled them to investigate to the utmost point of human science; but by withholding, at the same time, from the wise and prudent, and revealing unto babes, things of a divine nature, to show at once the greatness and littleness of mere human knowledge. Job, in these several verses, is engaged to display the extent of natural discoveries, and hereby to lay a stronger foundation for reasoning on the subject of those which are divine.

Verse 12

(12) But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?

This is a sweet verse, and a question involving in it everything important. What wisdom can it be supposed Job means? Not human wisdom, or the discovery of things around. For Job had before laid it down, that the vein of silver was found, and the place of gold. Is it not JESUS that is here folded up in the word Wisdom? The Apostle was commissioned by the HOLY GHOST to tell the church, that CHRIST is the wisdom of GOD, and the power of GOD; for in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge: 1 Corinthians 1:24 ; Colossians 2:3 . Neither is this all: for in that most sublime chapter, in the book of the Proverbs, under the character of Wisdom, there is a character introduced which can be applied to none but the Son of GOD: Proverbs 8:1-36 . to the end. Reader, pray turn to those scriptures, and, after diligent perusal, beg of Him, who alone knoweth the Son, to be your teacher on this precious subject. Matthew 11:27 .

Verses 13-19

(13) Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living. (14) ¶ The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. (15) It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. (16) It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. (17) The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold. (18) No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies. (19) The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold.

Supposing (what the Reader will plainly perceive is the humble, but firm belief of the writer) that JESUS be indeed the wisdom the sacred writer was speaking of before, how sweetly corresponding, to the other parts of the Bible, concerning the invaluable and unpurchaseable blessings of JESUS, and redemption by him, do these comparative statements appear? Gospel mercies are too costly to be sold, or indeed to come within the purchase of all creation. They are bought without money, and without price. Ye are redeemed (saith the HOLY GHOST by Peter) not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of CHRIST, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. What pearl, what topaz, what onyx, or all the golden wedges of Ophir, can bear mentioning, in the contemplation of the blood of JESUS! Oh! thou LAMB of GOD! thou precious gift of thy FATHER, and of thyself, who shall appreciate thy worth, or count thy love, or speak thy value! Reader, Is this JESUS thine? Ask then thine heart, Were he to be sold, what wouldest thou part with for him? Were he to be bought, what shouldest thou think too much for him? And hath GOD thy father given then this JESUS to thee?-to thee?-Given him too in such a way as never, never to be recalled. There is nothing else thy GOD hath given to thee, what the LORD may, whenever he thinks fit, recall again; for it is only in reality lent. Health, strength, faculties, wealth, children; all these are only held during a term. But JESUS, once given, is forever given, and never, never to be taken back. Reader! pause again. Is JESUS thine? Blessed LORD! how lost in wonder, love, and praise!

Verses 20-28

(20) ¶ Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? (21) Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air. (22) Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears. (23) God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof. (24) For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven; (25) To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure. (26) When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: (27) Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out. (28) And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

These are all so many sweet verses to the same effect. It should seem as if the mind of Job himself was so led out in the contemplation, that he knew not how to answer his own question, nor how to give it over unanswered. The manner in which he concludes gives the whole, if possible, more of a gospel form than anything which went before. By comparing scripture with scripture, as we are commanded, 1 Corinthians 2:13 . we can best form our conclusions of the several expressions we meet with. Job saith in this place, That 'the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.' Now as in other scriptures we are told, That the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; and that CHRIST is made of GOD, to us, wisdom; it should seem to follow, that in the knowledge of CHRIST, as the wisdom of GOD, for salvation, consists the whole of what is here expressed in this holy and childlike fear. I refer to those scriptures: 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Corinthians 1:30 ; Psalms 111:10 ; Jeremiah 32:40 . And, as a collateral proof, the prophet Isaiah had it in commission to tell the Church, that the 'people of no understanding' would have no mercy nor favor shown them: Isaiah 27:11 . Isaiah not this want of understanding an ignorance and despising of that wisdom of GOD in salvation by his dear Son?

Verse 28


PRECIOUS LORD JESUS! art thou not the wisdom of GOD, and the power of GOD, for salvation to everyone that believed? And hath not every child of thine, who hath found thee, discovered that wisdom, whose value the topaz of Ethiopia, and all the gold of Peru, could not be compared to? And hast thou really and truly taught thy people this lesson of wisdom, which all the learning of men, or angels, untaught of thee, never could have discovered? Yes, blessed LORD! though these things are hidden from the wise, and prudent, yet are they, by thy blessed SPIRIT, revealed unto babes. Oh! give me to trace the outlines of that wisdom which is manifested in thee; for in thee are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Everything connected with thee in thy redemption work, opens a new source of riches in this treasury. What wisdom was manifested in thee, as setting thee up our glorious Mediator! What wisdom, in the constitution of thy glorious person! What volumes of wisdom in all thy ways, and words, and works; in all thy saving offices, and relations, and characters! What manifold wisdom of GOD was that, blessed JESUS, when thou wast made sin for thy people, when thy holy soul knew no sin, that they might be made the righteousness of GOD in thee! What manifold wisdom is displayed in the glories of thy person, work, and righteousness! What wonders of wisdom, that justice should be satisfied, in the very nature that sinned; and yet that punishment should lay the foundation for everlasting honour and glory. Oh, precious EMMANUEL! be thou to me everything of wisdom and knowledge; for everything out of thee, and without thee, is blindness and ignorance. And though thou art now, as much as ever, to men of carnal reasoning and human pride, as thou wert of old to the Jews, a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness; yet art thou made of GOD, to all thy people, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; that he that glorieth may glory in the LORD.

Bibliographical Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Job 28". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pmc/job-28.html. 1828.
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