Job 19:13
He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) He hath put my brethren far from me.—The Psalmist has apparently copied this in Psalm 88:8. The sense of human desertion is hardly less terrible than that of being forsaken by God, and this has been added to him. It is not easy to read these sad complaints of Job without seeing how fitly they apply to the sorrows of the Man of sorrows. Those who, with the present writer, believe in the overruling presence of the Holy Ghost will adore His wisdom in this fitness; but at all events it shows how completely Christ entered into the very heart of human suffering, in that the deepest expressions of suffering inevitably remind us of Him, whether those expressions are met with in the Book of Job, in the Psalms of David, or in the Lamentations of Jeremiah.

Job 19:13. He hath put my brethren far from me, &c. — I looked for some support and comfort from my kindred and friends, but they were so astonished at the number and dreadfulness of my calamities that they fled from me as a man accursed of God: and as for my neighbours, who formerly much courted my acquaintance: they keep aloof from me, as if they had never known me. As we must see the hand of God in all the injuries we receive from our enemies, so likewise in all the slights and unkindnesses we receive from our friends.

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.He hath put my brethren - This is a new source of afflication that he had not adverted to before, that God had caused all his children to be estranged from him - a calamity which he regarded as the crown of all his woes. The word rendered "my brethren" (אחי 'âchāy) means means properly "my brothers" - but whether he means literally his brothers, or whether he designs it to be taken in a figuratie sense as denoting his intimate friends, or those of the same rank in life or calling, it is impossible now to determine.

And mine acquaintance - My friends - on whom I relied in time of calamity.

And verily estranged - They have forgotten me, and treat me as a stranger. What an accurate description is this of what often occurs! In prosperity a man will be surrounded by friends; but as soon as his prosperity is stripped away, and he is overwhelmed with calamity, they withdraw, and leave him to suffer alone. Proud of his acquaintance before, they now pass him by as a stranger, or treat him with cold civility, and when he "needs" their friendship, they are gone.

13. brethren—nearest kinsmen, as distinguished from "acquaintance." So "kinsfolk" and "familiar friends" (Job 19:14) correspond in parallelism. The Arabic proverb is, "The brother, that is, the true friend, is only known in time of need."

estranged—literally, "turn away with disgust." Job again unconsciously uses language prefiguring the desertion of Jesus Christ (Job 16:10; Lu 23:49; Ps 38:11).

My brethren, i.e. my kindred and friends, who might and should have supported and comforted me in my distress.

Far from me; either,

1. In place; because they feared or disdained, or at least neglected, to visit or succour me. Or,

2. In their affections, which are far from me, when their bodies are present with me, as I find in you. But this also I ascribe to God; he hath alienated your hearts from me.

He hath put my brethren far from me,.... As it is one part of business in war to cut off all communication between the enemy and their confederates and auxiliaries, and to hinder them of all the help and assistance from them they can; so Job here represents God dealing with him as with an enemy, and therefore keeps at a distance from him all such from whom he might expect comfort and succour, as particularly his brethren; by whom may be meant such who in a natural relation are strictly and properly brethren; for such Job had, as appears from Job 42:11; who afterwards paid him a visit, and showed brotherly love to him; but for the present the affliction that God laid upon him had such an influence on theft, as to cause them to stand aloof off, and not come near him, and show any regard unto him; and as this was the effect of the afflicting hand of God, Job ascribes it to him, and which added to his affliction; see Psalm 69:8;

and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me; such as knew him in the time of his prosperity, and frequently visited him, and conversed with him, and he with them; but now, things having taken a different turn in his outward circumstances, they carried it strange to him, as if they had never been acquainted with him: "si fueris felix", &c.

He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13–14. First, his relations outside his own immediate circle and his acquaintances stood aloof from him.

13–19. The estrangement and abhorrence of men.

Job’s complaint now is even more touching than before: God not only afflicted him with trouble but removed far from him all human sympathy. And there is something more breaking to the heart in the turning away of men from us than in the severest sufferings. It crushes us quite. We steel ourselves against it for a time and rise to it in bitterness and resentment, but gradually it breaks us and we are crushed at last. And this seems the way whether men frown on us with justice or no. And there came on Job when he contemplated his complete casting off by men, by his friends and his household and even by the little children, a complete break-down, and he cries, Pity me, O ye my friends (Job 19:21). This alienation of men was universal:—

Verse 13. - He hath put my brethren far from me. Job had actual "brothers" (Job 42:11), who forsook him and "dealt deceitfully" with him (Job 6:15) during the time of his adversity, but were glad enough to return to him and "eat bread with him" in his later prosperous life. Their alienation from him during the period of his afflictions he here regards as among the trials laid upon him by God. Compare the similar woe of Job's great Antitype (John 5:5, "For neither did his brethren believe on him"). And mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me (comp. Psalm 38:11; Psalm 69:9; Psalm 88:8, 18). The desertion of the afflicted by their fair-weather friends is a standing topic with the poets and moralists of all ages and nations. Job was not singular in this affliction. Job 19:1312 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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