My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)My harp also is turned to mourning.—Or, Therefore is my harp turned to mourning, and my pipe into the voice of them that weep. The musical instruments here named, like those of Genesis 4:21, are respectively the stringed and wind instruments.Isaiah 5:12.
And my organ - The form of what is here called the organ, is not certainly known. The word עגב ‛ûgâb is doubtless from עגב ‛âgab, "to breathe, to blow"; and most probably the instrument hero intended was the pipe. For a description of it, see the notes at Isaiah 5:12. This instrument, also, was played, as would appear, on joyous occasions, but Job now says that it was turned to grief. All that had been joyous with him had fled. His honor was taken away; his friends were gone; they who had treated him with reverence now stood at a distance, or treated him with contempt; his health was departed, and his former appearance, indicating a station of affluence, was changed for the dark complexion produced by disease, and the instruments of joyousness now gave forth only notes of sorrow.
1. I have now nothing but bitter lamentations instead of my former expressions of joy. Or,
2. Those very things which formerly were occasions and instruments of my delight, do now renew and aggravate my sorrows.
and my organ into the voice of them that weep; another instrument of music, which had its name from the pleasantness of its sound, and was of early use, being first invented by Jubal, Genesis 4:21; but not that we now so call, which is of late invention: those instruments which Job might have and use, both in a civil and in a religious way, were now, through afflictions, become useless to him, and neglected by him; or these expressions in general may signify, that, instead of mirth and joy he was wont to have, there were nothing now to be heard but lamentation and woe; see Lamentations 5:15.My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)31. The joyous music of his former life is turned into wailing. The “organ” is the pipe, ch. Job 21:12; comp. Lamentations 5:15.Verse 31. - My harp also is turned to mourning. The result of all is that Job's harp is laid aside, either literally or figuratively. Its music is replaced by the sound of mourning (see vers. 28, 29). And my organ (or rather, my pipe) into the voice of them that weep. The pipe also is no longer sounded in his presence; he hears only the voice of weeping and lamentation. Thus appropriately ends the long dirge in which he has bewailed his miserable fare.
Job 30:24. The manifestation of feeling - Job means to say - which he himself felt at the misfortune of others, will be still permitted to him in his own misfortune, the seeking of compassion from the sympathising: or have I not wept for the hard of day? i.e., him whose lot in life is hard (comp. Arab. qası̂y, durus, miser); did not my soul grieve for the needy? Here, also, לא from Job 30:25 continues its effect (comp. Job 3:10; Job 28:17); עגם is ἅπ. γεγρ., of like signification with אגם, whence אגם Isaiah 19:10, אגמה (sadness) b. Mod katan 14b, Arab. agima, to feel disgust. If the relation of Job 30:25 to Job 30:24 is confirmatory, Job 30:26 and what follows refers directly to Job 30:24 : he who felt sympathy with the sufferings of others will nevertheless dare in his own affliction to stretch out his hand for help in the face of certain ruin, and pour forth his pain in lamentation; for his affliction is in reality inexpressibly great: he hoped for good (for the future from his prosperous condition, in which he rejoiced),
(Note: lxx Aldina: ἐγὼ δὲ ἀπέχων ἀγαθοῖς, which Zwingli rightly corrects ἐπέχων (Codd. Vat., Alex., and Sinait.).)
then came evil; and if I waited for light, deep darkness came. Ewald (232, h) regards ואיחלה as contracted from ואיחלה, but this shortening of the vowel is a pure impossibility. The former signifies rather καὶ ἤλπιζον or ἐβουλόμην ἐλπίζειν, the latter καὶ ἤλπισα, and that cohortative fut. logically forms a hypothetical antecedent, exactly like Job 19:18, if I desire to rise (אקומה), they speak against me (vid., Ew. 357, b). In feverish heat and anxiety his bowels were set boiling (רתח as Job 41:23, comp. Talmud. רתחן, a hot-headed fellow), and rested not (from this boiling). The accentuation Tarcha, Mercha, and Athnach is here incorrect; instead of Athnach, Rebia mugrasch is required. Days of affliction came upon him (קדּם as Psalm 18:6), viz., as a hostile power cutting off the previous way of his prosperity.
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