Job 30:1
But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.
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(1) Whose fathers I would have disdained.—Rather, whose fathers I disdained to set. The complaint is that the children of those who were so inferior to him should treat him thus.

Job 30:1. But now, &c. — Job having, in the foregoing chapter, described the honour of his former condition, goes on here, by way of contrast, to describe the vileness of his present state. They that are younger than I — Whom both universal custom and the light of nature taught to reverence their elders and betters; have me in derision — Make me the object of their contempt and scoffs: thus my glory is turned into shame. Whose fathers I would have disdained — Or, rather, might have disdained; that is, whose condition was so mean and vile, that in the opinion, and according to the custom of the world, they were unworthy to be my shepherds, and the companions of my dogs, which watch my flocks. This and the seven following verses are an exaggerated description of the vileness of those to whom he was now become a derision, notwithstanding all his former authority.

30:1-14 Job contrasts his present condition with his former honour and authority. What little cause have men to be ambitious or proud of that which may be so easily lost, and what little confidence is to be put in it! We should not be cast down if we are despised, reviled, and hated by wicked men. We should look to Jesus, who endured the contradiction of sinners.But now they that are younger than I-- Margin, "of fewer days." It is not probable that Job here refers to his three friends. It is not possible to determine their age with accuracy, but in Job 15:10, they claim that there were with them old and very aged men, much older than the father of Job. Though that place may possibly refer not to themselves but to those who held the same opinions with them, yet none of those who engaged in the discussion, except Ehhu Job 32:6, are represented as young men. They were the contemporaries of Job; men who are ranked as his friends; and men who showed that they had had oppoptunities for long and careful observation. The reference here, therefore, is to the fact that while, in the days of his prosperity, even the aged and the honorable rose up to do him reverence, now he was the object of contempt even by the young and the worthless. The Orientals would feel this much. It was among the chief virtues with them to show respect to the aged, and their sensibilites were especially keen in regard to any indignity shown to them by the young.

Whose fathers I would have disdained - Who are the children of the lowest and most degraded of the community. How deep the calamity to be so fallen as to be the subject of derision by such men!

To have set with the dogs of my flock - To have associated with my dogs in guarding my flock. That is, they were held in less esteem than his dogs. This was the lowest conceivable point of debasement. The Orientals had no language that would express greater contempt of anyone than to call him a dog; compare Deuteronomy 23:18; 1 Samuel 17:43; 1 Samuel 24:14; 2 Samuel 3:8; 2 Samuel 9:8; 2 Samuel 16:9; 2 Kings 8:13; Note Isaiah 66:3.


Job 30:1-31.

1. younger—not the three friends (Job 15:10; 32:4, 6, 7). A general description: Job 30:1-8, the lowness of the persons who derided him; Job 30:9-15, the derision itself. Formerly old men rose to me (Job 29:8). Now not only my juniors, who are bound to reverence me (Le 19:32), but even the mean and base-born actually deride me; opposed to, "smiled upon" (Job 29:24). This goes farther than even the "mockery" of Job by relations and friends (Job 12:4; 16:10, 20; 17:2, 6; 19:22). Orientals feel keenly any indignity shown by the young. Job speaks as a rich Arabian emir, proud of his descent.

dogs—regarded with disgust in the East as unclean (1Sa 17:43; Pr 26:11). They are not allowed to enter a house, but run about wild in the open air, living on offal and chance morsels (Ps 59:14, 15). Here again we are reminded of Jesus Christ (Ps 22:16). "Their fathers, my coevals, were so mean and famished that I would not have associated them with (not to say, set them over) my dogs in guarding my flock."Job’s honour is turned into contempt, Job 30:1-14; his prosperity into calamity, fears, pains, despicableness, Job 30:15-19; notwithstanding his prayer now, and his former charity, and hope, Job 30:20-26. His great sorrow, Job 30:27-31.

But now my condition is sadly changed for the worse.

They that are younger than I; whom both universal custom and the light of nature taught to reverence their elders and betters.

Have me in derision; make me the object of their contempt and scoffs: thus my glory is turned into shame.

I would have disdained; or rather, I might have disdained, i.e. whose condition was so mean and vile, that in the opinion and according to the custom of the world they were unworthy of such an employment.

To have set with the dogs of my flock; to be my shepherds, and the companions of my dogs which watch my flocks. Dogs are every where mentioned with contempt, as filthy, unprofitable, and accursed creatures; as 2 Samuel 16:9 2 Kings 8:13 Philippians 3:2 Revelation 22:15.

But now they that are younger than I have me in derision,.... Meaning not his three friends, who were men in years, and were not, at least all of them, younger than he, see Job 15:10; nor were they of such a mean extraction, and such low-lived creatures, and of such characters as here described; with such Job would never have held a correspondence in the time of his prosperity; both they and their fathers, in all appearance, were both great and good; but these were a set of profligate and abandoned wretches, who, as soon as Job's troubles came upon him, derided him, mocked and jeered at him, both by words and gestures; and which they might do even before his three friends came to him, and during their seven days' silence with him, and while this debate was carrying on between them, encouraged unto it by their behaviour towards him; to be derided by any is disagreeable to flesh and blood, though it is the common lot of good men, especially in poor and afflicted circumstances, and to be bore patiently; but to be so used by junior and inferior persons is an aggravation of it; as Job was, even by young children, as was also the prophet Elisha, 2 Kings 2:23; see Job 19:18;

whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock; either to have compared them with the dogs that kept his flock from the wolves, having some good qualities in them which they had not; for what more loving or faithful to their masters, or more vigilant and watchful of their affairs? or to set them at meat with the dogs of his flock; they were unworthy of it, though they would have been glad of the food his dogs ate of, they living better than they, whose meat were mallows and juniper roots, Job 30:4; and would have jumped at it; as the prodigal in want and famine, as those men were, would fain have filled his belly with husks that swine did eat; but as no man gave them to him, so Job disdained to give the meat of his dogs to such as those; or to set them "over" (m) the dogs of his flock, to be the keepers of them, to be at the head of his dogs, and to have the command of them; see the phrase in 2 Samuel 3:8; or else to join them with his dogs, to keep his flock with them; they were such worthless faithless wretches, that they were not to be trusted with the care of his flock along with his dogs. It was usual in ancient times, as well as in ours, for dogs to be made use of in keeping flocks of sheep from beasts of prey, as appears from Orpheus (n), Homer (o), Theocritus (p), and other writers: and if the fathers of those that derided Job were such mean, base, worthless creatures, what must their sons be, inferior to them in age and honour, if any degree of honour belonged to them?

(m) "super canes", Noldius, p. 739. No. 1825. (n) De Lapidibus, Hypoth. ver. 53, 54. (o) Iliad. 10. , &c. v. 183. & Iliad 12. v. 303. (p) , &c. Idyll. 5. v. 106. & Idyll. 6. v. 9, 10.

But now they that are younger than I {a} have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the {b} dogs of my flock.

(a) That is, my estate is changed and while before the ancient men were glad to revere me, the young men now contemn me.

(b) Meaning to be my shepherds or to keep my dogs.

1. younger than I] Comp. what was said of the demeanour of the youths in former days, ch. Job 30:8.

would have disdained to have set] Or, I disdained to set.

Verses 1-31. - The contrast is now completed. Having drawn the portrait of himself as he was, rich, honoured, blessed with children, flourishing, in favour with both God and man, Job now presents himself to us as he is, despised of men (vers. 1-10), afflicted of God (ver. 11), a prey to vague terrors (ver. 15), tortured with bodily pains (vers. 17, 18), cast off by God (vers. 19, 20), with nothing but death to look for (vers. 23-31). The chapter is the most touching in the whole book. Verse 1. - But now they that are younger than I have me in derision. As Job had been speaking last of the honour in which he was once held, he beans his contrast by chewing how at present he is disgraced and derided. Men who are outcasts and solitary themselves, poor dwellers in caves (ver. 6), who have much ado to keep body and soul together (vers. 3, 4), and not men only but youths, mere boys, scoff at him, make him a song and a byword (ver. 9). nay, "spare not to spit in his face" (ver. 10). There seem to have been in his vicinity weak and debased tribes, generally contemned and looked down upon, regarded as thieves (ver. 5) by their neighbours, and considered to be of base and vile origin (ver. 8), who saw in Job's calamities a rare opportunity for insulting and triumphing over a member of the superior race which had crushed them, and thus tasting, to a certain extent, the sweetness of revenge. Whose fathers I would have disdained (rather, I disdained) to have set with the dogs of my flock. Job had not thought their fathers worthy of employing even as the lowest class of herdsmen, those reckoned on a par with the sheep-dogs. Job 30:1 1 And now they who are younger than I have me in derision,

Those whose fathers I disdained To set with the dogs of my flock.

2 Yea, the strength of their hands, what should it profit me?

They have lost vigour and strength.

3 They are benumbed from want and hunger,

They who gnaw the steppe,

The darkness of the wilderness and waste;

4 They who pluck mallows in the thicket,

And the root of the broom is their bread.

With ועתּה, which also elsewhere expresses the turning-point from the premises to the conclusion, from accusation to the threat of punishment, and such like, Job here begins to bewail the sad turn which his former prosperity has taken. The first line of the verse, which is marked off by Mercha-Mahpach, is intentionally so disproportionately long, to form a deep and long breathed beginning to the lamentation which is now begun. Formerly, as he has related in the first part of the monologue, an object of reverential fear to the respectable youth of the city (Job 29:8), he is now an object of derision (שׂחק על, to laugh at, distinct from שׂחק אל, Job 29:24, to laugh to, smile upon) to the young good-for-nothing vagabonds of a miserable class of men. They are just the same עניּי ארץ, whose sorrowful lot he reckons among the mysteries of divine providence, so difficulty of solution (Job 24:4-8). The less he belongs to the merciless ones, who take advantage of the calamities of the poor for their own selfish ends, instead of relieving their distress as far as is in their power, the more unjustifiable is the rude treatment which he now experiences from them, when they who meanly hated him before because he was rich, now rejoice at the destruction of his prosperity. Younger than he in days (לימים as Job 32:4, with ל of closer definition, instead of which the simple acc. was inadmissible here, comp. on Job 11:9) laugh at him, sons of those fathers who were so useless and abandoned that he scorned (מאס ל, comp. מאס מן, 1 Samuel 15:26) to entrust to them even a service so menial as that of the shepherd dogs. Schult., Rosenm., and Schlottm. take שׁית עם for שׁית על, praeficere, but that ought to be just simply שׁית על; שׁית עם signifies to range beside, i.e., to place alike, to associate; moreover, the oversight of the shepherd dogs is no such menial post, while Job intends to say that he did not once consider them fit to render such a subordinate service as is that of the dogs which help the shepherds.

And even the strength of their (these youths') hands (גּם is referable to the suff. of ידיהם: even; not: now entirely, completely, as Hahn translates), of what use should it be to him: (למּה not cur, but ad quid, quorsum, as Genesis 25:32; Genesis 27:46.) They are enervated, good-for-nothing fellows: כּלח is lost to them (עלימו trebly emphatic: it is placed in a prominent position, has a pathetic suff., and is על for ל, 1 Samuel 9:3). The signif. senectus, which suits Job 5:26, is here inapplicable, since it is not the aged that are spoken of, but the young; for that "old age is lost to them" would be a forced expression for the thought - which, moreover, does not accord with the connection - that they die off early. One does not here expect the idea of senectus or senectus vegeta, but vigor, as the Syriac (‛ushino) and Arabic also translate it. May not כּלח perhaps be related to כּח, as שׁלאנן to שׁאנן, the latter being a mixed form from שׁאנן and שׁלו, the former from כּח and לח, fresh juicy vigour, or as we say: pith and marrow (Saft and Kraft)? At all events, if this is somewhat the idea of the word, it may be derived from כּלח equals כּלה (lxx συντέλεια), or some other way (vid., on Job 5:26): it signifies full strength or maturity.

(Note: From the root Arab. kl (on its primary notion, vid., my review of Bernstein's edition of Kirsch's Syr. Chrestomathie, Ergnzungsblatt der A.L.Z. 1843, Nr. 16 and 17) other derivatives, as Arab. kl', klb, klt, klṯ, klj, kld, klz, etc., develop in general the significations to bring, take, or hold together, enclose, and the like; but Arab. lkḥ in particular the signification to draw together, distort violently, viz., the muscles of the face in grinning and showing the teeth, or even sardonic laughing, and drawing the lips apart. The general signification of drawing together, Arab. šdd, resolves itself, however, from that special reference to the muscles of the face, and is manifest in the IV form Arab. kâlaḥa, to show one's self strict and firm (against any one); also more sensuously: to remain firm in one's place; of the moon, which remains as though motionless in one of its twenty-eight halting-places. Hence Arab. dahrun kâliḥun, a hard season, zmân šdı̂d and kulâḥun, kalâḥi (the latter as a kind of n. propr. invariably ending in i, and always without the article), a hard year, i.e., a year of failure of the crops, and of scarcity and want. If it is possible to apply this to כּלח without the hazardous comparison of Arab. qḥl, qlḥm, etc. so supra, p. 300], the primary signification might perhaps be that of hardness, unbroken strength; Job 5:26, "Thou wilt go to the grave with unbroken strength," i.e., full of days indeed, but without having thyself experienced the infirmities and burdens of the aetas decrepita, as also a shock brought in "in its season" is at the highest point of ripeness; Job 30:2 : "What (should) the strength of their hands profit me? as for them, their vigour is departed." - Fl.)

With Job 30:3 begins a new clause. It is גּלמוּד, not גּלמוּדים, because the book of Job does not inflect this Hebraeo-Arabic word, which is peculiar to it (besides only Isaiah 49:21, גּלמוּדה). It is also in Arab. more a substantive (stone, a mass) than an adj. (hard as stone, massive, e.g., Hist. Tamerlani in Schultens: Arab. 'l-ṣchr 'l-jlmûd, the hardest rock); and, similar to the Greek χέρσος (vid., Passow), it denotes the condition or attribute of rigidity, i.e., sterility, Job 3:7; or stiff as death, Job 15:34; or, as here, extreme weakness and incapability of working. The subj.: such are they, is wanting; it is ranged line upon line in the manner of a mere sketch, participles with the demonstrative article follow the elliptical substantival clause. The part. הערקים is explained by lxx, Targ., Saad. (Arab. fârrı̂n), and most of the old expositors, after ערק, Arab. ‛araqa, fut. ya‛riq, fugere, abire, which, however, gives a tame and - since the desert is to be thought of as the proper habitation of these people, be they the Seir remnant of the displaced Horites, or the Hauran "races of the clefts" - even an inappropriate sense. On the contrary, ‛rq in Arab. (also Pael ‛arreq in Syriac) signifies to gnaw; and this Arabic signification of a word exclusively peculiar to the book of Job (here and Job 30:17) is perfectly suitable. We do not, however, with Jerome, translate: qui rodebant in solitudine (which is doubly false), but qui rodunt solitudinem, they gnaw the sunburnt parched ground of the steppe, stretched out there more like beasts than men (what Gecatilia also means by his Arab. lâzmû, adhaerent), and derive from it their scanty food. אמשׁ שׁואה וּמשׁאה is added as an explanatory, or rather further descriptive, permutative to ציּה. The same alliterative union of substantives of the same root occurs in Job 38:27; Zephaniah 1:15, and a similar one in Nahum 2:11 (בוקה ומבוקה), Ezekiel 6:14; Ezekiel 33:29 (שׁמה ומשׁמה); on this expression of the superlative by heaping up similar words, comp. Ew. 313, c. The verb שׁאה has the primary notion of wild confused din (e.g., Isaiah 17:12.), which does not pass over to the idea of desolation and destruction by means of the intermediate notion of ruins that come together with a crash, but by the transfer of what is confusing to the ear to confusing impressions and conditions of all kinds; the desert is accordingly called also תּהוּ, Deuteronomy 32:10, from תּהה equals שׁאה (vid., Genesis, S. 93).

The noun אמשׁ nuon signifies elsewhere adverbially, in the past night, to grow night-like, and in general yesterday, according to which it is translated: the yesterday of waste and desolation; or, retaining the adverbial form: waste and desolation are of yesterday equals long since. It is undeniable that מאתמוּל and אתמוּל, Isaiah 30:33; Micah 2:8, are used in the sense pridem (not only to-day, but even yesterday); but our poet uses תּמול, Job 8:9, in the opposite sense, non pridem (not long since, but only of yesterday); and it is more natural to ask whether אמשׁ then has not here the substantival signification from which it has become an adverb, in the signification nightly or yesterday. Since it originally signifies yesterday evening or night, then yesterday, it must have the primary signification darkness, as the Arab. ams is also traceable to the primary notion of the sinking of the sun towards the horizon; so that, consequently, although the usage of Arabic does not allow this sense,


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