on Job 12 :5
on Job 12 :5
He that is ready to slip with his feet - The man whose feet waver or totter; that is, the man in adversity; see Proverbs 25:19. A man in prosperity is represented as standing firm; one in adversity as wavering, or falling; see Psalm 73:2.
But as for me, my feet were almost gone;
My steps had well nigh slipped.
There is much difficulty in this passage, and it has by no means been removed by the labor of critics. The reader may consult Rosenmuller, Good, and Schultens, on the verse, for a more full attempt to illustrate its meaning. Dr. Good, after Reiske and Parkhurst, has offered an explanation by rendering the whole passage thus:
The just, the perfect man is a laughing-stock to the proud,
A derision amidst the sunshine of the prosperous,
While ready to slip with his foot.
It does not appear to me, however, that this translation can be fairly educed from the Hebrew text, and I am disposed to acquiesce in the more common and obvious interpretation. According to that, the idea is, that a man in adversity, when failing from a high condition of honor, is regarded as an almost extinguished lamp, that is now held in contempt, and is cast away. When the torch was blazing, it was regarded as of value; when nearly extinguished, it would be regarded as worthless, and would be cast away. So when a man was in prosperity, he would be looked up to as a guide and example. In adversity, his counsels would be rejected, and he would be looked upon with contempt. Nothing can be more certain or more common than the fact here adverted to. The rich and the great are looked up to with respect and veneration. Their words and actions have an influence which those of no other men have. When they begin to fall, others are willing to hasten their fall. Long cherished but secret envy begins to show itself; those who wish to rise rejoice in their ruin, and they are looked upon with contempt in proportion to their former honor, rank, and power. They are regarded as an extinguished torch - of no value, and are cast away.
In the thought - In the mind, or the view.
Of him that is at ease - In a state of comfort and prosperity. He finds no sympathy from them. Job doubtless meant to apply this to his friends. They were then at ease, and were prosperous. Not suffering pain, and not overwhelmed with poverty, they now looked with the utmost composure on him - as they would on a torch which was burned out, and which there would be no hope of rekindling.
on Job 12 :5