|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 25. - For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me; literally, for I fear a fear, and it comes upon me. The meaning is not that the affliction which has come upon him is a thing which Job had feared when he was prosperous; but that now that he is in adversity, he is beset with fears, and that all his presentiments of evil are almost immediately accomplished. The second clause, And that which I was (rather, am) afraid of is come unto me, merely repeats and emphasizes the first (see the comment on ver. 11).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me,.... Some refer this to his fears about his children, lest they should sin and offend God, and bring down his judgments on them, and now what he feared was come to pass, Job 1:5; others take in all his sorrows and troubles; which, through the changeableness of the world, and the uncertainty of all things in it, and the various providences of God, he feared would come upon him at one time or another; and this he mentions to justify his expostulation, why light and life should be continued to such a man, who, by reason of his fear and anxiety of mind, never had any pleasure in his greatest prosperity, destruction from the Almighty being a terror to him; Job 31:23; but I think it is not reasonable to suppose that a man of Job's faith in God, and trust in him, should indulge such fears to such a degree; nor indeed that he could ever entertain such a thought in him, nor even surmise that such shocking calamities and distresses should come upon him as did: but this is to be understood not of his former life, in prosperity, but of the beginning of his afflictions; when he heard of the loss of one part of his substance, he was immediately possessed with a fear of losing another; and when he heard of that, he feared the loss of a third, and even of all; then of his children, and next of his health:
and that which I was afraid of is come unto me: which designs the same, in other words, or a new affliction; and particularly the ill opinion his friends had of him; he feared that through these uncommon afflictions he should be reckoned an ungodly man, an hypocrite; and as he feared, so it was; this he perceived by the silence of his friends, they not speaking one word of comfort to him; and by their looks at him, and the whole of their behaviour to him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. the thing which I … feared is come upon me—In the beginning of his trials, when he heard of the loss of one blessing, he feared the loss of another; and when he heard of the loss of that, he feared the loss of a third.
that which I was afraid of is come unto me—namely, the ill opinion of his friends, as though he were a hypocrite on account of his trials.
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