Job 16:16
My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death;
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(16) Foul.—Rather, perhaps, red, as with wine.

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.My face is foul with weeping - Wemyss, "swelled." Noyes, "red." Good, "tarnished." Luther, "ist geschwollen" - is swelled. So Jerome. The Septuagint, strangely enough, ἡ γαστήρ μον συνκέκαυται, κ. τ. λ. hē gastēr mou sunkekautai, etc. "my belly is burned with weeping." The Hebrew word (חמר châmar) means to boil up, to ferment, to foam. Hence, it means to be red, and the word is often used in this sense in Arabic - from the idea of becoming heated or inflamed. Here it probably means either to be "swelled," as any thing does that "ferments," or to be "red" as if "heated" - the usual effect of weeping. The idea of being "defiled" is not in the word.

And on my eyelid; is the shadow of death - On the meaning of the word rendered "shadow of death," see the notes at Job 3:5. The meaning is, that darkness covered his eyes, and he felt that he was about to die. One of the usual indications of the approach of death is, that the sight fails, and everything seems to be dark. Hence, Homer so often describes death by the phrase, "and darkness covered his eyes;" or the form "a cloud of death covered his eyes" - θανάτου νέφος ὄσσε ἐκάλυψη thanatou nephos osse ekalupsē. The idea here is, that he experienced the indications of approaching death.

16. foul—rather, "is red," that is, flushed and heated [Umbreit and Noyes].

shadow of death—that is, darkening through many tears (La 5:17). Job here refers to Zophar's implied charge (Job 11:14). Nearly the same words occur as to Jesus Christ (Isa 53:9). So Job 16:10 above answers to the description of Jesus Christ (Ps 22:13; Isa 50:6, and Job 16:4 to Ps 22:7). He alone realized what Job aspired after, namely, outward righteousness of acts and inward purity of devotion. Jesus Christ as the representative man is typified in some degree in every servant of God in the Old Testament.

i. e. A gross and terrible darkness. My sight is very dim and dark, as is usual in case of sore diseases, or excessive grief and weeping, Lamentations 2:11; and especially in the approach of death: compare Psalm 6:7 38:10 Lamentations 5:17. My face is foul with weeping,.... On account of the loss of his substance, and especially of his children; at the unkindness of his friends, and over his own corruptions, which he felt working in him, and breaking forth in unbecoming language; and because of the hidings of the face of God from him: the word used in the Arabic language (i) has the, signification of redness in it, as Aben Ezra and others observe; of red wine, and, as Schultens adds, of the fermentation of it; and is fitly used to express a man's face in excessive weeping, which looks red, and swelled, and blubbered:

and on my eyelids is the shadow of death; which were become dim through weeping, so that he could scarcely see out of them, and, like a dying man, could hardly lift them up; and such was his sorrowful condition, that he never expected deliverance from it, but that it would issue in death; and which he supposed was very near, and that he had many symptoms of it, of which the decay of his eyesight was one; and he was so far from winking with his eyes in a wanton and ludicrous way, as Eliphaz had hinted, Job 15:12; that there was such a dead weight upon them, even the shadow of death itself, that he was not able to lift them up.

(i) "intumuit", V. L. Tigurine version; "fermentescit", Schultens.

My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death;
16. My face is foul] The word may mean inflamed, from a root signifying to be red; or the root of the word may mean to ferment, and the reference be to the swollen and blurred appearance of the face from excessive weeping. Involuntary weeping is said to be a symptom of Elephantiasis. The second clause expresses another effect of this weeping, his eyes became dim (ch. Job 17:7, Psalm 6:7; Psalm 69:3), and there lay thick darkness upon them—though this was also a sign of diminishing vitality; comp. Goethe’s dying cry, More light!Verse 16. - My face is foul with weeping He has wept so much that his face is stained with his tears. And on my eyelids is the shadow of death. There is an awful shadow on his eyes and eyelids, portending death 10 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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