on Job 27 :23
Men shall clap their hands at him - These two verses refer to the storm, which is to sweep away the ungodly; therefore the word God, in Job 27:22, and men in this verse, should be omitted.
Job 27:22 : "For it shall fall upon him, and not spare: flying from its power he shall continue to fly.
Job 27:23. It shall clap its hands against him, and hiss, וישרק veyishrok, shriek, him out of his place."
Here the storm is personified and the wicked actor is hissed and driven by it from off the stage. It seems it was an ancient method to clap the hands against and hiss a man from any public office, who had acted improperly in it. The populace, in European countries, express their disapprobation of public characters who have not pleased them in the same manner to the present day, by hisses, groans, and the like.
on Job 27 :23
Men shall clap their hands at him - That is, they shall combine to drive him out of the world, and rejoice when he is gone. The same sentiment was also expressed by Bildad, Job 18:18 :
"He shall be driven fromm light into darkness,
And chased out of the world."
There can be no doubt, I think, that Job alludes to that sentiment, and that his object in quoting it is to show its incorrectness. He does not indeed go into a formal reply to it in the following chapters, but he seems to consider that he had already replied to it by the statements which he had made, and which showed the incorrectness of the views which his friends had taken. He had demonstrated in the previous chapters that their main position was incorrect, and he asks (in Job 27:12 of this chapter), how it was possible that they could hold such sentiments as these, in the midst of all the facts which surrounded them? The whole current of events was against their opinion, and in the close of this chapter he enumerates the sentiments which they had advanced, which he regarded as so strange, and which he felt that he had now shown to be erroneous. In deed, they seem to have regarded themselves as confuted, for they were silent. Job had attacked and overthrown their main position, that people were treated according to their character in this life, and that consequently extraordinary sufferings were proof of extraordinary guilt, and, that being overthrown, they had nothing more to say. Having silenced them, and shown the error of the opinions which he has here enumerated, be proceeds in the following chapters to state his own views on important topics connected with the providence of God, mainly designed to show that we are not to expect fully to comprehend the reason of his dispensations.
on Job 27 :23
27:23 Clap - In token of their joy at the removal of such a publick pest, by way of astonishment: and in contempt and scorn, all which this gesture signifies in scripture use. His - In token of detestation and derision.