Job 22:9
You have sent widows away empty, and the arms of the fatherless have been broken.
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Job 22:9. Thou hast sent widows — Whose helpless state called for thy pity; away empty — Either by denying them that relief that their poverty required, or that right which their cause deserved; or, by spoiling them of their goods, because thou knewest them to be unable to oppose thee, or to defend themselves. And the arms of the fatherless have been broken —

That is, all their supports and rights, a heinous sin, but falsely charged upon Job.22:5-14 Eliphaz brought heavy charges against Job, without reason for his accusations, except that Job was visited as he supposed God always visited every wicked man. He charges him with oppression, and that he did harm with his wealth and power in the time of his prosperity.Thou hast sent widows away empty - That is, without regarding their needs, and without doing anything to mitigate their sorrows. The oppression of the widow and the fatherless is, in the Scriptures, every where regarded as a crime of special magnitude; see the notes at Isaiah 1:17.

The arms of the fatherless have been broken - Thou hast taken away all that they relied on. Thou hast oppressed them and taken advantage of their weak and defenseless condition to enrich yourself. This charge was evidently gratuitous and unjust. It was the result of an "inference" from the fact that he was thus afflicted, and about as just as inferences, in such cases, usually are. To all this, Job replies in beautiful language in Job 29:11-16, when describing his former condition, and in justice to him, we may allow him to speak "here," and to show what was, in fact, the course of his life.

When the ear heard me, then it blessed me;

And when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me:

Because I delivered the poor that cried,

And the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.

The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me:

And I caused the widow's heart to leap for joy.

I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;

My judgment was as a robe and a diadem.

I was eyes to the blind,

And feet was I to the lame;

I was a father to the poor,

And the cause which I knew not, I searched out

9. empty—without their wants being relieved (Ge 31:42). The Mosaic law especially protected the widow and fatherless (Ex 22:22); the violation of it in their case by the great is a complaint of the prophets (Isa 1:17).

arms—supports, helps, on which one leans (Ho 7:15). Thou hast robbed them of their only stay. Job replies in Job 29:11-16.

Widows, whose helpless estate called for thy pity, Exodus 22:22 Deu 24:17,19.

Away empty; either by denying them that relief which their poverty required, or that right which their cause deserved; or by spoiling them of their goods, because thou knewest them to be unable to oppose thee, or to right themselves.

The arms, i.e. all their supports, and comforts, and rights. A heinous sin, but falsely charged upon Job. Thou hast sent widows away empty,.... Either out of their own houses, which he spoiled, and devoured, and stripped, and cleared of all that were in them, as did the Scribes and Pharisees in Christ's time, Matthew 23:14; or out of his own house, when they came to him, as a rich man, for charity; as they came to him wanting relief, they went away so; if without food and clothing, they were bid to depart without giving them anything to feed and clothe them with; or if they came to him as a civil magistrate to have justice done them, and to be delivered out of the hands of their oppressors, they could not obtain any, but were dismissed without it; how contrary is this to Job 29:13;

and the arms of the fatherless have been broken; not in a literal sense, as if when refusing to go out, when their mothers, the widows, had their houses spoiled, and they sent empty out of them; these laid hold on something within them, and would not depart, and so, had their arms broken by the mighty man, the man of arms; but, in a metaphorical and figurative sense, their substance, and goods, and possessions, left them by their fathers for their support, these were taken away from them, and so they were as impotent and helpless as if their arms had been broken; or their friends on whom they relied for their sustenance, these were either ruined, and so could not help them; or else their affections were alienated from them, and would not. This indeed is not expressly charged upon Job, but it is intimated that it was done with his knowledge and consent, good will, and approbation; at least that he connived at it, and suffered it to be done when it was in his power to have prevented it, and therefore to be ascribed unto him; but how foreign is all this to Job's true character, Job 29:12?

Thou hast sent widows away empty, and the arms of the {e} fatherless have been broken.

(e) You have not only not shown pity, but oppressed them.

9. His treatment of widows—he ejected them empty; or when they came seeking redress, or pleading their rights, he let them go unheard. Comp. Job’s own language as to himself, ch. Job 29:13, Job 31:16.

The “arms” of the fatherless are their helps or rights, on which they relied, and by which they were supported.Verse 9. - Thou hast sent widows away empty. Job, on the contrary, declares that he "caused the widow s heart to sing for joy" (Job 29:13). The sin of oppressing widows was one of which Job deeply felt the heinousness. He is certainly a priori not likely to have committed it (Job 1:1; Job 4:3, 4), and the prejudiced testimony of Eliphaz will scarcely convince any dispassionate person to the contrary. And the arms of the fatherless have been broken; i.e. the strength of the fatherless has been (by thy fault) taken flora them. Job has allowed them to be oppressed and ruined. The reply of Job is, "When the ear heard, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw, it gave witness to me: because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him" (Job 29:11, 12; see also Job 31:21, 22). 1 Then began Eliphaz the Temanite, and said:

2 Is a man profitable unto God?

No, indeed! the intelligent man is profitable to himself.

3 Hath the Almighty any profit if thou art righteous,

Or gain if thou strivest to walk uprightly?

4 Will He reprove thee for thy fear of God,

Will He go with thee into judgment?

5 Is not thy wickedness great,

Thine iniquities infinite?

The verb סכן, in the signification to be profitable, is peculiar to the book of Job (although also סכן and סכנת elsewhere, according to its primary signification, does not differ from מועיל, מועילה, by which it is explained by Kimchi); the correct development of the notion of this verb is to be perceived from the Hiph., which occurs in Job 21:21 in this speech of Eliphaz (vid., Ges. Thes.): it signifies originally, like שׁכן, Arab. skn, to rest, dwell, especially to dwell beside one another, then to become accustomed to one another (comp. שׁכן, a neighbour, and Arab. sakanun, a friend, confidant), and to assist one another, to be serviceable, to be profitable; we can say both סכנתּי, I have profit, Job 34:9, and סכן, it is profitable, Job 15:3; Job 35:3, here twice with a personal subj., and first followed by ל, then with the על usual also elsewhere in later prose (e.g., טוב על, 1 Chronicles 13:2, comp. supra, Job 10:3, to be pleasant) and poetry, which gladly adopts Aramaisms (as here and Psalm 16:6, שׁפר על, well-pleased), instead of ל, whence here עלימו, as Job 20:23, pathetic for עליו. The question, which is intended as a negative, is followed by the negative answer (which establishes its negative meaning) with כּי; משׂכּיל is, like Psalm 14:2, the intelligent, who wills and does what is good, with an insight into the nature of the extremes in morality, as in Proverbs 1:3 independent morality which rests not merely on blind custom is called מוסר השׂכל. היה חפץ ל, it is to the interest of any one (different from 1 Samuel 15:22, vid., on Job 21:21), and היה בצע ל, it is to the gain of any one (prop. the act of cutting, cutting off, i.e., what one tears in pieces), follow as synonyms of סכן. On the Aramaizing doubling of the first radical in the Hiph. תתּם (instead of תתם), vid., Ges. 67, rem. 8, comp. 3. It is translated an lucrum (ei) si integras facias vias tuas. The meaning of the whole strophe is mainly determined according to the rendering of המיּראתך (like המבינתך, Job 39:26, with Dech, and as an exception with Munach, not removed to the place of the Metheg; vid., Psalter, ii. 491, Anm. 1). If the suff. is taken objectively (from fear of thee), e.g., Hirz., we have the following line of thought: God is neither benefited by human virtue nor injured by human sin, so that when He corrects the sinner He is turning danger from himself; He neither rewards the godly because He is benefited by his piety, nor punishes the sinner because by his sinning he threatens Him with injury. Since, therefore, if God chastises a man, the reason of it is not to be found in any selfish purpose of God, it must be in the sin of the man, which is on its own account worthy of punishment. But the logical relation in which Job 22:5 stands to Job 22:4 does not suit this: perhaps from fear of thee ... ? no, rather because of thy many and great sins! Hahn is more just to this relation when he explains: "God has no personal profit to expect from man, so that, somewhat from fear, to prevent him from being injurious, He should have any occasion to torment him with sufferings unjustly." But if the personal profit, which is denied, is one that grows out of the piety of the man, the personal harm, which is denied as one which God by punishment will keep far from Himself, is to be thought of as growing out of the sin of the man; and the logical relation of Job 22:5 to Job 22:4 is not suited to this, for. Job 22:5 assigns the reason of the chastisement to the sin, and denies, as it runs, not merely any motive whatever in connection with the sin, but that the reason can lie in the opposite of sin, as it appears according to Job's assertion that, although guiltless, he is still suffering from the wrath of God.

Thus, then, the suff. of המיראתך is to be taken subjectively: on account of thy fear of God, as Eliphaz has used יראתך twice already, Job 4:6; Job 15:4. By this subjective rendering Job 22:4 and Job 22:5 form a true antithesis: Does God perhaps punish thee on account of thy fear of God? Does He go (on that account) with thee into judgment? No (it would be absurd to suppose that); therefore thy wickedness must be great (in proportion to the greatness of thy suffering), and thy misdeeds infinitely many. If we now look at what precedes, we shall have to put aside the thought drawn into Job 22:2 and Job 22:3 by Ewald (and also by Hahn): whether God, perhaps with the purpose of gaining greater advantage from piety, seeks to raise it by unjustly decreed suffering; for this thought has nothing to indicate it, and is indeed certainly false, but on account of the force of truth which lies in it (there is a decreeing of suffering for the godly to raise their piety) is only perplexing.

First of all, we must inquire how it is that Eliphaz begins his speech thus. All the exhortations to penitence in which the three exhaust themselves, rebound from Job without affecting him. Even Eliphaz, the oldest among them, full of a lofty, almost prophetic consciousness, has with the utmost solicitude allured and terrified him, but in vain. And it is the cause of God which he brings against him, or rather his own well-being that he seeks, without making an impression upon him. Then he reminds him that God is in Himself the all-sufficient One; that no advantage accrues to Him from human uprightness, since His nature, existing before and transcending all created things, can suffer neither diminution nor increase from the creature; that Job therefore, since he remains inaccessible to that well-meant call to penitent humiliation, has refused not to benefit Him, but himself; or, what is the reverse side of this thought (which is not, however, expressed), that he does no injury to Him, only to himself. And yet in what except in Job's sin should this decree of suffering have its ground? If it is a self-contradiction that God should chastise a man because he fears Him, there must be sin on the side of Job; and indeed, since the nature of the sin is to be measured according to the nature of the suffering, great and measureless sin. This logical necessity Eliphaz now regards as real, without further investigation, by opening out this bundle of sins in the next strophe, and reproaching Job directly with that which Zophar, Job 20:19-21, aiming at Job, has said of the רשׁע. In the next strophe he continues, with כי explic.:

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