Job 30:11
Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me.
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(11) Because he hath loosed my cord.—Better, his: i.e., “God hath loosed the cord of his bow and they have cast off all restraint before me.”

Job 30:11. Because he — That is, God; hath loosed my cord — Hath slackened the string of my bow, and so rendered it and my arrows useless; that is, he hath deprived me of my strength and defence: so understood, this expression is opposed to that used Job 29:20, My bow is renewed, &c. But the phrase may mean, He hath taken away from me that power and authority wherewith, as with a cord, I bound them to their good behaviour, and kept them within proper bounds. A similar expression is used in this sense Job 12:18. As, however, the word יתר, jether, here rendered cord, also means excellence, and is so translated Genesis 49:3; Job 4:21, and in other places, the sense here may be, He hath loosed, broken, or destroyed my excellence: or, as Schultens translates it, He hath stripped me of my glory. And afflicted me — When they perceived that God, who had been my faithful friend and constant defender, had forsaken me and was become mine enemy, they presently took this advantage of showing their malice against me. They have also let loose the bridle — They have cast off all former restraints of law, humanity, or modesty, and have given themselves full liberty to speak or act what they pleased against me: and this before me — For they now dare to do those things before mine eyes which they would formerly have trembled lest they should come to my ears.

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.Because he hath loosed my cord - According to this translation, the reference here is to God, and the sense is, that the reason why he was thus derided and contemned by such a worthless race was, that God had unloosened his cord. That is, God had rendered him incapable of vindicating himself, or of inflicting punishment. The figure, according to this interpretation, is taken from a bow, and Job means to say that his bow was relaxed, his vigor was gone, and they now felt that they might insult him with impunity. But instead of the usual reading in the Hebrew text יתרי yithriy - "my nerve," another reading יתרוּ yithriv - "his nerve," is found in the qeri (margin). This reading has been adopted in the text by Jahn, and is regarded as genuine by Rosenmuller, Umbreit, and Noyes. According to this, the meaning is, that the worthless rabble that now treated him with so much contempt, had relaxed all restraint, and they who had hitherto been under some curb, now rushed upon him in the most unbridled manner. They had cast off all restraint arising from respect to his rank, standing, moral worth, and the dread of his power, and now treated him with every kind of indignity.

And afflicted me - By the disrespect and contempt which they have evinced.

They have also let loose the bridle before me - That is, they have cast off all restraint - repeating the idea in the first member of the verse.

11. He—that is, "God"; antithetical to "they"; English Version here follows the marginal reading (Keri).

my cord—image from a bow unstrung; opposed to Job 29:20. The text (Chetib), "His cord" or "reins" is better; "yea, each lets loose his reins" [Umbreit].

Because he, to wit, God, for it follows, he afflicted me, which was God’s work.

Hath loosed my cord; either,

1. He hath slackened the string (as this word sometimes signifies) of my bow, and so rendered my bow and arrows useless, either to offend others, or to defend myself, i.e. he hath deprived me of my strength or defence: so this is opposed to that expression, Job 29:20. Or,

2. He hath taken away from me that power and authority wherewith, as with a cord, I bound them to the good behaviour, and kept them within their bounds. The like expression is used in the same sense Job 15:18.

Afflicted me: when they perceived that God, who had been my faithful friend, and constant defender, had forsaken me, and was become mine enemy, they presently took this advantage of showing their malice against me.

They have also let loose the bridle; they cast off all former restraints of law, or humanity, or modesty, and gave themselves full liberty to speak or act what they pleased against me. Before me; they durst now do those things before mine eyes, which formerly they trembled lest they should come to my ears.

Because he hath loosed my cord,.... Not his silver cord, for then he must have died immediately, Ecclesiastes 12:6; though it may be understood of the loosening of his nerves through the force of his disease, and the afflictions he endured from God and man, see Job 30:17; or rather of the shattered state and condition of his family and substance; which, while he enjoyed, he had respect and reverence from men; but now all being loosed, scattered, and destroyed, he was treated with derision and scorn; or, better still, of his power and authority as a civil magistrate, by which, as with a cord, he bound many to subjection and obedience to him, and which commanded reverence of him; but this being now loosed and removed from him, persons of the baser sort behaved in an insolent manner towards him; there is a "Keri", or a marginal reading of this clause, which we follow; but the "Cetib", or written text, is "his cord"; and so Mr. Broughton renders it, "he hath loosed his string"; which he explains of the string or rein of his government, that holdeth base men from striving with the mighty, and which comes to the same sense; for the power and authority Job had as a governor were of God, and which he had now loosened; the allusion may be to the string of a bow, which being loosed, it cannot cast out the arrow; and respect may be had to what Job had said, Job 29:20, "my bow was renewed in my hand"; it then abode in strength, and its strength was renewed; but now he had lost his power and strength, at least it was greatly weakened, that he could not defend himself, nor punish the wicked:

and afflicted me; that is, God, who is also understood in the preceding clause, though not expressed. Job's afflictions were many, and there were second causes of them, who were the movers, instruments, and means of them, as Satan, the Sabeans and Chaldeans, yet they were of God, as the appointer, orderer, and sender of them; and so Job understood them, and always as here ascribed them to him; wherefore there was a just cause for them, and an end to be answered by them, and it became Job patiently to bear them, and to wait the issue of them: now, on this account, the above persons were emboldened and encouraged to use Job in the ill manner they did:

they have also let loose the bridle before me; the restraints that were upon them when Job was in his prosperity, and had the reins of government in his hand; these they now cast off, and showed no manner of reverence of him, nor respect for him; and the bridle that was upon their mouths, which kept them from speaking evil of him while he was in power, now they slipped it from them, and gave themselves an unbounded liberty in deriding, reproaching, and reviling him; see Psalm 39:1; and this they did before him, in his presence and to his face, who before were mute and silent.

Because he hath loosed my {f} cord, and afflicted me, {g} they have also let loose the bridle before me.

(f) God has taken from me the force, credit, and authority with which I kept them in subjection.

(g) He said that the young men when they saw him, hid themselves as in Job 29:8, and now in his misery they were impudent and licentious.

11. Job 30:11 is very variously understood; it may mean,

For they have loosed their rein and humbled me,

They have cast off the bridle before me.

So taken, the two clauses have much the same meaning, each being a figurative manner of saying that the low rabble have cast off all restraint, and subject the sufferer to painful humiliations. The verb in the first clause is sing., but may distribute to each the conduct of the whole. Others, however, make the subject to be God, rendering: Because he has loosed his rein and humbled me, they also have cast off the bridle before me (A. V.). There is nothing, however, to indicate such an antithesis between two different subjects in the two clauses. Another reading gives my rein or cord (A. V.), but no help comes from adopting this.

11–14. Further description of the outrageous insults of these base outcasts.

Verse 11. - Because he hath loosed my cord. "He," in this passage, can only be God; and thus Job turns here to some extent from his human persecutors to his great Afflicter, the Almighty. God has "loosened his cord" i.e. has relaxed his vital fibre, taken away his strength, reduced him to helplessness. Hence, and hence only, do the persecutors dare to crowd around him and insult him. And afflicted me. God has afflicted him with blow after blow - with impoverishment (Job 1:14-17), with bereavement (Job 1:18, 19), with a sore malady (Job 2:7). They have also let loose the bridle before me. This has given his persecutors the courage to east aside all restraint, and lead him with insult after insult (vers. 1, 9, 10). Job 30:11 9 And now I am become their song,

And a by-word to them.

10 They avoid me, they flee far from me,

And spare not my face with spitting.

11 For my cord of life He hath loosed, and afflicted me,

Therefore they let loose the bridle recklessly.

12 The rabble presses upon my right hand,

They thrust my feet away,

And cast up against me their destructive ways.

The men of whom Job complains in this strophe are none other than those in the preceding strophe, described from the side of their coarse and degenerate behaviour, as Job 24:4-8 described them from the side of the wrong which was practised against them. This rabble, constitutionally as well as morally degraded, when it comes upon Job's domain in its marauding expeditions, makes sport of the sufferer, whose former earnest admonitions, given from sympathizing anxiety for them, seemed to them as insults for which they revenge themselves. He is become their song of derision (נגינתם to be understood according to the dependent passage, Lamentations 3:14, and Psalm 69:13), and is למלּה to them, their θρύλλημα (lxx), the subject of their foolish talk (מלּה - Arab. mille, not equals melle, according to which Schultens interprets it, sum iis fastidio). Avoiding him, and standing at a distance from him, they make their remarks upon him; and if they come up to him, it is only for the sake of showing him still deeper scorn: a facie ejus non cohibent sputam. The expositors who explain that, contrary to all decent bearing, they spit in his presence (Eichh., Justi, Hirz., Vaih., Hlgst.), or with Fie! spit out before him (Umbr., Hahn, Schlottm.), overlook the fact of its being מפּני, not לפני. The expression as it stands can only affirm that they do not spare his face with spitting (Jer. correctly: conspuere non veruntur), so that consequently he is become, as he has complained in Job 17:6, a תּפת, an object of spitting (comp. also the declaration of the servant of Jehovah, Isaiah 50:6, which stands in close connection with this declaration of Job, according to previous explanations).

It now becomes a question, Who is the subj. in Job 30:11? The Chethib יתרו demands an attempt to retain the previous subj. Accordingly, most moderns explain: solvit unusquisque eorum funem suum, i.e., frenum suum, quo continebatur antea a me (Rosenm., Umbr., Stick., Vaih., Hlgst., and others), but it is to be doubted whether יתר can mean frenum; it signifies a cord, the string of a bow, and of a harp. The reconciliation of the signification redundantia, Job 22:20, and funis, is, in the idea of the root, to be stretched tight and long.

(Note: The Arab. verb watara shows its sensuous primary signification in Arab. watarun, יתר, cord, bow-string, harp-string (Engl. string): to stretch tight, to extend, so that the thing continues in one line. Hence then Arab. watrun, witrun, separate, unequal, singulus, impar, opp. Arab. šaf‛un, bini, par, just as fard, single, separate, unequal (opp. zaug, a pair, equal number), is derived from farada, properly, so to strain or stretch out, that the thing has no bends or folds; Greek εξαπλοῦν (as in the Shepherd of Hermas: ἐπάνω λεντίου ἐξηπλωμένον λίνον καρπάσινον), an original transitive signification still retained in low Arabic (vid., Bocthor under tendre and Dployer). Then from Arab. watara spring the secondary roots Arab. tatara and tarâ, which proceed from the VIII form (ittatara). The former (tatara) appears only in the Arab. adverb tatran and tatrâ, sigillatim, alii post alios, singly one after another, so that several persons or things form a row interrupted by intervals of space of time; the latter (tara) and its IV form (atra) are equivalent to wâtara, to be active at intervals, with pauses between, as the Arabs explain: "We say Arab. atrâ of a man when he so performs several acts which do not directly follow one another, that there is always a [Arab.] fatrat, intermissio, between two acts." Hence also תּרין, תּרתּין, duals of an assumed sing. תּר, singulus (um), תּרתּ singula, therefore prop. duo singuli (a), duae singulae, altogether parallel to the like meaning thinâni (ithnâni', thinaini (ithnaini), שׁנים; fem. thintâni (ithnatâni), thintaini (ithnataini), שׁתּים instead of שׁנתּים, from an assumed sing. thin-un (ithn-un), thint-un (ithnat-un), from Arab. tanâ, שׁנה, like bin (ibn), bint (ibnat), בּן, בּת ( equals בּנת, hence בּתּי) from Arab. banâ, בּנה.

The significations of watara which Freytag arranges under 1, 2, 3, 4, proceed from the transitive application of יתר, as the Italian soperchiare, soverchiare, from supra, to offend, insult; oltraggiare, outrager, from ultra; ὑβρίζειν from ὑπέρ. Similarly, Arab. tṭâwl ‛lı̂h and ‛stṭâl ‛lı̂h (form VI and X from ṭâl), to act haughtily towards any one, to make him feel one's superiority, properly to stretch one's self out over or against any one.

But in another direction the signif. to be stretched out goes into: overhanging, surpassing, projecting, to be superfluous, and to be left over, περιττὸν εἶναι, to exceed a number or bulk, superare (comp. Italian soperchiare as intrans.), περιεῖναι, ὑπερεῖναι; to prove, as result, gain, etc., περιεῖναι, etc. Similar is the development of the meaning of Arab. faḍala and of ṭâ'l, gain, use, from Arab. ṭâl, to be stretched out. In like manner, the German reich, reichlich rich, abundant, comes from the root reichen, recken to stretch, extend. - Fl.)


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