New American Standard Bible
"He rushes headlong at Him With his massive shield.
King James Bible
He runneth upon him, even on his neck, upon the thick bosses of his bucklers:
Darby Bible Translation
He runneth against him, with outstretched neck, with the thick bosses of his bucklers;
World English Bible
he runs at him with a stiff neck, with the thick shields of his bucklers;
Young's Literal Translation
He runneth unto Him with a neck, With thick bosses of his shields.
Job 15:26 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
He runneth upon him - That is, upon God. The image here is taken from the mode in which people rushed into battle. It was with a violent concussion, and usually with a shout, that they might intimidate their foes, and overcome them at first, with the violence of the shock. The mode of warfare is now changed, and it is the vaunted excellency of modern warfare that armies now go deliberately and calmly to put each other to death.
Even "on his neck - literally, "with the neck" - בצואר betsavā'r. Vulgate, "With erect neck - erecto collo." Septuagint, contemptuously, or with pride - ὕβρει hubrei. The idea seems to be, not that he ran "upon the neck" of his adversary - as would seem to be implied in our translation - but that he ran in a firm, haughty, confident manner; with a head erect and firm, as the indication of self confidence, and a determined purpose to overcome his foe. See Schultens in loc.
Upon the thick bosses - The word boss with us means a knob - a protuberant ornament of silver, brass, or ivory on a harness or a bridle; then a protuberant part, a prominence, or a round or swelling body of any kind. The Hebrew word used here (גב gab) means properly anything gibbous, convex, arched; and hence, "the back" - as of animals. Applied to a shield, it means the convex part or the back of it - the part which was presented to an enemy, and which was made swelling and strong, called by the Greeks ὀμφαλὸς omfalos, or μεσομφάλιον mesomfalion. Gesenius supposes that the metaphor here is taken from soldiers, who joined their shields together, and thus rushed upon an enemy. This was one mode of ancient warfare, when an army or a phalanx united their shields in front, so that nothing could penetrate them, or so united them over their heads when approaching a fortress, that they could safely march under them as a covering.
This, among the Romans and Greeks, was commonly practiced when approaching a besieged town. One form of the testudo - the χελώη στρατιωτῶν chelōnē stratiōtōn of the Greeks, was formed by the soldiers, pressed close together and holding their shields over their heads in such a manner as to form a compact covering. John H. Eschenburg, Manual of Classical Literature. by N. W. Fiske, pt. III, section 147. The Vulgate renders this, "and he is armed with a fat neck" - pingui cervice armatus est. Schultens expresses the idea that is adopted by Gesenius, and refers to Arabic customs to show that shields were thus united in defending an army from a foe, or in making an attack on them. He says, also, that it is a common expression - a proverb - among the Arabs, "he turns the back of his shield" to denote that one is an adversary; and quotes a passage from Hamasa, "When a friend meets me with base suspicions, I turn to him the back of my shield - a proverb, whose origin is derived from the fact, that a warrior turns the back of his shield to his foes."
Paxton supposes that the expression here is taken from single combat, which early prevailed. But the idea here is not that which our translation would seem to convey. It is not that he rushes upon or against the hard or thick shield "of the Almighty" - and that, therefore, he must meet resistance and be overcome: it is that he rushes upon God with his own shield. He puts himself in the attitude of a warrior. He turns the boss of his own shield against God, and becomes his antagonist. He is his enemy. The omission of the word "with" in the passage - or the preposition which is in the Hebrew (ב b) has led to this erroneous translation. The passage is often quoted in a popular manner to denote that the sinner rushes upon God, "and must meet resistance" from his shield, or be overcome. It should be quoted only to denote that the sinner places himself in an attitude of opposition to God, and is his enemy.
Of his bucklers - Of his shields (מגניו megı̂nāy), that is, of the shields which the sinner has; not the shields of God. The shield was a well-known instrument of war, usually made with a rim of wood or metal, and covered with skins, and carried on the left arm; see the notes at Isaiah 21:5. The outer surface was made rounding from the center to the edge, and was smoothly polished, so that darts or arrows would glide off and not penetrate.
LibraryOf Meditation Upon the Hidden Judgments of God, that we May not be Lifted up Because of Our Well-Doing
Thou sendest forth Thy judgments against me, O Lord, and shakest all my bones with fear and trembling, and my soul trembleth exceedingly. I stand astonished, and remember that the heavens are not clean in thy sight.(1) If Thou chargest Thine angels with folly, and didst spare them not, how shall it be unto me? Stars have fallen from heaven, and what shall I dare who am but dust? They whose works seemed to be praiseworthy, fell into the lowest depths, and they who did eat Angels' food, them have …
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ
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The Hebrew Sages and their Proverbs
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Because he has stretched out his hand against God And conducts himself arrogantly against the Almighty.
"For he has covered his face with his fat And made his thighs heavy with flesh.
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