Job 19:12
His troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle.
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Job 19:12. His troops come together — My afflictions, which are but God’s instruments and soldiers marching under his conduct; and raise up their way against me — Cast up a bank, or make a trench about me, as an army besieging a place; or raise a causeway or path, as pioneers usually do, in low and marshy grounds, for the march of an army: that is, God removes all impediments out of the way, and lays me open to troubles and calamities of every kind.

19:8-22 How doleful are Job's complaints! What is the fire of hell but the wrath of God! Seared consciences will feel it hereafter, but do not fear it now: enlightened consciences fear it now, but shall not feel it hereafter. It is a very common mistake to think that those whom God afflicts he treats as his enemies. Every creature is that to us which God makes it to be; yet this does not excuse Job's relations and friends. How uncertain is the friendship of men! but if God be our Friend, he will not fail us in time of need. What little reason we have to indulge the body, which, after all our care, is consumed by diseases it has in itself. Job recommends himself to the compassion of his friends, and justly blames their harshness. It is very distressing to one who loves God, to be bereaved at once of outward comfort and of inward consolation; yet if this, and more, come upon a believer, it does not weaken the proof of his being a child of God and heir of glory.His troops - The calamities which he had sent, and which are here represented as "armies" or "soldiers" to accomplish his work. It is not probable that he refers here to the bands of the Chaldeans and the Sabeans, that had robbed him of his property, but to the calamities that had come upon him, "as if" they were bands of robbers.

And raise up their way - As and army that is about to lay siege to a city, or that is marching to attack it, casts up a way of access to it, and thus obtains every facility to take it; see Isaiah 40:3, note; Isaiah 57:14, note.

And encamp round about my tabernacle - In the manner of an army besieging a city. Often an army is encamped in this manner for months or even years, in order to reduce the city by famine.

My tabernacle - My tent; my dwelling.

12. troops—Calamities advance together like hostile troops (Job 10:17).

raise up … way—An army must cast up a way of access before it, in marching against a city (Isa 40:3).

His troops, i.e. my afflictions, which are but God’s instruments and soldiers marching under his conduct.

Raise up their way; either,

1. Cast a bank or trench round about me, as an army doth when they go to besiege a place. Or rather,

2. Make a causeway or raised path, as pioneers usually do in low and waterish grounds for the march of an army. God removes all impediments out of the way, and lays me open to all manner of mischief.

His troops come together,.... Afflictions which are many, and of which it may be said, as was at the birth of God, who had his name from the word here used, "a troop cometh": Genesis 30:11; and these sometimes come together, or follow so quick one upon another, that there is scarce any interval between them, as did Job's afflictions; and they are God's hosts, his troops, his soldiers, which are at his command; and he says to them, as the centurion did to his, to the one, Go, and he goes, and to another, Come, and it comes:

and raise up their way against me; as an army, when it comes against a place, throws up a bank to raise their artillery upon, that they may play it to greater advantage; or make a broad causeway, for the soldiers to march abreast against it; or an high cast up way, as the word (y) signifies, over a ditch or dirty place in a hollow, that they may the better pass over: some read it, "they raise up their way upon me" (z); he opposing and standing in the way was crushed down by them, and trampled upon, and over whom they passed as on an highway, and in a beaten path; see Isaiah 51:23; but most render it, "against me"; for Job looked upon all his afflictions, as Jacob did Genesis 42:36, to be against him, to militate against him, and threaten him with ruin, when they were all working for him, even for his good:

and encamp round about my tabernacle: as an army round about a city when besieging it. Job may have respect to the tabernacle of his body, as that is sometimes so called, 2 Corinthians 5:1; and to the diseases of it; which being a complication, might be said to encamp about him, or surround him on all sides.

(y) "aggerant", Cocceius, Schultens; "straverunt", Montanus, Schmidt; a "via strata et elevata", Mercerus, Drusius. (z) "super me", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Schmidt, Michaelis.

His {g} troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle.

(g) His manifold afflictions.

12. raise up their way] i. e. cast up a way or high bank on which to advance againt the beleaguered fort or city.

Verse 12. - His troops come together (comp. Job 16:13, "His archers compass me round about"). It seems to Job that God brings against him a whole army of assailants, who join their forces together and proceed to the attack. Clouds of archers, troops of ravagers, come about him, and fall upon him from every side. And raise up their way against me; rather, and cast up their bank against me. Job still regards himself as a besieged city (see ver. 10), and represents his assailants as raising embankments to hem him in, or mounds from which to batter his defences (compare the Assyrian sculptures, passim). And encamp round about my tabernacle; i.e. "my tent," or "my dwelling." Job 19:1212 His troops came together,

And threw up their way against me,

And encamped round about my tent.

13 My brethren hath He removed far from me,

And my acquaintance are quite estranged from me.

14 My kinsfolk fail,

And those that knew me have forgotten me.

15 The slaves of my house and my maidens,

They regard me as a stranger,

I am become a perfect stranger in their eyes.

It may seem strange that we do not connect Job 19:12 with the preceding strophe or group of verses; but between Job 19:7 and Job 19:21 there are thirty στίχοι, which, in connection with the arrangement of the rest of this speech in decastichs (accidentally coinciding remarkably with the prominence given to the number ten in Job 19:3), seem intended to be divided into three decastichs, and can be so divided without doing violence to the connection. While in Job 19:12, in connection with Job 19:11, Job describes the course of the wrath, which he has to withstand as if he were an enemy of God, in Job 19:13. he refers back to the degradation complained of in Job 19:9. In Job 19:12 he compares himself to a besieged (perhaps on account of revolt) city. God's גדוּדים (not: bands of marauders, as Dietr. interprets, but: troops, i.e., of regular soldiers, synon. of צבא, Job 10:17, comp. Job 25:3; Job 29:25, from the root גד, to unite, join, therefore prop. the assembled, a heap; vid., Frst's Handwrterbuch) are the bands of outwards and inward sufferings sent forth against him for a combined attack (יחד). Heaping up a way, i.e., by filling up the ramparts, is for the purpose of making the attack upon the city with battering-rams (Job 16:14) and javelins, and then the storm, more effective (on this erection of offensive ramparts (approches), called elsewhere שׁפך סללה, vid., Keil's Archologie, 159). One result of this condition of siege in which God's wrath has placed him is that he is avoided and despised as one smitten of God: neither love and fidelity, nor obedience and dependence, meet him from any quarter. What he has said in Job 17:6, that he is become a byword and an abomination (an object to spit upon), he here describes in detail. There is no ground for understanding אחי in the wider sense of relations; brethren is meant here, as in Psalm 69:9. He calls his relations קרובי, as Psalm 38:12. ידעי are (in accordance with the pregnant biblical use of this word in the sense of nosse cum affectu et effectu) those who know him intimately (with objective suff. as Psalm 87:4), and מידּעי, as Psalm 31:12, and freq., those intimately known to him; both, therefore, so-called heart-or bosom-friends. בּיתי גּרי Jer. well translates inquilinin domus meae; they are, in distinction from those who by birth belong to the nearer and wider circle of the family, persons who are received into this circle as servants, as vassals (comp. Exodus 3:22, and Arabic jâr, an associate, one sojourning in a strange country under the protection of its government, a neighbour), here espec. the domestics. The verb תּחשׁבוּני (Ges. 60) is construed with the nearest feminine subject. These people, who ought to thank him for taking them into his house, regard him as one who does not belong to it (זר); he is looked upon by them as a perfect stranger (נכרי), as an intruder from another country.

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