Job 34:26
He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others;
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(26) He striketh them as wicked men.—Rather, in the place of wicked men he striketh them: i.e., the wicked—that is, “He executeth His judgments in the sight of all beholders, striking down wicked men in their very place, so that there can be no doubt as to who are stricken or why they are stricken.”

34:16-30 Elihu appeals directly to Job himself. Could he suppose that God was like those earthly princes, who hate right, who are unfit to rule, and prove the scourges of mankind? It is daring presumption to condemn God's proceedings, as Job had done by his discontents. Elihu suggests divers considerations to Job, to produce in him high thoughts of God, and so to persuade him to submit. Job had often wished to plead his cause before God. Elihu asks, To what purpose? All is well that God does, and will be found so. What can make those uneasy, whose souls dwell at ease in God? The smiles of all the world cannot quiet those on whom God frowns.He striketh them as wicked men - literally, "Under the wicked, or on account of the wicked, he smites them." That is, he deals with them "as if" they were wicked; he regards and treats them as such. He deals with them "under" the general character of wicked people, and punishes them accordingly.

In the open sight of others - Margin, as in Hebrew "in the place of beholders." The idea is, that it is done openly or publicly. Their sins had been committed in secret, but they are punished openly. The manifestation of the divine displeasure is in the presence of spectators, or is so open and public, that it cannot but be seen. It is very probable that in all this description Elihu had his eye upon the public calamities which had come upon Job, and that he meant to include him among the number of mighty men whom God thus suddenly overturned.

26. He striketh them—chasteneth.

as—that is, because they are wicked.

sight of others—Sinners hid themselves in darkness; therefore they are punished before all, in open day. Image from the place of public execution (Job 40:12; Ex 14:30; 2Sa 12:12).

As wicked men, i.e. as he useth to smite wicked men, with a grievous and terrible stroke. Compare Isaiah 27:7. Or, for wicked men; or, because they are wicked men, therefore he destroys them without any regard to their quality.

In the open sight of others; in public view, for their greater shame, and for the greater glory of God’s justice, and for the greater terror of other oppressors, and comfort of the oppressed.

He striketh them as wicked men,.... Such is the strict justice of God, that he never strikes men, or inflicts punishment on them, or brings down his judgments upon them, but as wicked men, and because of their wickedness; the casting of man out of Eden was for his sin, as well as the casting down the angels from heaven that sinned; the drowning of the old world, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the ruin of Pharaoh and his host, the driving the Canaanites out of their land, the various captivities of the Israelites, with other instances of God's displeasure with men in this world, and the everlasting punishment of them in another, are only of them as wicked men, and for sin; and therefore he is not chargeable with any unrighteousness. Sephorno interprets it, "instead of wicked men", and illustrates it by the shaking out of Pharaoh and his host into the sea in the room and stead of the wicked Israelites, that came up from thence,

in the open sight of others: which the same interpreter refers to the Israelites seeing the Egyptians dead on the seashore; or "in the place of them that see" (f), that is, in a public manner, as generally malefactors are executed, to which the allusion may be; it denotes the publicness of God's righteous judgments on wicked men, for the greater declaration of his power and justice, and for the greater shame and disgrace of such wicked men, and for the joy and comfort of the righteous delivered from them.

(f) "in loco videntium", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Piscator, Michaelis; "in loco spectantium", Beza, Cocceius, Schultens.

He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of {u} others;

(u) Meaning, openly in the sight of all men.

Verse 26. - He striketh them as wicked men; i.e. as open and acknowledged malefactors. In the open sight of others; literally, in the place of beholders; i.e. publicly, openly, where their fate is an example to others. Job 34:26The following תּחת רשׁעים cannot signify: on the place of the evil-doers, i.e., in the place where evil-doers are punished (Hirz., Hahn, and others), for תּחת (תּחתּי) only has this signification with the suff. (vid., on Habakkuk 3:16); but not otherwise than: in the evil-doers' stead, taking them and treating them as such, as Jer. has correctly translated: quasi impios (comp. Isaiah 10:4, Jerome, cum interfectis). The place first mentioned afterwards is not exactly the usual place of judgment, but any place whatever where all can see it. There He smites those who hitherto held positions of eminence, as of unimpeachable honour, like the common criminal; ספק, Arab. ṣfq, complodere, and then ictu resonante percutere, as the likewise cognate Arab. sf' signifies first to box the ear (as Arab. sfq equals ṣfq), then so to strike that it smacks. As little as לכן, Job 34:25, was equals לכן אשׁר, just so little is אשׁר על־כּן, Job 34:27, equals על־כן אשׁר (vid., on the other hand what is said on Genesis 18:5 concerning כּי־על־כּן). Elihu wishes to say that they endure such a destiny of punishment, because they therefore, i.e., in order to suffer such, have turned aside from following after God, and have not thought on all His ways, i.e., guidings, by which He manifested Himself to them: they have thus sought to cause the cry of the poor to come (Jer. well renders: ut pervenire facerent ad eum) before Him (עליו, perhaps with the idea of urging forward equals לפניו or בּאזניו), and that He may hear the cry of the lowly (construction exactly like Job 33:17), i.e., have sought to bring forth His avenging justice by injustice that cries aloud to heaven.
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