Job 36:17
But you have fulfilled the judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on you.
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Job 36:17. But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked — Or, the cause, or sentence, as the word דיןdin, most properly signifies. Thou hast fully pleaded their cause, and justified the hard speeches which wicked men utter against God. Therefore the just judgment of God takes hold on thee. Thou hast maintained their cause against God, and God passes against thee the sentence of condemnation due to wicked men.36:15-23 Elihu shows that Job caused the continuance of his own trouble. He cautions him not to persist in frowardness. Even good men need to be kept to their duty by the fear of God's wrath; the wisest and best have enough in them to deserve his stroke. Let not Job continue his unjust quarrel with God and his providence. And let us never dare to think favourably of sin, never indulge it, nor allow ourselves in it. Elihu thinks Job needed this caution, he having chosen rather to gratify his pride and humour by contending with God, than to mortify them by submitting, and accepting the punishment. It is absurd for us to think to teach Him who is himself the Fountain of light, truth, knowledge, and instruction. He teaches by the Bible, and that is the best book; teaches by his Son, and he is the best Master. He is just in all proceedings.But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked - Rosenmuller explains this as meaning, "If under divine inflictions and chastisements you wish to imitate the obduracy of the wicked, then the cause and the punishment will mutually sustain them selves; that is, the one will be commensurate with the other." But it is not necessary to regard this as a "supposition." It has rather the aspect of; an affirmation, meaning to express the fact that Job "had," as Elihu feared, envinced the same spirit in his trials which the wicked do. He had not seen in him evidence of penitence and of a desire to return to God, but had heard complaints and murmurings, such as the wicked indulge in. He had "filled up," or "fulfilled," the judgment of the wicked; that is, he had in no way come short of the opinion which "they" expressed of the divine dealings. Still it is possible that the word "if" may be here understood, and that Elihu means merely to state that if Job should manifest the same spirit with the wicked, instead of a spirit of penitence, he would have reason to apprehend the same doom which they experience.

Judgment and justice take hold on thee - Margin, "or, should uphold thee." The Hebrew word here rendered "take" - יתמכוּ yitmokû, is from תמך tâmak - "to take hold of, to obtain, to hold fast, to support." Rosenmuller and Gesenius suppose that the word here has a "reciprocal" sense, and means they take hold of each other, or sustain each other. Prof. Lee renders it, "Both judgment and justice will uphold this;" that is, the sentiment which he had just advanced, that Job had filled up the judgment of the wicked. Urnbrett renders it, "If thou art full of the opinion of the wicked, then the opinion and justice will rapidly follow each other."

Doch worm du yell bist yon des Frevlers Urtheil,

So werden Urthoil und Gericht schnell auf einander folgen.

According to this the meaning is, that if Job held the opinions of wicked people, he must expect that these opinions would be rapidly followed by judgment, or that they would go together, and support each other. This seems to me to be in accordance with the connection, and to express the thought which Elihu meant to convey. It is a sentiment which is undoubtedly true - that if a man holds the sentiments, and manifests the spirit of the wicked, he must expect to be treated as they are.

17. Rather, "But if thou art fulfilled (that is, entirely filled) with the judgment of the wicked (that is, the guilt incurring judgment" [Maurer]; or rather, as Umbreit, referring to Job 34:5-7, 36, the judgment pronounced on God by the guilty in misfortunes), judgment (God's judgment on the wicked, Jer 51:9, playing on the double meaning of "judgment") and justice shall closely follow each other [Umbreit]. The judgment; or, the cause, or sentence, as the word most properly signifieth. Thou hast fully pleaded their cause, and justified the hard and reproachful speeches which wicked men in their rage utter against God, condemning God and justifying themselves.

Judgment and justice take hold on thee; or, therefore (which is oft understood) the sentence and judgment (or, the judicial sentence, to wit, of the wicked now mentioned) shall take hold on thee. Thou hast maintained their cause against God, and God shall pass against thee their sentence, or the sentence of condemnation due to such wicked men. But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked,.... Some (w) take this to be a continuation of the happiness Job would have enjoyed, had he behaved in his affliction as he ought to have done; then he would have been filled to satisfaction, by seeing the judgments of God exercised on wicked men, as on the Chaldeans and Sabeans, who had injured him: "and judgment and justice would have upheld thee"; when they should be cast down. But these words rather seem to be expressive of his present state, and the reason of it, he not being sufficiently humbled: and the sense is, not that he had lived a vicious course of life, as the wicked do, and filled up the measure of his wickedness as they; and so deserved to be filled with the like judgments as inflicted on them. Mr. Broughton reads the words,

"as thou hast fulfilled the sentence of the wicked, sentence and judgment have laid hold:''

but rather the meaning is, that he had "fulfilled the contention of the wicked" (x); pleaded as they did, argued with God after their manner: and therefore is said to go in company and walk with them, and make answers for them, Job 34:8. Wherefore

justice and judgment take hold on thee; afflictions in righteousness, or the chastening hand of God, in righteous judgment, had taken hold upon him, and would hold him until he was sufficiently humbled under them.

(w) Schmidt, Michaelis. (x) "et litem improbi implevisti", Schultens.

But thou hast fulfilled the {m} judgment of the wicked: judgment and justice take hold on thee.

(m) You are altogether after the manner of the wicked: for you murmur against the justice of God.

17. The A. V. takes this verse positively; it is more suitable to the connexion and purpose of the speaker to understand it conditionally—if thou art filled with, or as A. V. fulfillest. To be full of, or to fulfil, the judgment of the wicked, is to join the wicked in their judgment of God when He afflicts, to lay up wrath against God (Job 36:13), an idea immediately taken up in Job 36:18. If Job acts in this way, as he is too much inclined (Job 36:21), then judgment and justice shall keep hold on him. God’s condemnation of him will reveal itself in the continuance and increase of his chastisement (cf. Job 36:13-14, ch. Job 5:1 seq.). The word “judgment” is used in the one clause of man’s, and in the other of God’s judgment, making a forcible antithesis.Verse 17. - But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked; i.e. but, as thou hast not so acted, the result has been different. Thy hardness and impenitence have brought upon thee the judgments reserved by God for the wicked - judgment and justice take hold on thee - thou art suffering the just penalty of thy obstinacy. 11 If they hear and yield,

They pass their days in prosperity

And their years in pleasure.

12 And if they hear not,

They pass away by the bow

And expire in lack of knowledge.

Since a declaration of the divine will has preceded in Job 36:10, it is more natural to take ויעבדוּ in the sense of obsequi, to do the will of another (as 1 Kings 12:7, comp. מעבּד from עבד in the generalized sense of facere), than, with Umbr., in the sense of colere scil. Deum (as Isaiah 19:23, Arab. ‛âbid, one who reveres God, a godly person). Instead of יבלּוּ, Isaiah 65:22 (on which the Masora observes לית, i.e., "nowhere else") and Job 21:13 Chethb, 'it is here without dispute יכלּוּ (Targ. ישׁלּמוּן, peragent, as Ezekiel 43:27). נעימים is, as Psalm 16:6, a neutral masc.: amoena. On עבר בשׁלח, to precipitate one's self into the weapon, i.e., to incur peremptory punishment, comp. Job 33:18. On בבלי דעת comp. Job 35:16; Job 4:21. Impenitence changes affliction, which is intended to be a means of rescue, into total destruction; yet there are some who will not be warned and affrighted by it.

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