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We have here Job cursing his birth day, and complaining that he was
born, ver. 1 - 10.
Complaining that he did not die as soon as he was born, ver. 11 - 19.
Complaining that his life was continued, now he was in misery,
ver. 20 - 26.
1: His day - His birth - day, in vain do some endeavour to excuse this
and the following speeches of Job, who afterwards is reproved by God,
and severely accuseth himself for them, (Job 38:2,40:4,13:3,6).
And yet he does not proceed so far as to curse God, but makes the devil
a liar: but although he does not break forth into direct reproaches of
God, yet he makes indirect reflections upon his providence. His curse
was sinful, both because it was vain, being applied to a thing, which was
not capable of blessing and cursing, and because it cast a blame upon God
for bringing that day, and for giving him life on that day.
3: Let the day - Let the remembrance of that day be utterly lost.
4: Darkness - I wish the sun had never risen upon that day, or, which
is all one, that it had never been; and whensoever that day returns, I
wish it may be black, and gloomy, and uncomfortable. Regard - From heaven,
by causing the light of the sun which is in heaven to shine upon it.
5: Death - A black and dark shadow like that of the place of the
dead, which is a land of darkness. Slain - Take away its beauty and
glory. Terrify - That is, men in it. Let it be always observed as
a frightful and dismal day.
6: Darkness - Constant and extraordinary darkness, without the least
glimmering of light from the moon or stars. Be joined - Reckoned as one,
or a part of one of them.
8: The day - Their birth - day: when their afflictions move them to
curse their own birth - day, let them remember mine also, and bestow some
curses upon it. Mourning - Who are full of sorrow, and always ready to
pour out their cries, and tears, and complaints.
9: The stars - Let the stars, which are the glory and beauty
of the night, be covered with thick darkness, and that both in the
evening twilight, when the stars begin to shine; and also in the
farther progress of the night, even 'till the morning dawns. Look - Let
its darkness be aggravated with the disappointment of its expectations
of light. He ascribes sense or reasoning to the night, by a poetical
fiction, usual in all writers. Dawning - Heb. the eye - lids of the day,
the morning - star which ushers in the day, and the beginning, and progress
of the morning light, let this whole natural day, consisting of night and
day, be blotted out of the catalogue of days.
10: It - The night or the day: to which those things are ascribed
which were done by others in them, as is frequent in poetical writings.
Womb - That it might never have brought me forth. Nor hid - Because it
did not keep me from entering into this miserable life, and seeing,
or experiencing, these bitter sorrows.
12: The knees - Why did the midwife or nurse receive and lay me
upon her knees, and not suffer me to fall upon the bare ground, 'till
death had taken me out of this miserable world, into which their
cruel kindness hath betrayed me? Why did the breasts prevent me
from perishing through hunger, or supply me that should have what to
suck? Thus Job unthankfully despises these wonderful mercies of God
towards poor helpless infants.
14: Kings - I had then been as happy as the proudest monarchs, who
after all their great achievements and enjoyments, go down into their
graves. Built - Who to shew their wealth and power, or to leave behind
them a glorious name, rebuilt ruined cities, or built new cities and
palaces, in places where before there was mere solitude and wasteness.
16: Hidden - Undiscerned and unregarded. Born before the due time.
Been - In the land of the living.
17: There - In the grave. The wicked - The great oppressors and
troublers of the world cease from their vexations, rapins and murders.
Weary - Those who were here molested and tired out with their tyrannies,
now quietly sleep with them.
18: The oppressor - Or, taskmaster, who urges and forces them to
work by cruel threatenings and stripes. Job meddles not here with
their eternal state after death, of which he speaks hereafter, but
only their freedom from worldly troubles, which is the sole matter
of his present discourse.
19: Small and great - Persons of all qualities and conditions.
Are there - In the same place and state, all those distinctions being
forever abolished. A good reason, why those who have power should use
it moderately, and those that are in subjection should take it patiently.
20: Light - The light of life. Bitter - Unto those to whom life
itself is bitter and burdensome. Life is called light, because it
is pleasant and serviceable for walking and working; and this light
is said to be given us, because it would be lost, if it were not
daily renewed to us by a fresh gift.
21: Dig - Desire with as much earnestness as men dig for treasure:
but it is observable, Job durst not do anything to hasten or procure
his death: notwithstanding all his miseries, he was contented to
wait all the days of his appointed time, 'till his change came,(Job 14:14).
22: Glad, &c. - To be thus impatient of life, for the sake of the
trouble we meet with, is not only unnatural in itself, but ungrateful
to the giver of life, and shews a sinful indulgence of our own passion.
Let it be our great and constant care, to get ready for another world:
and then let us leave it to God, to order the circumstances of our removal
23: Hid - From him; who knows not his way, which way to turn
himself, what course to take to comfort himself in his miseries.
Hedged in - Whom God hath put as it were in a prison, so that he can
see no way or possibility of escape.
24: Before, &c. - Heb. before the face of my bread, all the time
I am eating, I fall into sighing and weeping, because I am obliged to
eat, and to support this wretched life, and because of my uninterrupted
pains of body and of mind, which do not afford me one quiet moment.
Roarings - My loud outcries, more befitting a lion than a man.
Poured out - With great abundance, and irresistible violence, and
incessant continuance, as waters flow in a river, or as they break
the banks, and overflow the ground.
25: Feared - Even in the time of my prosperity, I was full of fears,
considering the variety of God's providences, the changeableness of this
vain world, God's justice, and the sinfulness of all mankind. And these
fears of mine, were not in vain, but are justified by my present calamities.
26: Quiet - I did not misbehave myself in prosperity, abusing
it by presumption, and security, but I lived circumspectly, walking
humbly with God, and working out my salvation with fear and trembling.
Therefore in this sense also, his way was hid, he knew not why God
contended with him.