|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:14-22 Job did not deny that as a sinner he deserved his sufferings; but he thought that justice was executed upon him with peculiar rigour. His gloom, unbelief, and hard thoughts of God, were as much to be ascribed to Satan's inward temptations, and his anguish of soul, under the sense of God's displeasure, as to his outward trials, and remaining depravity. Our Creator, become in Christ our Redeemer also, will not destroy the work of his hands in any humble believer; but will renew him unto holiness, that he may enjoy eternal life. If anguish on earth renders the grave a desirable refuge, what will be their condition who are condemned to the blackness of darkness for ever? Let every sinner seek deliverance from that dreadful state, and every believer be thankful to Jesus, who delivereth from the wrath to come.
Verse 21. - Before I go whence I shall not return (comp. Job 7:9; and see 2 Samuel 12:23). Even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death. Job's idea of the receptacle of the dead, while it has some analogies with the Egyptian under-world, and even more with the Greek and Roman conceptions of Hades or Orcus, was probably derived from Babylonia, or Chaldea, on which the land that he inhabited bordered (Job 1:17). It was within the earth, consequently dark and sunless (compare the Umbrae of the Romans, and Euripides's νέκρων κευθμῶνα καὶ σκότου πύλας), deep (Job 11:8), dreary, fastened with belts and bars (Job 17:16). The Babylonians spoke of it as "the abode of darkness and famine, where earth was men's food, and their nourishment clay; where light was not seen, but in darkness they dwelt; where ghosts, like birds, fluttered their wings; and where, on the doors and on the door-posts, the dust lay undisturbed" (Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology, vol. 1. p. 118).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Before I go whence I shall not return,.... Before he went out of the world, the way of all flesh, to the grave, his long home, from whence there is no return to this world, and to the business and affairs of it; to a man's house, his family and his friends, to converse with them as before, there will be no return until the resurrection, which Job does not here deny, as some have thought; it was a doctrine he well understood, and strongly asserts in Job 19:26; but this must be understood in the same sense as in Job 7:9,
even to the land of darkness, and the shadow of death; which describes not the state of the damned, as some Popish interpreters, carry it; for Job had no thought nor fear of such a state; but the grave, which is called "a land", or country, it being large and spacious, and full of inhabitants; a land of "darkness", a very dark one, where the body separated from the soul is deprived of all light; where the sun, moon, and stars, are never seen; nor is there the least crevice that light can enter in at, or be seen by those that dwell in those shades, which are "the shadow of death" itself; deadly shades, thick and gross ones, the darkest shades, where death itself is, or dead men are, destitute of light and life; where no pleasure, comfort, and conversation, can be had; and therefore a land in itself most undesirable.
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