|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
28:1-11 Job maintained that the dispensations of Providence were regulated by the highest wisdom. To confirm this, he showed of what a great deal of knowledge and wealth men may make themselves masters. The caverns of the earth may be discovered, but not the counsels of Heaven. Go to the miners, thou sluggard in religion, consider their ways, and be wise. Let their courage and diligence in seeking the wealth that perishes, shame us out of slothfulness and faint-heartedness in labouring for the true riches. How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! How much easier, and safer! Yet gold is sought for, but grace neglected. Will the hopes of precious things out of the earth, so men call them, though really they are paltry and perishing, be such a spur to industry, and shall not the certain prospect of truly precious things in heaven be much more so?
Verse 4. - The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant. This passage is very obscure; but recent critics suggest, as its probable meaning, "He (i.e. the miner) breaketh open a shaft, away from where men inhabit" (see the Revised Version). The miner does not wish to be interfered with, and therefore sinks his shaft in some wild spot, far from the habitations of men. Even the waters forgotten of the foot; rather, they are forgotten of the foot; i.e. no one visits them; they are left alone; they are "forgotten of the foot" of the passer-by. They are dried up, they are gone away from men; rather, they hang swinging to and fro far from men. The descent of the shaft is made by a rope, to which they "hang swinging" all the time that they defend. As they have sought secrecy, all this takes place far from the haunts of men.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant,.... Or, "so that there is no inhabitant" (z); of the mine, as the miner may be said to be, who lives there continually; and, when a flood of water arises, which is an usual thing in mines, he is obliged to flee, and make haste to save his life:
even the waters forgotten of the foot; such as never any foot of man touched, or was acquainted with, being subterraneous water, and never seen with the eye of man before, and who before knew not there were such floods underground (a). A like figurative expression in Psalm 137:5;
they are dried up, they are gone away from men; though such a flood of waters rise apace, and flow in with great force, and threaten the miners' lives, and the ruin of their works; yet they are not discouraged, but by means of engines, pumps, and buckets, and such like things, draw up the waters, and clear the mines of them; and they are gone from the workmen, who return to their work again, and go on with their mining: and so sometimes spiritual miners are interrupted by a flood of Satan's temptations, the world's persecutions, and various afflictions; but, by the assistance of the spirit and grace of God, whereby a standard is lifted up against them, they get clear of them, and receive no hurt by them, but go on cheerfully in the work of the Lord, Isaiah 59:19.
(z) "qui accolas non fert", Tigurine version; "dimisso accola", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "ut non sit accola", Mercerus. (a) Vid. Senecae Nat. Quaest. l. 5. c. 15.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. Three hardships in mining: 1. "A stream (flood) breaks out at the side of the stranger"; namely, the miner, a strange newcomer into places heretofore unexplored; his surprise at the sudden stream breaking out beside him is expressed (English Version, "from the inhabitant"). 2. "Forgotten (unsupported) by the foot they hang," namely, by ropes, in descending. In the Hebrew, "Lo there" precedes this clause, graphically placing it as if before the eyes. "The waters" is inserted by English Version. "Are dried up," ought to be, "hang," "are suspended." English Version perhaps understood, waters of whose existence man was previously unconscious, and near which he never trod; and yet man's energy is such, that by pumps, &c., he soon causes them to "dry up and go away" [So Herder]. 3. "Far away from men, they move with uncertain step"; they stagger; not "they are gone" [Umbreit].
Job 28:4 Parallel Commentaries
Job 28:4 NIV
Job 28:4 NLT
Job 28:4 ESV
Job 28:4 NASB
Job 28:4 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible