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Bible Commentaries

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

Job 10

Introduction

X.

In this chapter Job reaches the climax of his complaint, which leaves him in the land of thick darkness, where the light is as darkness.

Verse 1

(1) I will leave.—Or, according to some, I will give free vent to the complaint that is upon me. (Comp. Job 9:27 of the last chapter)

Verse 2

(2) I will say unto God . . .—This is a model of prayer for all, combining the prayer of the publican (Luke 18:13), and a prayer for that light for which we long so earnestly in times of affliction and darkness.

Verse 7

(7) That I am not wicked.—The meaning is rather, that I shall not be found guilty. It is not like the appeal of Peter (John 21:17). See the language borrowed by the Psalmist (Psalms 119:73).

Verse 9

(9) Into dust.—Comp. Psalms 22:15.

Verse 10

(10) Poured me out as milk.—An allusion to the embryo. (See Psalms 139:13-16.)

Verse 13

(13) These things hast thou hid in thine heart.—Job implies that his sense of God’s goodness is embittered by the thought that while showing him such kindness, He had in reserve for him the trials and sorrows under which he was then labouring: while showering good upon him, He intended eventually to overwhelm him with affliction. This was the purpose He had hidden in His heart.

Verse 14

(14) If I sin . . .—“If I had sinned Thou wouldst have marked me for punishment, and from mine iniquity Thou wouldst not acquit me. If I had been guilty, woe unto me 1 and if righteous, I must not lift up my head like an innocent person. I am full of shame, therefore behold Thou mine affliction, for only by Thy taking note of it can I find relief.”

Verse 16

(16) For it increaseth.—This verse is very obscure. Some understand it thus: “But is it so glorious a thing that Thou shouldst hunt me like a fierce lion, and then again show Thyself mysterious and wonderful towards me? hunting me like a lion, and yet hiding alike Thy person and Thy motive from me?” Or the subject is the head of the former verse, “And if it exalt itself, Thou huntest me,” &c. Or again, as in the Authorised Version, the subject is the affliction, “For it increaseth: Thou huntest me,” &c.

Verse 17

(17) Thou renewest thy witnesses against me.—Some understand this of the sores on Job’s person, which his friends regarded as witnesses—proofs of his guilt; but it seems more probable that the figure is forensic: “Thou still bringest fresh witnesses against me, and multipliest thine anger against me, so that relays of them, even a host, are against me; for they come upon me host after host—these witnesses of Thine anger, the ministers of Thy vengeance.” The sublimity of this indictment against God is only equalled by the sense of terrific awe with which one reads it. The language is Job’s, and so far has the sanction of Holy Writ; but we may surely learn therefrom the condescension as well as the loving-kindness of the Most High.

Verse 18

(18) Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth?—Here Job reverts to the strain of his original curse (Job 3:11, &c.).

Verse 20

(20) Cease then, and let me alone.—According to another reading, “Let him cease, and let me alone.” In reading this reply of Job’s, one cannot but feel that it moves upon the very verge of blasphemy, and is only redeemed therefrom by its pervading reverence and deep undertone of faith. Job never gives up his faith in God, though, like Jacob, he wrestles with Him in the dark, and the issue shows that God is not displeased with such an unburdening of the soul that keeps close to the straight line of truth, which is, after all, one of the many manifestations of God.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 10". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ebc/job-10.html. 1905.