Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Then Job answered and said,CHAPTERS 16-17 Job’s Reply to Eliphaz
1. Miserable comforters are ye all (Job 16:1-5)
2. Oh God! Thou hast done it! (Job 16:6-14)
3. Yet I look to Thee (Job 16:15-22)
4. Trouble upon trouble; self-pity (Job 17:1-12)
5. Where is now my hope? (Job 17:13-16)
Job 16:1-5. How masterfully he meets their wrong accusations and how he brings forth his suffering afresh, yet always with that horrible nightmare, God is not for me, but against me! Such things Eliphaz spoke he had heard before. What are you anyway? Nothing but miserable comforters. If they were in the condition in which he is, he would also speak. “But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the solace of my lips should assuage your grief.” I would never treat you as you treat me.
Job 16:6-14. And now he charges God with being responsible for all. What does he say? “Thou hast made me desolate.... Thou hast laid fast hold on me.... He hath torn me in His wrath and persecuted me.... He has gnashed upon me with His teeth.... He hath delivered me to the ungodly.” Remarkable is verse 10. “They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they gather themselves against me.” This was done to another Sufferer, the Lord Jesus Christ. But He murmured not; He did not dishonour God as Job did, but glorified Him. It is interesting to make a contrast between these two sufferers. It brings out the perfection and loveliness of our Saviour.
Job 16:15-22. But in all these ravings, faith, which slumbers in his breast, asserts itself, and tries to awake. He says “my witness is in heaven, and He that voucheth for me is on high.” Thus he clings to God. How beautiful this word suits us, who know Him who has gone on high and who voucheth for us there, needs hardly to be pointed out. But Job knew Him not as we know Him. Once more he desires that daysman. “O that one might plead for man with God, as a man pleadeth for His neighbour!”
Job 17:1-12. What a pathetic description of his troubles! And he cannot deliver himself from the obsession that God is the author of it all.
Job 17:13-16. And what is his hope now? How dark and evil his thoughts! The grave is to be his house, the darkness his bed. Corruption, his father, the worm his mother and his sister. He and his hope will go down to the bars of the pit, and rest together in the dust. But we shall soon hear another confession from his lips.