Job 9:25
Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good.
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(25) Swifter than a post.—The runner, with his messages and dispatches. He now turns away from the contemplation of God and His dealings to that of his own misery.

Job 9:25. Now my days — The days of my life; are swifter than a post — Who rides upon swift horses; they see no good — I enjoy no good in them; seeing being often put for experiencing either good or evil. Thus Job now exemplifies in himself what he had said of the calamities which God frequently inflicts on good men.

9:25-35 What little need have we of pastimes, and what great need to redeem time, when it runs on so fast towards eternity! How vain the enjoyments of time, which we may quite lose while yet time continues! The remembrance of having done our duty will be pleasing afterwards; so will not the remembrance of having got worldly wealth, when it is all lost and gone. Job's complaint of God, as one that could not be appeased and would not relent, was the language of his corruption. There is a Mediator, a Daysman, or Umpire, for us, even God's own beloved Son, who has purchased peace for us with the blood of his cross, who is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God through him. If we trust in his name, our sins will be buried in the depths of the sea, we shall be washed from all our filthiness, and made whiter than snow, so that none can lay any thing to our charge. We shall be clothed with the robes of righteousness and salvation, adorned with the graces of the Holy Spirit, and presented faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. May we learn the difference between justifying ourselves, and being thus justified by God himself. Let the tempest-tossed soul consider Job, and notice that others have passed this dreadful gulf; and though they found it hard to believe that God would hear or deliver them, yet he rebuked the storm, and brought them to the desired haven. Resist the devil; give not place to hard thoughts of God, or desperate conclusions about thyself. Come to Him who invites the weary and heavy laden; who promises in nowise to cast them out.Now my days are swifter than a post - Than a courier, runner, or racer, רוּץ rûts. Vulgate, cursore; Septuagint, δρομέως dromeōs, a racer. The word is not unfrequently applied to the runners or couriers, that carried royal commands in ancient times. It is applied to the mounted couriers of the Persians who carried the royal edicts to the distant provinces, Esther 3:13, Esther 3:15; Esther 8:14, and to the body-guard and royal messengers of Saul and of David, 1 Samuel 22:17; 2 Kings 10:25. The common rate of traveling in the East is exceedingly slow. The caravans move little more than two miles an hour. Couriers are however, employed who go either on dromedaries, on horses, or on foot, and who travel with great rapidity. Lady Montague says that "after the defeat; at Peterwaradin, they (the couriers on dromedaries) far outran the fleetest horses, and brought the first news of the battle at Belgrade." The messengers in Barbary who carry despatches, it is said, will run one hundred and fifty miles in twenty-four hours (Harmer's Observa. ii. 200, ed. 1808), and it has been said that the messengers among the American savages would run an hundred and twenty miles in the twenty-four hours. In Egypt, it is a common thing for an Arab on foot to accompany a rider, and to keep up with the horse when at full gallop, and to do this for a long time without apparent fatigue. The meaning of Job here is, that his life was short, and that his days were passing swiftly away, not like the slow caravan, but like the most fleet messenger compare the note at Job 7:6.

They see no good - I am not permitted to enjoy happiness. My life is a life of misery.

25. a post—a courier. In the wide Persian empire such couriers, on dromedaries or on foot, were employed to carry the royal commands to the distant provinces (Es 3:13, 15; 8:14). "My days" are not like the slow caravan, but the fleet post. The "days" are themselves poetically said to "see no good," instead of Job in them (1Pe 3:10). What he had said of the calamities which God usually inflicted upon good men, he now exemplifieth in himself.

My days; the days, either of my prosperity; for the time of affliction is commonly described by the night; or rather, of my life, as the last clause showeth; for it were an absurd and contradictious speech to say that his prosperous days saw no good.

A post; who runs or rides upon swift horses.

They see no good; I enjoy no good in them. Seeing is oft put for experiencing either good or evil, Job 7:7 Psalm 34:12 John 3:36 John 8:51.

Now my days are swifter than a post,.... Or "than a runner" (a) in a race, in order to obtain the prize; or than one that rides post, or runs on foot to carry a message, such as were Cushi and Ahimaaz; and such are generally swift of foot, or ride on swift horses, who are so employed; and yet Job says his days are swifter, or passed away more swiftly thorn such; meaning either his days in general; or rather particularly his prosperous days, as Mr. Broughton interprets it; these no sooner came but they were gone:

they flee away; like a shadow, or a dream, or a tale that is told:

they see no good; or he saw, perceived, or enjoyed no good in them; not but that he did see and enjoy much good, even much temporal good, which is what is intended; but this was no sooner had than it was taken away, that it was as if it had never been; the evil days of trouble and sorrow, in which he had no pleasure, came so quick upon him.

(a) "cursore", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, &c.

Now my days are swifter than a post: they flee away, they see no good.
25. Now my days] Better, and my days—under the weight of this unjust and oppressive Force (Job 9:5-24).

than a post] i. e. a courier, 2 Samuel 18:22; 2 Samuel 18:24.

Verse 25. - Now my days are swifter than a post. Life slips away so fast that before it is well begun, it is ended. Job compares it to the swift passage of the trained runner, or messenger, who carried despatches for kings and other great personages in the olden times (see 2 Chronicles 30:6; Esther 3:13; Esther 8:10, 14). Herodotus says of the trained runners employed by the Persians, "Nothing mortal travels so fast as these Persian messengers" (Herod., 8:98). There is abundant evidence of the employment of such persons in ancient Egypt. They flee away, they see no good. It seems to Job that his prosperity (Job 1:2-5) was only for a moment. He scarcely could look on it before it was gone. Job 9:2525 My days were swifter than a runner,

They fled away without seeing prosperity,

26 They shot by as ships of reeds,

As an eagle which dasheth upon its prey.

27 If my thought is: I will forget my complaint,

I will give up my dark looks and look cheerful;

28 I shudder at all my pains,

I feel that Thou dost not pronounce me innocent.

Such, as described in the preceding strophe, is the lot of the innocent in general, and such (this is the connection) is also Job's lot: his swiftly passing life comes to an end amidst suffering, as that of an evil-doer whom God cuts off in judgment. In the midst of his present sufferings he has entirely forgotten his former prosperity; it is no happiness to him, because the very enjoyment of it makes the loss of it more grievous to bear. The days of prosperity are gone, have passed swiftly away without טובה, i.e., without lasting prosperity. They have been swifter רץ מנּי. By reference to Job 7:6, this might be considered as a figure borrowed from the weaver's loom, since in the Coptic the threads of the weft (fila subteminis) which are wound round the shuttle are called "runners" (vid., Ges. Thesaurus); but Rosenmller has correctly observed that, in order to describe the fleetness of his life, Job brings together that which is swiftest on land (the runners or couriers), in water (fast-sailing ships), and in the air (the swooping eagle). עם, Job 9:26, signifies, in comparison with, aeque ac. But we possess only a rather uncertain tradition as to the kind of vessels meant by אבה אניות. Jerome translates, after the Targ.: naves poma portantes, by which one may understand the small vessels, according to Edrisi, common on the Dead Sea, in which corn and different kinds of fruits were carried from Zoar to Jericho and to other regions of the Jordan (Stickel, S. 267); but if אבה were connected with אב, we might rather expect אבּה, after the form אשּׁה (from אשׁ), instead of אבה. Others derive the word from אבה, avere: ships of desire, i.e., full-rigged and ready for sea (Gecatilia in Ges. Thes. suppl. p. 62), or struggling towards the goal (Kimchi), or steering towards (Zamora), and consequently hastening to (Symmachuc, σπευδούσαις), the harbour; but independently of the explanation not being suited to the description, it should then be accented beh, after the form נדה, קצה, instead of bh. The explanation, ships of hostility (Syr.),

(Note: Luther also perhaps understood pirate ships, when he translated, "wie die starcken Schiff.")

i.e., ships belonging to pirates or freebooters, privateers, which would suit the subject well, is still less admissible with the present pointing of the text, as it must then be אבה (איבה), with which the Egyptian uba, against, and adverse (contrarius), may be compared. According to Abulwalid (Parchon, Raschi), אבה is the name of a large river near the scene of the book of Job; which may be understood as either the Babylonian name for river Arab. 'bby, or the Abyssinian name of the Nile, ab; and אבה may be compared with לבנה in relation to the Arabic, lubna. But a far more satisfactory explanation is the one now generally received, according to the comparison with the Arabic abâ'un, a reed (whence abaa-t-un, a reed, a so-called n. unitatis): ships made from reeds, like גּמא כּלי, Isaiah 18:2, vessels of papyrus, βαρίδες παπύριναι. In such small ships, with Egyptian tackling, they used to travel as far as Taprobane. These canoes were made to fold together, plicatiles, so that they could be carried past the cataracts; Heliodorus describes them as ὀξυδρομώτατα.

(Note: There is no Egyptian word which can be compared to אבה, whereas han (hani) or an (ana) in Egyptian, like the Hebrew אניה, means a ship (vid., Chabas, Le Papyrus magique Harris, p. 246, No. 826, cf. pp. 33, 47); it is written with the sign for set equals downwards, since they fastened a stone at the front of the vessel, as was even known to Herodotus, in order to accelerate its speed in descending the river. From this one might conjecture for the passage before us אבן אניות equals swift sailers.)

The third figure is the eagle, which swoops down upon its prey; טוּשׂ, like Chaldee טוּס, by which the Targ. translates השׁ, Habakkuk 1:8; Grtz' conjecture of ישׁוּט (which is intended to mean flutters) is superfluous. Just as unnecessary is it, with Olshausen, to change אמרי אם into אמרתי אם: "if my saying (thinking)" is equivalent to, "as often as I say (think)." פנים is here (as in the German phrase, ein Gesicht machen) an ill-humoured, distorted, wry face. When Job desires to give up this look of suffering and be cheerful (הבליג, like Job 10:20, hilaritatem prae se ferre, vultum hilarem induere), the certainty that he is not favoured of God, and consequently that he cannot be delivered from his sufferings, all his anguish in spite of his struggles against it comes ever afresh before his mind. It is scarcely necessary to remark that תנקני is addressed to God, not to Bildad. It is important to notice that Job does not speak of God without at the same time looking up to Him as in prayer. Although he feels rejected of God, he still remains true to God. In the following strophe he continues to complain of God, but without denying Him.

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