|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 18. - The paths of their way are turned aside; rather, as in the Revised Version, the caravans that travel by the way of them turn aside. It seems impossible that the streams can be intended, since their paths are never "turned aside" - they simply shrink, fail, and dry up. But nothing is commoner than for caravans short of water to go out of their way in order to reach a wady, where they expect to be able to replenish their water-skins. If they are disappointed, if the wady is dry, they may be brought into great straits, and may even possibly perish. (For a probable instance, where dependence on a wady would, but for a miracle, have led to a great disaster, see 2 Kings 3:9-20.) They go to nothing, and perish; rather, they go up into the waste and perish. Having vainly sought water in the dry wady, they ascend out of it, and enter the broad waste of the desert, where they too often miserably perish.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The paths of their way are turned aside,.... That is, the waters, when melted by the heat of the sun, and the warmth of the weather, run, some one way, and some another in little streams and windings, till they are quite lost and the tracks of them are no more to be seen; denoting that all appearance of friendship was quite gone, and no traces of it to be found:
they go to nothing, and perish: some of them are lost in little meanders and windings about, and others are exhaled by the heat of the sun, and go into "Tohu", as the word is, into empty air; so vain and empty, and perishing, were all the comforts he hoped for from his friends; though some understand this of the paths of travellers in the deserts being covered in the sand, and not to be seen and found; of which see Pliny (z).
(z) Nat. Hist. l. 6. c. 29.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. turned aside—rather, "caravans" (Hebrew, "travellers") turn aside from their way, by circuitous routes, to obtain water. They had seen the brook in spring full of water: and now in the summer heat, on their weary journey, they turn off their road by a devious route to reach the living waters, which they remembered with such pleasure. But, when "they go," it is "into a desert" [Noyes and Umbreit]. Not as English Version, "They go to nothing," which would be a tame repetition of the drying up of the waters in Job 6:17; instead of waters, they find an "empty wilderness"; and, not having strength to regain their road, bitterly disappointed, they "perish." The terse brevity is most expressive.
Job 6:18 Parallel Commentaries
Job 6:18 NIV
Job 6:18 NLT
Job 6:18 ESV
Job 6:18 NASB
Job 6:18 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible