And from the wicked their light is withheld, and the high arm shall be broken.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Job 38:15. And, or, rather, but, from the wicked their light is withholden — The earth, and the men and the things in it, have the comfort and benefit of the light, but so have not the wicked; they enjoy not its beautiful approach; either, because they shun it, and choose darkness rather than light, their deeds being evil; or, by the judgment of God, or of the magistrate, by whom they are shut out through imprisonment, or cut off by capital punishment, from the light of the living. And the high arm shall be broken — Their great strength, which they used tyrannically to the oppression and crushing of others.Job 24:17. Or, the meaning may be, that when the light shines upon the world, the wicked, accustomed to perform their deeds in the night, flee from it, and retreat to their dark hiding-places.
And the high arm - Of the wicked. The arm is a symbol of strength. It is that by which we accomplish our purposes, and the idea here is, that the haughty power of the oppressor shall be crushed. The connection here seems to be this. In Job 38:12-14, there is a beautiful description of the light, and of its effects upon the appearance of natural objects. It was such as to clothe the world with beauty, and to fill the heart of the pious with gladness. In order now to show the greatness of the punishment of the wicked, it is added that all this beauty will be hidden from them. They will be driven away by the light into their dark hiding-places, and will be met there with the withdrawal of all the tokens of prosperity, and their power will be crushed.
high—Rather, "The arm uplifted" for murder or other crime is broken; it falls down suddenly, powerless, through their fear of light.And, or but; for the following words seem to be added by way of opposition to what went before. The earth, and the men, and the things in it have the comfort and benefit of the light, but so have not the wicked. Their light, i.e. their portion of light. That light which is enjoyed by others is withholden from them, either by their own choice, because they love and choose darkness rather than light; or by the judgment of God, or the magistrate, by whom they are cut off from the light of the living, as it is called, Job 33:30, or at least deprived of their peace, and comfort, and prosperity, which frequently goes under the name of
light in Scripture, and may be so called here by an elegant allusion to the natural light of the sun mentioned before.
The high arms; their great strength, which they used tyrannically, to the oppression and crushing of others. Job 24:17; it may be figuratively understood of the light of prosperity being removed from them, or the light of life, when they shall be sent into utter darkness;
and the high arm shall be broken; their power weakened and made useless; even the power of such wicked men who have had a large share of it, and have used it in a tyrannical manner; and especially this will be their case at death; see Isaiah 14:10.And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)15. shall be broken] Rather, is broken. The “light” of the wicked is the darkness, ch. Job 24:17. The “high arm” is the arm already uplifted to commit violence. Again the moral meaning of the dayspring is expressed.Verse 15. - And from the wicked their light is withholden. Then, when the dawn bursts forth, "from the wicked, their light"-which is darkness (Job 24:13-17) - "is withholden," and the consequence is that the high arm - the arm that is proud and lifted up - shall be broken. Detection and punishment fall upon the wicked doers who are surprised by the daylight.
When it broke through, issued from the womb,
9 When I put clouds round it as a garment,
And thick mist as its swaddling clothes,
10 And I broke for it my bound,
And set bars and doors,
11 And said: Hitherto come, and no further,
And here be thy proud waves stayed!?
The state of תהו ובהו was the first half, and the state of תהום the second half of the primeval condition of the forming earth. The question does not, however, refer to the תהום, in which the waters of the sky and the waters of the earth were as yet not separated, but, passing over this intermediate condition of the forming earth, to the sea, the waters of which God shut up as by means of a door and bolt, when, first enshrouded in thick mist (which has remained from that time one of its natural peculiarities), and again and again manifesting its individuality, it broke forth (גּיח of the foetus, as Psalm 22:10) from the bowels of the, as yet, chaotic earth. That the sea, in spite of the flatness of its banks, does not flow over the land, is a work of omnipotence which broke over it, i.e., restraining it, a fixed bound (חק as Job 26:10; Proverbs 8:29; Jeremiah 5:22, equals גּבוּל, Psalm 104:9), viz., the steep and rugged walls of the basin of the sea, and which thereby established a firm barrier behind which it should be kept. Instead of וּפה, Joshua 18:8, Job 38:11 has the Chethib וּפא. חק is to be understood with ישׁית, and "one set" is equivalent to the passive (Ges. 137*): let a bound be set (comp. שׁת, Hosea 6:11, which is used directly so) against the proud rising of thy waves.
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