|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:8-13 Job had desired death as the happy end of his miseries. For this, Eliphaz had reproved him, but he asks for it again with more vehemence than before. It was very rash to speak thus of God destroying him. Who, for one hour, could endure the wrath of the Almighty, if he let loose his hand against him? Let us rather say with David, O spare me a little. Job grounds his comfort upon the testimony of his conscience, that he had been, in some degree, serviceable to the glory of God. Those who have grace in them, who have the evidence of it, and have it in exercise, have wisdom in them, which will be their help in the worst of times.
Verse 10. - Then should I yet have comfort. First, the comfort that the end was come, and that he would be spared further sufferings; and further, the still greater comfort that he had endured to the end, and not. denied nor renounced his trust in religion and in all the "words of the Holy One." Professor Lee sees here "the recognition of a future life, expressed in words as plain and obvious as possible" ('Book of the Patriarch Job,' p. 223). But to us it seems that, if the idea is present at all, it is covered up, latent; only so far implied as it may be said to be implied in all willingness to die, since it may be argued that even the most wretched life possible would be preferred by any man to no life at all, and so that when men are content to die they must be expecting, whether consciously or not, a life beyond the grave, and be sustained by that expectation. Yea, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; rather, yea, I would exult in anguish that did not spare. However great the pain that accompanied his death, Job would rejoice and exult in it, since by it his death was to be accomplished. For I have not concealed the words of the Holy One; rather, for I have not denied or renounced. It would be a part of Job's satisfaction in dying that he had not let go his integrity. Rather he had held it fast, and not renounced or abandoned his trust in God and in religion. "The words of the Holy One are the commands of God, however made known to man" (Canon Cook).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then should I yet have comfort,.... Either before death, and in the midst of all his pains and sorrows, being in view of it as near at hand, and sure and certain; could he but be assured of its near approach, he could exult in his afflictions; it would be an alleviation of his trouble, that he should be soon out of it; and he would sit and sing upon the brink of eternity, and say, "O death, where is thy sting! O grave, where is thy victory?" 1 Corinthians 15:55; his sufferings being just at an end, and being comfortably persuaded of a happy future state, and a glorious resurrection, see Job 19:25; or after death, when destroyed and cut off by it; and he hereby signifies as if he expected no comfort on this side death and the grave; that is, no temporal comfort, his comforts were gone, his substance, his children, and health, and he had no hope of the restoration of them, Eliphaz had suggested; but he believed, that though he now had his evil things, as Lazarus since, yet after death should be comforted with the presence of God, in which is fulness of joy; with the discoveries of his love, as a broad river to swish in; with a glory that should be on him, and revealed in him, with which "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared", Romans 8:18; and with the company of angels, and glorified saints, as well as be freed from all bodily disorders and pains, and death itself, from all sin, and sorrow, from Satan's temptations, divine desertions, doubts, and fears:
yea, I would harden myself in sorrow; meaning either upon the first news of death's being near at hand, he would harden himself against all pains and pangs of death; when those should beset him around, and he should find trouble and sorrow through them, he would not regard them, but most cheerfully and patiently bear them, and most courageously go through them, not at all intimidated by them, or by death, and the most terrible agonies of it: or "though I should be hot, burn", or "be burnt in sorrow" or "pain" (o), as some render it; or parched with pain, as Mr. Broughton; though I should be still more and more inflamed with these burning ulcers upon me, or be dried up with a burning fever, or my body cast into a fire, and be scorched and burnt in the flames of it, I should not value it; I could bear the most excruciating pains, and sharpest torments, could I but be assured I should die. Some observe, that the word signifies to "leap" (p); and so the Septuagint render it; and then the sense is, that he should leap for joy, as men do when they are elevated at good news, or possess what is exceeding grateful to them, was it certain to him he should die quickly; and so the Targum interprets it of exultation. The word in the Arabic language, as a good judge (q) of it observes, is used of the prancing and pawing of a horse, which makes the ground to shake; he strikes with his foot, and which as done in the midst of a battle, mocking at fear, at the rattling quiver, and glittering spear and shield, is most beautifully described in Job 39:21 in like manner, Job suggests, he should rejoice in the view of death, and mock at the fear of it: or this may respect the happiness he should enjoy after death; for in the Syriac and Arabic versions the words are rendered, "and I shall be perfected in virtue"; and the word used has the signification of solidity, confirmation, stability, and perfection; and to this sense it is rendered by some (r), though to different purposes; and after this suffering state is over, the saints will be established, settled and perfected in all virtue, in knowledge, holiness, and happiness: therefore
let him not spare; laying on his blows thicker and heavier, till he has beaten me to pieces, and utterly destroyed me, a petition the reverse of David's, Psalm 39:13; his desire is to have it done quickly and thoroughly, neither to spare him any longer, nor abate in measure, but strike him immediately, and that effectually, so as to dispatch him at once:
for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One; that is, of God, as some (t) supply it, whose name is holy, who is holy in his nature, and in all his works, and is eminently glorious in the perfection of his holiness; for though there are holy men and holy angels, there are none holy as the Lord: his "words" are the doctrines delivered out by him concerning Christ the promised seed, and salvation by him, which were spoken of by the mouth of all the prophets from the beginning of the world, of which Job had knowledge, Job 19:25; see Genesis 3:15 Luke 1:70; and the duties of religion enjoined men in those early times; which Sephorno refers to the laws and commandments given to the sons of Noah; of which See Gill on Genesis 9:4; Here everything is included, both with respect to doctrine and practice, then revealed unto the sons of men, all which Job had a special regard unto: he embraced, professed, and practised them; he did not hide them from himself, or shut his eyes to the evidence of them, and smother within him the light he had; nor did he conceal them from others, but communicated the knowledge of them among his neighbours, as far as he could reach; he was not ashamed to profess the true religion of God; he held fast, and did not deny the faith in the midst of a dark and Heathenish country, and he lived up to his profession and principles in his life and conversation: now having a testimony of a good conscience within him, that he, through the grace of God, had acted a sincere and upright part in the affair of religion, and having knowledge of a living Redeemer, and faith in him, and in his justifying righteousness, he was not afraid of death, come when it would, and in whatsoever shape: and whereas his friends had suggested that he was a hypocrite and a wicked man, his conscience bore witness to the contrary; and to let them know they were mistaken in him, he signifies, he was not afraid to die, yea, he desired it; he cared not how soon he left the world, and appeared before God, the Judge of all, since the truth of grace was in him, and the righteousness of Christ upon him, and he had not, through the course of his profession of religion, departed wickedly from his God, his truths and ordinances. Some (u) read this in connection with the first clause, putting the rest in a parenthesis: "this is yet my comfort (though or when I am burned or parched with pain, and he spares not), that I have not concealed the words of the Holy One".
(o) "calefaciam", Pagninus, Bolducius; "flagrem", Vatablus; "exaestuo", Junius & Tremellius; "urar", Drusius, Mercerus; so Gersom, Kimchi, Peritsol, & Ben Melech. (p) Sept. "saltarem prae gaudio"; so some in Munster. (q) "Et pede terram quatium cum exultatione", Schultens. (r) "Consolidescam", Montanus; "corroboror", Beza; so Aben Ezra. (t) Vatablus, Tigurine version, Michaelis. (u) So Vatablus, Mercerus, Codurcus, Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. I would harden myself in sorrow—rather, "I would exult in the pain," if I knew that that pain would hasten my death [Gesenius]. Umbreit translates the Hebrew of "Let Him not spare," as "unsparing"; and joins it with "pain."
concealed—I have not disowned, in word or deed, the commands of the Holy One (Ps 119:46; Ac 20:20). He says this in answer to Eliphaz' insinuation that he is a hypocrite. God is here called "the Holy One," to imply man's reciprocal obligation to be holy, as He is holy (Le 19:2).
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