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If these circumstances were fairly collected from the general tenor and series of the work, as far as we are able to trace them through the plainer and more conspicuous pas sages, it will be no very difficult task to explain and define the subject of this part of the poem, which contains the dispute between Job and his friends. The argument seems chiefly to relate to the piety and integrity of Job, and turns upon this point, whether he, who by the divine providence and visitation is so severely punished and afflicted, ought to be accounted pious and innocent. This leads into a more extensive field of controversy, into a dispute, indeed, which less admits of any definition or limit, concerning the nature of the divine counsels in the dispensations of happiness and misery in this life. The antagonists of Job in this dispute, observing him exposed to such severe visitations, conceiving that this affliction had not fallen upon him unmeritedly, ac cuse him of hypocrisy, and falsely ascribe to him the guilt of some atrocious but concealed offence. Job, on the contrary, conscious of no crime, and wounded by their unjust suspicions, defends his own innocence before God with rather more confidence and ardour than is commendable; and so strenuously contends for his own integrity, that he seems virtually to charge God himself with some degree of injustice.1

The argument of Job's friends may, in substance, be comprised in the following syllogism:

But Job is most

God, who is just, bestows blessings upon the godly, but afflicts the wicked: Therefore Job is wicked, and deserves the punishment of his sins; and therefore he is bound to repent, that is, to confess and bewail his sins. To the major proposition Job replies, that God afflicts not only the wicked, but also the pious, in order that their faith, patience, and other virtues, may be proved, and that the glory of God may become more conspicuously manifest in their wonderful deliverances. But overwhelmed with grief and the cruel suspicions of his friends, he defends his cause with hard and sometimes impatient expressions.

is not to be despised. (iv. v.) The next of them, not less | justice and, omniscience of God in attestation of his veraintemperate in his reproofs, takes it for granted, that the city. children of Job had only received the reward due to their offences; and with regard to himself, intimates, that if he be innocent, and will apply with proper humility to the divine mercy, he may be restored. (viii.) The third upbraids him with arrogance, with vanity, and even with falsehood, because he has presumed to defend himself against the unjust accusations of his companions, and exhorts him to a sounder mode of reasoning, and a more holy life. (xi.) They all, with a manifest though indirect allusion to Job, discourse very copiously concerning the divine judgments, which are always openly displayed against the wicked, and of the certain destruction of hypocritical pretenders to virtue and religion. In reply to this, Job enumerates his sufferings, and complains bitterly of the inhumanity of his friends, and of the severity which he has experienced from the hand of God; he calls to witness both God and man, that he is unjustly oppressed; he intimates, that he is weak in comparison with God, that the contention is, consequently, unequal, and that, be his cause ever so righteous, he cannot hope to prevail. (vi. vii.) He expostulates with God himself still more vehemently, and with greater freedom, affirming, that he does not discriminate characters, but equally afflicts the just and the unjust. (x.) The expostulations of Job serve only to irritate still more the resentment of his pretended friends; they reproach him in severer terms with pride, impiety, passion, and madness; they repeat the same arguments respecting the justice of God, the punishment of the wicked, and their certain destruction after a short period of apparent prosperity. This sentiment they confidently pronounce to be confirmed both by their experience and by that of their fathers; and they maliciously exaggerate the ungrateful topic by the most splendid imagery and the most forcible language. (xi.) On the part of Job, the general scope of the argument is much the same as before, but the expression is considerably heightened; it consists of appeals to the Almighty, asseverations of his own innocence, earnest expostulations, complaints of the cruelty of his friends, melancholy reflections on the vanity of human life, and upon his own severe misfortunes, ending in grief and desperation: he affirms, however, that he places his ultimate hope and confidence in God; and the more vehemently his adversaries urge that the wicked only are objects of the divine wrath, and obnoxious to punishment, so much the more resolutely does Job assert their perpetual impunity, prosperity and happiness, even to the end of their existence. The first of his opponents, Eliphaz, incensed by this assertion, descends directly to open crimination and contumely: he accuses the most upright of men of the most atrocious crimes, of injustice, rapine, and oppression inveighs against him as an impious pretender to virtue and religion, and with a kind of sarcastic benevolence exhorts him to penitence. Vehemently affected with this reproof, Job, in a still more animated and confident strain, appeals to the tribunal of All-seeing Justice, and wishes it were only permitted him to plead his cause in the presence of God The conduct of Elihu evidently corresponds with this himself. He complains still more intemperately of the state of the controversy; he professes, after a slight prefaunequal treatment of Providence; exults in his own integrity, tory mention of himself, to reason with Job, unbiassed and then more tenaciously maintains his former opinion con- equally by favour or resentment. He therefore reproves Job cerning the impunity of the wicked. To this another of the from his own mouth, because he had attributed too much to triumvirate, Bildad, replies, by a masterly though concise himself; because he had affirmed himself to be altogether dissertation on the majesty and sanctity of the Divine Being, free from guilt and depravity; because he had presumed to indirectly rebuking the presumption of Job, who has dared contend with God, and had not scrupled to insinuate, that to question his decrees. In reply to Bildad, Job demonstrates the Deity was hostile to him. He asserts, that it is not nehimself no less expert at wielding the weapons of satire and cessary for God to explain and develope his counsels to ridicule than those of reason and argument; and reverting to men; that he nevertheless takes many occasions of admoa more serious tone, he displays the infinite power and wis-nishing them, not only by visions and revelations, but even dom of God more copiously and more poetically than the former speaker. The third of the friends making no return, and the others remaing silent, Job at length opens the true sentiments of his heart concerning the fate of the wicked; he allows that their prosperity is unstable, and that they and their descendants shall at last experience on a sudden that God is the avenger of iniquity. In all this, however, he contends that the divine counsels do not admit of human investigation, but that the chief wisdom of man consists in the fear of God. He beautifully descants upon his former prosperity; and exhibits a striking contrast between it and his present affliction and debasement. Lastly, in answer to the crimination of Eliphaz, and the implications of the others, he relates the principal transactions of his past life; he asserts his integrity as displayed in all the duties of life, and in the sight of God and man; and again appeals to the VOL. II. 2 G

This state of the controversy is clearly explained by what follows: for when the three friends have ceased to dispute with Job, because he seemeth just in his own eyes (xxxii. 1.), that is, because he has uniformly contended that there was no wickedness in himself which could call down the heavy vengeance of God, Elihu comes forward, justly offended with both parties; with Job, because he justified himself in preference to God (xxxii. 2. compare xxxv. 2. xl. 8.), that is, because he defended so vehemently the justice of his own cause, that he seemed in some measure to arraign the justice of God: against the three friends, because though they were unable to answer Job, they ceased not to condemn him (xxxii. 3.), that is, they concluded in their own minds that Job was impious and wicked, while, nevertheless, they had nothing specific to object against his assertions of his own innocence, or upon which they might safely ground their accusation.

by the visitations of his providence, by sending calamities and diseases upon them, to repress their arrogance and reform their obduracy. He next rebukes Job, because he had pronounced himself upright, and affirmed that God had acted inimically, if not unjustly, towards him, which he proves to be no less improper than indecent. In the third place, he objects to Job, that from the miseries of the good and the prosperity of the wicked, he has falsely and perversely concluded, that there was no advantage to be derived from the practice of virtue. On the contrary, he affirms, that when the afflictions of the just continue, it is because they do not place a proper confidence in God, ask relief at his hands, patiently expect it, nor demean themselves before him with becoming humility and submission. This observation alone,

1 Lowth's Lectures, No. xxxii. vol. ii. pp. 371-378.

he adds very properly, is at once a sufficient reproof of the contumacy of Job, and a full refutation of the unjust suspicions of his friends. (xxxv. 4.) Lastly, he explains the purposes of the Deity, in chastening men, which are in general to prove and to amend them, to repress their arrogance, to afford him an opportunity of exemplifying his justice upon the obstinate and rebellious, and of showing favour to the humble and obedient. He supposes God to have acted in this manner towards Job: on that account he exhorts him to humble himself before his righteous Judge, to beware of appearing obstinate or contumacious in his sight, and of relapsing into a repetition of his sin. He entreats him, from the contemplation of the divine power and majesty, to endeavour to retain a proper reverence for the Almighty. To these frequently intermitted and often repeated admonitions of Elihu, Job makes no return.

The address of God himself follows that of Elihu, in which, disdaining to descend to any particular explication of his divine counsels, but instancing some of the stupendous effects of his infinite power, he insists upon the same topics which Elihu had before touched upon. In the first place, having reproved the temerity of Job, he convicts him of ignorance, in being unable to comprehend the works of his creation, which were obvious to every eye; the nature and structure of the earth, the sea, the light, and the animal kingdom. He then demonstrates his weakness, by challenging him to prove his own power by emulating any single exertion of the divine energy, and then referring him to one or two of the brute creation, with which he is unable to contend-how much less, therefore, with the Omnipotent Creator and Lord of all things, who is or can be accountable to no being whatever? (xli. 2, 3.)1

The scope of this speech is, to humble Job, and to teach others by his example to acquiesce in the dispensations of Jehovah, from an unbounded confidence in his equity, wisdom, and goodness: an end this, which (Bishop Stock truly remarks) is, indeed, worthy of the interposition of the Deity. The method pursued in the speech to accomplish its design, is a series of questions and descriptions, relative to natural things, admirably fitted to convince this complainant, and all others, of their incapacity to judge of God's moral administration, and of the danger of striving with their Maker. Nothing, in the whole compass of language, can equal, much less surpass, the inimitable grandeur and sublimity of this divine address, which extends from chapter xxxviii. to xli. On the conclusion of the speech of Jehovah, Job humbles himself before God, acknowledging his own ignorance and imbecility, and "repents in dust and ashes." He then offers sacrifice for his friends, and is restored to redoubled prosperity, honour, and comfort.

From a due consideration of all these circumstances, Bishop Lowth concludes that the principal object of the poem is this third and last trial of Job from the injustice and unkindness of his accusing friends; the consequence of which is, in the first place, the anger, indignation, and contumacy of Job, and afterwards, his composure, submission, and penitence. The design of the poem is, therefore, to teach men, that, having a due respect to the corruption, infirmity, and ignorance of human nature, as well as to the infinite wisdom and majesty of God, they are to reject all confidence in their own strength, in their own righteousness, and to preserve on all occasions an unwavering and unsullied faith, and to submit with becoming reverence to his decrees. It is, however, to be carefully observed, that the subject of the dispute between Job and his friends differs from the subject of the poem in general; and that the end of the poetical part differs from the design of the narrative at large. For, the bishop remarks, although the design and subject of the poem be exactly as they are above defined, it may, nevertheless, be granted that the whole history, taken together, contains an example of patience, together with its reward; and he considers much of the perplexity in which the subject has been involved, as arising principally from this point not having been treated with sufficient distinctness by the learned.

Moldenhawer and some other critics have considered the passage in Job xix. 25-27. as a prediction of the Messiah. It cannot, however, be clearly shown that this book contains any prophecies, strictly so called; because the passages which might be adduced as prophetical may also be considered as a profession of faith in a promised Redeemer, and concerning a future resurrection. A learned commentator

1 Lowth's Lectures, No. xxxii. vol. ii. pp. 378-382.

of the present day has remarked, that here are but few parts of the Old Testament which declare more explicitly the grand outlines of revealed truth, nay even of evangelical doctrine: so that they, who speak of it as consisting chiefly of natural religion, seem entirely to have mistaken its scope. The book of Job, he continues, is full of caution and encouragement to the tempted and afflicted, and of warning to those who hastily judge their brethren. It throws great light upon the doctrine of Providence, and upon the agency and influence of evil spirits under the control of God. In the patriarch Job we see an eminent type of the suffering and glorified Saviour, and a pattern of the believer's "passing through much tribulation to the kingdom of God." In short, the whole is replete with most important instruction: and among the rest we are reminded of the ill effects of acrimonious religious dispute. These four pious men argued together, till, becoming angry, they censured and condemned each other, and uttered many irreverent things concerning the divine character and government; and having lost their temper, they would also have lost their labour, and have been at more variance than ever, if another method had not been taken to decide the controversy.2

"The character of each person is well sustained through the whole book: Job, every where consistent, pious, conscious of his own uprightness, but depressed by misery, weighed down by disease, and irritated by the clamorous accusations of his friends, is hurried on to make some rash assertions. Confident in his own innocence, his appeals to God are sometimes too bold, and his attacks upon his friend too harsh, but he always ends in complaints, and excuse; his vehemence on account of the magnitude of his calamity. His friends, all sincere worshippers of the true God, and earnest advocates of virtue, agree in the opinion, that divine justice invariably punishes the wicked, and rewards the good with present happiness. They endeavour to prove this by appeals to more ancient revelations, to the opinions of those who lived in former times, and to experience, appre hensive lest the contrary assertion of Job should injure morals and religion. They all speak of angels. Neverthe less, they differ from each other in many other matters Eliphaz is superior to the others in discernment and in deli. cacy. He begins by addressing Job mildly, and it is not until irritated by contradiction, that he reckons him among the wicked.-Bildad, less discerning and less polished, breaks out at first in accusations against Job, and increases in vehemence: in the end, however, he is reduced to a mere repetition of his former arguments.-Zophar is inferior to his companions in both these respects; at first, his discourse is characterized by rusticity; his second address adds but little to the first; and in the third dialogue he has no reply to make.-Elihu manifests a degree of veneration for Job and his friends, but speaks like an inflated youth, wishing to conceal his self-sufficiency under the appearance of mo desty.-God is introduced in all his majesty, speaking from a tempestuous cloud in the style of one, with whose honou" it is not consistent to render an account of his government and to settle the agitated question, which is above the reach of human intellect. He, therefore, merely silences the dis putants. The feelings of the interlocuters, as is natural, be come warm in the progress of the controversy, and each speaker returns to the stage, with an increased degree of eagerness and impetuosity.

VIII. At the end of the Septuagint version of this book after the account of Job's death (xlii. 16.), there is the fol lowing addition: Tgara de, v avashoda autor, ped' w Kugios avisnow." But it is written that he shall rise again along with those whom the Lord raiseth up." Where it was so written concerning Job, is not easily to be found, unless in his own celebrated confession, I know that my REDEEMER liveth, &c. (xix. 25-27.) The remark, however, is so far of importance as it proves the popular belief of the doctrine before the coming of Christ,-a belief, to which this inestimable book, we may rest assured, contributed not a little." To this additional passage there is also annexed in the Septuagint version a subscription or appendix, containing a brief genealogical account of the patriarch, derived from an old Syriac version, and identifying him with Jobab, king

2 Scott's Preface to Job.

Prof. Turner's translation of Jahn's Introduction, p. 463.
Dr. Hales's Analysis of Chronology, vol. ii. book i. p. 102.

5 This subscription is also found in the Arabic version, where it is less circumstantial, and in the old Latin Vulgate translation of Job. The following version is given from the Septuagint in Bishop Walton's Polyglott, vol. iii. p. 86. :-"This is translated out of a book in the Syrian language; for he dwelt in the land of Ausitis, on the confines of Idumæa and Arabia.

of the Edomites, and, consequently, making him nearly 8. He could only affirm his integrity, but could give no special contemporary with Moses. This subscription was received satisfactory reason why God should afflict him in a manner so and credited by the pseudo-Aristeas, Philo, and Polyhistor: very extraordinary, and beyond all preceding cases that were it was also believed in the time of Origen, and is preserved ever known in the world. This very much perplexed and emby Theodotion at the end of his version of the book of Job. barrassed his mind, and laid him under a great disadvantage in This genealogy is received by Calmet and Herder1 as the dispute. And for one thing, it is on this account that he is genuine, but it is manifestly spurious; for not only was it so earnest to come to a conference with God, to know his mind never extant in the Hebrew copies, but, even admitting the and meaning (chap. x. 2.); Show me wherefore thou contendgenealogy in question to be prior to the time of our Saviour, est with me 24 He knew very well he could not absolutely It is too recent to be admitted as evidence in a fact of such justify himself before God. (chap. ix. 2-17.) For he breaks remote antiquity, especially as it is drawn only from conjec-me with a tempest, he multiplieth my wounds without a cause, ture supported by the slender resemblance between the two or without any apparent reason. (chap. vii. 12. 20.) The whole names Job and Jobab: and when we consider that it is con- twenty-third chapter relates to this point; in which he wishes tradicted by the arguments already adduced to prove that he could come to the dwelling-place of God (ver. 3.), and spread the patriarch lived so many ages anterior to the great legis- his case before him, and argue about it at large (ver. 4.), for he lator of the Hebrews, as well as by the internal evidence had turned his thoughts every way, and could make nothing of derived from the poem itself respecting the rank and condi-it (ver. 8, 9.), only he was sure God knew he was an upright tion of Job, we cannot doubt for a moment that the subscription is both erroneous and spurious. man. (ver. 10-12.) But (ver. 13.) he is in one, or in IX. Although the preceding view of the scope and argu-mind and designs to himself; and none can turn, or oblige him unity, supreme above all others, absolutely entire, keeping his ment will convey to the reader an accurate idea of this very to alter his resolution. All that we can say is, that he doth ancient, but in many passages confessedly obscure poem; yet the following rules contain so many useful hints for the whatever is agreeable to his own wisdom. For (ver. 14.) what right understanding of its contents, that, long as this section he hath resolved to inflict upon me he hath accomplished; and necessarily is, the author is unwilling to omit them.3 many such things he doth, of which he will not give us the reason. To the same purpose understand chap. xxvii. 2-4. 14. and chap. xxviii. 2. He hath taken away my judgment, i. e. the rule by which I might judge of the reason of my afflictions. This point, in reference to God, Elihu tells him (chap. xxxiii. 13.) he had urged to no purpose, seeing he gives no account of his mutters, or will not reveal to us the secrets of his providence.

RULES TO BE OBSERVED IN STUDYING THE BOOK OF JOB.

1. He that would rightly explain this book must, as much as he can, imagine himself in the same afflicted condition.

2. Every daring thought, or ardent expression, which occurs in the speeches of this afflicted and exasperated man, is not to be vindicated; yet, as he was a great man, and a prince, he may be allowed to use bold and animated language.

3. We shall certainly judge amiss, if we think every thing wrong which will not suit with the politeness of our manners. Allowance must be made for the simplicity of those times.

4. In judging of Job's character, we must set the noble strains of his piety against the unguarded expressions of his sorrow. 5. It is not his innocence, strictly speaking, which Job insists on, but his sincerity. (chap. vii. 20, 21.)

6. Except their hard censures of Job, his friends speak well and religiously.

9. In such a noble performance, if any thing seems to be said not in consistency, or not in character, we should rather suspect our own judgment than the good sense of the author. The fault is not in the book, but in our understanding.

10. That sense which best agrees with the subject, or the point in hand, or which stands in the best connection with the context, should always be judged the best sense.

X. Nothing, perhaps, has contributed more to render the poem of Job obscure, than the common division into chapters and verses; by which, not only the unity of the general subbroken. The commentators, critics, and analysts, indeed, are not agreed as to the exact number of parts of which it consists: thus Heidegger and the elder Carpzov institute two leading divisions, with a multitude of subdivisions; Van Til divides it into four leading parts, Moldenhawer into three, and Mr. Noyes into two,5 with a number of subordinate heads; Dr. Good divides it into six books or parts; and Dr Hales into five parts, independently of the exordium and conclusion: but as these are requisite to the unity of the book, it does not appear that they should be excluded from the arrangement. The poem, then, may be conveniently divided into six parts: the first of these contains the exordium or narrative part (ch. i. ii.); the second comprises the first debate or dialogue of Job and his friends (iii.-xiv.); the third includes the second series of debate or controversy (xv.-xxi.); the fourth comprehends the third series of controversy (xxii.

7. His friends encouraged Job to hope for a temporal deliver-ject, but, frequently that of a single paragraph or clause, is ance (chap. v. 18, &c. vii. 20, &c. xi. 14, &c.); but Job despaired of it, and expected his bodily disorder would terminate in death (chap. vi. 11, 12.; vii. 6, 7, 8. 21.; xvii. 1. 13, 14, 15.; xix. 10.); though, in the increasing heat of the dispute, they seem to drop this sentiment in their following answers, as if they supposed Job to be too bad to hope for any favour from God. He hoped, however, that his character would be cleared in the day of judgment; though he was greatly concerned that it could not be cleared before; that, after a life led in the most conspicuous virtues, his reputation, in the opinion of his nearest friends, would sit under a black cloud, and, with regard to the ignorant and profane, leave an odious reproach upon a profession of religion. This touched him to the heart, exasperated all his sufferings, and made him often wish, that God would bring him to his trial here in this life, that his integrity might be vindicated, and that all, friends and enemies, might understand the true end or design of God in his sufferings, and the honour of religion might be secured. (chap. x. 2, 3.) It is good unto thee, that thou shouldst shine upon the counsel of the wicked? who from my case take occasion to reproach and vilify true religion, and to confirm themselves in their wicked and idolatrous practices. (chap. viii. 20-22.; xi. 17-20.; xvi. 9—11.)

His first name was Jobab; and having married an Arabian woman, he had by her a son whose name was Ennon. Now he himself was the son of Zave, one of the sons of Esau: so that he was the fifth in descent from Abraham. Now these were the kings who reigned in Edom, over which country he also bare rule. The first was Balak the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dannaba: and after Balak, Jobab, who is called Job: and after him, Ason, who was general over the region of Thæmanitis (Te man); and after him, Adad, the son of Barad, who smote Madiam in the land of Moab and the name of his city was Gethaim. And the friends who came to Job were Eliphaz of the sons of Esau king of the Thamanites: Baldad, the sovereign of the Saucheans (Shuhites); and Sophar (Zophar), the king of the Minains" (Naamnathites).

Calmet's Dictionary, vol. i. art. Job. Herder on Hebrew Poetry in M. R. (O. S.) vol. lxxx. p. 644.

2 § III. pp. 228, 229. supra.

3 These rules are extracted from Dr. John Taylor's Scheme of Scripture Divinity, chap. xxiii. in Bishop Watson's Collection of Theological Tracts, vol. i. pp. 97, 98. Dr. Taylor of Norwich was an eminent divine of the last century; who was distinguished for his command of temper, benevolent feeling, and deep acquaintance with the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. His Scheme of Divinity, it is deeply to be regretted, was Arian, and, therefore, cannot be recommended to students, indiscriminately.

See Bishop Patrick's Paraphrase on Job x. 2-8.

The following Synopsis exhibits the divisions, and subdivisions, adopted Mr. Noyes in his "Amended Version of the Book of Job:" (Cambridge, North Am. 1827.)

by

I. Historical Introduction in Prose. Ch. I. II.

II. Controversy in Verse. Ch. III.-XLII. 7.

The Speech of Job, in which he curses his birth-day, is succeeded by

I. The first series of Controversy. Ch. IV.-XIV.

1. Speech of Eliphaz. Ch. IV. V.

2. Answer of Job. Ch. VI. VII.

3. Speech of Bildad. Ch. VIII.

4. Answer of Job. Ch. IX. X.

5. Speech of Zophar. Ch. XI.

6. Answer of Job. Ch. XII. XIII. XIV.

II. Second series of Controversy. Ch. XV.-XXI.

1. Speech of Eliphaz. Ch. XV.

2. Answer of Job. Ch. XVI. XVII.

3. Speech of Bildad. Ch. XVIII.

4. Answer of Job. Ch. XIX.

5. Speech of Zophar. Ch. XX.

6. Answer of Job. Ch. XXI.

III. Third series of Controversy. Ch. XXII-XXXI.

1. Speech of Eliphaz. Ch. XXII.

2. Answer of Job. Ch. XXIII. XXIV.

3. Speech of Bildad. Ch. XXV.

4. Answer of Job. Ch. XXVI.-XXXI.

IV. The Judgment of Elihu respecting the Discussion. Ch. XXXIL
-XXXVII.

V. The Speech of the Deity, which terminates the Discussion. Ch
XXXVIII-XLII. 7.

III. The Conclusion, in Prose. Ch. XLII. 7. to the end.

posed, is not now known: their titles are inscribed to JEDUTHUN, who was one of the three directors of music in the national worship, mentioned in 1 Chron. xxv. 1.

6. To HEMAN the Ezrahite is ascribed the eighty-eighth psalm; and to ETHAN the Ezrahite the following psalm. They were both probably descendants from Zerah, who is mentioned in 1 Chron. ii. 6.; but at what time they lived is uncertain. They are, however, supposed to have flourished during the Babylonish captivity.

7. It is highly probable that many of the psalms were composed during the reign of SOLOMON, who, we learn from 1 Kings iv. 32. "wrote a thousand and five songs," or poems.

There are only two psalms, however, which bear his name, viz. the seventy-second and the hundred and twentyseventh psalms. The title of the former may be translated for as well as of Solomon; and, indeed, it is evident, from considering its style and subject-matter, that it could not have been composed by him. But, as he was inaugurated just before David's death, it was in all probability, one of David's latest odes. The hundred and twenty-seventh psalm is most likely Solomon's, composed at the time of his nuptials: it strongly and beautifully expresses a sense of dependence upon Jehovah for every blessing, especially a numerous offspring, which we know was an object of the most ardent desire to the Israelites.

8. Besides the preceding, there are upwards of thirty psalms which in the Hebrew Bibles are altogether ANONYMOUS, although the Septuagint version gives names to some of them, chiefly, it should seem, upon conjecture, for which there is little or no foundation. Thus the Alexandrian Greek translators ascribe the hundred and thirty-seventh psalm to Jeremiah, who could not have written it, for he died before the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, which joyous event is most pleasingly commemorated in that ode. In like manner, the hundred and forty-sixth and hundred and forty-seventh psalms are attributed by them to the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, for no other reason, it should seem, than because psalm cxlvi. 7-10. treats of the deliverance of the captives and those who were oppressed, and exlvii. of the restoration of the Jewish church. Psalms ii. and xcv. however, as we have already remarked,' though anonymous, are ascribed by the inspired apostles to David. Some modern critics have imagined, that there are a few of the untitled psalms which were composed so lately as the time of the Maccabees. Thus Rudinger assigns to that period psalms i. xliv. xlvi. xlix. and cviii.; Herman Vonder Hardt, psalm cxix.; and Venema, psalms lxxxv. xciii. and cviii. This late date, however, is impossible, the canon of the Old Testament Scriptures being closed by Ezra, nearly three centuries before the time of the Maccabees. But whether David, or any other prophet, was employed as the instrument of communicating to the church such or such a particular psalm is a question, which, if it cannot always be satisfactorily answered, needs not disquiet our minds. When we discern, in an epistle, the well-known hand of a friend, we are not solicitous about the pen with which it was written."3

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V. The following CHRONOLOGICAL ARRANGEMENT of the Psalms, after a careful and judicious examination, has been adopted by Calmet, who has further specified the probable occasions on which they were composed :

1. Psalms of which the Date is uncertain. These are eight in number; viz.

Psal. i. This is a preface to the whole book, and is by some ascribed to David, by others to Ezra, who is supposed to have collected the psalms into a volume.

Psal. iv. The expressions of a devout person amid the cor-
rupt manners of the age. An evening prayer.
Psal. viii. The prerogatives of man: and the glory of Jesus
Christ.

Psal. xix. A beautiful eulogy on the law of God. A psalm of praise to the Creator, arising from a consideration of his works, as displayed in the creation, in the heavens, and in the stars.

1 See p. 239. supra.

Rosenmüller, Scholia in Psalmos, Prolegom. c. 2. pp. xi.-xix. He adopts the untenable hypothesis of Rudinger.

3 Bishop Horne's Commentary on the Psalms, vol. i. Pref. p. v. 4 Commentaire Littéral, tom. iv. pp. lxii.-lxvi. As some of the Psalms in the Vulgate Latin version, which was used by Calmet, are divided and numbered in a different manner from that in which they-appear in our Bibles, we have adapted the references to the psalms to the authorized English version.

Psal. lxxxi. This psalm, which is attributed to Asaph, was sung in the temple, at the feast of trumpets, held in the beginning of the civil year of the Jews, and also at the feast of tabernacles.

Psal. xci. This moral psalm, though assigned to Moses, was in all probability composed during or after the captivity. It treats on the happiness of those who place their whole con fidence in God.

Psal. cx. The advent, kingdom, and generation of the Mes siah; composed by David.

Psal. cxxxix. A psalm of praise to God for his all-seeing providence and infinite wisdom.

2. Psalms composed by David during the Persecution of These are seventeen; namely,

Saul.

Psal. xi. David, being entreated by his friends to withdraw from the court of Saul, professes his confidence in God. Psal. xxxi. David, proscribed by Saul, is forced to withdraw from his court.

Psal. xxxiv. Composed by David, when, at the court of Achish king of Gath, he counterfeited madness, and was permitted to depart.

Psal. Ivi. Composed in the cave of Adullam, after David's escape from Achish.

Psal. xvi. David persecuted by Saul, and obliged to take refuge among the Moabites and Philistines.

Psal. liv. David pursued by Saul in the desert of Ziph, whence Saul was obliged to withdraw and repel the Philistines. David's thanksgiving for his deliverance.

Psal. lii. Composed by David after Saul had sacked the city of Nob, and put the priests and all their families to the sword.

Psal. cix. Composed during Saul's unjust persecution of David. The person, against whom this psalm was directed, was most probably Doeg. Bishop Horsley considers it as a prophetic malediction against the Jewish nation.

Psal. xvii. A prayer of David during Saul's bitterest persecution of him.

Psal. xxii. David, persecuted by Saul, personates the Messiah, persecuted and put to death by the Jews.

Psal. xxxv. Composed about the same time, and under the same persecution.

Psal. lvii. David, in the cave of En-gedi, implores divine pro tection, in sure prospect of which he breaks forth into grateful praise. (1 Sam. xxiv. 1.)

Complaints

Psal. lviii. A continuation of the same subject. against Saul's wicked counsellors. Psal. cxlii. David in the cave of En-gedi. Psal. cxl. cxli. David, under severe persecution, implores help of God.

Psal. vii. David violently persecuted by Saul.

3. Psalms composed by David at the beginning of his Reign and after the Death of Saul. Of this class there are six teen; viz.

Psal. ii. Written by David, after he had fixed the seat of his government at Jerusalem, notwithstanding the malignant opposition of his enemies. It is a most noble prediction of the kingdom of the Messiah.

Psal. lxviii. Composed on occasion of conducting the ark from Kirjath-jearim to Jerusalem.

Psal ix. and xxiv. Sung by David on the removal of the ark from the house of Obededom to Mount Sion.

Psal. ci. David describes the manner in which he guided his people in justice and equity.

Psal. xxix. A solemn thanksgiving for the rain that fell after David had avenged the Gibeonites on the house of Saul, by whom they had been unjustly persecuted. 2 Sam. xxi.

et seq.

David's

Psal. xx. Composed by David when he was on the point of marching against the Ammonites and Syrians who had leagued together against him. 2 Sam. x. Psal. xxi. A continuation of the preceding subject. thanksgiving for his victory over the Ammonites. Psal. vi. xxxviii. and xxxix. Composed by David during sickness; although no notice is taken of this sickness in the history of David, yet it is the opinion of almost every commentator that these psalms refer to some dangerous illness from which his recovery was long doubtful.

Psal. xl. A psalm of thanksgiving for his recovery from sick

ness.

of the Edomites, and, consequently, making him nearly 8. He could only affirm his integrity, but could give no special contemporary with Moses. This subscription was received satisfactory reason why God should afflict him in a manner so and credited by the pseudo-Aristeas, Philo, and Polyhistor: very extraordinary, and beyond all preceding cases that were it was also believed in the time of Origen, and is preserved ever known in the world. This very much perplexed and emby Theodotion at the end of his version of the book of Job. barrassed his mind, and laid him under a great disadvantage in This genealogy is received by Calmet and Herder1 as the dispute. And for one thing, it is on this account that he is genuine, but it is manifestly spurious; for not only was it so earnest to come to a conference with God, to know his mind never extant in the Hebrew copies, but, even admitting the and meaning (chap. x. 2.); Show me wherefore thou contendgenealogy in question to be prior to the time of our Saviour, est with me 24 He knew very well he could not absolutely It is too recent to be admitted as evidence in a fact of such justify himself before God. (chap. ix. 2-17.) For he breaks remote antiquity, especially as it is drawn only from conjec-me with a tempest, he multiplieth my wounds without a cause, ture supported by the slender resemblance between the two or without any apparent reason. (chap. vii. 12. 20.) The whole names Job and Jobab: and when we consider that it is con- twenty-third chapter relates to this point; in which he wishes tradicted by the arguments already adduced to prove that he could come to the dwelling-place of God (ver. 3.), and spread the patriarch lived so many ages anterior to the great legis- his case before him, and argue about it at large (ver. 4.), for he lator of the Hebrews, as well as by the internal evidence had turned his thoughts every way, and could make nothing of derived from the poem itself respecting the rank and condi- it (ver. 8, 9.), only he was sure God knew he was an upright tion of Job, we cannot doubt for a moment that the subscripman. (ver. 10-12.) But (ver. 13.) he is in one, or in tion is both erroneous and spurious. IX. Although the preceding view of the scope and argu-mind and designs to himself; and none can turn, or oblige him unity, supreme above all others, absolutely entire, keeping his ment will convey to the reader an accurate idea of this very to alter his resolution. All that we can say is, that he doth ancient, but in many passages confessedly obscure poem; yet the following rules contain so many useful hints for the whatever is agreeable to his own wisdom. For (ver. 14.) what right understanding of its contents, that, long as this section he hath resolved to inflict upon me he hath accomplished; and necessarily is, the author is unwilling to omit them.3 many such things he doth, of which he will not give us the reason. To the same purpose understand chap. xxvii. 2-4. 14. and chap. xxviii. 2. He hath taken away my judgment, i. e. the rule by which I might judge of the reason of my afflictions. This point, in reference to God, Elihu tells him (chap. xxxiii. 13.) he had urged to no purpose, seeing he gives no account of his matters, or will not reveal to us the secrets of his providence.

RULES TO BE OBSERVED IN STUDYING THE BOOK OF JOB.

1. He that would rightly explain this book must, as much as he can, imagine himself in the same afflicted condition.

2. Every daring thought, or ardent expression, which occurs in the speeches of this afflicted and exasperated man, is not to be vindicated; yet, as he was a great man, and a prince, he may be allowed to use bold and animated language.

3. We shall certainly judge amiss, if we think every thing wrong which will not suit with the politeness of our manners. Allowance must be made for the simplicity of those times.

4. In judging of Job's character, we must set the noble strains of his piety against the unguarded expressions of his sorrow. 5. It is not his innocence, strictly speaking, which Job insists on, but his sincerity. (chap. vii. 20, 21.)

6. Except their hard censures of Job, his friends speak well and religiously.

9. In such a noble performance, if any thing seems to be said not in consistency, or not in character, we should rather suspect our own judgment than the good sense of the author. The fault is not in the book, but in our understanding.

10. That sense which best agrees with the subject, or the point in hand, or which stands in the best connection with the context, should always be judged the best sense.

X. Nothing, perhaps, has contributed more to render the poem of Job obscure, than the common division into chapters and verses; by which, not only the unity of the general sub7. His friends encouraged Job to hope for a temporal deliver-ject, but, frequently that of a single paragraph or clause, is ance (chap. v. 18, &c. vii. 20, &c. xi. 14, &c.); but Job de- broken. The commentators, critics, and analysts, indeed, are spaired of it, and expected his bodily disorder would terminate not agreed as to the exact number of parts of which it conin death (chap. vi. 11, 12.; vii. 6, 7, 8. 21.; xvii. 1. 13, 14, 15.; sists thus Heidegger and the elder Carpzov institute two xix. 10.); though, in the increasing heat of the dispute, they leading divisions, with a multitude of subdivisions; Van seem to drop this sentiment in their following answers, as if Til divides it into four leading parts, Moldenhawer into three, they supposed Job to be too bad to hope for any favour from and Mr. Noyes into two, with a number of subordinate God. He hoped, however, that his character would be cleared heads; Dr. Good divides it into six books or parts; and Dr in the day of judgment; though he was greatly concerned that Hales into five parts, independently of the exordium and conit could not be cleared before; that, after a life led in the most clusion: but as these are requisite to the unity of the book, conspicuous virtues, his reputation, in the opinion of his nearest it does not appear that they should be excluded from the arfriends, would sit under a black cloud, and, with regard to the rangement. The poem, then, may be conveniently divided ignorant and profane, leave an odious reproach upon a profession into six parts: the first of these contains the exordium or of religion. This touched him to the heart, exasperated all his narrative part (ch. i. ii.); the second comprises the first desufferings, and made him often wish, that God would bring him bate or dialogue of Job and his friends (iii.-xiv.); the third to his trial here in this life, that his integrity might be vindicated, includes the second series of debate or controversy (xv.-xxi.); and that all, friends and enemies, might understand the true end the fourth comprehends the third series of controversy (xxii. or design of God in his sufferings, and the honour of religion might be secured. (chap. x. 2, 3.) It is good unto thee, that thou shouldst shine upon the counsel of the wicked? who from my case take occasion to reproach and vilify true religion, and to confirm themselves in their wicked and idolatrous practices. (chap. viii. 20—22.; xi. 17—20.; xvi. 9—11.)

His first name was Jobab; and having married an Arabian woman, he had by her a son whose name was Ennon. Now he himself was the son of Zave, one of the sons of Esau: so that he was the fifth in descent from Abraham. Now these were the kings who reigned in Edom, over which country he also bare rule. The first was Balak the son of Beor, and the name of his city was Dannaba: and after Balak, Jobab, who is called Job: and after him, Ason, who was general over the region of Thæmanitis (Te man); and after him, Adad, the son of Barad, who smote Madiam in the land of Moab: and the name of his city was Gethaim. And the friends who came to Job were Eliphaz of the sons of Esau king of the Thamanites: Baldad, the sovereign of the Saucheans (Shuhites); and Sophar (Zophar), the king of the Minains" (Naamathites).

Calmet's Dictionary, vol. i. art. Job. Herder on Hebrew Poetry in M. R. (O. S.) vol. lxxx. p. 644.

2 $III. pp. 228, 229. supra.

3 These rules are extracted from Dr. John Taylor's Scheme of Scripture Divinity, chap. xxiii. in Bishop Watson's Collection of Theological Tracts, vol. i. pp. 97, 98. Dr. Taylor of Norwich was an eminent divine of the last century; who was distinguished for his command of temper, benevolent feeling, and deep acquaintance with the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. His Scheme of Divinity, it is deeply to be regretted, was Arian, and, therefore, cannot be recommended to students, indiscriminately.

• See Bishop Patrick's Paraphrase on Job x. 2-8. The following Synopsis exhibits the divisions, and subdivisions, adopted by Mr. Noyes in his "Amended Version of the Book of Job:" (Cambridge, North Am. 1827.)

I. Historical Introduction in Prose. Ch. I. II.

II. Controversy in Verse. Ch. III.-XLII. 7.

The Speech of Job, in which he curses his birth-day, is succeeded by
I. The first series of Controversy. Ch. IV.-XIV.

1. Speech of Eliphaz. Ch. IV. V.

2. Answer of Job. Ch. VI. VII.

3. Speech of Bildad. Ch. VIII.

4. Answer of Job. Ch. IX. X.

5. Speech of Zophar. Ch. XI.

6. Answer of Job. Ch. XII. XIII. XIV.

II. Second series of Controversy. Ch. XV.-XXI.

1. Speech of Eliphaz. Ch. XV.

2. Answer of Job. Ch. XVI. XVII.

3. Speech of Bildad. Ch. XVIII.

4. Answer of Job. Ch. XIX.

5. Speech of Zophar. Ch. XX.

6. Answer of Job. Ch. XXI.

III. Third series of Controversy. Ch. XXII.-XXXI.

1. Speech of Eliphaz. Ch. XXII.

2. Answer of Job. Ch. XXIII. XXIV.

3. Speech of Bildad. Ch. XXV.

4. Answer of Job. Ch. XXVI.-XXXI.

IV. The Judgment of Elihu respecting the Discussion. Ch. XXXIL

-XXXVII.

V. The Speech of the Deity, which terminates the Discussion. Ch
XXXVIII-XLII. 7.

III. The Conclusion, in Prose. Ch. XLII. 7. to the end.

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