Job 21:6
Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh.
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Job 21:6. Even when I remember I am afraid, &c. — The very remembrance of what is past fills me with dread and horror. As Job well knew that the account he was about to give of the prosperity of wicked men, however necessary to his argument, would have something shocking in it to the ears of those to whom it was addressed, the delicacy with which he thus introduces it is inimitable.

21:1-6 Job comes closer to the question in dispute. This was, Whether outward prosperity is a mark of the true church, and the true members of it, so that ruin of a man's prosperity proves him a hypocrite? This they asserted, but Job denied. If they looked upon him, they might see misery enough to demand compassion, and their bold interpretations of this mysterious providence should be turned into silent wonder.Even when I remember, I am afraid - I have an internal shuddering and horror when I recall the scenes through which I have passed. I am myself utterly overwhelmed at the magnitude of my own sufferings, and they are such as should excite commiseration in your hearts. Some, however, have connected this with the following verse, supposing the idea to be, that he was horror-stricken when he contemplated the prosperity of wicked people. But there seems to me to be no reason for this interpretation. His object is undoubtedly to show them that there was enough in his ease to awe them into silence; and he says, in order to show that, that the recollection of his sufferings perfectly overwhelmed "him," and filled him with horror. They who have passed through scenes of special danger, or of great bodily suffering, can easily sympathize with Job here. The very recollection will make the flesh tremble. 6. remember—Think on it. Can you wonder that I broke out into complaints, when the struggle was not with men, but with the Almighty? Reconcile, if you can, the ceaseless woes of the innocent with the divine justice! Is it not enough to make one tremble? [Umbreit]. When I remember what I have partly observed and partly felt of these things. The very remembrance of what is past fills me with dread and horror.

Even when I remember,.... Either the iniquities of his youth he was made to possess; or his former state of outward happiness and prosperity he had enjoyed, and reviewed his present miserable case and condition, and called to mind the evil tidings brought him thick and fast of the loss of his substance, servants, and children, which were so terrible and shocking; or when he reflected on the instances of Providence he was about to relate in the following verses:

I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh; which is sometimes the case of good men, both with respect to the judgments of God upon the wicked, and with respect to what befalls, or is coming upon, the people of God, Psalm 119:120; and even the different treatment of good and bad men in this life, as that the one should be severely afflicted and distressed, and the other be in such prosperous and happy circumstances, is not only a sore temptation to them, but shocks their minds, and makes them shudder and stagger at it, and gives them great pain and uneasiness, Psalm 73:2.

Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh.
6. When Job himself reflects on it he trembles. When I remember means, When I think of it.

Verse 6. - Even when I remember; i.e. "when I think upon the subject." I am afraid, and trembling taketh held on my flesh. A shudder runs through his whole frame. His words will, he knows, seem to verge upon impiety. Job 21:6 1 Then began Job, and said:

2 Hear, oh hear, my speech,

And let this be instead of your consolations.

3 Suffer me, and I will speak,

And after I have spoken thou mayest mock.

4 As for me, then, doth my complaint concern man,

Or wherefore should I not become impatient?

5 Turn ye to me and be astonished,

And lay your hand upon your mouth.

6 Even if I think of it I am bewildered,

And my flesh taketh hold on trembling - :

The friends, far from being able to solve the enigma of Job's affliction, do not once recognise the mystery as such. They cut the knot by wounding Job most deeply by ever more and more frivolous accusations. Therefore he entreats them to be at least willing to listen (שׁמעוּ with the gerund) to his utterance (מלּה) respecting the unsolved enigma; then (Waw apodosis imper.) shall this attention supply the place of their consolations, i.e., be comforting to him, which their previous supposed consolations could not be. They are to bear with him, i.e., without interruption allow him to answer for himself (שׂאוּני with Kametz before the tone, as Jonah 1:12, comp. קחהוּ, 1 Kings 20:33, not as Hirz. thinks under the influence of the distinctive accent, but according to the established rule, Ges. 60, rem. 1); then he will speak (אנכי contrast to the "ye" in שׂאוני without further force), and after he has expressed himself they may mock. It is, however, not תלעיגוּ (as Olshausen corrects), but תלעיג (in a voluntative signific. equals תלעג), since Job here addresses himself specially to Zophar, the whole of whose last speech must have left the impression on him of a bitter sarcasm (sarkasmo's from sarka'zein in the sense of Job 19:22), and has dealt him the freshest deep blow. In Job 21:4 שׂיחת is not to be understood otherwise than as in Job 7:13; Job 9:27; Job 10:1; Job 23:2, and is to be translated "my complaint." Then the prominently placed אנכי is to be taken, after Ezekiel 33:17, Ges. 121, 3, as an emphatic strengthening of the "my": he places his complaint in contrast with another. This emphasizing is not easily understood, if one, with Hupf., explains: nonne hominis est querela mea, so that ה is equivalent to הלא (which here in the double question is doubly doubtful), and ל is the sign of the cause. Schultens and Berg, who translate לאדם more humano, explain similarly, by again bringing their suspicious ל comparativum

(Note: In the passage from Ibn-Kissa quoted above, p. 421, Schultens, as Fleischer assures me, has erroneously read Arab. lmchâlı̂b instead of kmchâlı̂b, having been misled by the frequent failing of the upper stroke of the Arab. k, and in general Arab. l is never equals k, and also ל never equals כ, as has been imagined since Schultens.)

here to bear upon it. The ל by שׂיחי (if it may not also be compared with Job 12:8) may certainly be expected to denote those to whom the complaint is addressed. We translate: As for me, then, does my complaint concern men? The אנכי which is placed at the beginning of the sentence comes no less under the rule, Ges. 145, 2, than 121, 3. In general, sufferers seek to obtain alleviation of their sufferings by imploring by words and groans the pity of sympathizing men; the complaint, however, which the three hear from him is of a different kind, for he has long since given up the hope of human sympathy, - his complaint concerns not men, but God (comp. Job 16:20).


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