Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, July 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Job 10

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-22

Job 10:1 . I will leave my complaint upon myself. These words seem to imply, that he would bear his complaint in silence; but it immediately follows, I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. Ostervald, in his treatise on the sacred ministry, has remarked that the book of Job, the Psalms, and the Proverbs are ill translated. Here indeed the versions seem to err by following the Vulgate; but the LXX admirably relieve this passage. “My soul being weary of life, I will bring my complaints before him; being oppressed, I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.”

Job 10:10 . Hast thou not poured me out as milk. In employing these figures the inspired writer discovers infinitely more delicacy than most of his commentators.

Job 10:16 . Thou huntest me as a fierce lion, which leaves his lair in the cool of the evening, and runs toward the wind, the better to get a scent of his prey.

Job 10:22 . A land of darkness. The sepulchre, as all interpret. The shadow of death, the densest darkness; without any order. The foolish and the wise, the vicious and the virtuous, the beggar and the prince there meet together. Job alludes to the veil which covers futurity; and that if his case were not cleared up in the present life, he would not till “the set time” be allowed to return.


Job in the former chapter having replied to his friend, here pleads with God in a style of eloquence which the unafflicted cannot feign. I do not recollect any specimen of intercession which has claims to equal merit. Grief is itself sublimely eloquent, and when the passions speak they are sure to interest the heart, He lay vanquished at the Lord’s feet, weary of life, and misjudged by his friends. What could he do but speak; and to whom should he speak but to God?

Conscious that his days were few, and contrasting the brevity of life with the eternity of God, he entreats his righteous Judge to clear up the dark clouds before he went into the land of darkness, where there is no light. Do not condemn me, as these my friends do. Hast thou eyes of flesh? Seest thou as man seeth? Hence he solicits a kind reprieve, and a little comfort before death.

The considerations which induced him so to speak were the disproportion of the combatants: God, and a worm; the Creator, and a creature. Thy hands have made me. I am but clay, and wilt thou bring me to the dust. Thou hast poured me out as milk, and curdled me as cheese; and if I die before my case is cleared up, how wilt thou be glorified in my mysterious affliction?

In these requests he has farther in view the searching and sanctifying of his own soul. If I be wicked, woe unto me. If I have committed some crime unobserved, I must expect greater strokes; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head, for thou art the Judge, and thou wilt do what is right. Therefore see my affliction; for thou renewest thy witnesses against me; changes and war, trials and robbers are all armed against me. Thus should innocence rest its cause with the Lord; and man speaking to his Maker should mention his sins, not his righteousness, for all our righteousness is defective. Then God will advocate his cause: he will mention and reward his righteousness, having purified it with blood, but make no mention of his sins. He will say, well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 10". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/job-10.html. 1835.
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