Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 17:12

"They make night into day, saying, ‘The light is near,' in the presence of darkness.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Dictionaries:
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Change;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

They change the night into day - These purposes and thoughts are so very gloomy, that they change day into night.

The light is short because of darkness - חשך מפני קרוב אור or karob mippeney choshek, "The light is near from the face of darkness." I have scarcely any light: what is called light is so near akin to darkness, that it is scarcely severed from it. There is either no light, or merely such as is sufficient to render darkness visible. A fine picture of the state of his mind - he was generally in darkness; but had occasional gleams of hope.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 17:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-17.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

They change - The word “they” in this place, some understand as referring to his friends; others, to his thoughts. Rosenmuller supposes it is to be taken impersonally, and that the meaning is, “night is become day to me.” Wemyss translates it, “night is assigned me for day.” So Dr. Good renders it. The meaning may be, that the night was to him as the day. He had no rest. The period when he had formerly sought repose, was now made like the day, and all was alike gloom and sadness.

The light is short because of darkness - Margin, near. The meaning is, probably, “even the day has lost its usual brilliancy and cheerfulness, and has become gloomy and sad. It seems to be like night. Neither night nor day is natural to me; the one is restless and full of cares like the usual employments of day, and the other is gloomy, or almost night, where there is no comfort and peace. Day brings to me none of its usual enjoyments. It is short, gloomy, sad, and hastens away, and a distressing and restless night soon comes on.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 17:12". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-17.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

They change the night into day,.... Meaning either his friends, by what they had said unto him, or the thoughts of his heart, which comes to the same sense; these being in the night season employed about what had been said to him in the day, insomuch that he could get no sleep, the night was as broad day unto him; or they put the day before the night, contrary to the order of nature, as NoldiusF26Ebr. Part. Concord. No. 1931. observes, whereas the night is before the day, Genesis 1:5; his friends promising him long days, and an age clearer than noon day, as bright as the morning, Job 11:17; when the night of death was coming on, and he was hastening to the dark and silent grave:

the light is short because of darkness; the morning light, or light of the day, when that comes continues but for a short time, because of the darkness of the evening, which quickly follows; or because of the darkness of fiction, which fills it up, and makes it uncomfortable; or the light of prosperity, could it be enjoyed, is but short, because of the darkness of adversity; or "the light is near"F1קרוב "propinquam", Pagninus, Montanus; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, &c. , as in the original text; though Jarchi interprets the word "short" as we do; Noldius renders it, "the light is rather nearer than darkness"F2Ib. p. 642. ; after the night has been spent without sleep, the morning light is nearer than darkness; that may soon be expected, and so an end to sleep and rest.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 17:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-17.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

They change the m night into day: the light [is] short because of darkness.

(m) That is, have brought me sorrow instead of comfort.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 17:12". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-17.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

They — namely, “my friends.”

change the night into day — that is, would try to persuade me of the change of my misery into joy, which is impossible [Umbreit] (Job 11:17); (but) the light of prosperity (could it be enjoyed) would be short because of the darkness of adversity. Or better for “short,” the Hebrew “near”; “and the light of new prosperity should be near in the face of (before) the darkness of death”; that is, they would persuade me that light is near, even though darkness approaches.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 17:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-17.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness.

They — My thoughts so incessantly pursue and disturb me, that I can no more sleep in the night, than in the day.

The light — The day-light, which often gives some comfort to men in misery, seems to be gone as soon as it is begun.

Darkness — Because of my grievous pains and torments which follow me by day as well as by night.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 17:12". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-17.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 17:12 They change the night into day: the light [is] short because of darkness.

Ver. 12. They change the night into day] i.e. My troubled thoughts render my nights restless, filling me with confusion. When the mind is unsettled the man cannot rest.

The light is short because of darkness] i.e. Comfort is long ere it cometh, and soon it expireth; Rara hora, brevis mora Rare the hour, short the delay (Bern.). The Vulgar, Post tenebras spero lucem, here, After darkness I hope for light (the ancient motto of the town of Geneva), is far fetched.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 17:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-17.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

They; either,

1. My friends. Or,

2. My sorrows, of which he is here speaking. Or,

3. My thoughts, last mentioned. Possibly these words may be joined with them thus, The thoughts of my heart change the night into day.

Change the night into day; they do so incessantly pursue and disturb me, that I can no more rest and sleep in the dark and silent nights, than in the midst of the light and tumults of the day. Or,

they change the day into night, Heb. they put the night for or instead of (as the Hebrew lamed is elsewhere used) the day, i.e. they make the day as sad and dark as the night to me. So it seems best to agree with the following branch of the verse.

The light is short, i.e. the day-light, which ofttimes gives some little comfort and refreshment to men in misery, seems to be gone and fled as soon as it is begun.

Because of darkness, i.e. because of my grievous pains and torments, which follow me by day as well as by night.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 17:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-17.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

12.Night into day — Literally, they put night for the day — That is, day hath become night to me. , is used impersonally. Conant’s rendering, “Night is joined to day.” is not sustained.

The light is short. — Among the various readings is that of Hahn and Zockler: “Light is near in the presence of darkness:” that is, such is the representation made by the friends when really there is nothing but darkness. Dillmann and Ewald make a comparative, nearer than — a feeble and inconsequential thought. The reading of Hengstenberg, the light is near to darkness, which substantially agrees with that of Evans, is decidedly to be preferred. The light of my life is near the darkness of death. The Latin language, like the Arabic, has a similar construction to express “nearness from” — prope abesse a. The full development of this thought, says Wordsworth, (following the first reading above,) is found in the sublime speech of the Christian martyr Saint Ignatius, on the eve of suffering, to his friends who persuaded him to sue for a prolongation of life: “My birth is at hand. O, my friends, do not hinder me from living. Do not desire that I should die. Let me have a sight of that pure light. Let me have a sunset to the world, that I may have a sunrise to God.”

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 17:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-17.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 17:12. They change the night into day — My distressing thoughts, griefs, and fears, so incessantly pursue and disturb me, that I can no more sleep in the night than in the day. The light is short — The day-light, which often gives some comfort to men in misery, seems to be gone and fled as soon as it is begun; because of darkness — Because of my grievous pains and torments, which follow me by day as well as by night.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 17:12". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-17.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Day. Sleep flees from me. (Menochius) --- All is in confusion. --- After. Hebrew and Septuagint, "light is near in the face of darkness." (Haydock) --- I still hope for relief.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 17:12". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-17.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"They make night into day, saying": In their first speeches, the three friends had held out hope for Job and that repentance would solve all his problems (11:17). But for Job, since there was no reason to repent, he was convinced that only darkness awaited him. He knew that repentance was not the answer, for he was innocent! Thus his only hope was Sheol.

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 17:12". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-17.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

darkness. Hebrew. hashak. See note on Job 3:6.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 17:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/job-17.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness.

They - namely, my friends-would change the night into day; would assert that bright day is there where nothing is to be seen but dark nigh - i:e., would try to persuade me of the change of my misery into joy, which is impossible (Umbreit) (Job 11:17); (but) the light of prosperity (could it be enjoyed) would be short, because of the darkness of adversity. Or, better, for "short," the Hebrew 'near;' 'and the light of new prosperity should be near in the face of (before) the darkness of death;' i:e., they would persuade me that light is near, even though darkness approaches. Maurer translates, somewhat similarly, 'Light is nearer than the face [ qaarowb (Hebrew #7138) mip

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 17:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-17.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(12) They change the night into day.—Comp. Job 11:17. So little did his friends enter into his case that they wanted him to believe that his night of trial was the reverse of darkness, and that there was light at hand. This was to him only the more painful mockery, because of its contrast to his felt condition. He, on the contrary, says that his only hope is in the grave. “The light,” say they, “is near unto the darkness; that it is near before the darkness cometh; they try to persuade me that prosperity is close at hand.”

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 17:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-17.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness.
change
7:3,4,13,14; 24:14-16; Deuteronomy 28:67
short
Heb. near.
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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 17:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-17.html.