- Job complains of the hardships he was under, verse 1-7.
- Pleads with God, that he is his workmanship, verse 8-13.
- Complains again, that God deals severely with him, verse 14-17.
- Comforts himself with the thoughts of death, verse 18-22.
Shall I - Shall I give over complaining?
Condemn - Or, pronounce me not to be a wicked man, neither deal with me as such, as I confess thou mightest do in rigorous justice: O discover my integrity by removing this stroke, for which my friends condemn me. Wherefore - For what ends and reasons, and for what sins; for I am not conscious to myself of any peculiar sins by which I have deserved to be made the most miserable of all men. When God afflicts, he contends with us: when he contends with us, there is always a reason for it. And it is desirable to know, what that reason is, that we may forsake whatever he has a controversy with us for.
Good - Dost thou take any pleasure in it? Far be it from Job, to think that God did him wrong. But he is at a loss to reconcile his providences with his justice. And so other good men have often been, and will be, until the day shall declare it.
Eyes of faith - No. Eyes of flesh cannot see in the dark: but darkness hideth not from God. Eyes of flesh are but in one place at a time, and can see but a little way. But the eyes of the Lord are in every place, and run to and fro thro' the whole earth. Eyes of flesh will shortly be darkened by age, and shut up by death. But the eyes of God are ever the same, nor does his sight ever decay. As man - Man sees the outside only, and judges by appearances: but thou seest mine heart.
Man's - Man's time is short and uncertain, and therefore he must improve it, and diligently search out the crimes of malefactors, lest by death he lose the opportunity of doing justice: but thou art eternal, and seest at one view all mens hearts, and all their actions present and to come; and therefore thou dost not need to proceed with me in this manner, by making so long a scrutiny into my heart and life.
Searchest - Keeping me so long upon the rack, to compel me to accuse myself.
Wicked - An hypocrite, as my friends account me. Deliver - But thou art the supreme ruler of the world; therefore I must wait thy time, and throw myself on thy mercy, in submission to thy sovereign will.
Clay - As a potter makes a vessel of clay; so this may note both the frailty of man's nature, which of itself decays and perishes, and doth not need such violent shocks to overthrow it; and the excellency of the Divine artifice commended from the meanness of the materials; which is an argument why God should not destroy it. Again - I must die by the course of nature, and therefore while I do live, give me some ease and comfort.
As milk - Thus he modestly and accurately describes God's admirable work in making man out of a small and liquid, and as it were milky substance, by degrees congealed and condensed into that exquisite frame of man's body.
Clothed - Covered my inward and more noble parts; which are first formed. So he proceeds in describing man's formation gradually. Bones - The stay and strength of the body; and some of them, as the skull and ribs, enclose and defend its vital parts.
Life - Thou didst not only give me a curious body, but also a reasonable soul: thou didst at first give me life, and then maintain it in me; both when I was in the womb (which is a marvellous work of God) and afterward when I was unable to do anything to preserve my own life. Favour - Thou didst not give mere life, but many other favours, such as nourishment by the breast, education, knowledge, and instruction. Visitation - The care of thy providence watching over me for my good, and visiting me in mercy. Preserved - My life, which is liable to manifold dangers, if God did not watch over us every day and moment. Thou hast hitherto done great things for me, given me life, and the blessings of life, and daily deliverances: and wilt thou now undo all that thou hast done? And shall I who have been such an eminent monument of thy mercy, now be a spectacle of thy vengeance.
Hid - Both thy former favours and thy present frowns. Both are according to thy own will, and therefore undoubtedly consistent, however they seem. When God does what we cannot account for, we are bound to believe, there are good reasons for it hid in his heart. It is not with us, or in our reach to assign the cause; but I know this is with thee.
Markest - If I am a wicked man, I cannot hide it from thee; and thou wilt punish me for it.
Wicked - An hypocrite, as my friends esteem me. Righteous - An upright man; so whether good or bad, all comes to one. Yet - Yet I have no comfort, or hopes of any good. Confusion - I am confounded within myself, not knowing what to say or do. Let my extremity move thee to pity, and help me.
Lion - Which hunteth after his prey with great eagerness, and when he overtakes it, falls upon it with great fury. Returnest - The lion tears its prey speedily, and so ends its torments; but thou renewest my calamities again and again, and makest my plagues wonderful both for kind and extremity, and continuance.
Witnesses - Thy judgments, which are the evidences both of my sins, and of thy wrath. Indignation - My miseries are the effects of thine anger. Army - Changes may denote the various kinds, and an army the great number of his afflictions.
Cease - My life is short, and of itself hastens to an end, there is no need that thou shouldest grudge me some ease for so small a moment.