Job 10:11
Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.
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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.

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.Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh - This refers, undoubtedly, to the formation of man in his foetal existence, and is designed to denote that the whole organization of the human frame was to be traced to God. Grotius remarks that this is the order in which the infant is formed - that the skin appears first, then the flesh, then the harder parts of the frame. On this subject, the reader may consult Dunglison's Physiology, vol. ii. p. 340ff.

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?

11. fenced—or "inlaid" (Ps 139:15); "curiously wrought" [Umbreit]. In the fœtus the skin appears first, then the flesh, then the harder parts. 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.

Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh,.... The bones with flesh, which is the under garment, and the flesh with skin, which is the upper; which is artificially composed of intricate little arteries, veins, nerves, and glands, through which the blood continually circulates, and through innumerable pores, and transpires, of which pores 125,000 may be covered with a small grain of sand (l), amazing! Timaeus Locrus (m) calls them invisible little mouths; see 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?

(l) Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 4. p. 681. (m) De Anima Mundi, p. 18. (n) De Antro Nymph. (o) Timaeus Locrus, ib. p. 15. (p) Ebr. Comment. p. 555, 556.

Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.
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). Job 10:11 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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