Darby's Bible Synopsis
My soul is weary of my life; I will leave my complaint upon myself; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
The following commentary covers Chapters 4 through 31.
As to the friends of Job, they do not call for any extended remarks. They urge the doctrine that God's earthly government is a full measure and manifestation of His righteousness, and of the righteousness of man, which would correspond with it: a doctrine which proves a total ignorance of what God's righteousness is, and of His ways; as well as the absence of all real knowledge of what God is, or man as a sinner. We do not see either that the feelings of their hearts were influenced by communion with God. Their argument is a false and cold estimate of the exact justice of His government as an adequate manifestation of His relationship with man, though they say many true commonplace things which even the Spirit of God adopts as just. Although Job was not before God in his estimate of himself, he judges rightly in these respects. He shews that although God shews His disapprobation of the wicked, yet the circumstances in which they are often found overthrow the arguments of his friends. We see in Job a heart which, although rebellious, depends upon God, and would rejoice to find Him. We see, too, that when he can extricate himself, by a few words, from his friends, who, he is quite sensible, understands nothing of his case, nor of the dealings of God, he turns to God (although he does not find Him, and although he complains that His hand is heavy upon him), as in that beautiful and touching chapter 23, and the reasonings as to divine government, chapters 24, 21. That is to say, we see one who has tasted that God is gracious, whose heart, wounded indeed and unsubdued, yet claims those qualities for God-because it knows Him-which the cold reasonings of his friends could not ascribe to Him; a heart which complains bitterly of God, but which knows that, could it once come near Him, it would find Him all that it had declared Him to be, and not such as they had declared Him to be, or were themselves-could he find Him, he would not be as they were, He would put words in his mouth; a heart which repelled indignantly the accusation of hypocrisy; for Job was conscious that he looked to God, and that he had known God and acted with reference to Him, though God thought fit to bring his sin to remembrance.
I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.
Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress, that thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands, and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?
Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seeth?
Are thy days as the days of man? are thy years as man's days,
That thou inquirest after mine iniquity, and searchest after my sin?
Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.
Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.
Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again?
Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?
Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.
Thou hast granted me life and favour, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.
And these things hast thou hid in thine heart: I know that this is with thee.
If I sin, then thou markest me, and thou wilt not acquit me from mine iniquity.
If I be wicked, woe unto me; and if I be righteous, yet will I not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore see thou mine affliction;
For it increaseth. Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again thou shewest thyself marvellous upon me.
Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and increasest thine indignation upon me; changes and war are against me.
Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me!
I should have been as though I had not been; I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.
Are not my days few? cease then, and let me alone, that I may take comfort a little,
Before I go whence I shall not return, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death;
A land of darkness, as darkness itself; and of the shadow of death, without any order, and where the light is as darkness.