Job 30:25
Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) Did not I weep for him?—Job declares that he has not withheld that sympathy with sorrow and suffering for which he himself has asked in vain.

Job 30:25-26. Did not I weep for him that was in trouble — Have I now judgment without mercy, because I afforded no mercy or pity to others in misery? No; my conscience acquits me from this inhumanity: I did mourn over others in their misery. Was not my soul grieved for the poor? — The negative particle not, which is not in the Hebrew, seems to be here improperly supplied. The sense will be stronger and more emphatical to understand the second part of the verse as containing an answer to the first, and to render it, My soul was grieved for the poor; that is, I not only wept, but my very soul was grieved for them; yea, even for those who were so necessitous as to be incapable of requiting my kindness in case of their recovery from affliction. When I looked for good, then evil came — Yet trouble came upon myself when I expected it not.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.Did not I weep ... - Job here appeals to his former life, and says that it had been a characteristic of his life to manifest compassion to the afflicted and the poor. His object in doing this is, evidently, to show how remarkable it was that he was so much afflicted. "Did I deserve," the sense is, "such a hard lot? Has it been brought on me by my own fault, or as a punishment for a life where no compassion was shown to others?" So far from it, he says, that his whole life had been distinguished for tender compassion for those in distress and want.

In trouble - Margin, as in Hebrew, hard of day. So we say, "a man has a hard time of it," or has a hard lot.

25. May I not be allowed to complain of my calamity, and beg relief, seeing that I myself sympathized with those "in trouble" (literally, "hard of day"; those who had a hard time of it). Whence is it that neither God nor man show any compassion to me, but both conspire to afflict me, and increase my torments? Doth God now mete out to me the same measure which I meted out to others? Have I now judgment without mercy, because I afforded no mercy nor pity to others in misery? No, my conscience acquits me from this inhumanity. I did not slightly resent, but bitterly mourn and weep over others in their miseries; and therefore I had reason to expect more compassion than I find.

Was not my soul grieved for the poor, even for him who was not capable of requiting my kindness in case of his recovery? which shows that my sympathy was real, and not reigned, as it is in some who pretend great sorrow for the rich in their troubles, hoping thereby to insinuate themselves into their favour and friendship, and thereby to procure some advantage to themselves. Did not I weep for him that was in trouble?.... In outward trouble, whether personal in his own body, or in his family, or in his worldly affairs, or from wicked men, the men of the world; or in inward trouble, in soul trouble, on account of indwelling sin, the breakings forth of it, the lowness of grace, as to exercise, the hidings of God's face, and the temptations of Satan: or "for him that is hard of day" (l); with whom times are hard, the days are evil, with respect either to things temporal or spiritual; now Job had a sympathizing heart with such persons; he wept with them that wept; his bowels yearned towards them; he felt their sufferings and their sorrows, which is a Godlike frame of soul; for God, in all the afflictions of his people, is afflicted; a disposition of mind like that of the living Redeemer, who cannot but be touched with the feeling of the infirmities of saints, having been in all points tempted as they; and is a fruit of the Spirit of God, and very becoming the relation the saints stand in to one another, being members of the same body, and of each other; and therefore, when one member suffers, all the rest should sympathize with it, and, being brethren, should be loving, pitiful, and courteous to each other; and should consider that they also are in the body, and liable to the same distresses, whether outward or inward:

was not my soul grieved for the poor? in general, and especially for the Lord's poor, for such in all ages have been chosen and called by him; for these Job was grieved at heart, when he saw their distress through poverty; and he not only expressed his concern for them by tears and words, but by distributing liberally to their necessities, Job 31:17; and by which he showed his grief was real, hearty, and sincere, as here expressed; his soul was grieved, and he was sorry at his very heart for them: some render the words, "was not my soul like a pool of water?" (m) not only his head and his eyes, as Jeremiah's on another account, but his soul melted, and flowed like water with grief for them; and others, as Mr. Broughton, "did not my soul burn for the poor?" with sorrow for them, and an ardent desire to relieve them; see 2 Corinthians 9:12; now this was the frame of Job's mind in the time of his prosperity, very different from that in Amos 6:4; and was certain and well known; he could appeal to all that knew him for the truth of it, it being what, none could deny that had any knowledge of him; yea, he could appeal to an omniscient God, he was now speaking to, for the truth of it; nay, it is delivered in the form of an oath, "if I did not weep", &c. (n), as in Job 31:16.

(l) "ob durum die", Montanus, Mercerus, Drusius; "cui dura crant tempora", Junius & Tremellius; "ei cui durus dies", Cocceius. (m) "restagnavit", some in Mercerus. (n) "si non deflevi", Tigurine version; "si non flevi", Piscator.

Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. The compassion which Job seeks in his affliction it was his practice and nature to bestow.Verse 25. - Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? i.e. do I claim a sympathy which I do not deserve? When men wept and entreated me, did not I do my best to give them the aid which they requested? Did not I weep for them, and intercede with God for them? Was not my soul grieved for the poor? (comp. Job 29:12-17; Job 31:16-22). 16 And now my soul is poured out within me,

Days of suffering hold me fast.

17 The night rendeth my bones from me,

And my gnawers sleep not.

18 By great force my garment is distorted,

As the collar of my shirt it encompasseth me.

19 He hath cast me into the mire,

And I am in appearance as dust and ashes.

With this third ועתּה (Job 30:1, Job 30:9) the elegiac lament over the harsh contrast between the present and the past begins for the third time. The dash after our translation of the second and fourth strophes will indicate that a division of the elegy ends there, after which it begins as it were anew. The soul is poured out within a man (עלי as Job 10:1, Psychol. S. 152), when, "yielding itself without resistance to sadness, it is dejected to the very bottom, and all its organization flows together, and it is dissolved in the one condition of sorrow" - a figure which is not, however, come about by water being regarded as the symbol of the soul (thus Hitzig on Psalm 42:5), but rather by the intimate resemblance of the representation of a flood of tears (Lamentations 2:19): the life of the soul flows in the blood, and the anguish of the soul in tears and lamentations; and since the outward man is as it were dissolved in the gently flowing tears (Isaiah 15:3), his soul flows away as it were in itself, for the outward incident is but the manifestation and result of an inward action. ימי־עני we have translated days of suffering, for עני, with its verb and the rest of its derivatives, is the proper word for suffering, and especially the passion of the Servant of Jehovah. Days of suffering - Job complains - hold him fast; עחז unites in itself, like החזיק, the significations prehendere and prehensum tenere. In Job 30:17 we must not, with Arnh. and others, translate: by night it (affliction) pierces ... , for עני does not stand sufficiently in the foreground to be the subject of what follows; it might sooner be rendered: by night it is pierced through (Targ., Rosenm., Hahn); but why is not לילה to be the subject, and נקּר consequently Piel (not Niph.)? The night has been personified already, Job 3:2; and in general, as Herder once said, Job is the brother of Ossian for personifications: Night (the restless night, Job 7:3, in which every malady, or at least the painful feeling of it, increases) pierces his bones from him, i.e., roots out his limbs (synon. בּדּים, Job 18:13) so inwardly and completely. The lepra Arabica (Arab. 'l-brṣ, el-baras) terminates, like syphilis, with an eating away of the limbs, and the disease has its name Arab. juḏâm from jḏm, truncare, mutilare: it feeds on the bones, and destroys the body in such a manner that single limbs are completely detached.

In Job 30:17, lxx (νεῦρα), Parchon, Kimchi, and others translate ערקי according to the Targum. ערקין ( equals גּידים), and the Arab. ‛rûq, veins, after which Blumenf.: my veins are in constant motion. But ערקי in the sense of Job 30:3 : my gnawers (Jer. qui me comedunt, Targ. דּמעסּן יתי, qui me conculcant, conterunt), is far more in accordance with the predicate and the parallelism, whether it be gnawing pains that are thought of - pains are unnatural to man, they come upon him against his will, he separates them from himself as wild beasts - or, which we prefer, those worms (רמּה, Job 7:5) which were formed in Job's ulcers (comp. Aruch, ערקא, a leech, plur. ערקתא, worms, e.g., in the liver), and which in the extra-biblical tradition of Job's decease are such a standing feature, that the pilgrims to Job's monastery even now-a-days take away with them thence these supposedly petrified worms of Job.

(Note: In Mugir ed-dn's large history of Jerusalem and Hebron (kitâb el-ins el-gelı̂l), in an article on Job, we read: God had so visited him in his body, that he got the disease that devours the limbs (tegedhdhem), and worms were produced (dawwad) in the wounds, while he lay on a dunghill (mezbele), and except his wife, who tended him, no one ventured to come too near him. In a beautiful Kurdic ballad "on the basket dealer" (zembilfrosh), which I have obtained from the Kurds in Salihje, are these words:

Veki Gergis beshara beri

Jusuf veki abdan keri

Bikesr' Ejub kurman deri

continued...

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