1. breath . . . corrupt--result of elephantiasis. But UMBREIT, "my
strength (spirit) is spent."
extinct--Life is compared to an expiring light. "The light of my
day is extinguished."
graves--plural, to heighten the force.
2. UMBREIT, more emphatically, "had I only not to endure mockery, in the midst of their contentions I (mine eye) would remain quiet."
eye continue--Hebrew, "tarry all night"; a figure taken
from sleep at night, to express undisturbed rest; opposed to
when the eye of Job is represented as pouring out tears to God
3. Lay down now--namely, a pledge or security; that is, be my surety;
do Thou attest my innocence, since my friends only mock me
Both litigating parties had to lay down a sum as security before the
put me in a surety--Provide a surety for me (in the trial) with Thee.
A presage of the "surety"
or "one Mediator between God and man" (see on
strike hands--"who else (save God Himself) could strike hands with
me?" that is, be my security
The Hebrew strikes the hand of him for whom he goes security
4. their heart--The intellect of his friends.
shalt . . . exalt--Rather imperative, "exalt them not"; allow them
not to conquer [UMBREIT],
(Isa 6:9, 10).
5. The Hebrew for "flattery" is "smoothness"; then it came to
mean a prey divided by lot, because a smooth stone was used in
casting the lots
Therefore translate, "He that delivers up his friend as a prey (which
the conduct of my friends implies that they would do), even the eyes,"
Job says this as to the sinner's children, retorting upon their
reproach as to the cutting off of his
(Job 5:4; 15:30).
This accords with the Old Testament dispensation of legal retribution
6. He--God. The poet reverentially suppresses the name of God when
speaking of calamities inflicted.
My awful punishment makes my name execrated everywhere, as if I must
have been superlatively bad to have earned it.
aforetime . . . tabret--as David was honored
Rather from a different Hebrew root, "I am treated to my face as
an object of disgust," literally, "an object to be spit upon in the
So Raca means
(Ps 6:7; 31:9;
members--literally, "figures"; all the individual members being
peculiar forms of the body; opposed to "shadow," which looks like a
figure without solidity.
8. astonied--at my unmerited sufferings.
against the hypocrite--The upright shall feel their sense of
justice wounded ("will be indignant") because of the prosperity of the
wicked. By "hypocrite" or "ungodly," he perhaps glances at his false
9. The strength of religious principle is heightened by misfortune.
The pious shall take fresh courage to persevere from the example of
suffering Job. The image is from a warrior acquiring new courage in
(Isa 40:30, 31;
10. return--If you have anything to advance really wise, though I
doubt it, recommence your speech. For as yet I cannot find one wise man
among you all.
11. Only do not vainly speak of the restoration of health to me;
for "my days are past."
broken off--as the threads of the web cut off from the loom
thoughts--literally, "possessions," that is, all the feelings and
fair hopes which my heart once nourished. These belong to the heart, as "purposes" to the understanding; the two together here describe
the entire inner man.
12. They--namely, "my friends."
change the night into day--that is, would try to persuade me of the
change of my misery into joy, which is impossible
(but) the light of prosperity (could it be enjoyed) would be short
because of the darkness of adversity. Or better for "short," the
Hebrew "near"; "and the light of new prosperity should be near
in the face of (before) the darkness of death"; that is, they would
persuade me that light is near, even though darkness approaches.
13. Rather, "if I wait for this grave (Sheol, or the unseen world)
as my house, and make my bed in the darkness
and say to corruption," rather, "to the pit" or "grave," &c.
Where then is my hope? [UMBREIT]. The apodosis is
14. Thou art my father, &c.--expressing most intimate connection
His diseased state made him closely akin to the grave and worm.
15. Who shall see it fulfilled? namely, the "hope"
which they held out to him of restoration.
16. They--namely, my hopes shall be buried with me.
Rather, the wastes or solitudes of the pit (sheol, the
rest together--the rest of me and my hope is in, &c. Both expire
together. The word "rest" implies that man's ceaseless hopes only rob
him of rest.