|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:7-16 Plain truths as to the shortness and vanity of man's life, and the certainty of death, do us good, when we think and speak of them with application to ourselves. Dying is done but once, and therefore it had need be well done. An error here is past retrieve. Other clouds arise, but the same cloud never returns: so a new generation of men is raised up, but the former generation vanishes away. Glorified saints shall return no more to the cares and sorrows of their houses; nor condemned sinners to the gaieties and pleasures of their houses. It concerns us to secure a better place when we die. From these reasons Job might have drawn a better conclusion than this, I will complain. When we have but a few breaths to draw, we should spend them in the holy, gracious breathings of faith and prayer; not in the noisome, noxious breathings of sin and corruption. We have much reason to pray, that He who keeps Israel, and neither slumbers nor sleeps, may keep us when we slumber and sleep. Job covets to rest in his grave. Doubtless, this was his infirmity; for though a good man would choose death rather than sin, yet he should be content to live as long as God pleases, because life is our opportunity of glorifying him, and preparing for heaven.
Verse 16. - I loathe it; rather, I am wasted away - "ulceratus tabesco" (Schultens). I would not live alway; rather, I shall not live alway. Let me alone; for my days are vanity; literally, cease from me; i.e. "cease to trouble me" - with, perhaps, the further meaning. "cease to trouble thyself about me;" for I am sufficiently reduced to nothingness - my life is mere vanity.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I loathe it,.... Or "them" (k), either his life, which was a weariness to him, or his bones, which were so painful and nauseous; or rather, "I am become loathsome", to himself, to his servants, and to his friends, and even his breath was strange to his wife; or "being ulcerated, I pine and waste away" (l), and must in course be quickly gone:
I would not live always; no man can or will; there is no man that lives but what shall see death, Psalm 89:48; Job knew this, nor did he expect or desire it; and this was not his meaning, but that he desired that he might not live long, or to the full term of man's life, yea, that he might die quickly; and indeed to a good man to die is gain; and to depart out of the world, and be with Christ, is far better than to continue in it. And had Job expressed himself without passion, and with submission to the divine will, what he says would not have been amiss:
let me alone; or "cease from me" (m); from afflicting him any more, having as great a weight upon him as he could bear, or greater than he could well stand up under; or from supporting him in life, he wishes that either God would withdraw his afflicting hand from him, or his preserving hand; either abate the affliction, or dismiss him from the world:
for my days are vanity; a "breath" (n) or puff of wind; a "vapour", as Mr. Broughton renders it, that soon vanishes away; days empty of all that is good, delightful, and pleasant, and full of evil, trouble, and sorrow, as well as fleeting, transitory, and soon gone, are as nothing, yea, less than nothing, and vanity.
(k) "Aspernor vitam", Piscator; so Jarchi & Ben Gersom. (l) "tabui", Cocceius; "ulceratus tabesco", Schultens. (m) "cessa a me", Pagninus, Montanus, Bolducius, Schmidt. (n) "halitus", Michaelis, Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. Let me alone—that is, cease to afflict me for the few and vain days still left to me.
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