Job 30:30
My skin is black on me, and my bones are burned with heat.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 30:30-31. My skin is black upon me, &c. — “The boiling heat of my body hath so parched me that my skin looks black, and the marrow in my bones, and all my vital moisture, are dried up.” My harp also is turned to mourning — “To say no more, all mirth is banished my house: the musical instruments are laid aside, and nothing but mourning and weeping come in their room.” — Bishop Patrick. All my joy is gone, my condition entirely changed, and I have nothing now but wo and misery. 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.My skin is black upon me; - see Job 30:28. It had become black by the force of the disease.

My bones are burnt with heat - The bones, in the Scriptures, are often represented as the seat of pain. The disease of Job seems to have pervaded the whole body. If it was the elephantiasis (see the notes at Job 2:7-8), these effects would be naturally produced.

30. upon me—rather, as in Job 30:17 (see on [531]Job 30:17), "my skin is black (and falls away) from me."

my bones—(Job 19:20; Ps 102:5).

My skin is black upon me; either by his dark-coloured scabs, wherewith his body was in a manner wholly overspread; or by grief, as before.

My bones are burned with heat; the effect of his fever and sorrow, which dried up all his moisture, and caused great inflammations and burning heats within him. My skin is black upon me,.... Either through deep melancholy, as may be observed in persons of such a disposition, through grief and trouble; or rather through the force of his disease, the burning ulcers and black scabs with which he was covered, as the Jews were through famine, in their captivity, Lamentations 4:8;

and my bones are burnt with heat; with the heat of a burning fever; which not only made his inwards boil, but reached to his bones, and dried up the marrow of them. Galen says (r) that bones may become so dry as to be crumbled into sand: the Syriac version is

"my bones are burnt as his who is in a hot wind;''

such as were common in the eastern countries, which killed men at once, and they became as black as a coal (s).

(r) Apud Bartholin. de Cruce, sect. 12. p. 107. (s) See Gill on Job 27:21.

My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with {x} heat.

(x) With the heat of affliction.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
30. is black upon me] Or, is black and falls from me. The “heat” in his bones refers to his burning pains.Verse 30. - My skin is black upon me (see the comment on vers. 28, 29, ad init.), and my bones are burned with heat. The "burning pains" in the bones, which characterize at least one form of elephantiasis, have been already mentioned (see the comment on ver. 17). In ordinary elephantiasis there is often "intense pain in the lumbar region and groin," which the patient might think to be in his bones. 24 Doth one not, however, stretch out the hand in falling,

Doth he not raise a cry for help on that account in his ruin?

25 Or have I not wept for him that was in trouble,

Hath not my soul grieved for the needy? -

26 For I hoped for good, then evil came;

I waited for light, and darkness came.

27 My bowels boiled without ceasing,

Days of misery met me.

Most of the ancient versions indulge themselves in strange fancies respecting Job 30:24 to make a translatable text, or find their fancies in the text before them. The translation of the Targum follows the fancies of the Midrash, and places itself beyond the range of criticism. The lxx reads בי instead of בעי, and finds in Job 30:24 a longing for suicide, or death by the hand of another. The Syriac likewise reads בי, although it avoids this absurdity. Jerome makes an address of the assertion, and, moreover, also moulds the text under the influence of the Midrash. Aq., Symm., and Theod. strive after a better rendering than the lxx, but (to judge from the fragment in the Hexapla) without success. Saadia and Gecatilia wring a sense out of Job 30:24, but at the expense of the syntax, and by dragging Job 30:24 after it, contrary to the tenor of the words. The old expositors also advance nothing available. They mostly interpret it as though it were not להן, but להם (a reading which has been forced into the Midrash texts and some Codd. instead of the reading of the text that is handed down to us). Even Rosenm. thinks להן might, like the Ara. להון, be equivalent to להם; and Carey explains the enallage generis from the perhaps existing secondary idea of womanly fear, as 2 Samuel 4:6, הנּה instead of המּה is used of the two assassins to describe them as cowards. But the Hebr. להן is fem.; and often as the enallage masc. pro fem. occurs, the enallage fem. pro masc. is unknown; הנּה, 2 Samuel 4:6, is an adv. of place (vid., moreover, Thenius in loc.). It is just as absolutely inadmissible when the old expositors combine שׁוּע with ושׁע (ושׁע), or as e.g., Raschi with שׁעשׁע, and translate, "welfare" or "exhilaration" (refreshing). The signif. "wealth" would be more readily admissible, so that שׁוּע, as Aben-Ezra observes, would be the subst. to שׁוע, Job 34:19; but in Job 36:19 (which see), שׁוּע (as שׁוע Isaiah 22:5) signifies a cry of distress ( equals שׁוע), and an attempt must be made here with this meaning before every other.

On the other hand comes the question whether בעי is not perhaps to be referred to the verb בּעה, whether it be as subst. after the form מרי (Ralbag after the Targ.) or as part. pass. (Saad. Arab. gı̂r ‛nnh lı̂s 'l-mbtgan, "only that it is not desired"). The verb does not, indeed, occur elsewhere in the book of Job, but is very consistent with its style, which so abounds in Aramaisms, and is at the same time so coloured with Arabic that we should almost say, its Hauranitish style.

(Note: The Arab. verb bg' is still extensively used in Syria, and that in two forms: Arab. bg' ybgy and bg' ybg'. In Damascus the fut. i is alone used; whereas in Hauran and the steppe I have only found fut. a. Thus e.g., the Hauranite poet Ksim el-Chinn says: "The gracious God encompass thee with His favour and whatever thy soul desires (wa-l-nefsu ma tebghâ), it must obtain its desire" (tanûlu munâhû, in connection with which it is to be observed that Arab. bâl, fut. u is used here in the signification adipisci, comp. Fleischer on Job 15:29 [supra i. 270, note]). - Wetzst.)

Thus taking בעי as one word, Ralbag transl.: prayer stretched not forth the hand, which is intended to mean: is not able to do anything, cannot cause the will of God to miscarry. This meaning is only obtained by great violence; but when Renan (together with Bckel and Carey, after Rosenm.) translates: Vaines prires!..il tend sa main; quoi bon protester contre ses coups? the one may be measured with the other. If בעי is to be derived from בעי, it must be translated either: shall He, however, without prayer (sine imploratione), or: shall He, however, unimplored (non imploratus), stretch out His hand? The thought remains the same by both renderings of בעי, and suits as a vindication of the cry for help in the context. But בּעה, in the specific signification implorare, deprecari, is indeed the usage of the Targum, although strange to the Hebr., which is here so rich in synonyms; then, in the former case, לא for בלא is harsh, and in the other, בעי as part. pass. is too strong an Aramaism. We must therefore consider whether בעי as עי with the praep. בּ gives a suitable sense. Since שׁלח יד בּ, e.g., Job 28:9 and elsewhere, most commonly means "to lay the hand on anything, stretch out the hand to anything," it is most natural to take בעי in dependence upon ישׁלח ידו, and we really gain an impressive thought, if we translate: Only may He not stretch out His hand (to continue His work of destruction) to a heap of rubbish (which I am already become); but by this translation of Job 30:24, Job 30:24 remains a glaring puzzle, insoluble in itself and in respect of the further course of the thought, for Schlottmann's interpretation, "Only one does not touch ruins, or the ruin of one is the salvation of another," which is itself puzzling, is no solution. The reproach against the friends which is said to lie in Job 30:24 is contrary to the character of this monologue, which is turned away from his human opponents; then שׁוּע does not signify salvation, and there is no "one" and "another" to be found in the text. We must therefore, against our inclination, give up this dependent relation of בעי, so that בעי signifies either, upon a heap of rubbish, or, since this ought to be על־עי: by the falling in; עי (from עוה equals ‛iwj) can mean both: a falling in or overthrow (bouleversement) as an event, and ruins or rubbish as its result.

Accordingly Hirz. translates: Only upon the ruins (more correctly at least: upon ruins) one will not stretch out his hand, and Ew.: Only - does not one stretch out one's hand by one's overthrow? But this "only" is awkward. Hahn is of opinion that אך לא may be taken in the signification not once, and translates: may one not for once raise one's hand by one's downfall; but even this is lame, because then all connection with what precedes is wanting; besides, אך לא does not signify ne quidem. The originally affirmative אך has certainly for the most part a restrictive signification, which, as we observed on Job 18:21, is blended with the affirmative in Hebr., but it is also, as more frequently אכן, used adversatively, e.g., Job 16:7, and in the combination אך לא this adversative signification coincides with the restrictive, for this double particle signifies everywhere else: only not, however not, Genesis 20:12; 1 Kings 11:39; 2 Kings 12:14; 2 Kings 13:6; 2 Kings 23:9, 2 Kings 23:26. It would be more natural to translate, as we have stated above: only may be not, etc., but Job 30:24 puts in its veto against this. If, as Hirz., Ew., and Hahn also suppose, לא, Job 30:24, is equivalent to הלא, so that the sentence is to be spoken with an interrogative accent, we must translate אך as Jer. has done, by verumtamen. He knows that he is being hurried forth to meet death; he knows it, and has also already made himself so familiar with this thought, that the sooner he sees an end put to this his sorrowful life the better - nevertheless does one not stretch out one's hand when one is falling? This involuntary reaction against destruction is the inevitable result of man's instinct of self-preservation. It needs no proof that שׁלח יד can signify "to stretch out one's hand for help;" ישׁלח is used with a general subj.: one stretches out, as Job 17:5; Job 21:22. With this determination of the idea of Job 30:24, Job 30:24 is now also naturally connected with what precedes. It is not, however, to be translated, as Ew. and Hirz.: if one is in distress, is not a cry for help heard on account of it? If אם were intended hypothetically, a continuation of the power of the interrogative לא from Job 30:24 would be altogether impossible. Hahn and Loch-Reischl rightly take אם in the sense of an. It introduces another turn of the question: Does one, however, not stretch out one's hand to hasten the fall, or in his downfall (raise) a cry for help, or a wail, on that account? Dderlein's conjecture, לחן for להן (praying "for favour"), deserves respectful mention, but it is not needed: להן signifies neutrally: in (under) such circumstances (comp. בּהם, Job 22:21; Isaiah 64:5), or is directly equivalent to להן, which (Ruth 1:13) signifies propterea, and even in biblical Chaldee, beside the Chaldee signif. sed, nisi, retains this Hebrew signif. (Daniel 2:6, Daniel 2:9; Daniel 4:24). פּיד, which signifies dying and destruction (Talmud. in the peculiar signif.: that which is hewn or pecked open), synon. of איד, has been already discussed on Job 12:5.

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