Job 6:17
What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place.
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Job 6:17-18. What time they wax warm — When the weather grows milder, and the frost and snow are dissolved; they vanish — נצמתו, nitsmathu, ex cisi sunt, they are cut off, having no fountain from whence to draw a supply. When it is hot — In the hot season, when waters are most refreshing and necessary; they are consumed out of their place — The place where the traveller expected to find them to his comfort; but they are gone he knows not whither. The paths of their way are turned aside — That is, the courses of those waters are changed; they are gone out of their channel, flowing hither and thither, till they be quite consumed, as it here follows. There “is a noble climax,” as Heath observes, in these last three verses; “a most poetical description of the torrents in the hot climates. By extraordinary cold they are frozen over, but the sun no sooner exerts its power than they melt; they are exhaled by the heat, till the stream for smallness is diverted into many channels; it yet lasts a little way, but is soon quite evaporated and lost.”

6:14-30 In his prosperity Job formed great expectations from his friends, but now was disappointed. This he compares to the failing of brooks in summer. Those who rest their expectations on the creature, will find it fail when it should help them; whereas those who make God their confidence, have help in the time of need, Heb 4:16. Those who make gold their hope, sooner or later will be ashamed of it, and of their confidence in it. It is our wisdom to cease from man. Let us put all our confidence in the Rock of ages, not in broken reeds; in the Fountain of life, not in broken cisterns. The application is very close; for now ye are nothing. It were well for us, if we had always such convictions of the vanity of the creature, as we have had, or shall have, on a sick-bed, a death-bed, or in trouble of conscience. Job upbraids his friends with their hard usage. Though in want, he desired no more from them than a good look and a good word. It often happens that, even when we expect little from man, we have less; but from God, even when we expect much, we have more. Though Job differed from them, yet he was ready to yield as soon as it was made to appear that he was in error. Though Job had been in fault, yet they ought not to have given him such hard usage. His righteousness he holds fast, and will not let it go. He felt that there had not been such iniquity in him as they supposed. But it is best to commit our characters to Him who keeps our souls; in the great day every upright believer shall have praise of God.What time - In the time; or after a time.

They wax warm - Gesenius renders this word (יזרבו yezorebû) when they became narrow, and this version has been adopted by Noyes. The word occurs nowhere else. Taylor (Concord.) renders it, "to be dissolved by the heat of the sun." Jerome, fuerint dissipati - "in the time in which they are scattered." The Septuagint, τακεῖσα Θέρμης γενομένης takeisa thermēs genomenēs - "melting at the approach of heat." The Chaldee, "In the time in which the generation of the deluge sinned, they were scattered." Castell says that the word זרב zârab in the Piel, as the word in Chaldee (זרב zerab) means "to flow"; and also that it has the same signification as צרב tsârab, to become warm. In Syriac the word means to be straitened, bound, confined. On the whole, however, the connection seems to require us to understand it as it is rendered in our common translation, as meaning, that when they are exposed to the rays of a burning sun, they evaporate. They pour down from the mountains in torrents, but when they flow into burning sands, or become exposed to the intense action of the sun, they are dried up, and disappear.

They vanish - Margin, "are cut off." That is, they wander off into the sands of the desert until they are finally lost.

When it is hot - Margin, "in the heat thereof." When the summer comes, or when the rays of the sun are poured down upon them.

They are consumed - Margin, "extinguished." They are dried up, and furnish no water for the caravan.

17. wax warm—rather, "At the time when." ("But they soon wax") [Umbreit]. "they become narrower (flow in a narrower bed), they are silent (cease to flow noisily); in the heat (of the sun) they are consumed or vanish out of their place. First the stream flows more narrowly—then it becomes silent and still; at length every trace of water disappears by evaporation under the hot sun" [Umbreit]. When the weather grows milder, and the frost and snow is dissolved.

When it is hot; in the hot season of the year, when waters are most refreshing and necessary.

Out of their place; in which the traveller expected to find them to his comfort, but they are gone he knows not whither.

What time they wax warm they vanish,.... The ice and the snow, which, when the weather becomes warm, they melt away and disappear; and in like manner, he suggests his friends ceased to be friends to him in a time of adversity; the sun of affliction having looked upon him, they deserted him, at least did not administer comfort to him:

when it is hot they are consumed out of their place; when it is hot weather, and the sun has great strength then the waters, which swelled through the floods and fall of rain and snow, and which when frozen, looked black and big as if they had great depth in them, were quickly dried up, and no more to be seen in the place where they were; which still expresses the short duration of friendship among men, which Job had a sorrowful experience of.

What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place.
Verse 17. - What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place (see the passage quoted from Dr. Geikie in the comment on ver. 15). Job 6:1714 To him who is consumed gentleness is due from his friend,

Otherwise he might forsake the fear of the Almighty.

15 My brothers are become false as a torrent,

As the bed of torrents which vanish away -

16 They were blackish from ice,

Snow is hidden in them -

17 In the time, when warmth cometh to them, they are destroyed.

It becometh hot, they are extinguished from their place.

Ewald supplies between Job 6:14 and Job 6:14 two lines which have professedly fallen out ("from a brother sympathy is due to the oppressed of God, in order he may not succumb to excessive grief"). Hitzig strongly characterizes this interpolation as a "pure swindle." There is really nothing wanting; but we need not even take חסד, with Hitz., in the signification reproach (like Proverbs 14:34): if reproach cometh to the sufferer from his friend, he forsaketh the fear of God. מס (from מסס, liquefieri) is one who is inwardly melted, the disheartened. Such an one should receive חסד from his friend, i.e., that he should restore him ἐν πνεύματι πραΰ́τητος (Galatians 6:1). The waw (Job 6:14) is equivalent to alioqui with the future subjunctive (vid., Ges. 127, 5). Harshness might precipitate him into the abyss from which love will keep him back. So Schnurrer: Afflicto exhibenda est ab amico ipsius humanitas, alioqui hic reverentiam Dei exuit. Such harshness instead of charity meets him from his brothers, i.e., friends beloved as brothers. In vain he has looked to them for reviving consolation. Theirs is no comfort; it is like the dried-up water of a wady. נחל is a mountain or forest brook, which comes down from the height, and in spring is swollen by melting ice and the snow that thaws on the mountain-tops; χειμάῤῥους, i.e., a torrent swollen by winter water. The melting blocks of ice darken the water of such a wady, and the snow falling together is quickly hidden in its bosom (התעלּם). If they begin to be warmed (Pual זרב, cognate to צרב, Ezekiel 21:3, aduri, and שׂרף, comburere), suddenly they are reduced to nothing (נצמת, exstingui); they vanish away בּחמּו, when it becomes hot. The suffix is, with Ew., Olsh., and others, to be taken as neuter; not with Hirz., to be referred to a suppressed את: when the season grows hot. job bewails the disappointment he has experienced, the "decline" of charity

(Note: Oetinger says that Job 6:15-20 describe those who get "consumption" when they are obliged to extend "the breasts of compassion" to their neighbour.)

still further, by keeping to the figure of the mountain torrent.

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