And Job spoke, and said,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Isaiah 14:(Hebrew), Zechariah 3:4; Deuteronomy 26:5 (Hebrew), Deuteronomy 27:14 (Hebrew). The word "to answer" ἀποκρίνομαι apokrinomai is frequently used in this way in the New Testament; Matthew 17:4, Matthew 17:17; Matthew 28:5; Mark 9:5; Mark 10:51, et al. Exodus 32:27; Jarchi interprets it, "he cried", and so some others (u) render it: from henceforwards to Job 42:6, this book is written in a poetical style, in Hebrew metre as is thought, which at present is pretty much unknown, even to the Jews themselves; some have been of opinion, that the following discourses between Job and his friends were not originally delivered in metre, but were put into this form by the penman or writer of the book; but of this we cannot be certain; in the Targum in the king of Spain's Bible it is, "and Job sung and said". And Job spake, and said,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verses 2, 3. - And Job spake, and said, Let the day perish wherein I was born. An idle wish, doubtless; the vague utterance of extreme despair. Days cannot perish, or, at any rate, one day cannot perish more than another. They all come, and then are gone; but no day can perish out of the year, which will always have its full complement of three hundred and sixty-five days till time shall be no more. But extreme despair does not reason. It simply gives utterance to the thoughts and wishes as they arise. Job knew that many of his thoughts were vain and foolish, and confesses it further on (see Job 6:3). And the night in which it was said; rather, which said. Day and night are, both of them, personified, as in Psalm 19:2. There is a man child conceived. A man child was always regarded in the ancient world as a special blessing, since thus the family was maintained in being. A girl passed into another family. Job 19:17), where Job complains that his breath is offensive to her) Comes to Him:
9 Then his wife said to him, Dost thou still hold fast thine integrity? renounce God, and die.
In the lxx the words of his wife are unskilfully extended. The few words as they stand are sufficiently characteristic. They are not to be explained, Call on God for the last time, and then die (von Gerl.); or, Call on Him that thou die (according to Ges. 130, 2); but בּרך signifies, as Job's answer shows, to take leave of. She therefore counsels Job to do that which Satan has boasted to accomplish. And notwithstanding, Hengstenberg, in his Lecture on the Book of Job (1860),
(Note: Clark's Foreign Theological Library.)
defends her against the too severe judgment of expositors. Her desperation, says he, proceeds from her strong love for her husband; and if she had to suffer the same herself, she would probably have struggled against despair. But love hopeth all things; love keeps its despondency hidden even when it desponds; love has no such godless utterance, as to say, Renounce God; and none so unloving, as to say, Die. No, indeed! this woman is truly diaboli adjutrix (August.); a tool of the temper (Ebrard); impiae carnis praeco (Brentius). And though Calvin goes too far when he calls her not only organum Satanae, but even Proserpinam et Furiam infernalem, the title of another Xantippe, against which Hengstenberg defends her, is indeed rather flattery than slander. Tobias' Anna is her copy.
(Note: She says to the blind Tobias, when she is obliged to work for the support of the family, and does not act straightforwardly towards him: ποῦ εἰσὶν αἱ ἐλεημοσύναι σου καὶ αἱ δικαιοσύναι σου, ἰδοὺ γνωστὰ πάντα μετὰ σοῦ, i.e., (as Sengelmann, Book of Tobit, 1857, and O. F. Fritzsche, Handbuch zu d. Apokr. Lief. ii. S. 36, correctly explain) one sees from thy misfortunes that thy virtue is not of much avail to thee. She appears still more like Job in the revised text: manifeste vana facta est spes tua et eleemosynae tuae modo apparuerunt, i.e., thy benevolence has obviously brought us to poverty. In the text of Jerome a parallel between Tobias and Job precedes this utterance of Tobias' wife.)
What experience of life and insight the writer manifests in introducing Job's wife as the mocking opposer of his constant piety! Job has lost his children, but this wife he has retained, for he needed not to be tried by losing her: he was proved sufficiently by having her. She is further on once referred to, but even then not to her advantage. Why, asks Chrysostom, did the devil leave him this wife? Because he thought her a good scourge, by which to plague him more acutely than by any other means. Moreover, the thought is not far distant, that God left her to him in order that when, in the glorious issue of his sufferings, he receives everything doubled, he might not have this thorn in the flesh also doubled.
(Note: The delicate design of the writer here must not be overlooked: it has something of the tragi-comic about it, and has furnished acceptable material for epigrammatic writers not first from Kstner, but from early times (vid., das Epigramm vom J. 1696, in Serpilius' Personalia Iobi). Vid., a Jewish proverb relating thereto in Tendlau, Sprchw. u. Redensarten deutsch-jd. Vorzeit (1860), S. 11.)
What enmity towards God, what uncharitableness towards her husband, is there in her sarcastic words, which, if they are more than mockery, counsel him to suicide! (Ebrard). But he repels them in a manner becoming himself.
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