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Job 7:1-21. JOB EXCUSES HIS DESIRE FOR DEATH.
1. appointed time--better, "a warfare," hard conflict with evil (so in Isa 40:2; Da 10:1). Translate it "appointed time" (Job 14:14). Job reverts to the sad picture of man, however great, which he had drawn (Job 3:14), and details in this chapter the miseries which his friends will see, if, according to his request (Job 6:28), they will look on him. Even the Christian soldier, "warring a good warfare," rejoices when it is completed (1Ti 1:18; 2Ti 2:3; 4:7, 8).
2. earnestly desireth--Hebrew, "pants for the [evening] shadow." Easterners measure time by the length of their shadow. If the servant longs for the evening when his wages are paid, why may not Job long for the close of his hard service, when he shall enter on his "reward?" This proves that Job did not, as many maintain, regard the grave as a mere sleep.
3.--Months of comfortless misfortune.
5. In elephantiasis maggots are bred in the sores
Every day like the weaver's shuttle leaves a thread behind; and each
shall wear, as he weaves. But Job's thought is that his days must
swiftly be cut off as a web;
7. Address to God.
8. The eye of him who beholds me (present, not past), that is, in
the very act of beholding me, seeth me no more.
11. Therefore, as such is my hard lot, I will at least have the melancholy satisfaction of venting my sorrow in words. The Hebrew opening words, "Therefore I, at all events," express self-elevation [UMBREIT].
12. Why dost thou deny me the comfort of care-assuaging sleep? Why
scarest thou me with frightful dreams?
15. UMBREIT translates, "So that I could wish to strangle myself--dead by my own hands." He softens this idea of Job's harboring the thought of suicide, by representing it as entertained only in agonizing dreams, and immediately repudiated with horror in Job 7:16, "Yet that (self-strangling) I loathe." This is forcible and graphic. Perhaps the meaning is simply, "My soul chooses (even) strangling (or any violent death) rather than my life," literally, "my bones" (Ps 35:10); that is, rather than the wasted and diseased skeleton, left to him. In this view, "I loathe it" (Job 7:16) refers to his life.
16. Let me alone--that is, cease to afflict me for the few and vain days still left to me.
17. (Ps 8:4; 144:3). Job means, "What is man that thou shouldst make him [of so much importance], and that thou shouldst expend such attention [or, heart-thought] upon him" as to make him the subject of so severe trials? Job ought rather to have reasoned from God's condescending so far to notice man as to try him, that there must be a wise and loving purpose in trial. David uses the same words, in their right application, to express wonder that God should do so much as He does for insignificant man. Christians who know God manifest in the man Christ Jesus may use them still more.
18. With each new day (Ps 73:14). It is rather God's mercies, not our trials, that are new every morning (La 3:23). The idea is that of a shepherd taking count of his flock every morning, to see if all are there [COCCEIUS].
19. How long (like a jealous keeper) wilt thou never take thine eyes off (so the Hebrew for "depart from") me? Nor let me alone for a brief respite (literally, "so long as I take to swallow my spittle"), an Arabic proverb, like our, "till I draw my breath."
20. I have sinned--Yet what sin can I do against ("to,"
thee (of such a nature that thou shouldst jealously watch and deprive me
of all strength, as if thou didst fear me)? Yet thou art one who hast
men ever in view, ever watchest them--O thou Watcher
of men. Job had borne with patience his trials, as sent by God
(Job 1:21; 2:10);
only his reason cannot reconcile the ceaseless continuance of his
mental and bodily pains with his ideas of the divine nature.
21. for now--very soon.