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the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Job 10

Coffman's Commentaries on the BibleCoffman's Commentaries

Verses 1-7


“My soul is weary of my life; I will give free course to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul; I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; Show me wherefore thou contendest with me. Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, That thou shouldest despise the work of thy hands, And shine upon the counsel of the wicked? Hast thou eyes of flesh? Or seest thou as man seeth? Are thy days as the days of man, Or thy years as man’s days, That thou inquirest after mine iniquity, And searchest after my sin, Although thou knowest that I am not wicked, And there is none that can deliver me out of thy hand?”

“I will give free course to my complaint” Job’s friends had implied that they were critical of his complaints; but Job here affirmed his right to speak of his wretchedness.

“I will say unto God, Do not condemn me” Job still trusted God to do the right thing, even as Abraham had said, “Shall not the God of all the earth do right” (Genesis 18:25)?

“That thou inquirest after mine iniquity” In these lines Job tacitly admits his sin and iniquity, insisting only that he does not know what it is, and pleading with God to, “Show me wherefore thou contendest with me” (Job 10:2). There was a marvelous integrity resident in Job’s heart; and no one can wonder that even God was especially well pleased with it, and that God, in effect, challenged Satan to destroy it if he could.

“Thou knowest that I am not wicked” This is not a contradiction of what Job had just said in Job 10:6. Some sin, unknown to himself, Job freely admitted; but wicked, he was not!

Verses 8-17


Here indeed is the secret of spiritual excellence. Suffering, distressed, shamefully treated by his friends, Job nevertheless communed continually with the Lord in prayer.

“Thy hands have framed me and fashioned me Together round about; yet thou dost destroy me. Remember, I beseech thee that thou hast fashioned me as clay; And wilt thou bring me into dust again? Hast thou not poured me out as milk, And curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, And knit me together with bones and sinews, Thou hast granted me life and lovingkindness; And thy visitations have preserved my spirit. Yet these things thou didst hide in thy heart; I know that this is with thee: If I sin, then thou markest me, And thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity. If I be wicked, woe unto me; And if I be righteous, yet shall I not lift up my head; Being filled with ignominy, And looking upon mine affliction. And if my head exalt itself, Thou huntest me as a lion; And again thou showest thyself marvelous upon me. Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, And increasest thine indignation upon me: Changes and warfare are with me.”

“Thou hast fashioned me as dust” The Psalmist remembered these very words (Psalms 103:14), expressing the same thought that was here in the mind of Job. Job here also granted the right of God to bring him again into the dust.

“Thou hast granted me life… and lovingkindness… and preserved my spirit” What a beautiful example is this! When sorrows are multiplied and the terrors of life seem about to sweep us away, what a consolation derives from remembering those precious and wonderful things that God did for his in the days that have vanished.

“These things thou didst hide… I know this is from thee” Job here spoke of the terrible things that had come upon him; but he here showed himself willing to accept bad things as well as good from the hand of God.

“If I be righteous, yet shall I not lift up my head… being filled with ignominy” The very condition of Job was one of extreme shame; and he recognized that, even if his righteousness should be known, his pitiful condition would deny it in the eyes of men.

“Thou showest thyself marvelous upon me” Job here called attention to the superlative nature of the disasters that had come upon him. The complimnent he thus bestowed upon God should not be overlooked.

“Thou renewest thy witnesses against me” This appears to be a reference to Job’s friends whose words certainly were, in a sense, witnesses against Job. In view of all this, Job again renewed his appeal for God to let him die.

Verses 18-22


“Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me. I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave. Are not my days few? cease then, And let me alone that I may take comfort a little, Before I go whence I shall not return, Even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death; The land dark as midnight, The land of the shadow of death without any order, And where the light is as midnight.”

“The Land of… the shadow of death” Here again we have an expression picked up and used in the Psalms (Psalms 23).

Some scholars understand Job’s remarks here as coming very close to the category of blasphemy. For example, Franks wrote that, “He accuses God of having created him only to torment him… that he sees faults where they do not exist… torturing him to make him confess… having blessed and preserved him, while all the while secretly planning to torture him.”(F1) We reject such comments. One may find many other similar comments in the writings of scholars regarding this chapter; but as we have noted above, there are marvelous evidences of faith and submission to God’s will throughout the whole passage.

Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Job 10". "Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bcc/job-10.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.
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