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when the secret of God was upon my ta- 15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I bernacle ;
to the lame. 5 When the Almighty was yet with me, 16 I was a father to the poor : and the when my children were about me;
cause which I knew not I searched out. 6 When I washed my steps with butter, 17 And I brake 'the jaws of the wicked, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil; and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
7 When I went out to the gate through the 18 Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and city, when I prepared my seat in the street! I shall multiply my days as the sand.
8 The young men saw me, and hid them- 19 My root was 'spread out by the waters, selves : and the aged arose, and stood up. and the dew lay all night upon my branch.
9 The princes refrained talking, and laid 20 My glory was "fresh in me, and my their hand on their mouth.
bow was renewed in my hand. 10 "The nobles held their peace, and their 21 Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth. kept silence at my counsel.
11 When the ear heard me, then it blessed 22 After my words they spake not again ; me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness and my speech dropped upon them. to me:
23 And they waited for me as for the rain; 12 Because I delivered the poor that cried, and they opened their mouth wide as for the and the fatherless, and him that had none to latter rain. help him.
24 If I laughed on them, they believed it 13 The blessing of him that was ready to not; and the light of my countenance they perish came upon me: and I caused the cast not down. widow's heart to sing for joy.
25 I chose out their way, and sat chief, 14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that me: my judgment was as a robe and a dia- comforteth the mourners. dem.
6 Heb. The voice of the nobles was hid. 5 Heb. the jar-teeth, or, the grinders.
9 Heb. changed.
3 Heb, with me.
6 Heb. cast.
8 Heb, new.
Verse 3. · When his candle shined upon my heud? — The houses in the towns of south-western Asia and of Egypt are never without lights in the night-time, mostly on a kind of bracket, or in a recess high up the wall, and therefore over the head of a person sitting upon the floor or upon a low seat. This custom, which is probably ancient, sufficiently explains the present text. Scott, however, thinks there is probably an allusion to the lamps which hung from the ceiling in the banqueting-rooms of the wealthy Arabs, not unlike what Virgil mentions in the palace of Dido
Dependent lychni laquearibus aureis
Nocturnal beams that imitate the day.' ---DRYDEN. Lanterns are frequently suspended not only from the ceiling of banqueting rooms, but so as to throw their light upon the bed of a person of rank, as shewn in the annexed engraving; and then certainly the lamps shine, in a very literal sense, over the head of the person lying there.
7. 'I went out to the gate .... prepared my seat in the
street !—What follows describes Job as performing the treat him with respect; but now, stranger stiil, even the duties and receiving the honour due to a civil magistrate aged, his seniors, themselves objects of reverence, evince or chief elder, or rather perhaps as emir or sheikh, of the their respect for his rank and character. Lowth well replace where he lived : for it seems as if he was not merely marks here,— This is a most elegant description, and one of the principal persons, but the chief of them. The exhibits most correctly the great reverence and respect picture thus offered to us is very interesting, and in strict which was paid, even by the old and decrepit, to the holy conformity with the existing usages of such a condition of man in passing along the streets, or when he sat in public. Oriental society as that which the book describes. For They not only rose, which in men so old and infirm was a the discharge of his public functions, he is described as great mark of distinction, but they stood ; they continued proceeding to the gate of the city, the usual seat of judi- to do it, though the attempt was so difficult.' cature and public business, and at or near it “preparing (or 9. • Laid their hand on their mouth.'— This is evidently taking) his seat.' Seats thus in the open air are usually mentioned as an act of high respect, and as expressing or prepared by a servant placing a mat or carpet upon the enjoining silent attention. As such it is in some sort used ground, in some shady spot, as under a tree or a wall; or among ourselves, and has been almost every where emelse, at the spot where he usually resorts on such occasions, ployed. But the employment of this action is very marked a bench of masonry is prepared, on which the person sits in the East; and chiefly to denote attention and unanswerafter the mat or carpet has been laid upon it. Whether ing deference. Mr. Roberts tells us that in India a person Job sat in either of these fashions cannot be known ; but listens to the address of a judge with his hand upon his both are so simple and peculiarly Oriental as to suggest mouth. In some Persian sculptures, the persons attending the probability.
on the king have their hands held up in a manner which 8. • The young men saw me, and hid themselves.'—This significantly enjoins or expresses silent attention: and in respect was paid by young men, and was therefore a respect one of the sculptures which we have introduced under paid not merely to his station but to his age. This kind of Ezra i., the person before the king evidently has his respect is still very strikingly manifest in the East. What hand held to his mouth. This, as explained by ancient Savary says of Egypt applies elsewhere: •The children writers, was done even while the person was speaking, in are educated in the women's apartment, and do not come order to prevent his breath from exhaling towards the into the hall (the divan or public room), especially when august personage before whom he stood. The usages of strangers are present. Young people are silent when in the East abound in such conventional decorums; some of this hall; if men grown they are allowed to join in con- them being very significant and others simply humiliating. versation; but when the sheikh begins to speak they cease, 24. •If I laughed on them, they believed it not.' - That and attentively listen. If he enters an assembly, all rise ; is to say, the reverence in which he was held was so great, they give him way in public, and everywhere shew him that, if he laid aside his gravity and was familiar with them, esteem and respect.' - Letters on Egypt, i. 142.
they could scarcely believe they were so highly honoured, _ ' The aged arose, and stood.:- We have seen the young and received even his smiles with awe.
afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle
before me. 1 Job's honour is turned into extreme contempt. 15 His prosperity into calamity.
12 Upon my right hand rise the youth ;
they push away my feet, and they raise up But now they that are 'younger than I have against me the ways of their destruction. me in derision, whose fathers I would have
13 They mar my path, they set forward disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock. my calamity, they have no helper.
2 Yea, whereto might the strength of their 14 They came upon me as a wide breaking hands profit me, in whom old age was perished ? in of waters: in the desolation they rolled
3 For want and famine they were "solitary; themselves upon me. fleeing into the wilderness in former time de- 15 Terrors are turned upon me: they pursolate and waste.
sue ®my soul as the wind : and my welfare 4 Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and passeth away as a cloud. juniper roots for their meat.
16 And now my soul is poured out upon 5 They were driven forth from among men, me; the days of affliction have taken hold (they cried after them as after a thief;)
upon me. 6° To dwell in the cliffs of the valleys, in 17 My bones are pierced in me in the night *caves of the earth, and in the rocks.
season: and my sinews take no rest. 7 Among the bushes they brayed ; under 18 By the great force of my disease is my the nettles they were gathered together. garment changed: it bindeth me about as the
8 They were children of fools, yea, children collar of my coat. of 'base men : they were viler than the earth. 19 He hath cast me into the mire, and I
9 °And now am I their song, yea, I am am become like dust and ashes. their byword.
20 I cry unto thee, and thou dost not 10 'They abhor me, they flee far from me, hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me "and spare not to spit in my face.
mot. 11 Because he hath loosed my cord, and 21 Thou art 'become cruel to me: with 1 Heb. of fever days than I. 2 Or, dark as the night. 3 Heb. yesternight.
3 Hleb, men of no name. 7 Heb. and withhold not spittle from my face.
8 Heb, my principal one. 9 Heb. turned to be cruel.
4 leb. holes.
6 Psal. 35. 15, and 69. 12.
lothy strong hand thou opposest thyself against unto me: and when I waited for light, there
came darkness. 22 Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou 27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my days of affliction prevented me. "substance.
28 I went mourning without the sun: I 23 For I know that thou wilt bring me to stood up, and I cried in the congregation. death, and to the house appointed for all 29 I am a brother to dragons, and a living
companion to owls. 24 Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand 30 My skin is black upon me, and my to the 'grave, though they cry in his de- bones are burned with heat. struction.
31 My harp also is turned to mourning, 25 "Did not I weep for him that was in and my organ into the voice of them that trouble ? was not my soul grieved for the poor? weep. 26 When I looked for good, then evil came 10 leb. the strength of thy hand.
11 Or, wisdom.
12 Ileb, heap. 11 Ileb. for him that was hard of day.
15 Psal. 102.6.
13 Psal. 35. 13. Rom. 12. 15. 19 Or, ostriches.
Verse 1. • Younger than 1?—The veneration paid to the understood, describes the tops of the shoots as being the aged by the young in the East greatly quickens the sensi- part used, the persons being indicated as those who crop bility of the Orientals with respect to contempt and indig- the salt shrub on the stem.' The Atriplex halimus grows nities offered by the young. See the note on xxix. 8. from four to six feet high, with many thick, woody, brittle 4. • Mallorcs. -— The original word nun malluakh, is
branches; the leaves, which are scattered on long stalks, found only here, and we have therefore not the advantage
are thick, succulent, thriving, and of a sourish taste. It which usually results from the comparison of texts. The
has small purple flowers, which grow at the ends of the
branches. particular plant is uncertain; but as the word, both in İlebrew, Chaldee, and Syriac, denotes a saline or brackish
10. ‘And spare not to spit in my face. - The Rev. Vere
Monro, when insulted by the people at Hebron, on account tasted plant, we may infer that it was a species of salsola
of his Frank dress, found that spitting was among their or saltwort. The Septuagint sanctions this conjecture by
modes of insult, although none of them came near enough translating the word by örtua, the plural of the word är pov, by which Theophrastus indicates a plant of this
to reach him. “This mode of maligning,' he remarks, is kind. The salsola, saltwort, or kali, is an extensive genus
still common in the East, as it was eighteen (thirty) centu
ries ago; and I once witnessed it curiously applied. When of plants, comprising not fewer than twenty-two or twenty, three different species, of which some are herbaceous and
travelling in the Faioum, one of the dromedaries did some
thing which displeased the Bedouin who had the care of others shrubby. Several of them are common to Asia, and
him, and instead of beating the offender he spat in his not a few indigenous to a dry sandy soil. They have all
face.' a saline and bitter taste. Bochart (Hieros. I. ii. 16) has
11. . He hath loosed my cord.'— This seems a proverbial brought no small amount of his prodigious erudition to
expression taken from desert life, and refers to the overbear on this subject. He shews that the Talmud describes the Jews as in the habit of eating the plant called malluach
whelming downfal which ensues when the cords of a tent or malluch in times of need; he cites Îbn Beitar as shewing My tabernacle (tent) is spoiled, and all my cords are
are cut or broken. This sense is supported by Jer. X. 20, that the plant known by the same name among the Syrians
broken.' was a shrub not unlike the bramble, and with which fences
22. • Thou liftest me up to the wind.'--Here Job repreare made ; but it has no thorns. Its leaf is like that of the
sents his miseries under the image of a person caught up olive, but wider. It grows near the seashore and in hedges.
into the air by a tempest, and driven about like stubble, Its tops are eaten when fresh.' This, he shews, applies
or like a cloud by the wind. equally to the aripov of the Greek writers, which, according to Athenæus, was plucked and eaten by the poorer
29. 'Dragons.”—The word here is O'ın tannim, and is Pythagoreans, who abstained from animal food. These variously rendered, whales, dragons, sea-monsters, crocoreferences are supposed to meet in the Atriplex halimus diles, serpents, jackals, wolves, etc. The first three signiof botanists, or tall, shrubby Arache, commonly called fications are those usually given to it in our version. After Spanish sea-purslain, having been introduced into this this we need not add that it is altogether uncertain what country from Spain, and, according to Parkinson, was cul. animal is denoted; and perhaps, from the indefinite and tivated here as a shrub in 1640, and by come was formed uncertain ideas we attach to the word 'dragon,' it becomes into hedges, and constantly sheared. The principal objec- the best that could be chosen to represent the Hebrew tion was, that the young shoots grew so prodigiously fast tannim, which, after all, may be imagined not to denote that it was difficult to keep them in order. Now, these fast- any particular animal, but to be a general word for any growing young shoots were the very parts which, accord- strange or prodigious creature, answering perhaps to our ing to the preceding intimations, were in Syria, Arabia, word monster.' and Greece used for food. The present text also, rightly
2 For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?
3 Is not destruction to the wicked ? and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity ?
I MADE a covenant with mine eyes ; why then should I think upon a maid ?
4 'Doth not he see my ways, and count all 23 For destruction from God was a terror my steps?
to me, and by reason of his highness I could 5 If I have walked with vanity, or if my not endure. foot hath hasted to deceit;
24 If I have made gold my hope, or have 6 'Let me be weighed in an even balance, said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence ; that God may know mine integrity.
25 If I rejoiced because my wealth was 7 If my step hath turned out of the way, great, and because mine hand had @gotten and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and much; if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;
26 If I beheld 'the sun when it shined, or 8 Then let me sow, and let another eat; the moon walking ®in brightness ; yea, let my offspring be rooted out.
27 And my heart hath been secretly en9 If mine heart have been deceived by a ticed, or 'my mouth hath kissed my hand : woman, or if I have laid wait at my neigh- 28 This also were an iniquity to be punished bour's door;
by the judge: for I should have denied the 10 Then let my wife grind unto another, God that is above. and let others bow down upon
29 If I rejoiced at the destruction of him 11 For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil an iniquity to be punished by the judges. found him :
12 For it is a fire that consumeth to de- 30 Neither have I suffered "my mouth to struction, and would root out all mine in- sin by wishing a curse to his soul. crease.
31 If the men of my tabernacle said not, 13 If I did despise the cause of my man- Oh that we had of his flesh! we cannot be saservant or of my maidservant, when they con- tisfied. tended with me;
32 The stranger did not lodge in the street: 14 What then shall I do when God riseth but I opened my doors "to the traveller. up ? and when he visiteth, what shall I answer 33 If I covered my transgressions "as him?
Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom: 15 Did not he that made me in the womb 34 Did I fear a great multitude, or did the make him ? and "did not one fashion us in the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept womb?
silence, and went not out of the door? 16 If I have withheld the poor from their 35 Oh that one would hear me! behold, desire, or have caused the eyes df the widow my desire is, that the Almighty would -answer to fail ;
me, and that mine adversary had written a 17 Or have eaten my morsel myself alone, book. and the fatherless hath not eaten thereof; 36 Surely I would take it upon my
18 (For from my youth he was brought up der, and bind it as a crown to me. with me, as with a father, and I have guided 37 I would declare unto him the number *her from my mother's womb ;)
of my steps; as a prince would I go near unto 19 If I have seen any perish for want of him. clothing, or any poor without covering ; 38 If my land cry against me, or that the
20 If his loins have not blessed me, and if furrows likewise thereof complain; he were not warmed with the fleece of my 39 If I have eaten 15the fruits thereof withsheep;
out money, or have caused the owners 21 If I have lifted up my hand against the thereof to lose their life: fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate : 40 Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and 22 Then let mine arm fall from
shoul- "cockle instead of barley. The words of Job der blade, and mine arm be broken from the are ended. bone. 1 2 Chron. 16. 9. Chap. 34.21. Prov. 5. 21, and 15.3.
2 Heb. let him weigh me in balances of justice. 3 Or, did he not fashion us in one womb?
6 Heb. found much. 7 Heb. the light. 8 Heb. bright. 9 Heb. my hand hath kissed my mouth.
10 Heb. my palate. 12 Or, after the manner of men.
18 Or, behold my sign is that the Almighty will anster me. 14 Heb. weep. 15 Ileb. the strength thereof. 16 Heb. caused the soul of the owners thereof to expire, or, breathe out.
17 Or, noisome weeds.
• That is, the widow.
5 Or, the channel-bone.
-il Or, to the way.
Verse 1. 'I made a covenant with mine eyes ; why then should I think upon a maid ??-Throughout Western Asia, when ladies appear in public they always envelop themselves so closely in their ample coverings (more or less
stranger, they always drop their veils, as Rebecca did on as briefly as we can, what appear to have been its leading the approach of Isaac. But although they are so closely principles. It does not seem that, when men first became wrapped up that those who look at them cannot even see idolaters, they had “forgotten' the existence of God; but their hands, still less their face, yet it is reckoned indecent had become unmindful of his character and attributes. in a man to fix his eyes upon them; he must let them pass They were aware of his existence: but they saw him not, without seeming at all to observe them. In allusion to and began to suspect that he was too high and too distant this rigorous custom, Job says, “I made a covenant with to concern himself in their affairs, or in the management of mine eyes; why then should I look upon a maid ? "When the world in which they lived. They imagined that he a lady of distinction,' says Hanway, 'travels on horseback, must have left these small matters to beings inferior, she is not only veiled, but has generally a servant, who greatly, to himself, but incomparably higher than man in runs or rides before her to clear the way; and on such their nature and condition of existence. They sought for occasions the men, even in the market-places, always turn these ; and naturally looked for them in the most glorious their backs till the women are passed, it being thought the objects of the universe the sun when it shined, and the highest ill manners to look at them.'
moon walking in brightness’; to which, in process of time, 17. Or have eaten my morsel myself alone.'-—In the state the planetary bodies were added. Witnessing their glory, of Oriental society represented in this book no person of the regularity of their motions, and sensible of their
beneconsideration thinks of eating his meal alone. Besides ficent influence, they believed them to be animated by, or those who usually dine with him, any one who happens to at least to be the residence of, exalted intelligences, to be present, any stranger that calls, sits down and partakes whom the most High God had intrusted the charge of the as a matter of course, with very slight invitation or without world and its inhabitants. To these therefore, as the any; and a person who should attempt to put any check regent-governors, who took an immediate interest in their upon this custom would be universally despised as a selfish concerns, they turned in prayer: and, no longer practically churl. Any one who has satisfied his appetite withdraws acknowledging the God that is above, the knowledge from the table, and his place is taken by a later comer so even of his existence faded from the popular mind. And long as there is anything left. Shaw relates, “No sooner if some thoughtful men knew from tradition, or inferred was our food prepared, whether it was potted flesh, boiled by reasoning, that there was one Great God, they knew it with rice, or lentil-soup, the red pottage, Gen. xxv. 30, or obscurely and erroneously—they ceased not to be idolaunleavened cakes, served up with oil or honey, than one ters—and they retained the original error, believing him of the Arabs, after having placed himself on the highest too high to be honoured by adoration or to be moved by spot of ground in the neighbourhood, called out thrice with prayer. And even that which they knew or suspected a loud voice to all their brethren, the sons of the faithful, the bare fact of his existence—they disguised under the to come and partake of it, though none of them were in mythus and the fable, hard to be understood; or taught it view or perhaps within a hundred miles of them.
only as a deep mystery, which only an elected and banded 26.`if I beheld the sun when it shined,' etc.—Here we few might learn. have a distinct and beautiful reference to the earliest form At first the sun and moon were worshipped in the open of idolatry that was known in the world; and, from all air, and their altars blazed upon the monntains. But in that appears, the only form of idolatry that existed in the
time, symbolical representations and statues were introtime of Job. It is not to be overlooked that the patriarch duced, as supplying their place when absent, temples were refers, not only to the existence of this corruption, but to erected, gods were multiplied, and the actual worship of the seducing character of those impressions in which, par- the heavenly bodies more or less ceased for still lower tially, it originated, and through which votaries were ob- depths of idolatry. But this not everywhere; for the obtained,– If I had beheld the sun when it shined, or the servations we have made are general, not universal. The moon walking in brightness, and my heart had been secretly Persians, for instance, worshipped the sun, and also the enticed, etc., thus distinctly alluding to the force of the elemental fire ; yet they ever abhorred images as much as temptation to render to these visible glories some act of the Jews could do; and when at last they had temples, it worship, due only to Him who created them to fill an ap- was merely to preserve the sacred fire from extinction. pointed place and perform an appointed office in the Moreover, with this great simplicity of external worship, universe. It is from the great glory which God has given the Persians seem to have departed considerably less than to these objects, and the enticing influence of those pro- other ancient nations from the original truths which had found impressions made by their grandeur and beauty, no been known concerning God, and to have possessed clearer less than from the presiding part which they seem to bear and less dishonouring ideas concerning his being and attri. in that physical system to which man belongs, that we are butes. It is indeed alleged that they did not worship the enabled to understand how it was that men first of all turned themselves to worship the sun, the moon, and the host of heaven, when they had begun to forget God,' and by forgetting Ilim had rendered their own minds vacant and weak. There is no idolatry so intelligible as this; and none that has been so universal : for it may be said that there is no nation, of the old world or the new, which has not at some time or other paid to the sun and moon religious homage.
Much has learnedly been written on the questions when and where this earliest idolatry originated. As to the former question, it is usually conceived that it commenced in Chaldæa; because the Chaldæans were always much addicted to astronomy, and were the first by whom astronomical observations were made. This is probable ; though not exactly on this ground alone : for it does not appear very evident that astronomy was required to enable men to admire the seducing glory of the sun and beauty of the moon. And as to the time of its origin, we are content to find that it existed in the time of Job, as an
FIRE WORSHIPPER. absolute idolatry, tantamount to a denial of the God that is above.'
sun or the fire absolutely, but only worshipped God (so As all the idolatries of the ancient world, so often men- far as they knew him) before these—the most_glorious tioned in Scripture, sprung from this, and were modifica- visible symbols of his energies and perfections. This may tions and applications of it, we will endeavour to explain, have been the regular doctrine: but a practice has more