2. How long, &c.--retorting Bildad's words
Admitting the punishment to be deserved, is it kind thus ever to be
harping on this to the sufferer? And yet even this they have not yet
3. These--prefixed emphatically to numbers
ten--that is, often
make yourselves strange--rather, "stun me"
Margin for a different meaning [that is, "harden yourselves against
4.erred--The Hebrew expresses unconscious error.Job was
unconscious of wilful sin.
remaineth--literally, "passeth the night." An image from harboring
an unpleasant guest for the night. I bear the consequences.
5. magnify, &c.--Speak proudly
against me--emphatically repeated
plead . . . reproach--English Version makes
this part of the protasis, "if" being understood, and the apodosis
Better with UMBREIT, If ye would become great
heroes against me in truth, ye must prove (evince) against me my
guilt, or shame, which you assert. In the English
Version "reproach" will mean Job's calamities, which they
"pleaded" against him as a "reproach," or proof of guilt.
6. compassed . . . net--alluding to Bildad's words
Know, that it is not that I as a wicked man have been caught in my
"own net"; it is God who has compassed me in His--why, I
7. wrong--violence: brought on him by God.
no judgment--God will not remove my calamities, and so vindicate my
just cause; and my friends will not do justice to my past character.
8. Image from a benighted traveller.
9. stripped . . . crown--image from a deposed king, deprived of
his robes and crown; appropriate to Job, once an emir with all but
10. destroyed . . . on every side--"Shaken all round, so that I
fall in the dust"; image from a tree uprooted by violent shaking from
every side [UMBREIT].
The last clause accords with this
mine hope--as to this life (in opposition to Zophar,
not as to the world to come
12. troops--Calamities advance together like hostile troops
raise up . . . way--An army must cast up a way of access before
it, in marching against a city
13. brethren--nearest kinsmen, as distinguished from "acquaintance."
So "kinsfolk" and "familiar friends"
correspond in parallelism. The Arabic proverb is, "The brother, that
is, the true friend, is only known in time of need."
estranged--literally, "turn away with disgust." Job again
unconsciously uses language prefiguring the desertion of Jesus Christ
15. They that dwell, &c.--rather, "sojourn": male servants, sojourning
in his house. Mark the contrast. The stranger admitted to sojourn as a
dependent treats the master as a stranger in his own house.
16. servant--born in my house (as distinguished from those sojourning
in it), and so altogether belonging to the family. Yet even he disobeys
mouth--that is, "calling aloud"; formerly a nod was enough. Now
I no longer look for obedience, I try entreaty.
17. strange--His breath by elephantiasis had become so strongly
altered and offensive, that his wife turned away as estranged from him
(Job 19:13; 17:1).
children's . . . of mine own body--literally, "belly."
But "loins" is what we should expect, not "belly" (womb), which applies
to the woman. The "mine" forbids it being taken of his wife. Besides
their children were dead. In
the same words "my womb" mean, my mother's womb: therefore
translate, "and I must entreat (as a suppliant) the children of my
mother's womb"; that is, my own brothers--a heightening of force, as
compared with last clause of
[UMBREIT]. Not only must I entreat suppliantly my
servant, but my own brothers
Here too, he unconsciously foreshadows Jesus Christ
18. young children--So the Hebrew means
Reverence for age is a chief duty in the East. The word means "wicked"
So UMBREIT has it here, not so well.
I arose--Rather, supply "if," as Job was no more in a state to
stand up. "If I stood up (arose), they would speak against (abuse) me"
19. inward--confidential; literally, "men of my secret"--to whom I
entrusted my most intimate confidence.
20. Extreme meagerness. The bone seemed to stick in the skin, being
seen through it, owing to the flesh drying up and falling away from the
bone. The Margin, "as to my flesh," makes this sense clearer. The
English Version, however, expresses the same: "And to my flesh,"
namely, which has fallen away from the bone, instead of firmly covering
skin of my teeth--proverbial. I have escaped with bare life; I am
wholeonly with the skin of my teeth; that is, my gums alone are whole,
the rest of the skin of my body is broken with sores
Satan left Job his speech, in hope that he might therewith curse
21. When God had made him such a piteous spectacle, his friends
should spare him the additional persecution of their cruel speeches.
22. as God--has persecuted me. Prefiguring Jesus Christ
That God afflicts is no reason that man is to add to a sufferer's
satisfied with my flesh--It is not enough that God afflicts my flesh
but you must "eat my flesh" metaphorically
that is, utter the worst calumnies, as the phrase often means in
23. Despairing of justice from his friends in his lifetime, he
wishes his words could be preserved imperishably to posterity,
attesting his hope of vindication at the resurrection.
printed--not our modern printing, but engraven.
lead--poured into the engraven characters, to make them better seen
Not on leaden plates; for it was "in the rock" that they
were engraved. Perhaps it was the hammer that was of "lead," as
sculptors find more delicate incisions are made by it, than by a harder
hammer. FOSTER (One Primeval Language) has shown that the inscriptions
on the rocks in Wady-Mokatta, along Israel's route through the desert,
record the journeys of that people, as Cosmas Indicopleustes asserted,
for ever--as long as the rock lasts.
25. redeemer--UMBREIT and others understand this and
of God appearing as Job's avenger before his death, when his
body would be wasted to a skeleton. But Job uniformly despairs of
restoration and vindication of his cause in this life
(Job 17:15, 16).
One hope alone was left, which the Spirit revealed--a vindication in a
future life: it would be no full vindication if his soul alone were to
be happy without the body, as some explain
"out of the flesh." It was his body that had chiefly suffered:
the resurrection of his body, therefore, alone could vindicate his
cause: to see God with his own eyes, and in a renovated body
would disprove the imputation of guilt cast on him because of the
sufferings of his present body. That this truth is not further dwelt on
by Job, or noticed by his friends, only shows that it was with
him a bright passing glimpse of Old Testament hope, rather
than the steady light of Gospel assurance; with us this passage
has a definite clearness, which it had not in his mind (see on
The idea in "redeemer" with Job is Vindicator
redressing his wrongs; also including at least with us, and
probably with him, the idea of the predicted Bruiser of the
serpent's head. Tradition would inform him of the prediction.
FOSTER shows that the fall by the serpent is
represented perfectly on the temple of Osiris at Philæ; and the
resurrection on the tomb of the Egyptian Mycerinus, dating four
thousand years back. Job's sacrifices imply sense of sin and need of
atonement. Satan was the injurer of Job's body; Jesus Christ his
Vindicator, the Living One who giveth life
(Joh 5:21, 26).
at the latter day--Rather, "the Last," the peculiar title of Jesus
Christ, though Job may not have known the pregnancy of his own inspired
words, and may have understood merely one that comes after
Jesus Christ is the last. The day of Jesus Christ the last
stand--rather, "arise": as God is said to "raise up" the Messiah
earth--rather, "dust": often associated with the body crumbling away
(Job 7:21; 17:16);
therefore appropriately here. Above that very dust wherewith was
mingled man's decaying body shall man's Vindicator arise. "Arise above
the dust," strikingly expresses that fact that Jesus Christ
arose first Himself above the dust, and then is to
raise His people above it
(1Co 15:20, 23).
The Spirit intended in Job's words more than Job fully understood
Though He seems, in forsaking me, to be as one dead, He now truly
"liveth" in heaven; hereafter He shall appear also above the dust of
earth. The Goel or vindicator of blood was the nearest kinsman of the
slain. So Jesus Christ took our flesh, to be our kinsman. Man lost life
by Satan the "murderer"
here Job's persecutor
Compare also as to redemption of the inheritance by
the kinsman of the dead
26. Rather, though after my skin (is no more) this (body) is destroyed
("body" being omitted, because it was so wasted as not to deserve the name),
yet from my flesh (from my renewed body, as the
starting-point of vision,
"looking out from the windows") "shall I see God." Next clause
proves bodily vision is meant, for it specifies "mine eyes"
[ROSENMULLER, 2d ed.]. The Hebrew opposes
"in my flesh." The "skin" was the first destroyed by
elephantiasis, then the "body."
27. for myself--for my advantage, as my friend.
not another--Mine eyes shall behold Him, but no longer as one
estranged from me, as now [BENGEL].
my reins--inward recesses of the heart.
be consumed within me--that is, pine with longing desire for that
(Ps 84:2; 119:81).
The Gentiles had but few revealed promises: how gracious that the few
should have been so explicit (compare
28. Rather, "ye will then (when the Vindicator cometh) say,
root . . . in me--The root of pious integrity, which was the matter at issue, whether it could be in one so afflicted, is found in me.
UMBREIT, with many manuscripts and versions, reads "in him." "Or how
found we in him ground of contention."
29. wrath--the passionate violence with which the friends persecuted
bringeth, &c.--literally, "is sin of the of the sword"
that ye may know--Supply, "I say this."
judgment--inseparably connected with the coming of the Vindicator.
The "wrath" of God at His appearing for the temporal vindication of Job
against the friends
is a pledge of the eternal wrath at the final coming to glorify the
saints and judge their enemies