|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 6. - Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or, that which is insipid. Many critics suppose that in this and the following verse Job reproaches Eliphaz with the insipidity of his remarks, and declares that his soul refuses to touch such loathsome food. Others regard him as still speaking in his own defence, and justifying his expressions of disgust by the nauseous character of the food which had been put before him; i.e. of the treatment which he has received. Either explanation produces good sense; but perhaps the former is the more natural. Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? So our Revisers; and so Dillmann and Canon Cook. Professor Lee suggests "the whey of cheese" for "the white of an egg;" others, "the juice of purslaine." We have certainly no other evidence that eggs were eaten in primitive times.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt?.... As any sort of pulse, peas, beans, lentiles, &c. which have no savoury and agreeable taste unless salted, and so many other things; and are disagreeable to men, and not relished by them, and more especially things bitter and unpleasant; and therefore Job intimates, it need not seem strange that the wormwood and water of gall, or the bread of adversity and water of affliction, he was fed with, should be so distasteful to him, and he should show such a nausea of it, and an aversion to it, and complain thereof as he did: though some apply this to the words and speeches of Eliphaz, and his friends he represented, which with Job were insipid and foolish talk, and very unsuitable and disagreeable to him, yea, loathed and abhorred by him, not being seasoned with the salt of prudence, grace, and goodness, see Colossians 4:6,
or is there any taste in the white of an egg? none at all. The same things are designed by this as the former. Mr. Broughton renders it, "the white of the yolk"; and Kimchi says (d) it signifies, in the language of the Rabbins, the red part of the yolk, the innermost part; but others, from the use of the word in the Arabic language, interpret it of the froth of milk (e), which is very tasteless and insipid: but the first of the words we render "white" always signifies "spittle"; and some of the Jewish writers (f) call it the spittle of soundness, or a sound man, which has no taste, in distinction from that of a sick man, which has; and the latter word comes from one which signifies to dream; and Jarchi observes, that some so understand it here; and the whole is by some rendered, "is there any taste" or "savour in the spittle of a dream" or "drowsiness" (g)? such as flows from a person asleep, or in a dream; and so may fitly express the vain and empty words, as the Septuagint translate the phrase, of Job's friends, in his esteem, which to him were no than the words of some idle and dreaming person, or were like the dribble of a fool or madman, as David mimicked, 1 Samuel 21:13; and it is observed (h), that the word "spittle" is very emphatically used, since it useless in judging of different tastes, and mixed with food, goes into nourishment, as the white of an egg.
(d) Sepher Shorash, rad. so Ben Melech. (e) Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. l. 1. c. 7. p. 152. Hinckeman. Praefat. ad Alcoran. p. 29. (f) R. Issac in Kimchi ibid. Ben Melech & Ben Gersom in loc; so some in Bar Tzemach; "saliva sanitatis", Gussetius, p. 260. (g) "in saliva somnolentiae", Schultens. (h) Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 4. p. 670.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. unsavoury—tasteless, insipid. Salt is a chief necessary of life to an Easterner, whose food is mostly vegetable.
the white—literally, "spittle" (1Sa 21:13), which the white of an egg resembles.
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