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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Job 16

 

 

Introduction

Job 16-17. Job's Answer.—We see that the speech of Eliphaz has not missed its mark. Job complains that everyone is against him. But Job's realisation how vain is the help of man, serves to drive him back to God. Thus the friends indirectly help Job.

Job 16-17. Job's Answer.—We see that the speech of Eliphaz has not missed its mark. Job complains that everyone is against him. But Job's realisation how vain is the help of man, serves to drive him back to God. Thus the friends indirectly help Job.


Verses 1-5

Job 16:1-5. Job has had enough of his tormenting comforters (Job 16:2 f.). He could, if the positions were reversed, well enough offer them such mere verbal consolation (the stress in Job 16:5 is on "mouth" and "lips"). Translate Job 16:5 as a continuation of Job 16:4. "I could strengthen you with my mouth, and my lip's compassion I would not spare" (the last clause after LXX).


Verses 6-17

Job 16:6-17 contain a bitter complaint of God's ferocity against Job, in spite of his innocence. The connexion of Job 16:6 with the context is not clear: RV translation is probably, however, correct. With Job 16:7 the enumeration of God's unkindness begins. Davidson explains the change from "he" to thou" by the rise of emotion. God has such hold on Job (Job 16:8) by afflicting him.

Job 16:9 compares His onslaught to that of a wild beast.

Job 16:10 f. speaks of the hostility of men, not Job's friends, but the outcasts who mock him (Job 30:1 f.). The sense is improved by putting Job 16:11 before Job 16:10.

Job 16:12 describes once more God's attack: the first two lines appear to continue the figure of Job 16:9 : with the third line we have a new figure, that of an archer. In Job 16:13 translate as mg. "arrows"—so the Versions.

Job 16:14 introduces the figure of an assault upon a fortress; "giant" means "hero," mg. "mighty man."

Job 16:15 describes Job's humiliation.

Job 16:16. Job's face is "inflamed" with weeping (mg. "red"), his eyes are dimmed.

Job 16:17. And yet in spite of Eliphaz (Job 15:4-5) Job is innocent.


Verses 18-21

Job 16:18-21. Job cries to the avenger of blood to avenge his innocence. He is a martyr, and feels that his blood must cry for vengeance (Genesis 4:10*, Revelation 6:10). Job arrives at the astounding thought that God will be his avenger, though it is God that slays him. We have noticed how in Job's bitter complaint against God, the thought that the God, who had loved him in the past, will one day turn to him once more, had again and again broken through (Job 7:8; Job 7:21, Job 14:13-15). Job now sets the God of the past and the future against the God of the present, one side of God against another, God against Himself (Job 16:21). God is his "witness" (Job 16:19). Davidson translates "advocate" and says, "There was no difference between advocate and witness in the Hebrew courts, the part of a witness being to testify on behalf of one and see justice done him."


Verse 22

Job 16:22 to Job 17:16. Job pleads in favour of his prayer for Divine vindication, that death is before him and he has no hope, if he must now die.

Job 17:2 is obscure; "the general sense seems to be that Job complains of the delusive hopes, held out by the friends, of return to health and prosperity" (Peake).

Job 17:3 continues the idea of Job 16:20 f. God, as Job's advocate, is to give to God as his creditor a pledge that He will in the future vindicate him. Who else will "strike hands" with Job over such a bargain?

Job 17:4. Not Job's unintelligent friends.

Job 17:5 as translated in RV is a threat to the friends that their denunciations of Job will be punished by the suffering of their children (Duhm regards the verse as a gloss).

Job 17:6 f. resumes Job's complaint of his misery.

Job 17:8 f., its effect on the righteous. These verses, as they stand, must express Job's conviction of final victory. But are they not rather an extract from some speech of the friends? (Duhm, Peake).

Job 17:10-12 appears to be a repudiation of the friends' delusive hopes of recovery. But the whole passage is very obscure except Job 16:11 a.

Job 17:13-15. Translate as mg., Job has no hopes. In Job 16:16 b the sense is not certain.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Job 16:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/job-16.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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