Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 30:2

"Indeed, what good was the strength of their hands to me? Vigor had perished from them.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Persecution;   Thompson Chain Reference - Job;  
Dictionaries:
Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Age, Aged, Old Age;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The strength of their hands profit me - He is speaking here of the fathers of these young men. What was the strength of their hands to me? Their old age also has perished. The sense of which I believe to be this: I have never esteemed their strength even in their most vigorous youth, nor their conduct, nor their counsel even in old age. They were never good for any thing, either young or old. As their youth was without profit, so their old age was without honor. See Calmet. Mr. Good contends that the words are Arabic, and should be translated according to the meaning in that language, and the first clause of the third verse joined to the latter clause of the second, without which no good meaning can be elicited so as to keep properly close to the letter. I shall give the Hebrew text, Mr. Good's Arabic, and its translation: -

The Hebrew text is this: -

כלח אבד עלימו

aleymo abad calach

גלמוד ובכפן בחסר

becheser ubechaphan galmud .

The Arabic version which he translates thus: -

"With whom crabbed looks are perpetual,

From hunger and flinty famine."

This translation is very little distant from the import of the present Hebrew text, if it may be called Hebrew, when the principal words are pure Arabic, and the others constructively so.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 30:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-30.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me - There has been much difference of opinion respecting the meaning of this passage. The general sense is clear. Job means to describe those who were reduced by poverty and want, and who were without respectability or home, and who had no power in any way to affect him. He states that they were so abject and worthless as not to be worth his attention; but even this fact is intended to show how low he was himself reduced, since even the most degraded ranks in life did not show any respect to one who had been honored by princes. The Vulgate renders this, “The strength - virtus - of whose hands is to me as nothing, and they are regarded as unworthy of life.” The Septuagint, “And the strength of their hands what is it to me? Upon whom perfection - συντέλεια sunteleia - has perished.” Coverdale, “The power and strength of their hands might do me no good, and as for their age, it is spent and passed away without any profit.” The literal translation is, “Even the strength of their hands, what is it to me?” The meaning is, that their power was not worth regarding. They were abject, feeble, and reduced by hunger - poor emaciated creatures, who could do him neither good nor evil. Yet this fact did not make him feel less the indignity of being treated by such vagrants with scorn.

In whom old age was perished - Or, rather, in whom vigor, or the power of accomplishing, anything, has ceased. The word כלח kelach means “completion,” or the act or power of finishing or completing anything. Then it denotes old age - age as “finished” or “completed;” Job 5:26. Here it means the maturity or vigor which would enable a man to complete or accomplish anything, and the idea is, that in these persons this had utterly perished. Reduced by hunger and want, they had no power of effecting anything, and were unworthy of regard. The word used here occurs only in this book in Hebrew Job 5:26; Job 30:2, but is common in Arabic; where it refers to the “wrinkles,” the “wanness,” and the “austere aspect” of the countenance, especially in age. See “Castell‘s Lex.”

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 30:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-30.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me,.... For though they were strong, lusty, hale men, able to do business, yet their strength was to sit still and fold their hands in their bosoms, so that their strength was of no profit or avail to themselves or others; they were so slothful and lazy, that Job could not employ them in any business of his to any advantage to himself; and this may be one reason, among others, why he disdained to set them with the dogs of his flock to keep it; for the fathers seem to be intended all along to Job 30:8; though it matters not much to which of them the words are applied, since they were like father like son:

in whom old age was perished? who did not arrive to old age, but were soon consumed by their lusts, or cut off for their sins; and so the strength and labour of their hands, had they been employed, would have been of little worth; because the time of their continuance in service would have been short, especially being idle and slothful: some understand it of a lively and vigorous old age, such as was in Moses; but this being not in them, they were unfit for business, see Job 5:26; or they had not the endowments of old age, the experience, wisdom, and prudence of ancient persons, to contrive, conduct, and manage affairs, or direct in the management of them, which would make up for lack of strength and labour. Ben Gersom, Bar Tzemach, and others, interpret the word of time, or the time of life, that was perished or lost in them; their whole course of life, being spent in sloth and idleness, was all lost time.

Copyright Statement
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 30:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-30.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Yea, whereto [might] the strength of their hands [profit] me, in whom old age was c perished?

(c) That is, their fathers died of hunger before they came to age.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 30:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-30.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

If their fathers could be of no profit to me, much less the sons, who are feebler than their sires; and in whose case the hope of attaining old age is utterly gone, so puny are they (Job 5:26) [Maurer]. Even if they had “strength of hands,” that could be now of no use to me, as all I want in my present affliction is sympathy.

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.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 30:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-30.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 30:2 Yea, whereto [might] the strength of their hands [profit] me, in whom old age was perished?

Ver. 2. Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me] For, to say the truth (thus Beza here paraphraseth), the strength of those young striplings could not have stood me in any stead at all; and as for the old age of their fathers, it were such, that, having spent the greatest and best part of their life partly in idleness, and partly in divers wicked and lewd pranks, they might worthily seem to have lived in vain all that while. Thus he. The Greeks say, Eργα νεων, and the Latins, Iuniores ad labores, young men are fit for hard labour, because strong and lusty. But these Sanuiones in the text were, through idleness, mere nullities in the world, superfluities in the earth, Jeremiah’s rotten girdle, good for nothing but to devour victuals; vermin, apes, monkeys, their whole life was to eat and drink (when they could come by it), and sleep, and sport, and fleer, jeer at God’s afflicted, with words as full of scorn as profane wit or rancoured malice can make them. These are excrements in human society; pests, the Scripture styleth them, Psalms 1:1 ( λοιμοι. Septuag.).

In whom old age was perished?] Their fathers also were old dottrels, in ipsa senectute, senectute carentes, old, but not wise (Moriae Encore.); like the Brabanti, who are said to be the older the foolisher. Some men live long, but are good for little. Non ille diu vixit, sed diu fuit, saith Seneca of somebody, He hath not lived long, but only been long; as a ship in a storm, he hath been tossed much, but sailed nothing. Those old men who have not gotten wisdom by long experience are not worthy of their years; their old age is perished, and their honour forfeited. The Vulgate rendereth it, They were reckoned unworthy of life itself: Depontani.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 30:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-30.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 30:2. Yea, whereto might the strength, &c.— For of what use was the labour of their hands to me, since all life was destroyed in them? Heath. Houbigant renders the last clause, When all their health or strength was worn out: and he renders the next verse, They led a solitary life in hunger and thirst: they fled into the desart: they sought out waste solitudes.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 30:2". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-30.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Nor was it strange that I did, or would. or might refuse to take them into any of my meanest services, because they were utterly impotent, and therefore unserviceable.

In whom old age was perished; or, lost; either,

1. Because they never attain to it, but are consumed by their lusts or cut off for their wickedness by the just hand of God, or men, in the midst of their days. Or,

2. Because they had so wasted their strength and spirits by their evil courses, that when they came to old age, they were feeble and decrepit, and useless for any labour. Or,

3. Because they had not that prudence and experience which is proper and usual in that age, by which they might have been useful, if not for work, yet to oversee and direct others in their work. But the words may be thus rendered, in whom vigorous age was perished, i.e. who were grown impotent for service. For the word here rendered old age, is used only here and Job 5:26, where also it may be so rendered, Thou shalt come to thy grave in a vigorous or mature age, having the rigour of youth even in thine old age, and until thy death, as Moses had. And if this word do signify old age, yet it signifies not every, but only a flourishing and vigorous, old age; as the Hebrews note, and the word may seem to imply; whence the LXX. interpreters also render it perfection, to wit, of age, and of thee endowments belonging to age.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 30:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-30.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2.Old age — Equivalent to manly vigour, the maturity of strength. These wretches are so eaten out by vice, or worn away by want and wretchedness, that all hope of old age has perished.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 30:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-30.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 30:2. Yea, whereto might their hands profit me? — Nor was it strange that I did, or might refuse to take them into any of my meanest services, being utterly impotent and unfit for any business; in whom old age was perished — Who were grown no wiser for being old. Or, rather, who had so wasted their strength and spirits by their evil courses, that when they came to old age they were debilitated, feeble, and useless for any labour. Accordingly, Houbigant interprets the clause, When all their health or strength was worn out; and others render it, In whom vigorous age was perished; that is, who were grown useless for service. For the word כלח, chelach, here rendered old age, is used only here and Job 5:26, where also it may be so rendered, Thou shalt come to thy grave in a vigorous, or mature age, having the vigour of youth even in thy old age, and until thy death, as Moses had. And if this word do signify old age, yet it signifies not every, but only a flourishing and healthful old age; as the Hebrews note, and the word may seem to imply; whence the LXX. also render it perfection, namely, of age, and of the endowments belonging to age.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 30:2". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-30.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

And they. Hebrew, "Their old age is perished." They were good for nothing all their lives. (Calmet)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 30:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-30.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Such people are useless and weak, unfit and unable to do hard work, that is, unwilling to work hard. It could be that Job had actually tried hiring some of these men and found them absolutely useless. No physical stamina.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 30:2". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-30.html. 1999-2014.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished?

If their fathers could be of no profit to me, much less the sons, who are feebler than their sires; and in whose case the hope of attaining old age [ kaalach (Hebrew #3624)] (Job 5:26, similarly) is utterly gone, so puny are they (Maurer). Even if they had "strength of hands," that could be now of no use to me, as all I want in my present affliction is sympathy. But they have not even strength. Umbreit translates the latter clause, 'With them even old age must perish:' so inhuman are they that aged men, whose sufferings ought to excite pity, are allowed to perish near them without a helping hand!

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 30:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-30.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) Whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, is the description of the fathers; Job 30:3 seqq. describes their children. The people here spoken of seem to have been somewhat similar to those known to the ancients as Troglodytes (Herod. iv. 183, &c.), the inhabitants of caves, who lived an outcast life and had manners and customs of their own. They are desolate with want and famine. They flee into the wilderness on the eve of wasteness and desolation, or when all is dark (yester night), waste, and desolate. It is evident that Job must have been familiar with a people of this kind, an alien and proscribed race living in the way he mentions.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 30:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-30.html. 1905.