on Job 27 :13
This is the portion of a wicked man - Job now commences his promised teaching; and what follows is a description of the lot or portion of the wicked man and of tyrants. And this remuneration shall they have with God in general, though the hand of man be not laid upon them. Though he does not at all times show his displeasure against the wicked, by reducing them to a state of poverty and affliction, yet he often does it so that men may see it; and at other times he seems to pass them by, reserving their judgment for another world, that men may not forget that there is a day of judgment and perdition for ungodly men, and a future recompense for the righteous.
on Job 27 :13
This is the portion of a wicked man with God - There has been much diversity of view in regard to the remainder of this chapter. The difficulty is, that Job seems here to state the same things which had been maintained by his friends, and against which he had all along contended. This difficulty has been felt to be very great, and is very great. It cannot be denied, that there is a great resemblance between the sentiments here expressed and those which had been maintained by his friends, and that this speech, if offered by them, would have accorded entirely with their main position. Job seems to abandon all which he had defended, and to concede all which he had so warmly condemned. One mode of explaining the difficulty has been suggested in the "Analysis" of the chapter. It was proposed by Noyes, and is plausible, but, perhaps, will not be regarded as satisfactory to all. Dr. Kennicott supposes that the text is imperfect, and that these verses constituted the third speech of Zophar. His arguments for this opinion are:
(1) That Eliphaz and Bildad had each spoken three times, and that we are naturally led to expect a third speech from Zophar; but, according to the present arrangement, there is none.
(2) That the sentiments accord exactly with what Zophar might be expected to advance, and are exactly in his style; that they are expressed in "his fierce manner of accusation," and are "in the very place where Zophar's speech is naturally expected."
But the objections to this view are insuperable. They are:
(1) The entire lack of any authority in the manuscripts, or ancient versions, for such an arrangement or supposition. All the ancient versions and manuscripts make this a part of the speech of Job.
(2) If this had been a speech of Zophar, we should have expected a reply to it, or an allusion to it, in the speech of Job which follows. But no such reply or allusion occurs.
(3) If the form which is usual on the opening of a speech, "And Zophar answered and said," had ever existed here, it is incredible that it should have been removed. But it occurs in no manuscript or version; and it is not allowable to make such an alteration in the Scripture by conjecture.
Wemyss, in his translation of Job, accords with the view of Kennicott, and makes these verses Job 27:13-23 to be the third speech of Zophar. For this, however, he alleges no authority, and no reasons except such as had been suggested by Kennicott. Coverdale, in his translation of the Bible (1553 a.d.), has inserted the word "saying" at the close of Job 27:12, and regards what follows to the end of the chapter as an enumeration or recapitulation of the false sentiments which they had maintained, and which Job regards as the "vain" things Job 27:12 which they had maintained. In support of this view the following reasons may be alleged:
(1) It avoids all the difficulty of transposition, and the necessity of inserting an introduction, as we must do, if we suppose it to be a speech of Zophar.
(2) It avoids the difficulty of supposing that Job had here contradicted the sentiments which he had before advanced, or of conceding all that his friends had maintained.
(3) It is in accordance with the practice of the speakers in this book, and the usual practice of debaters, who enumerate at considerable length the sentiments which they regard as erroneous and which they design to oppose.
(4) It is the most simple and natural supposition, and, therefore, most likely to be the true one. Still, it must be admitted, that the passage is attended with difficulty; but the above solution is, it seems to me, the most plausible.
This is the portion - This is what he receives; to wit, what he states in the following verses, that his children would be cut off.
And the heritage of oppressors - What tyrants and cruel people must expect to receive at the hand of God.
on Job 27 :13