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Job complains of the hardships he was under, ver. 1 - 7.
Pleads with God, that he is his workmanship, ver. 8 - 13.
Complains again, that God deals severely with him, ver. 14 - 17.
Comforts himself with the thoughts of death, ver. 18 - 22.
1: Shall I - Shall I give over complaining?
2: Condemn - Or, pronounce me not to be a wicked man, neither
deal with me as such, as I confess thou mightest do in rigorous
justice: O discover my integrity by removing this stroke, for which
my friends condemn me. Wherefore - For what ends and reasons, and for
what sins; for I am not conscious to myself of any peculiar sins by
which I have deserved to be made the most miserable of all men.
When God afflicts, he contends with us: when he contends with us,
there is always a reason for it. And it is desirable to know, what
that reason is, that we may forsake whatever he has a controversy
with us for.
3: Good - Dost thou take any pleasure in it? Far be it from Job,
to think that God did him wrong. But he is at a loss to reconcile his
providences with his justice. And so other good men have often been,
and will be, until the day shall declare it.
4: Eyes of faith - No. Eyes of flesh cannot see in the dark: but
darkness hideth not from God. Eyes of flesh are but in one place at a
time, and can see but a little way. But the eyes of the Lord are in
every place, and run to and fro thro' the whole earth. Eyes of
flesh will shortly be darkened by age, and shut up by death. But
the eyes of God are ever the same, nor does his sight ever decay.
As man - Man sees the outside only, and judges by appearances: but
thou seest mine heart.
5: Man's - Man's time is short and uncertain, and therefore he must
improve it, and diligently search out the crimes of malefactors, lest
by death he lose the opportunity of doing justice: but thou art eternal,
and seest at one view all mens hearts, and all their actions present
and to come; and therefore thou dost not need to proceed with me in this
manner, by making so long a scrutiny into my heart and life.
6: Searchest - Keeping me so long upon the rack, to compel me to
7: Wicked - An hypocrite, as my friends account me. Deliver - But
thou art the supreme ruler of the world; therefore I must wait thy
time, and throw myself on thy mercy, in submission to thy sovereign will.
9: Clay - As a potter makes a vessel of clay; so this may note both
the frailty of man's nature, which of itself decays and perishes, and
doth not need such violent shocks to overthrow it; and the excellency
of the Divine artifice commended from the meanness of the materials;
which is an argument why God should not destroy it. Again - I must die
by the course of nature, and therefore while I do live, give me some ease
10: As milk - Thus he modestly and accurately describes God's
admirable work in making man out of a small and liquid, and as it
were milky substance, by degrees congealed and condensed into that
exquisite frame of man's body.
11: Clothed - Covered my inward and more noble parts; which are
first formed. So he proceeds in describing man's formation gradually.
Bones - The stay and strength of the body; and some of them, as the
skull and ribs, enclose and defend its vital parts.
12: Life - Thou didst not only give me a curious body, but also a
reasonable soul: thou didst at first give me life, and then maintain
it in me; both when I was in the womb (which is a marvellous work of
God) and afterward when I was unable to do anything to preserve my own
life. Favour - Thou didst not give mere life, but many other favours,
such as nourishment by the breast, education, knowledge, and instruction.
Visitation - The care of thy providence watching over me for my good, and
visiting me in mercy. Preserved - My life, which is liable to manifold
dangers, if God did not watch over us every day and moment. Thou hast
hitherto done great things for me, given me life, and the blessings of
life, and daily deliverances: and wilt thou now undo all that thou hast
done? And shall I who have been such an eminent monument of thy mercy,
now be a spectacle of thy vengeance.
13: Hid - Both thy former favours and thy present frowns. Both are
according to thy own will, and therefore undoubtedly consistent, however
they seem. When God does what we cannot account for, we are bound to
believe, there are good reasons for it hid in his heart. It is not
with us, or in our reach to assign the cause; but I know this is
14: Markest - If I am a wicked man, I cannot hide it from thee; and
thou wilt punish me for it.
15: Wicked - An hypocrite, as my friends esteem me. Righteous - An
upright man; so whether good or bad, all comes to one. Yet - Yet I have
no comfort, or hopes of any good. Confusion - I am confounded within
myself, not knowing what to say or do. Let my extremity move thee to
pity, and help me.
16: Lion - Which hunteth after his prey with great eagerness, and
when he overtakes it, falls upon it with great fury. Returnest - The lion
tears its prey speedily, and so ends its torments; but thou renewest my
calamities again and again, and makest my plagues wonderful both for
kind and extremity, and continuance.
17: Witnesses - Thy judgments, which are the evidences both of my
sins, and of thy wrath. Indignation - My miseries are the effects of
thine anger. Army - Changes may denote the various kinds, and an
army the great number of his afflictions.
20: Cease - My life is short, and of itself hastens to an end, there
is no need that thou shouldest grudge me some ease for so small a moment.