Job 30:18
By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it binds me about as the collar of my coat.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(18) My garment changed.—Some render “By His (i.e., God’s) great power the garment (of my skin) is disfigured;” and others, “With great effort must my garment be changed because of the sores to which it clings? It bindeth me about as closely as the collar of my coat.”

Job 30:18-19. By the great force of my disease, &c. — The words, of my disease, are not in the Hebrew, neither do they seem to be rightly supplied, but rather to obscure the sense of the clause, which, without any supplement, is literally rendered, With great force my garment is changed, for so this verb יתחפשׁ, jithchappesh, is used, 1 Kings 22:30. Thus the sense is, I cannot shift or put off my garment without great difficulty; the reason whereof is given in the following words: It bindeth me about as the collar of my coat — It cleaveth fast to me, being glued by that purulent matter which issues from my sores. He seems to allude to the fashion of the eastern outward garments, which were all of a piece, and had a strait mouth at the top, which was brought over the head and fastened close about the neck. Some, however, understand the clause figuratively, thus: By the great force, that is, the power of God, is my garment changed, that is, my condition is wholly altered; it bindeth me about, &c. — I am straitly bound in on every side with my sorrows and afflictions, as it were, with a collar; every part of me, from head to foot, is, as it were, wrapped round with pains; and all my limbs are, in a manner, bound with them. He hath cast me into the mire, &c. — I am reduced to the lowest and filthiest condition possible. Houbigant, who thinks that the idea here is taken from a man struggling with another, laying hold on his garment, and casting him into the mire, renders these two verses, With great force he layeth hold on my garment, and infolds me by the collar of my robe: He hath cast me into the mire, &c.30:15-31 Job complains a great deal. Harbouring hard thoughts of God was the sin which did, at this time, most easily beset Job. When inward temptations join with outward calamities, the soul is hurried as in a tempest, and is filled with confusion. But woe be to those who really have God for an enemy! Compared with the awful state of ungodly men, what are all outward, or even inward temporal afflictions? There is something with which Job comforts himself, yet it is but a little. He foresees that death will be the end of all his troubles. God's wrath might bring him to death; but his soul would be safe and happy in the world of spirits. If none pity us, yet our God, who corrects, pities us, even as a father pitieth his own children. And let us look more to the things of eternity: then the believer will cease from mourning, and joyfully praise redeeming love.By the great force of my disease - The words "of my disease" are not in the Hebrew. The usual interpretation of the passage is, that in consequence of the foul and offensive nature of his malady, his garment had become discolored or defiled - changed from being white and clear to filthiness and offensiveness. Some have understood it as referring to the skin, and as denoting that it was so affected with the leprosy, that he could scarcely be recognized. Umbreit supposes it to mean, "Through the omnipotence of God has my white robe of honor been changed into a narrow garment of grief" - trauerkleid. Dr. Good renders it, "From the abundance of the acrimony;" that is, of the fierce or acrimonious humor, "it is changed into a garment for me." Coverdale, "With all their power have they changed my garment, and girded me therewith, as it were with a coat." Prof. Lee, "With much violence doth my clothing bind me."

According to Schultens, it means, "My affliction puts itself on in the form of my clothing;" and the whole passage, that without and within, from the head to the feet, he was entirely diseased. His affliction was his outer garment, and it was his inner garment - his mantle and his tunic. The Hebrew is difficult. The phrase rendered "by the great force," means, literally, "by the multitude of strength" - and may refer to the strength of disease, or to the strength of God, or to the force with which his garment girded him. The word rendered "is changed" - יתחפשׂ yitchâphaś, is from חפשׂ châphaś, to seek, to search after in the Qal; in the Hithpael, the form used here, to let oneself be sought; to hide oneself; to disguise one's self; 1 Kings 20:38. According to this, it would mean that his garment was disquised; that is, its appearance was changed by the force of his disease. Gesenius. Jerome renders it, "In their multitude, my garment is consumed; the Septuagint, "With great force he took hold of my garment." Of these various interpretations, it is impossible to determine which is the correct one. The prevailing interpretation seems to be, that by the strength of his disease his garment was changed in its appearance, so as to become offensive, and yet this is a somewhat feeble sense to give to the passage. Perhaps the explanation of Schultens is the best, "By the greatness of power, pain or disease has become my garment; it girds me about like the mouth of my tunic." He has shown, by a great variety of instances, that it is common in Arabic poetry to compare pain, sickness, anxiety, etc., to clothing.

It bindeth me about as the collar of my coat - The collar of my tunic, or under garment. This was made like a shirt, to be gathered around the neck, and the idea is, that his disease fitted close to him, and was gathered close around him.

18. of my disease—rather, "of God" (Job 23:6).

garment changed—from a robe of honor to one of mourning, literally (Job 2:8; Joh 3:6) and metaphorically [Umbreit]. Or rather, as Schuttens, following up Job 30:17, My outer garment is changed into affliction; that is, affliction has become my outer garment; it also bindeth me fast round (my throat) as the collar of the inner coat; that is, it is both my inner and outer garment. Observe the distinction between the inner and outer garments. The latter refers to his afflictions from without (Job 30:1-13); the former his personal afflictions (Job 30:14-23). Umbreit makes "God" subject to "bindeth," as in Job 30:19.

My disease is so strong and prevalent, that it breaks forth every where in my body, in such plenty of purulent and filthy matter, that it infects and discolours my very garments. Others, By the great power of God

my garment is changed. In both these translations the words, of disease, and of God, are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied by the translators. But the words are by some not untruly nor unfitly rendered thus, without any supplement, With great force my garment is changed; for so this verb is used, 1 Kings 22:30. So the sense is, I cannot shift or put off my garment without great strength and difficulty; the reason whereof is rendered in the following words.

It bindeth me about; it cleaveth fast to me, being glued by that filthy matter issuing from my sores.

As the collar of my coat; as my collar girdeth in and cleaveth to my neck. He alludes to the fashion of the Eastern outward garments, which were seamless, and all of a piece, and had a straight mouth at the top, which was brought over the head, and contracted and fastened close about the neck. By the great force of my disease is my garment changed,.... Either the colour of it, through the purulent matter from his ulcers running down upon it, or penetrating through it; or by reason of it he was obliged to shift himself, and to have a change of raiment very frequently; or the supplement, "of my disease", may be left out, and the sense be, with great force, through main strength, and with much difficulty, his garment was changed, was got off from him, sticking so close to him, and another put on:

it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat; his disease encompassed him about on all sides as the collar or edge of his coat encompassed his neck, and cleaved as close, and was as tight unto him as that, and threatened him perhaps with a suffocation or strangling; see Job 7:15; the allusion is to garments used in the eastern countries, which were only open at top and bottom; at the top there was a hole to put the head through when put on, and a binding about it, and a button to it, or some such thing, which kept it tight about the neck; see Exodus 28:32.

By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
18. The verse is obscure.

the great force of my disease] Or, by his great power; i. e. God’s power, put forth in Job’s afflictions.

my garment changed] lit. disguised or disfigured.

it bindeth me] The meaning may be: it clingeth to me like the neck of my inner garment. The reference is supposed to be to his emaciated condition; his outer garment hangs on him disfigured, clinging to him like the neck or opening of the close-fitting inner tunic. The connexion and the phrase “by His great power,” i. e. the power that causes intolerable agonies, might suggest that the reference in the verse is to Job’s writhing under his pains till the clothes are twisted tightly about him.Verse 18. - By the great force of my disease is my garment changed; or, disfigured. The purulent discharge from his ulcers disfigured and made filthy his garment, which stiffened as the discharge dried, and clung to his frame. It bindeth me about as the collar of my coat. The whole garment clung to his body as closely as it is usual for a mall's collar, or "neck-hole" (Professor Lee), to cling about his throat. 9 And now I am become their song,

And a by-word to them.

10 They avoid me, they flee far from me,

And spare not my face with spitting.

11 For my cord of life He hath loosed, and afflicted me,

Therefore they let loose the bridle recklessly.

12 The rabble presses upon my right hand,

They thrust my feet away,

And cast up against me their destructive ways.

The men of whom Job complains in this strophe are none other than those in the preceding strophe, described from the side of their coarse and degenerate behaviour, as Job 24:4-8 described them from the side of the wrong which was practised against them. This rabble, constitutionally as well as morally degraded, when it comes upon Job's domain in its marauding expeditions, makes sport of the sufferer, whose former earnest admonitions, given from sympathizing anxiety for them, seemed to them as insults for which they revenge themselves. He is become their song of derision (נגינתם to be understood according to the dependent passage, Lamentations 3:14, and Psalm 69:13), and is למלּה to them, their θρύλλημα (lxx), the subject of their foolish talk (מלּה - Arab. mille, not equals melle, according to which Schultens interprets it, sum iis fastidio). Avoiding him, and standing at a distance from him, they make their remarks upon him; and if they come up to him, it is only for the sake of showing him still deeper scorn: a facie ejus non cohibent sputam. The expositors who explain that, contrary to all decent bearing, they spit in his presence (Eichh., Justi, Hirz., Vaih., Hlgst.), or with Fie! spit out before him (Umbr., Hahn, Schlottm.), overlook the fact of its being מפּני, not לפני. The expression as it stands can only affirm that they do not spare his face with spitting (Jer. correctly: conspuere non veruntur), so that consequently he is become, as he has complained in Job 17:6, a תּפת, an object of spitting (comp. also the declaration of the servant of Jehovah, Isaiah 50:6, which stands in close connection with this declaration of Job, according to previous explanations).

It now becomes a question, Who is the subj. in Job 30:11? The Chethib יתרו demands an attempt to retain the previous subj. Accordingly, most moderns explain: solvit unusquisque eorum funem suum, i.e., frenum suum, quo continebatur antea a me (Rosenm., Umbr., Stick., Vaih., Hlgst., and others), but it is to be doubted whether יתר can mean frenum; it signifies a cord, the string of a bow, and of a harp. The reconciliation of the signification redundantia, Job 22:20, and funis, is, in the idea of the root, to be stretched tight and long.

(Note: The Arab. verb watara shows its sensuous primary signification in Arab. watarun, יתר, cord, bow-string, harp-string (Engl. string): to stretch tight, to extend, so that the thing continues in one line. Hence then Arab. watrun, witrun, separate, unequal, singulus, impar, opp. Arab. šaf‛un, bini, par, just as fard, single, separate, unequal (opp. zaug, a pair, equal number), is derived from farada, properly, so to strain or stretch out, that the thing has no bends or folds; Greek εξαπλοῦν (as in the Shepherd of Hermas: ἐπάνω λεντίου ἐξηπλωμένον λίνον καρπάσινον), an original transitive signification still retained in low Arabic (vid., Bocthor under tendre and Dployer). Then from Arab. watara spring the secondary roots Arab. tatara and tarâ, which proceed from the VIII form (ittatara). The former (tatara) appears only in the Arab. adverb tatran and tatrâ, sigillatim, alii post alios, singly one after another, so that several persons or things form a row interrupted by intervals of space of time; the latter (tara) and its IV form (atra) are equivalent to wâtara, to be active at intervals, with pauses between, as the Arabs explain: "We say Arab. atrâ of a man when he so performs several acts which do not directly follow one another, that there is always a [Arab.] fatrat, intermissio, between two acts." Hence also תּרין, תּרתּין, duals of an assumed sing. תּר, singulus (um), תּרתּ singula, therefore prop. duo singuli (a), duae singulae, altogether parallel to the like meaning thinâni (ithnâni', thinaini (ithnaini), שׁנים; fem. thintâni (ithnatâni), thintaini (ithnataini), שׁתּים instead of שׁנתּים, from an assumed sing. thin-un (ithn-un), thint-un (ithnat-un), from Arab. tanâ, שׁנה, like bin (ibn), bint (ibnat), בּן, בּת ( equals בּנת, hence בּתּי) from Arab. banâ, בּנה.

The significations of watara which Freytag arranges under 1, 2, 3, 4, proceed from the transitive application of יתר, as the Italian soperchiare, soverchiare, from supra, to offend, insult; oltraggiare, outrager, from ultra; ὑβρίζειν from ὑπέρ. Similarly, Arab. tṭâwl ‛lı̂h and ‛stṭâl ‛lı̂h (form VI and X from ṭâl), to act haughtily towards any one, to make him feel one's superiority, properly to stretch one's self out over or against any one.

But in another direction the signif. to be stretched out goes into: overhanging, surpassing, projecting, to be superfluous, and to be left over, περιττὸν εἶναι, to exceed a number or bulk, superare (comp. Italian soperchiare as intrans.), περιεῖναι, ὑπερεῖναι; to prove, as result, gain, etc., περιεῖναι, etc. Similar is the development of the meaning of Arab. faḍala and of ṭâ'l, gain, use, from Arab. ṭâl, to be stretched out. In like manner, the German reich, reichlich rich, abundant, comes from the root reichen, recken to stretch, extend. - Fl.)

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