Job 10:10
Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) Poured me out as milk.—An allusion to the embryo. (See Psalm 139:13-16.)

Job 10:10. Hast thou not poured me out as milk? — Thus he modestly and accurately describes God’s admirable work in forming the fœtus in the womb, out of a small and liquid substance, gradually coagulated and condensed, as milk is curdled into cheese, into the exquisite frame of man’s body.

10:8-13 Job seems to argue with God, as if he only formed and preserved him for misery. God made us, not we ourselves. How sad that those bodies should be instruments of unrighteousness, which are capable of being temples of the Holy Ghost! But the soul is the life, the soul is the man, and this is the gift of God. If we plead with ourselves as an inducement to duty, God made me and maintains me, we may plead as an argument for mercy, Thou hast made me, do thou new-make me; I am thine, save me.Hast thou not poured me out as milk? - The whole image in this verse and the following, is designed to fur nish an illustration of the origin and growth of the human frame. The Note of Dr. Good may be transcribed, as furnishing an illustration of what may have possibly been the meaning of Job. "The whole of the simile is highly correct and beautiful, and has not been neglected by the best poets of Greece and Rome. From the well-tempered or mingled milk of the chyle, every individual atom of every individual organ in the human frame, the most compact and consolidated, as well as the soft and pliable, is perpetually supplied and renewed, through the medium of a system of lacteals or milk-vessels, as they are usually called in anatomy, from the nature of this common chyle or milk which they circulate. Into the delicate stomach of the infant it is introduced in the form of milk; but even in the adult it must be reduced to some such form, whatever be the substance he feed upon, by the conjoint action of the stomach and other chylifactive organs, before it can become the basis of animal nutriment.

It then circulates through the system, and either continues fluid as milk in its simple state, or is rendered solid as milk is in its caseous or cheese-state, according to the nature of the organ which it supplies with its vital current." True as this is, however, as a matter of physiology, now well understood, a doubt may arise whether Job was acquainted with the method thus described, in which man is sustained. The idea of Job is, that God was the author of the human frame, and that that frame was so formed as to evince his wonderful and incomprehensible wisdom. A consultation of the works on physiology, which explain the facts about the formation and the growth of the human body, will show that there are few things which more strikingly evince the wisdom of God than the formation of the human frame, alike at its origin, and in every stage of its development. It is a subject, however, which cannot, with propriety, be pursued in a work of this kind.

10. In the organization of the body from its rude commencements, the original liquid gradually assumes a more solid consistency, like milk curdling into cheese (Ps 139:15, 16). Science reveals that the chyle circulated by the lacteal vessels is the supply to every organ. Thus he modestly and accurately describes God’s admirable work in making man out of a small and liquid, and as it were milky, substance, by degrees congealed and condensed into that exquisite frame of man’s body.

Hast thou not poured me out as milk,.... Expressing, in modest terms, his conception from the seed of his parents, comparable to milk, from being a liquid, and for its colour:

and curdled me like cheese? that of the female being mixed with, and heated by the male, is hardened like the curd of which a cheese is made, and begins to receive a form as that, and becomes an embryo: and naturalists (k) make use of the same expressions when speaking of these things; and in this way most interpreters carry the sense of the words; but Schultens observes that milk is an emblem of purity and holiness, see Lamentations 4:7; and so this may respect the original pure formation of man, who came out of his Maker's hands a pure, holy and upright creature, made after his image and in his likeness, created in righteousness and holiness, and so, like milk, pure and white; or rather the regeneration and sanctification of Job personally, and which might be very early, as in Jeremiah, John the Baptist, and others; or however, he was filled and adorned with the gifts and graces of the spirit of God, was washed and cleansed, and sanctified and justified; and had his conversation in the world in all simplicity and godly sincerity, being preserved from gross enormities in life; was a man that feared God and eschewed evil, and had not only the form of godliness, but the power of it; and was established and confirmed in and by the grace of God, and was strong in the exercise of it; and from hence he argues with God, should such a vessel of grace, whom he had made so pure and holy, and had so consolidated and strengthened in a spiritual and religious way, be crushed and destroyed at once?

(k) "Sic semen maris dicitur" Aristot. de Gen. Animal. l. 1. c. 20. "coagulum". Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 7. c. 15. Gell. Noct. Attic. l. 3. c. 16.

Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10–12. These verses refer to the formation of the child in the womb, from conception to full growth, cf. Psalm 139:13-16.

Verse 10. - Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? "Didst not thou" i.e., "form me as an embryo in the womb, gradually solidifying my substance, and changing soft juices into a firm though tender mass?" Job 10:10 8 Thy hands have formed and perfected me

Altogether round about, and Thou hast now swallowed me up!

9 Consider now, that Thou has perfected me as clay,

And wilt Thou turn me again into dust?

10 Hast Thou not poured me out as milk,

And curdled me as curd?

11 With skin and flesh hast Thou clothed me,

And Thou hast intertwined me with bones and sinews;

12 Life and favour Thou hast shown me,

And thy care hath guarded my breath.

The development of the embryo was regarded by the Israelitish Chokma as one of the greatest mysteries (Ecclesiastes 11:5; 2 Macc. 7:22f.). There are two poetical passages which treat explicitly of this mysterious existence: this strophe of the book of Job, and the Psalm by David, Psalm 139:13-16 (Psychol. S. 210). The assertion of Scheuchzer, Hoffmann, and Oetinger, that these passages of Scripture "include, and indeed go beyond, all recent systemata generationis," attributes to Scripture a design of imparting instruction, - a purpose which is foreign to it. Scripture nowhere attempts an analysis of the workings of nature, but only traces them back to their final cause. According to the view of Scripture, a creative act similar to the creation of Adam is repeated at the origin of each individual; and the continuation of development according to natural laws is not less the working of God than the creative planting of the very beginning. Thy hands, says Job, have formed (עצּב, to cut, carve, fashion; cognate are חצב, קצב, without the accompanying notion of toil, which makes this word specially appropriate, as describing the fashioning of the complicated nature of man) and perfected me. We do not translate: made; for עשׂה stands in the same relation to ברא and יצר as perficere to creare and fingere (Genesis 2:2; Isaiah 43:7). יחד refers to the members of the body collectively, and סביב to the whole form. The perfecting as clay implies three things: the earthiness of the substance, the origin of man without his knowledge and co-operation, and the moulding of the shapeless substance by divine power and wisdom. The primal origin of man, de limo terrae (Job 33:6; Psalm 139:15), is repeated in the womb. The figures which follow (Job 10:10) describe this origin, which being obscure is all the more mysterious, and glorifies the power of God the more. The sperma is likened to milk; the חתּיך (used elsewhere of smelting), which Seb. Schmid rightly explains rem colliquatam fundere et immittere in formam aliquam, refers to the nisus formativus which dwells in it. The embryo which is formed from the sperma is likened to גּבינה, which means in all the Semitic dialects cheese (curd). "As whey" (Ewald, Hahn) is not suitable; whey does not curdle; in making cheese it is allowed to run off from the curdled milk. "As cream" (Schlottm.) is not less incorrect; cream is not lac coagulatum, which the word signifies. The embryo forming itself from the sperma is like milk which is curdled and beaten into shape.

The consecutio temporum, moreover, must be observed here. It is, for example, incorrect to translate, with Ewald: Dost Thou not let me flow away like milk, etc. Job looks back to the beginning of his life; the four clauses, Job 10:10, Job 10:11, under the control of the first two verbs (Job 10:8), which influence the whole strophe, are also retrospective in meaning. The futt. are consequently like synchronous imperff.; as, then, Job 10:12 returns to perff., Job 10:11 describes the development of the embryo to the full-grown infant, on which Grotius remarks: Hic ordo est in genitura: primum pellicula fit, deinde in ea caro, duriora paulatim accedunt, and by Job 10:12, the manifestations of divine goodness, not only in the womb, but from the beginning of life and onwards, are intended. The expression "Life and favour (this combination does not occur elsewhere) hast Thou done to me" is zeugmatic: He has given him life, and sustained that life amidst constant proofs of favour; His care has guarded the spirit (רוּח), by which his frame becomes a living and self-conscious being. This grateful retrospect is interspersed with painful reflections, in which Job gives utterance to his feeling of the contrast between the manifestation of the divine goodness which he had hitherto experienced and his present condition. As in Job 10:8., ותּבלּעני, which Hirzel wrongly translates: and wilt now destroy me; it is rather: and hast now swallowed me up, i.e., drawn me down into destruction, as it were brought me to nought; or even, if in the fut. consec., as is frequently the case, the consecutive and not the aorist signification preponderates: and now swallowest me up; and in Job 10:9 (where, though not clear from the syntax, it is clear from the substance that תשׁיבני is not to be understood as an imperfect, like the futt. in Job 10:10.): wilt Thou cause me to become dust again? The same tone is continued in the following strophe. Thus graciously has he been brought into being, and his life sustained, in order that he may come to such a terrible end.

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