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Bible Commentaries
Job 6

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-30

Chapter 6

So Job responds to him and he says, Oh that my grief were thoroughly weighed, and my calamities laid in the balances together! ( Job 6:1-2 )

Now, of course, picturesque, you got to see it. In those days, the balances, the scales were always balances and they had the little weights that they would put on the one side and then, you know, the grapes or whatever you were buying were put on the other side. And when the balance came to be equal, then you had the talent, the weight of the talent, the talent of grapes and so forth. And you've got to see these balances. Now he said, "Oh that my calamities, my griefs were laid in the balance."

They would be heavier than the sands of the sea ( Job 6:3 ):

So you picture all of the sand of the sea put in the one side of the balance, and now you're pouring in Job's calamities and Job's grief and it balances up. I think he's exaggerating a little bit. "They would be heavier than the sand of the sea."

therefore my words are swallowed up. For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me. Does the wild donkey bray when he hath grass? or does the ox loweth over his fodder? Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg? The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat. Oh that I might have my request; and that God would just grant me the thing that I long for! ( Job 6:3-8 )

Oh, what is it, Job, that you request?

Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off! ( Job 6:9 )

And poor old Job, he's really in desperate straits. "I just wish God would grant me my request, the thing that I long for. And it's just that I be dead; I be cut off. I can't stand life anymore." And I'm certain that all of us have come to situations in our own lives that are so unsavory, so distasteful that there have been those same thoughts pass through. "Oh, that God would grant me my desire." But yet, I don't think that we always really think those thoughts sincerely. I think a lot of times we say that. "Oh, I wish I were dead." But we really don't mean it.

Like the fellow who was carrying his heavy load on a hot, hot day. And he finally came to this river. And he just sort of collapsed and he set the load down and he was just sitting there by the river, and he said, "Oh, death, death, please come, death." And he felt a tap on his shoulder and he looked up and there was death. It said, "Did you call me?" And he said, "Yes, would you mind helping me get this back on my back so I can get going again?" So we don't always mean what we say when we call for death or wish it was all over. But yet we feel that way sometimes, you know, at least for the moment of despair. And Job is expressing it himself. Now he's still, though, expressing about, he doesn't know what death is all about. "For if I were destroyed,"

Then should I yet have comfort; yes, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One. What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life? Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass? Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me? To him ( Job 6:10-14 )

Now he's talking to Eliphaz and to the whole speech that Eliphaz had given to him.

To him that is afflicted pity should be showed from his friend ( Job 6:14 );

Look, man, I need pity. I don't need someone to come and jump on my case at this point. I need pity.

My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away; Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid: What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place ( Job 6:15-17 ).

Now this is very picturesque and it's poetry. And thus, it's meant to be picturesque and he's just saying, "My friends are like ice or like snow. They appear to be friends, but when things get hot, they melt. They don't exist." I've had those kind of friends. They're called fair-weather friends. When things get hot, you'll never find them.

The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and perish ( Job 6:18 ).

Down to verse Job 6:21 :

For now you are nothing; you see my casting down, and you are afraid. Did I say unto you, Come to me? Give me a reward of your substance? Or, Deliver me from the enemy's hand? Redeem me from the hand of the mighty? ( Job 6:21-23 )

Job said, "Look, man, did I ask you to come around? Did I ask you for anything? Don't give me anymore. I'm tired of you. I didn't ask you for anything. I didn't say I want you to give me something." He said, "I didn't call for you." And then he went on to say,

Teach me, and I will hold my tongue ( Job 6:24 ):

Tell me something that's worthwhile and I'll be quiet. You haven't told me anything worthwhile.

and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove? ( Job 6:24-25 )

Boy, Job gets really cutting with his tongue.

Do you imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind? ( Job 6:26 )

Just a bag of wind, man, it just...you don't have anything to say of any value.

Yea, you overwhelm the fatherless, and you dig a pit for your friend. Now therefore be content, look on me; for it is evident unto you if I lie. Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it. Is there any iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things? ( Job 6:27-30 ) "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 6". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-6.html. 2014.
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