He runs on him, even on his neck, on 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.
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.
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.
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.
And numbered years are reserved for the tyrant.
21 Terrors sound in his ears;
In time of peace the destroyer cometh upon him.
22 He believeth not in a return from darkness,
And he is selected for the sword.
23 He roameth about after bread: "Ah! where is it?"
He knoweth that a dark day is near at hand for him.
24 Trouble and anguish terrify him;
They seize him as a king ready to the battle.
All the days of the ungodly he (the ungodly) is sensible of pain. רשׁע stands, like Elohim in Genesis 9:6, by the closer definition; here however so, that this defining ends after the manner of a premiss, and is begun by הוּא after the manner of a conclusion. מתחולל, he writhes, i.e., suffers inward anxiety and distress in the midst of all outward appearance of happiness. Most expositors translate the next line: and throughout the number of the years, which are reserved to the tyrant. But (1) this parallel definition of time appended by waw makes the sense drawling; (2) the change of עריץ (oppressor, tyrant) for רשׁע leads one to expect a fresh affirmation, hence it is translated by the lxx: ἔτη δὲ ἀριθμητὰ δεδομένα δυνάστῃ. The predicate is, then, like Job 32:7, comp. Job 29:10; Job 2:4 (Ges. 148), per attractionem in the plur. instead of in the sing., and especially with מספּר followed by gen. plur.; this attraction is adopted by our author, Job 21:21; Job 38:21. The meaning is not, that numbered, i.e., few, years are secretly appointed to the tyrant, which must have been sh'nôth mispâr, a reversed position of the words, as Job 16:22; Numbers 9:20 (vid., Gesenius' Thes.); but a (limited, appointed) number of years is reserved to the tyrant (צפן as Job 24:1; Job 21:19, comp. טמן, Job 20:26; Mercerus: occulto decreto definiti), after the expiration of which his punishment begins. The thought expressed by the Targ., Syr., and Jerome would be suitable: and the number of the years (that he has to live unpunished) is hidden from the tyrant; but if this were the poet's meaning, he would have written שׁניו, and must have written מן־העריץ.
With regard to the following Job 15:21-24, it is doubtful whether only the evil-doer's anxiety of spirit is described in amplification of הוא מתחולל, or also how the terrible images from which he suffers in his conscience are realized, and how he at length helplessly succumbs to the destruction which his imagination had long foreboded. A satisfactory and decisive answer to this question is hardly possible; but considering that the real crisis is brought on by Eliphaz later, and fully described, it seems more probable that what has an objective tone in Job 15:21-24 is controlled by what has been affirmed respecting the evil conscience of the ungodly, and is to be understood accordingly. The sound of terrible things (startling dangers) rings in his ears; the devastator comes upon him (בוא seq. acc. as Job 20:22; Proverbs 28:22; comp. Isaiah 28:15) in the midst of his prosperity. He anticipates it ere it happens. From the darkness by which he feels himself menaced, he believes not (האמין seq. infin. as Psalm 27:13, לראות, of confident hope) to return; i.e., overwhelmed with a consciousness of his guilt, he cannot, in the presence of this darkness which threatens him, raise to the hope of rescue from it, and he is really - as his consciousness tells him - צפוּ (like עשׂוּ, Job 41:25; Ges. 75, rem. 5; Keri צפוי, which is omitted in our printed copies, contrary to the testimony of the Masora and the authority of correct MSS), spied out for, appointed to the sword, i.e., of God (Job 19:29; Isaiah 31:8), or decreed by God. In the midst of abundance he is harassed by the thought of becoming poor; he wanders about in search of bread, anxiously looking out and asking where? (abrupt, like הנה, Job 9:19), i.e., where is any to be found, whence can I obtain it? The lxx translates contrary to the connection, and with a strange misunderstanding of the passage: κατατέτακται δὲ δἰς σῖτα γυψίν (איּה לחם, food for the vulture). He sees himself in the mirror of the future thus reduced to beggary; he knows that a day of darkness stands in readiness (נכון, like Job 18:12), is at his hand, i.e., close upon him (בּידו, elsewhere in this sense ליד, Psalm 140:6; 1 Samuel 19:3, and על־ידי, Job 1:14).
In accordance with the previous exposition, we shall now interpret וּמצוּקה צר, Job 15:24, not of need and distress, but subjectively of fear and oppression. They come upon him suddenly and irresistibly; it seizes or overpowers him (תּתקפהוּ with neutral subject; an unknown something, a dismal power) as a king עתיד לכּידור. lxx ὥσπερ στρατηγὸς πρωτοστάτης πίπτων, like a leader falling in the first line of the battle, which is an imaginary interpretation of the text. The translation of the Targum also, sicut regem qui paratus est ad scabellum (to serve the conqueror as a footstool), furnishes no explanation. Another Targum translation (in Nachmani and elsewhere) is: sicut rex qui paratus est circumdare se legionibus. According to this, כידור comes from כּדר, to surround, be round (comp. כּתר, whence כּתר, Assyr. cudar, κίδαρις, perhaps also הזר, Syr. חדר, whence chedor, a circle, round about); and it is assumed, that as כּדּוּר signifies a ball (not only in Talmudic, but also in Isaiah 22:18, which is to be translated: rolling he rolleth thee into a ball, a ball in a spacious land), so כּידור, a round encampment, an army encamped in a circle, synon. of מעגּל. In the first signification the word certainly furnishes no suitable sense in connection with עתיד; but one may, with Kimchi, suppose that כידור, like the Italian torniamento, denotes the circle as well as the tournament, or the round of conflict, i.e., the conflict which moves round about, like tumult of battle, which last is a suitable meaning here. The same appropriate meaning is attained, however, if the root is taken, like the Arabic kdr, in the signification turbidum esse (comp. קדר, Job 6:16), which is adopted of misfortunes as troubled experiences of life (according to which Schultens translates: destinatus est ad turbulentissimas fortunas, beginning a new thought with עתיד, which is not possible, since כמלך by itself is no complete figure), and may perhaps also be referred to the tumult of battle, tumultus bellici conturbatio (Rosenm.); or of, with Fleischer, one starts from another turn of the idea of the root, viz., to be compressed, solid, thick, which is a more certain way gives the meaning of a dense crowd.
(Note: The Arab. verb kdr belongs to the root kd, to smite, thrust, quatere, percutere, tundere, trudere; a root that has many branches. It is I. transitive cadara (fut. jacduru, inf. cadr) - by the non-adoption of which from the original lexicons our lexicographers have deprived the whole etymological development of its groundwork - in the signification to pour, hurl down, pour out, e.g., cadara-l-ma, he has spilt, poured out, thrown down the water; hence in the medial VII. form incadara intransitive, to fall, fall down, chiefly of water and other fluids, as of the rain which pours down from heaven, of a cascade, and the like; then improperly of a bird of prey which shoots down from the air upon its prey (e.g., in the poetry in Beidhwi on Sur. 81, 2: "The hawk saw some bustards on the plain f'ancadara, and rushed down"); of a hostile host which rushes upon the enemy first possible signification for כידור]; of a man, horse, etc., which runs very swiftly, effuse currit, effuso curru ruit; of the stars that shall fall from heaven at the last day (Sur. 81, 2). Then also II. intransitive cadara (fut. jacdiru) with the secondary form cadira (fut. jacdaru) and cadura (fut. jacduru), prop. to be shaken and jolted; then also of fluid things, mixed and mingled, made turgid, unclean, i.e., by shaking, jolting, stirring, etc., with the dregs (the cudre or cudde); then gen. turbidum, non limpidum (opp. Arab. ṣf'), with a similar transition of meaning to that in turbare (comp. deturbare) and the German trben (comp. traben or trappen, treiben, treffen). The primary meaning of the root takes another III. turn in the derived adjectives cudur, cudurr, cundur, cundir, compressed, solid, thick; the last word with us (Germans) forms a transition from cadir, cadr, cadr, dull, slimy, yeasty, etc., inasmuch as we speak of dickes Bier (thick beer), etc., cerevisia spissa, de la bire paisse. Here the point of contact of the word כידור, tumult of battle, κλόνος ἀνδρῶν, seems indicated: a dense crowd and tumult, where one is close upon another; as also נלחם, מלחמה, signify not reciprocal destruction, slaughter, but to press firmly and closely upon one another, a dense crowd. - Fl.)
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