|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:23-28 Job begs to have his sins discovered to him. A true penitent is willing to know the worst of himself; and we should all desire to know what our transgressions are, that we may confess them, and guard against them for the future. Job complains sorrowfully of God's severe dealings with him. Time does not wear out the guilt of sin. When God writes bitter things against us, his design is to make us bring forgotten sins to mind, and so to bring us to repent of them, as to break us off from them. Let young persons beware of indulging in sin. Even in this world they may so possess the sins of their youth, as to have months of sorrow for moments of pleasure. Their wisdom is to remember their Creator in their early days, that they may have assured hope, and sweet peace of conscience, as the solace of their declining years. Job also complains that his present mistakes are strictly noticed. So far from this, God deals not with us according to our deserts. This was the language of Job's melancholy views. If God marks our steps, and narrowly examines our paths, in judgment, both body and soul feel his righteous vengeance. This will be the awful case of unbelievers, yet there is salvation devised, provided, and made known in Christ.
Verse 27. - Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks (comp. Job 33:11). The punishment is said to be still in use among the Bedouin Arabs. It was well known to the Israelites (Proverbs 7:22; Jeremiah 20:2; Jeremiah 29:26), to the Greeks (Herod., 9:87), and to the Romans (Acts 16:24). And lookest narrowly unto all my paths. Not allowing me to escape thee. Thou settest a print upon the heels of my feet; rather, upon the soles of my feet. The "print" intended is probably a mark which the stocks were in the habit of making (see Professor Sayee, in Sunday at Home December, 1890, p. 125).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks,.... Which is one kind of punishment of offenders, and a preservation of them from making their escape; and is a security and reservation of them for further punishment sometimes; and so Job looked upon his afflictions as a punishment for he knew not what, and with which he was so surrounded and enclosed, that there was no getting out of them any more than a man can whose feet are set fast in the stocks; and that he was here kept for greater afflictions still, which he dreaded. Aben Ezra interprets it, "thou puttest my feet in lime"; and this is followed by others (n), suggesting, as a man's steps in lime are marked and easily discerned, so were his by the Lord; but this seems to be foreign from the mind of Job, who would not make such a concession as this, as if his steps taken amiss were so visible:
and lookest narrowly into all my paths; so that there was no possibility of escaping out of his troubles and afflictions; so strict a watch was kept over him; see Job 7:19; according to Ben Gersom, this refers to the stocks, "it keeps all my ways", kept him within from going abroad about the business of life, and so may refer to the disease of his body, his boils and ulcers, which kept him at home, and suffered him not to stir out of doors; but the former sense is best:
thou settest a print upon the heels of my feet; either it, the stocks, made a mark upon his heels, with which they were pressed hard, as Gersom; or rather God set one upon them, afflicting him very sorely and putting him to an excruciating pain, such as is felt by criminals when heavy blows are laid upon the soles of their feet, to which the allusion may be; or else the sense is, that he followed him closely by the heels, that whenever he took a step, it was immediately marked, and observed by the Lord, as if he trod in his steps, and set his own foot in the mark that was left.
(n) "Calce tinxisti pedes meos", Gussetius, p. 550. so some in Ben Melech.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27. stocks—in which the prisoner's feet were made fast until the time of execution (Jer 20:2).
lookest narrowly—as an overseer would watch a prisoner.
print—Either the stocks, or his disease, marked his soles (Hebrew, "roots") as the bastinado would. Better, thou drawest (or diggest) [Gesenius] a line (or trench) [Gesenius] round my soles, beyond which I must not move [Umbreit].
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