Job 19:25
For I know that my redeemer lives, and that he shall stand at the latter day on the earth:
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) For I know that my redeemer liveth.We must carefully note all the passages which lead up to this one. First, we must bear in mind that Bildad (Job 18:17-20) had threatened Job with the extinction of his name and memory, so he now appeals to the verdict of futurity, and with what success we ourselves who read and repeat and discuss his words are witnesses. Then in Job’s own speeches we have, as early as Job 9:32-35. his longing for a daysman to come between himself and God. Then in Job 10:7; Job 13:15-19, he emphatically declares his innocence, and appeals to God as conscious of it. In Job 16:19, he affirms that his witness is in the high heavens; in Job 19:21 of the same chapter he longs for an advocate to plead his cause. In Job 17:3 he calls upon God to be surety for him. Therefore he has already recognised God as his judge, his umpire, his advocate, his witness, and surety, and in some cases by formal confession of the fact, in others by earnest longing after and aspirations for some one to act in that capacity. Here, then, he goes a step further in expression, if not by implication, and declares his knowledge that he has a Goel or Redeemer. This goel was the name given to the next of kin whose duty it was to redeem, ransom, or avenge one who had fallen into debt or bondage, or had been slain in a family feud. In Ruth, for instance, the goel is he who has to marry the widow of his relative, and to continue his name. The various and conditional functions, then, of this Goel, Job is assured, God will take upon Himself for him; He will avenge his quarrel (comp. Psalm 35:1; Psalm 35:23), He will be surety for him. He will vindicate him before men and before God Himself; He will do for him what none of his professed friends would undertake to do. And as to this matter, he has not the slightest doubt: he states most emphatically that he himself knows that this Goel liveth. “And I, even I know; as for me, I know that my Vindicator is living, that He liveth, is a reality existing now, and not one to come into existence hereafter, though His manifestation may be a thing of the future, for He shall stand at the last upon the earth,” or, “He shall stand last upon earth” (comp. Isaiah 40:8), that is, after all others have passed away and gone down to the bars of the tomb. Now, this alone is assuredly a marvellous confession. It states the reality and eternity of God. It is faith in the I am. This same epithet of Redeemer is applied to God in Ps. 19:15; Isaiah 59:20; in the former passage it is coupled with rock, which was the term Bildad bad applied to God (Job 18:4).

Upon the earth is literally, upon dust; the word is thus used in Job 41:33. This usage of the same words in the same book, where the meaning is not ambiguous, is strongly against the rendering some have preferred: over the dust, or over my dust.

Job 19:25. For I know, &c. — Job proceeds now to assign the reason of his confidence in the goodness of his cause, and of his willingness to have the matter depending between him and his friends published and submitted to any trial. I know that my Redeemer liveth — I have no knowledge, nor confidence, nor hope of being restored to the prosperities of this life; yet this one thing I know, which is much more comfortable and considerable, and therein I rejoice, though I be now a dying man, and in a desperate condition for this life; I know that I have a living and powerful Redeemer to plead my cause, and vindicate my person from all severe and unjust censures, and to give sentence for me: a Redeemer, whom I call mine, because I have a particular interest in him, and he hath a particular care of me. Hebrew, ידעתי גאלי חי, jadangti goali chai, I know my living Redeemer; that is, My Redeemer is living, is now living, and I know him: I am acquainted, truly, experimentally, and savingly acquainted with him, because he hath revealed himself to me, and hath given me an understanding to know him. Remember, reader, this knowledge of him, this acquaintance with him, is absolutely necessary to thy salvation. But what Redeemer, and what deliverance, does Job speak of in this and the two following verses? Answer: Some late interpreters understand this passage metaphorically, of God’s delivering Job out of his afflictions and troubles, and restoring him to his former splendour and happiness in this world; it being, they say, a usual thing in Scripture, to call eminent dangers and calamities death, and great and glorious deliverances a quickening or resurrection. But most interpreters, both ancient and modern, understand it of Christ, and of his resurrection, and of Job’s resurrection to life by his power and goodness. And this seems most probable, for many reasons: 1st, Because a proper and literal interpretation of any passage of Scripture is always to be preferred before the metaphorical, where it suits with the text and with other passages. 2d, Because the Hebrew word, גאל, goel, here used, although sometimes used of God, absolutely or essentially considered, yet most properly agrees to Jesus Christ: for this word is primarily spoken of the next kinsman, whose office it was to redeem, by a price paid, the sold or mortgaged estate of his deceased kinsman, Leviticus 25:25; and to revenge his death, Numbers 35:12, and to maintain his name and honour by raising up a seed to him, Deuteronomy 25:5. All which most fitly agrees to Christ, who is our nearest kinsman and brother, as having taken our nature upon him, Hebrews 2:11; who hath redeemed that everlasting inheritance which our first parents had utterly lost, by the price of his own blood; and hath revenged the death of mankind upon the contriver of it, the devil, by destroying him and his kingdom; and hath taken a course to preserve our name, and honour, and persons, to eternity. 3d, Because Job was so far from having a firm confidence, such as is here expressed, that he had not the least degree of hope of any such temporal restoration as that which his friends promised him, as we have often observed in his former discourses, as Job 16:22; Job 17:12-13. And, therefore, that hope which every righteous man hath in his death, and which Job often professes that he had, must necessarily have been fixed on his happiness in a future life. 4th, Because this is a more lofty and spiritual strain than any in Job’s former discourses; which generally savour of dejection and diffidence, and either declare or increase his grief; whereas, this puts him into another and much better temper. And, therefore, it is well observed, that after he uttered these expressions we meet not with any such impatient or despairing passages as we had before, which shows that he was now inspired with new life and comfort. 5th, Because this well agrees with several other passages in this book; wherein Job declares that, although he had no hope as to this life, and the comforts thereof, yet he had a hope beyond death, which made him profess, Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him, Job 13:15. Trust in him for what? Surely, for comfort and happiness. Where? Not in this life, for that he supposes to be lost; therefore it must have been in the next life. And this was one reason why he so vehemently desired death, because he knew it would bring him unto God, and unto true felicity. And this his hope and confidence in God, and in his favour to him, Job opposes to those foul and false aspersions which his friends had cast upon him, as if he had forsaken God, and cast off all fear of him, and hope in him. But it is objected, How is it credible, that Job, in those ancient times, and in that dark state of the church, should know these great mysteries of Christ’s incarnation, and of the resurrection and life to come? Answer, 1st, The mystery of the Messiah’s incarnation was revealed to Adam by that first and noted promise, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head, Genesis 3:15; which, being the only foundation of his hopes, for the recovery and salvation of himself and of all his posterity, he would doubtless carefully and diligently explain, as need required, to those that descended from him. 2d, That the ancient patriarchs and prophets were generally acquainted with these doctrines is undeniably evident, from Hebrews 11. and 1 Peter 1:9-12. 3d, Particularly Abraham, from whom Job is supposed to have descended, had the promise made to him, that Christ should come out of his loins, Genesis 12:3; and is said to have seen Christ’s day, and to have rejoiced to see it, John 8:56; and had his hopes and desires fixed upon a divine and heavenly city and country, Hebrews 11:10; Hebrews 11:16. And as Abraham knew and believed these things himself, so it is manifest that he taught them to his children and servants, Genesis 18:19, and to his kindred and others, as he had occasion; and, therefore, it cannot seem strange that Job professes his faith and hope in these things.

That my Redeemer liveth — I am a dying man, and my hopes as to this life are dying, but he liveth, and that for ever; and, therefore, though I die, yet he both can and will make me to live again in due time, though not in this world, yet in the other, which is much better. And, though I am now highly censured and condemned by my friends as a great dissembler and secret sinner, whom God’s hand hath found out; yet there is a day coming wherein my cause shall be pleaded, and my name and honour vindicated from all these reproaches, and my integrity brought to light. And that he shall stand in the latter day — In the days of the Messiah, or of the gospel, which are often called the latter or last days, or times, as Isaiah 2:2; Hosea 3:5; Joel 2:28; compared with Acts 2:17; 1 Timothy 4:1; and 2 Timothy 3:1; Hebrews 1:1. Or at the day of the general resurrection and judgment, which, as those holy patriarchs well knew, and firmly believed, was to be at the end of the world; for this was the time when Job’s resurrection, of which he here speaks, was to take place. So that, in these words, Job may either be considered as professing his faith in the incarnation of the Messiah; that, as certainly as he then lived, as God was in existence, and had been from eternity, he should, in due time, be made man, and stand in human nature upon the earth: or, that he should rise out of the dust, and stand up the first-fruits of them that sleep, by his resurrection. Or he may refer to the day of general resurrection and final judgment, which, as those holy patriarchs well knew and firmly believed, was to be at the end of the world; and which is often termed the last day: see John 6:39-54; John 11:24; John 12:48; 1 Peter 1:5. Then shall Christ appear and stand upon the earth, or dust, as עפר, gnaphar, properly means; namely, the dust in which his saints and members lie or sleep, whom he will raise up out of it. And therefore he is fitly said to stand upon the dust, or the grave, or death; because then he will subdue and put that, among other enemies, under his feet, as it is expressed 1 Corinthians 15:25 : or, as the Hebrew, ואחרון על עפר יקום, vaacharon gnal gnaphar jakum, may properly be rendered, The last, or he, the last, shall arise, or stand up against the dust, and fight with it, and rescue the bodies of the saints, which are held in it as prisoners, from its dominion and territories. 19:23-29 The Spirit of God, at this time, seems to have powerfully wrought on the mind of Job. Here he witnessed a good confession; declared the soundness of his faith, and the assurance of his hope. Here is much of Christ and heaven; and he that said such things are these, declared plainly that he sought the better country, that is, the heavenly. Job was taught of God to believe in a living Redeemer; to look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come; he comforted himself with the expectation of these. Job was assured, that this Redeemer of sinners from the yoke of Satan and the condemnation of sin, was his Redeemer, and expected salvation through him; and that he was a living Redeemer, though not yet come in the flesh; and that at the last day he would appear as the Judge of the world, to raise the dead, and complete the redemption of his people. With what pleasure holy Job enlarges upon this! May these faithful sayings be engraved by the Holy Spirit upon our hearts. We are all concerned to see that the root of the matter be in us. A living, quickening, commanding principle of grace in the heart, is the root of the matter; as necessary to our religion as the root of the tree, to which it owes both its fixedness and its fruitfulness. Job and his friends differed concerning the methods of Providence, but they agreed in the root of the matter, the belief of another world.For I know that my Redeemer liveth - There are few passages in the Bible which have excited more attention than this, or in respect to which the opinions of expositors have been more divided. The importance of the passage Job 19:25-27 has contributed much to the anxiety to understand its meaning - since, if it refers to the Messiah, it is one of the most valuable of all the testimonials now remaining of the early faith on that subject. The importance of the passage will justify a somewhat more extended examination of its meaning than it is customary to give in a commentary of a single passage of Scripture; and Ishall

(1.) Give the views entertained of it by the translators of the ancient and some of the modern versions;

(2.) Investigate the meaning of the words and phrases which occur in it; and

(3.) State the arguments, pro and con, for its supposed reference to the Messiah.

The Vulgate renders it, "For I know that my Redeemer - Redemptor meus - lives, and that in the last day I shall rise from the earth; and again, I shall be enveloped - circumdabor - with my skin, and in my flesh shall I see my God. Whom I myself shall see, and my eyes shall behold, and not another - this, my hope, is laid up in my bosom." The Septuagint translate it, "For I know that he is Eternal who is about to deliver me - ὁ ἐκλύειν με μέλλων ho ekluein me mellōn - to raise again upon earth this skin of mine, which draws up these things - τὸ ἀναντλοῦν ταῦτα to anantloun tauta (the meaning of which, I believe, no one has ever been able to divine.) For from the Lord these things have happened to me of which I alone am conscious, which my eye has seen, and not another, and which have all been done to me in my bosom." Thompson's trans. in part. The Syriac is in the main a simple and correct rendering of the Hebrew. "I know that my Redeemer liveth, and in the consummation he will be revealed upon the earth, and after my skin I shall bless myself in these things, and after my flesh. If my eyes shall see God, I shall see light." The Chaldee accords with our version, except in one phrase. "And afterward my skin shall be inflated, (משכי אתפת) - then in my flesh shall I see God." It will be seen that some perplexity was felt by the authors of the ancient versions in regard to the passage. Much more has been felt by expositors. Some notices of the views of the moderns, in regard to particular words and phrases, will be given in the exposition.

I know - I am certain. On that point Job desires to express the utmost confidence. His friends might accuse him of hypocrisy - they might charge him with lack of piety, and he might not be able to refute all that they said; but in the position referred to here he would remain fixed, and with this firm confidence he would support his soul. It was this which he wished to have recorded in the eternal rocks, that the record might go down to future times. If after ages should be made acquainted with his name and his sufferings - if they should hear of the charges brought against him and of the accusations of impiety which had been so harshly and unfeelingly urged, he wished that this testimony might be recorded, to show that he had unwavering confidence in God. He wished this eternal record to be made, to show that he was not a rejecter of truth; that he was not an enemy of God; that he had a firm confidence that God would yet come forth to vindicate him, and would stand up as his friend. It was a testimony worthy of being held in everlasting remembrance, and one which has had, and will have, a permanency much greater than he anticipated.

That my Redeemer - This important word has been variously translated. Rosenmuller and Schultens render it, vindicem; Dr. Good, Redeemer; Noyes and Wemyss, vindicator; Herder, avenger, Luther, Erloser - Redeemer; Chaldee and Syriac, Redeemer. The Hebrew word, גאל go'al, is from גאל gā'al, "to redeem, to ransom." It is applied to the redemption of a farm sold, by paying back the price, Leviticus 25:25; Ruth 4:4, Ruth 4:6; to anything consecrated to God that is redeemed by paying its value, Leviticus 27:13, and to a slave that is ransomed, Leviticus 25:48-49. The word גאל go'el, is applied to one who redeems a field, Leviticus 25:26; and is often applied to God, who had redeemed his people from bondage, Exodus 6:6; Isaiah 43:1. See the notes at Isaiah 43:1; and on the general meaning of the word, see the notes at Job 3:5. Among the Hebrews, the גאל go'el occupied an important place, as a blood-avenger, or a vindicator of violated rights.

See Numbers 35:12, Numbers 35:19, Numbers 35:21, Numbers 35:24-25, Numbers 35:27; Deuteronomy 19:6-12; Ruth 4:1, Ruth 4:6,Ruth 4:8; Joshua 20:3. The word גאל go'el, is rendered kinsman, Ruth 4:1, Ruth 4:3,Ruth 4:6, Ruth 4:8; near kinsman, Ruth 3:9, Ruth 3:12; avenger, Numbers 35:12; Joshua 20:3; Redeemer, Job 19:25; Psalm 19:14; Isaiah 47:4; Isaiah 63:16; Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 48:17; Isaiah 54:8; Isaiah 41:14; Isaiah 49:26; Isaiah 60:16; kin, Leviticus 25:25, et al. Moses found the office of the גאל go'el, or avenger, already instituted, (see Michaelis's Commentary on laws of Moses, section cxxxvi.) and he adopted it into his code of laws. It would seem, therefore, not improbable that it prevailed in the adjacent countries in the time of Job, or that there may have been a reference to this office in the place before us. The גאל go'el is first introduced in the laws of Moses, as having a right to redeem a mortgaged field, Leviticus 25:25-26; and then as buying a right, as kinsman, to the restoration of anything which had been iniquitously acquired, Numbers 5:8.

Then he is often referred to in the writings of Moses as the blood-avenger, or the kinsman of one who was slain, who would have a right to pursue the murderer, and to take vengeance on him, and whose duty it would be to do it. This right of a near relative to pursues murderer, and to take vengeance, seems to have been one that was early conceded every where. It was so understood among the American Indians, and probably prevails in all countries before there are settled laws for the trial and punishment of the guilty. It was a right, however, which was liable to great abuse. Passion would take the place of reason, the innocent would be suspected, and the man who had slain another in self-defense was as likely to be pursued and slain as he who had been guilty of willful murder. To guard against this, in the unsettled state of jurisprudence, Moses appointed cities of refuge, where the man-slayer might flee until he could bare a fair opportunity of trial.

It was impossible to put an end at once to the office of the גאל go'el. The kinsman, the near relative, would feel himself called on to pursue the murderer; but the man-slayer might flee into a sacred city, and remain until he had a fair trial; see Numbers 35; Deuteronomy 19:6-7. It was a humane arrangement to appoint cities of refuge, where the man who had slain another might be secure until he had an opportunity of trial - an arrangement which eminently showed the wisdom of Moses. On the rights and duties of the גאל go'el, the reader may consult Michaelis's Com. on the laws of Moses, art. 136, 137. His essential office was that of a vindicator - one who took up the cause of a friend, whether that friend was murdered, or was oppressed, or was wronged in any way. Usually, perhaps always, this pertained to the nearest male kin, and was instituted for the aid of the defenceless and the wronged.

In times long subsequent, a somewhat similar feeling gave rise to the institution of chivalry, and the voluntary defenee of the innocent and oppressed. It cannot now be determined whether Job in this passage has reference to the office of the גאל go'el, as it was afterward understood, or whether it existed in his time. It seems probable that the office would exist at the earliest periods of the world, and that in the rudest stages of society the nearest of kin would feel himself called on to vindicate the wrong done to one of the feebler members of his family. The word properly denotes, therefore, either vindicator, or redeemer; and so far as the term is concerned, it may refer either to God, as an avenger of the innocent, or to the future Redeemer - the Messiah. The meaning of this word would be met, should it be understood as referring to God, coming forth in a public manner to vindicate the cause of Job against all the charges and accusations of his professed friends; or to God, who would appear as his vindicator at the resurrection; or to the future Messiah - the Redeemer of the body and the soul. No argument in favor of either of these interpretations can be derived from the use of the word.

Liveth - Is alive - חי chay Septuagint, immortal - ἀένναός aennaos. He seems now to have forsaken me as if he were dead, but my faith is unwavering in him as a living vindicator. A similar expression occurs in Job 16:19. "My witness is in heaven, and my record is on high." It is a declaration of entire confidence in God, and will beautifully convey the emotions of the sincere believer in all ages. He may be afflicted with disease, or the loss of property, or be forsaken by his friends, or persecuted by his foes, but if he can look up to heaven and say, "I know that my Redeemer live's," he will have peace.

And that he shall stand - He will stand up, as one does who undertakes the cause of another. Jerome has rendered this as though it referred to Job," And in the last day I shall rise from the earth" - de terra surrecturus sum - as if it referred to the resurrection of the body. But this is not in accordance with the Hebrew, דקוּם deqûm - "he shall stand." There is clearly no necessary reference in this word to the resurrection. The simple meaning is, "he shall appear, or manifest himself, as the vindicator of my cause."

continued...

25. redeemer—Umbreit and others understand this and Job 19:26, of God appearing as Job's avenger before his death, when his body would be wasted to a skeleton. But Job uniformly despairs of restoration and vindication of his cause in this life (Job 17:15, 16). One hope alone was left, which the Spirit revealed—a vindication in a future life: it would be no full vindication if his soul alone were to be happy without the body, as some explain (Job 19:26) "out of the flesh." It was his body that had chiefly suffered: the resurrection of his body, therefore, alone could vindicate his cause: to see God with his own eyes, and in a renovated body (Job 19:27), would disprove the imputation of guilt cast on him because of the sufferings of his present body. That this truth is not further dwelt on by Job, or noticed by his friends, only shows that it was with him a bright passing glimpse of Old Testament hope, rather than the steady light of Gospel assurance; with us this passage has a definite clearness, which it had not in his mind (see on [511]Job 21:30). The idea in "redeemer" with Job is Vindicator (Job 16:19; Nu 35:27), redressing his wrongs; also including at least with us, and probably with him, the idea of the predicted Bruiser of the serpent's head. Tradition would inform him of the prediction. Foster shows that the fall by the serpent is represented perfectly on the temple of Osiris at Philæ; and the resurrection on the tomb of the Egyptian Mycerinus, dating four thousand years back. Job's sacrifices imply sense of sin and need of atonement. Satan was the injurer of Job's body; Jesus Christ his Vindicator, the Living One who giveth life (Joh 5:21, 26).

at the latter day—Rather, "the Last," the peculiar title of Jesus Christ, though Job may not have known the pregnancy of his own inspired words, and may have understood merely one that comes after (1Co 15:45; Re 1:17). Jesus Christ is the last. The day of Jesus Christ the last day (Joh 6:39).

stand—rather, "arise": as God is said to "raise up" the Messiah (Jer 23:5; De 18:15).

earth—rather, "dust": often associated with the body crumbling away in it (Job 7:21; 17:16); therefore appropriately here. Above that very dust wherewith was mingled man's decaying body shall man's Vindicator arise. "Arise above the dust," strikingly expresses that fact that Jesus Christ arose first Himself above the dust, and then is to raise His people above it (1Co 15:20, 23). The Spirit intended in Job's words more than Job fully understood (1Pe 1:12). Though He seems, in forsaking me, to be as one dead, He now truly "liveth" in heaven; hereafter He shall appear also above the dust of earth. The Goel or vindicator of blood was the nearest kinsman of the slain. So Jesus Christ took our flesh, to be our kinsman. Man lost life by Satan the "murderer" (Joh 8:44), here Job's persecutor (Heb 2:14). Compare also as to redemption of the inheritance by the kinsman of the dead (Ru 4:3-5; Eph 1:14).

This is the reason of his great confidence in the goodness of his cause, and his willingness to have the matter depending between him and his friends published and submitted to any trial, because he had a living and powerful Redeemer to plead his cause, and vindicate his person from all their severe censures, and to give sentence for him.

I know: I have no knowledge, nor confidence, nor hope of restitution to the prosperities of this life; yet this one thing I know, which is more comfortable and considerable, and therein I rejoice, though I be now a dying man, and in a desperate condition for this life.

My redeemer; in whom I have a particular interest, and he hath a particular care of me.

Quest. What redeemer and what deliverance doth Job speak of in this and the two following verses?

Answ. Some late interpreters understand this place metaphorically, of God’s delivering Job out of his doleful and desperate condition, and restoring him to his former splendour and happiness in the world; it being a very usual thing in Scripture to call eminent dangers or calamities by the name of death, as Psalm 22:15 88:4,5 Eze 37:11,12 2 Corinthians 11:23; and great and glorious deliverances by the name of quickening and resurrection, as Psalm 71:20 Isaiah 26:19 Romans 11:15. But the most interpreters, both ancient and modern, understand it of Christ, and of his resurrection, and of Job’s resurrection to life by his power and favour; which seems most probable for many reasons.

1. From that known rule, that a proper and literal interpretation of Scripture is always to be preferred before the metaphorical, where it suits with the text and with other scriptures.

2. From the Hebrew word goel, here used; which although sometimes it be used of God absolutely, or essentially considered, yet it most properly agrees to Jesus Christ; for this word, as all Hebricians know, is primarily used of the next kinsman, whose office it was to redeem by a price paid the sold or mortgaged estate of his deceased kinsman, Leviticus 25:25; and to revenge his death, Numbers 35:12; and to maintain his name and honour, by raising up seed to him, Deu 25:5: all which most fitly agrees to Christ, who is our nearest Kinsman and Brother, Hebrews 2:11, as having taken our nature upon him by incarnation; who also hath redeemed that everlasting inheritance which our first parents had utterly lost and sold by the price of his own blood; and hath revenged the death of mankind upon the great contriver of it, the devil, by destroying him and his kingdom; and hath taken a course to preserve our name, and honour, and persons to eternity. And if the places where God is called Goel in the Old Testament be examined, it will be found that either all or most of them may be, and some of them must be, understood of God the Son, or of Christ, as Genesis 48:16 Isaiah 49:20. See also Psalm 74:2 Isaiah 41:14 44:16 49:7 52:3 63:16.

3. Because Job was so far from such a firm confidence as he here professeth, that he had not the least degree of hope of any such glorious temporal restoration as his friends promised to him, as we have oft seen and observed in the former discourses, as Job 16:22 17:12,13, &c. And therefore that hope which every righteous man hath in his death, Proverbs 14:32, and which Job oft professeth that he had, must necessarily be fixed upon his happiness in the future life.

4. Because some of the following expressions cannot without wresting and violence be applied to a metaphorical resurrection, as we shall see in the sequel.

5. Because this is a more lofty and spiritual strain than any in Job’s former discourses, and quite contrary to them. And as they generally savour of dejection and diffidence, and do either declare or increase his grief; so this puts him into another and much better temper. And therefore it is well observed, that after this time and these expressions we meet not with any such impatient or despairing passages as we had before; which shows that they had inspired him with new life and comfort.

6. Because this well agrees with other passages in this book; wherein Job declareth, that although he had no hope as to this life, And the comforts thereof, yet he had a hope beyond death, which made him profess, Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him, Job 13:15. Trust in him; for what? Surely for comfort and happiness. Where? Not in this life, for that he supposeth to be lost; therefore it must be in the next life. And this was one reason why he so vehemently desired death, because he knew it would bring him unto God and unto true felicity. And this his hope and confidence in God, and in his favour to him, Job opposeth to those foul and false aspersions which his friends had cast upon him, as if he had forsaken God, and cast off all fear of him, and hope in him.

Object

1. If this place had spoken of the resurrection of the body, some of the Hebrew’ writers or commentators upon this place, who did believe that doctrine, would have understood it so, and have urged it against the Sadducees, which they did not.

Answ.

1. All the Jewish writers which are now extant lived and wrote since Christ’s time, when the doctors of that people were very ignorant of many great truths, and of the plain meaning of many scriptures, and very corrupt in their principles as well as in their practices.

2. There was a manifest reason why they could not understand this text thus, because they believed that Job in his agonies did deny God’s providence, and consequently the resurrection and the future judgment, which though it was a most uncharitable and false opinion, yet forced them to interpret this text another way.

Object.

2. How is it credible that Job, in those ancient times, and in that dark state of the church, should know these great mysteries of Christ’s incarnation, and of the resurrection and life to come?

Answ. 1. The mystery of Christ’s incarnation was revealed to Adam by that first and famous promise, that the seed of the woman should break the serpent’s head, Genesis 3:15; which being the only foundation of all his hopes for the recovery and salvation of himself, and of all his posterity, he would doubtless carefully and diligently teach and explain it, as need required, to those that descended from him.

2. That the ancient patriarchs and prophets were generally acquainted with these doctrines is undeniably evident from Hebrews 11 1 Peter 1:9-12.

3. Particularly Abraham, from whom Job is supposed to have descended, had the promise made to him, that Christ should come out of his loins, Genesis 12:3; and is said to have seen, Christ’s day, and rejoiced to see it, John 8:56, and had his hopes and desires fixed upon a divine and heavenly city and country, Hebrews 11:10,16. And as Abraham knew and believed these things himself, so it is manifest that, he taught them to his children and servants, Genesis 18:19, and to his kindred and others, as he had occasion. And therefore it cannot seem strange that Job professeth his faith and hope in these things.

My redeemer liveth: I am a dying man, and my hopes are dying, but he liveth, and that for ever; and therefore though I die, yet he both can and will make me live again in due time, though not in this world, yet in the other, which is much better; and though I am now highly censured and condemned by my friends and others as a great dissembler and a secret sinner, whom God’s hand hath found out; yet there is a day coming wherein my cause shall be pleaded, and my name and honour vindicated from all these reproaches, and my integrity brought to light.

He shall stand: I am falling and dying, but he shall stand firm, and unmovable, and victorious, in full power and authority; all which this word

stand signifies; and therefore he is able to make me stand in judgment, and to maintain my cause against all opposers. Or, he shall arise, as this verb most commonly signifies, i.e. either,

1. He shall exist, or be born, as this word is oft used; as Numbers 32:14 Deu 29:22 Judges 2:10 1 Kings 3:12 Matthew 11:11. And it notes Christ’s incarnation, that although as he was God he was now and from all eternity in being, yet he should in due time be made man, and be born of a woman. Or,

2. He shall arise out of the dust; which had been more probable, if it had been in the text from or out of, as now it is upon, the earth or dust; for Christ’s resurrection from the dead might be fitly mentioned here as the cause of Job’s resurrection, which followeth.

At the latter day; either,

1. In the days of the Messiah, or of the gospel, which are oft called the

latter or last days or times; as Isaiah 2:2 Hosea 3:5 Joel 2:28, compared with Acts 2:17 1 Timothy 4:1 2 Timothy 3:1 Hebrews 1:1. Or rather,

2. At the day of the general resurrection and judgment, which, as those holy patriarchs well knew and firmly believed, was to be at the end of the world, and which is called the last day, John 6:39,40,44,51 11:24 12:48 1 Peter 1:5; for this was the time when Job’s resurrection, of which he speaketh here, was to be. Heb. at the last; by which word he plainly intimates that his hope was not of things present, and of worldly felicities, of which his friends had discoursed so much; but of another kind of, and a far greater, blessedness, which should accrue to him in after-times, long after he was dead and rotten. Or, the last; who is both the first and the last, Isaiah 44:6 Revelation 1:11, who shall subdue and survive all his and his people’s enemies, and after others the last enemy, death, 1 Corinthians 15:26, and then shall raise up his people and plead their cause, and vindicate them from all the calumnies and injuries which are put upon them, and conduct them to life and glory.

Upon the earth; the place upon which Christ shall appear and stand at the last day. Heb. upon the dust; in which his saints and members lie or sleep, whom he will raise out of it. And therefore he is fitly said to stand upon the dust, or the grave, or death, because then he will put that among other enemies under his feet; as it is expressed, 1 Corinthians 15:25,26. Some render the words thus, and that very agreeably to the Hebrew, the last, or at the last, he shall arise or stand up against (for so this very phrase is used, Genesis 4:8 Judges 9:18 Psalm 44:3) the dust, and fight with it, and rescue the bodies of the saints, which are held in it as prisoners, from its dominion and territories. Some understand this of God, that he should stand last in the field, as Conqueror of all his enemies. But this neither agrees with the words, the Hebrew aphar signifying dust, and being never used of the field or place of battle; nor with Job’s scope, which was to defend himself against his friends’ accusations, and to comfort himself with his hopes and assurance of God’s favour to be exhibited to him in due time; which end the words in that sense would by no means serve, because God might and would be Conqueror of all his enemies, though Job himself had been one of them, and though his cause had been bad, and his friends should with God have triumphed over him. For I know,.... The particle which is sometimes rendered by the copulative "and", by an adversative "but", and sometimes as a causal particle "for", should not be rendered here by either; but as an explanative, "to wit", or "namely", as it is by Noldius (y); in connection with the preceding words; in which Job wishes some words of his were written in a book, or engrossed on sheets of lead, or were cut out on some rock, and particularly were engraved on his tombstone; "namely", these following, "I know that my Redeemer liveth", &c. and to this agrees Broughton, "how that my Redeemer liveth"; let these be the words written, engraved, and cut out there: by my Redeemer, he means not any mere man that should rise up and vindicate him; for the account of his then living, and of his standing on the earth in the latter day, will not agree with such an one; nor God the Father, to whom the character of a Redeemer is seldom or ever given, nor did he ever appear or stand on earth, nor was his shape seen at any time, John 5:37; but the Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our "Goel", the word here used, our near kinsman, and so our Redeemer, to whom the right of redemption belonged; and who was spoken of by all the holy prophets, from the beginning of the world, as the Redeemer of his people, who should redeem them from all their sins; from the law, its curses and condemnation; from Satan, and his principalities and powers; from death and hell, and everlasting destruction; and that by giving himself a ransom for them; all which was known in the times of Job, Job 33:24; and known by him, who speaks of him as living; he then existed not only as a divine Person, as he did from all eternity, but in his office capacity as Mediator, and under the character of a Redeemer; for the virtue of his future redemption reached to all the ages before it, from the foundation of the world; besides, the epithet "living" points at him as the "living God", as he is, Hebrews 3:12; and so equal to the work of redemption, and able to redeem, and mighty to save; of whom it is said, not that he has lived, or shall live, but "liveth"; ever lives; and so an expression of the eternity of Christ, who is from everlasting to everlasting, the same today, yesterday, and for ever; and who, though he died in human nature, yet is alive, and lives for evermore; he has life in and of himself, as he is God over all blessed for ever; and has life in him for all his people, as Mediator; and is the author of spiritual life in them, and the donor of eternal life to them; and because he lives, they shall live also. Now Job had an interest in him as the living Redeemer, and knew he had, which is the greatest blessing that can be enjoyed; an interest in Christ is of infinitely more worth than the whole world, and the knowledge of it exceeds all others; this knowledge was not merely speculative, nor only approbational and fiducial, though such Job had, Job 13:15; but the knowledge of assurance of interest; to know Christ as a Redeemer of men, and not our Redeemer, is of no avail; the devils know him to be a Redeemer, but not theirs: men may have an interest in Christ, and as yet not know it; interest is before knowledge; it is neither knowledge nor faith that gives interest, but God of his grace gives both interest and knowledge: and such a knowledge as here expressed is a peculiar favour; it is owing to an understanding given to know him that is true, and that we are in him that is true; and to the spirit of wisdom and revelation, in the knowledge of Christ, and to the testimony which he bears; and such knowledge will support under the greatest afflictions and sorest trials; under the ill usage of friends, and the loss of nearest and dearest relations, and in the views of death and eternity; all which was Job's case:

and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; appear in the world in human nature; be the seed of the woman, and born of one, be made flesh, and dwell among men, and converse with them, as Jesus did; who stood upon the land of Judea, and walked through Galilee, and went about doing good to the bodies and souls of men; and this was in the last days, and at the end of the world, Hebrews 1:1; as a pledge of this there were frequent appearances of the son of God in an human form to the patriarchs; nor need it seem strange that Job, though not an Israelite, had knowledge of the incarnation of Christ, when it is said to (z) be the opinion of the Indian Brahmans that God often appeared in the form and habit of some great men, and conversed among men; and that Wistnavius, whom, they say, is the second Person of the triune God, had already assumed a body nine times, and sometimes also an human one; and that the same will once more be made by him; and Confucius, the Chinese philosopher (a), left it in writing, that the Word would be made flesh, and foresaw the year when it would be: or, "he shall rise the last out of the earth" (b); and so it may respect his resurrection from the dead; he was brought to the dust of death, and was laid in the grave, and buried, in the earth, and was raised out of it; and whose resurrection is of the greatest moment and importance, the justification, regeneration, and resurrection of his people depending on it: but this is not to be understood as if he was the last that should rise from the dead; for he is the firstfruits of them that sleep, and the firstborn from the dead, the first that rose to an immortal life; but that he who, as to his divine nature, is the first and the last; or that, in his state of humiliation, is the last, the meanest, and most abject of men (c); or rather, who, as the public and federal head of his people, is "the last Adam", 1 Corinthians 15:45; and who did rise as such for their justification, which makes the article of his resurrection an unspeakable benefit: or, "he shall stand over the earth in the latter day" (d) in the last times of all, in the close of time, at the end of the world, at his appearing and kingdom, when he shall come to judge the quick and dead; those that will be alive, and those that will be raised from the dead, who will meet him in the air over the earth, and shall be for ever with him; and even then "he shall stand upon the earth"; for it is expressly said, that when he shall come, and all the saints with him, "his feet shall stand on the mount of Olives", Zechariah 14:4; or, "he shall stand against the earth at the latter days" (e); in the resurrection morn, and shall exercise his authority over it, and command the earth and sea to give up their dead; and when at his all commanding voice the dead shall come out of their graves, as Lazarus came out of his, he shall stand then upon the dust of the earth, and tread upon it as a triumphant Conqueror, having subdued all his enemies, and now the last enemy, death, is destroyed by the resurrection of the dead: what a glorious and enlarged view had Job of the blessed Redeemer!

(y) "nempe ego", Nold. Ebr. Concord. Partic. p. 696. No. 1750. (z) Huet. Alnetan. Quaest. l. 2. c. 13. p. 234. (a) Martin. Sinic. Hist. l. 4. p. 131. (b) "qui postremus ex palvere (terra) surget", Nold. ib. (c) "Novissimus", i.e. "miserrimus et abjectus", Bolducius; "sic ultimus miserorum", Ciceron. Orat. pro Flacco 24. (d) "Supra pulverem", Cocceius, Schultens. (e) "Adhibebit suam vim pulveri", Tigurine version.

For I know that my {q} redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:

(q) I do not so justify myself before the world, but I know that I will come before the great judge who will be my deliverer and Saviour.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. For I know] Rather, but I know. This is now something higher to which his mind rises. He desires no doubt to be vindicated before men, and would wish that all generations to come should know his claim to rectitude, when he no more lived himself to make it (Job 19:23-24); but what he desires above all things is that he might see God who now hides His face from him, and meet Him, for the meeting could not but be with joy (cf. ch. Job 23:6 seq.). Job’s problem is first of all a problem of religious life, and only in the second place a speculative one. And the speculative elements in it have no further meaning than as they aggravate the practical religious trouble. A solution of his problem, therefore, was possible in only one way, viz. by his seeing God (cf. ch. Job 42:5)—for to see God is to see Him in peace and reconciliation. And it is to grasp the assurance of this that Job’s heart now reaches forth its hand.

my Redeemer liveth] “Liveth” means more than is, exists. Job uses the word in opposition to himself—he dies but his redeemer lives after him. The term redeemer (Heb. gô’çl) is frequently used of God as the deliverer of His people out of captivity, e.g. very often in Isaiah 40 seq. (ch. Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 49:26, Isaiah 54:5; Isaiah 54:8), and also as the deliverer of individuals from distress, Genesis 48:16; Psalm 19:14; Psalm 103:4. Among men the Goel was the nearest blood-relation, on whom it lay to perform certain offices in connexion with the deceased whose Goel he was, particularly to avenge his blood, if he had been unjustly slain (Ruth 2:20, &c.; Numbers 35:19). Job here names God his Goel. The passage stands in close relation with ch. Job 16:18-19, where he names God his “witness” and “sponsor” or representative. It is probable, therefore, that there is an allusion to the Goel among men—Job has in God a Goel who liveth. This Goel will vindicate his rights against the wrong both of men and God (Job 19:3; Job 19:7). At the same time this vindication is regarded less as an avenging of him, at least on others (though cf. Job 19:28-29), than as a manifestation of his innocence. This manifestation can only be made by God’s appearing and shewing the true relation in which Job stands to Him, and by Job’s seeing God. For his distress lay in God’s hiding His face from him, and his redemption must come through his again beholding God in peace. Thus the ideas of Goel and redeemer virtually coincide.

he shall stand at the latter day] To stand means to arise and appear, to come forward (as a witness, Deuteronomy 19:15; Psalm 37:12), or to interpose (as a judge, Psalm 12:5). The word day has no place here. The expression “the latter” means either last or later. It is used of God as the first and the last (Isaiah 44:6; Isaiah 48:12), but also otherwise in a comparative sense, later, to come, following (Psalm 48:13; Psalm 78:4; Ecclesiastes 4:16; Job 18:20). Here the word is an epithet of God and can hardly describe Him as the last, for Job certainly does not contemplate his vindication being put off till the end of all things. The expression is parallel to “my Goel” in the first clause, and literally rendered, means: and he who cometh after (me) shall stand; or, and as one who cometh after (me) he shall stand. The trans., in after time he shall stand, is nearly equivalent. Ewald and other high authorities render, an afterman, i. e. a vindicator.

upon the earth] Better, the dust. The word does not mean earth in opposition to heaven; such an antithesis did not need to be expressed; if God came forward or interposed in Job’s behalf He must do so upon the earth. The word “dust” carries rather an allusion to the earth as that wherein Job shall have been laid before God shall appear for him—the same allusion as is carried in the words “Goel” and “he who cometh after me;” cf. ch. Job 7:21, Job 17:16, Job 20:11, Job 21:26, &c.Verse 25. - For I know that my Redeemer liveth. Numerous endeavours have been made to explain away the mysterious import of this verse. First, it is noted that a goel is any one who avenges or ransoms another, and especially that it is "the technical expression for the avenger of blood" (Froude, 'Short Stories,' vol. 1. p. 284) so often mentioned in the Old Testament. It is suggested, therefore, that Job's real meaning may be that he expects one of his relatives to arise after his death as the avenger of his blood, and to exact retribution for it. But unless in the case of a violent death at the hands of a man, which was not what Job expected for himself, there could be no avenger of blood. Job has already expressed his desire to have a thirdsman between him and God (Job 9:32-35), which thirdsman can scarcely be other than a Divine Personage. In Job 16:19 be has declared his conviction that" his Witness is in heaven." In ver. 21 of the same chapter he longs to have an advocate to plead his cause with God. In Job 17:3 he calls upon God to be Surety for him. Therefore, as Dr. Stanley Leathes points out, "he has already recognized God as his Judge his Umpire his Advocate his Witness and his Surety in some cases by formal confession of the fact, in others by earnest longing after, and aspiration for, some one to act in that capacity." After all this, it is not taking a very long step in advance to see and acknowledge in God his Goel, or "Redeemer." And that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth; rather, and that at the last he shall stand up over my dust. אַחַדון is not "one who comes after me;" but, if a noun, "the last one" as רִאשׁון is "the first one "(Isaiah 44:6); if intended adverbially, "at the last" - i.e, at the end of all things. "At the latter day" is not an improper translation. מתי סודי is the name he gives those to whom he confides his most secret affairs; סוד (vid., on Psalm 25:14) signifies either with a verbal notion, secret speaking (Arab. sâwada, III. form from sâda, to press one's self close upon, esp. as sârra, to speak in secret with any one), or what is made firm, i.e., what is impenetrable, therefore a secret (from sâda, to be or make close, firm, compact; cognate root, יסד, wasada, cognate in signification, sirr, a secret, from sarra, שׁרר, which likewise signifies to make firm). Those to whom he has made known his most secret plans (comp. Psalm 55:13-15) now abhor him; and those whom he has thus (זה, as Job 15:17) become attached to, and to whom he has shown his affection, - he says this with an allusion to the three, - have turned against him. They gave tokens of their love and honour to him, when he was in the height of his happiness and prosperity, but they have not even shown any sympathy with him in his present form of distress.

(Note: The disease which maims or devours the limbs, dâ'u el-gudhâm [vid. supra, p. 281], which generically includes Arabian leprosy, cancer, and syphilis, and is called the "first-born of death" in Job 18:13, is still in Arabia the most dreaded disease, in the face of which all human sympathy ceases. In the steppe, even the greatest personage who is seized with this disease is removed at least a mile or two from the encampment, where a charbûsh, i.e., a small black hair-tent, is put up for him, and an old woman, who has no relations living, is given him as an attendant until he dies. No one visits him, not even his nearest relations. He is cast off as muqâtal ollah. - Wetzst. The prejudice combated by the book of Job, that the leper is, as such, one who is smitten by the wrath of God, has therefore as firm hold of the Arabian mind in the present day as it had centuries ago.)

His bones cleave (דבקה, Aq. ἐκολλήθη, lxx erroneously ἐσάπησαν, i.e., רקבה) to his skin, i.e., the bones may be felt and seen through the skin, and the little flesh that remains is wasted away almost to a skeleton (vid., Job 7:15). This is not contradictory to the primary characteristic symptom of the lepra nodosa; for the wasting away of the rest of the body may attain an extraordinarily high degree in connection with the hypertrophy of single parts. He can indeed say of himself, that he is only escaped (se soit chapp) with the skin of his teeth. By the "skin of his teeth" the gums are generally understood. But (1) the gum is not skin, and can therefore not be called "skin of the teeth" in any language; (2) Job complains in Job 19:17 of his offensive breath, which in itself does not admit of the idea of healthy gums, and especially if it be the result of a scorbutic ulceration of the mouth, presupposes an ulcerous destruction of the gums. The current translation, "with my gums," is therefore to be rejected on account both of the language and the matter. For this reason Stickel (whom Hahn follows) takes עור as inf. from ערר, and translates: "I am escaped from it with my teeth naked" lit. with the being naked of my teeth, i.e., with teeth that are no longer covered, standing forward uncovered. This explanation is pathologically satisfactory; but it has against it (1) the translation of עור, which is wide of the most natural interpretation of the word; (2) that in close connection with ואתמלטה one expects the mention of a part of the body that has remained whole. Is there not, then, really a skin of the teeth in the proper sense? The gum is not skin, but the teeth are surrounded with a skin in the jaw, the so-called periosteum. If we suppose, what is natural enough, that his offensive breath, Job 19:17, arises from ulcers in the mouth (in connection with scorbutus, as is known, the breath has a terribly offensive smell), we obtain the following picture of Job's disease: his flesh is in part hypertrophically swollen, in part fearfully wasted away; the gums especially are destroyed and wasted away from the teeth, only the periosteum round about the teeth is still left to him, and single remnants of the covering of his loose and projecting teeth.

Thus we interpret עזר שׁנּי in the first signification of the words, and have also no need for supposing that Job 19:20 is a proverbial phrase for "I have with great care and difficulty escaped the extreme." The declaration perfectly corresponds to the description of the disease; and it is altogether needless with Hupfeld, after Job 13:14, to read עור בשׁני, vitam solam et nudam vix reportavi, which is moreover inappropriate, since Job regards himself as one who is dying. Symm. alters the position of the בּ similarly, since he translates after the Syriac Hexapla: καὶ ἐξέτιλλον (ותלשׁת) τὸ δέρμα τοῖς ὀδοῦσιν μου, from מלט equals מרט, Arab. mllṭ, nudare pilis, which J. D. Michaelis also compares; the sense, however, which is thereby gained, is beneath all criticism. On the aoristic ואתמלּטה, vid., on Job 1:15. Stickel has on this passage an excursus on this ah, to which he also attributes, in this addition to the historic tense, the idea of striving after a goal: "I slip away, I escape;" it certainly gives vividness to the notion of the action, if it may not always have the force of direction towards anything. Therefore: with a destroyed flesh, and indeed so completely destroyed that there is even nothing left to him of sound skin except the skin of his teeth, wasted away to a skeleton, and become both to sight and smell a loathsome object; - such is the sufferer the friends have before them, - one who is tortured, besides, by a dark conflict which they only make more severe, - one who now implores them for pity, and because he has no pity to expect from man, presses forward to a hope which reaches beyond the grave.

Links
Job 19:25 Interlinear
Job 19:25 Parallel Texts


Job 19:25 NIV
Job 19:25 NLT
Job 19:25 ESV
Job 19:25 NASB
Job 19:25 KJV

Job 19:25 Bible Apps
Job 19:25 Parallel
Job 19:25 Biblia Paralela
Job 19:25 Chinese Bible
Job 19:25 French Bible
Job 19:25 German Bible

Bible Hub






Job 19:24
Top of Page
Top of Page