Job 6:7
The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.
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Job 6:7. The things that my soul refused, &c. — “Job, persisting in his allegory,” says Schultens, “goes on to show how disagreeable to his stomach the speech of Eliphaz had been.” This learned critic accordingly translates the verse thus: My soul refuseth to touch such things; they are to me as corrupted food. But Dr. Dodd, after quoting these words of Schultens, observes, he “cannot help thinking that this and the two preceding verses will bear another interpretation, and that Job means, in them, to offer a justification for himself; to declare that he had sufficient ground for complaint, without which it was no more usual for man to lament than for the ox or ass to low or bray, when they had sufficient food, &c.” The sense of the verse seems to be, Those grievous afflictions, which I dreaded the very thought of, are now my daily, though sorrowful, bread.

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.The things that my soul refused to touch - That I refused to touch - the word "soul" here being used to denote himself. The idea here is, that those things which formerly were objects of loathing to him, had become his painful and distressing food. The idea may be either that he was reduced to the greatest pain and distress in partaking of his food, since he loathed that which he was obliged to eat (compare notes, Job 3:24), or more probably his calamity is described under the image of loathsome food in accordance with the Oriental usage, by which one is said to eat or taste anything; that is, to experience it. His sorrows were as sickening to him as the articles of food which he had mentioned were to the stomach. The Septuagint renders it strangely, "For my wrath - μοῦ ἡ ὀργή mou hē orgē - cannot cease. For I see my food offensive as the smell of a lion' - ὥσπερ ὀσμὴν λέοντος hōsper osmēn leontos. 7. To "touch" is contrasted with "meat." "My taste refused even to touch it, and yet am I fed with such meat of sickness." The second clause literally, is, "Such is like the sickness of my food." The natural taste abhors even to touch insipid food, and such forms my nourishment. For my sickness is like such nauseous food [Umbreit]. (Ps 42:3; 80:5; 102:9). No wonder, then, I complain. Heb. As the sicknesses or sorrows of my meat, i.e. as my sorrowful meat, which I am constrained to eat with grief of heart. The particle as, either,

1. Notes not the similitude, but the truth of the thing, as it is oft used, as hath been formerly noted and proved. So the sense is, that such meat as formerly he should have abhorred to touch, either for the quality of it, or for his tears or ulcerous matter which mixed themselves with it, he was now forced by the necessities of nature, and his own poverty, to eat. Or,

2. Implies that the following words are not to be understood properly, but metaphorically. And so the sense may be this, Those grievous afflictions, which according to the principles and common inclinations of human nature I dreaded the very touch and thought of, they are now my daily, though sorrowful, bread; I am forced constantly to feed upon them; as other persons in great afflictions are said to be fed with bread of tears, Psalm 80:5, and to eat ashes like bread, Psalm 102:9. Others make this a censure of Eliphaz’s words, as ungrateful and loathsome to him. But that sense seems neither to agree with the words of this verse, nor with its scope and coherence with the former, of which See Poole "Job 6:6".

The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat. Meaning either the above things, that which is unsavoury, and the white of an egg, of any other food, which in the time of his prosperity he would not touch with his fingers, much less eat, but now was glad of, and were his constant food in his present sorrowful circumstances; the sense given by some Jewish writers (i) is, that what he disdained to touch or wipe his hands with formerly, he was glad to make use of as a tablecloth to eat his bread of sorrow upon; but it rather intends the insipid and disagreeable words of his friends, their doctrines, instructions, and exhortations they gave him, but were refused and rejected by him; and which he before compares to unsavoury food, the white of an egg, or the spittle of a dreaming man, or the dribble of a fool; and which were as much loathed and nauseated by him, as his food that was "loathed" by him (k), either because of his want of appetite, or because of the badness of it, such as were corrupt and "rotten", and even as the "excrements" of food (l); those he refused to receive with as much indignation as he could such sort of food offered him; and therefore we find, that notwithstanding all that had been said to him, he continued in the same sentiment and disposition of mind, to desire death rather than life, as follows.

(i) Jarchi & R. Mesallem in ib. (k) "ut fastidia pannis mei", Cocceius. (l) "Velut excrement um panis", Neuman. apud Michael.

The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.
7. This verse may be rendered not quite literally,

My soul refuseth to touch them!

Such things are like loathsome food to me.

Literally, like my corrupted, or, diseased food. Job does not name his afflictions but refers to them indirectly as “they” and “such things.” He compared his sufferings to food in ch. Job 3:24.

Verse 7. - The things that my soul refuse to touch are as my sorrowful meat; rather, as in the Revised Version, my soul refuseth to touch them; they are as loathsome meat to me. The doubt remains whether Job is speaking of the arguments of Eliphaz, or of the series of afflictions which have befallen him. Either explanation is possible. Job 6:7 5 Doth the wild ass bray at fresh grass?

Or loweth an ox over good fodder?

6 Is that which is tasteless eaten unsalted?

Or is there flavour in the white of an egg?

7 That which my soul refused to touch,

The same is as my loathsome food.

The meaning of the first two figures is: He would not complain, if there were really no cause for it; of the two others: It is not to be expected that he should smile at his suffering, and enjoy it as delicate food. על־בּלילו I have translated "over good fodder," for בּליל is mixed fodder of different kinds of grain, farrago. "Without salt" is virtually adjective to תּפל, insipid, tasteless. What is without salt one does not relish, and there is no flavour in the slime of the yolk of an egg, i.e., the white of an egg (Targ.),

(Note: Saadia compares b. Aboda zara, 40, a, where it is given as a mark of the purity of the eggs in the roe of fish: מבפנים וחלמון מב מבחוץ חלבון, when the white is outside and the yellow within.)

or in the slime of purslain (according to Chalmetho in the Peschito, Arab. ḥamqâ), fatua equals purslain), which is less probable on account of ריר (slime, not: broth): there is no flavour so that it can be enjoyed. Thus is it with his sufferings. Those things which he before inwardly detested (dirt and dust of leprosy) are now sicut fastidiosa cibi mei, i.e., as loathsome food which he must eat. The first clause, Job 6:7, must be taken as an elliptic relative clause forming the subject: vid., Ges. 123, 3, c. Such disagreeable counsel is now like his unclean, disgusting diet. Eliphaz desires him to take them as agreeable. דּוי in כּדרי is taken by Ges. Ew., Hahn, Schlottm., Olsh. (165, b), as constr. from דּוי, sickness, filth; but דּוי, as plur. from דּוה, sick, unclean (especially of female menstruation, Isaiah 30:22), as Heiligst. among modern commentators explains it, is far more suitable. Hitz. (as anonym. reviewer of Ewald's Job in the liter. Centralblatt) translates: they (my sufferings) are the morsels of my food; but the explanation of המּה is not correct, nor is it necessary to go to the Arabic for an explanation of כּדרי. It is also unnecessary, with Bttcher, to read כּדוי (such is my food in accordance with my disease); Job does not here speak of his diet as an invalid.

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