|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 19. - The troops of Tema looked. The Tema were an Arab tribe descended from Ishmael (Genesis 25:15). They are generally conjoined with Dedan (Isaiah 21:13, 14; Jeremiah 25:23), another Arab tribe, noted for carry-lug on a caravan trade. Both tribes probably wandered, and occupied at different periods different portions of the desert. The name, Tema, may linger in the modern city and district of Tayma on the confines of Syria, and upon the pilgrim-route between Damascus and Mecca. The "troops of Tema" probably looked for the "caravans" of ver. 18 to arrive in their country; but they looked in vain. The desert had swallowed them up. The companies of Sheba waited for them. (On "Sheba," see the comment upon Job 1:15.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The troops of Tema looked,.... A city in Arabia, so called from Tema a son of Ishmael, Genesis 25:15; these troops or companies were travelling ones, either that travelled to Tema, or that went from thence to other places for merchandise, see Isaiah 21:13; these, as they passed along in their caravans, as the Turks their successors now do, looked at those places where in the wintertime they observed large waters frozen over, and covered with snow, and expected to have been supplied from thence in the summer season, for the extinguishing of their thirst:
the companies of Sheba waited for them: another people in Arabia, which went in companies through the deserts, where being in great want of water for their refreshment, waited patiently till they came to those places, where they hoped to find water to relieve them, which they had before marked in the wintertime.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. the troops—that is, "caravans."
Tema—north of Arabia-Deserta, near the Syrian desert; called from Tema son of Ishmael (Ge 25:15; Isa 21:14; Jer 25:23), still so called by the Arabs. Job 6:19, 20 give another picture of the mortification of disappointed hopes, namely, those of the caravans on the direct road, anxiously awaiting the return of their companions from the distant valley. The mention of the locality whence the caravans came gives living reality to the picture.
Sheba—refers here not to the marauders in North Arabia-Deserta (Job 1:15), but to the merchants (Eze 27:22) in the south, in Arabia-Felix or Yemen, "afar off" (Jer 6:20; Mt 12:42; Ge 10:28). Caravans are first mentioned in Ge 37:25; men needed to travel thus in companies across the desert, for defense against the roving robbers and for mutual accommodation.
The companies … waited for them—cannot refer to the caravans who had gone in quest of the waters; for Job 6:18 describes their utter destruction.
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