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Job’s Present Misery
Job bitterly contrasts his present with his past condition, as described in Job 29. It must be borne in mind that Job was now outcast and beggared.
1-8. Job complains that he is insulted by abject outcasts, the class of broken men who are expelled from respectable tribes and live by thieving. They are common E. of Jordan in the nomadic regions.
2b. RV ’Men in whom ripe age’ (or vigour) ’is perished.’
3. Solitary] RV ’gaunt.’
Flying, etc.] render, ’Fugitives in the desert on the eve of want and ruin.’
4. Render, ’They pluck salt-wort’ (a plant sometimes eaten by the abjectly poor) ’among the bushes, and the roots of the white broom to warm them.’ This broom is a distinctive shrub of the southern desert hills: cp. 1 Kings 19:4; RM.
7. Render, ’They snore under bushes and huddle under thorny shrubs.’
8b. RY ’They were scourged out of the land.’
9-14. A description of a poor old man mobbed and worried by the rabble. Or possibly 11-15 refers to God as assailing him with troops of afflictions. The Heb. is very obscure.
11. RV renders, ’For he hath loosed his cord, and afflicted me, and they have cast off the bridle before me.’ RM gives another reading, ’my cord (or bowstring).’ Perhaps ’loosed my bowstring’ is the best of these alternatives: cp. Job 29:20. Conder suggests,’ For they spy the (tent) door and insult me, and stretch out a headstall before my face.’ This was an insult and one which is still customary. The headstall means that the man is regarded as an ass.
12. Conder suggests, ’The brood (of boys) stand upon my right hand (an insult, for the place of honour was on the right hand). They trip up my feet and jostle me on the dangerous paths.’ They no longer make room for him. The last clause is more usually regarded as a metaphor from a siege; so RV ’And they cast up against me their ways of destruction.’
13. They have no helper] Perhaps we should read, ’There is none to check them.’
15. My soul] RV ’my honour.’
16-31. Job laments his misery of mind and body, and the severity of God.
17. Are pierced] by acute pain. Sinews] render, ’gnawing pains.’
18. Changed] lit. ’disfigured.’ His complaint causes painful changes in his appearance.
20. Regardest me not] rather, ’lookest at me,’ with indifference to his sufferings.
22. Figurative of the storm of God’s anger. Dissolvest my substance] RV’ dissolvest me in the tempest.’
23. House appointed] RM ’house of meeting.’ Job is convinced that his sufferings can only end in death.
24. Render, ’Doth not a sinking man stretch out his hand, and cry out in his calamity?’
27a. Figurative of his agitated condition.
27b. Prevented me] RV ’are come upon me.’
28a. RM ’I go blackened, but not by the sun’; the result perhaps of his disease: see Job 30:30.
28b. RV ’I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.’
29. Dragons] RV ’jackals.’
Owls] lit. ’daughters of screeching.’ These are animals associated with desolate places: cp. Isaiah 13:21, Isaiah 13:22.
3oa. RV ’My skin is black, and falleth from.me.’
31. Organ] RV ’pipe.’ Job’s happiness is turned to sorrow.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Job 30". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27