|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:1-7 Job still justifies himself in his complaints. In addition to outward troubles, the inward sense of God's wrath took away all his courage and resolution. The feeling sense of the wrath of God is harder to bear than any outward afflictions. What then did the Saviour endure in the garden and on the cross, when he bare our sins, and his soul was made a sacrifice to Divine justice for us! Whatever burden of affliction, in body or estate, God is pleased to lay upon us, we may well submit to it as long as he continues to us the use of our reason, and the peace of our conscience; but if either of these is disturbed, our case is very pitiable. Job reflects upon his friends for their censures. He complains he had nothing offered for his relief, but what was in itself tasteless, loathsome, and burdensome.
Verse 3. - For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea (comp. Proverbs 27:3, "A stone is heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool's wrath is heavier than them both;" see also Ecclus. 22:15). Therefore my words are swallowed up; rather, as in the Revised Version, therefore have my words been rash. Job here excuses without justifying himself. The excessive character of his sufferings has, he declares, forced him to utter rash and violent words, as these wherein he cursed his day and wished that he had never been born (Job 3:1, 3-11). Some allowance ought to be made for rash speech uttered under such circumstances.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea,.... Or "seas" (z); all sand is heavy in its own nature, Proverbs 27:3; especially the sand of the sea, that which is immediately taken out of it; for that on the shore is lighter, being dried by the winds and heat of the sun, but the other is heavier, through the additional weight of water; and much more especially how heavy must all the sand of the sea be, and of all the seas that are in the world: yet Job suggests by this hyperbolical expression, exaggerating his case, that his affliction was heavier than it all, a most intolerable and insupportable burden; the afflictions of God's people are but light when compared with what their sins deserve, with the torments of the damned in hell, with the sufferings of Christ in their room and stead, and with everlasting, happiness, the eternal weight of glory, 2 Corinthians 4:17; but in themselves they are heavy, and press hard; they are so to flesh and blood, and especially unless everlasting arms are put under men, and they are supported and upheld with the right hand of God's righteousness; they are heavy when attended with the hidings of God's face, and a sense of his wrath and displeasure, which was Job's case, see Job 13:24; some render "it more copious", or "numerous" (a), and indeed the word has this signification, as in Numbers 20:20; and the metaphor is more frequently used to express a multitude, even what is innumerable, Hosea 1:10; yet the notion of heaviness best agrees with the preceding figure of weighing in balances, and therefore at least is not to be excluded some learned men take in both, as the sense of the word, the number of afflictions, and the bulk and weight of them:
therefore my words are swallowed up; either by his friends, as Kimchi, who heard them, and put a wrong construction on them, without thoroughly examining the true sense of them; as men that swallow down their food greedily, do not chew it, nor take the true taste of it, and so are no judges whether it is good or bad; but this sense seems to have no connection with what goes before; rather they were swallowed up by himself, and the meaning either is, that such was the weight and pressure of his afflictions, that he wanted words to express it; his words "failed" him, as the Targum: or they "come short", as Mr. Broughton renders it; they were not sufficient to set forth and declare the greatness of his troubles; or he faltered in his speech, he could not speak out plainly and distinctly, because of his grief and sorrow, see Psalm 77:4; what he had said was delivered amidst sighs and sobs, through the heaviness of the calamity on him; they were but half words, attended with groanings that could not be uttered; by which he would signify, that though his friends had charged him with speaking too much and too freely, he had not spoken enough, nor could he, by reason of the greatness of his affliction; and also to excuse his present answer, if it was not delivered with that politeness and fulness of expression, with that eloquence and strength of reasoning and discoursing he at other times was capable of: or rather the words may be rendered, "therefore my words break out with heat" (b); in a vehement manner, in a hot and passionate way I am blamed for; but this is to be imputed to the burden of affliction and sorrow upon me, which, if considered, some allowances would be made, and the charge be alleviated.
(z) "marium", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Piscator, Michaelis, Schultens. (a) "copiosior et gravior est", Michaelis; so Schultens. (b) "propterea verba mea aestuantia sunt", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. the sand—(Pr 27:3).
are swallowed up—See Margin [that is, "I want words to express my grief"]. But Job plainly is apologizing, not for not having had words enough, but for having spoken too much and too boldly; and the Hebrew is, "to speak rashly" [Umbreit, Gesenius, Rosenmuller]. "Therefore were my words so rash."
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