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He shall deliver a whole island, for the sake of one innocent and righteous man; and if thou wert he, the pureness of thy hands should obtain this favour from him, that for his respect to thee he would spare many.
XXIII. 2. Even to-day is my complaint bitter : my stroke is heavier than my groaning.
Even still I have every day more cause than other, to complain of my great affliction ; and the stroke, that I feel from God, is more heavy than my groanings can express.
XXIII. 3. Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!
Oh that I knew where and how I might meet with God; that I might lay open my estate before him, and, in an humble manner, argue the case of my suffering with him!
XXIII. 6. Will he plead against me with his great power ? No; but he would put strength in me.
I know he is gracious: he would not stand either upon his rigour or his power with me; but would mercifully sustain me, and give me courage and ability to stand out in the maintenance of my sincerity before him.
XXIII. 7. There the righteous might dispute with him ; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.
Upon these terms, a man of upright heart might hold a lowly contestation with him; which once done, being absolved by his most just sentence, I should be delivered for ever, from the slanders and condemnations of my unjust censurers.
XXIII. 8, 9. Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him : On the left hand, &c.
But, alas ! I know not how to come to have speech with the Almighty: though he be everywhere, yet he doth not in any one place or way manifest himself, so as to admit any plea of mine; in vain therefore shall I hope to argue my cause with him.
XXIII. 13. But he is in one mind, and who can turn him?
But, ( vain man that I am, how should I hope to alter the determinations of that wise and powerful God! What he hath decreed, must be; and who can change his purposes?
XXIII. 14. And many such things are with him.
Many such things, as these his proceedings with me, doth he, in his great and unlimited power and unsearchable wisdom, bring to pass; whereof we can give no reason or judgment.
XXIII. 17. Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither hath he covered the darkness from my face.
I am astonished at the hand of the Almighty, for that I am still upheld by his power in these extremities, and not cut off by death before this darkness of sorrow and misery overwhelmed me; neither yet hath he restrained these intolerable evils from seizing upon me, but hath caused me to feel them, and not to be swallowed up by them.
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XXIV. 1. Why, seeing the times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days?
It is good reason we should attribute so much to the most wise Providence of the Almighty, that he knows and hath determined of the fittest times for his own actions ; but why will men be so presumptuous, as (though they know him not, yet) to foresee, and foreset the days and times for his judgments ?
XXIV. 2. Some remove the landmarks; they violently take uway flocks.
There are wicked men, that give themselves to all violent and licentious outrages, of removing of landmarks, driving away the flocks and herds of their neighbours.
XXIV. 5. Behold, as wild asses in the desert, go they forth to their work.
They run, as eagerly after their spoil and rapine, as the wild ass in the desert runs after his prey.
XXIV. 6. They reap every one his corn in the field ; and they gather the vintage of the wicked.
They reap every one his share of corn in another man's field; and gather that vintage, which their cruel oppression hath forced to be theirs.
XXIV. 8. They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter.
So as their naked bodies are exposed to the showers that fall from the mountains; and are fain to seek shelter of the rock, to keep them from the violence of the weather.
XXIV. 11. Which make oil within their walls, and tread their winepresses, yet suffer thirst.
The poor and painful man toils hard for these oppressors, to scruze out their oil and wine within their own walls, and is forced to thirst the while ; being by their cruelty abridged of his wages and livelihood, and not suffered so much as to taste of his own laboure. XXIV. 13. They are of those that rebel against the light.
They are of those, that hate the light, which reproves their wicked deeds, and lays them open to the view of the world.
XXIV. 18. He is swift as the waters; their portion is cursed upon earth : he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.
Thus doth the evil man; but shall he prosper in his mischief? No; God shall soon be avenged of him: he shall pass away swiftly, even as a heady current of waters; and, while he continues here, he enjoys that which he hath, with a curse : his lot shall be barrenness, so as he shall not so much as look towards the way of the vineyards ; he shall have no hope of receiving the benefit of his seasonable culture of the earth.
XXIV. 19. Drought and heat consume the snow waters; so doth the grave those which have sinned.
As the moisture of the snow, which is more light and airy, is dried up by the heat of the sunbeams, so are the sinners suddenly consumed by that death and destruction, which God sends upon them.
XXIV. 23. Though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth; yet his eyes are upon their ways.
Though this wicked man seem to pass his time in much security and confidence, yet the eyes of God are so upon his ways, as that he observes him to take his advantages against him, and to fit him with judgments.
XXV. 2. Dominion and fear are with him, he maketh peace in his high places.
He is an awful God, that hath the absolute dominion over all the world: he ordereth the very heavens so, that there is a perfect harmony in all the (seemingly contrary) motions thereof; and contriveth all things so, that they agree to glorify him.
XXV. 3. Is there any number of their armies ? and upon whom doth not his light arise ?
How innumerable troops of glorious angels hath he there above, and how infinite armies of his creatures to execute his will upon all occasions ! and how gracious is he in sending forth his light into all the corners of the earth; and how wise in searching all the secrets of human actions and counsels !
XXVI, 2. How hast thou helped him that is without power ? &c.
Oh what goodly help hast thou given to the Almighty! I wis he had not had power enough to right himself without thee; foolish man! that pleadest for God, as if he had need of thy patronage.
XXVI. 5. Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof.
What dost thou tell me of a Providence, ordering those heavenly bodies and motions? I know all this and more ; and tell thee again, that the same Providence reacheth to all those obscure creatures, which are formed under the waters, and under the earth; so as they have not their being and continuance, but from him.
XXVI. 6. Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.
Yea, the very lowest part of the earth lies naked and open to his all-seeing eyes : he knows the places, and ways, and means of the dissolution, of all the creatures which he hath made.
XXVI. 7. He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
He hath spread out this glorious hemisphere of the heavens, upon the void and empty space of the light and thin air ; and hangeth the great ball of the earth in the midst of heaven, without any prop or foundation,
XXVI. 9. He holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth his cloud upon it.
He hideth the face of heaven, which is his throne, from our sight; by spreading his thick clouds betwixt it and us..
XXVI. 11. The pillars of the heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof.
The high mountains, upon which the heaven seems to rest as so many pillars, tremble and shake with his earthquakes.
XXVI. 13. His hand hath formed the crooked serpent.
His hand hath made the huge and mighty whale in the waters, and the monstrous and dreadful serpent on the land.
XXVII. 2. As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; who hath vexed my soul.
As God liveth, who hath not yet given any outward and sensible signification, that he hath taken notice of my cause, to clear and avenge me; but, contrarily, hath laid many sore afflictions upon me.
XXVIII. 1. Surely there is a vein for silver, and a place for gold where they fine it.
However you have pleased to pass your censure concerning the proceedings of God, certainly his ways and his wisdom are unsearchable: there is a certain and determinate place for these earthly treasures, where they may be found out; there is a vein for silver and a place for gold.
XXVIII. 2. Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone.
And so it is with the coarser metals : iron is found in the earth; and brass is molten out of the ore, which is the rude matter of it.
XXVIII. 3. He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection : the stones of darkness, and shadow of death. .
He setteth a stint or limit to the most obscure places of the earth; and, by the industry of man, finds them out; and works out of them the purity and perfection of the best metals and mines; and fetcheth thence those precious or useful stones, which lay hid in darkness and utter obscurity.
XXVIII. 4. The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant ; even the waters forgotten of the foot : they are dried up, they are gone away from men.
He disposeth of the waters also at his pleasure ; so as, one while the flood breaketh out by a sudden inundation ; and, soon after, is so dried up, that the passenger's foot takes not notice that ever any water was there.
XXVIII. 5. As for the earth, out of it cometh bread : and under it is turned up fire.
As for the earth, it yields bread corn in the surface of it, and the bowels of it yield combustible matter for the use of man.
XXVIII. 6. The stones of it are the places of sapphires : and it hath dust of gold.
Among the quarries of the earth, are sapphires and other precious stones found and digged up; and the ore of gold is also had amongst the dust and mould thereof.
XXVIII. 7. There is a puth which no fowl knoweth, &c.
There are indeed secret places of the earth, which never any creature came to the sight of, &c.
XXVIII. 12. But where shall wisdom be found, &c.
But in all these regions of the clouds, of the earth, of the waters, where shall wisdom be found ?
XXVIII. 13. Neither is it found in the land of the living.
Neither is it to be found amongst living men ; since it is not an earthly, but a heavenly thing.
XXVIII. 25. To make weights for the winds.
However the wind is the most light of all creatures, and uncapable of any ponderation ; yet he, who made it, can make weights wherein to poise it.
XXIX. 3. When his candle shined upon my head, &c.
When the light of his countenance shone graciously upon mo, and gave me comfort and success in all my actions.
XXIX. 6. When I washed my stops with butter.
When I had such abundance of all these outward things, that, in the plenty of my milk, I might have washed and suppled my feet with butter, &c.
XXIX. 18. Then I said, I shall die in my nest.
Then did I please myself in the confidence of my continuing happiness; and durst boldly resolve, I shall die in peace and fulness of days in my own house.
XXIX. 24. If I laughed on them, they believed it not; and the light of my countenance they did not cast down.
If by my smiles I gave intimation that I gave not assent to any report, it was presently distrusted by the hearers ; or, if I sported with them, they had such an awful opinion of my gravity, that they did not think me to be in jest ; neither did they forbear to give me all due reverence, and to hold their great respects to me.
XXX. 1. Whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.
Whose fathers I would have disdained to have made the keepers of those dogs, which tended upon my flocks.
XXX. 2. Whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished ?
For what use could I have made of them, which had wholly lost their time, and lived idly and unprofitably?