|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:20-26 Job was like a man who had lost his way, and had no prospect of escape, or hope of better times. But surely he was in an ill frame for death when so unwilling to live. Let it be our constant care to get ready for another world, and then leave it to God to order our removal thither as he thinks fit. Grace teaches us in the midst of life's greatest comforts, to be willing to die, and in the midst of its greatest crosses, to be willing to live. Job's way was hid; he knew not wherefore God contended with him. The afflicted and tempted Christian knows something of this heaviness; when he has been looking too much at the things that are seen, some chastisement of his heavenly Father will give him a taste of this disgust of life, and a glance at these dark regions of despair. Nor is there any help until God shall restore to him the joys of his salvation. Blessed be God, the earth is full of his goodness, though full of man's wickedness. This life may be made tolerable if we attend to our duty. We look for eternal mercy, if willing to receive Christ as our Saviour.
Verse 24. - For my sighing cometh before I eat literally, before my meat; i.e. "more early and more constantly than my food" (Professor Lee). And my roarings are poured out. The word translated "roaring" is used primarily of the roar of a lion (Zechariah 11:3; comp. Amos 3:8); secondarily, of the loud cries uttered by men who suffer pain (see Psalm 22:1; Psalm 32:4). (On the loud cries of Orientals when suffering from grief or pain, see the comment on Job 2:12.) Like the waters; i.e. freely and copiously, without let or stint. Perhaps the loud sound of rushing water is also alluded to.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For my sighing cometh before I eat,.... Or, "before my bread", or "food" (g); before he sat down to eat, or had tasted of his food, there were nothing but sighing and sobbing, so that he had no appetite for his food, and could take no delight in it; and, while he was eating, his tears mingled with it, so that these were his meat and his drink continually, and he was fed with the bread and water of affliction; and therefore what were light and life to such a person, who could not have the pleasure of one comfortable meal?
and my roarings are poured out like the waters; he not only wept privately and in secret, and cried more publicly both to God and in the presence of men, but such was the force and weight of his affliction, that he even roared out, and that like a lion; and his afflictions, which were the cause of these roarings, are compared to waters and the pouring of them out; for the noise these waterspouts made, and for the great abundance of them, and for their quick and frequent returns, and long continuance, one wave and billow rolling upon another.
(g) "ante cibum meum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "ante panem meum", Cocceius, Schmidt, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. my sighing cometh before I eat—that is, prevents my eating [Umbreit]; or, conscious that the effort to eat brought on the disease, Job must sigh before eating [Rosenmuller]; or, sighing takes the place of good (Ps 42:3) [Good]. But the first explanation accords best with the text.
my roarings are poured out like the waters—an image from the rushing sound of water streaming.
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