Job 7:5
My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) With worms and clods of dust.—It is characteristic of Elephantiasis that the skin becomes hard and rugous, and then cracks and becomes ulcerated.

Job 7:5-6. My flesh is clothed with worms — Which were bred out of his corrupted flesh and sores, and which, it seems, covered him all over like a garment. And clods of dust — The dust of the earth on which he lay. My skin is broken — By ulcers breaking out in all parts of it. My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle — Which passes in a moment from one side of the web to the other. So the time of my life hastens to a period; and therefore vain are those hopes which you would give me of a restoration to my former prosperity in this world. And are spent without hope — Of enjoying any good day here.7:1-6 Job here excuses what he could not justify, his desire of death. Observe man's present place: he is upon earth. He is yet on earth, not in hell. Is there not a time appointed for his abode here? yes, certainly, and the appointment is made by Him who made us and sent us here. During that, man's life is a warfare, and as day-labourers, who have the work of the day to do in its day, and must make up their account at night. Job had as much reason, he thought, to wish for death, as a poor servant that is tired with his work, has to wish for the shadows of the evening, when he shall go to rest. The sleep of the labouring man is sweet; nor can any rich man take so much satisfaction in his wealth, as the hireling in his day's wages. The comparison is plain; hear his complaint: His days were useless, and had long been so; but when we are not able to work for God, if we sit still quietly for him, we shall be accepted. His nights were restless. Whatever is grievous, it is good to see it appointed for us, and as designed for some holy end. When we have comfortable nights, we must see them also appointed to us, and be thankful for them. His body was noisome. See what vile bodies we have. His life was hastening apace. While we are living, every day, like the shuttle, leaves a thread behind: many weave the spider's web, which will fail, ch. 8:14. But if, while we live, we live unto the Lord, in works of faith and labours of love, we shall have the benefit, for every man shall reap as he sowed, and wear as he wove.My flesh is clothed with worms - Job here undoubtedly refers to his diseased state, and this is one of the passages by which we may learn the nature of his complaint; compare the notes at Job 2:7. There is reference here to the worms which are produced in ulcers and in other forms of disease. Michaelis remarks that such effects are produced often in the elephantiasis. Bochart, Hieroz. P. II, Lib. IV. c. xxvi. pp. 619-621, has abundantly proved that such effects occur in disease, and has mentioned several instances where death ensued from this cause; compare Acts 12:23. The same thing would often happen - and particularly in hot climates - if it were not for the closest care and attention in keeping running sores as clean as possible.

And clods of dust - Accumulated on the ulcers which covered his whole body. This effect would be almost unavoidable. Dr. Good renders this, "worms and the imprisoning dust," and supposes that the image is taken from the grave, and that the idea in the whole passage is that of one who is "dead while he lives;" that is, of one who is undergoing putrefaction before he is buried. But the more common and correct interpretation is that which refers it to the accumulated filth attending a loathsome disease; see Job 2:8. The word which is used here and rendered clods (גוּשׁ gûsh) means a lump of earth or dust. Septuagint, βώλακας γῆς bōlakas gēs; Vulgate, sordes pulveris," clods of earth." The whole verse is rendered by the Septuagint," My body swarms with the putrefaction of worms, and I moisten the clods of earth with the ichor (ἰχῶρος ichōros) of ulcers."

My skin is broken - - רגע râga‛. This word means, to make afraid, to terrify; and then to shrink together from fear, or to contract. Here it means, according to Gesenius, that "the skin came together and healed, and then broke forth again and ran with pus." Jerome renders it, aruit - dries up. Herder, "my skin becometh closed." Dr. Good, "my skin becometh stiff;" and carries out his idea that the reference here is to the stiffened and rigid appearance of the body after death. Doederlin supposes that it refers to the rough and horrid appearance of the skin in the elephantiasis, when it becomes rigid and frightful by the disease. Jarchi renders it, cutis mea corrugata - my skin is rough, or filled with wrinkles. This seems to me to be the idea, that it was filled with wrinkles and corrugations; that it became stiff, fixed, frightful, and was such as to excite terror in the beholder.

And become loathsome - Gesenius, "runs again with pus." The word here used מאס mâ'as means properly to reject, contemn, despise. A second sense which it has is, to melt, to run like water; Psalm 58:7, "Let them melt away (ימאסוּ yı̂mâ'asû) as waters." But the usual meaning is to be preferred here. His skin became abhorrent and loathsome in the sight of others.

5. In elephantiasis maggots are bred in the sores (Ac 12:23; Isa 14:11).

clods of dust—rather, a crust of dried filth and accumulated corruption (Job 2:7, 8).

my skin is broken and … loathsome—rather, comes together so as to heal up, and again breaks out with running matter [Gesenius]. More simply the Hebrew is, "My skin rests (for a time) and (again) melts away" (Ps 58:7).

Clothed, i.e. covered all over as with a garment.

With worms; which oft breed and break forth in divers parts of living bodies, as history and experience witnesseth, and which were easily bred out of Job’s corrupted flesh and sores.

Clods of dust; either the dust of the earth upon which he lay, which his sores would quickly lick up; or the scabs of his sores, which by degrees mouldered away into dust.

My skin is broken, by ulcers breaking forth in all parts of it. My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust,.... Not as it would be at death, and in the grave, as Schmidt interprets it, when it would be eaten with worms and reduced to dust; but as it then was, his ulcers breeding worms, or lice, as some (y); these spread themselves over his body: some think it was the vermicular or pedicular disease that was upon him, and the scabs of them, which were all over him like one continued crust, were as a garment to him; or those sores of his, running with purulent matter, and he sitting and rolling himself in dust and ashes, and this moisture mingling therewith, and clotted together, formed clods of dust, which covered him all over; a dismal spectacle to look upon! a precious saint in a vile body!

my skin is broken: with the boils and ulcers in all parts, and was parched and cleft with the heat and breaking of them:

and become loathsome; to himself and others; exceeding nauseous, and extremely disagreeable both to sight and smell: or "liquefied" (z); moistened with corrupt matter flowing from the ulcers in all parts of his body; the word in Arabic signifies a large, broad, and open wound, as a learned man (a) has observed; and it is as if he should say, whoever observes all this, this long time of distress, night and day, and what a shocking figure he was, as here represented, could blame him for wishing for death in the most passionate manner?

(y) So Sephorno and Bar Tzemach. (z) "liquefit", Junius & Tremellius; "colliquefacta est", Piscator, Mercerus. (a) Hinckelman. Praefat. ad Alcoran. p. 30.

My flesh is {c} clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome.

(c) This signifies that his disease was rare and most horrible.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. with worms and clods of dust] His ulcers bred worms; and the hard earthy-like crust of his sores he calls lumps of dust.

is broken, and become loathsome] Rather, my skin closes and breaks afresh—the allusion being to the alternate gathering and running of his sores, which went on continually.

Job 7:1-5 describe the pain of life; the following verses, 6–10, its brevity and utter extinction in death. There is no break, however, in the connexion, for it is the exhausting pains described in Job 7:3-5 that naturally suggest the hopeless brevity of his life. Job has been thought inconsistent in complaining that life being evil is also brief. But in his view life itself is the highest good; it should be free of evil and prolonged. And his complaint is that human life has been made by God both evil and brief; cf. ch. Job 14:1 seq.Verse 5. - My flesh is clothed with worms. The leas et origo mall in elephantiasis is a worm called filaria sanguinis hominid. It is a long, fine, thread-like creature, of a white colour, smooth; and devoid of markings (Quain's 'Dictionary of Medicine,' vol. 1, pp. 512, 513). And clods of dust. This is rather poetical than strictly medical. The special characteristic of elephantiasis, from which it derives its name, is that the integument, or outer skin, is "formed into large masses or folds, with a rugose condition of the surface, not unlike the appearance of an elephant's leg" (Quain, vol. 1. p. 431). But the swellings do not contain clods of dust. My skin is broken, and become loathsome. A common feature in elephantiasis is the development and gradual growth of solid papules or tubercles in the skin. These enlarge as the disease progresses, and after a time soften and break up; an nicer is then formed, and a discharge follows of a virulent and loathsome character. Presently the discharge steps; the ulcer heals; but only to break out again in another place. In the Revised Version the passage is rendered, My skin closeth up, and breaketh afresh. 28 And now be pleased to observe me keenly,

I will not indeed deceive you to your face.

29 Try it again, then: let there be no injustice;

Try it again, my righteousness still stands.

30 Is there wrong on my tongue?

Or shall not my palate discern iniquity?

He begs them to observe him more closely; בּ פּנה, as Ecclesiastes 2:11, to observe scrutinizingly. אם is the sign of negative asseveration (Ges. 155, 2, f). He will not indeed shamelessly give them the lie, viz., in respect to the greatness and inexplicableness of his suffering. The challenging שׁוּבוּ we do not translate: retrace your steps, but: begin afresh, to which both the following clauses are better suited. So Schlottm. and von Gerlach. Hahn retains the Chethib שׁובי, in the signification: my answer; but that is impossible: to answer is השׁיב, not שׁוּב. The עוד drawn to שׁובו by Rebia mugrasch is more suitably joined with צדקי־בה, in which בּהּ refers neutrally to the matter of which it treats. They are to try from the beginning to find that comfort which will meet the case. Their accusations are עולה; his complaints, on the contrary, are fully justified. He does not grant that the outburst of his feeling of pain (Job 3) is עולה: he has not so completely lost his power against temptation, that he would not restrain himself, if he should fall into הוּות. Thus wickedness, which completely contaminates feeling and utterance, is called (Psalm 52:4).

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