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THEN Baldad the Suhite answered, and said: 2 How long will you throw out words? understand first, and so let us speak.

Ver. 2.  Understand ye.  Teach this man to comprehend what we say.  He deigns not to address Job in person: but repeats most of his former remarks respecting the wicked, as if they were unquestionably applicable to Job.  C. viii.  C.

 

--- Heb. "mark ye."  Sept. "do thou attend."  H.

 

--- Baldad speaks to many who might be of Job's opinion, as he was a figure of the Church, defending the common cause; while his friends, like heretics, speak both true and false things.  S. Greg. xiv. 1.  W.


3 Why are we reputed as beasts, and counted vile before you?

Ver. 3.  Reputed.  Sept. "silent as four-footed animals before thee? (H.) without discipline or understanding."  C. xvii. 4.  M.


4 Thou that destroyest thy soul in thy fury, shall the earth be forsaken for thee, and shall rocks be removed out of their place?

Ver. 4.  Thou.  Heb. "He teareth his soul in his fury!"  H.

 

--- This is spoken with an air of contempt, as if Job were mad.  C. xiii. 14.  C.

 

--- Place.  We should expect to see such effects, as soon as we would allow that God punishes thee, without thy being guilty.  Hitherto he has treated the wicked only with such rigour.  Still thou wouldst assert that thou art a singular example of an innocent man under oppression!  C.


5 Shall not the light of the wicked be extinguished, and the flame of his fire not shine? 6 The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and the lamp that is over him, shall be put out.

Ver. 6.  Light; prosperity, (M.) offspring, &c.  C.


7 The step of his strength shall be straitened, and his own counsel shall cast him down headlong.

Ver. 7.  Step.  He shall be greatly embarrassed, (M.) like a man in a narrow pass, (C.) beset with thorns.  H.  Prov. iv. 12.

 

--- Sept. "the weakest have made a prey of his possessions.  H.


8 For he hath thrust his feet into a net, and walketh in its meshes.

Ver. 8.  Meshes, (maculis) or holes of the net.  M.

 

--- The more he strives to get out, the more he gets entangled.  C.


9 The sole of his foot shall be held in a snare, and thirst shall burn against him.

Ver. 9.  Thirst: the greedy hunter.  C.

 

--- Heb. "the robber."  H.


10 A gin is hidden for him in the earth, and his trap upon the path. 11 Fears shall terrify him on every side, and shall entangle his feet.

Ver. 11.  Fears.  Hunters used to place loose feathers round the wood, except where the gin was laid, in order to frighten the prey into it.

                        Puniceæque agitant formidine pennæ.  Georg. iii.

Jer. xlviii. 44.  "Like timid stags, while you avoid the moving feathers, you are entrapped in the strongest nets."  S. Jerom, c. Lucif.

 

--- Every thing tends to fill the poor beast with alarm.  So the devil, conscience, and enemies on all sides, best the wicked.  C.


12 Let his strength be wasted with famine, and let hunger invade his ribs.
13 Let it devour the beauty of his skin, let the firstborn death consume his arms.

Ver. 13.  First-born denotes the best, or the worst.  H.

 

--- Death.  Heb. "of death," the devil, or a premature death, and most cruel enemy.  C.

 

--- Sept. "But death devours his most beautiful things."  H.


14 Let his confidence be rooted out of his tabernacle, and let destruction tread upon him like a king.

Ver. 14.  Confidence.  Sept. "health."

 

--- Let.  Prot. "and it shall bring him to the king of terrors;" (H.) or, "thou (O God) shalt," &c.  Sept. "let him be in the greatest (C.) want, on account of a royal accusation," (H.) of high treason.  C.


15 Let the companions of him that is not, dwell in his tabernacle, let brimstone be sprinkled in his tent.

Ver. 15.  Tent, when he is gone to purify it.

                        Et veniat quæ  lustret anus lectumque locumque,

                        Præferat et tremulâ sulphur et ova manu.  Ovid. Art.

 

 

--- Yet Moses does not mention sulphur as a thing proper for purifications.  Some think that Baldad hints that his house will be destroyed with lightning, or rendered uninhabitable by a loathsome smell.


16 Let his roots be dried up beneath, and his harvest destroyed above.

Ver. 16.  Harvest.  Heb. also, "branch;" (C.) his family, (M.) and all on which he trusted.  C.

 

--- All must be destroyed, root and branch.


17 Let the memory of him perish from the earth and let not his name be renowned in the streets.

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18 He shall drive him out of light into darkness, and shall remove him out of the world. 19 His seed shall not subsist, nor his offspring among his people, nor any remnants in his country. 20 They that come after him shall be astonished at his day, and horror shall fall upon them that went before.

Ver. 20.  Them.  Lit. "the first," who were witnesses of his misery.  H.


21 These men are the tabernacles of the wicked, and this the place of him that knoweth not God.
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