3. "Words of wind," Hebrew. He retorts upon Eliphaz his reproach
emboldeneth--literally, "What wearies you so that ye contradict?"
that is, What have I said to provoke you? &c.
[SCHUTTENS]. Or, as
better accords with the first clause, "Wherefore do ye weary yourselves
4. heap up--rather, "marshal together (an army of) words against
shake . . . head--in mockery; it means nodding, rather than
shaking; nodding is not with us, as in the East, a gesture of scorn
5. strengthen . . . with . . . mouth--bitter irony. In allusion to
Eliphaz' boasted "consolations"
Opposed to strengthening with the heart, that is, with real
consolation. Translate, "I also (like you) could strengthen with the
mouth," that is, with heartless talk: "And the moving of
my lips (mere lip comfort) could console (in the same fashion as you
do)" [UMBREIT]. "Hearty counsel"
is the opposite.
6. eased--literally, "What (portion of my sufferings) goes from me?"
7. But now--rather, "ah!"
company--rather, "band of witnesses," namely, those who could
attest his innocence (his children, servants, &c.). So the same
Hebrew is translated in
UMBREIT makes his "band of witnesses,"
himself, for, alas! he had no other witness for him. But this is
8. filled . . . with wrinkles--Rather (as also the same Hebrew word in
English Version, "cut down"), "thou hast fettered me, thy
witness" (besidescutting off my "band of witnesses,"
that is, hast disabled me by pains from properly attesting my
innocence. But another "witness" arises against him, namely, his
"leanness" or wretched state of body, construed by his friends into a
proof of his guilt. The radical meaning of the Hebrew is "to
draw together," whence flow the double meaning "to bind" or "fetter,"
and in Syriac, "to wrinkle."
leanness--meaning also "lie"; implying it was a "false
9. Image from a wild beast. So God is represented
who hateth me--rather, "and pursues me hard." Job would not
ascribe "hatred" to God
mine enemy--rather, "he sharpens, &c., as an enemy"
Darts wrathful glances at me, like a foe
10. gaped--not in order to devour, but to mock him. To fill his cup of
misery, the mockery of his friends
is added to the hostile treatment from God
smitten . . . cheek--figurative for contemptuous abuse
gathered themselves--"conspired unanimously"
11. the ungodly--namely, his professed friends, who persecuted him
with unkind speeches.
turned me over--literally, "cast me headlong into the hands of the
12. I was at ease--in past times
by my neck--as an animal does its prey (so
shaken--violently; in contrast to his former "ease"
Set me up (again).
God lets me always recover strength, so as to torment me
13. his archers--The image of
is continued. God, in making me His "mark," is accompanied by the three
friends, whose words wound like sharp arrows.
gall--put for a vital part; so the liver
14. The image is from storming a fortress by making breaches in the
a giant--a mighty warrior.
15. sewed--denoting the tight fit of the mourning garment; it was
a sack with armholes closely sewed to the body.
horn--image from horned cattle, which when excited tear the earth
with their horns. The horn was the emblem of power
Here, it is
in the dust--which as applied to Job denotes his humiliation from
former greatness. To throw one's self in the dust was a sign of
mourning; this idea is here joined with that of excited despair,
depicted by the fury of a horned beast. The Druses of Lebanon still
wear horns as an ornament.
16. foul--rather, "is red," that is, flushed and heated
shadow of death--that is, darkening through many tears
Job here refers to Zophar's implied charge
Nearly the same words occur as to Jesus Christ
above answers to the description of Jesus Christ
and Job 16:4
to Ps 22:7).
He alone realized what Job aspired after, namely, outward
righteousness of acts and inward purity of devotion.
Jesus Christ as the representative man is typified in some degree in
every servant of God in the Old Testament.
18. my blood--that is, my undeserved suffering. He compares himself
to one murdered, whose blood the earth refuses to drink up until he is
(Ge 4:10, 11;
Eze 24:1, 8;
The Arabs say that the dew of heaven will not descend on a spot watered
with innocent blood (compare
no place--no resting-place. "May my cry never stop!" May it go
abroad! "Earth" in this verse in antithesis to "heaven"
May my innocence be as well-known to man as it is even now to
19. Also now--Even now, when I am so greatly misunderstood on earth,
God in heaven is sensible of my innocence.
record--Hebrew, "in the high places"; Hebrew, "my witness."
Amidst all his impatience, Job still trusts in God.
20.Hebrew, "are my scorners"; more forcibly, "my mockers--my
friends!" A heart-cutting paradox
[UMBREIT]. God alone remains to whom
he can look for attestation of his innocence; plaintively with tearful
eye, he supplicates for this.
21. one--rather, "He" (God). "Oh, that He would plead for a man
(namely, me) against God." Job quaintly says, "God must support me
against God; for He makes me to suffer, and He alone knows me to be
innocent" [UMBREIT]. So God helped Jacob in wrestling against Himself
God in Jesus Christ does plead with God for man
(Ro 8:26, 27).
as a man--literally, "the Son of man." A prefiguring of the advocacy
of Jesus Christ--a boon longed for by Job
though the spiritual pregnancy of his own words, designed for all ages,
was but little understood by him
for his neighbour--Hebrew, "friend." Job himself
pleaded as intercessor for his "friends," though "his scorners"
so Jesus Christ the Son of man
22. few--literally, "years of number," that is, few, opposed to