Job 17:15
And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it?
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17:10-16 Job's friends had pretended to comfort him with the hope of his return to a prosperous estate; he here shows that those do not go wisely about the work of comforting the afflicted, who fetch their comforts from the possibility of recovery in this world. It is our wisdom to comfort ourselves, and others, in distress, with that which will not fail; the promise of God, his love and grace, and a well-grounded hope of eternal life. See how Job reconciles himself to the grave. Let this make believers willing to die; it is but going to bed; they are weary, and it is time that they were in their beds. Why should not they go willingly when their Father calls them? Let us remember our bodies are allied to corruption, the worm and the dust; and let us seek for that lively hope which shall be fulfilled, when the hope of the wicked shall be put out in darkness; that when our bodies are in the grave, our souls may enjoy the rest reserved for the people of God.And where is now my hope? - What hope have I of life? What possibility is there of my escape from death?

Who shall see it? - That is, who will see any hopes that I may now cherish fulfilled. If I cherish any, they will be disappointed, and no one will see them accomplished.

15. Who shall see it fulfilled? namely, the "hope" (Job 11:18) which they held out to him of restoration. Where is now my hope? and what then is become of that hope which you advised me to entertain?

My hope, i.e. the fulfilling of my hope, or the happiness which you would have me expect; hope being put for the thing hoped for, as Proverbs 13:12 1 Corinthians 9:10.

Who shall see it? no man shall see it: it shall never be. And where is now my hope?.... Not the grace of hope, which was in his heart; and though it might sometimes be low in exercise, it could not be lost; it is an anchor, sure and steadfast, and is one of the graces that always abides, and never disappoints and makes ashamed; nor the object of hope, eternal glory and happiness in another world, that is laid up in heaven, and for which he was looking and waiting by faith; but his hope of outward happiness, and of being restored to his former state of prosperity, or a better, which his friends encouraged him to; this had no place in him, nor did he see any reason to cherish it; all ground and foundation of it was removed, as he apprehended; there was nothing on which he could build such an hope as that, see Job 6:11;

as for my hope, who shall see it? that is, which his friends would have him hope for, a line house, a large estate, a numerous family, honour and respect among men, long life, and an abundance of outward peace and happiness; this he was firmly persuaded he should never see, being just going into the grave, nor his friends that suggested these things to him, nor anybody else; though indeed what he himself truly hoped for might be rightly thus described, being things not seen by the eye of the body, nor by carnal sense and reason, but are the invisible glories and realities of another world, for "hope that is seen is not hope", &c. Romans 8:24; but Job does not design these, but the former.

And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it?
15. If in fact and in his own feeling Job so surely belongs to death, where is the brilliant hope which his friends hold out, and who shall ever see such a hope realized? or, who can perceive a trace of it? His hope in truth is another (Job 17:13).Verse 15. - And where is now my hope? (comp. Job 14:18-15). At first sight it might seem that to cue in Sheol there could be no hope. But Job is too conscious of his own ignorance to dogmatize on such a subject. What does he know of Sheol? How can he be sure that it is "God's last word to men"? There may be As for my hope, who shall see it? i.e. what eye can penetrate the darkness of the future, and solve the riddle for me? 6 And He hath made me a proverb to the world,

And I became as one in whose face they spit.

7 Then mine eye became dim with grief,

And all my members were like a shadow.

8 The upright were astonished at it,

And the innocent is stirred up over the godless;

9 Nevertheless the righteous holdeth fast on his way,

And he that hath clean hands waxeth stronger and stronger.

Without a question, the subj. of Job 17:6 is God. It is the same thing whether משׁל is taken as inf. followed by the subject in the nominative (Ges. 133, 2), or as a subst. (lxx θρύλλημα; Aq., Symm., Theod., παραβολήν), like שׂחוק, Job 12:4, followed by the gen. subjectivus. משׁל is the usual word for ridicule, expressed in parables of a satirical character, e.g., Joel 2:17 (according to which, if משׁל were intended as inf., משׁל־בּי עמּים might have been expected); עמּים signifies both nations and races, and tribes or people, i.e., members of this and that nation, or in gen. of mankind (Job 12:2). We have intentionally chosen an ambiguous expression in the translation, for what Job says can be meant of a wide range of people (comp. on Job 2:11 ad fin.), as well as of those in the immediate neighbourhood; the friends themselves represent different tribes; and a perishable gipsy-like troglodyte race, to whom Job is become a derision, is specially described further on (Job 24, 30).

Job 17:6

By תּפת (translated by Jer. exemplum, and consequently mistaken for מופת) the older expositors are reminded of the name of the place where the sacrifices were offered to Moloch in the valley of the sons of Hinnom (whence גּיהנּם, γέεννα, hell), since they explain it by "the fire of hell," but only from want of a right perception; the לפנים standing with it, which nowhere signifies palam, and cannot here (where אהיה, although in the signification ἐγενόμην, follows) signify a multo tempore, shows that תפת here is to be derived from תּוּף, to spit out (as נפת, gum, from נוּף). This verb certainly cannot be supported in Hebr. and Aram. (since רקק is the commoner word), except two passages in the Talmud (Nidda 42a, comp. Sabbath 99b, and Chethuboth 61b); but it is confirmed by the Aethiopic and Coptic and an onomatopoetic origin, as the words πτύειν, ψύειν, spuere, Germ. speien, etc., show.

(Note: תוף is related to the Sanskrit root shttı̂v, as τέγη, τρύχους, τρύζω, and the like, to στέγη, στρύχνος, στρύζω,, vid., Kuhn's Zeitschrift, Bd. iv. Abh. i.((the falling away of s before mutes).)

Cognate is the Arabic taffafa, to treat with contempt, and the interjection tuffan, fie upon thee,

(Note: Almost all modern expositors repeat the remark here, that this tuffan is similar in meaning to ῥακά, Matthew 5:22, while they might learn from Lightfoot that it has nothing to do with רק, to spit, but is equivalent to ריקא, κενέ.)


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