Job 16:12
I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(12) I was at ease.—A highly poetical passage, in which Job becomes, as it were, a St. Sebastian for the arrows of God. It is hardly possible to conceive a more vivid picture of his desolate condition under the persecuting hand of the Almighty.

Job 16:12. I was at ease — I lived in great peace and prosperity, and was contented and happy in the comfortable enjoyment of the gifts of God’s bounty, not fretful and uneasy, as some are, in the midst of the blessings of providence, who thereby provoke God to take these blessings from them; but he hath broken me asunder — Hath broken my spirit with the sense of his anger, and my body with loathsome ulcers; and all my hopes and prospects, as to the present life, by the destruction of all my children and property. He hath also taken me by the neck — And thrown me down from an eminent condition into one most despicable; and shaken me to pieces — As a mighty man acts with some young stripling when he wrestles with him; and set me up for his mark — That he may shoot all his arrows into me, and wound me with one calamity after another.

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.I was at ease - I was in a state of happiness and security. The word used here (שׁלו shâlêv) means sometimes to be "at ease" in an improper sense; that is, to be in a state of "carnal security," or living unconcerned in sin (Ezekiel 23:42; compare Proverbs 1:32); but here it is used in the sense of comfort. He had everything desirable around him.

But he hath broken me asunder - He has crushed me.

He hath also taken, me by my neck - Perhaps as an animal does his prey. We have all seen dogs seize upon their prey in this manner.

And set me up for his mark - Changing the figure, and saying that God had directed his arrows against him; so Jeremiah, Lamentations 3:12 :

He hath bent his bow,

And set me as a mark for the arrow.

12. I was at ease—in past times (Job 1:1-3).

by my neck—as an animal does its prey (so Job 10:16).

shaken—violently; in contrast to his former "ease" (Ps 102:10). Set me up (again).

mark—(Job 7:20; La 3:12). God lets me always recover strength, so as to torment me ceaselessly.

I lived in great peace and prosperity, which makes my present miseries more grievous to me; and therefore my complaints are excusable, and I deserve pity rather than reproach from my friends.

Broken me asunder; broken my spirit with the sense of his anger, and my body with loathsome ulcers, as also by destroying my children, a part of my own flesh or body.

Taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces; as a mighty man doth with some young stripling, when he wrestleth with him. Set me up for his mark; that he may shoot all his arrows into me, and that with delight, which archers have in that exercise.

I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder,.... He was in easy and affluent circumstances, abounding with the good things of this life, lay in his nest, as his expression is, Job 29:18; quietly and peaceably, where he expected he should have died; and he was easy in his mind, had peace of conscience, being a good man that feared God, and trusted in his living Redeemer, enjoying the presence of God, the light of his countenance, and the discoveries of his love, see Job 39:2; but now he was broken to pieces, he was stripped of his worldly substance; his family was broken up, and not a child left him; his body broken, and full of ruptures through boils and ulcers; and his spirits were broken with his afflictions, and a sense of divine displeasure; the arrows of God's wrath, in his apprehension, stuck in him, and the poison thereof drank up his spirits. Mr. Broughton renders it, "I was wealthy, and he hath undone me"; though once so opulent, he was now broken, and become a bankrupt. It may be applied to Christ, his antitype, who, though rich, became poor to make his people rich, 2 Corinthians 8:9; and whose body was broken for them; and he was wounded and bruised for their transgressions, and whose heart was broken with reproach:

he hath also taken me by the neck, and shaken me to pieces; as a combatant in wrestling, who is stronger than his antagonist, uses him; or as a giant, who takes a dwarf by his neck or collar, and shakes him, as if he would shake him to pieces, limb from limb; or "hath dashed" or "broken me to pieces" (f); or to shivers; as glass or earthen vessels dashed against a wall, or struck with a hammer, fly into a thousand pieces, can never be put together again; so Job reckoned of his state and condition as irrecoverable, that his health, his substance, his family, could never be restored as they had been:

and set me up for his mark; to shoot at, of which he complains Job 7:20; a like expression is used by the church in Lamentations 3:12; and a phrase similar to this is used of Christ, Luke 2:34; and in consequence of this are what follow.

(f) "confregit me", V. L. Pagninus; "minutatim confregit me", Tigurine version; so Schultens, Jarchi, & Ben Gersom.

I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.
12. The figure of a man seized by another of overwhelming strength and dashed to pieces. This attack was sudden and unexpected, when Job was at ease and in security cf. ch. Job 29:2 seq. This meets what Eliphaz said of the forebodings of conscience, ch. Job 15:20 seq.

12–14. More particular description of the hostile attack of God, its unexpectedness and destructiveness.

Verse 12. - I was at ease (compare the picture drawn in Job 1:1-5). Job had been "at ease," tranquil, prosperous, happy. He had been almost without a care, when suddenly "trouble came." But he hath broken me asunder; rather, he brake me asunder (see the Revised Version). In the midst of his ease and tranquillity, God suddenly poured out his chastisements, and "brake Job asunder," i.e. destroyed his life, ruined it and broke it down. He hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces; or, dashed me to pieces. And set me up for his mark; i.e. as a target for his arrows (comp. Deuteronomy 32:23; Job 6:4; Psalm 7:13; Psalm 38:2, etc.; Lamentations 3:12). Job 16:1212 I was at ease, but He hath broken me in pieces;

And He hath taken me by the neck and shaken me to pieces,

And set me up for a mark for himself.

13 His arrows whistled about me;

He pierced my reins without sparing;

He poured out my gall upon the ground.

14 He brake through me breach upon breach,

He ran upon me like a mighty warrior.

He was prosperous and contented, when all at once God began to be enraged against him; the intensive form פּרפּר (Arab. farfara) signifies to break up entirely, crush, crumble in pieces (Hithpo. to become fragile, Isaiah 24:19); the corresponding intensive form פּצפּץ (from פּצץ, Arab. fḍḍ, cogn. נפץ), to beat in pieces (Polel of a hammer, Jeremiah 23:29), to dash to pieces: taking him by the neck, God raised him on high in order to dash him to the ground with all His might. מטּרה (from נטר, τηρεῖν, like σκοπός from σκέπτισθαι) is the target, as in the similar passage, Lamentations 3:12, distinct from מפגּע, Job 7:20, object of attack and point of attack: God has set me up for a target for himself, in order as it were to try what He and His arrows can do. Accordingly רבּיו (from רבב equals רבה, רמה, jacere) signifies not: His archers (although this figure would be admissible after Job 10:17; Job 19:12, and the form after the analogy of רב, רע, etc., is naturally taken as a substantival adj.), but, especially since God appears directly as the actor: His arrows ( equals הצּיו, Job 6:4), from רב, formed after the analogy of בּז, מס, etc., according to which it is translated by lxx, Targ., Jer., while most of the Jewish expositors, referring to Jeremiah 50:29 (where we need not, with Bttch., point רבים, and here רביו), interpret by מורי החצים. On all sides, whichever way he might turn himself, the arrows of God flew about him, mercilessly piercing his reins, so that his gall-bladder became empty (comp. Lamentations 2:11, and vid., Psychol. S. 268). It is difficult to conceive what is here said;

(Note: The emptying of the gall takes place if the gall-bladder or any of its ducts are torn; but how the gall itself (without assuming some morbid condition) can flow outwardly, even with a severe wound, is a difficult question, with which only those who have no appreciation of the standpoint of imagery and poetry will distress themselves. [On the "spilling of the gall" or "bursting of the gall-bladder" among the Arabs, as the working of violent and painful emotions, vid., Zeitschr. der deutschen morgenlnd. Gesellsch. Bd. xvi. S. 586, Z. 16ff. - Fl.])

it is, moreover, not meant to be understood strictly according to the sense: the divine arrows, which are only an image for divinely decreed sufferings, pressed into his inward parts, and wounded the noblest organs of his nature. In Job 16:14 follows another figure. He was as a wall which was again and again broken through by the missiles or battering-rams of God, and against which He ran after the manner of besiegers when storming. פּרץ is the proper word for such breaches and holes in a wall generally; here it is connected as obj. with its own verb, according to Ges. 138, rem. 1. The second פרץ (פּרץ with Kametz) has Ssade minusculum, for some reason unknown to us.

The next strophe says what change took place in his own conduct in consequence of this incomprehensible wrathful disposition of God which had vented itself on him.

Job 16:12 Interlinear
Job 16:12 Parallel Texts

Job 16:12 NIV
Job 16:12 NLT
Job 16:12 ESV
Job 16:12 NASB
Job 16:12 KJV

Job 16:12 Bible Apps
Job 16:12 Parallel
Job 16:12 Biblia Paralela
Job 16:12 Chinese Bible
Job 16:12 French Bible
Job 16:12 German Bible

Bible Hub

Job 16:11
Top of Page
Top of Page