Job 15:26
He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 15:26. He runneth upon him — That is, the wicked man (of whom, and of whose sin and misery, he speaks in the whole context, both preceding and following) assaults God, and, as it were, rushes swiftly and furiously upon him, as the same phrase, ירצ אלו, jarats eelaiv, signifies, Daniel 8:6. In the former verse he was represented as preparing for the battle, and here as actually and impudently fighting with him. Even on his neck — As a stout warrior who cometh close to his adversary and grapples with him. He acts in flat opposition to God, both to his precepts and providences. Upon the thick bosses of his bucklers — Even where his enemy is strongest. He is not discouraged with his enemy’s thick, and strong, and eminent shields, but boldly ventures to rush upon them, though to his own certain destruction. Every sinner departs, or runs, rather, from God: but the presumptuous sinner, who sins with a high hand, runs upon him, fights against him, and bids defiance to him; and it is easy to foretel what will be the issue.

15:17-35 Eliphaz maintains that the wicked are certainly miserable: whence he would infer, that the miserable are certainly wicked, and therefore Job was so. But because many of God's people have prospered in this world, it does not therefore follow that those who are crossed and made poor, as Job, are not God's people. Eliphaz shows also that wicked people, particularly oppressors, are subject to continual terror, live very uncomfortably, and perish very miserably. Will the prosperity of presumptuous sinners end miserably as here described? Then let the mischiefs which befal others, be our warnings. Though no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby. No calamity, no trouble, however heavy, however severe, can rob a follower of the Lord of his favour. What shall separate him from the love of Christ?He runneth upon him - That is, upon God. The image here is taken from the mode in which people rushed into battle. It was with a violent concussion, and usually with a shout, that they might intimidate their foes, and overcome them at first, with the violence of the shock. The mode of warfare is now changed, and it is the vaunted excellency of modern warfare that armies now go deliberately and calmly to put each other to death.

Even "on his neck - literally, "with the neck" - בצואר betsavā'r. Vulgate, "With erect neck - erecto collo." Septuagint, contemptuously, or with pride - ὕβρει hubrei. The idea seems to be, not that he ran "upon the neck" of his adversary - as would seem to be implied in our translation - but that he ran in a firm, haughty, confident manner; with a head erect and firm, as the indication of self confidence, and a determined purpose to overcome his foe. See Schultens in loc.

Upon the thick bosses - The word boss with us means a knob - a protuberant ornament of silver, brass, or ivory on a harness or a bridle; then a protuberant part, a prominence, or a round or swelling body of any kind. The Hebrew word used here (גב gab) means properly anything gibbous, convex, arched; and hence, "the back" - as of animals. Applied to a shield, it means the convex part or the back of it - the part which was presented to an enemy, and which was made swelling and strong, called by the Greeks ὀμφαλὸς omfalos, or μεσομφάλιον mesomfalion. Gesenius supposes that the metaphor here is taken from soldiers, who joined their shields together, and thus rushed upon an enemy. This was one mode of ancient warfare, when an army or a phalanx united their shields in front, so that nothing could penetrate them, or so united them over their heads when approaching a fortress, that they could safely march under them as a covering.

This, among the Romans and Greeks, was commonly practiced when approaching a besieged town. One form of the testudo - the χελώη στρατιωτῶν chelōnē stratiōtōn of the Greeks, was formed by the soldiers, pressed close together and holding their shields over their heads in such a manner as to form a compact covering. John H. Eschenburg, Manual of Classical Literature. by N. W. Fiske, pt. III, section 147. The Vulgate renders this, "and he is armed with a fat neck" - pingui cervice armatus est. Schultens expresses the idea that is adopted by Gesenius, and refers to Arabic customs to show that shields were thus united in defending an army from a foe, or in making an attack on them. He says, also, that it is a common expression - a proverb - among the Arabs, "he turns the back of his shield" to denote that one is an adversary; and quotes a passage from Hamasa, "When a friend meets me with base suspicions, I turn to him the back of my shield - a proverb, whose origin is derived from the fact, that a warrior turns the back of his shield to his foes."

Paxton supposes that the expression here is taken from single combat, which early prevailed. But the idea here is not that which our translation would seem to convey. It is not that he rushes upon or against the hard or thick shield "of the Almighty" - and that, therefore, he must meet resistance and be overcome: it is that he rushes upon God with his own shield. He puts himself in the attitude of a warrior. He turns the boss of his own shield against God, and becomes his antagonist. He is his enemy. The omission of the word "with" in the passage - or the preposition which is in the Hebrew (ב b) has led to this erroneous translation. The passage is often quoted in a popular manner to denote that the sinner rushes upon God, "and must meet resistance" from his shield, or be overcome. It should be quoted only to denote that the sinner places himself in an attitude of opposition to God, and is his enemy.

Of his bucklers - Of his shields (מגניו megı̂nāy), that is, of the shields which the sinner has; not the shields of God. The shield was a well-known instrument of war, usually made with a rim of wood or metal, and covered with skins, and carried on the left arm; see the notes at Isaiah 21:5. The outer surface was made rounding from the center to the edge, and was smoothly polished, so that darts or arrows would glide off and not penetrate.

26. on his neck—rather, "with outstretched neck," namely, that of the rebel [Umbreit] (Ps 75:5).

upon … bucklers—rather, "with—his (the rebel's, not God's) bucklers." The rebel and his fellows are depicted as joining shields together, to form a compact covering over their heads against the weapons hurled on them from a fortress [Umbreit and Gesenius].

Runneth upon him, i.e. assaults him, or rusheth upon him with great swiftness and fury, as this phrase signifies, Daniel 8:6. This he is either,

1. God, who was expressed twice in the last verse, and who is here produced as entering the lists and fighting with his daring adversary. Or rather,

2. The wicked man, of whom and whose sin and misery he speaks in the whole context, both before and after this; who in the last verse was introduced as preparing for the battle, and here as actually and impudently fighting with him.

Even on his neck; as a stout warrior, who cometh close to his adversary and grapples with him, and taketh him by the neck to throw him down. Compare 2 Samuel 2:16 Job 16:2. Or, with his neck. So it is a metaphor from a mad and raging bull, which runs upon his enemy with a hard and stiff neck.

Upon the thick bosses of his bucklers, i.e. even where his enemy is strongest; he is not discouraged with the enemies’ thick, and strong, and eminent shields, but boldly ventures in upon them, and amongst them. Or, with the thick bosses (Heb. the thickness and eminency) of his shields, wherewith he invaded the enemy, that so he might both defend himself and offend his enemy; for the ancient shields were useful both ways, because they had a sharp iron or steel in the midst of them.

He runneth upon him, even on his neck,.... As a fierce and furious enemy runs upon another with great wrath and fury; as the he goat in Daniel's vision ran upon the ram, in the fury of his power, that is, Alexander upon Darius; which instance Bar Tzemach refers to; and as an adversary, who throws down his weapons, and goes in to closer quarters, and takes his antagonist by the throat, or round the neck, in order to throw him down to the ground; in such a bold and insolent manner does the wicked man encounter with God; he makes up to him, and flies in his face, and most audaciously attacks him: or he runs upon him "with his neck" (y); with a stretched out neck, in the most haughty manner, with a neck like an iron sinew, and with a brow like brass:

upon the thick bosses of his bucklers; alluding to shields, embossed in the middle, where they are thicker than in the other parts, and used to have a spike of iron set in the middle; so that it was daring and dangerous to run upon them: these may design the perfections of God, denied by the wicked man; or his providential dispensations, despised by him; or his purposes and decrees ridiculed, replied unto, and disputed; or the flaming sword of justice, and the curses of a righteous law, in defiance of which wicked men go on in sin: or "with the bosses of his bucklers" (z); with all his family, as Schmidt; or employing all his wealth and riches, his power and authority, against God, and the interest of religion in the world. Some understand this of God, meeting the wicked man, stretching out his hand, and strengthening himself against him, as if he, God, ran upon the wicked man, and upon his neck, and took him by it, and shook him; as in Job 16:12; and upon the thick bosses of his buckler, his bones and nerves, as Mr. Broughton; or on his power and wealth, which are not able to secure him from the vengeance of the Almighty; but the former sense seems best.

(y) "erecto collo", V. L. Piscator; "duro collo", Drusius, Michaelis; "cum cervice", Cocceius, Schmidt, Schultens. (z) "cum erassitie umbonum clypeorum suorum", Cocceius; so Schmidt, Michaelis, Schultens.

He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. The whole verse means,

He ran upon him with stiff neck,

With the thick bosses of his bucklers.

The words describe the wicked man’s demeanour towards God. The figure is that of a warrior making an assault. The Heb. is “he ran upon him with neck,” Vulg., erecto collo, cf. Psalm 75:5. The “bosses” are the convex sides of the bucklers, the sides turned to the foe, who here is God.

Verse 26. - He runneth upon him, even on his neck; rather, with his neck. It is not God who runneth upon the wicked man, as our translators seem to have supposed, but the wicked man who rushes furiously against God. Like an infuriated bull, he makes his charge with his neck, i.e. with head lowered and neck stiffened, thinking to carry all before him. Upon the thick bosses of his bucklers; rather, with the thick bosses of his shield The metaphor of the bull is dropped, and God's enemy represented as charging him like a warrior, with the shield-arm outstretched, and the heavy bosses of the shield pressing him down. Job 15:2625 Because he stretched out his hand against God,

And was insolent towards the Almighty;

26 He assailed Him with a stiff neck,

With the thick bosses of his shield;

27 Because he covered his face with his fatness,

And addeth fat to his loins,

28 And inhabited desolated cities,

Houses which should not be inhabited,

Which were appointed to be ruins.

29 He shall not be rich, and his substance shall not continue

And their substance boweth not to the ground.

30 He escapeth not darkness;

The flame withereth his shoots;

And he perisheth in the breath of His mouth.

continued...

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