|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:17-22 Job's condition was very deplorable; but he had the testimony of his conscience for him, that he never allowed himself in any gross sin. No one was ever more ready to acknowledge sins of infirmity. Eliphaz had charged him with hypocrisy in religion, but he specifies prayer, the great act of religion, and professes that in this he was pure, though not from all infirmity. He had a God to go to, who he doubted not took full notice of all his sorrows. Those who pour out tears before God, though they cannot plead for themselves, by reason of their defects, have a Friend to plead for them, even the Son of man, and on him we must ground all our hopes of acceptance with God. To die, is to go the way whence we shall not return. We must all of us, very certainly, and very shortly, go this journey. Should not then the Saviour be precious to our souls? And ought we not to be ready to obey and to suffer for his sake? If our consciences are sprinkled with his atoning blood, and testify that we are not living in sin or hypocrisy, when we go the way whence we shall not return, it will be a release from prison, and an entrance into everlasting happiness.
Verse 20. - My friends scorn me; literally, my scorners are my companions; i.e. I have to live with those who scorn me (comp. ch. 30:1-13). But mine eye poureth out tears unto God. It is not to his "friends" or "companions," or "comforters," or any human aid, that Job turns in his distress. God alone is his Refuge. Forced by his woes to pass his time in weeping and mourning (see ver. 16), it is to God that his heart turns, to God that he "pours out his tears." Hardly as he thinks God to have used him, bitterly as he sometimes ventures to complain, yet the idea never crosses him of looking for help or sympathy to any other quarter, of having recourse to any other support or stay. "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" (Job 13:15), expresses the deepest feeling of his heart, the firmost principle of his nature. Nothing overrides it. Even "out of the depths" his soul cries to the Lord (see Psalm 130:1).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
My friends scorn me,.... Not that they scoffed at his afflictions and calamities, and at his diseases and disorders, that would have been very brutish and inhuman, but at his words, the arguments and reasons he made use of to defend himself with, see Job 12:4;
but mine eye poureth out tears unto God; in great plenty, because of his very great sorrows and distresses, both inward and outward; and it was his mercy, that when his friends slighted and neglected him, yea, bore hard upon him, and mocked at him, that he had a God to go to, and pour out not only his tears, but all his complaints, and even his very soul unto him, from whom he might hope for relief; and what he said, when he did this, is as follows.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. Hebrew, "are my scorners"; more forcibly, "my mockers—my friends!" A heart-cutting paradox [Umbreit]. God alone remains to whom he can look for attestation of his innocence; plaintively with tearful eye, he supplicates for this.
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