|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:11-19 Job complained of those present at his birth, for their tender attention to him. No creature comes into the world so helpless as man. God's power and providence upheld our frail lives, and his pity and patience spared our forfeited lives. Natural affection is put into parents' hearts by God. To desire to die that we may be with Christ, that we may be free from sin, is the effect and evidence of grace; but to desire to die, only that we may be delivered from the troubles of this life, savours of corruption. It is our wisdom and duty to make the best of that which is, be it living or dying; and so to live to the Lord, and die to the Lord, as in both to be his, Ro 14:8. Observe how Job describes the repose of the grave; There the wicked cease from troubling. When persecutors die, they can no longer persecute. There the weary are at rest: in the grave they rest from all their labours. And a rest from sin, temptation, conflict, sorrows, and labours, remains in the presence and enjoyment of God. There believers rest in Jesus, nay, as far as we trust in the Lord Jesus and obey him, we here find rest to our souls, though in the world we have tribulation.
Verse 18. - There the prisoners rest together. "There those who in life were prisoners, condemned to work at enforced labours, enjoy sweet rest together." They hear not the voice of the oppressor; rather, of the taskmaster (comp. Exodus 3:7; Exodus 5:6, where the same word is used). The task. master continually urged on the wearied labourers with such words as those of Exodus 5:13, "Fulfil your works, fulfil your daily tasks. In the grave these hated sounds would not be heard.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
There the prisoners rest together,.... "Are at ease", as Mr. Broughton renders the words; such who while they lived were in prison for debt, or were condemned to the galleys, to lead a miserable life; or such who suffered bonds and imprisonment for the sake of religion, at death their chains are knocked off, and they are as much at liberty, and enjoy as much ease, as the dead that never were prisoners; and not only rest together with those who were their fellow prisoners, but with those who never were in prison, yea, with those who cast them into it; for there the prisoners and those that imprisoned them are upon a level, enjoying equal ease and liberty:
they hear not the voice of the oppressor; or "exactor" (x); neither of their creditors that demanded their debt of them, and threatened them with a prison, or that detained them in it; nor of the jail keeper that gave them hard words as well as stripes; nor of cruel taskmasters, who kept them to hard service in prison, and threatened them severely if they did not perform it, like the taskmasters in Egypt, Exodus 5:11; but, in the grave, the blustering, terrifying, voice of such, is not heard.
(x) "exactoris", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, &c.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. There the prisoners rest—from their chains.
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