Job 30:19
He has cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(19) He hath cast me into the mire.—He now turns more directly to God, having in Job 30:16 turned from man to his own condition—dust and ashes. This latter phrase is used but three times in Scripture: twice by Job (here and Job 42:6), and once by Abraham (Genesis 18:27).

30:15-31 Job complains a great deal. Harbouring hard thoughts of God was the sin which did, at this time, most easily beset Job. When inward temptations join with outward calamities, the soul is hurried as in a tempest, and is filled with confusion. But woe be to those who really have God for an enemy! Compared with the awful state of ungodly men, what are all outward, or even inward temporal afflictions? There is something with which Job comforts himself, yet it is but a little. He foresees that death will be the end of all his troubles. God's wrath might bring him to death; but his soul would be safe and happy in the world of spirits. If none pity us, yet our God, who corrects, pities us, even as a father pitieth his own children. And let us look more to the things of eternity: then the believer will cease from mourning, and joyfully praise redeeming love.He hath cast me into the mire - That is, God has done it. In this book the name of God is often understood where the speaker seems to avoid it, in order that it may not be needlessly repeated. On the meaning of the expression here, see the notes at Job 9:31.

And I am become like dust and ashes - Either in appearance, or I am regarded as being as worthless as the mire of the streets. Rosenmuller supposes it means, "I am more like a mass of inanimate matter than a living man."

19. God is poetically said to do that which the mourner had done to himself (Job 2:8). With lying in the ashes he had become, like them, in dirty color. He hath made me contemptible and filthy, and loathsome for my sores, my whole body being a kind of quagmire, in regard of the filth breaking forth in all its parts;

and I am become like dust and ashes, like one dead and turned to dust; more like a rotten carcass than a living man. He hath cast me into the mire,.... As Jeremiah was literally; here it is to be understood in a figurative sense; not of the mire of sin, into which God casts none, men fall into it of themselves, but of the mire of affliction and calamity; see Psalm 40:2; and which Job here ascribes to God; and whereby he was in as mean, abject, and contemptible a condition, as if he had been thrown into a kennel, and rolled in it; and he speaks of it as an act of God, done with contempt of him, and indignation at him, as he apprehended it. Some Jewish writers (e) interpret it, "he taught me in the mire", or "it taught me"; his disease, his ulcers taught him to sit down in the mire, or in the midst of ashes, Job 2:8; but though this reading might admit of a good sense, as that Job was taught, as every good man is, many useful lessons in and by afflictions; yet it seems to be a sense foreign from the words:

and I am become like dust and ashes; a phrase by which Abraham expresses his vileness, meanness, and unworthiness in the sight of God, Genesis 18:27; Job, through the force of his disease, looked like a corpse, or one half dead, and was crumbling and dropping into the dust of death and the grave, and looked livid and ash coloured; and even in a literal sense was covered with dust and ashes, when he sat among them, Job 2:8; though here it chiefly respects the miserable, forlorn, and contemptible condition in which he was.

(e) Vid. Jarchi & Bar Tzemach in loc.

{n} He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.

(n) That is, God has brought me into contempt.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
19. The verse probably refers to the appearance which Job’s body presented in its leprous condition; this was due to God, who is represented as causing it by plunging Job as it were into the mire.

19–23. God’s great severity.Verse 19. - He (i.e. God) hath cast me into the mire. "The mire" here is the lowest depth of misery and degradation (comp. Psalm 40:2; Psalm 69:2, 14). Job feels himself cast into it by God, but nevertheless does not forsake him nor cease to call upon him (vers. 20-23). And I am become like dust and ashes; i.e. unclean, impure, offensive to my fellow-men, an object of dislike and disdain. 13 They tear down my path,

They minister to my overthrow,

They who themselves are helpless.

14 As through a wide breach they approach,

Under the crash they roll onwards.

15 Terrors are turned against me,

They pursue my nobility like the wind,

And like a cloud my prosperity passed away. -

They make all freedom of motion and any escape impossible to him, by pulling down, diruunt, the way which he might go. Thus is נתסוּ (cogn. form of נתץ, נתע, נתשׁ) to be translated, not: they tear open (proscindunt), which is contrary to the primary signification and the usage of the language. They, who have no helper, who themselves are so miserable and despised, and yet so feelingless and overbearing, contribute to his ruin. הועיל, to be useful, to do any good,to furnish anything effective (e.g., Isaiah 47:12), is here united with ל of the purpose; comp. עזר ל, to help towards anything, Zechariah 1:15. היה (for which the Keri substitutes the primary form הוּה), as was already said on Job 6:2, is prop. hiatus, and then barathrum, pernicies, like הוּה in the signification cupiditas, prop. inhiatio. The verb הוה, Arab. hwy, also signifies delabi, whence it may be extended (vid., on Job 37:6) in like manner to the signification abyss (rapid downfall); but a suitable medium for the two significations, strong passion (Arab. hawa) and abyss (Arab. hâwije, huwwe, mahwa), is offered only by the signification of the root flare (whence hawâ, air). לא עזר למו is a genuine Arabic description of these Idumaean or Hauranite pariahs. Schultens compares a passage of the Hamsa: "We behold you ignoble, poor, laisa lakum min sâir-in-nâsi nasirun, i.e., without a helper among the rest of men." The interpretations of those who take למו for לו, and this again for לי (Eichh., Justi), condemn themselves. It might more readily be explained, with Stick.: without any one helping them, i.e., with their own strong hand; but the thought thus obtained is not only aimless and tame, but also halting and even untrue (vid., Job 19:13).

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