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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Job 7

 

 


Verses 1-21


Job's First Speech (concluded)

1-10. Job laments the hardship and misery of his destiny.

1. Man's life is a lot of hardship. Appointed time] RM 'time of service.'

2, 3. As the labourer longs for the weary day to end and to receive his wages, so Job bemoans the length of his sufferings and sighs for death to end them.

3. Months of vanity] so called because they were unsatisfactory, hopeless. 'Months' imply that Job's sufferings had lasted a considerable time.

5. Worms] from the diseased flesh. Clods of dust] the crust of his sores. These symptoms are found in leprosy, though they are not peculiar to it.

6. Weaver's shuttle] the implement which carries the thread swiftly backwards and forwards in weaving. Job has just been longing for death, but yet he feels that length of days is desirable in itself if freed from so much misery. Without hope] of recovery.

7. Good] i.e. happiness.

8. Thine eyes, etc.] render, 'Thine (God's) eyes shall look for me, but I shall be no more.'

9. Grave] better, as RV, 'Sheol,' the place of the departed: see on Job 3:15-19. Note how hopeless is the outlook here and elsewhere towards the future.

11-21. He appeals to God, complaining of the undeserved severity of his treatment. He demands why God concerns Himself to interfere with so insignificant a being as man.

12. 'Am I so dangerous a character that I need such persistent persecution?.' Whale] rather, 'sea monster,' perhaps the personification of the sea, the mythical dragon of the ancients. The Babylonians told the myth of the dragon Tiâmat, who waged war against heaven and was slain by the God Marduk. (See art. 'Genesis and the Babylonian Inscriptions.') This myth is referred to here, but in a form which represented the monster, not as slain, but imprisoned and kept under strict observation. The sea needs to be held down lest it flood the earth or smite the sky (cp. Job 38:8-11), the dragon must be watched lest it bursts its bonds. Is Job as formidable as they that God should watch him as closely?

14. Dreams] the bad dreams of the sick.

15. Strangling] or, suffocation. Job longs for the arrival of this sign of approaching death. My life] RV 'these my bones.' He was reduced to a skeleton. Possibly we should read 'my pains.'

16. RV 'I loathe my life: I would not live alway.' Vanity] RM 'as a breath.'

17. Magnify] i.e. consider of such importance. Set thine heart] or 'fix thy thoughts.' The thought of Job 7:17. is 'Surely man is too insignificant for such constant persecution. Even Ins sins are hardly worth heeding.' Cp. Psalms 8:4-5, of which these vv. seem to be a bitter parody.

19. Till I swallow, etc.] i.e. for a moment.

20. RV 'If I have sinned, what do I unto thee, O thou watcher of men?': i.e. granting that I have sinned (which Job does not), how can it affect Thee who art so great? Against thee] RV 'for thee.'

21. In the morning] RV 'diligently.' Job believes that one day God will turn to him once more in love, but then it will be too late. The faint hope expressed here gradually becomes a conviction: cp. Job 13:15-18; Job 14:13-15; Job 16:19-21; Job 19:23-27.

The speech of Eliphaz, while considerate in tone, yet took Job's guilt for granted. This shows the sufferer that he can expect no sympathetic insight from the friends, and the shock of the disappointment drives him not simply to scornful attack on them, but to bitter accusation of God, whom he regards as the direct author of his troubles. He thinks of Him as petty and spiteful, yet he cannot forget the blessed communion of happier days, and ends with the thought that when His present anger is passed, He will desire a renewal of that fellowship.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Job 7:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/job-7.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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