Job 16:12
I was at ease, but he has broken me asunder: he has also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.
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(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). 6 If I speak, my pain is not soothed;

And if I forbear, what alleviation do Iexperience?

7 Nevertheless now hath He exhausted me;

Thou hast desolated all my household,

8 And Thou filledst me with wrinkles - for a witness was it,

And my leanness rose up against me

Complaining to my face.

9 His wrath tore me, and made war upon me;

He hath gnashed upon me with His teeth,

As mine enemy He sharpeneth His eyes against me.

אם stands with the cohortative in the hypothetical antecedent clause Job 16:6, and in 6b the cohortative stands alone as Job 11:17; Psalm 73:16; Psalm 139:8, which is more usual, and more in accordance with the meaning which the cohortative has in itself, Ngelsbach, 89, 3. The interrogative, What goes from me? is equivalent to, what ( equals nothing) of pain forsakes me. The subject of the assertion which follows (Job 16:7) is not the pain - Aben-Ezra thinks even that this is addressed in v. 7b - still less Eliphaz, whom some think, particularly on account of the sharp expressions which follow, must be understood, but God, whose wrath Job regards as the cause of his suffering, and feels as the most intolerable part of it. A strained connection is obtained by taking אך either in an affirmative sense (Ew.: surely), as Job 18:21, or in a restrictive sense: only ( equals entirely) He has now exhausted me (Hirz., Hahn, also Schlottm.: only I feel myself oppressed, at least to express this), by which interpretation the עתּה, which stands between אך and the verb, is in the way. We render it therefore in the adversative signification: nevertheless (verum tamen) now he seeks neither by speaking to alleviate his pain, nor by silence to control himself; God has placed him in a condition in which all his strength is exhausted. He is absolutely incapable of offering any resistance to his pain, and care has also been taken that no solacing word shall come to him from any quarter: Thou hast made all my society desolate (Carey: all my clan); עדה of the household, as in Job 15:34. Jerome: in nihilum redacti sunt omnes artus mei (כל אברי, as explained by the Jewish expositors, e.g., Ralbag), as though the human organism could be called עדה. Hahn: Thou hast destroyed all my testimony, which must have been אדתי (from עוּד, whereas עדה, from ועד, has a changeable Ssere). He means to say that he stands entirely alone, and neither sees nor hears anything consolatory, for he does not count his wife. He is therefore completely shut up to himself; God has shrivelled him up; and this suffering form to which God has reduced him, is become an evidence, i.e., for himself and for others, as the three friends, an accusation de facto, which puts him down as a sinner, although his self-consciousness testifies the opposite to him.

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