Job 12:22
He discovers deep things out of darkness, and brings out to light the shadow of death.
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12:12-25 This is a noble discourse of Job concerning the wisdom, power, and sovereignty of God, in ordering all the affairs of the children of men, according to the counsel of His own will, which none can resist. It were well if wise and good men, who differ about lesser things, would see how it is for their honour and comfort, and the good of others, to dwell most upon the great things in which they agree. Here are no complaints, or reflections. He gives many instances of God's powerful management of the children of men, overruling all their counsels, and overcoming all their oppositions. Having all strength and wisdom, God knows how to make use, even of those who are foolish and bad; otherwise there is so little wisdom and so little honesty in the world, that all had been in confusion and ruin long ago. These important truths were suited to convince the disputants that they were out of their depth in attempting to assign the Lord's reasons for afflicting Job; his ways are unsearchable, and his judgments past finding out. Let us remark what beautiful illustrations there are in the word of God, confirming his sovereignty, and wisdom in that sovereignty: but the highest and infinitely the most important is, that the Lord Jesus was crucified by the malice of the Jews; and who but the Lord could have known that this one event was the salvation of the world?He discovereth deep thirsts out of darkness - That is, God discloses truths which are wholly beyond the power of man to discover - truths that seem to be hidden in profound night. This may refer either to the revelation which God was believed to have furnished, or to his power of bringing out the most secret thoughts and purposes, or to his power of predicting future events by bringing them out of darkness to the clear light of day, or to his power of detecting plots, intrigues, and conspiracies.

And bringeth out to light the shadow of death - On the meaning of the word rendered "shadow of death," see the notes at Job 3:5. It here denotes whatever is dark or obscure. It is rather a favorite expression with the author of this poem (see Job 10:22; Job 16:16; Job 24:17; Job 34:22; Job 38:17), though it occurs elsewhere in the Scriptures. The deepest darkness, the obscurest night, are represented by it; and the idea is, that even from the most dark and impenetrable regions God could bring out light and truth. All is naked and open to the mind of God.

22. (Da 2:22). Deep things out of darkness, i.e. the most secret and crafty counsels of princes, which are contrived and carried on in the dark. He discovereth deep things out of darkness,.... The deep things of God, his own deep things which lie in his heart, wrapped up in darkness impenetrable to creatures, and which could never be known unless he had discovered them; such as the thoughts of his heart, which are very deep, Psalm 92:5; the deep things of God, which the Spirit of God only knows, searches, and reveals, 1 Corinthians 2:10; even his thoughts of peace, and good things for his people, which are many and precious, are known to himself, and made known to them, or otherwise must have remained in darkness, and out of their reach, being as high as the heavens are from the earth; the decrees and purposes of God, which he hath purposed in himself, are deep things in his own breast, and lie concealed in darkness there, until discovered by the accomplishment of them; such as his decrees of election in Christ, redemption by him, and the effectual calling by his grace; all which are revealed and made known by the execution of them: the love of God to his people, which lay hid in his heart from everlasting; this is discovered by the gift and mission of his Son; in the regeneration and quickening of his people, and of which he makes still larger discoveries to them in the course of their lives: likewise the mysteries of the Gospel, unknown to natural men, even the wise and prudent, only known to such to whom it is given to know them, to whom they are revealed by the Father of Christ, and by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; respecting the persons in the Godhead, the grace of each person, the incarnation of Christ, the union of the two natures in him, redemption and justification by him, regeneration by the Spirit of God, union to Christ, and communion with him, and conformity to him in soul and body, now and hereafter: likewise the secrets of his providence, in which there is a great depth of his wisdom and knowledge, and is in great obscurity; his path is in the great waters, and his footsteps are not known; his judgments are unsearchable, and his ways past finding out, but before long they will be made manifest, and lie open to view. There are also the deep things of others, which he discovers, as the depth of sin in the deceitful heart of man, which none knows as himself; and which lie hid there until they are discovered in the light of the divine Spirit, who convinces of them, enlightens the understanding to behold those swarms of lusts and corruptions it never discerned before; and then a man comes to see and know the plague of his own heart, he was before a stranger to; also the depths of Satan, his deep laid schemes, his wiles and stratagems, to draw into sin, and so to ruin; these are unknown to natural men, but saints are made acquainted with them, so that they are not altogether ignorant of his devices, Revelation 2:24; likewise the secret plots, counsels, and combinations of wicked men, which they lay deep, and seek to hide from the Lord, being formed in the dark; but he sees and knows them, discovers and confounds them: to which may be added all the wicked actions of men done in the dark, but cannot be hid from God, with whom the darkness and the light are both alike; and who, sooner or later, brings them to light, even the hidden things of darkness, and makes manifest the counsels of the heart, as he will do more especially at the day of judgment, to which every secret thing will be brought:

and bringeth but to light the shadow of death; not only life and immortality, as by the Gospel, but death, and the shadow of it, even deadly darkness, the grossest of darkness; such who are darkness itself he makes light, and out of the darkness in them commands light to shine, as in the first creation; to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, he causes a great light to arise, the light of the Gospel, and the light of grace, yea, Christ himself, the light of the world; he calls and brings them out of it into marvellous light, out of the dark dungeon and prison of sin and unbelief, to the enjoyment of spiritual light and life here, and to everlasting light and glory hereafter.

He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death.
22. he discovereth deep things] In the A. V. to “discover” is to reveal, to bring to sight. The verse means that God through His wisdom sees into the profoundest and darkest deeps, and brings what is hidden to light. “Shadow of death” means the deepest darkness, ch. Job 3:3. The reference is not to be limited to the deep and concealed plans of men, which God exposes and frustrates (ch. Job 5:13, Isaiah 29:15), though this may be included. The verse can hardly mean that God reveals or manifests His own profound deeps (ch. Job 11:6; Isaiah 45:15), though such a sense would give the parallelism desirable to the two other commencing verses, 13 and 16.Verse 22. - He discovereth deep things out of darkness. By "deep things" are probably meant the "deeply laid schemes" which wicked men concoct in darkness (or secrecy). These God often "discovers," or causes to be laid bare. English history can point to such a case in the discovery of the famous "Gunpowder Plot" in the second year of King James I. And bringeth out to light the shadow of death. There is nothing secret which God cannot, if he choose, reveal; nor is there anything hid which he cannot make known. Dark, murderous schemes, on which lies a shadow as of death, which men plan in secret, and keep hidden in their inmost thoughts, he can, and often does, cause to be brought to light and made manifest in the sight of all. Every such scheme, however carefully guarded and concealed, shall be one day made known (Matthew 10:26). Many are laid bare even in the lifetime of their devisers. 14 Behold, He breaketh down and it cannot be built again,

He shutteth up, and it cannot be opened.

15 Behold, He restraineth the waters and they dry up,

And He letteth them out and they overturn the earth.

16 With Him is might and existence,

The erring and the deceiver are His.

God is almighty, and everything in opposition to Him powerless. If He break down (any structure whatever), it can never be rebuilt; should He close upon any one (i.e., the dungeon, as perhaps a cistern covered with a stone, Lamentations 3:53, comp. Jeremiah 38:6; על with reference to the depth of the dungeon, instead of the usual בּעד), it (that which is closed from above) cannot be opened again. In like manner, when He desires to punish a land, He disposes the elements according to His will and pleasure, by bringing upon it drought or flood. יעצר, coercet, according to the correct Masoretic mode of writing יעצר with dagesh in the Ssade, in order clearly to distinguish in the pronunciation between the forms j'a-ssor and jaa'ssor (יעצר);

(Note: Vid., my notice of Br's Psalter-Ausgabe, Luth. Zeitschr. 1863, 3; and comp. Keil on Leviticus 4:13 (Comm on Pent., Clark's transl.).)

ויבשׁוּ (for which Abulwalid writes ויבשׁוּ) is a defective form of writing according to Ges. 69, 3, 3; the form ויהפכוּ with the similarly pointed fut. consec., 1 Samuel 25:12, form a pair (zuwg) noted by the Masora. By תּוּשׁיּה, which is ascribed to God, is here to be understood that which really exists, the real, the objective, knowledge resting on an objective actual basis, in contrast with what only appears to be; so that consequently the idea of Job 12:16 and Job 12:13 is somewhat veiled; for the primary notion of חכמה is thickness, solidity, purity, like πυκνότης.

(Note: The primary notion of חכם, Arab. hkm, is, to be thick, firm, solid, as the prim. notion of Arab. sachfa (to be foolish, silly) is to be thin, loose, not holding together (as a bad texture). The same fundamental notions are represented in the expression of moral qualities (in distinction from intellectual) by צדק, Arab. sdq, and רשׁע, (Arab. rs', rsg).)

This strophe closes like the preceding, which favours our division. The line with עמּו is followed by one with לו, which affirms that, in the supremacy of His rule and the wisdom of His counsels, God makes evil in every form subservient to His designs.

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