|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:1-6 Job here excuses what he could not justify, his desire of death. Observe man's present place: he is upon earth. He is yet on earth, not in hell. Is there not a time appointed for his abode here? yes, certainly, and the appointment is made by Him who made us and sent us here. During that, man's life is a warfare, and as day-labourers, who have the work of the day to do in its day, and must make up their account at night. Job had as much reason, he thought, to wish for death, as a poor servant that is tired with his work, has to wish for the shadows of the evening, when he shall go to rest. The sleep of the labouring man is sweet; nor can any rich man take so much satisfaction in his wealth, as the hireling in his day's wages. The comparison is plain; hear his complaint: His days were useless, and had long been so; but when we are not able to work for God, if we sit still quietly for him, we shall be accepted. His nights were restless. Whatever is grievous, it is good to see it appointed for us, and as designed for some holy end. When we have comfortable nights, we must see them also appointed to us, and be thankful for them. His body was noisome. See what vile bodies we have. His life was hastening apace. While we are living, every day, like the shuttle, leaves a thread behind: many weave the spider's web, which will fail, ch. 8:14. But if, while we live, we live unto the Lord, in works of faith and labours of love, we shall have the benefit, for every man shall reap as he sowed, and wear as he wove.
Verse 5. - My flesh is clothed with worms. The leas et origo mall in elephantiasis is a worm called filaria sanguinis hominid. It is a long, fine, thread-like creature, of a white colour, smooth; and devoid of markings (Quain's 'Dictionary of Medicine,' vol. 1, pp. 512, 513). And clods of dust. This is rather poetical than strictly medical. The special characteristic of elephantiasis, from which it derives its name, is that the integument, or outer skin, is "formed into large masses or folds, with a rugose condition of the surface, not unlike the appearance of an elephant's leg" (Quain, vol. 1. p. 431). But the swellings do not contain clods of dust. My skin is broken, and become loathsome. A common feature in elephantiasis is the development and gradual growth of solid papules or tubercles in the skin. These enlarge as the disease progresses, and after a time soften and break up; an nicer is then formed, and a discharge follows of a virulent and loathsome character. Presently the discharge steps; the ulcer heals; but only to break out again in another place. In the Revised Version the passage is rendered, My skin closeth up, and breaketh afresh.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust,.... Not as it would be at death, and in the grave, as Schmidt interprets it, when it would be eaten with worms and reduced to dust; but as it then was, his ulcers breeding worms, or lice, as some (y); these spread themselves over his body: some think it was the vermicular or pedicular disease that was upon him, and the scabs of them, which were all over him like one continued crust, were as a garment to him; or those sores of his, running with purulent matter, and he sitting and rolling himself in dust and ashes, and this moisture mingling therewith, and clotted together, formed clods of dust, which covered him all over; a dismal spectacle to look upon! a precious saint in a vile body!
my skin is broken: with the boils and ulcers in all parts, and was parched and cleft with the heat and breaking of them:
and become loathsome; to himself and others; exceeding nauseous, and extremely disagreeable both to sight and smell: or "liquefied" (z); moistened with corrupt matter flowing from the ulcers in all parts of his body; the word in Arabic signifies a large, broad, and open wound, as a learned man (a) has observed; and it is as if he should say, whoever observes all this, this long time of distress, night and day, and what a shocking figure he was, as here represented, could blame him for wishing for death in the most passionate manner?
(y) So Sephorno and Bar Tzemach. (z) "liquefit", Junius & Tremellius; "colliquefacta est", Piscator, Mercerus. (a) Hinckelman. Praefat. ad Alcoran. p. 30.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. In elephantiasis maggots are bred in the sores (Ac 12:23; Isa 14:11).
clods of dust—rather, a crust of dried filth and accumulated corruption (Job 2:7, 8).
my skin is broken and … loathsome—rather, comes together so as to heal up, and again breaks out with running matter [Gesenius]. More simply the Hebrew is, "My skin rests (for a time) and (again) melts away" (Ps 58:7).
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