You have clothed me with skin and flesh, and have fenced me with bones and sinews.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Job 10:11. Thou hast clothed me with skin — Covered my inward and more noble parts, which are first formed. So he proceeds in describing man’s formation gradually. And fenced me with bones — The stay and strength of the body; and some of them, as the scull and ribs, enclose and defend its vital parts.
And hast fenced me - Margin, Hedged. Literally, Hast covered me. The sense is plain. God had formed him as he was, and to him he owed his life, and all that he had. Job asks with the deepest interest whether God would take down a frame formed in this manner, and reduce it again to dust? Would it not be more for his honor to preserve it still - at least to the common limit of human life?Clothed me, i.e. covered my inward and more noble parts; which, as philosophers and physicians observe, are first formed. So he proceeds in describing man’s formation gradually.
With bones and sinews; which are the stay and strength of the body; and some of them, as the skull and ribs, enclose and defend its vital and most noble parts. Ezekiel 37:6; the order of generation seems to be observed; after the semen is hardened and consolidated, the inward parts are formed, and then the outward parts, the flesh and skin, to protect and defend them; and so are compared to clothes which are outside a man, and put about him; Porphyry (n) calls the body the clothing of the soul; see 2 Corinthians 5:4; the spiritual clothing of Job was the righteousness of his living Redeemer, who was to partake of the same flesh and blood with him, and stand on the earth in the fulness of time, and work out and bring in a righteousness for him, consisting of his obedience in life in the days of his flesh, and of his sufferings and death, or blood, by which he and every believer are justified before God; and with which being clothed, shall not be found naked:
and hast fenced me with bones and sinews; the bones are said by philosophers (o) to be the fences of the marrow, and the flesh the covering of them; the bones are the strength and stability of the human body; the sinews or nerves bind and hold the several parts of it together, and are of great use for its strength and motion: the bones, some of them are as pillars to support it, as those of the legs and thighs; and others are of use to act for it, offensively and defensively, as those of the hands and arms; and others are a cover and fence of the inward parts, as the ribs: Gussetius (p) seems inclined, could he have found an instance of the word being used for making a tent, which it has the signification of, to have rendered the words,"with bones and sinews, thou hast given ate the form of a tabernacle; or, thou hast made me to be a tent;''so the human body is called a tabernacle, 2 Corinthians 5:1; the skin and flesh being like veils or curtains, which cover; the bones are in the room of stakes, and the nerves instead of cords, the breast and belly a cavity: in a spiritual sense, a believer's strength lies in the grace of Christ, in the Lord, and in the power of his might; his defence is the whole armour of God provided for him, particularly the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, and the breastplate of righteousness, with which he is fenced and protected from every spiritual enemy; and will God suffer such an one to be destroyed, whom he hath taken such care of, both in a natural and spiritual manner?Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11. fenced me] Rather, woven, or, knit me.Verse 11. - Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh. "To thee," that is, "I owe the delicate skin, which encloses my frame, and keeps it compact; to thee I owe the flesh whereof my frame chiefly consists." And hast fenced ms with bones and sinews; rather, and hast woven me or knit me together (see the Revised Version, and comp. Psalm 139:13, where the same verb is used in the same sense). The idea is that the body altogether is woven and compacted of skin, bone, flesh, sinews, etc., into a delicate and elaborate garment (comp. 2 Corinthians 5:2-4).
That Thou rejectest the work of Thy hands,
While Thou shinest upon the counsel of the wicked?
4 Hast Thou eyes of flesh,
Or seest Thou as a mortal seeth?
5 Are Thy days as the days of a mortal,
Or Thy years as man's days,
6 That Thou seekest after my iniquity,
And searchest after my sin?
7 Although Thou knowest that I am not a wicked man,
And there is none that can deliver out of Thy hand.
There are three questions by which Job seeks to exhaust every possible way of accounting for his sufferings as coming from God. These attempts at explanation, however, are at once destroyed, because they proceed upon conceptions which are unworthy of God, and opposed to His nature. Firstly, Whether it gives Him pleasure (טּוב, agreeable, as Job 13:9) when He oppresses, when He despises, i.e., keeps down forcibly or casts from Him as hateful (מאס, as Psalm 89:39; Isaiah 54:6) the work of His hand; while, on the contrary, He permits light to shine from above upon the design of the wicked, i.e., favours it? Man is called the יגיע of the divine hands, as though he were elaborated by them, because at his origin (Genesis 2:7), the continuation of which is the development in the womb (Psalm 139:15), he came into existence in a remarkable manner by the directly personal, careful, and, so to speak, skilful working of God. That it is the morally innocent which is here described, may be seen not only from the contrast (Job 10:3), but also from the fact that he only can be spoken of as oppressed and rejected. Moreover, "the work of Thy hands" involves a negative reply to the question. Such an unloving mood of self-satisfaction is contrary to the bounty and beneficence of that love to which man owes his existence. Secondly, Whether God has eyes of flesh, i.e., of sense, which regard only the outward appearance, without an insight into the inner nature, or whether He sees as mortals see, i.e., judges, κατὰ τῆν σάρκα (John 8:15)? Mercier correctly: num ex facie judicas, ut affectibus ducaris more hominum. This question also supplies its own negative; it is based upon the thought that God lookest on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7). Thirdly, Whether His life is like to the brevity of man's life, so that He is not able to wait until a man's sin manifests itself, but must institute such a painful course of investigation with him, in order to extort from him as quickly as possible a confession of it? Suffering appears here to be a means of inquisition, which is followed by the final judgment when the guilt is proved. What is added in Job 10:7 puts this supposition aside also as inconceivable. Such a mode of proceeding may be conceived of in a mortal ruler, who, on account of his short-sightedness, seeks to bring about by severe measures that which was at first only conjecture, and who, from the apprehension that he may not witness that vengeance in which he delights, hastens forward the criminal process as much as possible, in order that his victim may not escape him. God, however, to whom belongs absolute knowledge and absolute power, would act thus, although, etc. על, although, notwithstanding (proceeding from the signification, besides, insuper), as Job 17:16 (Isaiah 53:9), Job 34:6. God knows even from the first that he (Job) will not appear as a guilty person (רשׁע, as in Job 9:29); and however that may be, He is at all events sure of him, for nothing escapes the hand of God.
That operation of the divine love which is first echoed in "the labour of Thy hands," is taken up in the following strophe, and, as Job contemplates it, his present lot seems to him quite incomprehensible.
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