Job, complaining of the repeated cruelty of his friends, sheweth that he hath misery enough to gratify it: he calleth for pity; professeth his belief of a future resurrection; and warneth his friends not to persecute him.
1THEN Job answered and said,
2How long will ye vex my soul, and break me 1in pieces with words?
1 That is, aggravate me with much prating and babbling; or oppress me with groundless and hostile charges?
3These 2ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye 3make yourselves strange to me.
2 That is, very often. A certain number for an uncertain. And thus the number ten is often used. See Gen. 31 on verse 7.
3 Or, grow stiff, that is, in that ye contend so impudently and obstinately with me. Other, that ye carry yourselves so strangely towards me?
4And be it indeed 4that I have erred, 5mine error remaineth with myself.
4 That is, assumed that I through mistake or weakness may have slipped.
5 That is, my fault, if there be any, it touches me, not you; ye need not trouble yourselves for the same; leave me at peace that I may reconcile myself with God, and wait on the issue, without continuing thus to revile and slander me.
5If indeed ye will 6magnify yourselves against me, and plead against me 7my reproach:
6 Or, make yourselves great, that is, are stoutly and spitefully set against me with big words and bitter insults. The Hebrew word is likewise taken Psalm 35:26; Jer. 48:26; Lam. 1:9; Ezek. 35:13; Zeph. 2:8.
7 That is, go about with such eager contending to convince me of that whereof I should be ashamed, or which is accompanied, or will be followed with my reproach. Reproach for that which makes it reproachful. Compare Job 20:3, and the annotation upon the word reproach.
6Know now 8that God hath 9overthrown me, and hath compassed 10me with his net.
8 He wants to say, that they ought to consider that he was humbled in an extraordinary manner by the hand of God, and therefore they should rather commiserate and comfort him, than fall out with him so reproachfully, and aggravate his affliction with passing such perverse judgment upon it. Compare Job 6:14, 15, 16.
9 Or, bowed me, that is, by manifold afflictions entirely beaten down and ruined.
10 Or, over me, that is, He has in such a way surrounded me with all manner of plagues and miseries, that I am not able to make an escape, even as if I were beset roundabout with snares which cannot be avoided. See of the same comparison Job 18:8; 22:10. Likewise Lam. 1:13; Ezek. 12:13; 32:3; Hosea 7:12.
7Behold, I cry out of 11wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no 12judgment.
11 That is, violence is done to me, because I, being devout, am thus wrongly punished by God, and have been scornfully condemned and mocked by my friends, and I, crying to God about this, am not assisted. See similar expressions, Jer. 20:8; Hab. 1:2.
12 Namely, neither before nor after, whereby my cause might be pleaded and come to some issue that I might be delivered at length out of this misery. Thus the godly are sometimes as forsaken in their cross, because, not feeling the present assistance of God, they seem to faint even to despair under the burden of their afflictions, Psalm 13:1; 88:14; Lam. 3:8; Hab. 1:2; which happened likewise to the Lord Christ, the Head of the faithful, Psalm 22:2.
813He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set 14darkness in my paths.
13 Compare with this Job 3:23; Lam. 3:7, 9. The meaning is, that he was so surrounded and hemmed in with all manner of misery, that he saw not the least opening for any escape. Compare verse 6, the last annotation and Hosea 2:5.
14 Compare the annotation at Job 3 on verse 23.
9He hath stripped me of 15my glory, and taken the 16crown from my head.
15 That is, He has dispossessed and bereaved me of all my state, means, worthiness and honor. The word glory is taken in this sense Isa. 16:14; 21:16. Compare Gen. 31 on verse 1.
16 Understand by the crown whatsoever served him for his glory and ornament. Also is this word taken Job 31:36; Prov. 4:9; 12:4; 14:24; 16:31; 17:6; Lam. 5:16; Ezek. 21:26.
10He hath 17destroyed me on every side, and I am 18gone: and mine 19hope hath he 20removed like a tree.
17 Understand this of the loss of his goods, which he had suffered on all hands.
18 That is, go to decay and perish.
19 Understand hereby the hope of his temporal prosperity in this life, for, as to the hope of his everlasting wellbeing he ever cleaved fast to that; as is to be seen at Job 13:15, 16 and in this chapter the verses 25, 26, 27.
20 Hebr. made to depart, that is, rooted out and carried away; for, as there is no hope for a tree, which is rooted up and left as such ever to grow and flourish again, so says Job, he was put out of all temporal prosperity, that there was no hope left for his recovering.
11He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he 21counteth mea unto him as one of his enemies.
21 Thus judges his flesh, when God tries and chastens His children. Also Job 13 on verse 24.
a Job 13:24; 16:9; 33:10; Lam. 2:5.
1222His troops come together, and raise up their 23way against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle.
22 He understands hereby the manifold afflictions and troubles which were come upon him, Job 1 and 2, yea, even his friends, who, by their perverse judging and bitter speaking, did very much afflict him, verses 2, 3.
23 Namely, according to the manner of armies, which, being about to subdue a city by a siege, leveled round about all impassable and impracticable roads to facilitate their passage and communication, and to make their approaches for the speedy subduing and mastering of the city. Hebr. properly, raised up.
13He hath put myb24brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are 25verily estranged from me.
b Psalm 31:11; 38:11; 69:8; 88:8.
24 Understand his carnal kinship, or also the spiritual, from whom, because of the unity of faith, he might have expected some brotherly consolation. See Gen. 13 on verse 8.
25 That is, without any doubt, as it now plainly appears. Other, only they estrange themselves from me, that is, they knew not how to do him any other service in this sad condition but to eschew and shun him, as not knowing by what means to help him.
14My kinsfolk have 26failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.
26 Other, ceased, namely, to visit and comfort me, and to show me that reciprocal kindness, which one friend owes to another in such distress.
15They 27that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I 28am an alien in their sight.
27 Or, the inhabitants of my house, or, those who move about in my house. The Hebrew word seems to be general, signifying not only those who always live in the house as family, but also those who visit therein often, as good acquaintances.
28 That is, they hold and count me for one who has no relation to them, and with whom they have nothing to do. See Job 18 on verse 3.
16I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I 29intreated him with my mouth.
29 Namely, that he would do something for me. He did not only bid him as master of the family, but entreated him likewise as one of his equals.
17My 30breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated 31for the children's sake of mine own body.
30 Hebr. spirit. Also Job 9:18. The sense is: that his wife has turned herself away from him, as from one who has a stinking breath; and consequently did loath and shun him, and refused him all due help and service.
31 That is, for the inclination and the affection which she may still have towards me on account of the children which we, before this time, have received and raised together.
18Yea,c32young children despised me; 33I arose, and they spake against me.
c Job 30:1.
32 Thus the Hebrew word is taken Job 21:11. Other, the perverse or unrighteous, as Job 16:11.
33 Namely, to make them quiet, and hold their peace to cease from evil language. Other, else for to allure them unto me with kind and courteous speeches.
19Alld my inward 34friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.
d Psalm 41:9; 55:13, 14.
34 Understand those men whom he was wont to trust with his secrets, and to consult with them about it.
20Mye35bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, 36and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.
e Job 30:30; Psalm 102:5; Lam. 4:8.
35 He wants to say, that all the moisture and vigor of his life was so consumed and dried up, that he had little left him but skin and the bones, which, together with the skin and the small remnant of flesh, stuck out so that they seemed not to grow there, but to be tied and fastened together. Compare Psalm 102:5.
36 That is, the Lord had affected his body in such a manner, that there was nothing left on it but the skin, which is about the teeth, that is, the gums, or about the lips, which cover the teeth. He wants to say, that he was nothing but a mere skeleton covered over with skin, and had scarce anything at all, but his mouth with which to speak.
21Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath 37touched me.
37 That is, extremely afflicted and vexed in my body, friends and substance. See Gen. 26 on verse 11. Thus our Savior is called the smitten of God, Isa. 53:4, that is, Who was greatly afflicted by God.
22Why do ye persecute me 38as God, and 39are not satisfied with my flesh?
38 That is, as God persecutes me, as if ye had the same right over me.
39 That is, why is it not sufficient for you that my flesh is consumed by my suffering, and that ye still afflict my spirit also with your perverse judgment and vile slanders.
2340Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printedf in a book!
40 Hebr. Who shall give that, etc. Also in the sequel of this verse. See Job 11 on verse 5.
24That they were graven with an iron pen and 41lead in the rock for ever!
41 Namely, which, being melted and poured out into the cut made by the iron graver in the rock, the same would represent the cut clearer. Some do understand here a leaden plate, which could likewise have his words cut or engraved upon it.
2542For I know that my 43redeemer liveth, and that 44he shall stand at the latter day 45upon the earth:
42 He wants to say. Since I am so miserable at present, and am besides made suspect as one neither fearing God, nor trusting in Him, Job 18:21, though I have declared myself formerly in that behalf, Job 13:15, 16; yet do I solemnly declare now that I do believe the promised Messiah to be my Savior, Who shall raise me up at the last day unto eternal life.
43 Hebr. Goël. Understand the promised Messiah, our Lord Jesus Christ. Compare Gen. 48:16; Isa. 59:20 with the annotations. See further of the use of this word Lev. 25:25, etc.; Ruth 2:20; 3:9, 12, etc.
44 That is, at the last, or, the last day, or, the last, that is, He Who shall be the last and final Judge over all.
45 That is, He shall show Himself most glorious at the last day upon all those who lie in the dust, or earthly graves, by raising them up from the dead, to judge them, and to receive His own, of whom I am one, with Him into everlasting salvation. Some take these words thus: and the last (namely, man) shall rise up out of the dust, that is, all people shall rise to the very last one. Some perceive that Job speaks here of his own resurrection, and translate the words in this manner: and this (namely, body or flesh, as in the next verse) shall rise at last upon the dust.
26And though 46after my skin 47worms destroy 48this body, yet in my flesh shall I see 49God:
46 That is, after they have eaten up and made an end of my skin
47 Namely, the worms and maggots, which shall gnaw at my skin and the entire body in the earth.
48 Understand the rest of his body, which he pointed at with his finger, as if he would have said: This wretched flesh and these feeble bones, which are covered with the skin. The meaning is, that the worms would not only gnaw through and consume his skin, but his flesh and bones also, or his entire body, and notwithstanding that, he would recover all again in the resurrection, to see therein his God.
49 Namely, the Lord Christ, God revealed in the flesh, and visibly appearing in great majesty unto judgment.
27Whom I shall see 50for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not 51another; though 52my reins be 53consumed within 54me.
50 That is, for my own good, or, to my everlasting joy and salvation.
51 Namely, man or eye, that is, I shall not behold Him with any other body or eye, but my own, even as I shall rise again with my own body and not with a new created one. See 1 Cor. 15:53.
52 The reins are often taken in Holy Scripture for the inmost disposition, as the desires, affections or motions of man; as here and Psalm 7:9; 26:2; Prov. 23:16; Jer. 12:2, etc. Compare Job 38 on verse 36.
53 Or, faint, namely, with longing, that is, my desires and longings are so fervent within me to behold my Lord and Savior that they almost pine away or succumb. Thus the Hebrew word is taken 2 Sam. 13:39; Psalm 84:2; 119:81, 82, 83, 123; 139:13.
54 Understand the inmost part of man. Thus this word is taken Eccl. 7:9.
28But 55ye should say, Why persecute we him, 56seeing the root of the matter is found in me?
55 That is, ye ought to say.
56 That is, seeing that the first matter and origin of our dispute is the affliction which God sent upon me; about which ye ought rather to sympathize with me than to fall so reproachfully upon me. Or, understand by the root of the matter the firm ground of the dispute, comprehending the solid reasons, which ought to end the dispute, and which were not to be found in the reasons of his friends, but truly in his arguments. Also by this root may be understood that excellent confession of faith, which Job had made, and ought to have satisfied his friends, to count him no longer an hypocrite.
29Be ye afraid 57of the sword: for 58wrath bringeth the punishments of the 59sword, that ye may know there is 60a judgment.
57 Hebr. from the face of the sword. He names one kind of punishments, instead of all, wherewith God visits the impenitent.
58 Understand the fierce wrath of God, which reveals itself over the unrighteousness of men, Rom. 1:18. See 2 Chron. 28 on verse 13. Other, such fierceness, namely, as the friends of Job did show against him, is one of the iniquities of the sword, or, bringeth with it the punishments of the sword.
59 That is, who deserve the sword, or some other destructive punishments.
60 Namely, with God, Who punishes sins, either in this life, or in that to come, or in both.