|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
30:1-14 Job contrasts his present condition with his former honour and authority. What little cause have men to be ambitious or proud of that which may be so easily lost, and what little confidence is to be put in it! We should not be cast down if we are despised, reviled, and hated by wicked men. We should look to Jesus, who endured the contradiction of sinners.
Verse 7. - Among the bushes they brayed. The sounds which came from their mouths sounded to Job less like articulate speech than like the braying of asses. Compare what Herodotus says of his Troglodytes: "Their language is unlike that of any other people; it sounds like the screeching of bats." Under the nettles (or, wild vetches) they were gathered together; rather, huddled together.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Among the bushes they brayed,.... Like wild asses; so Sephorno, to which wicked men are fitly compared, Job 11:12; or they "cried", or "groaned" (m), and "moaned" among the bushes, where they lay lurking; either they groaned through cold, or want of food; for the wild ass brays not but when in want, Job 6:5;
under the nettles they were gathered together; or "under thistles" (n), as some, or "under thorns", as (o) others; under thorn hedges, where they lay either for shelter, or to hide themselves, or to seize upon a prey that might pass by; and so were such sort of persons as in the parable in Luke 14:23; it not being usual for nettles to grow so high as to cover persons, at least they are not a proper shelter, and much less an eligible one; though some render the words, they were "pricked" (p), blistered and wounded, a word derived from this being used for the scab of leprosy, Leviticus 13:6; and so pustules and blisters are raised by the sting of nettles: the Targum is,
"under thorns they were associated together;''
under thorn hedges, as before observed; and if the juniper tree is meant in Job 30:4, they might be said to be gathered under thorns when under that; since, as Pliny (q) says, it has thorns instead of leaves; and the shadow of it, according to the poet (r), is very noxious and disagreeable.
(m) "clamabant", Vatablus, Mercerus; so Ben Gerson; "gemebant", Michaelis; so Broughton. (n) "sub carduis", Vatablus. (o) "Sub sentibus", V. L. "sub vepreto aliquo", Tigurine version; "sub vepribus", Cocceius; "sub spina", Noldius, p. 193. Schultens. (p) "pungebantur", Junius & Tremellius; "se ulcerant", Gussetius, p. 565. so Ben Gersom; "they smarted", Broughton. (q) Nat. Hist. l. 16. c. 24. (r) "Juniperi gravis umbra----" Virgil. Bucolic. Eclog. 10.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. brayed—like the wild ass (Job 6:5 for food). The inarticulate tones of this uncivilized rabble are but little above those of the beast of the field.
gathered together—rather, sprinkled here and there. Literally, "poured out," graphically picturing their disorderly mode of encampment, lying up and down behind the thorn bushes.
nettles—or brambles [Umbreit].
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