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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

Job 28

 

 

Verse 1

A BRILLIANT CHAPTER

‘Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it.… But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?’ etc.

Job 28:1; Job 28:12

This chapter falls naturally into three sections, the first two sections being terminated by this question, with a slight variety of statement: ‘Whence then cometh wisdom?’ and the last by the result of the investigation.

I. The first of these sections is occupied with the abstruseness and marvellousness of human discoveries.—Job speaks of the discovery of natural objects—gems for the monarch’s brow, metals for the husbandman, minerals for the physician—but we can speak of the far more curious discovery of natural powers. Have we, with all our toilings, brought to light that wisdom in the possession of which we may acquiesce throughout eternity? Alas! no. There is no rest, no peace, no satisfaction in wisdom of this kind.

II. The second section of this Divine poem sets forth to us the truth that, though human discoveries be exceeding abstruse and wonderful, yet there is an impassable limit which they cannot go beyond.—There is a field of knowledge which baffles us at the outset, and that is the field of Providence. Nature affords us no light whatever in solving the secret of the Divine dispensations. Of this wisdom the depth saith, ‘It is not in me’; and the sea saith, ‘It is not with me.’

III. ‘The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom.’—It must be so, if you will consider the matter. Evil, moral evil or sin, is the parent and root of folly. It follows, then, that to depart from it must be the highest, the only true, wisdom. The path is so plain that the simplest may enter upon it, and that without delay. In whatever employment we be engaged, there is room for the cultivation of this simple, grand, majestic wisdom, room for us to fear the Lord, room for us to depart from evil.

—Dean Goulburn.

Illustration

‘Reasonable persons admit that there is a Divine order in the universe. The world is not the sport of chance, nor the passive victim of unintelligent and inexorable fate, and still less is it subject to a Ruler who is indeed almighty, but neither wise nor holy. No, there is a principle of administration which, did we but know it, would reconcile all contradictions and illumine all mysteries. But we do not, cannot know it. Our faculties fail to take it in. Yet we are not left helpless, but have all that we really need for the conduct of life and the attainment of life’s great end. This is the sum of what is contained in the brilliant twenty-eighth chapter of the book of Job.’


Verse 12

A BRILLIANT CHAPTER

‘Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it.… But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?’ etc.

Job 28:1; Job 28:12

This chapter falls naturally into three sections, the first two sections being terminated by this question, with a slight variety of statement: ‘Whence then cometh wisdom?’ and the last by the result of the investigation.

I. The first of these sections is occupied with the abstruseness and marvellousness of human discoveries.—Job speaks of the discovery of natural objects—gems for the monarch’s brow, metals for the husbandman, minerals for the physician—but we can speak of the far more curious discovery of natural powers. Have we, with all our toilings, brought to light that wisdom in the possession of which we may acquiesce throughout eternity? Alas! no. There is no rest, no peace, no satisfaction in wisdom of this kind.

II. The second section of this Divine poem sets forth to us the truth that, though human discoveries be exceeding abstruse and wonderful, yet there is an impassable limit which they cannot go beyond.—There is a field of knowledge which baffles us at the outset, and that is the field of Providence. Nature affords us no light whatever in solving the secret of the Divine dispensations. Of this wisdom the depth saith, ‘It is not in me’; and the sea saith, ‘It is not with me.’

III. ‘The fear of the Lord, that is wisdom.’—It must be so, if you will consider the matter. Evil, moral evil or sin, is the parent and root of folly. It follows, then, that to depart from it must be the highest, the only true, wisdom. The path is so plain that the simplest may enter upon it, and that without delay. In whatever employment we be engaged, there is room for the cultivation of this simple, grand, majestic wisdom, room for us to fear the Lord, room for us to depart from evil.

—Dean Goulburn.

Illustration

‘Reasonable persons admit that there is a Divine order in the universe. The world is not the sport of chance, nor the passive victim of unintelligent and inexorable fate, and still less is it subject to a Ruler who is indeed almighty, but neither wise nor holy. No, there is a principle of administration which, did we but know it, would reconcile all contradictions and illumine all mysteries. But we do not, cannot know it. Our faculties fail to take it in. Yet we are not left helpless, but have all that we really need for the conduct of life and the attainment of life’s great end. This is the sum of what is contained in the brilliant twenty-eighth chapter of the book of Job.’

 


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Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Job 28:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/job-28.html. 1876.

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