New American Standard Bible
"The earth is given into the hand of the wicked; He covers the faces of its judges. If it is not He, then who is it?
King James Bible
The earth is given into the hand of the wicked: he covereth the faces of the judges thereof; if not, where, and who is he?
Darby Bible Translation
The earth is given over into the hand of the wicked man; he covereth the faces of its judges. If not, who then is it?
World English Bible
The earth is given into the hand of the wicked. He covers the faces of its judges. If not he, then who is it?
Young's Literal Translation
Earth hath been given Into the hand of the wicked one. The face of its judges he covereth, If not -- where, who is he?
Job 9:24 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
The earth is given into the hand of the wicked - This is evidently designed as an illustration of the sentiment that Job was maintaining - that there was not a distribution of rewards and punishments in this life according to character. In illustration of this, he says that the wicked are raised to places of trust and power. They exercise a wide dominion over the earth, and the world is under their control. Of the truth of this there can be no doubt. Rulers have been, in general, eminent for wickedness, and the affairs of nations have thus far been almost always under the control of those who are strangers to God. At the present time there is scarcely a pious man on any throne in the world, and the rulers of even Christian nations are in general eminent for anything rather than for personal religion.
He covereth the faces of the judges thereof - There has been considerable variety in the exposition of this expression. Some suppose that it refers to the wicked, meaning that they cover the faces of the judges under them so that they connive at and tolerate crime. Others, that it means that God blinds the eyes of wicked rulers, so that they connive at crime, and are partial and unjust in their decisions. Others, that it means that God covers the faces of the judges of the earth with shame and confusion, that though he admits them to prosperity and honor for a time, yet that he overwhelms them at length with calamities and sorrows. Dr. Good supposes it to mean that the earth is given over into the hands of injustice, and that this hoodwinks the faces of the judges. The phrase properly means, to hoodwink, to blind, to conceal the face. It seems to me that the true sense is not expressed by either of the views above. The parallelism requires us to understand it as meaning that while the wicked had dominion over the earth, the righteous were in obscurity, or were not advanced to honor and power. The word "judges," therefore, I think, is to be understood of the righteous judges, of those who are qualified to administer justice. Their face is covered. They are kept in concealment. The wicked have the sway, and they are doomed to shame, obscurity, and dishonor. This interpretation accords with the tenor of the argument, and may be sustained by the Hebrew, though I have not found it in any of the commentaries which I have consulted.
If not, where, and who is he - If this is not a just view, who is God? What are his dealings? Where is he to be seen, and how is he to be known? Or, it may mean, "if it is not God who does these strange things, who is it that does them?" Rosenmuller. But I prefer the former interpretation. "Tell me who and what God is, if this is not a fair and just account of him. These things in fact are done, and if the agency of God is not employed in them, who is God? And where is his agency seen?
LibraryWashed to Greater Foulness
Turning to my text, let me say, that as one is startled by a shriek, or saddened by a groan, so these sharp utterances of Job astonish us at first, and then awake our pity. How much are we troubled with brotherly compassion as we read the words,--"If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean; yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me!" The sense of misery couched in this passage baffles description. Yet this is but one of a series, in which sentence …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 32: 1886
The Power of God
Whether Man Can Know that He Has Grace?
Opposition to Messiah in Vain
'Is it right for You indeed to oppress, To reject the labor of Your hands, And to look favorably on the schemes of the wicked?
"The tents of the destroyers prosper, And those who provoke God are secure, Whom God brings into their power.
"He makes counselors walk barefoot And makes fools of judges.
"God hands me over to ruffians And tosses me into the hands of the wicked.
"Behold, I cry, 'Violence!' but I get no answer; I shout for help, but there is no justice.
"Why do the wicked still live, Continue on, also become very powerful?
"But the earth belongs to the mighty man, And the honorable man dwells in it.
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