|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
30:15-31 Job complains a great deal. Harbouring hard thoughts of God was the sin which did, at this time, most easily beset Job. When inward temptations join with outward calamities, the soul is hurried as in a tempest, and is filled with confusion. But woe be to those who really have God for an enemy! Compared with the awful state of ungodly men, what are all outward, or even inward temporal afflictions? There is something with which Job comforts himself, yet it is but a little. He foresees that death will be the end of all his troubles. God's wrath might bring him to death; but his soul would be safe and happy in the world of spirits. If none pity us, yet our God, who corrects, pities us, even as a father pitieth his own children. And let us look more to the things of eternity: then the believer will cease from mourning, and joyfully praise redeeming love.
Verse 15. - Terrors are turned upon me Job seems to pass here from his human persecutors to his internal sufferings of mind and body. "Terrors' take hold upon him. He experiences in his sleep horrible dreams and visions (see Job 7:14), and even in his waking hours he is haunted by fears. The "terrors of God do set themselves in array against him" (Job 6:4). God seems to him as One that watches, and "tries him every moment" (Job 7:18), seeking occasion against him, and never leaving him an instant's peace (Job 7:19). These terrors, he says, pursue my soul as the wind; literally, pursue mine honour, or my dignity. They flutter the calm composure that befits a godly man, disturb it, shake it, and for a time at any rate, cause terrors and shrinkings of soul. Under these circumstances, my welfare passeth away as a cloud. It is not only my happiness, but my real welfare, that is gone. Body and soul are equally in suffering - the one shaken with fears and disturbed with doubts and apprehensions; the other smitten with a sore disease, so that there is no soundness in it.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Terrors are turned upon me,.... Not the terrors of a guilty conscience, for Job had a clear one, and held fast his integrity; nor the terrors of a cursing and condemning law, for he knew he was justified by his living Redeemer, and his sins forgiven for his sake; nor the terrors of death, for that he had made familiar to him, and greatly desired it; nor the terrors of a future judgment, for there was nothing he was more solicitous for than to appear before the judgment seat of God, and take his trial there; but the afflictions that were upon him from the hand of God that was turned on him, who now hid his face from him, and withheld the influences of his grace and layout, and appeared as an enemy, and as a cruel one to him; the reason of all which he knew not, and this threw him into consternation of mind, and filled him with terror. Some (s) read the words
"my glory is turned into terrors;''
instead of being in the honour and glory, prosperity and happiness, he had been in, he was now possessed of terrors and distresses of various kinds: others render the words, "he is turned against me, as terrors", or "into terrors", or "with them" (t); God cannot be turned or changed in his nature, in his will, counsel, purposes, and decrees, nor in his love and affection to his people; but he may turn in the outward dispensations of his providence according to his unchangeable will, as from evil to good, Jonah 3:9; so from doing good to evil, Isaiah 63:10; this is complained of by the church, Lamentations 3:3; and deprecated by Jeremiah, Jeremiah 17:17; or there is "a turn, terrors are upon me"; there was a very visible turn in Job's affairs in many respects, in his health, substance, and family, and particularly in this; while he was in his office as a civil magistrate, and in all the glory of it, he was a terror to evil doers; and young men, when he appeared, hid themselves for fear of him; but now those impudently rise up against him, and are terrors to him: or there is an "overthrow" (u), an overturning of things, as of his civil and temporal affairs, so of his spiritual ones; instead of that peace, serenity, and tranquillity of mind he had enjoyed; now nothing but terror and distress of mind on account of his afflictions and troubles:
they pursue my soul as the wind; terrors one after another; they pursued him closely, with great swiftness, and with a force irresistible, like the wind; they pursued his soul, his life, and threatened the taking away of it: the word for soul is not the usual word for it; it signifies "my principal one", as in the margin, as the soul is the principal part of man, the immortal breath of God, the inhabitant in the tenement of the body, the jewel in the cabinet, immaterial and immortal, and of more worth than the whole world; or "my princely one", being of a princely original, is from God, the Father of spirits, of a noble extract: Mr. Broughton renders it my "nobility", having princely rule and government in the body; that using the members of the body as its instruments; and especially it may be said to have such rule, when grace is implanted in it, as a ruling governing principle; and the Targum is, my principality or government: it may be rendered, "my free" (w), liberal, ingenuous, and munificent one: Job had such a generous and beneficent soul; but now all means of exercising generosity and liberality were cut off from him; and particularly he had find a free ingenuous one, as he was actuated by the free spirit of God, Psalm 51:12, where this word is used; but now terrors pursuing him, a spirit of bondage unto fear was brought upon him: some (x) consider it as an apostrophe to God, "thou pursues, my soul, O God", &c. but rather the meaning is, a distress or affliction pursued it, or everyone of the above terrors:
and my welfare passeth away as a cloud; or "my salvation" (y); not spiritual and eternal salvation, that was firm and stable, being fixed by the unalterable decree of God, secured in the covenant of grace, and engaged for to be wrought out by his living. Redeemer, and of which he had an application by the Spirit of God, and was possessed of the blessings of it; and though the joys and comforts of it, and views of interest in it, may go off for a while, yet Job seems to have had a strong faith of interest in it, and a lively and well grounded hope of its being his, Job 13:15; but his temporal salvation, health, and happiness, were gone suddenly, swiftly, utterly, entirely, totally, as a cloud dissolved into rain, or dissipated by the rays of the sun, or driven away with the wind, so as to be seen no more; nor had he any hope of its being restored to him: some understand this, as Sephorno, of the salvation with which he had saved others; but it was no more in the power of his hands, and the remembrance of it was gone from those who shared in it; see Hosea 6:4.
(s) So some in Bar Tzemach in loc. (t) "conversus est contra me, sicut terrores", Schmidt; "in meros terrores, vel cum terroribus", Michaelis. (u) "Eversio", Schultens. (w) "principalem meam", Mercerus; "meam principem", Vatablus, Piscator; "meam spontaneam", Pagninus, Montanus, Michaelis; "meam ultroneam", Drusius; "generosum meam spiritum", Schultens. (x) Schmidt. (y) "salus mea", Pagninus, Montanus, &c.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
soul—rather, "my dignity" [Umbreit].
cloud—(Job 7:9; Isa 44:22).
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