Job 7:11
Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.
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Job 7:11. Therefore I will not refrain, &c. — Since my life is so vain and short, and, when once lost, without all hopes of recovery. I will plead with God for pity before I die; I will not smother my anguish within my breast, but will ease myself by pouring out my complaints.

7:7-16 Plain truths as to the shortness and vanity of man's life, and the certainty of death, do us good, when we think and speak of them with application to ourselves. Dying is done but once, and therefore it had need be well done. An error here is past retrieve. Other clouds arise, but the same cloud never returns: so a new generation of men is raised up, but the former generation vanishes away. Glorified saints shall return no more to the cares and sorrows of their houses; nor condemned sinners to the gaieties and pleasures of their houses. It concerns us to secure a better place when we die. From these reasons Job might have drawn a better conclusion than this, I will complain. When we have but a few breaths to draw, we should spend them in the holy, gracious breathings of faith and prayer; not in the noisome, noxious breathings of sin and corruption. We have much reason to pray, that He who keeps Israel, and neither slumbers nor sleeps, may keep us when we slumber and sleep. Job covets to rest in his grave. Doubtless, this was his infirmity; for though a good man would choose death rather than sin, yet he should be content to live as long as God pleases, because life is our opportunity of glorifying him, and preparing for heaven.Therefore I will not refrain my mouth - The idea in this verse is, "such is my distress at the prospect of dying, that I cannot but express it. The idea of going away from all my comforts, and of being committed to the grave, to revisit the earth no more, is so painful that I cannot but give vent to my feelings." 11. Therefore, as such is my hard lot, I will at least have the melancholy satisfaction of venting my sorrow in words. The Hebrew opening words, "Therefore I, at all events," express self-elevation [Umbreit]. Since my life is by the common condition of mankind so vain and short, and, when once lost, without all hopes of recovery, and withal extremely miserable, I will plead with God for pity and relief before I die; knowing that I must now speak, or else for ever after hold my peace, as to requests of this nature. I will not smother my bitter anguish within my own breast, which will make it intolerable, but I will give it vent, and ease myself by pouring forth complaints, and expostulating with my God, who, as I hope, will hear and help me one way or other.

Therefore I will not refrain my mouth,.... From speaking and complaining; seeing, besides the common lot of mankind, which is a state of warfare, sorrow, and trouble, and is as much as a man can well grapple with, extraordinary afflictions are laid upon me, which make life insupportable; and seeing I enjoy no good in this present life, and am shortly going where no temporal good is to be expected, and shall never return to this world any more to enjoy any; therefore I will not be silent, and forbear speaking my mind freely, and uttering my just complaint, for which I think I have sufficient reason: or "I also will not refrain my mouth" (c); in turn, as a just retaliation, so Jarchi; since God will not refrain his hand from me, I will not refrain my mouth from speaking concerning him; since he shows no mercy to me, I shall utter my miserable complaints, and not keep them to myself; this was Job's infirmity when he should have held his peace, as Aaron, and been dumb and silent as David, and been still, and have known, owned, and acknowledged the sovereignty of God, and not vented himself in passion as he did:

I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; or "in the straitness" (d) of it; he was surrounded on all sides with distress, the sorrows of death compassed him about, and the pains of hell got hold upon him; he was like one pent up in a narrow place, in a close confinement, that he could not get out of, and come forth from; and he felt not only exquisite pains of body from his boils and sores, but great anguish of soul; and therefore he determines to speak in and "of" (e) all this, to give vent to his grief and sorrow, his passion and resentment:

I will complain in the bitterness of my soul; his afflictions were like the waters of Marah, bitter ones, very grievous and disagreeable to flesh and blood, and by which his life and soul were embittered to him; and in and of (f) this he determines to complain, or to utter in a complaining way what he had been meditating on, as the word (g) signifies; so that this was not an hasty and precipitate action, but what upon deliberation he resolved to do; to pour out his complaint before God, and leave it with him, in a submissive way, would not have been amiss, but if he complained of God and his providence, it was wrong: "why should a living man complain?" not even a wicked man, of "the punishment of his sin", and much less a good man of fatherly chastisements? We see what the will of man is, what a stubborn and obstinate thing it is, "I will, I will, I will", even of a good man when left to himself, and not in the exercise of grace, and under the influence of it; the complaint follows, by way of expostulation.

(c) "etiam ego", Vatablus, Beza, Piscator, Bolducius, Cocceius, Schmidt, Michaelis, Schultens; "vicissim", Noldius, p. 222. (d) "in angustia", Junius & Tremellius, Schmidt; "in arcto", Cocceius; "in angusto", Schultens. (e) "De angustia", Vatablus, Drusius, Mercerus, Piscator. (f) "de amaritudine", Drusius, Piscator, Mercerus. (g) "meditabor et eloquar", Michaelis.

Therefore I will not {g} refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

(g) Seeing I can by no other means comfort myself I will declare my grief in words, and thus he speaks as one overcome with grief of mind.

11. Job heaps image upon image to set before himself and the eye of God the brevity of life, the weaver’s shuttle (Job 7:6), the wind (Job 7:7), the morning cloud (Job 7:9, Hosea 6:4), ending with a pathetic reference to his home which shall see him no more (Job 7:10). These regrets altogether overmaster him and, combining with his sense of the wrong which he suffers and his impatience of the iron restraints of human existence, hurry him forward, and he resolves to open the floodgates to the full stream of his complaint (Job 7:11): Therefore I will not refrain my mouth, i. e. therefore I also, I on my side, will not refrain.

Verse 11. - Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; rather, I moreover will not refrain my lips; that is, "You may do as you like under affliction, I claim the right of complaining." Job has already pointed out that nature teaches the animals to complain when they suffer (Job 6:5). Why, then, should not he? Complaint is not necessarily murmuring; it is sometimes merely expostulation, which God allows (comp. Psalm 4:2; Psalm 77:3; Psalm 142:2, etc.). I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Extreme "anguish" and "bitter" suffering excuse complaints that would otherwise be, blare-able (comp. Job 6:2-4). Job 7:11 7 Remember that my life is a breath,

That my eye will never again look on prosperity.

8 The eye that looketh upon me seeth me no more;

Thine eyes look for me, - I am no more!

9 The clouds are vanished and passed away,

So he that goeth down to Shel cometh not up.

10 He returneth no more to his house,

And his place knoweth him no more.

11 Therefore I will not curb my mouth;

I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;

I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

We see good, i.e., prosperity and joy, only in the present life. It ends with death. שׁוּב with ל infin. is a synonym of הוסיף, Job 20:9. No eye (עין femin.) which now sees me (prop. eye of my seer, as Genesis 16:13, comp. Job 20:7; Psalm 31:12, for ראני, Isaiah 29:15, or ראני, Isaiah 47:10; according to another reading, ראי: no eye of seeing, i.e., no eye with the power of seeing, from ראי, vision) sees me again, even if thy eyes should be directed towards me to help me; my life is gone, so that I can no more be the subject of help. For from Shel there is no return, no resurrection (comp. Psalm 103:16 for the expression); therefore will I at least give free course to my thoughts and feelings (comp. Psalm 77:4; Isaiah 38:15, for the expression). The גּם, Job 7:11, is the so-called גם talionis; the parallels cited by Michalis are to the point, Ezekiel 16:43; Malachi 2:9; Psalm 52:7. Here we first meet with the name of the lower world; and in the book of Job we learn the ancient Israelitish conception of it more exactly than anywhere else. We have here only to do with the name in connection with the grammatical exposition. שׁאול (usually gen. fem.) is now almost universally derived from שׁאל equals שׁעל, to be hollow, to be deepened; and aptly so, for they imagined the Sheôl as under ground, as Numbers 16:30, Numbers 16:33 alone shows, on which account even here, as from Genesis 37:35 onwards, שׁאולה ירד is everywhere used. It is, however, open to question whether this derivation is correct: at least passages like Isaiah 5:14; Habakkuk 2:5; Proverbs 30:15., show that in the later usage of the language, שׁאל, to demand, was thought of in connection with it; derived from which Sheôl signifies (1) the appointed inevitable and inexorable demanding of everything earthly (an infinitive noun like אלוהּ, פּקוד); (2) conceived of as space, the place of shadowy duration whither everything on earth is demanded; (3) conceived of according to its nature, the divinely appointed fury which gathers in and engulfs everything on the earth. Job knows nothing of a demanding back, a redemption from Sheôl.

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