Job 3:17
There the wicked cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) There—i.e., in the grave, the place indicated, but not distinctly expressed.

Job 3:17. There the wicked cease from troubling — In the grave the great oppressors and troublers of the world cease from their vexatious rapines and murders; and there the weary be at rest — Those who were here molested, and tired out with their tyrannies, oppressions, and injuries, now quietly sleep with them.3:11-19 Job complained of those present at his birth, for their tender attention to him. No creature comes into the world so helpless as man. God's power and providence upheld our frail lives, and his pity and patience spared our forfeited lives. Natural affection is put into parents' hearts by God. To desire to die that we may be with Christ, that we may be free from sin, is the effect and evidence of grace; but to desire to die, only that we may be delivered from the troubles of this life, savours of corruption. It is our wisdom and duty to make the best of that which is, be it living or dying; and so to live to the Lord, and die to the Lord, as in both to be his, Ro 14:8. Observe how Job describes the repose of the grave; There the wicked cease from troubling. When persecutors die, they can no longer persecute. There the weary are at rest: in the grave they rest from all their labours. And a rest from sin, temptation, conflict, sorrows, and labours, remains in the presence and enjoyment of God. There believers rest in Jesus, nay, as far as we trust in the Lord Jesus and obey him, we here find rest to our souls, though in the world we have tribulation.There the wicked cease - from "troubling." In the grave - where kings and princes and infants lie. This verse is often applied to heaven, and the language is such as will express the condition of that blessed world. But as used by Job it had no such reference. It relates only to the grave. It is language which beautifully expresses the condition of the dead, and the "desirableness" even of an abode in the tomb. They who are there, are free from the vexations and annoyances to which people are exposed in this life. The wicked cannot torture their limbs by the fires of persecution, or wound their feelings by slander, or oppress and harass them in regard to their property, or distress them by thwarting their plans, or injure them by impugnlug their motives. All is peaceful and calm in the grave, and "there" is a place where the malicious designs of wicked people cannot reach us. The object of this verse and the two following is! to show the "reasons" why it was desirable to be in the grave, rather than to live and to suffer the ills of this life. We are not to suppose that Job referred exclusively to his own case in all this. tie is describing, in general, the happy condition of the dead, and we have no reason to think that he had been particularly annoyed by wicked people. But the pious often are, and hence, it should be a matter of gratitude that there is one place, at least, where the wicked cannot annoy the good; and where the persecuted, the oppressed, and the slandered may lie down in peace.

And there the weary be at rest - Margin, "Wearied in strength." The margin is in accordance with the Hebrew. The meaning is, those whose strength is exhausted; who are worn down by the toils and eares of life, and who feel the need of rest. Never was more beautiful language employed than occurs in this verse. What a charm such language throws even over the grave - like strewing flowers, and planting roses around the tomb! Who should fear to die, if prepared, when such is to be the condition of the dead? Who is there that is not in some way troubled by the wicked - by their thoughtless, ungodly life; by persecution, contempt, and slander? compare 2 Peter 2:8; Psalm 39:1. Who is there that is not at some time weary with his load of care, anxiety, and trouble? Who is there whose strength does not become exhausted, and to whom rest is not grateful and refreshing? And who is there, therefore, to whom, if prepared for heaven, the grave would not be a place of calm and grateful rest? And though true religion will not prompt us to wish that we had lain down there in early childhood, as Job wished, yet no dictate of piety is violated when "we" look forward with calm delight to the time when we may repose where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary be at rest. O grave, thou art a peaceful spot! Thy rest is calm: thy slumbers are sweet.

Nor pain, nor grief, nor anxious fear

Invade thy bounds. No mortal woes

Can reach the peaceful sleeper here,

While angels watch the soft repose.

So Jesus slept; God's dying Son

Passed through the grave, and blest the bed.

17. the wicked—the original meaning, "those ever restless," "full of desires" (Isa 57:20, 21).

the weary—literally, "those whose strength is wearied out" (Re 14:13).

There, i.e. in the grave, which though not expressed, yet is clearly implied in the foregoing verses.

The wicked cease from troubling; the great oppressors and troublers of the world cease from all those vexations, rapines, and murders which here they procured.

There the weary be at rest; those who were here molested and tired out with their tyrannies, now quietly sleep with them, or by them. There the wicked cease from troubling,.... At death, and in the grave; such who have been like the troubled sea, that cannot rest, have always been either devising or doing mischief while living, in the grave can do neither; there is no work nor device there; such who are never easy, and cannot sleep unless they do mischief, when dead have no power to do any, and are quite still and inactive; such who have been troublers of good men, as profane persons by their ungodly lives, false teachers by their pernicious doctrines and blasphemies, cruel persecutors by their hard speeches, bitter calumnies and reproaches, and severe usage; those, when they die themselves, cease from giving further trouble, or when the righteous die, they can disturb them no more; yea, a good man at death is not only no more troubled by wicked men, but no more by his own wicked heart, nor any more by that wicked one Satan; there and then all these cease from giving him any further molestation:

and there the weary be at rest; wicked men, either who here tire and weary themselves with committing sin, to which they are slaves and drudges, and especially with persecuting and troubling the saints, shall rest front such acts of sin and wickedness, of which they will be no more capable; or else good men, who are weary of sin, and long to be rid of it, to whom it is a burden, and under which they groan, and are weary of the troubles and afflictions they meet with in the world; and what with one thing and another are weary of their lives, and desire to depart and be with Christ; these at death and in the grave are at rest, their bodies from toil and labour, and from all painful disorder, and pressing afflictions, and from all the oppressions and vexations of wicked and ungodly men; their souls rest in the arms of Jesus, from sin and all consciousness of it, from the temptations of Satan, from all doubts and fears, and every spiritual enemy, by whom they can be no more annoyed: some render the words, "there rest the labours of strength" (u): such toils are over that break the strength of men; or "the labours of violence" (w), which are imposed upon them through violence, by cruel and imperious men; but at death and in the grave will cease and be no more, even labour of all sorts; see Revelation 14:13.

(u) "labores roboris", Michaelis. (w) "Labores violentiae", Schmidt.

There the wicked {l} cease from troubling; and there the weary be at rest.

(l) That is, by death the cruelty of the tyrants has ceased.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. cease from troubling] That is, probably, not from troubling others, but from the unquiet of their own evil. Job 3:17-19 contain the two main ideas, first, that all, evil and good, great and small, are the same in the place of the dead; and second, that this common condition is one of profound rest. Even the wicked there are no more agitated by the turbulence of their passions. Comp. Isaiah 57:20.

the weary] lit. the wearied as to strength, the exhausted.Verse 17. - There. The word has no expressed antecedent, but the general tenor of the passage supplies one. "There" is equivalent to "in the grave." The wicked cease from troubling; i.e." cease from their state of continual perturbation and unrest" (comp. Isaiah 57:20, "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt "). This is their condition, so long as they live; nothing satisfies them; they are always in trouble themselves, and always causing trouble to others. In the grave alone do they rest, or seem to rest. And there the weary be at rest; literally, the weary in strength or "in respect of strength;" i.e. those whose strength is utterly exhausted and worn out. Here Job undoubtedly alludes to himself. He looks to the grave as his only refuge, the only hope he has of recovering peace and tranquillity. 10 Because it did not close the doors of my mother's womb,

Nor hid sorrow from my eyes.

11 Why did I not die from the womb,

Come forth from the womb and expire?

12 Why have the knees welcomed me?

And why the breasts, that I should suck?

The whole strophe contains strong reason for his cursing the night of his conception or birth. It should rather have closed (i.e., make the womb barren, to be explained according to 1 Samuel 1:5; Genesis 16:2) the doors of his womb (i.e., the womb that conceived concepit him), and so have withdrawn the sorrow he now experiences from his unborn eyes (on the extended force of the negative, vid., Ges. 152, 3). Then why, i.e., to what purpose worth the labour, is he then conceived and born? The four questions, Job 3:11., form a climax: he follows the course of his life from its commencement in embryo (מרהם, to be explained according to Jeremiah 20:17, and Job 10:18, where, however, it is מן local, not as here, temporal) to the birth, and from the joy of his father who took the new-born child upon his knees (comp. Genesis 50:23) to the first development of the infant, and he curses this growing life in its four phases (Arnh., Schlottm.). Observe the consecutio temp. The fut. אמוּת has the signification moriebar, because taken from the thought of the first period of his conception and birth; so also ואגוע, governed by the preceding perf., the signification et exspirabam (Ges. 127, 4, c). Just so אינק, but modal, ut sugerem ea.

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