Job 6:26
Do you imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind?
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(26) Do ye imagine to reprove words . . .?—“It cannot be your intent to reprove mere words, as mine confessedly are (Job 6:3), and as you seem to count them (Job 6:13). If so, they are hardly worthy the trouble bestowed upon them, but might be left to answer themselves.”

Job 6:26. Do you imagine to reprove words? — What! is all your wisdom employed for this, to catch hold of and reprove some of my words, without making allowance for human infirmity or extreme misery? and the speeches of one that is desperate? — Of a poor, miserable, helpless, and hopeless man; which are as wind — Which you esteem to be like wind, vain and light, without solidity, giving a sound, but with little sense, and to little purpose. Heath renders it, Are they as the wind? vain and empty.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.Do ye imagine to reprove words? - A considerable variety of interpretation has occurred in regard to this verse. Dr. Good, following Schultens, supposes that the word translated wind here רוּח rûach means sighs, or groans, and renders it,

Would ye then take up words for reproof,

The mere venting the means of despair?

But Rosenmuller has well remarked that the word never has this signification. Noyes renders it,

Do ye mean to censure words?

The words of a man in despair are but wind.

In this, he has probably expressed the true sense. This explanation was proposed by Ludov. de Dieu, and is adopted by Rosenmuller. According to this, the sense is, "Do you think it reasonable to carp at mere words? Will you pass over weighty and important arguments and facts, and dwell upon the words merely that are extorted from a man in misery? Do you not know that one in a state of despair utters many expressions which ought not to be regarded as the result of his deliberate judgment? And will you spend your time in dwelling on those words rather than on the main argument involved?" This is probably the true sense of the verse; and if so it is a complaint of Job that they were disposed to make him "an offender for a word" rather than to enter into the real merits of the case, and especially that they were not disposed to make allowances for the hasty expressions of a man almost in despair.

26. Do you imagine—or, "mean."

to reprove words and (to reprove) the speeches of one desperate, (which are) as wind?—mere nothings, not to be so narrowly taken to task? Umbreit not so well takes the Hebrew for "as wind," as "sentiments"; making formal "sentiments" antithetical to mere "speeches," and supplying, not the word "reprove," but "would you regard," from the first clause.

Do ye imagine to reprove words? i.e. do you think that all your arguments are solid and unanswerable, and all my answers are but idle and empty words? Or do you think it is sufficient to cavil and quarrel with some of my words and expressions, without considering the merits of the cause, and the truth of my condition, or giving an allowance for human infirmity, or for my extreme misery, which may easily force from me some indecent expressions?

Of one that is desperate; of a poor miserable, hopeless, and helpless man; for the words of such persons are commonly neglected and despised, although there be truth and great weight in them. See Ecclesiastes 9:16. And such are generally thought to speak from deep passions and prejudices, more than from reason and judgment.

Which are as wind, i.e. which you esteem to be like the wind, vain and light, without solid substance, making a great noise with little sense, and to little purpose. But this last branch of the verse may be, and by many is, rendered otherwise, and do ye imagine (which is to be repeated out of the former clause, as is very usual in Scripture) the words of one that is desperate to be but wind, i.e. empty and vain? Do you take me for a desperate and distracted man, that knows not or cares not what he saith, but only speaks what comes first into his mind and mouth? The wind is oft used to express vain words, as Job 15:2 Jeremiah 5:13; and vain things, Job 7:7 Proverbs 11:29. Some render the whole verse thus, Do you in your arguings think, or ought you to think, the discourses of a dejected, or desponding, or sorely afflicted man (such as I am) to be but words and wind, i.e. vain and empty? as indeed the discourses of such persons use to be esteemed by such as are in a higher and more prosperous condition. But you should judge more impartially, and more mercifully. Possibly the verse may be rendered thus, Do you think to reprove the speeches of a desperate, or dejected, or miserable man (such as I am, and you use me accordingly) with (the preposition being very frequently omitted and understood in the Hebrew tongue) words and with (for the Hebrew prefix lamed oft signifies with, as hath been formerly proved) wind? You think any words or arguments will be strong enough against one in my circumstances. So it agrees with the foregoing verse. Do ye imagine to reprove words,.... Or with words; with bare words, without any force of reasoning and argument in them? put a parcel of words together without any sense or meaning, or however without any cogency in them, and think to run me down with them? or is your scheme and device only, and which you pursue, to catch at and lay hold on some words of mine uttered in my distress, and make me an offender for a word, or for a few words, supposing they have been rashly and passionately spoken? have ye no facts to charge me with, before or since these calamities befell me? is the charge of hypocrisy and want of the fear of God to be supported by producing some hasty expressions, without pointing at one single action in my life and conversation?

and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind? that is, do ye imagine to reprove them? or, are; your thoughts wholly and solely intent on them? are these only the strong reasons you have to produce to fix the sin of hypocrisy upon me? for by him that is "desperate" he means himself; not that he despaired of his everlasting salvation; he was far from despair; he was a strong believer, and determined that, though he was slain, he would trust in the Lord; he was well assured he should be justified, both here and hereafter; and full well knew that his Redeemer lived, and that though he died, he should rise again and be happy in the vision of God for ever: but he despaired of a restoration to outward happiness, which Eliphaz had suggested, should he behave well; but, alas! his condition was forlorn and miserable, and there was no hope with him of being better; his children were dead, his substance in the hands of robbers, his health so extremely bad that he had no expectation of a recovery to his former state; and therefore it was very unkind and ungenerous to lay hold upon and aggravate the speeches of such an one, and improve them against him; and especially as they were only "for refreshment" (c), as some choose to render the words, see Job 32:20; they were uttered to give vent to his sorrow and grief, and not with any ill design against God or men; or the sense of the whole is, that they imagined that their words were right and fit to reprove with, and that there were force and strength in them, and had a tendency to work conviction and bring to confession; but as for the words of Job, they treated them "as wind"; as idle, vain, and empty, and useless and fruitless as the wind.

(c) "ad respirium", Schultens.

Do ye imagine to reprove {q} words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind?

(q) Do you object to my words because I would be thought to speak foolishly, and am now in misery?

26. do ye imagine] that is, is it your purpose? think ye?

and the speeches … which are as wind] Rather, though the speeches of one that is desperate go into the wind.Verse 26. - Do ye imagine to reprove words? or, Do ye propose? "Is it your intention?" Am I to understand that you blame nothing in my conduct, but only the words that I have spoken? i.e. the words recorded in ch. 3. And the speeshes of one that is desperate, which are as wind; or, whereas the speehes of one that is desperate are but as wind; literally, for the wind - spoken to the wind, for the wind to take hold of them and bear them away. Therefore not worth a reproof. 18 The paths of their course are turned about,

They go up in the waste and perish.

19 The travelling bands of Tma looked for them,

The caravans of Saba hoped for them;

20 They were disappointed on account of their trust,

They came thus far, and were red with shame.

As the text is pointed, ארחות, Job 6:18, are the paths of the torrents. Hitz., Ew., and Schlottm., however, correct ארחות, caravans, which Hahn even thinks may be understood without correction, since he translates: the caravans of their way are turned about (which is intended to mean: aside from the way that they are pursuing), march into the desert and perish (i.e., because the streams on which they reckoned are dried up). So, in reality, all modern commentators understand it; but is it likely that the poet would let the caravans perish in Job 6:18, and in Job 6:19. still live? With this explanation, Job 6:19. drag along tautologically, and the feebler figure follows the stronger. Therefore we explain as follows: the mountain streams, נחלים, flow off in shallow serpentine brooks, and the shallow waters completely evaporate by the heat of the sun. בתּהוּ עלה signifies to go up into nothing (comp. Isaiah 40:23), after the analogy of בעשׁן כּלה, to pass away in smoke. Thus e.g., also Mercier: in auras abeunt, in nihilum rediguntur. What next happens is related as a history, Job 6:19., hence the praett. Job compares his friends to the wady swollen by ice and snow water, and even to the travelling bands themselves languishing for water. He thirsts for friendly solace, but the seeming comfort which his friends utter is only as the scattered meandering waters in which the mountain brook leaks out. The sing. בּטח individualizes; it is unnecessary with Olsh. to read בּטחוּ.

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