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Bible Commentaries
Job 30

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-31



Verses 1-31:


Verse 1 laments that in direct contrast with his former years of prosperity and universal respect, people who are younger than his seniors now hold him in derision. It was not only the three accusers but also masses of even the most uncouth, those of low birth, whose fathers he would not have even trusted with the dogs that guarded his flocks, who held him with irreverence, Leviticus 19:32. Orientals feel very deeply about any indignity shown by the young. These who treated him now with disdain were too sorry to run with sheep dog or cattle dogs, considered so unclean because of their eating offal and decaying flesh or a few morsels from a table; they were not permitted to enter the house or tent by respected people. Yet those who derided him, he considered to be lower and less trustworthy than those dogs, 1 Samuel 17:43; Proverbs 26:11; Psalms 59:14-15. Here again one is to be reminded of Jesus’ attitude toward the lowly.

Verse 2 asks just what sympathy might be expected of the offspring of those so ill bred and base as their fathers. If their fathers were or irreverent and worthless character how might his sons be either expected to attain old age or show kindness and sympathy to those who had? They are so inhuman that let the aged suffer and die near them, showing no pity, Job 5:26; Matthew 5:7.

Verse 3, 4 describe these detractors of Job as hard as a rock, by reason of want and famine. Emaciated with hunger they had lived on the run, as the rudest of Bedouins, in the deserts and wilderness, fearful of men and wild beasts by day and night, from ancient times, Isaiah 30:33. For food they had cut up mallows, or salt wort, a salty tasting plant in the desert eaten by the poor. And had dug up juniper roots called "retem," bitter roots also eaten for food by the very poor.

Verses 5, 8 further describe the former way of life of Job’s current deriders. They had been driven from among men, as thieves, vagabonds, who attacked villages to plunder for livelihood to be continually driven away. Driven out they lived in caves, and darkness of valleys, and among the rocks, to hide from those they had robbed, assaulted, or whose family members they had murdered. To live out there was a mark of a wretched person in the East, even as some of God’s faithful have been forced to live because of their faith and testimony, Hebrews 11:37-39.

Verse 7 adds that while living, foraging for life, among the thorn bushes and under the brambles and nettles they brayed like the uncivilized, inarticulate wild ass. His detractors, faultfinders, critics, and demeaning judges are gathered against him as a rabble, wild-ass like gang of uncivilized marauders, to destroy any hope for Job’s restored health. Thus he describes them, Job 6:5.

Verse 8, 9 charge and lament that this junior generation of his tormenters are fools, little more than morons, children or offspring of impious, low-born rabblers, whose ancestors were viler than the earth, driven to be cave-dwellers only, 1 Samuel 25:25. They were of the Horites of mount Seer, Genesis 14:6; Job 36:20-21; Deuteronomy 2:12-22. And now Job laments that he has come to be their song and by­word of derision, much as our Lord was to the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Scribes, and priests, La 3:14, 63; Psalms 69:11-12; See also Psalms 35:15; Job 17:6.

Verse 10 comments that they abhorred him, fled from him, and did not hold back from spitting in his face, an act of violent contempt and derision to ones person, as described Numbers 12:14; Deuteronomy 25:9; Isaiah 1:6; Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67; Matthew 27:30.

Verse 11 adds that because He, "the Lord," had afflicted him, or permitted Satan to test him, they, his enemies had assumed the priority right to let loose their bridle of shame upon him, Job 12:18.

Verse 12 explains that the youths, Job’s juniors, rise up on his right hand and push away his feet, as accusers, push him aside from their paths, and raise up a fortress or strong wall of derision, opposition against him, Zechariah 3:1; Psalms 109:6. Rather than show pity or kindness in his afflictions, Job 19:12.

Verses 13-16 explain that these low-born youthful judges, critics, and deriders marred, obstructed his progress under his calamity, made it worse, Psalms 69:26; Zechariah 1:15; They, as contemptible people, have no helper to sympathize with Job. They are described as a wide break in a dam or wide breach in a wall to let calamity press down or roll more heavily upon him than before, 2 Samuel 5:20; Isaiah 30:13; Psalms 18:4; Psalms 69:14-15; Isaiah 8:7-8. They caused terror to come over him, and pursued him in derision of soul, like an ever-blowing wind. His well being or prosperity had passed like an empty cloud, Job 8:9; Isaiah 44:22.

Verse 16 again laments "my soul" is poured out upon him, by reason of the irrepressible, continuing complaints against him. Afflictions had come to affect his emotions and mind, after so long a time, Psalms 22:14; Psalms 42:4; Joshua 7:5; Isaiah 53:12.

Verse 17 adds that Job’s bones, by reason of gnawing pains, seemed pierced in him, all the night long; His sinews, skin, muscles and veins found no rest or relief from the crawling pain through all the night, Job 33:19-21; Psalms 6:2; Psalms 38:2-8.

Verses 18, 19 declare that the force of Job’s disease had changed his outer garment of flesh to be abhorrent. He added that it bound him about the collar of his coat to choke him emotionally and mentally; v. 1-13 concern his outer garment afflictions; while v. 14-23 describe the inner garment as the hand of God that binds him thus, Job 2:7. V. 29 states that the Lord had cast Job into the mire of dust and ashes as a mourner, to make him appear a dirty color, Job 2:8.

Verse 20 is a direct address to the Lord that Job cried to Him and he did not hear; He stood up, in a reverential attitude of a subject before a king, but the Lord did not regard him, but looked sternly upon him, Psalms 22:5; Matthew 15:23; Matthew 1 Kg 8:14; Luke 18:11-13.

Verses 21, 22 complain that the Lord had become cruel, opposing Job with a strong hand of rejection. Job added that the Lord lifted him up to the wind, as a leaf or stubble, causing him to ride upon the wind, dissolving his substance, his wisdom and wealth, his spirit, and his hope of deliverance out of the afflictions of suffering and sorrow. He was terrified or dissolved with fear, not understanding the purpose of his testing, Exodus 15:15; 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Verses 23, 24 declare that Job knew the Lord would bring him to death, having now no hope’ of being delivered from death and the grave, before his afflictions ended, though he did believe in the future resurrection, Job 19:25; He expected soon to pass to the realm of the dead to which all men are appointed, Job 28:22; Ecclesiastes 9:5; Genesis 3:19; Hebrews 9:27. Yet he believed the Lord would stretch forth His hand, not to keep men from the grave, but to bring them forth to a resurrection of joy or despair, Job 19:25; John 5:28-29.

Verse 25 rhetorically asks, may I not ask for relief in my hour of trouble, for I did extend such to the poor, did I not? Implying that he did. He further asks if his soul was not grieved for the poor? And it had been, Job 29:12-16.

Verse 26 adds that when Job looked or longed for good for deliverance from or help in his early afflictions, evil came; And when he waited for light, prosperity, and joy to return, only darkness fell more heavily upon him, Job 22:28; See also Jeremiah 8:15; Romans 5:3-5.

Verse 27 relates that when Job was submerged in this affliction his bowels boiled or burned violently, continually burned, in sickening agitation. The days of affliction prevented him, or came upon him unexpectedly, Isaiah 16:11.

Verse 28 adds further that Job went about mourning, blackened, though not by the sun, but by ashes of sorrow and mourning for his grief and afflictions, from the scabs and sores on his skin; He stood up and cried, as an innocent one in court, in the congregation, Jeremiah 4:2; La 3:1, 2; Psalms 38:6; Psalms 42:9; Psalms 43:2.

Verse 29 recounts Job’s state or condition as such that he was as a "brother to dragons," crocodiles, even a companion of night creatures, like owls, jackals, and ostriches, each of which utters dismal screams when disturbed, Micah 1:8; Psalms 102:6.

Verse 30 relates that his skin was black upon him, and his bones burned with heat, as his skin of scabs were peeled away and his body burned with fever to the bones, Job 19:20; Psalms 102:5; Psalms 119:83; La 4:8; 5:10; Psalms 102:3.

Verse 31 concluded that Job’s harp or joy had turned to continued mourning and his organ or pipe into the voice of those who weep, contrasting the joy of the harp and sorrow of the organ or pipe, Job 21:12; La 5:15; Isaiah 30:29; Isaiah 30:32.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Job 30". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/job-30.html. 1985.
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