Pristine Grace

Job 21:9-12, (GILL)
9  Their houses [are] safe from fear,.... Of enemies besetting them, entering into them, and pillaging and plundering them; of thieves and robbers breaking into them, and carrying off their substance: or "their houses [are] peace" [o]; their families live in peace among themselves, or enjoy all prosperity, which the word peace frequently signifies; they have peace and prosperity within doors and are free "from fear", or devoid of fear, from anything without;

neither [is] the rod of God upon them; neither his rod of chastisement, which is upon his own people, and with which he scourges every son, though in love for their good, and which was now upon Job, Job 9:34; nor any sore judgment, as famine, plague, sword, or any other; no, not even the common afflictions and troubles that men are exercised with.

[o] Mwlv "pax", Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Schultens.

10  Their bull gendereth, and faileth not,.... As the wicked man's prosperity is described before by the increase and comfortable settlement of his children and grandchildren, and by the peace and safety of all within doors; here it is further set forth by the increase of his cattle in the fields, one part being put for the whole, his oxen and asses, his camels and sheep, things in which the riches of men chiefly lay in those times and countries; and he was reckoned an happy man when these brought forth abundantly; see Ps 144:13;

their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf; both male and female succeed in propagating their species, and so in increasing the wealth of their owner; this is sometimes promised as a temporal blessing, Ex 23:26.

11  They send forth their little ones like a flock,.... Of sheep, which are creatures very increasing, and become very numerous, Ps 144:13; to which a large increase of families may be compared, Ps 107:41, for this is not to be interpreted of their kine sending or bringing forth such numbers as to be like a flock of sheep; but of the families of wicked men being increased in like manner; and the sending them forth to be understood either of the birth of their children being sent out or proceeding from them as plants out of the earth, or branches from a tree; or of their being sent out not to school to be instructed in useful learning, but into the streets to play, and pipe, and dance; and it may denote, as their number, so their being left to themselves, and being at liberty to do as they please, being under no restriction, nor any care taken of their education; at least in such a manner as to have a tendency to make them sober, virtuous, and useful in life:

and their children dance; either in a natural way, skip and frisk, and play like calves and lambs, and so are very diverting to their parents, as well as shows them to be in good health; which adds to their parents happiness and pleasure: or in an artificial way, being taught to dance; and it should be observed, it is "their" children, the children of the wicked, and not of the godly, that are thus brought up; so Abraham did not train up his children, nor Job his; no instance can be given of the children of good men being trained up in this manner, or of their dancing in an irreligious way; however, this proves in what a jovial way, and in what outward prosperity and pleasure, wicked men and their families live; which is the thing Job has in view, and is endeavouring to prove and establish.

12  They take the timbrel and harp,.... Not the children, but the parents of them; these took these instruments of music into their hands, and played upon them while their children danced; thus merrily they spent their time: or, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra, they lift up the voice with the tabret and harp; that is, while they played on these with their hands, they sung songs with their mouths; they used both vocal and instrumental music together, to make the greater harmony, and give the greater pleasure, like those in Am 6:5;

and rejoice at the sound of the organ; a musical instrument, very pleasant and entertaining, from whence it has its name in the Hebrew tongue; but of what form it was cannot be with certainty said; that which we now so call is of later invention, and unknown in those times: probably Job may have respect to Jubal, the inventor of this sort of music, and others of the posterity of Cain before the flood, who practised it, and were delighted in it; in which they were imitated and followed by wicked men after it, and in Job's time, Ge 4:21.

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