|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 28. - And he. The change of person is very strange, but not unknown to the Hebrew idiom. It is impossible that any one but Job himself can be meant. As a rotten thing consumeth, as a garment that is moth-eaten. An allusion to the character of the disease from which he is suffering.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he as a rotten thing consumeth,.... This by some Jewish writers (z) is referred to and connected with the driven leaf and dry stubble Job compares himself to, Job 13:25; and so the sense is, that his body, which, for its frailty and weakness, is compared to such things, is like any rotten thing, a rotten tree, as Ben Melech; or any thing else that is rotten, that is consuming and wasting away, as Job's body was, being clothed with worms and clods of dust:
as a garment that is moth eaten; a woollen garment, which gathers dust, out of which motifs arise; for dust, in wool and woollen garments produces moths, as Aristotle (a) and Pliny (b) observe; and a garment eaten by them, slowly, gradually, and insensibly, yet certainly, decays, falls to pieces, becomes useless, and not to be recovered; such was Job's body, labouring under the diseases it did, and was every day more and more decaying, crumbling into dust, and just ready to drop into the grave; so that there was no need, and it might seem cruel, to lay greater and heavier afflictions on it: some interpreters make this "he" to be God himself who sometimes is as rottenness and a moth to men, in their persons, families, and estates; see Hosea 5:12.
(z) R. Levi, Ben Gersom, & Bar Tzemach. (a) Hist. Animal. l. 5. c. 32. (b) Nat. Hist. l. 11. c. 35.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
28. Job speaks of himself in the third person, thus forming the transition to the general lot of man (Job 14:1; Ps 39:11; Ho 5:12).
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