Job 10:12
You have granted me life and favor, and your visitation has preserved my spirit.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 10:12. Thou hast granted me life — Thou didst not only give me a curious body, but also a reasonable soul: thou didst at first give me life, and then maintain it in me: both when I was in the womb, (which is a marvellous work of God,) and afterward, when I was unable to do any thing to preserve my own life. And favour — Thou didst not give mere life, but many other favours, such as nourishment by the breast, education, knowledge, and instruction. Thy visitation — The care of thy providence watching over me for my good, and visiting me in mercy; preserved my spirit — My life, which is liable to manifold dangers, if God did not watch over us every day and moment. Thou hast hitherto done great things for me, given me life, and the blessings of life, and daily deliverances: and wilt thou now undo all that thou hast done? And shall I, who have been such an eminent monument of thy mercy, now be a spectacle of thy vengeance.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.Thy visitation hath preserved my spirit - Thy constant care; thy watchful providence; thy superintendence. The word rendered visitation (פקדה peqûddâh) means properly the mustering of an army, the care that is manifested in looking after those who are enlisted; and then denotes care, vigilance, providence, custody, watch. The idea is, that God had watched over him and preserved him, and that to his constant vigilance he owed the preservation of his life. 12. visitation—Thy watchful Providence.

spirit—breath.

Thou didst not only give me a curious body, but also a living and a reasonable soul: thou didst at first give me life, and then maintain it in me; both when I was in the womb, (which is a marvellous work of God,) and afterward, when I was unable to do any thing to preserve my own life.

Favour, or benignity, or bounty, or mercy, or kindness; which is here, as oft elsewhere, put for its fruits or effects. Thou didst not give a mere life, but many other favours necessary, or convenient, or belonging to it, such as nourishment by the breast, education, knowledge, and instruction, &c.

Thy visitation, i. e. the care of thy providence watching over me for my good, and visiting me in mercy; as God’s visiting is understood, Exodus 4:31 Luke 1:78, though elsewhere it is an act of punishment.

My spirit, i.e. my soul or life, which is liable to manifold casualties and dangers, if God did not watch over us and guard us every day and moment. Thou hast hitherto done great things for me, given me life, and the blessings of life, and daily preservations and deliverances; and wilt thou now undo all that thou hast done? and shall I, who have been such an eminent monument of thy mercy, now be made a spectacle of thy vengeance, and that without cause? Thou hast granted me life and favour,.... Or "lives" (q); natural life; both in the womb, where and when he was quickened, and at his birth, when he was brought into the world, and began to live in it; the rational soul may be intended, by which he lived; which, when created and infused into man, and united to his body, he becomes a living man; it is the presence of that which causes life, and the absence or removal of that which causes death; and this is a "grant" or gift from God, who gives to all his creatures life and breath, and all things; see Job 33:4; and is a "favour" also; a mercy, the chief of mercies; it is more than meat; yea, all a man has he will give for his life: besides this, Job had a spiritual life, a principle of it implanted in him; God had quickened him when dead in trespasses and sins; the spirit of life from Christ had entered into him, and he was become a living spiritual man: this likewise was a "grant" from God, a free grace gift of his; it is he that gives the living water, and gives it freely, or it would not be grace; for it is a "favour" which flows from the free grace and good will of God; it is owing to the great love wherewith he loves men that he quickens them; his time is a time of love, and so of life; and eternal life is the consequent of this, and is inseparably connected with it; and Job had an interest in it, a right unto it, and a meetness for it; he bad knowledge of it, faith in it, and hope of enjoying it, and knew that after death he should live this life; see Job 19:26; and this is a gift of God through Christ, owing to his good pleasure, the fruit of his favour and loving kindness: though by "favour" may be meant something distinct from life; either the care of him in the womb, and the taking of him out from thence, which are sometimes observed as singular mercies and favours; see Psalm 22:9; or the beauty and comeliness of his body, such as was on Moses, David, and others; see Proverbs 31:30; or rather it intends in general all the temporal blessings of life, food and raiment, every thing necessary for the comfort and support of life; and which are all mercies and favours, and what men are undeserving of; and especially spiritual blessings, or the blessings of grace; and the word here used is often used for grace and mercy, and may signify the several graces of the Spirit bestowed in regeneration, as faith, hope, love, &c. which are all the gifts of God, and the effects of his favour and good will; as also the blessings of, justifying, pardoning, and adopting grace; all which Job was favoured with, as well as with supplies of grace from time to time, and the fresh discoveries of the favour and loving kindness of God to him, which is better than life:

and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit; kept him alive, in a natural sense, while in the womb, as Jarchi, where he was in a wonderful manner nourished; and when he came out from thence, exposed to many difficulties and dangers, and during his helpless and infant state, and amidst a variety of troubles throughout the whole of his life hitherto; and which was owing to God's visitation of him in a way of mercy every morning; and which was no other than his providence or daily care of him, and concern for him; and so Mr. Broughton renders it "thy providence" (r), and so some others: likewise he preserved his soul or spirit in a spiritual sense, in Christ Jesus, in whose bands he put him; he hid his life in him, and bound it up in the bundle of life with him; he kept him by his power as in a garrison, and preserved him safe to his kingdom and glory; and this is to be ascribed to his visitation of him in a way of grace, through the redemption of Christ, and the effectual calling of the blessed Spirit, and the constant supplies of grace vouchsafed from time to time: the Targum is, "thy remembrance": for it is owing to God's remembrance of his people that he visits them, either in providence or grace; and when he visits them with his providence, or with his gracious presence and protection, it is plain he remembers them: now since God had favoured him with such blessings of nature, providence, and grace, he reasons with him about his present circumstances; that, after all this, surely he would not destroy him and cut him off; at least he knew not how well to reconcile past favours with such hard and severe usage as he thought he met with from him.

(q) "vitas", Montanus, Bolducius. (r) "providentia tua", Tigurine version, Munster, Michaelis.

Thou hast granted me life and {m} favour, and thy {n} visitation hath preserved my spirit.

(m) That is, reason and understanding, and many other gifts, by which man excels all earthly creatures.

(n) That is, the fatherly care and providence by which you preserved me, and without which I would perish immediately.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. granted me life and favour] i. e. granted me life and shewn me loving kindness. The verse speaks of God’s dealing with Job from the time he was born and became a living man.

thy visitation] i. e. thy providence.Verse 12. - Thou hast granted me life and favour. God, besides providing Job with a body so delicately and marvellously constructed, had added the gift of "life" (Genesis 2:7), and also that of "favour," or loving providential care, whereby his life was preserved from infancy to manhood, and from manhood to a ripe age, in peace and prosperity. Job has not forgotten his former state of temporal happiness (Job 1:2-5), nor ceased to feel gratitude to God for it (comp. Job 2:10). And thy visitation hath preserved my spirit; or, thy providence - "thy continual care." 3 Doth it please Thee when Thou oppressest,

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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