Bible Commentary: Job 11 - Psalm 9

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Bible Commentary: Job 11 - Psalm 9

#1 Post by bejay » Sat Aug 27, 2005 6:13 pm

Bible Commentary for Job 11 thru Psalm 9

Job Chapter 11

Zophar the Naamathite now speaks to Job. He accuses him of uttering a multitude of words that needed to be answered, of even mocking God and of being clean and pure in God’s sight, something that Job never claimed. Zophar said that he wished that God would speak to Job, to explain to him what true wisdom really is as it cannot be easily deciphered. Job was really getting off easy, as God was not punishing him according to his sin. God had even forgotten many of Job’s sins. One would think that Zophar knew what sins Job had committed.

Zophar then expands on the infinite knowledge of the Creator; He is not be fooled by deceitful persons and He keeps a record of their sins. It would be as impossible for an empty headed person to gain wisdom as it would be for a donkey to give birth to a human. Therefore if Job were to repent and put sin away from him and not allow it to dwell in his tent, all shame would be removed from him and he would be able to lift up his head again and would feel secure. He would forget his misery and would have joy, hope, rest and freedom from fear. If he did not repent, all hope would be lost for him.

Job Chapter 12

Job begins his answer to Zophar by saying sarcastically that his friends were the possessors of wisdom and when they died, wisdom would die along with them. He has understanding just as they do and is well aware of all that they have said to him. God had once answered his prayer because he was a just and blameless man but now he had become a laughingstock to everyone while even sinners are undisturbed and secure. Since his friends were not suffering it was easy for them to be contemptuous of him. Even the animals know that God controls everything; that the life of every living thing is in His hands. As he listens to them, can he not recognize that their arguments are faulty and that they are not expressing the wisdom that is supposedly associated with the aged?

God is the possessor of wisdom, counsel, power and understanding. He is able to tear down what cannot be rebuilt; bring droughts or floods; He humbles judges, kings, priests, elders and nobles by taking away their ability to reason and to judge with discernment. Job realized that he was as much in the dark as his friends were when it came to figuring out God’s actions but he was not ignorant of them as his friends made him out to be.

Job Chapter 13

Job tells his friends that they are not superior to him in understanding. His main interest lies not in debating with them but in speaking to the Almighty and arguing his case before Him. His friends were falsely accusing him and it would be wisdom on their parts to be silent and listen to him as he reasons and pleads his case before God. Were they in a position to speak in defense of God or to plead God’s case for Him? In their anxiety to defend God, they became partial to him and were defending him by dishonorable means. Certainly if God were to scrutinize them, they would certainly be reproved by Him and would suffer terrors at His hand because they could not deceive him as they did other people. They were really too incompetent to be counselors because their words were ‘proverbs of ashes’ that is they had no meaning and their arguments were mere clay that could easily be toppled.

Job was sure that he was taking his life in his own hands but he was determined to speak out before God and defend his actions. He was prepared to face God because he was sure that he would be vindicated and he knew that a godless person could not approach God. He would only ask two things, 1) that God would not intimidate him in court and 2) that either God would speak and Job would reply or he would speak and God would reply. Job then asks God to list all of his sins and then help him to see all of his transgressions, but God does not reply to Job’s question. Job then asks God why would he torment someone who was frail and helpless. Was he being charged with the sins of his youth and punished for them now? Why was God treating him like a prisoner with his feet in the stocks? He was wasting away like something rotten or as a moth-eaten garment. Job seems to have lost the self-confidence that he began this monologue with.

Job Chapter 14

Job again begins to bewail the plight of mortals whose days are of short duration but are full of trouble and then, like a shadow, flees, or like a flower, withers. Is this someone worthy of God taking note of? Is this someone worthy of God’s scrutiny, this unclean, impure mortal? He should look away from them; take no note of them so that they can enjoy the few days that they are given. A tree has more hope of being revived after being cut down than does a man after he dies. He is more like a river that dries up and wastes away. Maybe God could hide him in Sheol until His wrath had passed and then he could bring Job back to life. Job asks, “if mortals die, will they live again?” He was willing to wait for whatever length of time God chose, though he hoped it would be limited, to be released from his hard service to death if God would eventually call and he would answer. Then he would no longer be under God’s watchful eye as his transgressions would have been ‘sealed in a bag’ or be hidden. It would appear that Job understood the effect that death had on sin. Paul wrote at Romans 6:7, "because anyone who has died has been freed from sin." (NIV) Job hoped that he was worthy of being remembered by Jehovah and of being given a resurrection to life again.

Job laments that as running water wears away rocks and mountains crumble so God had eroded away his hopes and aspirations. He has now become a self-centered individual who would not even notice if his own children were honored or brought low. His concern was only for himself and what he was suffering.

Job Chapter 15

Eliphaz again answers Job. He considered Job’s words to be both irreverent and valueless and he needs to be silenced. They are like the east wind that blows only hot air. So he must speak bluntly to Job because his ungodly talk could lead someone astray. He was condemning himself by his own words, showing that sin crouched in his heart. If Job had existed before any of God’s creations, or if he were the only wise human on earth, then it would be understandable for him to speak as he had, but since that is not true then he is being arrogant. Wisdom does belong to the gray-haired and the aged, of which he was. Were not the words that he spoke to Job earlier, those gentle words or words of consolation enough to convince him of the wisdom in them? Job was allowing his heart to fool him when he allowed such words to leave his mouth. He was, in fact, turning away from God, not to Him. Of what can a mortal, born of a woman, make claim to, when he is so unclean and unrighteous? Even God’s angels and the heavens themselves are not considered clean in God’s sight. So how could someone who is as corrupt and vile as Job think that he can have a standing with God.

The NIV Bible Commentary, Volume I, page 759, makes this comment concerning Eliphaz: “In his query “What is man, that he could be pure?” (vv. 14-16), Eliphaz’s view of humanity comes through clearly. There is nothing in his words that would lead one to the conclusion that God has any love for sinful human beings. Indeed, the deity Eliphaz worshiped was mechanical; he behaved like the laws of nature, so that sinners could expect no mercy. The sinner always gets paid in full - trouble and darkness, terror and distress, the flame and the sword. God will see to it.”

He now tells Job of the wisdom that he has gained through listening to the wise men before him who lived during a time when no foreign ideas were heard. The wicked never have a day or a minute of peace and even if they may have a moment of respite, they know that trouble is lurking just around the corner. They hear terrifying sounds and they are constantly beset upon by those who take from them, their lives are full of violence and they wander around looking for food, while trying to escape their pursuers. The wicked suffer in this way because they have set themselves against the Almighty, stubbornly resisting Him in every way. In other words, Job's troubles are all his doing, he cannot claim that God is destroying him.

He further states that the wicked, though he becomes fat, will eventually lose all that he has. He will be forced to live in desolated ruins, his wealth will not endure, his crops will be beset by fire, he will have no posterity to carry on after him and he can expect that he will not live a full lifetime. The wicked are like vines that lose their grapes before they ripen or like olive trees that sheds its blossoms before they can produce fruit. The wicked have nothing of value to offer because “they conceive mischief and bring forth evil and their hearts prepares deceit.” (Verse 35)

The NIV Bible Commentary continues its comments on Eliphaz’s statements as follows: “In describing such a fate, Eliphaz made sure that all the things that had happened to Job were included – fire consumes (vv.30, 34; cf. 1:16), marauders attack (v. 21; cf. 1:17); possessions are taken away (v. 29; cf. 1:17); and houses crumble (v. 28; cf. 1:19). Although the modern reader often misses the point that these barbs are all directed at Job, we can be sure that Job himself felt their sting.”

Job Chapter 16

Job views the advice of his friends as nothing more than words full of wind but offering no comfort. Job tells them that if they were in his position and he in theirs he could talk as they did but he would not. He would be a lot more encouraging and helpful to them, using words that would bring relief to their suffering. But now, no matter whether he speaks or not, nothing allays his pain. God has weakened him; He has taken away his offspring and his servants and caused him to become physically emaciated, gauntness and leanness are his witnesses. God has, like a wild beast, torn him in anger, gnashed His teeth against him, glared at him and showed hatred for him. Even the people made fun of him, striking him on the cheek. God had given him into the hands of wicked men.

Job saw himself as one who was at ease and then God had taken him by the scruff of his neck and dashed him to pieces. He had made him the target of His attack, sending His archers to pierce him without mercy causing his internal organs to spew out their juices. Because of God’s attacks on him, Job has to wear sackcloth on his body and he sits in the dust, his face red from crying and his eyelids swollen and dark. Yet he had done no violence and his prayer was offered out of pure motives.

Job is certain that he will die before he is vindicated and he does not want this injustice to be forgotten. That is why he said that “the earth should not cover over his blood nor his cry laid to rest.” There is a witness in heaven, an advocate or intercessor, someone who knows of his innocence and will speak to God on his behalf, as his earthly friends had not done. He hoped that God at some point would uphold the rights that mortals have with Him, as mortals do for each other, because Job believed that he did not have much time left to live.

A comment from the book “Job: Defense of Honor,” by John N. Carstensen, published in 1963 by Abington Press, says of Job’s statement in verse 19: “The divine witness is either God himself or some other supernatural being separate from God. Since Job has insisted all the way through the dialogue that God is not on his side, and since in the earlier part of the same chapter he has spoken bitterly of himself as the victim of God (16:6-17), it seems incredible that he should suddenly– and momentarily– reverse his whole point. It seems much easier to suppose that Job believed that an intercessory angel or divine being of some sort was taking his side.

“Certainly no evidence can be adduced to prove the existence of such a powerful ally. Job reaches his position on the basis of what, according to moral law, must be. There has to be a rescue for the righteous. Somewhere and in some way, somebody cares. The purpose of this hidden friend is to guarantee the social and spiritual rights of men”

Job chapter 17

Job believes that he is near death and all he sees are his friends who he refers to as ‘mockers with their hostility.’ He asks God to ‘lay down a pledge for me with yourself; who is there that will give surety for me?’ (Verse 3) According to The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the Old Testament, page 739, Job was asking God “to provide a pledge for him in court, a bond given to the defendant as a guarantee that no advantage would be taken against him. To put up security is literally, “to strike hands,” a practice by which an agreement was ratified (cf. Prov. 6:1; 11:15; 17:18; 22:26). This arrangement with God was necessary since Job’s cohorts were mindless of his innocence and even denounced him, hoping to gain some reward for supposedly defending God.”

Job was made to suffer humiliation from his neighbors; his vision was impaired by the intensity of his grief and he was but a shadow of his former self. Even a righteous man could sympathize with him and not commit a sin. But his friends could not understand this. For them suffering and pain meant that a sin had been committed and the person was being punished so his only hope was to repent. Job did not think his friends were very sensible persons.

According to the advice of his friends, light was near to the darkness, that is, if he repented, there would be a restoration for him. Job thought that this advice was as unrealistic as thinking that if one went to the grave and adopted it as his home where his nearest and dearest relatives were, then it would become so. But Job knew that the only thing that he would find in the grave was darkness and not hope.

Job Chapter 18

Bildad wonders how much longer would Job continue to try to find something to say. Why does Job belittle them and why is he so self-centered? Does he believe that God would change the order of things just because he is angry? Bildad now reiterates the misfortunes that the wicked experience in this life. He disagreed with Job that the righteous suffer and the wicked prosper, so again he was going to help Job get the correct viewpoint that the wicked do not prosper but are punished on a daily basis. The wicked loose their prosperity, their dangerous schemes backfire on them, they are constantly in danger of loosing their footing because of their own misdeeds, they are never safe from terrors brought on by a bad conscience, calamity and disaster awaits them at every turn. They are plagued with the worst diseases that lead to a horrible death. They have no progeny to carry on their name and people everywhere are appalled at how the wicked end up. This is what will happen to any and all who do not know God.

The NIV Bible Commentary, page 761 has this to say about Bildad: “Bildad could not begin to appreciate Job’s predicament. And because Bildad had reduced God and his actions to an impersonal formula, he was incapable of showing any mercy toward Job.”

Job Chapter 19

Job wants to know how much longer his friends will continue to torment him with their words. They have reproached him at least ten times and they continue to wrong him. If he has sinned, it is his problem not theirs. If they continue to try to use his humiliation against him then they should keep in mind that it was not his sin but was God who had trapped him by closing His net around him causing justice to be perverted. God had refused to answer Job when he had cried out against the wrong done to him, therefore, he gets no justice.

God had blocked and darkened the path for Job; He had removed him from his place of honor among his friends. He had uprooted his hope as one would a tree. He viewed Job as His enemy and sent troops against him with siegeworks as one would against a fortified city but only to find that he is just a tent.

God has caused him to be ostracized by his family and friends. His relatives and close friends care nothing about him and the guests who come to his home discount him. Even his servants paid him little heed. His wife refuses to come near him and young children are disrespectful to him. He appeals to his friends to have pity on him because his condition is a direct result of God’s hand on him. Why do they have to continue to pursue him and devour his flesh?

Job wishes that a permanent record could be made of his words protesting his innocence that would be made available for all generations to read. He knows that there is one coming who will speak on his behalf. The footnote for verse 25 in the New American Standard Bible says in part: The Hebrew word go’el (1350) should more appropriately be translated “Vindicator,” i.e., one who delivers from affliction and wrong which is not due to sin.” The NIV Bible Commentary, page 763 says of the word ‘goel’: “The meaning of the word goel (“Redeemer”; GK1457) is fundamental to understanding this passage. The word had both a criminal and a civil aspect. As “blood avenger,” a goel had a responsibility to avenge the blood of a slain kinsman (Nu 35:12-28). Such a person was not seeking revenge but justice. On the civil side he was a redeemer or vindicator (cf. “kinsman-redeemer in Ru 3-4). Here such a person had the responsibility to “buy back” and so redeem the lost inheritance of a deceased relative. This might come by purchasing from slavery or marrying his relative’s widow in order to provide an heir. As such he was the defender or champion of the oppressed. A goel also delivers individuals from death, as is testified of the Lord in Ps 103:4.”

Verses 26 and 27 are difficult to explain as The New Oxford Annotated Bible says in the footnote for verses 25-27: “There is no certain translation of these difficult, probably textually corrupt, verses.”

Job ends his dialogue by saying that his friends should be aware that if they continue to try to persuade him that it is his sin that has cause his problem and they are proved wrong, then God will strike them down.

Job Chapter 20

Zophar is agitated because he is offended by Job’s words. He tells Job that the exulting of the wicked does not last long. From the very beginning of time Job should know that even though the wicked may experience heaven-high joy, they are soon brought down only to die and be forgotten. His children will be beholding to the poor and they will return to them what their fathers took unjustly. The deeds of the wicked are tasty to them and they savor them under their tongues but they soon turn to poisonous snake venom within them. They swallow their wealth but soon vomit them up. Riches gained by ungodly means are not easily held on to. Ill-gotten gain, like the venom of snakes, will kill them. They will not enjoy the profits made from their trading or from the houses they seized from the poor.

Their greed did not allow them any peace but even after gaining riches, they will still suffer misery. Before they can enjoy their prosperity, God will send his fierce anger against them. If they escape death by one method another will be successful against them. Fire will devour all of his wealth. Even the heavens and earth will be witnesses against them. All of their wealth will be taken away, even their houses will be carried off by a flood. This is the fate that God has allotted for the wicked.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the Old Testament, page 743 says of Zophar, “In his philosophical shortsightedness, he made no allowance for a person being afflicted for any reason other then retribution for sin. In his stubborn invective, he flared at Job with venomous words, like the poisonous snake he spoke about.”

Job Chapter 21

Job now proceeds to contradict the words of his friends. He tells them that his complaint is not addressed to them so why should he not be impatient. The wicked do live to reach a ripe old age, they do become powerful and their offspring do become well established while they live. Their houses continue to stand and are not torn down as suggested. Their bulls breed successfully and their cows do not miscarry. They enjoy the best in entertainment; they enjoy their prosperity and they die in peace. Yet they tell God to leave them alone because He is not someone they need concern themselves about. They are able to gain prosperity without His help, or at least, that is what they believe. Job was repulsed by their conduct.

Job asks how often are the wicked made targets of God or suffer pain more than the righteous do. Job’s friends had said that the children of the wicked have to pay for the sins of their fathers, but Job did not believe this to be so. The wicked should suffer for their own sins because when they die, they do not care what happens to those they left behind. God is the judge of all. Some die in a prosperous condition having had his fullness of the best foods and being at ease and secure. Others die in bitterness of soul, having had little to sustain them. But the end is the same for each one, both lie in the dust and the worms cover them.

Job anticipated that their response to him would be to ask him to show them where these wicked, wealthy persons that he had described lived. They had not really analyzed the total experience of humans throughout the world. Had they ever taken the time to question the many travelers who had seen much in their travels? They would be able to give them much information but would they accept their testimony about the success of the wicked? In most cases, there was no one who dared confront a wicked person and accuse him to his face of his wickedness; and then act to punish him for his wicked deeds. No, he dies and is carried to his grave by those who loved him and they will even watch over his gravesite. So the words with which his friends are attempting to comfort him are really empty nothings, it’s all falsehood.

Job Chapter 22

Eliphaz tells Job that no matter how blameless or righteous he is, it makes no difference to God. Even the wisest of humans cannot be of service to God; He derives no pleasure from humans whether righteous or wicked. God would not punish him because he was righteous as that would be injustice on His part and Eliphaz simply cannot believe that God could pervert justice. Job is suffering because he has failed God in that he had sinned against humans. He has taken security from his neighbors for no reason, leaving them naked, he has failed to feed or give water to the hungry and weary when he could afford to do so, and he had sent widows away empty-handed and had not helped orphans. Job’s present sufferings are a direct result of his sinful actions.

Since God is so far above mankind, how can Job question God’s knowledge and His ability to do what was right and just. This was not a true assessment of Job’s words. He continues, will Job continue to follow in the ways of the wicked who are taken away before they can enjoy what God has given them? When sinners come to ruin, the righteous rejoice that justice has been carried out.

Eliphaz tells Job what he must do to change his circumstances. He needs to stop questioning and arguing with God and submit to Him and be at peace with Him. He must accept His teaching and store them in his heart. He must return to God, remove unrighteousness from himself and stop trusting in his own wealth and should let God be his gold. This was hardly a valid suggestion at this time as Job had no wealth. He continues that if Job then prays to God he would be heard. Any decision Job made would be upheld because God exalts the humble but abases the haughty. He would also be able to intercede for others.

Job Chapter 23

Job believes that God’s hand of affliction is still heavy upon him. If only he knew where to find God so he could present his case before Him using persuasive arguments and then he would then listen to God’s reply. When the facts are presented to God, he would no longer oppose Job but would pay attention to him and would acquit him of any wrongdoing. Job has looked in every direction but is unable to find God but God is aware of Job’s activity and he will uphold him when the court case is over. He can say with confidence that he has followed in God’s way steadfastly and has not turned aside or strayed from God’s commands nor sinned with his lips. But God does what He wants to do and He will carry out His own desires. Job stood in awe of God because of his great power and authority. But he would continue to speak out in spite of the fact that he did not understand why God had treated him in this way.

Job Chapter 24

Job now expresses concern that God does not set specific times in which to judge the wicked. To Job He seems to be indifferent towards wrongdoing. He enumerates some of the wicked deeds that go unpunished. The wicked move boundary stones in order to take land that is not theirs; 2) they steal the cattle belonging others and pasture them as though they belonged to them; 3) they take the little that belongs to the orphans and the widows; 4) they cause the poor to have to live like wild animals scavenging for food in the wastelands; 5) the poor have to glean in the vineyards and reap in the fields of the wicked; 6) they are usually without clothing to keep them warm in the cold or shelter to shield them from the rain; 7) the wicked will take an infant as a pledge for a debt; 8) the poor are forced to carry sheaves of grain when they are hungry and to tread olives and grapes while they are thirsty. Others are dying and wounded and cry for help yet God charges no one with wrongdoing.

There are those who are determined that their sins should not become known. The murderer rises at dusk to do his deeds against the poor and needy just as a thief does. The adulterer waits for evening and disguises himself so that he will not be recognized. They do their wicked deeds at night and remain in their houses during daylight hours. They do nothing in the light but prefer darkness in order to hide their sins.

The words in verses 18-20 appear to be more in line with what Job’s three friends have been propounding to Job, that is, the wicked do not prosper but suffer divine punishment immediately for their sins. But Job may have been saying that for some of the wicked, their punishment does come in quickly but not necessarily for all the wicked. Verses 21-25 are more in line with Job’s thinking. The wicked do appear to prosper and it may appear that they are secure but God does keep watch upon their ways and they receive their just due in good time.

Job Chapter 25

Bildad now sets out to refute Job’s argument. God is majestic and powerful, in control of everything and has an unnumbered army over whom he rules. He established order in the heavens and He sees all that is being done on earth. So how can a mortal be pure in His eyes when he considers the moon and stars to be unclean? After all, a mortal is nothing more than a maggot or a worm! Bildad believed that God was inaccessible to humans because of His purity, which was the opposite of their uncleanness. Therefore it was impossible for Job to be blameless before God

Job Chapter 26

Job now sought to show that Bildad’s knowledge of God was scanty in comparison to his. But first, he insults Bildad by saying how helpful he had been to someone powerless, someone who had little strength. He had given counsel to a person who had no wisdom and was in need in some good advice. Job wanted to know who wrote his words as they were certainly without compassion and so were worthless as far as Job was concerned.

Job tells him that nothing not even death and destruction could be covered over and hid from God’s sight. He spreads the northern skies over a void and hangs the earth upon nothing. The clouds are able to hold water and are not split apart because of it. Job then describes the horizon as ‘a circle on the face of the water’ that acts as a boundary between light and darkness. The term ‘pillars of heaven’ is used to describe mountains because their foundations go beneath the waters of the sea and reach the clouds in the sky. He can calm storms in the sea with His power and by His understanding, ‘Rahab,’ the chaotic sea monster of the deep, is struck down. He is able to clear the skies of clouds after a storm simple by blowing them away. These are only a few examples of his many works because he does not proclaim them to humans as they could not possibly understand all of his activities.

Job Chapter 27

Job still believes that God is the one who has reduced him to his present state, yet nothing will ever get him to admit that he had sinned when he knew that this wasn’t true. Job assures his friends by taking an oath in which he invokes the God that he believes is the cause of his suffering to curse him if he is lying. If he did admit such a thing, his lips would be speaking falsehood and his tongue would be uttering deceit. He would hold fast to his righteousness until the day of his death and his heart did not reproach him for anything he had ever done.

Job hoped that his enemy would be like the wicked or the godless because they have no hope after they die. Why would Job say this? Because during their lifetime, they have not paid any attention to God, they did not take delight in Him nor would they be likely to call on Him when trouble comes upon them. Job is not at all like any of these men. Since they have nothing more to say to him, he will now instruct them about God. What he had to say was something that they were familiar with so what was the point of their meaningless talk.

Job now shows where he and his three friends agree and where they disagree. He does believe as they do that the wicked will receive their just due from God. Their offspring will not continue long and they will suffer hunger and pestilence and their mother will not lament for them. They may have lots of silver and a lot of clothing, but they will not make use of it all as others will divide the silver and wear the clothing. His houses will be like a cocoon that a moth leaves or like booths that farmers build so they may be able to guard their crops in the field. Their wealth is there when they go to bed but when they wake up the next morning, it is gone. Fright takes hold of them and their goods are carried off by an east wind.

Job chapter 28

This chapter is called a poem of wisdom and appears to be an interlude inserted by the author of the book of Job. The NIV Bible Commentary, Volume I, page 770, makes this comment as to why the author may have added this chapter. It says: “Job was frustrated and unable to find a wisdom solution to the mystery behind his suffering. The counselors had been only a hindrance. The change in style and the irenic tone may be the Hebrew author giving his judgment on the previous speeches.”

Men go to great lengths to obtain treasures found in the earth. They dig in the earth to take silver, gold, iron and copper from it. These mines are dark but they continue to search for these metals. They open shafts in places well away from human habitation and while hanging suspended from ropes, they take sapphire and gold from the stones. These are places that no sharp-eyed bird of prey has ever seen and no wild animals had walked. They hammer the flinty rock and dig into the rock underneath. They dig tunnels through rock to find the hidden treasures and bring up into the light.

But wisdom, the greatest of all treasures, is not found so easily nor can man ascertain where understanding dwells. Humans do not know the worth of wisdom and understanding, therefore these are not found among the living. They cannot be purchased with gold nor is there enough silver to compare with them. No precious metal can compare to them. Even the most precious jewels such as topaz, coral, jasper or rubies cannot be compared to wisdom.

Where then can wisdom and understanding be found? No mortal knows where to look as they are not in the deep and can’t be purchased with precious metals or jewels. Death and Destruction have not heard any rumor of them. Only God knows where they reside as He is able to see everything under the heavens. Wisdom became an integral part of all of His creative works and He made known to humans how they could achieve it. The fear of Jehovah, that is what constitutes wisdom, and to reject evil, that is what understanding is.

Job Chapter 29

Job longs for days gone by when he was in God’s favor, when God watched over him and was his intimate friend and he walked in His light. His home life was happy with his children around him bringing him joy and he was very prosperous (‘steps washed with milk and the rocks pouring out oil’). He had the respect of all the people when he took his seat in the city square to act as judge for the people. The young men showed deference to him and even the aged would stand in his presence. Nobles and princes would refrain from speaking. His words had an effect on those who listened to him. He was a deliverer for the poor, a helper to the orphan and he lifted the spirits of the widow. He was successful as a judge because he wore righteousness and justice as though they were clothing. He gave aid to the blind, the lame and the needy while upholding the cause of strangers.

“He broke the fangs of the unrighteous and made them drop their prey from their teeth.” (Verse 17) Matthew Henry’s Commentary in One Volume, page 555, says of Job: “He does not say that he broke their necks. He did not take away their lives, but he broke their jaws, he took away their power of doing mischief. Good magistrates must thus be a terror and restraint to evil-doers and a protection to the innocent. A judge upon the bench has as much need to be bold and brave as a commander in the field.” He firmly believed that because of his upright acts that his days would continue to have stability (roots), prosperity (dew) and would be long (numerous as grains of sand) and he would die a happy man in his own house (his nest).

People were always anxious to hear what Job had to say and they listened without making a reply as there was nothing more to be said. He was always pleasant to those whose confidence failed them. His guidance was such that he was viewed as a leader, as a king among his troops would be viewed. He also was one who gave comfort to those in need of it. Job certainly showed his three friends where they had failed as counselors if this was his aim in this discourse.

Job Chapter 30

Job’s situation was now one of disgrace where the youth, whose fathers were so worthless that even the dogs that guarded his flock were better than they, made fun of him. These youths were the scum of society who Job could find no use for, as they lacked stamina, were thin and hungry and scrounged for food where ever they could find it. They were not accepted in normal society and so wandered about the desert living in dried water holes and among the rocks. These contemptible persons were the ones who mocked Job, who treated him as though he were some abhorrent thing and would spit at him. Because God had made him weak, these individuals would put obstacles in his path causing him to fall. They constantly attacked him making it impossible for him to do anything and no one stopped them. They were likely the cause of the ‘terrors’ that Job spoke many times of experiencing.

He was in constant pain all day and at night he could get no rest. He felt that God treated him with harshness at every turn, violently tossing him about as though he were in a windstorm and refusing to answer him when he cried out to him. He was sure that death for him was a certainty. Job did not believe that anyone would turn against the needy because, after all, did he not weep for those needy ones and grieve for the poor? But when he needed help, all he got from his friends was censure and condemnation.

He suffered inner turmoil, or depression, with no one to help him. He likened himself to jackals and ostriches because of his constant crying or wailing. His skin turned black and would fall off and his bones felt as though they were on fire indicating that he had constant fever. All of his joy had turned to mourning and weeping. Certainly his emotional pain was directly related to his physical pain.

Job Chapter 31

Job says that he had been careful to avoid the traps that ensnare many. He had guarded his eyes against lust so that he would not desire immoral relations with a virgin. This he believed would bring calamity from the hand of God. He was also careful not to lie and deceive others so that he would not have to be weighed on God’s scale. If he had not been faithful in this then others should eat the food that he grew to feed his family or it should be pulled out of the ground before maturing. If he had engaged in marital unfaithfulness, then his wife should be reduced to performing the menial task of grinding grain for others and being sexually degraded by other men. Marital unfaithfulness was comparable to committing a heinous crime as far as Job was concerned that would destroy his life.

If he had mistreated his servant when they had a valid complaint against him, he would not be able to face God who was the creator of both he and them. How could he bring his complaint before God and expect fair treatment when he had not done the same for others? If he had not helped the poor, the orphan or the widow by sharing his food with them, giving them clothing to warm their bodies and giving them shelter, then let his arm be pulled from its socket. If he had not acted justly in this matter, then he had nothing to expect from God but calamity.

He made sure that he had not treated his wealth as his trust and confidence, as something that he had provided for himself. He also had not been secretly enticed to bow down to the sun or to the moon as this would have been cause for punishment from God. He had not rejoiced over the ruin of an enemy or been desirous of taking his life through the use of a curse. He could not be accused of allowing strangers to spend the night in the street. In fact those of his household said of him that there was no one who had not eaten at his table. He was not a hypocrite who pretended he had done no wrong because he was afraid of losing his prestige among his peers.

Job has now presented his case that he believes has proved his innocence. He is now ready for God to answer him, to give him a list of his written indictment against him. He was so confident that he could refute this indictment that he said he would publicize it. He believed that he could now approach God with the confidence of a prince and give a full account of his life. Job ends his words by affirming that he had not defrauded those who worked in his fields by not paying them when he should have or by making unreasonable demands on them or by making their working conditions difficult. If that had been the case, then thorns and weeds should grow in his fields instead of wheat and barley.

Job Chapter 32

Elihu now comes on the scene. He had listened as the other men attempted to answer Job. He had listened as Job attempted to justify himself. He became angry with Job because he had justified himself rather than God. He became angry with his friends because they had declared Job to be in the wrong but were unable to prove it. When it became obvious that these men had nothing else to say, he decided to speak. His reason for waiting until they had finished speaking was that he was ‘young in years’ and they were ‘aged.’ So in deference to the older men, as was the custom, he waited until they were finished speaking. But he was not convinced that age brought wisdom. (See verse 9) He believed that wisdom and understanding came from God. God could choose to endow the young or the old with wisdom. So his opinion was worthy of listening to.

He was very attentive when the older men were speaking but he did not believe that either of the men had convicted Job of sin nor had given a competent answer to Job’s words. So they should not still lay claim to having wisdom and fall back on the idea that God would have to be the one to show what Job’s real character was. But he was going to take a different tact than either of them did. He finds that if he waits any longer to speak, he will not be able to contain himself. He was not going to show any partiality nor would he flatter anyone as it would not be beneficial to anyone especially himself.

Job Chapter 33

Elihu requests that Job listen to him as he would speak openly and sincerely from his heart. He was not going to try to put undue pressure on Job with his words but he did need to show him where he had erred in his statements about God. He called to Job’s attention some of the charges he had made against God. He then tells Job that he had missed the main point, that is, that God is not on man’s level so He cannot be forced to respond to Job’s complaints about how He administers justice. He has his own means of communicating with humans. He might use dreams or visions while the person slept, opening their ears to hear the warnings He wants to give them to keep them from straying too far from doing what is right.

He might also use illness or pain such that they may come to loathe food and they waste away and are near death. That person may be saved from death by having a mediator come forth and speak for him, convincing God that he is worth saving. The ransom that is provided could mean “something that can be regarded as a consideration or reason for the sufferer to be relieved from his illness.” (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, page 789) Then this person’s health could be restored to its youthful vigor. The person then prays to God and God accepts his prayer, then his relationship with God will be restored. He will then tell everyone that although he sinned against God, he was not paid back according to what was due him. But God had saved him from going into the pit.

Elihu assured Job that God had done this many times with mortals to turn them from wrongdoing so that they could escape death and live more fruitful lives. This statement was the opposite of what Job’s friends had said to him, that suffering was punishment from God for sin. So Job should listen and pay attention to what he had to say. If Job had anything to say, then he should speak; otherwise, he should continue to listen so that he could learn wisdom.

Job Chapter 34

Elihu continues to urge these older men to listen and test his words with their ears as their palate tasted food. Together they can come to an accurate conclusion of the matter. Elihu then quotes Job’s words where he accused God of acting unjustly. Elihu accuses Job of “drinking scorn like water.” Job made himself an object of ridicule or laughter because of some of the foolish statements he made. He also says that Job kept company with evildoers and walked with the wicked. He did not mean this in a literal sense but he felt that Job defended them rather than censure them when he said that ‘it profits a man nothing when he tries to please God.’ (Verse 9)

He told Job that it was too farfetched an idea to think that God would act wickedly. He does not have any reason to do so. There is no one who can influence him and there is no one that He answers to. He is the sole, independent ruler of the world, in control of everything. It would be his prerogative, if he so wished it, to end all life in a moment by simple withdrawing the breath of life from everyone. Elihu assures Job that God would not do anything wrong.

Elihu asks if God hated justice, would he be a competent ruler. He would not hesitate to condemn Kings and princes for being wicked. He shows no regard for the rich or the poor as they are all the work of his hands. Any of them could die on a moment’s notice and there would be no evidence to suggest that a human had taken their life. He does not overlook wickedness. His eyes see all that mortals do, the wicked cannot hide from Him. He does not have an appointed time to bring Himself into judgement with them. He does not need to launch an investigation to determine their just due. He can overturn the mighty in one night and put someone else in his place because He has already seen their works and has judged them to be wicked. They turned aside from following Him and did not regard His ways. They mistreated the poor and afflicted such that their cry came to His ears, so he acted. If God chooses to be silent, that is not a reason to condemn Him. Even if He does not act as speedily as Job would wish, He will not allow the wicked to rule indefinitely.

Elihu gives an illustration to show Job that he could not defend the position he had taken. If a man, after being disciplined by God says to him that he is guilty of sin and he promises to sin no more. He asks God to teach him the things that he does not know and he will not do wrong again. But if he refuses to repent, should God reward him on his terms? He left it up to Job to come up with an answer. Those with understanding and wisdom would agree that Job’s word criticizing God were spoken without knowledge and they lacked insight. So Job should be tested until he recognized his folly. Elihu tells Job that he had added rebellion to his sins by demanding that God answer him and tell him what he had done wrong.

Job Chapter 35

Elihu asks Job if it is just for him to say that God will clear him of any wrongdoing, and on the other hand, make the statement that it does not profit a man to refrain from sinning. God is not adversely affected by man’s sinning nor is He benefited in any way by man’s righteousness. His wickedness or righteousness affects only himself or other humans. The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the Old Testament, page 762, makes an interesting point on this subject. It says: “When God shows mercy it is not because man has persuaded Him to do so, and if He inflicts judgment it is not because man has injured Him. God is sovereign and therefore self-determining. He is not bribed by man; His standards for judging people are firm, impartial, and uninfluenced. But since a person’s moral conduct does affect himself, it does make a difference for him whether he sins or not (cf. 35:3).”

The only time that most people cried to God for help is when they find themselves under oppression. When their affairs are going well, they don’t give God one moments consideration. To those who would approach him He gives strength and He teaches them making then wiser than the animals that live on the earth. So when they do pray to him for help, He does not hear them because these prayers are not offered out of a sincere and honest heart. If God, then, does not respond to the insincere prayers of the wicked, He is not going to listen to the impatient and prideful prayers that Job has been offering. Job’s view that God is not consistent in his dealings with the wicked gives rise to what Elihu calls “his empty talk” or “his multiplying words without knowledge.” (The New Oxford Annotated Bible)

Job Chapter 36

Elihu continues to urge them to continue listening to him because he is confident that his insights are without fault. He still needs to say more in defense of God. The knowledge that he is imparting to them did not come from local sources but came from ‘afar’, that is, from a source higher than humans. God is mighty and he regards nothing as trivial. He is mighty in powers of understanding. He will not preserve the wicked alive but will uphold the afflicted. He does watch over the righteous and exalts them with kings on their thrones. If some find themselves caught in a web of trouble, then He will tell them what their transgressions are, that they have behaved arrogantly towards Him. Then he opens their ears to hear instruction commanding them to repent. If they listen and obey then they will continue to enjoy their days to the full. If, because of pride, they refuse to listen, then they will continue in ignorance and be faced with certain death. Elihu was urging Job to learn from his suffering and to turn away from his prideful or arrogant attitude. He should view his sufferings as the means that God was using teach him to develop the humility that would be pleasing to God.

A godless person resents the help that God offers. They prefer to go their own way. They live lives of dissipation that often ends in an early and shameful death. But to others, God is able to deliver them in their suffering and is even able to get their attention while they are in distress.

Elihu tells Job that God is desirous of relieving him of his distress and restoring him to a place where no restraints exist and to filling his table with an abundance of provisions. He warns Job that his being so preoccupied with what appears to him to be God’s seeming failure to exercise justice may be hindering his gaining relief. He should not allow the loss of his prosperity to cause him to turn away from God because even he if he still had wealth, would it help him in his current situation. Nor should he continue longing for death as a means for releasing him from his affliction. Instead he should repent because repentance is the desired end result of his suffering. His constant complaining would not force God to act on his behalf.

God, Elihu continues, is exalted in power; He is an incomparable teacher; no one can tell Him what He should do nor should anyone demean Him by saying that He does not act justly or that He commits a wrong. His works are so magnificent that men have been moved to sing about them, yet they know very little about them. Job had spoken many times about the greatness of God but still he saw nothing wrong with criticizing Him.

Elihu now gives other reminders of God’s greatness which humans do not understand. He reminds them that no one can calculate His years. He describes how God causes rain by means of what we today call the water cycle (See verses 27, 28); how He spreads the clouds in the sky and causes thunder and lightening to peal forth. He can use these to either bless or judge mankind. He is even said to hold lightening bolts in his hands and shoots them like arrows to their target. The thunder announces a coming storm that even alerts the cattle to its approach.

Job Chapter 37

Elihu, with much emotion, describes the advent of a storm. He describes the thunder as the voice of God that sounds in the whole heavens and the lightening that flashes to the ends of the earth. He commands the snow to fall on the earth and he decrees that a rain shower should be a mighty downpour. Men everywhere recognizes His works as they have to cease from doing their work and even the animals run for cover and wait until the snow or rain ceases. He brings the whirlwinds out of the south and the cold is driven by the northern wind. He brings ice and lakes and rivers freeze over. He fills clouds with moisture and disperses lightening from them. They swirl about and do His bidding. He may command them to bring judgement on humans by ruining their crop or flooding their lands. At other times, they produce beneficial water for the soil needed for growing crops.

Elihu then asks Job if he know how God controls the clouds and causes lightening to come from them or does he know how God hangs the clouds in the sky? These are things that only someone perfect in knowledge can do. Can Job explain why he perspires in his clothes when the air is still under the south wind or can he spread out the sky and make it seem hard as a bronze mirror? In verses 19 and 20, Elihu is trying to sense Job into realizing that since he does not understand how the natural order of the universe works and these God has complete control of, then how could he expect to stand before God and present a legal case against him? Humans are in complete ignorance when it comes to understanding God. They cannot even look directly into the light of the sun when the wind has cleared the sky of clouds, so how could Job expect to stand in God’s presence and speak to him face to face.

Elihu may have been aware that God was about to speak to Job. He spoke of Him as coming out of the north in golden splendor and in awesome majesty. Elihu may have been thinking of the northern lights, the aurora borealis, in his description above. He restates here the two main qualities of God that he had been trying to help Job to comprehend, God’s power or sovereignty and His justice. Because He has these qualities in abundance, there is no way that He would ever pervert justice or do any thing unrighteous. Therefore Job should develop the proper fear of Him and rid himself of the pride that he has developed.

Job Chapter 38

Job had been saying throughout his discourses that he wanted to speak with God so that he could present his case before him. He now has that chance because God now speaks to him out of a whirlwind. God’s personal name, Jehovah, appears for the first time in the Book of Job in the first verse of this chapter. He confronts Job with a series of questions designed to humble him. He told him to ‘brace himself’ or ‘gird up his loins’ meaning that Job should prepare himself as though for a strenuous task. He would ask him some questions and Job should be able to answer them intelligently.

The NIV Bible Commentary, Volume I, page 783, makes this appropriate comment regarding the way that God would deal with Job. It says: “God chose to ply Job with questions, but strangely he said nothing about Job’s suffering; nor did he address the problem of theodicy. Job did not get the bill of indictment or verdict of innocence he wanted. But neither was he humiliated with a list of the sins he had committed for which he was being punished. So by implication Job’s innocence was established and later it was directly affirmed (42:7-8)”

Jehovah begins His query of Job by asking him where was he when God laid the foundations of the earth, who decided what its dimensions would be, on what were its footings set or who laid its cornerstone? The sons of God at that time were singing and shouting together for joy at what they were seeing. Who set the boundaries for the sea, made the clouds its clothing and put bars and doors beyond which its waves could not flow?

Did Job ever command the morning to come or show the dawn where it should be so that it would light up the corners or dark places of the earth where the wicked do their work? The earth takes shape under the rising light and it appears like a colored robe. Had Job ever explored the fountains or springs of the sea, that is, does he know where the waters come from? Has Job walked along the seabed? Has he seen the gates of death or stood before the doors of deep darkness? Does he know where light and darkness make their home and can he direct them to it? He must know this because was he not born a very long time ago!

Has he seen the place where God keeps the snow and hail that He uses in time of trouble or for fighting wars with? From what place is lightening dispersed or from what place does the east wind scatter over the earth? Who sends the rain to the desert to water a place where no one lives? Does the rain or the dew have a father or who gave birth to the frost and ice? Who keeps the stars in the galaxies together or who can rearrange their patterns? Does Job know the laws of the heavens such that he can apply them to the earth? Can he order the clouds to rain down a flood or beckon the lightening to come to him? Who gave the heart wisdom or the mind understanding to be able to count the clouds or determine when the rain should fall to wet the dust after a dry season? Will Job hunt prey for the female lion to feed her cubs or will he provide food for the young of the ravens?

Job Chapter 39

Does Job know when a mountain goat delivers or has he watched the deer struggle to give birth? Does he know when they will give birth? Who gave the wild donkey his freedom to roam the desert and the salt marshes? He does not hear the noises of the city or the shouting of the drivers as he roams the hills to find his food. Will the wild ox work for Job or stay in the manger at night? Though it has great strength, can Job make him pull a plow with a harness, or pull a cart with grain in it from the field to the threshing floor?

The wings of an ostrich beat forcibly but it cannot fly. She lays her eggs on the ground unmindful that a foot could crush them. She treats her young as though they did not belong to her because God did not endow her with wisdom or give her good sense. Yet she can outrun the horse.

Can Job claim to have given the horse his strength or his flowing mane? He fiercely enters the battle and does not care about the sword and is eager to go when he hears the trumpet sound. He catches the scent of the battle from way off and hears the shout of the battle commanders and the battle cry. He draws Job’s attention to the flight of the hawk and the eagle that builds its nest on a high mountain. The rocky crag is his stronghold and he detects his food from a distance with keen vision.

Job Chapter 40

Can Job, the contender, correct Jehovah or is he in a position to answer Him? Job states that he is unworthy to reply to Him so he will put his hand over his mouth. He has spoken before but he will not speak again. Jehovah again presents Job with additional evidence of his power and might and again demands that he answer His questions. On what basis does Job discredit God’s justice and condemn Him so the he can be justified? Job has put himself on God’s level so he should prepare to govern the universe. If Job has God’s strength and his thunderous voice then he should adorn himself with glory, splendor, honor and majesty. Then pour out his wrath upon the proud and abase them, humble every one who is humble and crush the wicked in their place. Bring them all down to the grave, then He will praise Job because his own hand can save him. The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the Old Testament, page 771, says of these verses (8-14): “God ironically suggested He turn over the responsibility to Job to see if he could fulfill it. Only if Job could carry out such an awesome task, would God admit to the complainer’s independence and self-sufficiency and the validity of his criticisms.”

Jehovah then draws Job’s attention to the hippopotamus that is a part of His creation. He eats grass just as an ox does, but has tremendous strength in his loins and in the muscles of his belly. His tail stiffens like a cedar when he is roused. His bones are like tubes of bronze and his limbs are like rods of iron. He was the largest animal known in the ancient Near East. Because he is a vegetarian, other animals do not fear him. He hides among the reeds in the marsh under the lotus plants. A raging river does not disturb him and he defies capture by most means. Jehovah is the only one who dares approach him with a sword.

Job Chapter 41

Leviathan is believed to be a giant crocodile that lived in the Jordan River. Jehovah draws Job’s attention to it. He asks him if he can catch Leviathan as he would a fish or can he put a cord through his nose? Would he agree to be a slave to Job or could he tame him to be a pet? Since he is seldom caught, merchants do not sell or trade him. His hide is so tough that harpoons or fishing spears have no effect. He cannot be subdued by any means. No one would be foolish enough to arouse him from his sleep. So if Job cannot stand against this mere beast that Jehovah created, why would Job not fear to stand against Him? Jehovah does not owe anything to anyone as He owns everything.

Jehovah continues to describe Leviathan, his strength, his limbs and his graceful form. No one would attempt to restrain him. When he closes his mouth it cannot be opened and his teeth are sharp and fearsome. He has a protective armor of impenetrable scales that are tightly knit together so that not even air can pass through them. When a crocodile sneezes, the water sprayed from his nostrils resembles flashes of light in the sun. When he rises from the water the first thing that one sees are his eyes that are like slits and so are compared to the rising of the dawn. Sunlight causes the hot air breathed from his nostrils to resemble smoke and flames. He has strong neck muscles and a rock hard chest. When he moves, even the strong retreat. None of the implements made by man have any effect on him. He leaves a trail in the mud that looks like a threshing sledge had been used. He churns the water up in such a way that it appears to be boiling or foamy as when ointment is boiled. Because of its speed when swimming, it leaves whitecaps of waves in its wake that look like white hair. Nothing on earth is its equal, even the proud and the haughty quake in fear of him.

If Job is in no position to control these mighty beasts who are sometimes used as a symbol of evil, then he surely cannot control the universe nor would he be in a position to criticize God saying that He allowed evil to get out of hand. God can and does allow evil to exist for his own purposes.

Job Chapter 42

Job is now ready to repent. He recognized that Jehovah is sovereign and only His purposes stand. He admits to being the one who spoke words without knowledge; that he had spoken about things he did not understand nor could he have known about. He could not answer when questioned by Jehovah because he did not have firsthand knowledge of God’s creative works. He said that he had only heard of God, his knowledge was secondhand and very limited, but now, since God had spoken to him, he could ‘see’ Him, that is, he had better perspective and a new found appreciation of God and his majesty and power. The appropriate words now came out of his mouth: “I retract and repent in dust and ashes.”

Jehovah then spoke to Job’s three companions and told them that they had not spoken what was right about Him as Job had. So He instructed them to take seven bulls and seven rams to Job and offer them as a burnt offering for themselves and Job would pray in their behalf and He would listen to Job. He would then not punish them in accordance with their deeds. So they did as Jehovah had told them to do.

Why did Jehovah say that Job had spoken what is right and his friends had not (verse 7)? The NIV Bible Commentary, Volume I, page 788 gives an answer. It reads: “His (Job’s) opinions and feelings were often wrong, but his facts were right. He was not being punished for sins he had committed. But the friends were claiming to know for a certainty things they did not know and so were falsely accusing Job while mouthing beautiful words about God. Job rightly accused them of lying about him and trying to flatter God (13:4, 7-11).”

NOTE: Mary, the last paragraph for this chapter is in front of Psalms as it would not fit on this page.

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Bible Commentary for 8/28 thru 9/03/05 Job 11 - Psalm 9

#2 Post by bejay » Sat Aug 27, 2005 6:23 pm

Job Chapter 42 (last paragraph)

After Job had prayed to Jehovah for them, Jehovah then reversed Job’s fortunes. He restored his health, gave him twice as much as he originally had, gave him another ten children, seven sons and three daughters and he restored his friends and relatives to him. The account gives the names of his daughters only and we learn that this time Job gave his daughters an inheritance among his sons. He also lived an additional one hundred and forty years, living to see his descendants to the fourth generation. According to the LXX, verse 16 reads this way: “And Job lived after his affliction a hundred and seventy years; and all the years he lived were two hundred and forty and Job saw his sons and his son’s sons, the fourth generation.”

The Book of Psalms

Psalms 1-9

Psalm 1 extols the value of one not allowing the wicked to influence his way because he takes delight in Jehovah’s law and meditates on it day and night. He is as stable as a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, whose leaves do not wither. The wicked are the opposite in that they are like chaff that the wind blows away, they have no stability and so will not stand when Jehovah begins His judgment.

Psalm 2 presents the reaction of the people to God’s anointed ruler. Peter quoted verses 1-3 at Acts 4:25, 26 and applied them to the Jewish and Gentile rulers of the people of Israel who conspired against Jesus. In verses 4-6, Jehovah will bring his judgment upon those who reject his king. Verses 7-9, Jehovah gives assurance to his chosen one that he has become his son and He will give him the nations as his possession and will subjugate his opposers. Verses 10-12 gives a warning to all current rulers to submit themselves to Jehovah's king or they will be destroyed.

Psalm 3 expresses David’s thoughts when he fled from his son, Absalom who attempted to usurp the throne of Israel and put David to death. David had many enemies and some of his associates had lost confidence that God wouldl continue to deliver him but David had not. He knows that God is a shield for him and that He answers his prayer. Because Jehovah sustains him, he does not fear the thousands who are fighting against him. He entreats Jehovah to arise and deliver him by humiliating his enemies and taking away their strength.

In Psalm 4, David shows his complete dependence on God to bring him relief from distress. He wonders how long will Israel continue to offend God by seeking help from those that are not gods. He encourages Israel not to allow their anger to cause them to sin but to take the time to search their hearts and to listen. They also needed to offer right sacrifices and to trust in Jehovah. Although they failed to see the good that Jehovah was giving them, David did not. He realized that having Jehovah’s favor was of greater joy than having material possessions in abundance. David could sleep peacefully because he relied on Jehovah for protection.

Psalm 5 the appeal is made to Jehovah for help from Him. His servant makes his request in the morning and he waits expectantly for His help. He does not give attention to those who love evil, who are arrogant and who tell lies. By means of Jehovah’s mercy, His servants enters his house and approach His holy temple with reverence. They rely on Him to lead them in righteousness and show them the correct way to go. Verses 9 and 10 describe those who have rebelled against Jehovah and they show their rebellion by what they say. Those who take refuge in Jehovah should be joyous because Jehovah will bless and protect them.

Psalm 6 is an appeal for mercy from Jehovah when He disciplines his servant. He desires that it be short because if he dies, he would be unable to praise Him. His weeping lasts all night and his couch becomes drenched from his tears. His enemies were causing him much sorrow, so he commands them to leave him as Jehovah has heard his plea for mercy and had accepted his prayer. His enemies would now be put to shame and be dismayed and will turn back in sudden disgrace.

The superscription for Psalm 7 says that David wrote it concerning an experience he had with Cush, a Benjamite. Nothing else is written in the scriptures about this. David is asking Jehovah to deliver him from those who pursue him otherwise he will be torn to pieces as though by a lion. David prays that if he were guilty of committing some act against a person who was at peace with him, then he deserved to be hunted down and killed. David appeals to God to act in justice before the assembly of the people. Jehovah should judge him according to his righteousness and his integrity. He who searches minds and hearts should bring an end of wickedness and bring security to the righteous. Jehovah is a righteous judge and if the wicked do not repent, God has his deadly weaponry in readiness. Those who prepare evil for others will themselves become the recipients of these schemes; his violence will come on his own head by decree of God. But the one who loves Jehovah will thank Him because of His righteousness and will sing praises to Him.

In Psalm 8 David speaks of the majesty of Jehovah’s name and His glory that has been set in the heavens. He has brought praise to Himself by means of children and infants in order to silence his foes. This verse was quoted by Jesus in Matthew 21:16 as a literal fulfillment of these words. When one considers the magnificence of the heavens that God has created, man becomes insignificant. Yet God has paid attention to him though he is not on a level with the angels, Jehovah has still given him honor and glory by putting him over all his earthly creation. (Genesis 1:26) The writer of the book of Hebrews (2:6-8) quoted verses 4-6 and applied them to Jesus. The psalmist ends as he began by saying that Jehovah’s name is majestic in all the earth.

Psalm 9 emphasizes Jehovah’s righteous judgments. David would praise Jehovah with his heart, tell of His wonders and sing praises to His name. He has turned the enemies of David back, upheld his right and cause. He has judged righteously. He has blotted out the name of the wicked, endless ruin has overtaken them and their cities have gone out of existence. Jehovah has established His throne for judgment and will judge the world in righteousness, govern the people with justice. He is a refuge for the oppressed, their stronghold in times of trouble. Jehovah will not forsake those who trust in Him and who know His name.

Songs of praise should be directed to Jehovah and His works should be proclaimed to the nations for He, the avenger of blood, does not ignore the cry of the afflicted. David believed that the intensity of the persecution from his enemies was going to bring about his death and he wanted Jehovah to rescue him so that he could continue to declare His praises in Jerusalem where His tabernacle was. Jehovah is well known for His justice but the nations fall into their own trap and are ensnared by the work of their hands. All who forget Jehovah will go to the grave but the afflicted and needy will not be forgotten nor their hope perish. Again David urges Jehovah to Arise! and judge the nations and let them know that they are nothing but men.

NOTE: All cited scriptures in this commentary are taken from The Modern Language Bible unless otherwise stated.

***©2005 by YORWW Congregation

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