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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible
Job 7

 

 


Verse 1

Job 7:1-21. Job excuses his desire for death.

appointed time — better, “a warfare,” hard conflict with evil (so in Isaiah 40:2; Daniel 10:1). Translate it “appointed time” (Job 14:14). Job reverts to the sad picture of man, however great, which he had drawn (Job 3:14), and details in this chapter the miseries which his friends will see, if, according to his request (Job 6:28), they will look on him. Even the Christian soldier, “warring a good warfare,” rejoices when it is completed (1 Timothy 1:18; 2 Timothy 2:3; 2 Timothy 4:7, 2 Timothy 4:8).


Verse 2

earnestly desirethHebrew, “pants for the [evening] shadow.” Easterners measure time by the length of their shadow. If the servant longs for the evening when his wages are paid, why may not Job long for the close of his hard service, when he shall enter on his “reward?” This proves that Job did not, as many maintain, regard the grave as a mere sleep.


Verse 3

- Months of comfortless misfortune.

I am made to possess — literally, “to be heir to.” Irony. “To be heir to,” is usually a matter of joy; but here it is the entail of an involuntary and dismal inheritance.

Months — for days, to express its long duration.

Appointed — literally, “they have numbered to me”; marking well the unavoidable doom assigned to him.


Verse 4

Literally, “When shall be the flight of the night?” [Gesenius]. Umbreit, not so well, “The night is long extended”; literally, “measured out” (so Margin).


Verse 5

In elephantiasis maggots are bred in the sores (Acts 12:23; Isaiah 14:11).

clods of dust — rather, a crust of dried filth and accumulated corruption (Job 2:7, Job 2:8).

my skin is broken and … loathsome — rather, comes together so as to heal up, and again breaks out with running matter [Gesenius]. More simply the Hebrew is, “My skin rests (for a time) and (again) melts away” (Psalm 58:7).


Verse 6

(Isaiah 38:12). Every day like the weaver‘s shuttle leaves a thread behind; and each shall wear, as he weaves. But Job‘s thought is that his days must swiftly be cut off as a web;

without hope — namely, of a recovery and renewal of life (Job 14:19; 1 Chronicles 29:15).


Verse 7

Address to God.

Wind — a picture of evanescence (Psalm 78:39).

shall no more see — rather, “shall no more return to see good.” This change from the different wish in Job 3:17, etc., is most true to nature. He is now in a softer mood; a beam from former days of prosperity falling upon memory and the thought of the unseen world, where one is seen no more (Job 7:8), drew from him an expression of regret at leaving this world of light (Ecclesiastes 11:7); so Hezekiah (Isaiah 38:11). Grace rises above nature (2 Corinthians 5:8).


Verse 8

The eye of him who beholds me (present, not past), that is, in the very act of beholding me, seeth me no more.

Thine eyes are upon me, and I am not — He disappears, even while God is looking upon him. Job cannot survive the gaze of Jehovah (Psalm 104:32; Revelation 20:11). Not, “Thine eyes seek me and I am not to be found”; for God‘s eye penetrates even to the unseen world (Psalm 139:8). Umbreit unnaturally takes “thine” to refer to one of the three friends.


Verse 9

(2 Samuel 12:23).

the grave — the Sheol, or place of departed spirits, not disproving Job‘s belief in the resurrection. It merely means, “He shall come up no more” in the present order of things.


Verse 10

(Psalm 103:16). The Oriental keenly loves his dwelling. In Arabian elegies the desertion of abodes by their occupants is often a theme of sorrow. Grace overcomes this also (Luke 18:29; Acts 4:34).


Verse 11

Therefore, as such is my hard lot, I will at least have the melancholy satisfaction of venting my sorrow in words. The Hebrew opening words, “Therefore I, at all events,” express self-elevation [Umbreit].


Verse 12

Why dost thou deny me the comfort of care-assuaging sleep? Why scarest thou me with frightful dreams?

Amos I a sea — regarded in Old Testament poetry as a violent rebel against God, the Lord of nature, who therefore curbs his violence (Jeremiah 5:22).

or a whale — or some other sea monster (Isaiah 27:1), that Thou needest thus to watch and curb me? The Egyptians watched the crocodile most carefully to prevent its doing mischief.


Verse 14

The frightful dreams resulting from elephantiasis he attributes to God; the common belief assigned all night visions to God.


Verse 15

Umbreit translates, “So that I could wish to strangle myself - dead by my own hands.” He softens this idea of Job‘s harboring the thought of suicide, by representing it as entertained only in agonizing dreams, and immediately repudiated with horror in Job 7:16, “Yet that (self-strangling) I loathe.” This is forcible and graphic. Perhaps the meaning is simply, “My soul chooses (even) strangling (or any violent death) rather than my life,” literally, “my bones” (Psalm 35:10); that is, rather than the wasted and diseased skeleton, left to him. In this view, “I loathe it” (Job 7:16) refers to his life.


Verse 16

Let me alone — that is, cease to afflict me for the few and vain days still left to me.


Verse 17

(Psalm 8:4; Psalm 144:3). Job means, “What is man that thou shouldst make him [of so much importance], and that thou shouldst expend such attention [or, heart-thought] upon him” as to make him the subject of so severe trials? Job ought rather to have reasoned from God‘s condescending so far to notice man as to try him, that there must be a wise and loving purpose in trial. David uses the same words, in their right application, to express wonder that God should do so much as He does for insignificant man. Christians who know God manifest in the man Christ Jesus may use them still more.


Verse 18

With each new day (Psalm 73:14). It is rather God‘s mercies, not our trials, that are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). The idea is that of a shepherd taking count of his flock every morning, to see if all are there [Cocceius].


Verse 19

How long (like a jealous keeper) wilt thou never take thine eyes off (so the Hebrew for “depart from”) me? Nor let me alone for a brief respite (literally, “so long as I take to swallow my spittle”), an Arabic proverb, like our, “till I draw my breath.”


Verse 20

I have sinned — Yet what sin can I do against (“to,” Job 35:6) thee (of such a nature that thou shouldst jealously watch and deprive me of all strength, as if thou didst fear me)? Yet thou art one who hast men ever in view, ever watchest them - O thou Watcher (Job 7:12; Daniel 9:14) of men. Job had borne with patience his trials, as sent by God (Job 1:21; Job 2:10); only his reason cannot reconcile the ceaseless continuance of his mental and bodily pains with his ideas of the divine nature.

set me as a mark — Wherefore dost thou make me thy point of attack? that is, ever assail me with new pains? [Umbreit] (Lamentations 3:12).


Verse 21

for now — very soon.

in the morning — not the resurrection; for then Job will be found. It is a figure, from one seeking a sick man in the morning, and finding he has died in the night. So Job implies that, if God does not help him at once, it will be too late, for he will be gone. The reason why God does not give an immediate sense of pardon to awakened sinners is that they think they have a claim on God for it.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 7:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-7.html. 1871-8.

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Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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