Job 16:10
They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 16:10. They — My friends, the instruments of God’s anger; have gaped upon me with their mouth — Have opened their mouths wide against me; either, 1st, To devour and destroy me, as a lion which falls upon its pray with open mouth: see Psalm 22:13-14, where these very expressions are used in the prediction of Christ’s sufferings, of whom, in all this, Job was an eminent type. Or, 2d, To scoff and deride me, as it follows, and as this phrase is most commonly used: see Psalm 22:8; Psalm 35:21. They have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully — Hebrew, בחרפה, becherpeh, by reproach; or in a way of scorn and contempt, of which smiting on the cheek was a sign: see Lamentations 3:30; Micah 5:1. The meaning is, they have despised and derided me, the sign being put for the thing signified. They have gathered themselves together against me — They are come from several places, and have met together here, not for me, or to comfort me, as they pretended; but really against me, and to grieve and torment me.

16:6-16 Here is a doleful representation of Job's grievances. What reason we have to bless God, that we are not making such complaints! Even good men, when in great troubles, have much ado not to entertain hard thoughts of God. Eliphaz had represented Job as unhumbled under his affliction: No, says Job, I know better things; the dust is now the fittest place for me. In this he reminds us of Christ, who was a man of sorrows, and pronounced those blessed that mourn, for they shall be comforted.They have gaped upon me - Changing the form from the singular to the plural, and including "all" his pretended friends. Such a change in the number is not uncommon. His mind seems to have passed from the particular instance which he was contemplating, to "all" his friends, and he suddenly felt that "all" had treated him alike. The meaning is, that, like wild beasts, they open their mouth to devour me.

They have gathered themselves together - They have entered into a conspiracy, and have "agreed" to oppose me. They are united in this thing, and all feel and act alike.

10. gaped—not in order to devour, but to mock him. To fill his cup of misery, the mockery of his friends (Job 16:10) is added to the hostile treatment from God (Job 16:9).

smitten … cheek—figurative for contemptuous abuse (La 3:30; Mt 5:39).

gathered themselves—"conspired unanimously" [Schuttens].

They; the instruments of God’s anger, my friends, as they are falsely called.

Gaped upon me with their mouth; opened their mouths wide against me; either,

1. To devour and destroy me; as a lion which falls upon his prey with open mouth, as this phrase is used, Psalm 22:13,14. And this they did aggravating and increasing his sorrows, whereby he was well-nigh overwhelmed. Or,

2. To scoff and deride me, as it follows, and as this phrase is most commonly used, as Psalm 22:8 35:21.

Reproachfully; or, by reproach; or in way of scorn and contempt; whereof such smiting was a sign, as 1 Kings 22:24 Lamentations 3:30 Micah 5:1. The sign is here put for the thing signified; they despised and derided me.

They have gathered themselves together against me, i.e. they are come from several places, and met together here, not for me, or to comfort me, as they pretended, but really against me, or to torment and grieve me. Heb. they have filled themselves, &c. Either,

1. They have filled up their numbers, they are all come against me. Or,

2. They have filled their minds with evil opinions of me, and their hearts with courage and resolution to assault me, and their mouths with words and arguments against me. Compare Ecclesiastes 8:11 Acts 5:3.

They have gaped upon me with their mouth,.... Here Job speaks of the instruments which God suffered to use him ill; and he has respect to his friends who came with open mouth against him, loading him with calumnies and reproaches, laying charges to him he was not conscious of, and treating him with scorn and contempt, which such a gesture is sometimes a token of, Lamentations 3:46; and in which manner also Christ was used by men, on whom the reproach of them that reproached God and his people fell, and who exhibited false charges against him of various sorts; and he was the reproach of men and the contempt of the people, who laughed him to scorn, opened their mouths in derision; they shot out the lip and shook the head, and mocked and scoffed at him; yea, "they gaped upon him with their mouth as a ravening and a roaring lion", Psalm 22:6; to which the allusion is here, when they cried out themselves and called upon others to join them, saying, "Crucify him, crucify him", Luke 23:21,

they have smitten me on the cheek reproachfully; to be smitten on the cheek is a reproach itself, and is a suffering not very patiently endured. Hence Christ, to teach his followers patience, advised when they were smitten on the one cheek to turn the other, that is, to take the blow patiently; and it is not the smart of the stroke that is so much regarded as the shame of it, the affront given, and the indignity offered; see 2 Corinthians 11:20; so that the phrase may be taken for reproaching him; and indeed it may be rendered, "they have smitten on the cheek with reproach" (a); they reproached him, which was the same as if they had smitten him on the cheek; they smote him with their tongues, as Jeremiah's enemies smote him, Jeremiah 18:18; they threw the dirt of scandal and calumny at him, and which is the common lot of God's people; and though since they are reproached for Christ's sake, for the Gospel's sake, and for righteousness sake, they should not be disturbed at that; but rather reckon themselves happy, as they are said to be, and bind these reproaches about their necks as chains of gold, and esteem them greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt. This was literally true of Job's antitype, the Messiah, for as it was foretold of him that he should give his cheek to those that plucked off the hair, and they should smite the Judge of Israel with a rod upon his cheek, Isaiah 50:6, so this was done unto him by the servants of the high priest in his hall, and by others, Matthew 26:67;

they have gathered themselves together against me; Job's friends got together in order to visit him and comfort him, but it proved otherwise, and he viewed it in no other light than as a combination against him: the words may be rendered, "they filled themselves against me" (b); their hearts with wrath and anger, as the Targum; their mouths with reproaches and calumnies, and their eyes with pleasure and delight, and satisfaction at his miseries and afflictions; and so the Vulgate Latin version,

"they are satiated with my punishments;''

though rather this may respect the high spirits they were in, the boldness and even impudence, as Job interpreted it, they showed in their conduct towards him, their hearts being swelled with pride and haughtiness and passion (c); see Esther 7:5; or else their numbers that came against him; so Mr. Broughton renders the words, "they came by full troops upon me"; Job's three friends, being great personages, very probably brought a large retinue and train of servants with them; who, observing their master's conduct, behaved in an indecent manner towards him themselves, to whom he may have respect, Job 30:1; this was verified in Christ his antitype, whom Judas, with a multitude of men, with swords and staves, even with a band of soldiers, came to apprehend in the garden; and when Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and people of Israel, were gathered against him to do what God had determined should be done, Matthew 26:46.

(a) "cum opprobrio", Beza, Vatablus, Drusius; so Schmidt, Michaelis, Schultens; "with reproaches", Broughton. (b) "impleverunt sese", De Dieu. (c) Vid. De Dieu in loc.

They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the {l} cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me.

(l) That is, has handled me contemptuously: for so slapping the cheek signified, 1Ki 22:24, Mr 14:65

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. Picture of the hostility of men—the pack of petty foes that howl at the heels of his greater enemy.

have gaped] Rather, they gape. Similarly, they smite. The figure of wild beasts is not strictly maintained, but passes in the second clause into the reality. The gestures described are those of contempt and destructive hatred, see Psalm 22:13, Isaiah 57:4, Micah 5:1, Lamentations 3:30; cf. John 18:22; John 19:3, Acts 23:2.

they have gathered themselves] they gather. The phrase means probably that they fling themselves in one body upon him, they combine in their attack against him.

Verse 10. - They have gaped upon me with their mouth. The "man of sorrows" of the Old Testament is, in many respects, a type of the "Man of sorrows" of the New; and, in the Messianic psalms, David constantly applies to Christ expressions which Job had used in reference to himself (see Psalm 22:13). They have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully (comp. Micah 5:1; Matthew 27:30; Luke 22:64; John 18:22). They have gathered themselves together against me (see Psalm 35:15, and compare, in illustration of the literal and historical sense, Job 30:1, 10-14). Job 16:1010 They have gaped against me with their mouth,

In contempt they smite my cheeks;

They conspire together against me.

11 God left me to the mercy of the ungodly,

And cast me into the hands of the evil-doer.

He does not mean the friends by those who mock and vex him with their contemptuous words, but the men around him who envied his prosperity and now rejoice at his misfortune; those to whom his uprightness was a burden, and who now consider themselves disencumbered of their liege lord, the over-righteous, censorious, godly man. The perfects here also have not a present signification; he depicts his suffering according to the change it has wrought since it came upon him. The verb פּער is used with the instrumental Beth instead of with the acc., as Job 29:23 (comp. on במלים, Job 16:4): they make an opening with their mouth (similar to Psalm 22:8, they make an opening with the lips, for diducunt labia). Smiting on the cheeks is in itself an insult (Lamentations 3:30); the additional בּחרפּה will therefore refer to insulting words which accompany the act. The Hithpa. התמלּא, which occurs only here, signifies not only to gather together a מלא in general, Isaiah 31:4, but (after the Arab. tamâla'a ‛ala, to conspire against any one)

(Note: Wetzstein thinks the signification conspirare for יתמלאון poor in this connection, and prefers to translate: All together they eat themselves full upon me, התמלּא as reflexive of מלּא, Job 38:39, synon. of נשׂבע, as in "the Lovers of Amsi," Ferhht, after the death of his beloved, cries out: We are not separated! To-morrow (i.e., soon) the All-kind One will unite us in paradise, and we shall satisfy ourselves one with another (Arab. w-ntmll' mn b-'dn 'l-b'd). One would, however, expect ממּנּי instead of עלי; but perhaps we may refer to the interchange of התענג על, Job 22:26; Job 27:10, with התענג מן, Isaiah 66:11.)

to complete one's self, to strengthen one's self (for a like hostile purpose): Reiske correctly: sibi invicem mutuam et auxiliatricem operam contra me simul omnes ferunt.

(Note: The signification to help, which belongs to the I. form Arab. mala'a, proceeds from malâ'un, to have abundance, to be well off; prop. to be able to furnish any one with the means (opes, copias) for anything, and thereby to place him in a position to accomplish it. Comp. the Lat. ops, opem ferre, opitulari, opes, opulentus (Arab. mal'un). - Fl.)

The meaning of עויל is manifest from Job 21:11; from עוּל, to suckle, alere (Arab. ‛âl med. Wau, whence the inf. ‛aul, ‛uwûl, and ‛ijâle), it signifies boys, knaves; and it is as unnecessary to suppose two forms, עויל and עויל, as two meanings, puer and pravus, since the language and particularly the book of Job has coined עוּל for the latter signification: it signifies in all three passages (here and Job 19:18; Job 21:11) boys, or the boyish, childish, knavish. The Arabic warratta leaves no doubt as to the derivation and meaning of ירטני; it signifies to cast down to destruction (warttah, a precipice, ruin, danger), and so here the fut. Kal ירטני for יירטני (Ges. 69, rem. 3), praecipitem me dabat (lxx ἔῤῥιψε, Symm. ἐνέβαλε), as the praet. Kal, Numbers 22:32 : praeceps equals exitiosa est via. The preformative Jod has Metheg in correct texts, so that we need not suppose, with Ralbag, a רטה, similar in meaning to ירט.

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