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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Job 10

Verses 1-22

Job’s Second Speech (concluded)

1-7. Job seeks the reason of his trial, and protests against God’s treatment as inconsistent with the natural relations between Creator and created, and with God’s knowledge of his innocence and inability to escape Him.

1. I will leave, etc.] RV ’I will give free course to my complaint.’

3. The work of thine hands] i.e. man, God’s creature.

4-6. ’Is God’s judgment liable to mistakes like that of frail man’ (eyes of flesh), ’or is His time so short that He is in a hurry to find Job guilty and to punish him?’ Observe that Job cannot altogether give up his conviction that God must be really just, although the reason of his suffering causes him the greatest perplexity.

7. Thou] RV ’although thou.’

8-17. Job dwells on God’s past goodness. Does he not owe to Him his existence and his preservation up to the present? Yet He had apparently purposed all along to destroy him in the end.

10, 11. The conception and growth of the infant. Curdled me] made him take solid form.

11. Fenced me] RV ’knit me together.’

12. Visitation] RM ’care.’

13. And these, etc.] RV ’Yet thou didst hide these things,’ etc. I know that this is witii thee] rather, ’I know that these things were with thee.’ Job concludes that even from his childhood God had purposed to afflict him, making him happy so that his misery might be deeper by contrast.

14, 15. Whether guilty or innocent he would be condemned.

15. If I be righteous, etc.] ’Were I righteous I must not lift up my head as an innocent man.’ I am full, etc.] RV ’being filled with ignominy, and looking upon my affliction.’ But a slight correction gives the very much better sense, ’drunken with affliction.’

16. Marvellous] in his persecutions; a sorry sequel to the marvel of creation (Job 38, 39).

17. Thy witnesses] Job’s afflictions, which seem to witness to his guilt. Changes and war, etc.] RM ’Host after host is against me.’

18-22. Job begs for a little respite before his death: cp. Psalms 39:13. Observe how appeal follows hard on accusation.

21, 22. Note the dreary, hopeless conception of the dim shadowland of death.

It should be observed that in spite of the rash and despairing utterances to which Job in his misery gives vent in Job 9, 10, his position is one of religious perplexity, rather than of reasoned doubt. Calmer and more hopeful views soon appear, and the conviction that God will restore him to His favour and justify him comes out more and more clearly as we read on: cp. Job 14:13; Job 16:19; Job 19:25; Job 27:1-6. ’Job never entirely gave up bis faith in God, though, like Jacob, he wrestled with Him. And, as in that case, the issue shows that God was not displeased with such an unburdening of the soul that still kept close to the strict line of truth’ (Bradley). ’Much of the interest of tins drama of the soul lies in the growth of a consciousness in Job that God’s present anger does not represent His inmost self. It is a mood that will pass, a dark cloud eclipsing His truest character. This thought does not, however, emerge as yet’ (Peake).

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Job 10". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.