- Job shews that he has reason to complain, verse 1-7.
- He compassionately wishes for death, verse 8-13.
- Reproves his friends for their uncharitable censures, verse 14-30.
My grief - The cause of my grief. Weighed - Were fully understood, and duly considered. O that I had an equal judge! that would understand my case, and consider whether I have not cause for complaints. Together - Together with any other most heavy thing to be put into the other scale.
Sea - Which is heavier than dry sand. Swallowed - My voice and spirit fail me. I cannot find, or utter words sufficient to express my sorrow or misery.
Arrows - So he fitly calls his afflictions, because, like arrows, they came upon him swiftly and suddenly one after another, immediately shot by God into his spirit. Poison - Implying that these arrows were more keen than ordinary, being dipped in God's wrath, as the barbarous nations used to dip their arrows in poison, that they might not only pierce, but burn up and consume the vital parts. Drinketh - Exhausteth and consumeth my soul. In array - They are like a numerous army, who invade me on every side. This was the sorest part of his calamity, wherein he was an eminent type of Christ, who complained most of the sufferings of his soul. Now is my soul troubled. My soul is exceeding sorrowful. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Indeed trouble of mind is the sorest trouble. A wounded spirit who can bear.
Doth, &c. - Even the brute beasts, when they have convenient food, are quiet and contented. So it is no wonder that you complain not, who live in ease and prosperity, any more than I did, when I wanted nothing.
Can, &c. - Do men use to eat unsavoury meats with delight, or without complaint? Men commonly complain of their meat when it is but unsavoury, how much more when it is so bitter as mine is?
The things, &c. - The sense may be, those grievous afflictions, which I dreaded the very thought of, are now my daily, though sorrowful bread.
Destroy - To end my days and calamities together.
Harden - I would bear up with courage under all my torments, with the hopes of death, and blessedness after death. Spare - Not suffer me to live any longer. Concealed - As I have steadfastly believed them, and not wilfully departed from them, so I have not been ashamed, nor afraid, boldly to profess and preach the true religion in the midst of Heathens. And therefore I know if God doth cut me off, I shall be a gainer by it.
Strength - My strength is so spent, that it is vain for me to hope for such restitution as thou hast promised me, chap. 5:22. End - What is death to me? It is not terrible, but comfortable. That - Then why should I desire to prolong my life. But as desirous of death as Job was, yet he never offered to put an end to his own life. Such a thought will never be entertained by any, that have the least regard to the law of God and nature. How uneasy soever the soul's confinement in the body may be, it must by no means break the prison, but wait for a fair discharge.
Is, &c. - I am not made of stone or brass, but of flesh and blood, as others are, therefore I am unable to endure these miseries longer, and can neither hope for. nor desire the continuance of my life.
What, &c. - If my outward condition be helpless and hopeless? Have I therefore lost my understanding, cannot I judge whether it is more desirable for me to live or to die, whether I be an hypocrite or no, whether your words have truth and weight in them; whether you take the right method in dealing with me?
To him - Heb. to him that is melted or dissolved with affections. But. &c. - But thou hast no pity for thy friend; a plain evidence that thou art guilty of what thou didst charge me with, even of the want of the fear of God. The least which those that are at ease can do for them that are pained, is to pity them, to feel a tender concern for them, and to sympathize with them.
Brethren - Friends; for though Eliphaz only had spoken, the other two shewed their approbation of his discourse. Deceitfully - Adding to the afflictions which they said they came to remove. And it is no new thing, for even brethren to deal deceitfully. It is therefore our wisdom to cease from man. We cannot expect too little from the creature, or too much from the creator.
Which - Which in winter when the traveller neither needs nor desires it, are full of water congealed by the frost. Snow - Under which the water from snow, which formerly fell, and afterward was dissolved, lies hid. So he speaks not of those brooks which are fed by a constant spring, but of them which are filled by accidental falls of water or snow.
Warm - When the weather grows milder. Hot - In the hot season, when waters are most refreshing and necessary.
Perish - They are gone out of their channel, flowing hither and thither, 'till they are quite consumed.
Tema - This place and Sheba were both parts of the hot and dry country of Arabia, in which waters were very scarce, and therefore precious and desirable, especially to travellers. Companies - Men did not there travel singly, as we do, but in companies for their security against wild beasts and robbers.
Hoped - They comforted themselves with the expectation of water. Ashamed - As having deceived themselves and others. We prepare confusion for ourselves, by our vain hopes: the reeds break under us, because we lean upon them.
Nothing - You are to me as if you had never come to me; for I have no comfort from you. Afraid - You are shy of me, and afraid for yourselves, lest some further plagues should come upon me, wherein you for my sake, should be involved: or, lest I should be burdensome to you.
Did I say - Give me something for my support or relief. You might have at least given me comfortable words, when I expected nothing else from you.
Deliver - By the force of your arms, as Abraham delivered Lot. Redeem - By price or ransom.
Teach - Convince me by solid arguments. I will - I will patiently hear and gladly receive your counsels.
Forcible - The words of truth have a marvellous power. Reprove - But there is no truth in your assertions or weight in your arguments.
Words - Do you think it is sufficient to quarrel with some of my words, without giving allowance for human infirmity, or extreme misery. Desperate - Of a poor miserable, hopeless and helpless man. As wind - Which pass away and are forgotten.
Overwhelm - You load with censures and calumnies. Desolate - Me who am deprived of all my children, my estate, and my friends. I spoke all I thought, as to my friends, and you thence occasion to cast me down.
Look - Consider my cause better than you have done, that you may give a more righteous judgment. Evident - You will plainly discover it.
Return - Turn from your former judgment. Iniquity - Or, there shall be no iniquity, in my words. Righteousness - In this cause or matter between you and me; and you will find the right to be on my side.
Is there - Consider if there be any untruth or iniquity in what I have already said, or shall farther speak. Taste - My judgment, which judgeth of words and actions, as the palate doth of meats.