Daily Arts Web Nucleus


Discover the Arts! Each day a different image from the Literary, Performing, or Visual Arts representing a portion of Scripture
plus an explanation with links

2015 January 14

Tending Children at the Orphanage in Haarlem (1663)
Jan de Bray (c. 1627 - 1697)
Dutch Golden Age Baroque Style
Frans Halsmuseum, Haarlem, Netherlands
Image Source: Web Gallery of Art

     Explanation: In Job 24 Job concludes his answer to Eliphaz. The painting above is in complete contrast to the deeds of the wicked. They oppress the poor, instead of aiding them in the manner shown in the image.


          [ CHRONOLOGY: General. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]

          [ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]

     Job asks why the Almighty allows the wicked to be born since he knows who and what they are. The question shows that the nature of good and evil and of God's reaction to it is a good bit more complex than the disputants had previously dealt with in depth (1).
     Having raised this question, Job then characterizes the wicked, showing how deeply evil they are. Some remove landmarks (thereby committing land theft). Others violently take away flocks and put them in their own pastures. They take away the work animals of the fatherless and the widows. They drive away the poor; and the poor hide together from them. The poor are forced to seek game in the wilderness and they have only the left-overs of the harvest and the vineyards to feed upon. They lie naked in the cold. They are wet with rain and cling to the rock (perhaps referring to rocks warmed by the sun) because they have no shelter. The wicked snatch the fatherless child from the breast; and they take pledges from the poor (making them even more poor). And (if the pledge is a garment) they go naked (poorly, or scantily clothed). The wicked also take the sheaf of grain from the hungry, (which means that the sheaf which they had a right to gather to use for their food -- even that -- is taken by the wicked). The poor produce olive oil and wine for the rich; but they go hungry. The oppressed groan and cry out; yet God does not charge their oppressors with wrongdoing (2-12).
     The wicked rebel against the light. They murder early in the day and behave like thieves at night. Adulterers also come out at night, thinking that no one will see them; and they abhor the morning light. They are terrified to be known (13-17).
      The wicked pass away swiftly; their portion is cursed; their vineyards are abandoned; the grave consumes them like drought and heat consume the snow waters; the womb forgets them; the worms feed upon them; they are forgotten; their wickedness is broken like a tree (18-20).
     Yet the wicked oppress the barren woman, and the widow, and the poor; and because of them no one is sure of life. God gives them security, supports them, and keeps his eyes upon their ways. But they are exalted for only a little while; and then they are gone. Like all others they are brought low and cut off like the heads of grain (21-24).
     Job concludes by challenging his friends to disprove his main point that the wicked prosper and are at ease in spite of their evil (25).

Job 24

     1 Why, seeing times are not hidden from the Almighty, do they that know him not see his days? 2 Some remove the landmarks; they violently take away flocks, and feed thereof. 3 They drive away the ass of the fatherless, they take the widow's ox for a pledge. 4 They turn the needy out of the way: the poor of the earth hide themselves together. 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. 6 They reap every one his corn in the field: and they gather the vintage of the wicked. 7 They cause the naked to lodge without clothing, that they have no covering in the cold. 8 They are wet with the showers of the mountains, and embrace the rock for want of a shelter. 9 They pluck the fatherless from the breast, and take a pledge of the poor. 10 They cause him to go naked without clothing, and they take away the sheaf from the hungry; 11 Which make oil within their walls, and tread their winepresses, and suffer thirst. 12 Men groan from out of the city, and the soul of the wounded crieth out: yet God layeth not folly to them.
     13 They are of those that rebel against the light; they know not the ways thereof, nor abide in the paths thereof. 14 The murderer rising with the light killeth the poor and needy, and in the night is as a thief. 15 The eye also of the adulterer waiteth for the twilight, saying, No eye shall see me: and disguiseth his face. 16 In the dark they dig through houses, which they had marked for themselves in the daytime: they know not the light. 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.
     18 He is swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards. 19 Drought and heat consume the snow waters: so doth the grave those which have sinned. 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.
     21 He evil entreateth the barren that beareth not: and doeth not good to the widow. 22 He draweth also the mighty with his power: he riseth up, and no man is sure of life. 23 Though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth; yet his eyes are upon their ways. 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. 25 And if it be not so now, who will make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth?

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