|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:14-30 In his prosperity Job formed great expectations from his friends, but now was disappointed. This he compares to the failing of brooks in summer. Those who rest their expectations on the creature, will find it fail when it should help them; whereas those who make God their confidence, have help in the time of need, Heb 4:16. Those who make gold their hope, sooner or later will be ashamed of it, and of their confidence in it. It is our wisdom to cease from man. Let us put all our confidence in the Rock of ages, not in broken reeds; in the Fountain of life, not in broken cisterns. The application is very close; for now ye are nothing. It were well for us, if we had always such convictions of the vanity of the creature, as we have had, or shall have, on a sick-bed, a death-bed, or in trouble of conscience. Job upbraids his friends with their hard usage. Though in want, he desired no more from them than a good look and a good word. It often happens that, even when we expect little from man, we have less; but from God, even when we expect much, we have more. Though Job differed from them, yet he was ready to yield as soon as it was made to appear that he was in error. Though Job had been in fault, yet they ought not to have given him such hard usage. His righteousness he holds fast, and will not let it go. He felt that there had not been such iniquity in him as they supposed. But it is best to commit our characters to Him who keeps our souls; in the great day every upright believer shall have praise of God.
Verse 16. - Which are blackish by reason of the ice. Job seems to have seen wadys where, in the winter-time, the water was actually frozen into hard black ice. This scarcely occurs now in the countries bordering on Palestine; but may have occurred in the region where Job dwelt, formerly. "Dark, turbid water" can scarcely be intended. And wherein the snow is hid. Some suppose melted snow to be meant; but the deep wadies in the Hauran and elsewhere would easily conceal snowdrifts.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Which are blackish by reason of the ice,.... When frozen over, they look of a blackish colour, and is what is called a black frost; and these either describe Job and his domestics, as some (h) think whom Eliphaz and his two friends compared to the above streams water passed away from, or passed by and neglected, and showed no friendship to; who were in black, mournful and rueful circumstances, through the severe hand of God upon them. The word is rendered, "those which mourn", Job 5:11; or rather the friends of Job compared to foul and troubled waters frozen over which cannot be so well discerned, or which were black through being frozen, and which describes the inward frame of their minds the foulness of their spirits the blackness of their hearts, though they outwardly appeared otherwise, as follows:
and wherein the snow is hid; or "on whom the snow" falling, and lying on heaps, "hides" (i), or covers; so Job's friends, according to this account, were, though black within as a black frost yet white without as snow; they appeared, in their looks and words at first as candid, kind, and generous, but proved the reverse.
(h) So Michaelis. (i) "super quibus accumulatur nix", Beza, "tegit se, q. d. multa nive teguntur", Drusius; "the frost is hidden by the snow", so Sephorno; or rather "the black and frozen waters".
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. blackish—literally, "Go as a mourner in black clothing" (Ps 34:14). A vivid and poetic image to picture the stream turbid and black with melted ice and snow, descending from the mountains into the valley. In the [second] clause, the snow dissolved is, in the poet's view, "hid" in the flood [Umbreit].
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