Job 11:16
Because thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 11:16. Because thou shalt forget thy misery — Thy happiness shall be so great that it shall blot out the remembrance of thy past miseries; and remember it as waters that pass away — Thou shalt remember it no more than men remember either a land-flood, which, as it comes, so it goes away suddenly, and leaves few or no marks or memorials behind it; or the waters of a river, which pass by in constant succession.

11:13-20 Zophar exhorts Job to repentance, and gives him encouragement, yet mixed with hard thoughts of him. He thought that worldly prosperity was always the lot of the righteous, and that Job was to be deemed a hypocrite unless his prosperity was restored. Then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; that is, thou mayst come boldly to the throne of grace, and not with the terror and amazement expressed in ch. 9:34. If we are looked upon in the face of the Anointed, our faces that were cast down may be lifted up; though polluted, being now washed with the blood of Christ, they may be lifted up without spot. We may draw near in full assurance of faith, when we are sprinkled from an evil conscience, Heb 10:22.And remember it as waters that pass away - As calamity that has completely gone by, or that has rolled on and will return no more. The comparison is beautiful. The water of the river is borne by us, and returns no more. The rough, the swollen, the turbid stream, we remember as it foamed and dashed along, threatening to sweep everything away; but it went swiftly by, and will never come back. So with afflictions. They are soon gone. The most intense pain soon subsides. The days of sorrow pass quickly away. There is an outer limit of suffering, and even ingenuity cannot prolong it far. The man disgraced, and whose life is a burden, will soon die. On the checks of the solitary prisoner doomed to the dungeon for life, a "mortal paleness" will soon settle down, and the comforts of approaching death will soothe the anguish of his sad heart. The rack of torture cheats itself of its own purpose, and the exhausted sufferer is released. "The excess (of grief) makes it soon mortal." "No sorrow but killed itself much sooner." Shakespeare. When we look back upon our sorrows, it is like thinking of the stream that was so much swollen, and was so impetuous. Its waters rolled on, and they come not back again; and there is a kind of pleasure in thinking of that time of danger, of that flood that was then so fearful, and that has now swept on to come back no more. So there is a kind of peaceful joy in thinking of the days of sorrow that are now fled forever; in the assurance that those sad times will never, never recur again. 16. Just as when the stream runs dry (Job 6:17), the danger threatened by its wild waves is forgotten (Isa 65:16) [Umbreit]. Thou shalt be free from fear, because thy great and settled prosperity shall banish out of thy mind all those sad and irksome thoughts of thy former calamities, which naturally engender fears of the continuance or return of them. Persons blessed with eminent deliverances, and a happy settlement, are frequently said in Scripture to

forget their former sorrows, as Genesis 41:51 Isaiah 54:4 John 16:21; not that they simply forget them, but because they have no sad or frightful remembrance of them; for remembering and forgetting in Scripture do not simply note acts of the mind, but also affections and practices suitable to them, as is well known.

Remember it as waters that pass away; thou shalt remember them no more than men remember either a land-flood, which as it comes, so it goes away, suddenly, and leaves few or no footsteps or memorials behind it; or the waters of a river, which as soon as they are out of sight are out of mind, because of the new waters which immediately come in their stead.

Because thou shall forget thy misery,.... Former afflictions and distresses; having an abundance of prosperity and happiness, and long continued; and so, in process of time, the miseries and distresses before endured are forgotten; thus it was with Joseph in his advanced state, and therefore he called one of his sons Manasseh, Genesis 41:51; and as it is with convinced and converted persons and believers in Christ, who, under first convictions and awakenings, are filled with sorrow and distress, on a view of their miserable estate by nature; but when Christ is revealed to them as their Saviour and Redeemer, and the love of God is shed abroad in their hearts, and they have faith and hope in Jesus, and a comfortable view of heaven and happiness, and eternal life, by him, they forget their spiritual poverty, and remember their misery no more, unless it be to magnify the riches of the grace of God; see Proverbs 31:6;

and remember it as waters that pass away; either the waters of the stream in a river, which, when gone, are seen and remembered no more or as waters occasioned by floods in the winter season, which when over, and summer is come, are gone and are no more discerned; and as they pass from the places where they were, so from the minds of men: or it may be respect is had to the waters of Noah's flood, which, according to the divine promise and oath, should no more go over the earth, Genesis 9:15; and being past and gone, and no fear or danger of their returning, are forgotten.

Because thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. because thou shalt forget] Or, for thou shalt forget trouble.

that pass away] that are passed away.

Verse 16. - Because thou shalt forget thy misery. All thy past misery shall be clean swept away from thy remembrance, because of the happy condition whereto thou shalt be raised (see vers. 18, 19). "Sorrow's memory" is not always "a sorrow still." And remember it as waters that pass away; i.e. remember it no more than a man remembers the shower that has passed away or the pool that is dried up. Job 11:1616 For thou shalt forget thy grief,

Shalt remember it as waters that flow by.

17 And thy path of life shall be brighter than mid-day;

If it be dark, it shall become as morning.

18 And thou shalt take courage, for now there is hope;

And thou shalt search, thou shalt lie down in safety.

19 And thou liest down without any one making thee afraid;

And many shall caress thy cheeks.

20 But the eyes of the wicked languish,

And refuge vanisheth from them,

And their hope is the breathing forth of the soul.

The grief that has been surmounted will then leave no trace in the memory, like water that flows by (not: water that flows away, as Olshausen explains it, which would be differently expressed; comp. Job 20:28 with 2 Samuel 14:14). It is not necessary to change אתּה כּי into עתּה כּי (Hirzel); אתה, as in Job 11:13, strengthens the force of the application of this conclusion of his speech. Life (חלד, from חלד to glide away, slip, i.e., pass away unnoticed,

(Note: Vid., Hupfeld on Psalm 17:14, and on the other hand Bttcher, infer. 275 s., who, taking חלד in the sense of rooting into, translates: "the mildew springs up more brilliant than mid-day." But whatever judgment one may form of the primary idea of חלד, this meaning of חלד is too imaginary.)

as αἰών, both life-time, Psalm 39:6, and the world, Psalm 49:2, here in the former sense), at the end of which thou thoughtest thou wert already, and which seemed to thee to run on into dismal darkness, shall be restored to thee (יקום with Munach on the ult. as Job 31:14, not on the penult.) brighter than noon-day (מן, more than, i.e., here: brighter than, as e.g., Micah 7:4, more thorny than); and be it ever so dark, it shall become like morning. Such must be the interpretation of תּעפה. It cannot be a substantive, for it has the accent on the penult.; as a substantive it must have been pointed תּעוּפה (after the form תּקוּדה, תּקוּמה, and the like). It is one of the few examples of the paragogic strengthened voluntative in the third pers., like Psalm 20:4; Isaiah 5:19

continued...

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