Spirituality Of The Book Of Job As Exhibited In A Commentary On Chapter 14, Examined In Connection With Other Passages -- By: Tayler Lewis

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 006:23 (Aug 1849)
Article: Spirituality Of The Book Of Job As Exhibited In A Commentary On Chapter 14, Examined In Connection With Other Passages
Author: Tayler Lewis


Spirituality Of The Book Of Job As Exhibited In A
Commentary On Chapter 14, Examined In Connection With
Other Passages

Tayler Lewis

Verse 13. מִי יִן בִּשְׁאוֹל תַצְפִּנֵנֵי. The apparent utter despondency of the preceding expressions is succeeded by the language of agonizing prayer, as though the gloomy conception had suggested and even impelled the cry for deliverance. The idea of annihilation, when dwelt upon, becomes intolerable. The earnestness of the petition shows that the seemingly despairing statement had not been the language of denial, but of a soul seeking in it a confirmation to faith as the only refuge from the intolerable darkness of the opposing view. Oh that thou wouldst lay me up in Hades. צָפַן means not simply to conceal generally, like סָתַר or הִסְתִיר, but also to lay away in security as a precious deposit. Compare Ps. 27:5 He will hide me in his pavilion, in the secret of his tabernacle. Hence the righteous are called צְפוּנֵי יְהֹוָה, clientes Jehovah, as Gesenius gives it—more properly— His hidden ones.

שְׁאוֹל. This word alone is sufficient proof that the ancient Hebrews, from the earliest periods of their language, believed in a separate world of souls, a realm of the dead., distinct from the grave, for which they had another distinct and well known term. Although regarded as denoting a subterranean habitation, or as a region to which the grave might seem the local entrance, yet almost every use of the word, from Genesis to Malachi, indicates a conception clearly distinct from that of the mere earthly receptacle of the body. This, indeed, seems conceded both by Herder and Rosenmüller. There can be no better proof than the account of the transaction between Saul and the

witch of Endor, to convince any candid mind that such a ghost-world, or realm of departed spirits, was a settled part of the common belief of the common Jewish mind, entertained as strongly, and perhaps more strongly, than the prevailing notions now existing respecting an unseen spirit land. Whatever view we may take of that strange narrative, as wholly or partly real in respect to the particular scenes exhibited, it proves incontestably three things. It shows us, first, a common or popular belief in a world of departed human spirits; secondly, a belief in the reappearance of such spirits, at certain times, upon the earth; and thirdly, in the p...

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