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Bible Commentaries
Job 16

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-22



Verses 1-22:

Verses 1-3 begin Job’s second series of replies to his false comforting (?) friends. He asserts that they are "miserable comforters," literally annoying and burdensome, without compassion, like a thorn gouging at proud flesh. He inquires why Eliphaz has become so annoyed, upset, replied in such windy words, contradicting himself again and again, as a self-esteemed wiser man than Job, Job 13:4; Psalms 69:25; Philippians 1:16; Job 6:20.

Verse 4 is a sharp reprimand Job gives to Eliphaz, declaring that if Eliphaz’s soul-life were afflicted as he was, he could heap up words against him and "shake his head at him, mocking him also," as Eliphaz had been doing to him. But "hot-air words," and a multitude of platitudes, would not prove that an innocent man was guilty of false charges leveled against him, see? 2Kg 19:21; Psalms 22:7; Psalms 44:11; Psalms 109:25; Isaiah 37:22; Jeremiah 18:16; La 2:15; Matthew 27:39.

Verse 5 states that Job would strengthen or console Eliphaz, if Eliphaz were in his condition, rather than attack him with mocking sarcasm, derision, and false accusations. He would help, not hurt, one in his condition, is what Job says he would do, as an example of love and compassion for the afflicted, Proverbs 27:9; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4; Galatians 6:1-2.

Verses 6-8 assert that though Job had spoken his grief had not been relieved or gone from him. He adds that Eliphaz had only wearied him in laying on him false charge, showing no compassion. God had permitted Satan to take his property, family,’ and health for a "glory purpose," but Eliphaz took his loss to be a judgment for wicked guilt. God had caused him to be wretched, with wrinkles and sores, and witnesses against him, as interpreted by those who sat as accusers, though he was innocent of the charges, Job 2:6-10; John 9:2-3; John 11:4.

Verse 9 states that Job’s enemies had taken his testing wrongly and pounced on him like a wild beast, gnashing and tearing at him, sharpening their eyes on him, as if God were tearing him apart in judgment of guilt for grave sins unconfessed, Psalms 7:12; Job 13:24.

Verse 10 offers a lament to the Lord that "they," his wild beast, companionless friends have: 1) gaped upon him with their mouth, repeatedly, Psalms 22:13; Psalms 35:21; Luke 23:35-36. It was much as our Lord’s so-called friends treated Him; 2) They had smitten Job upon the cheek reproachfully, with contemptable abuse, La 3:30; Matthew 5:39; Matthew , 3) They gathered themselves together, in colleague, collusion, and conspiracy against him, to make him the more wretched, Psalms 35:15; Psalms 94:21; Acts 4:27.

Verse 11 states that Job is aware that God has turned him over unto the ungodly, even to the wicked, to tormentingly try him for a time. And he has been and is vexed by it. Yet, it was nothing that his Lord would not also endure, Hebrews 4:15-16; 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Verse 12 states that Job was at one time at ease, but the Lord had broken him asunder, taken him by the neck, as an animal does its prey, and shaken him in pieces, Job 10:16; in contrast with his former state of prosperity and ease, Psalms 102:10; The Lord had set him up (again) as a "mark," to be shot by arrows, darts of the archers, Job 7:20; La 3:12.

Verses 13, 14 describes the Lord as using false friends as archers, who shoot arrows into him, to wound him further, without mercy. His gall of bitterness which they have punctured is poured out upon the ground, as also the liver, La 2:11. They have stormed in upon him like a mighty warrior making breaches in a fortress, 2Kg 14:13.

Verses 15, 16 state that Job had sewed sackcloth upon his skin, over his body scabs, as a loose mourning garment. He had defiled his horn in the dust. The horn was an emblem of ruling power. That once mighty power and influence of Job now lay in the dust, ashes of humiliation. To throw ones self down in the dust as a symbol of mourning and humility, as well as a personal despair, 1Kg 22:11. The Druse of Lebanon still wear horns as an ornament symbol of power. Verse 16 adds that his face was foul, (red or inflamed) with weeping, and his eyelids was (existed) the heavy shadow of death, La 5:17.

Verse 17 protests that this wretched condition was not for or because of any injustice or wickedness which he had done, as falsely charged by Eliphaz, Job 11:14-15. Similar words were spoken of Jesus Christ, Isaiah 53:9, "who did no violence, neither was deceit found in his mouth." See also allusions to the unjust charges against and suffering of our Lord, Psalms 22:13; Isaiah 1:16; Psalms 22:7. Our Lord always desires inward devotion and outward righteousness in His people. Job too asserts that even his prayer is pure, of pure motive, before the Lord, Luke 18:1.

Verse 18 is a direct appeal of Job to the earth not to cover his blood, his undeserved suffering. He compares himself with one who has been murdered, whose blood the earth will not drink up, until it is avenged upon the murderer, Genesis 4:10-11; Ezekiel 24:1-8; Isaiah 26:2. The Arabs hold that no dew will lay on a spot defiled with innocent blood, 2 Samuel 1:21. Job asks the Lord that his cry may find no resting place, never stop, until his innocence of the false charges was known by men through the whole earth, even as it was in heaven, by the Lord God, Job 19:25; Job 27:9; Psalms 66:18-19.

Verse 19 adds Job’s testimony, "behold my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high," indicating his belief in vindication before the grave; He still trusted in God, implicitly, without wavering, Proverbs 3:3-5; Romans 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 2:5; 2 Corinthians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 5:10-11.

Verse 20 relates that though Job’s friends scorned him, derided and scolded him, mocked him, as a wicked sinner, his eyes continually poured out tears, petitions to God, Isaiah 38:14. He never gave up on God, who never gives up on His children, Hebrews 13:5.

Verse 21 laments that a "man might plead for a man with God," as he pleas for a neighbor in court, rather than mock, scoff at, and deride him, before God and his neighbor, friend, or fellowman, Job 31:35. The Man-God does plea for the helpless, as God helped Jacob in wrestling with him, Genesis 23:6; Genesis 32:25; and Jesus does plead or advocate for man before God, Romans 8:26-27; Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:12.

Verse 22 recounts Job’s concession that when a few years had come, at the most, he would go the way, "whence he should not return," that is to dwell in a corrupt body any more. The "few years," in this present body, are contrasted with eternity where man shall live in an immortal body, Psalms 90:10-12; Genesis 34:30; Ecclesiastes 12:5; 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 2 Corinthians 5:1.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Job 16". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/job-16.html. 1985.
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