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Monday, June 17th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Job 16

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-22

Chapter 16

So Job answered and said, I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are you all. Shall empty words ( Job 16:1 )

Talking about vanity, he said,

Shall empty words have an end? or what emboldens you that you answer? I also could speak as you do: if you were in my place, I could heap up words against you, and shake my head at you ( Job 16:1-4 ).

So, here now, visualize it when they're talking. They're just shaking their head, and they do that, they shake their head and yell at each other. And he said, "Hey, if I were in your place and you were in my place, I could yell at you and shake my head at you too. You know, it's nothing to that. I could do it."

But I would rather to strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should assuage your grief. Though I speak, my grief is not assuaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased? ( Job 16:5-6 )

If I'm quiet, you tell me to be quiet, I ought to be quiet. What good would it do? You guys will mouth off.

But now he hath made me weary: you have made me desolate all my company. And you have filled me with wrinkles, which is a witness against me: and my leanness rising up in me bears witness to my face. He tears me in his wrath, who hates me: he gnashes upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me ( Job 16:7-9 ).

So here they're talking through their teeth at him, and they're looking, sharpening their eyes, squinting as they're looking at him and yelling in his face. And, oh man, what a sight this must have been.

They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me. God hath delivered me unto the ungodly, and turned me over into the hands of the wicked. I was at ease ( Job 16:10-12 ),

Until you came.

but he also has taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark ( Job 16:12 ).

Now he's referring to God again.

His archers compass me round about, he cleaves my reins asunder [he cuts me in two], he does not spare; he pours out my gall upon the ground. He breaks me with the branch upon branch, he runs upon me like a giant. I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and defiled my horn in the dust. My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death; Not only for any injustice in mine hands: also my prayer is pure. O earth, cover not thou my blood, and let my cry have no place. Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high ( Job 16:13-19 ).

Okay, "God is my witness," is what he is saying. "My record is on high. God has the records, my witness is there in heaven. I'm not even going to try to justify myself before you guys. Think what you will of me. God knows the truth."

It's comforting when we are misunderstood by others. Totally misunderstood sometimes. Our motivations are misread by others. Many times we are accused of things of which we are not at all guilty. Someone has totally misread our thought, our ideas, our motivations. They've imputed wicked, evil motivations to us when they weren't there. But my witness is in heaven; God knows the truth about me. And that's to me a comfort. That God keeps the books. He knows the truth. He knows what's in my heart. He keeps the records.

My friends scorn me: but my eye pours out tears unto God. Oh that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleads for his neighbor! ( Job 16:20-21 )

"Oh, that you'd intercede for me, that you'd pray for me." I wonder why they hadn't thought of that. Here their friend's in trouble, why didn't they come and pray, intercede for the guy? As one intercedes for his friends, instead of just heaping all kinds of abuse upon him.

When a few years are come, I'm going to go the way from which I shall not return ( Job 16:22 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 16". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-16.html. 2014.
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