Job 24 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Job 24)

Verse 1

[1] Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?

Why — Why (how comes it to pass) seeing times, (the fittest seasons for every, action, and particularly for the punishment of wicked men,) are not hidden from, or unknown to the Almighty God, (seeing all times, and men that live, and things that are done, or to be done in their times and seasons, are exactly known to God) do they that know him, (who love and obey him) not see (whence is it that they cannot discern) his (that is, God's) days? His times and seasons which he takes for the punishment of ungodly men; which if they were constant and fixed in this life, they would not be unknown to good men, to whom God uses to reveal his secrets.

Verse 3

[3] They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow's ox for a pledge.

Pledge — Contrary to God's law, first written in mens hearts, and afterwards in holy scripture, Exodus 22:26,27.

Verse 4

[4] They turn the needy out of the way: the poor of the earth hide themselves together.

Way — Out of the path or place in which these oppressors walk and range. They labour to keep out of their way for fear of their farther injuries.

Hide — For fear of these tyrants.

Verse 5

[5] Behold, as wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work; rising betimes for a prey: the wilderness yieldeth food for them and for their children.

Wild asses — Which are lawless, and fierce, and greedy of prey.

Desert — Which is the proper habitation of wild asses.

They — The oppressors.

Go — To spoil and rob.

Verse 6

[6] They reap every one his corn in the field: and they gather the vintage of the wicked.

They — The oppressors.

Wicked — Of such as themselves: so they promiscuously robbed all, even their brethren in iniquity.

Verse 7

[7] They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold.

Naked — Those whom they stripped of their garments and coverings.

Verse 8

[8] They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter.

Wet — With the rain-water, which runs down the rocks or mountains into the caves, to which they fled for shelter.

Rock — Are glad when they can find a cleft of a rock in which they may have some protection against the weather.

Verse 9

[9] They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor.

They — The oppressors.

Pluck — Out of covetousness; they will not allow the mother time for the suckling of her infant.

Verse 10

[10] They cause him to go naked without clothing, and they take away the sheaf from the hungry;

The sheaf — That single sheaf which the poor man had got with the sweat of his brow to satisfy his hunger.

Verse 11

[11] Which make oil within their walls, and tread their winepresses, and suffer thirst.

Walls — Within the walls of the oppressors for their use.

Suffer — Because they are not permitted to quench their thirst out of the wine which they make.

Verse 12

[12] Men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out: yet God layeth not folly to them.

Groan — Under grievous oppressions.

Soul — The life or blood of those who are wounded to death, as this word properly signifies, crieth aloud to God for vengeance.

Yet — Yet God doth not punish them.

Verse 13

[13] They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof.

Light — As well the light of reason and conscience, as the light of Divine revelation, which was then in good measure imparted to the people of God, and shortly after committed to writing.

Know not — They do not approve, nor love, or chuse them.

Verse 14

[14] The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thief.

Poor — Where he finds nothing to satisfy his covetousness, he exercises his cruelty.

Verse 16

[16] In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light.

They — The robber: having on that occasion inserted the mention of the adulterer as one who acted his sin in the same manner as the night-thief did, he now returns to him again.

Verse 17

[17] For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death: if one know them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of death.

Is — Terrible and hateful.

Verse 18

[18] He is swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.

Swift — That is, he quickly passeth away with all his glory, as the waters which never stay in one place, but are always hasting away.

Portion — His habitation and estate which he left behind him.

He — He shall never more see or enjoy his vineyards, or other pleasant places and things, which seem to be comprehended under this particular.

Verse 20

[20] The womb shall forget him; the worm shall feed sweetly on him; he shall be no more remembered; and wickedness shall be broken as a tree.

Womb — His mother that bare him in her womb.

Wickedness — The wicked man.

Broken — Broken to pieces, or violently broken down, as the word signifies.

Tree — Which being once broken down never grows again.

Verse 21

[21] He evil entreateth the barren that beareth not: and doeth not good to the widow.

He — He here returns to the declaration of his farther wickednesses, the cause of these judgments.

Barren — Barrenness was esteemed a curse and reproach; and so he added affliction to the afflicted.

Verse 22

[22] He draweth also the mighty with his power: he riseth up, and no man is sure of life.

Draweth — Into his net.

Verse 23

[23] Though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth; yet his eyes are upon their ways.

Yet — Yet his eyes are upon their ways: although God gives them such strange successes, yet he sees and observes them all, and will in due time punish them.

Verse 24

[24] They are exalted for a little while, but are gone and brought low; they are taken out of the way as all other, and cut off as the tops of the ears of corn.

The way — Out of this world.

Other — They can no more prevent or delay their death, than the meanest men in the world.

Corn — In its greatest height and maturity.

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