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21 Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death;
What Job meant by this is that, "he would not return as one who leaves home and comes back when his journey is ended. Job had doubtless often 'gone away' to various places from whence he returned: but he was now anticipating that he would go away to the grave, whence, in the ordinary course, he would not return.
His resurrection, when the Redeemer should stand on the earth in the latter days, would not be a returning in the sense of his words-that is, a return to the circle and to the circumstances which he should leave behind him. In the sense of his words, his resurrection would be no return at all, but a being brought back by Divine power, at another time to another set of circumstances-which is a different thing."
Christadelphian, 1893, p. 141
22 A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.
The power that keeps bodies in living existence is " spirit," or electricity, as it is called by
philosophers ; who studiously avoid expressing things natural in the terms of scripture. The " breath of AIL, by which frost is given " (Job xxxvii. 10), is the air we breathe ; and consists of oxygen and nitrogen mechanically mixed. These three things are essential to life-oxygen, nitrogen, and electricity. Without them, " flesh, a wind that passeth away " (Ps. lxxviii. 39), cannot long retain its organic constitution ; but rapidly runs into a state in which its
original elements are set free.
It is truly " a bag of wind; " for when the creature ceases to breathe, the wind, or gas, soon begins to distend the skin ; nor does the process intermit until he is resolved into hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and a little dust. Such, in general terms, is the analysis of those who sleep and well in dust.
In sheol all these elements are there ready for a synthetic operation to be elaborated by him, who, while tabernacling in the flesh among the Jews, said,
" I am the resurrection and the life."
He alone can perform the wonderful and mighty synthesis-•the reunion of these gaseous elements with the dust, and their development into forms, the living images and likenesses of those to whom the dust formerly belonged.
This is resurrection-the reproduction of a former intelligent being by almighty synthetic power, styled by Paul, " the energy whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself " (Phil. iii. 21). He who recombines these simple elements of the dead is THE WORD, in whom is life, and by whom all things were made (Jno. i. 3-4).
This Word is the resurrection-the Eternal Spirit, " who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto." His name is YAH, by which He is well pleased to be extolled (Ps. lxviii. 4).
He takes away men's breath, and they die, and return to their dust. He subjects them to analysis ; and then at the time appointed, He reverses the operation, in sending forth His spirit for their renewal (Ps. civ. 29-30). This is the formative or recreative power of resurrection.
The gases and the dust might all be mechanically and intimately combined ; but no image and likeness of a previous entity would result. The power of the LIFE-WORD, intelligently operative, is indispensable. This power sent forth by Deity, and applied by Jesus (2 Cor. iv. 14), in its application, secretly and silently, as in the combination and formation of like elements into dew, will synthesize the gases and the dust of sheol, and from " the sides of the pit, wherein no water is," and where no forms exist, this formative power will evolve living men and women, who shall come forth from the land of darkness, where the
light is as darkness (Job x. 21-22), like dew " from the womb of the dawn."
He, by whom this power is applied, may well be styled " the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the Mighty Power, the Father of Eternity."