|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 22. - When a few years are come; literally, a number of years, which generally means a small number. I shall go the way whence I shall not return. This verse would more fitly begin the following chapter, which opens in a similar strain, with an anticipation of the near approach of death
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When a few years are come,.... As the years of man's life are but few at most, and Job's years, which were yet to come, still fewer in his apprehension; or "years of number" (m), that are numbered by God, fixed and determined by him, Job 14:5; or being few are easily numbered:
then I shall go the way whence I shall not return; that is, go the way of all flesh, a long journey; death itself is meant, which is a going out of this world into another, from whence there is no return to this again, to the same place, condition, circumstances, estate, and employment as now; otherwise there will be a resurrection from the dead, the bodies will rise out of the earth, and souls will be brought again to be united with them, but not to be in the same situation here as now: this Job observes either as a kind of solace to him under all his afflictions on himself, and from his friends, that in a little time it would be all over with him; or as an argument to hasten the pleading of his cause, that his innocence might be cleared before he died; and if this was not done quickly, it would be too late.
(m) "anni numeri", Montanus, Vatablus, Bolducius; "numbered days", Broughton; so Tigurine version.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. few—literally, "years of number," that is, few, opposed to numberless (Ge 34:30).
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