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Job 7:1 [Is there] not an appointed time to man upon earth? [are not] his days also like the days of an hireling?
Ver. 1. Is there not an appointed time to man upon the earth? ] There is, certainly. Our bounds are prescribed us, and a pillar set by him who bears up the heavens, which we are not to transpass. Stat sua cuique dies, said the heathen poet (Virg. Aeneid 10), our last day stands, the rest run. It is said of the Turks, that they shun not the company of those that have the plague, but pointing upon their foreheads, say, it was written there at their birth when they should die. Now if there be an appointed time, &c., what mean the Lutherans to teach that God hath not determined the period of men’s days, but it is in man’s power to lengthen or shorten them, Humanae vitae terminus non est decreto simplici et absoluto constitutus (Homing). In this one verse we have two metaphors, both which do evince the contrary. The first is from soldiers, implied in the word צבא translated an appointed time, or a warfare, because there was a set time for soldiers to fight, and a set time also for them to serve. The second is from a hireling.
Are not his days also like the days of an hireling? ] Describit humanae vitro brevitatem, saith Vatablus. Here he describeth the shortness of man’s life, and with it that his days are determined; for with a hireling we agree to work with us for a certain time, and usually for a day, or by the day; and hence we call them day labourers. It importeth then that the time of man’s life is short and set; for hirelings are appointed to an hour. See Job 14:14; Ecclesiastes 2:3 ; Joh 7:30; Isaiah 38:5 . Fifteen years just were added to Hezekiah’s life. Our hairs are numbered, much more our days. This Job allegeth to set forth his own extreme misery, as one condemned to perpetual torments without any respite or refreshing; and therefore in a worse case than any soldier or servant.
Job 7:2 As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for [the reward of] his work:
Ver. 2. As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, &c. ] Heb. Gapeth after, or gaspeth for his shadow; that is, for some place of cool repose after his hard labour in the hot sunshine, as in harvest; or for the shadow, that is, for dark night, or for the evening.
Cum Sol crescentes discedens duplicet umbras (Virg. Eclog.).
And as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work ] Heb. Expecteth his work, that is, his wages. God’s work is its own wages; and in doing thereof (not only for doing thereof) there is great reward, Psalms 19:11 . Righteousness is its own recompense; but a poor hireling looketh for his wages, he sets his heart upon it, Deuteronomy 24:15 , and God provideth there that it be duly paid him; and those that detain it are sorely threatened. See James 5:5 : it is a crying sin. The whole verse may cohere with the former; and be thus rendered, Is not a man as a servant that earnestly desireth the shadow? and is he not as a hireling, that looketh for the reward of his work? but it is better to join it with that which followeth, according to our translation.
Job 7:3 So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me.
Ver. 3. So am I made to possess months of vanity ] So, but a great deal worse than so is it with me. The labouring servant hath his shade; the painful hireling hath his hire at the set time; but I am made to possess, or have assigned to me for mine inheritance, not days, but whole months of vanity, that is, of molestation and misery, void of the least comfort or hope of amendment. The soldier, servant, hireling, suffer hardship in hope of better; but with me it is every day worse than other; and were it not for the hope of heaven, the life I lead here would be a little hell to me. From the months of vanity here mentioned (lying months some render them, because he hoped for ease, but found none) it may be gathered that Job’s calamities lasted a long time, twelve months, say the Hebrews, seven years, saith Suidas. If we hold out faith and patience but half so long in any sort, we think ourselves worthy to be crowned and chronicled. For mouths of vanity some read empty moons; as if Job’s moon were always in the wane, or ever in the eclipse.
And wearisome nights are appointed to me ] sc. By God; and that so exactly as if he had numbered them to a night. See Daniel 10:1 . Pondere, mensura, numero Deus omnia fecit, It is he that cutteth us out our conditions, that prepareth for us troublesome days and tiresome nights, and purposely that he may take us off from the inordinate love of life: like as by strait binding (which mortifieth and deadeneth the flesh) men are made more able to bear the cutting off of a member; so shall we take our cutting off from this world the more gently, by how much the more painful, pinching days and nights we have endured.
Job 7:4 When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.
Ver. 4. When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise? &c. ] Here is a graphic description of a wearisome night. The night is most laborious and irksome to sick people: then they revolve their troubles, and being free from visits of friends, they visit their own afflictions, and study their own distempers freely; then they lie all night wishing for day, telling the clock, hearkening for the cock (that natural clock), tossing to and fro unto the dawning of the day, not able to get the least wink of sleep, that nurse of nature, and sweet parenthesis of men’s griefs and cares. Oh present the condition of a restless sick man to your thoughts (saith an interpreter here), praise God for quiet nights, and pity those to whom wearisome nights are appointed.
Job 7:5 My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome.
Ver. 5. My flesh is clothed with worms ] Here Job showeth how and whence his nights were so wearisome and restless; he was in his grave clothes before he died (saith Mr Caryl), viz. a gown of worms set or embroidered with clods of dust. Covered he was with sores, and putrefied ulcers full of worms, which made him abhorring to himself.
And clods of dust ] A fit dress for a dying man. The word signifieth the filings of any metal, or the scrapings of an unclean thing. He meaneth then the scurf, scraped off from him, or the dust contracted by his sitting upon the ground, Job 2:8 .
My skin is broken ] Or, cleft and chapped (as the earth is in drought), in most loathsome and formidable manner.
And become loathsome ] Or melted, as in that distemper which physicians call corruptionem totius substantiae; or as in the leprosy or gangrene, when the flesh falleth off from the bones. Hinc igitur disce patientiam in morbis, saith Lavater. Hence, then, learn to be patient under the most noisome and troublesome diseases. What though thou be in such a pickle all over, that thou canst neither stand, nor walk, nor sit, nor lie, nor live, nor die: was not this holy Job’s condition, and worse? Remember that there are not a few sick as heart can hold, sore all over, and want necessary food and physic which thou dost not; consider that God could, and justly might, lay more and heavier plagues upon thee, &c. When Dr Munster was sick, and some friends came to visit him, being very sorry for pains he was put to by the ulcers of his body; O my dear friends, said he, these boils and blains, gemmae sunt et pretiosa ornamenta Dei, are God’s gems and jewels wherewith he adorneth his friends, that he may draw them to himself; which ornaments let us esteem far more precious than all the gold and wealth of this whole world. Soon after which speech he piously and peaceably fell asleep in the Lord. Craterus also, when he saw his body begin to swell with a dropsy, and other distempers, Euge Dee sit laus et gloria, said he, Oh, blessed be God, that my deliverance is at hand, et horula gratissima, and that sweet hour that shall put an end to all my miseries (Melch. Adam).
Job 7:6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.
Ver. 6. My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle] Which is of a very swift and sudden motion. Nights and days pass the shuttle of man’s life forward and backward, to and again. The night casts it to the day, and the day to the night; between these two time quickly wears off the thread of life. I have cut off, like a weaver, my life, saith good Hezekiah, Isaiah 38:12 . And the heathens hammered at this in their fiction of the three sister destinies, whereof the poet saith,
Clotho colum baiulat, Lachesis trahit, Atropos occat.
You that are weavers, saith Lavater, or lookers on them at their work, think of this text, and learn to live holy.
And they are spent without hope ] Heb. In not hope. I cannot conceive that I shall ever recover, or be recruited, whatever thou, O Eliphaz, hast gone about to put me in hope. All Job’s desire was death, which he looked upon as the readiest remedy of all.
Job 7:7 O remember that my life [is] wind: mine eye shall no more see good.
Ver. 7. O remember that my life is wind ] Before, swifter or lighter than a weaver’s shuttle (or than a sword or speech, as the Septuagint there render it, ελαφροτερος λαλιας ), now my life is a wind, or as a wind (so the Chaldee paraphraseth), that speedily passeth away, and returneth not. So St James, "What is your life?" saith he; "it is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away," James 4:14 . One hath well observed, that the Holy Ghost giveth us very many items of this (and especially in this book), which shows that we are very apt to forget it. A point that is easy to be known, but very hard to be believed; every man assents to it, but few live it, and improve it to reformation.
Mine eyes shall no more see good ] sc. In this world, for in the world to come he was confident of the beautiful vision, Job 19:27 . Hezekiah hath a like expression when sentenced to die: I said in the cutting off of my days, I shall not see the Lord, even the Lord in the land of the living (that is, in this life present, Psalms 27:13 ; Psalms 52:5 ; Psalms 142:5 ; Isaiah 53:8 , called also the light of the living, Joh 9:5 Psa 56:13 ); I shall behold man no more with the inhabitants of the world, Isaiah 38:11 . And this both sick Job and sick Hezekiah tell the Lord, and both of them begin alike, O remember, Isaiah 38:3 . God forgetteth not his people and their condition; howbeit he requireth and expecteth that they should be his remembrancers for their own and others’ good, Isaiah 62:6-7 . See the margin.
Job 7:8 The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no [more]: thine eyes [are] upon me, and I [am] not.
Ver. 8. The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more ] In death we shall neither see nor be seen, but be soon both out of sight and out of mind too. It is told of Richard III, that he caused the dead corpse of his two smothered nephews to be closed in lead, and so put in a coffin full of holes, and hooked at the ends with two hooks of iron, and so to be cast into a place called the black deeps, at the Thames’ mouth, whereby they should never rise up, nor be any more seen (Speed. 935). Such a place is the grave till the last day: for then the sea shall give up the dead which are in it, and death and the grave shall render up the dead which are in them, Revelation 20:13 , then shall Adam see all his nephews at once, &c.
Thine eyes are upon me, and I am not ] Thou even lookest me to death; like as elsewhere God is said to frown men to destruction, Psa 80:16 Psalms 104:29 ; they are not able to endure his flaming eyes, sparkling out wrath against them. What mad men therefore are they that speak and act against him who can so easily do them to death! If God but set his eyes upon them for evil (as he oft threateneth to do, Amo 9:4 Job 16:9 ), they are undone.
Job 7:9 [As] the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no [more].
Ver. 9. As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away ] A cloud is nothing else but a vapour thickened in the middle region of the air by the cold encompassing and driving it together, Psalms 18:11-12 , vessels they are as thin as the liquor that is in them; but some are waterless: the former are soon emptied and dissolved; the latter as soon scattered by the wind, and vanish away. See Trapp on " Job 7:7 "
So he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more ] sc. To live and converse here with men, as Job 7:10 . Or, he shall come up no more, sc. without a miracle (as Lazarus and some others long since dead rose again) he cannot return to me, said David to his deceased child, 2 Samuel 12:23 . God could send some from the dead to warn the living; but that is not now to be expected, as Abraham told the rich man, Luk 16:27-31 Those spirits of dead men that so oft appeared in times of Popery (requiring their friends to sing masses and dirges for them; and that drew this verse from Theodorus Gaza, Sunt aliquid manes, lethum non omnia finit ) were either delusions, or else devils in the shape of men. That Job doubted the resurrection, or denied it (as Rabbi Solomon, and some other, both Hebrew and Greek writers, conclude from this text) is a manifest injury done to this good man, and a force offered to the text, as appeareth by that which next followeth.
Job 7:10 He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more.
Ver. 10. He shall return no more to his house ] Either to despatch business or to enjoy comforts; he hath utterly done with the affairs of this world. Melancthon telleth of an aunt of his who, having buried her husband, and sitting sorrowfully by the fireside, saw (as she thought) her husband coming into the room, and talking to her familiarly about the payment of certain debts, and other businesses belonging to the house; and when he had thus talked with her a long time, he bid her give him her hand; she at first refused, but was at length persuaded to do it; he taking her by the hand so burnt it, that it was as black as a coal, and so he departed. Was not this the devil?
Neither shall his place know him any more ] His place of habitation, or his place of honour and ruledom; these shall no more acknowledge him, and welcome him back, as they used to do after a journey. Death is the conclusion of all worldly comforts and relations. Hence wicked people are so loth to depart, because there is struck by death an everlasting parting blow between them and their present comforts, without hope of better. Spes et fortuna valete, farewell hope and fortune, said one great man at his death. Cardinal Bourbon would not part with his part in Paris for his part in paradise. Fie, said another rich cardinal, Will not death be hired? will money do nothing? Never did Adam go more unwillingly out of Paradise, the Jebusites out of the stronghold of Zion, the unjust steward out of his office, or the devils out of the demoniac, than graceless people do out of their earthly tabernacles, because they know they shall return no more; and having hopes in this lifo only, they must needs look upon themselves as most miserable.
Job 7:11 Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
Ver. 11. Therefore I will not refrain my mouth ] Heb. I will not prohibit my mouth, sc. from speaking, I will bite in my grief no longer; but since death, the certain end of all outward troubles, is not far from me; I will, by my further complaints, press the Lord to hasten it, and not suppress my sorrows, but give them a vent.
I will speak in the anguish of my spirit ] Heb. In the straitness or distress of my spirit, which is almost suffocated with grief.
I will complain in the bitterness of my soul ] His greatest troubles were inward; and if by godly sorrow for his sins he had poured forth his soul in a humble confession (as some understand him here), he had taken a right course; but thus boisterously to break out into complaints savoureth of human infirmity, and showeth quantae sint hominis vires sibi a Deo derelicti, what a poor creature man becomes when God leaves him to himself, and subjects him to his judgments (Mercer).
Job 7:12 [Am] I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?
Ver. 12. Am I a sea, or a whale ] Can I bear all troubles, as the sea receives all waters, and the whale bears all tempests? This (as is well observed) was too bold a speech to God from a creature, for when his hand is on our backs our hands should be upon our mouths; as Psalms 39:9 , "I was dumb," or (as others read it) I should have been dumb … "because thou didst it." But it is a fair step to perfection and victory when one can kiss God’s rod and say, as Psalms 44:17 , All this is come upon us, yet have we not forgotten thee, nor declined from thy way. Job was not without his impatience; but being he was right for the main, and at length bewailed them, God looked not upon him as he doth upon those refractories, who to their impatience add impenitence; and to their passive disobedience, active.
That thou settest a watch over me? ] That thou surroundest me with sorrows, and wilt not suffer me to die? Here Job should have set a better watch over his lips, Psalms 39:1 ; Psalms 141:3 , than thus boisterously to have blustered against God (who is ανυπευθυνος , not to be called to an account for his proceedings) like the raging sea or unruly whirlpool. He should have considered that the best men have somewhat of the sea in them, that must be bounded; and somewhat of the whale, that must be watched and kept under; and that God never lays more upon a man than there is need, though he may think otherwise.
Job 7:13 When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaint;
Ver. 13. When I say, My bed shall comfort me ] The bed was the most proper and probable means of refreshment; but it is not the bed that can give sleep, nor the couch ease. Creatures are not able of themselves to give out the comforts committed to them; their common nature must be assisted with a special word of blessing, or else they do us no good: man liveth not by bread only, &c. God maketh the merciful man’s bed, Psalms 41:3 . So he giveth his beloved sleep, quiet sleep (Shena with an Aleph quiescent), Psa 127:2 He is the God of all mercies, and the Father of all consolation, 2 Corinthians 1:3 . It is he that shines through the creature, which else is but as the air, without light. Look how the air lights us not without the sun; and fuel heats us not without fire; so neither can any man or means comfort or content us without God.
My couch shall ease my complaint ] Heb. Shall lift up, or take away, viz. the burden of my cares and grief; some part of my load at least; but it happened otherwise: for - see next verse
Job 7:14 Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions:
Ver. 14. Then thou scarest me with dreams ] Extremam tentationem describit, saith Vatablus; and the devil doubtless had a great hand in this business (for it was within his commission, and he would not neglect any part of it); but Job taketh notice of none but God, the chief agent, and to him he applieth himself. His providence is exercised even about dreams, which, in melancholy people, happen (especially when they are sick) to be oftentimes very horrid and hideous; as that they fall down from some high place, commit some capital offence, are slain, torn in pieces by devils, &c. Bishop Foliot’s terrible night vision was before mentioned. Richard III, after the murder of his two innocent nephews, and Charles IX of France, after the Parisian Massacre, had such dreadful dreams, that they became a terror to themselves and to all about them. But to instance in better men: Calvin in the year of grace 1562, being sick of the gout, dreamed that he heard a great noise of drums beaten up most vehemently, as they use to be in warlike marches (Beza in Vita). Pareua also, A.D. 1618, saw in a dream the city of Heidelberg set on fire in many places, and the prince elector’s palace all on a light flame: this he set down the next morning in his dairy, and added these words, O Deus clementissime, averte sinistrum omen, &c., O most merciful God, turn aside this evil omen. (Philip Par. in Vita Patris). Such fearful dreams cause a sick sleep, and a worse waking. This Job complaineth of here; and yet more fully in the next words.
Job 7:15 So that my soul chooseth strangling, [and] death rather than my life.
Ver. 15. So that my soul chooseth strangling ] i.e. Quamvis durissimam sed praesentissimam mortem, any violent or ignominious death, as long as it were a speedy death. Hippocrates telleth us, that many have been so frightened with dreams and apparitions, that they have hanged themselves, leaped into deep pits, or otherwise committed suicide. Let those that either have not been so terrified, or so tempted, or so deserted of God, bless him for that mercy.
And death rather than life ] Heb. Rather than my bones; that is, any kind of death rather than such a body, which is now nothing else but a bag of bones; or than such rotten bones full of sores and ulcers. He maketh mention of his bones, because his pain had pierced as far as his very bones; the putrefaction had sunk down into his marrow.
Job 7:16 I loathe [it]; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days [are] vanity.
Ver. 16. I loathe it, I would not live alway ] I loathe or abhor it, that is, my life, or I loathe them, that is, my bones, Job 7:15 . "I would not live alway," that is, long in this world, and in this condition. Plotinus, the philosopher, held it a special mercy of God to men that they were mortal; and did not always live to labour under the miseries of this wretched life (Aug. de Civitate Dei, l. ix. c. 10). Cato professed, that if he might have his age renewed as the eagle’s, so that he might be made young again, he would seriously refuse it (Cic. Cato Major). How much better might Job say thus, since the righteous hath hope in his death; and might well take up that of the poet,
Utque adeone mori miserum est?
The days of the best are so full of evil both of sin and pain, that it is good they are not fuller of days; if they should have length of life added to heaps of sorrows, and perpetuity with all their misery, how miserable were they! Christ promiseth it as a point of favour of his, that the days of trouble should be shortened, Matthew 24:22 , and that he may put an end to the age, he dispatched away the generations with all the convenient speed that may be.
Therefore let me alone ] Some read thus, I cannot live for ever, or very long, therefore let me alone, that is, stop afflicting me, and let me go quietly to my grave, Psalms 39:13 . Here one well observeth that the world and time, while they continue, are always ceasing; and therefore have their denomination from this word, which signifieth to cease, Quod cito cessat et deficit (Mercer in Pagnin.).
For my days are vanity ] Hebel, a puff of wind, or a bubble on the water. Man’s body is a bubble, his soul the wind that filleth it. The bubble riseth higher and higher, till at last it breaketh; so doth the body rise from infancy to youth, from youth to age, &c., till at length it cracketh and dissolveth. The life of a man is a vain life. This Job often beats upon, and why, see the note. See Trapp on " Job 7:7 "
Job 7:17 What [is] man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?
Ver. 17. What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? ] i.e. Make so much ado about him, or look upon him as a fit match for the great God to grapple with, Psalms 14:3 , or to take care of his affairs? Debile argumentum, saith Vatablus here, a poor argument; but Job maketh use of all kinds of arguments to move God to make an end of him: Domine, fac finem, fac finem, God, make an end, make an end! said dying Erasmus; but what he meant by those words I know not, saith Melancthon, who reporteth it.
And that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? ] So as to make any account of so mean and miserable a creature, Psalms 144:3 , to magnify him whom thou mightest rather vilify, or indeed, nullify; or, that thou shouldest set thy heart against him, sc. to destroy him, as Job 34:14 . That is but an ignoble contest, ubi et vincere inglorium est, et atteri sordidum.
Job 7:18 And [that] thou shouldest visit him every morning, [and] try him every moment?
Ver. 18. That thou shouldest visit him every morning ] Be at so much pains, as it were, with him, as to chasten him; and every morning to do it, that is, certainly and early; God took Job to task as soon as he was awake every morning, and this he thought much of, and would rather have been without; but that was his weakness, since the rod is as necessary as food.
And try him every moment ] Proving by affliction both what corruption and what grace is in his heart; this David reckoneth upon the score of God’s favours, and prayeth for, Psalms 139:24 . This God promiseth as a special blessing, Jeremiah 9:7 , and with it assureth that he will try and refine his people, but not as silver, Isaiah 48:10 . He will not deal with them as in rigour of justice he might do, because if he should do so, they, having more dross in them than good ore, more corruption than grace, they would soon be consumed in this fiery trial; this God considered, and so should Job have done, and have quit his growling.
Job 7:19 How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?
Ver. 19. How long wilt thou not depart from me ] Here he seems desirous to be rid of God’s company, of his afflicting presence, Psalms 139:10 ; so true is that of the apostle, Hebrews 12:11 , "No chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous," till patience come to have her perfect work, and men be brought to cry out, as one did under a great fit of the stone, The use, Lord, the use; not so much ease of my pain, as a good use of my suffering. This Job came to at length, no doubt; meanwhile, we have in him, as Mercer observeth, mirum ubique specimen, a wonderful instance of that conflict between flesh and spirit that is in the saints.
Yet let me alone, till I may swallow down my spittle? ] That is, nor afford me the least intermission, no, not a spitting while. He will not suffer me to take my breath, Job 9:18 . Jerome thinks that Job was troubled with a quinsey, or sore throat, which hindered the swallowing of his spittle; neither had he power to spit out the corrupt matter that ran down his throat. Oh what a sweet mercy is health! and how ill able are the best without special support from heaven to bear sickness! The Stoics, who said, that he who lived honestly might live cheerfully though under many bodily weaknesses, senserunt ipsi in morbis se magnificentius locutos esse quam verius, saith Wolfius; that is, when it came to their own turn to be sick, they well perceived that they had spoken rather bravely than truly.
Job 7:20 I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?
Ver. 20. I have sinned ] Or, Have I sinned? Have I fallen into any foul offence, as these men charge me? Am I guilty of anything more than involuntary failings, unavoidable infirmities? although I know that these also are downright sins, fruits of the flesh properly so called, missings of the mark, as the word here signifieth, and for such I humbly confess them, I put myself into the hands of thy justice in hope of thy mercy; and what wilt thou more of thy poor creature?
What shall I do unto thee ] No sooner had Job confessed his sin, but he is desirous to know a remedy. Reprobates can cry Peccavi, I have sinned; but then they proceed not to say, as here, What shall I do? They open their wound, but lay not on a plaster, and so the wounds made by sin are more putrefied, and grow more dangerous. Job would be directed what to do for remedy; he would have pardoning grace and prevailing grace upon any terms; and more than this, what can I do unto thee? δυνησομαι πραξαι , as the Septuagint render this text.
O thou preserver of men? ] Of all men, but especially of them that believe, 1 Timothy 4:10 . The Grecians called their Jupiter ελευθεριος , the deliverer or preserver of their persons; and again, ερκειος , from ερκος , a wall, as if he were the watch and defender of their houses. Some render it, O thou observer of men. But these are praises proper to the true God, the keeper of his Israel, Psalms 121:4 . The preserver of the faithful, Psalms 31:23 . Whom he keepeth as the apple of his eye, Psalms 17:8 , that tenderest piece of the tenderest part, most diligently and strongly guarded by nature with tunicles. It is the wisdom of a Christian in his addresses unto God to make choice of fit and appropiate titles and attributes; for the strengthening of his faith, and increasing of his fervency.
Why hast thou set me as a mark against thee ] As a bulwark, as an object, or as a rock of offence, against which thou mayest always dash; so Vatablus rendereth it; to the same sense Job asketh, Job 19:11 ; Job 13:24 . Wherefore holdest thou me for thine enemy? So Lam 3:12 Job 16:13 . Job conceived that God dealt with him in no other way than the Turks did with the great crucifix of Constantinople, upon the head whereof they put a Turk’s cap, and so setting it up in derision, shot at it with their arrows, calling it the God of the Christians: or, as the same Turks at the taking of Tripoli, in Barbary, dealt with one John de Chabas, a Frenchman, who in the time of the siege had shot off the hand of the clerk general of the army. They brought him into the town, saith the story, and when they had cut off his hands and nose, they put him quick into the ground to the waist, and there for their pleasure shot at him with their arrows, and afterwards cut his throat.
So that I am a burden to myself? ] How can he be otherwise who is a butt mark for Almighty God, who cleft his very reins asunder, and poured out his gall upon the ground, Job 16:13 . Job had once before complained that the poison of God’s arrows had drunk up his spirits, Job 6:4 Neither did anything lie so heavy upon him, or was so burdensome to him, as this, that God seemed to frown upon him, and to fight against him with his own hand. The Septuagint and Talmudists read thus, So that I am a burden unto thee, viz. with my complaints and expostulations; this, say they, was the ancient reading.
Job 7:21 And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I [shall] not [be].
Ver. 21. And why dost thou not pardon my transgression? ] Heb. Lift up, or take away; for sin was Job’s greatest burden, which therefore he prayed to God to pardon; and that not in heaven only, but in his own conscience; and then no darkness can be so desolate, no cross so cutting, no burden so importable, but he shall, by God’s grace, be able to deal with it. Hence this vehement expostulation of his for remission and removal of sin first, and then of its evil consequents; for pardon of sin is a voluminous mercy; and being justified by faith, we can glory in tribulation, Romans 5:1 ; Romans 5:3 .
For now shall I sleep in the dust ] In the dust of death, Psalms 22:1 ; Psalms 22:5 , and therefore must have help presently, or not at all; since a man once departed is no more to be found in this world, though never so diligently sought for. See Job 7:7-8 . One paraphraseth these words thus, For now I shall die, and then when thou lookest to receive thy morning sacrifice of praise as beforetime, I shall not be found to give it thee.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 7". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30