|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 26. - Do ye imagine to reprove words? or, Do ye propose? "Is it your intention?" Am I to understand that you blame nothing in my conduct, but only the words that I have spoken? i.e. the words recorded in ch. 3. And the speeshes of one that is desperate, which are as wind; or, whereas the speehes of one that is desperate are but as wind; literally, for the wind - spoken to the wind, for the wind to take hold of them and bear them away. Therefore not worth a reproof.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Do ye imagine to reprove words,.... Or with words; with bare words, without any force of reasoning and argument in them? put a parcel of words together without any sense or meaning, or however without any cogency in them, and think to run me down with them? or is your scheme and device only, and which you pursue, to catch at and lay hold on some words of mine uttered in my distress, and make me an offender for a word, or for a few words, supposing they have been rashly and passionately spoken? have ye no facts to charge me with, before or since these calamities befell me? is the charge of hypocrisy and want of the fear of God to be supported by producing some hasty expressions, without pointing at one single action in my life and conversation?
and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind? that is, do ye imagine to reprove them? or, are; your thoughts wholly and solely intent on them? are these only the strong reasons you have to produce to fix the sin of hypocrisy upon me? for by him that is "desperate" he means himself; not that he despaired of his everlasting salvation; he was far from despair; he was a strong believer, and determined that, though he was slain, he would trust in the Lord; he was well assured he should be justified, both here and hereafter; and full well knew that his Redeemer lived, and that though he died, he should rise again and be happy in the vision of God for ever: but he despaired of a restoration to outward happiness, which Eliphaz had suggested, should he behave well; but, alas! his condition was forlorn and miserable, and there was no hope with him of being better; his children were dead, his substance in the hands of robbers, his health so extremely bad that he had no expectation of a recovery to his former state; and therefore it was very unkind and ungenerous to lay hold upon and aggravate the speeches of such an one, and improve them against him; and especially as they were only "for refreshment" (c), as some choose to render the words, see Job 32:20; they were uttered to give vent to his sorrow and grief, and not with any ill design against God or men; or the sense of the whole is, that they imagined that their words were right and fit to reprove with, and that there were force and strength in them, and had a tendency to work conviction and bring to confession; but as for the words of Job, they treated them "as wind"; as idle, vain, and empty, and useless and fruitless as the wind.
(c) "ad respirium", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. Do you imagine—or, "mean."
to reprove words and (to reprove) the speeches of one desperate, (which are) as wind?—mere nothings, not to be so narrowly taken to task? Umbreit not so well takes the Hebrew for "as wind," as "sentiments"; making formal "sentiments" antithetical to mere "speeches," and supplying, not the word "reprove," but "would you regard," from the first clause.
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