Job 6:1
But Job answered and said,
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(1) But Job answered and said.—Job replies to Eliphaz with the despair of a man who has been baulked of sympathy when he hoped to find it. We cannot trace, nor must we expect to find, the formal reply of a logical argument, fliphaz, he feels, has so misjudged his case that he is neither worthy of a direct reply nor susceptible of one. It is enough for him to reiterate his complaint, and long for one who can enter into it.

Job 6:1. Job answered and said — Eliphaz concluded his discourse with an air of assurance, being very confident that what he had advanced was so plain and so pertinent that nothing could be objected to it. Job, however, is not at all convinced by it, but still justifies himself in his complaints, and condemns his friend for the weakness of his arguing. Though Eliphaz, in the beginning and some other parts of his speech, was very severe upon Job, he gave him no interruption, but heard him patiently till he had delivered his whole mind. But when he had done this, and had finished all he had to say, Job modestly, but feelingly, makes his reply. He begins with an apology for venting his grief in a manner somewhat unbecoming, and begs it may be ascribed to the great multitude and sharpness of his afflictions; but as to the advice given him by Eliphaz, to hope for an amendment of his condition: and to address God for that purpose, he tells them, that his petition to God should be of a quite different nature, namely, that he would be pleased to cut him off speedily; for that the desperateness of his condition would by no means permit him to hope for any amendment. That, however, he could not help resenting their unkind suspicions of him, that they should think him capable of such great wickedness; but, above all, should imagine him to be so abandoned as to be able to entertain a thought tending to a revolt from the Almighty. He begs them not to condemn him barely on suspicion, and on the strength of general maxims, but to consider it was possible he might be innocent.

6:1-7 Job still justifies himself in his complaints. In addition to outward troubles, the inward sense of God's wrath took away all his courage and resolution. The feeling sense of the wrath of God is harder to bear than any outward afflictions. What then did the Saviour endure in the garden and on the cross, when he bare our sins, and his soul was made a sacrifice to Divine justice for us! Whatever burden of affliction, in body or estate, God is pleased to lay upon us, we may well submit to it as long as he continues to us the use of our reason, and the peace of our conscience; but if either of these is disturbed, our case is very pitiable. Job reflects upon his friends for their censures. He complains he had nothing offered for his relief, but what was in itself tasteless, loathsome, and burdensome.Lo this - All this that I have said; the truth of all the remarks which I have made.

We have searched it - We have by careful observation of the course of events come to these conclusions. These are our views of the providence of God, and of the principles of his government, as far as we have had the opportunity of observing, and they are well worthy of your attention. The sentiments in these two chapters indicate close and accurate observation; and if we think that the observation was not always wholly accurate, or that the principles were carried further than facts would warrant, or that Eliphaz applied them with somewhat undue severity to the case of Job, we are to remember that this was in the infancy of the world, that they had few historical records, and that they had no written revelation. If they were favored with occasional revelations, as Eliphaz claimed (Job 4:12 ff), yet they were few in number, and at distant intervals, and the divine communications pertained to but few points.

Though it may without impropriety be maintained that some of the views of Eliphaz and his friends were not wholly accurate, yet we may safely ask, Where among the Greek and Roman sages can views of the divine government be found that equal these in correctness, or that are expressed with equal force and beauty? For profound and accurate observation, for beauty of thought and sublimity of expression, the sage of Teman will not fall behind the sages of Athens; and not the least interesting thing in the contemplation of the book of Job, is the comparison which we are almost of necessity compelled to make between the observations on the course of events which were made in Arabia, and those which were made by the philosophers of the ancient pagan world. Is it improper to suppose that one design of this book was to show how far the human mind could go, with the aid of occasional revelations on a few points, in ascertaining the principles of the divine administration, and to demonstrate that, after all, the mind needed a fuller revelation to enable man to comprehend the truths pertaining to the kingdom of God? "Hear it for thy good." Margin, as in Hebrew "thyself." These principles are such that they are of importance for you to understand and to apply.



Job 6:1-30. Reply of Job to Eliphaz.Job’s answer: he wisheth his troubles were duly weighed, for then would his complaints appear just, Job 6:1-7: prayeth for death; his hope in it, Job 6:8-10. He is unable to bear up under his burden, Job 6:11,12. He vindicateth himself against his friends, and reproveth them, Job 6:13-30.

No text from Poole on this verse.

But Job answered and said. Though Eliphaz thought his speech was unanswerable, being, as he and his friends judged, unquestionably true, and the fruit of strict, laborious, and diligent search and inquiry; or, "then Job answered" (t), as the same particle is rendered, Job 4:1; after he had heard Eliphaz out; he waited with patience until he had finished his discourse, without giving him any interruption, though there were many things that were very provoking, particularly in Job 4:5; and when he had done, then he made his reply; and this was no other than what every man has a right unto, to answer for himself when any charge or accusation is brought against him; when his character is attacked, or his good name, which is better the precious ointment, is taken from him; and is what all reasonable men, and the laws of all civilized nations, allow of.

(t) "tunc respondit", Drusius.

But Job answered and said,
Ch. Job 6:1-13. Job defends the violence of his complaints and his despair

Eliphaz had made no reference directly to sin on Job’s part; but he drew dark pictures of the evilness of human nature before the eye of his friend, and for his advantage. Job shews a dislike to touch this point. His dislike is that of a man conscious of his innocence, and who can hardly believe that his friends seriously mean what their indirect allusions seem to imply. Hence he attaches his reply to what Eliphaz had openly expressed, namely, his wonder at the despair of Job and his blameable impatience. The idea of his having sinned he touches only in passing and with strong repudiation of it (ch. Job 6:28-30).

Eliphaz had used the word “confounded” of Job’s hopeless despair (ch. Job 4:5); he had spoken of “impatience,” and “passion”; and had referred to the “fool” or godless man, as shewing this kind of temper under affliction (Job 6:2). All this wounds Job deeply, and he first of all replies to it, justifying the bitterness of his complaints by the overwhelming heaviness of his sorrow.

First, he wishes that his impatience and his calamity were laid against one another in the balance. His calamity is heavier than the sand of the sea. For that which gives it its terror is that it is from God. The arrows of the Almighty are in him, and his spirit drinks in their poison and is paralysed, Job 6:1-4.

Second, a more kindly judgment, he thinks, would have reasoned the other way from his friends, namely, from the violence of his complaints to the greatness of his sufferings. So men reasoned with regard to beasts even. No creature complained if it had no want or no pain; neither would he complain if what was unbearable were not thrust upon him, Job 6:5-7.

Third, so far he goes in his defence. But so keenly does he realize as he describes it (Job 6:6-7) the misery and loathsomeness of his state that here he breaks out into a passionate cry for death, his mind passes into a momentary frenzy, and he says he would leap for joy in the midst of unsparing pain, if it brought death with it. This is the consolation that he seeks. And this consolation he can look for, for he has never denied the words of the Holy One. And no other can he look to, for his flesh is not brass that it should resist his exhausting afflictions; and what issue has he to expect that he should be patient? Job 6:8-13.

Verses 1, 2. - But Job answered and said, Oh that my grief were throughly weighed! rather, my anger, or my vexation - the same word as that used by Eliphaz when reproaching Job, in Job 5:2. Job wishes that, before men blame him, they would calmly weigh the force of his feelings and expressions against the weight of the calamity which oppresses him. His words may seem too strong and too violent; but are they more than a just counterpoise to the extreme character of his afflictions? The weighing of words and thoughts was an essential element in the Egyptian conception of the judgment, where Thoth held the balance, and in the one scale were placed the merits of the deceased, in the other the image of Ma, or Truth, and his fate was determined by the side to which the balance inclined ('Ritual of the Dead,' ch. 125; Wilkinson, 'Ancient Egyptians,' vol. 5. p. 252). And my calamity laid in the balances together. My calamity placed in one scale, and my vexation in the other, and so weighed, each against each. Job 6:1 1 Then began Job, and said:

2 Oh that my vexation were but weighed,

And they would put my suffering in the balance against it!

3 Then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea:

Therefore my words are rash.

4 The arrows of the Almighty are in me,

The burning poison whereof drinketh up my spirit;

The terrors of Eloah set themselves in array against me.

Vexation (כּעשׂ) is what Eliphaz has reproached him with (Job 5:2). Job wishes that his vexation were placed in one scale and his היּה (Keri הוּה) in the other, and weighed together (יחד). The noun היּה (הוּה), from הוה (היה), flare, hiare, signifies properly hiatus, then vorago, a yawning gulf, χάσμα, then some dreadful calamity (vid., Hupfeld on Psalm 5:10). נשׂא, like נטל, Isaiah 11:15, to raise the balance, as pendere, to let it hang down; attollant instead of the passive. This is his desire; and if they but understood the matter, it would then be manifest (כּי־עתּה, as Job 3:13, which see), or: indeed then would it be manifest (כּי certainly in this inferential position has an affirmative signification: vid., Genesis 26:22; Genesis 29:32, and comp. 1 Samuel 25:34; 2 Samuel 2:27) that his suffering is heavier than the unmeasurable weight of the sand of the sea. יכבּד is neuter with reference to והיּתי. לעוּ, with the tone on the penult., which is not to be accounted for by the rhythm as in Psalm 37:20; Psalm 137:7, cannot be derived from לעה, but only from לוּע, not however in the signification to suck down, but from לוּע equals לעה, Arab. lagiya or also lagâ, temere loqui, inania effutire, - a signification which suits excellently here.

(Note: ילע, Proverbs 20:25, which is doubly accented, and must be pronounced as oxytone, has also this meaning: the snare of a man who has thoughtlessly uttered what is holy (an interjectional clause equals such an one has implicated himself), and after (having made) vows will harbour care (i.e., whether he will be able to fulfil them).)

His words are like those of one in delirium. עמּדי is to be explained according to Psalm 38:3; חמתם, according to Psalm 7:15. יערכוּני is short for עלי מלחמה יערכי, they make war against me, set themselves in battle array against me. Bttcher, without brachylogy: they cause me to arm myself, put one of necessity on the defensive, which does not suit the subject. The terrors of God strike down all defence. The wrath of God is irresistible. The sting of his suffering, however, is the wrath of God which his spirit drinks as a draught of poison (comp. Job 21:20), and consequently wrings from him, even from his deepest soul, the thought that God is become his enemy: therefore his is an endless suffering, and therefore is it that he speaks so despondingly.

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