Job 3:26
I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 3:26. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet — Three expressions denoting the same thing, which was also signified in the verse immediately preceding, namely, that even in his prosperous days he never esteemed himself secure, or was perfectly free from the torment of fear and anxiety. Or, his meaning is, I did not misbehave myself in prosperity, abusing it by presumption and security; but I lived circumspectly, walking humbly with God, and working out my salvation with fear and trembling. Yet trouble came — As I feared it would. So that between fear and calamity my whole life has been uncomfortable, and I had reason to repent of it. Therefore, in this sense also his way was hid, and he knew not why God contended with him. 3:20-26 Job was like a man who had lost his way, and had no prospect of escape, or hope of better times. But surely he was in an ill frame for death when so unwilling to live. Let it be our constant care to get ready for another world, and then leave it to God to order our removal thither as he thinks fit. Grace teaches us in the midst of life's greatest comforts, to be willing to die, and in the midst of its greatest crosses, to be willing to live. Job's way was hid; he knew not wherefore God contended with him. The afflicted and tempted Christian knows something of this heaviness; when he has been looking too much at the things that are seen, some chastisement of his heavenly Father will give him a taste of this disgust of life, and a glance at these dark regions of despair. Nor is there any help until God shall restore to him the joys of his salvation. Blessed be God, the earth is full of his goodness, though full of man's wickedness. This life may be made tolerable if we attend to our duty. We look for eternal mercy, if willing to receive Christ as our Saviour.I was not in safety - That is, I have, or I had no peace. שׁלה shâlâh Septuagint, οὔτε εἰρήνευσα oute eirēneusa - "I had no peace." The sense is, that his mind had been disturbed with fearful alarms; or perhaps that at that time he was filled with dread.

Neither had I rest - Trouble comes upon me in every form, and I am a stranger wholly to peace. The accumulation of phrases here, all meaning nearly the same thing, is descriptive of a state of great agitation of mind. Such an accumulation is not uncommon in the Bible to denote any thing which language can scarcely describe. So in Isaiah 8:22 :

And they shall look upward; And to the earth shall they look; And lo!

rouble and darkness, Gloom, oppression, and deepened darkness.

So Job 10:21-22 :

To the land of darkness and the death-shade,

The land of darkness like the blackness of the death-shade,

Where is no order, and where the light is as darkness.

Thus, in the Hamasa (quoted by Dr Good), "Death, and devastation, and a remorseless disease, and a still heavier and more terrific family of evils." The Chaldee has made a remarkable addition here, arising from the general design in the author of that Paraphrase, to explain everything. "Did I not dissemble when the annunciation was made to me respecting the oxen and the asses? Was I not stupid (unalarmed, or unmoved, שדוכית), when the report came about the conflagration? Was I not quiet, when the report came respecting the camels? And did not indignation come, when the report was made respecting my sons?"

Yet trouble came - Or rather, "and trouble comes." This is one of the cumulative expressions to denote the rapidity and the intensity of his sorrows. The word rendered "trouble" (רגז rôgez) means properly trembling, commotion, disquiet. Here it signifies such misery as made him tremble. Once the word means wrath Habakkuk 3:2; and it is so understood here by the Septuagint, who renders it ὀργή orgē.

In regard to this chapter, containing the first speech of Job, we may remark, that it is impossible to approve the spirit which it exhibits, or to believe that it was acceptable to God. It laid the foundation for the reflections - many of them exceedingly just - in the following chapters, and led his friends to doubt whether such a man could be truly pious. The spirit which is manifested in this chapter, is undoubtedly far from that calm submission which religion should have produced, and from that which Job had before evinced. That he was, in the main, a man of eminent holiness and patience, the whole book demonstrates; but this chapter is one of the conclusive proofs that he was not absolutely free from imperfection. From the chapter we may learn,

(1) That even eminently good men sometimes give utterance to sentiments which are a departure from the spirit of religion, and which they will have occasion to regret. Such was the case here. There was a language of complaint, and a bitterness of expression, which religion cannot sanction, and which no pious man, on reflection, would approve.

(2) We see the effect of heavy affliction on the mind. It sometimes becomes overwhelming. It is so great that all the ordinary barriers against impatience are swept away. The sufferer is left to utter language of complaining, and there is the impatient wish that life was closed, or that he had not existed.

(3) We are not to infer that because a man in affliction makes use of some expressions which we cannot approve, and which are not sanctioned by the word of God, that therefore he is not a good man. There may be true piety, yet it may be far from perfection; there may be in general submission to God, yet the calamity may be so overwhelming as to overcome the usual restraints on our corrupt and fallen nature: and when we remember how feeble is our nature at best, and how imperfect is the piety of the holiest of men, we should not harshly judge him who is left to express impatience in his trials, or who gives utterance to sentiments different from those which are sanctioned by the word of God. There has been but one model of pure submission on earth - the Lord Jesus Christ; and after the contemplation of the best of men in their trials, we can see that there is imperfection in them, and that if we would survey absolute perfection in suffering, we must go to Gethsemane and to Calvary.

continued...

26. I was not in safety … yet trouble came—referring, not to his former state, but to the beginning of his troubles. From that time I had no rest, there was no intermission of sorrows. "And" (not, "yet") a fresh trouble is coming, namely, my friends' suspicion of my being a hypocrite. This gives the starting-point to the whole ensuing controversy. The three expressions note the same thing, which also was signified in the next foregoing verse, to wit, that even in his prosperous days he never was secure or at rest from the torment of fear and anxiety. Others, I did not misbehave myself in prosperity, abusing it by presumption, and security, and voluptuousness, whereby I might have provoked God thus to afflict me; but I lived soberly and circumspectly, walking humbly with God, and working out my salvation with fear and trembling, little expecting that God would be so fierce an enemy against me.

Yet trouble came, Heb. and trouble came, as I feared it would. So between fear and calamity my whole life hath been miserable, and I had reason to repent of it. I was not in safety,.... This cannot refer to the time of his prosperity; for he certainly then was in safety, God having set an hedge about him, so that none of his enemies, nor even Satan himself, could come at him to hurt him:

neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; which also was not true of him before his afflictions, for he did then enjoy great peace, rest, and quietness; he lay in his nest at ease, and in great tranquillity; and thought and said he should die in such a state, see Job 29:18, &c. nor is the sense of these expressions, that he did not take up his rest and satisfaction in outward things, and put his trust and confidence in his riches, and yet trouble came upon him; but this relates to the time of the beginning of his troubles and afflictions, from which time he was not in safety, nor had any rest and peace; there was no intermission of his sorrows; but as soon as one affliction was over, another came:

yet trouble came; still one after another, there was no end of them; or, as Mr. Broughton renders it, "and now cometh a vexation"; a fresh one, a suspicion of hypocrisy; and upon this turns the whole controversy, managed and carried on between him and his friends in the following part of this book.

I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; {q} yet trouble came.

(q) The fear of troubles that would ensue, caused my prosperity to seem to me as nothing, and yet I am not exempted from trouble.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 26. - I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came. Some Hebraists give quite a different turn to this passage, rendering it as follows: "I am not at ease, neither am I quiet, neither have I rest; but trouble cometh" (see the Revised Version, and compare Canon Cook's rendering in the 'Speaker's Commentary,' vol. 4. p. 29, "I have no peace, nor quiet, nor rest; but trouble cometh "). Professor Lee, however, certainly one of the most eminent of modern Hebraists, maintains that the far more pregnant meaning of the Authorized Version gives the true sense. "If I rightly apprehend," he says, "the drift of the context here, Job means to have it understood that he is conscious of no instance in which he has relaxed from his religious obligations; of no season in which his fear and love of God have waxed weak; and, on this account, it was the more perplexing that such a complication of miseries had befallen him" ('The Book of Job' pp. 201, 202); and he translates the passage (ibid., p. 121), "I slackened not, neither was I quiet, neither took I rest; yet trouble came." Job's complaint is thus far more pointedly terminated than by a mere otiose statement that, "without rest or pause, trouble came upon trouble."



20 Why is light given to the wretched,

And life to the sorrowful in soul?

21 Who wait for death, and he comes not,

Who dig after him more than for treasure,

22 Who rejoice with exceeding joy,

Who are enraptured, when they can find the grave?

23 To the man whose way is hidden,

And whom Eloah hath hedged round?

The descriptive partt. Job 3:21, Job 3:22, are continued in predicative clauses, which are virtually relative clauses; Job 3:21 has the fut. consec., since the sufferers are regarded as now at least dead; Job 3:22 the simple fut., since their longing for the grave is placed before the eye (on this transition from the part. to the verb. fin., vid., Ges. 134, rem. (2). Schlottm. and Hahn wrongly translate: who would dig (instead of do dig) for him more than for treasure. אלי־גיל (with poetical אלי instead of אל) might signify, accompanied by rejoicing, i.e., the cry and gesture of joy. The translation usque ad exultationem, is however, more appropriate here as well as in Hosea 9:1. With Job 3:23 Job refers to himself: he is the man whose way of suffering is mysterious and prospectless, and whom God has penned in on all sides (a fig. like Job 19:8; comp. Lamentations 3:5). סכך, sepire, above, Job 1:10, to hedge round for protection, here: forcibly straiten.

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