Job 19:22
Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(22) Why do ye persecute me as God?—Comp. Job 16:9.

Job 19:22. Why do you persecute me as God? — As if you had the same infinite knowledge which God hath, whereby you could search my heart, and know my hypocrisy, and the same sovereign authority, to say and do what you please with me. And are not satisfied with my flesh — That is, with the consumption and torment of my whole body, but add to it the vexation of my spirit, by grievous censures and reproaches, and are like wolves and lions, which are not contented with devouring the flesh of their prey, but also break their bones.

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.Why do ye persecute me as God? - As God has done. That is, without giving me any reason for it; accusing me of crimes without proof, and condeming me without mitigation. That there is here an improper reflection on God, will be apparent to all. It accords with what Job frequently expresses where he speaks of him as judging him severly, and is on of the instances which prove that he was not entirely perfect.

And are not satisfied with my flesh - That is, are not contented that my "body" is subjected to inexpressible torment, and is wholly wasting away, but add to this the torment of the soul. Why is it not enough that my "body" is thus tormented without adding the severer tortures of the mind?

22. as God—has persecuted me. Prefiguring Jesus Christ (Ps 69:26). That God afflicts is no reason that man is to add to a sufferer's affliction (Zec 1:15).

satisfied with my flesh—It is not enough that God afflicts my flesh literally (Job 19:20), but you must "eat my flesh" metaphorically (Ps 27:2); that is, utter the worst calumnies, as the phrase often means in Arabic.

As God; either,

1. As God doth; or rather,

2. As if you were gods, and not men; as if you had the same infinite knowledge which God hath, whereby you can search my heart, and know my hypocrisy; and the same sovereign and absolute authority, to say and do what you please with me, without giving any reason or account of it, which is indeed the prerogative of the great God; but it belongs not to you, who are men, and therefore liable to mistake and misjudging, and such as must give all account to God of all their words and carriages towards their brethren, and particularly towards persons in affliction, and withal subject to the same diseases and calamities under which I groan; and therefore may need the pity which I expect from you.

With my flesh, i.e. with the consumption and torment of my whole body, but add to it the vexation of my spirit, by grievous reproaches and censures; but are like wolves or lions, that are not contented with devouring the flesh of their prey, but also break their bones.

Why do ye persecute me as God,.... As if they were in his stead, or had the same power and authority over him, who is a sovereign Being, and does what he pleases with his creatures, and is not accountable to any for what he does; but this is not the case of men, nor are they to imitate God in all things; what he does is not in all things a warrant to do the like, or to be pleaded and followed as a precedent by them; they should be merciful as he is merciful, but they are not to afflict and distress his people because he does, and which he does for wise ends and reasons; for such a conduct is resented by him, see Zechariah 1:15. God persecuted or pursued and followed Job with one affliction after another, and hunted him as a fierce lion does his prey, Job 10:16; but this was not a reason why they should do the same. Some read the words, "why do ye persecute me as those?" (p) you that profess to be my friends, why do ye persecute me as those before mentioned, as those wicked men? or "with those", with such reproaches and calumnies; but the original will not bear it:

and are not satisfied with my flesh? It was not enough that he was afflicted in his body, and his flesh was ulcerated from head to feet, and was clothed with worms and clods of dust; they were not content that his children, which were his own flesh, were tore away from him, and destroyed; and that his substance, which is sometimes called the flesh of men, see Micah 3:3; was devoured, and he was spoiled and plundered of it; but they sought to afflict his mind, to wound his spirit, by their heavy charges and accusations, by their calumnies and reproaches, and hard censures of him; he suggests, that they dealt with him more cruelly than savage beasts, who, when they have got their prey, are satisfied with their flesh; but they, who would be thought to be his friends, were not satisfied with his.

(p) Ben Gersom.

Why do ye persecute me as {n} God, and are not satisfied with my {o} flesh?

(n) Is it not enough that God punishes me, unless you by reproaching increase my sorrow?

(o) To see my body punished, unless you trouble my mind?

22. satisfied with my flesh] Why cannot ye be sated with devouring me? The figure is sufficiently plain. In Oriental phrase “to devour or eat the parts or pieces of one” is to calumniate him, to accuse him, Daniel 3:8, Dan. 6:34. Job asks why they will not cease to bring accusations against him?

Verse 22. - Why do ye persecute me as God? i.e. Why are ye as hard on me as God himself? If I have offended him, what have I done to offend you? And are not satisfied with my flesh? i.e. "devour my flesh, like wild beasts, and yet are not satisfied." Job 19:2221 Have pity upon me, have pity upon me,

O ye my friends, For the hand of Eloah hath touched me.

22 Wherefore do ye persecute me as God,

And are never satisfied with my flesh?

23 Oh that my words were but written,

That they were recorded in a book,

24 With an iron pen, filled in with lead,

Graven in the rock for ever!

25 And I:know: my Redeemer liveth,

And as the last One will He arise from the dust.

In Job 19:21 Job takes up a strain we have not heard previously. His natural strength becomes more and more feeble, and his voice weaker and weaker. It is a feeling of sadness that prevails in the preceding description of suffering, and now even stamps the address to the friends with a tone of importunate entreaty which shall, if possible, affect their heart. They are indeed his friends, as the emphatic רעי אתּם affirms; impelled towards him by sympathy they are come, and at least stand by him while all other men flee from him. They are therefore to grant him favour (חנן, prop. to incline to) in the place of right; it is enough that the hand of Eloah has touched him (in connection with this, one is reminded that leprosy is called נגע, and is pre-eminently accounted as plaga divina; wherefore the suffering Messiah also bears the significant name חוּרא דבי רבּי, "the leprous one from the school of Rabbi," in the Talmud, after Isaiah 53:4, Isaiah 53:8), they are not to make the divine decree heavier to him by their uncharitableness. Wherefore do ye persecute me - he asks them in Job 19:22 - like as God (כּמו־אל, according to Saad. and Ralbag equals כמו־אלּה, which would be very tame); by which he means not merely that they add their persecution to God's, but that they take upon themselves God's work, that they usurp to themselves a judicial divine authority, they act towards him as if they were superhuman (vid., Isaiah 31:3), and therefore inhumanly, since they, who are but his equals, look down upon him from an assumed and false elevation. The other half of the question: wherefore are ye not full of my flesh (de ma chair, with מן, as Job 31:31), but still continue to devour it? is founded upon a common Semitic figurative expression, with which may be compared our Germ. expression, "to gnaw with the tooth of slander" comp. Engl. "backbiting". In Chaldee, אכל קרצוהי די, to eat the pieces of (any one), is equivalent to, to slander him; in Syriac, ochelqarsso is the name of Satan, like διάβολος. The Arabic here, as almost everywhere in the book of Job, presents a still closer parallel; for Arab. 'kl lḥm signifies to eat any one's flesh, then (different from אכל בשׂר, Psalm 27:2) equivalent to, to slander,

(Note: Vid., Schultens' ad Prov. Meidanii, p. 7 (where "to eat his own flesh," equivalent to "himself," without allowing others to do it, signifies to censure his kinsmen), and comp. the phrase Arab. aclu-l-a‛râdhi in the signification arrodere existimationem hominum in Makkari, i. 541, 13.)

since an evil report is conceived of as a wild beast, which delights in tearing a neighbour to pieces, as the friends do not refrain from doing, since, from the love of their assumption that his suffering must be the retributive punishment of heinous sins, they lay sins to his charge of which he is not conscious, and which he never committed. Against these uncharitable and groundless accusations he wishes (Job 19:23) that the testimony of his innocence, to which they will not listen, might be recorded in a book for posterity, or because a book may easily perish, graven in a rock (therefore not on leaden plates) with an iron style, and the addition of lead, with which to fill up the engraved letters, and render them still more imperishable. In connection with the remarkable fidelity with which the poet throws himself back into the pre-Israelitish patriarchal time of his hero, it is of no small importance that he ascribes to him an acquaintance not only with monumental writing, but also with book and documentary writing (comp. Job 31:35).

The fut., which also elsewhere (Job 6:8; Job 13:5; Job 14:13, once the praet., Job 23:3, noverim) follows מי־יתּן, quis dabat equals utinam, has Waw consec. here (as Deuteronomy 5:26 the praet.); the arrangement of the words is extremely elegant, בּסּפר stands per hyperbaton emphatically prominent. כּתב and חקק (whence fut. Hoph. יחקוּ with Dag. implicitum in the ח, comp. Job 4:20, and the Dag. of the ק omitted, for יוּחקּוּ, according to Ges. 67, rem. 8) interchange also elsewhere, Isaiah 30:8. ספר, according to its etymon, is a book formed of the skin of an animal, as Arab. sufre, the leathern table-mat spread on the ground instead of a table. It is as unnecessary to read לעד (comp. Job 16:8, lxx, εἰς μαρτύριον) instead of לעד here, as in Isaiah 30:8. He wishes that his own declaration, in opposition to his accusers, may be inscribed as on a monument, that it may be immortalized,


Job 19:22 Interlinear
Job 19:22 Parallel Texts

Job 19:22 NIV
Job 19:22 NLT
Job 19:22 ESV
Job 19:22 NASB
Job 19:22 KJV

Job 19:22 Bible Apps
Job 19:22 Parallel
Job 19:22 Biblia Paralela
Job 19:22 Chinese Bible
Job 19:22 French Bible
Job 19:22 German Bible

Bible Hub

Job 19:21
Top of Page
Top of Page