The eye of him that has seen me shall see me no more: your eyes are on me, and I am not.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Shall see me no more.—That is, thine own eyes shall look for me, but I shall be no more. So LXX. and Vulg.
Thine eyes are upon me, and I am not - see Job 7:21. Dr. Good renders this, "let thine eye be upon me, and I am nothing." Herder, "thine eye will seek me, but I am no more." According to this the sense is, that he was soon to be removed from the place where he had dwelt, and that should he be sought there he could not be found. He would seem to represent God as looking for him, and not finding him; see Job 7:21. The margin has," I can live no longer." It may be possible that this is the meaning, that God had fixed an intense gaze upon him, and that he could not survive it. If this is the sense, then it accords with the descriptions given of the majesty of God everywhere in the Scriptures - that nothing could endure His presence, that even the earth trembles, and the mountains melt away, at his touch. Thus, in Psalm 104:32 :
He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth;
He toucheth the hills, and they smoke.
Compare the representation of the power of the eye in Job 16:9 :
He teareth me in his wrath who hateth me;
He gnasheth upon me with his teeth
Mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me.
On the whole, I think it probable that this is the sense here. There is an energy in the original which is greatly enfeebled in the common translation. God had fixed his eyes upon Job, and he at once disappeared; compare Revelation 20:11 : "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found no place for them."
Thine eyes are upon me, and I am not—He disappears, even while God is looking upon him. Job cannot survive the gaze of Jehovah (Ps 104:32; Re 20:11). Not, "Thine eyes seek me and I am not to be found"; for God's eye penetrates even to the unseen world (Ps 139:8). Umbreit unnaturally takes "thine" to refer to one of the three friends.Shall see me no more in this mortal state; I shall never return to this life again.
Thine eyes are upon me, and I am not: either,
1. If thou dost but east one angry look upon me, I am not, i.e. I am a dead man. So that phrase is used Genesis 5:24 42:13 44:20 Psa 103 16 Jer 31:15. Or,
2. When thine eyes shall be upon me (i.e. when thou shalt look for me to do me good, thou wilt find that) I am not, that I am dead and gone, and uncapable of that bounty and goodness which thou givest to men in this world. Compare Job 7:21 Psalm 10:15 Jeremiah 50:20. Luke 16:23, then much more do the saints see one another: but the meaning is, that when a man is dead, he is seen no more by men on earth, by his relations, friends, and acquaintance; the consideration of which is a cutting stroke at parting, see Acts 20:25; the state of the dead is an invisible state, and therefore called in the Greek tongue "Hades", "unseen"; so the dead will remain, with respect to the inhabitants of this world, till the resurrection, and then they shall see and be seen again in the same bodies they now have; for this is no denial of the resurrection of the dead, as some Jewish writers charge Job with, and infer from this and some following passages:
thine eyes are upon me, and I am not; am a dead man, a phrase expressive of death, and of being in the state of the dead, or however of being no more in this world, see Genesis 5:24; not that the dead are nonentities, or are reduced to nothing; this is not true of them, either with respect to soul or body; their souls are immaterial and immoral, and exist in a separate state after death, and their bodies, though reduced to dust, are not annihilated; they return to earth and dust, from whence they came; but still they are something, they are earth and dust, unless these can be thought to be nothing; and this dust is taken care of and preserved, and will be gathered together, and moulded, and framed, and fashioned into bodies again, which will endure for ever: nor is the meaning, that they are nowhere; the spirits of just men made perfect are in heaven, in paradise, in a state of life, immortality, and bliss; and the souls of the wicked are in their own place, in the prison of hell, reserved with devils, to the judgment of the great day; and the bodies of both are in the graves till the day of the resurrection; but they are not, and no more, in the land of the living, in their houses and families, in their shops and business, and places of trade and merchandise, or in the house of God serving him there, according to their different stations. And this Job ascribes to God, "thine eyes are upon me": meaning not his eyes of love, favour, and kindness, which had respect unto him; and yet, notwithstanding this, as it did not secure him from afflictions, so neither would it from death itself; for "though his eyes were upon him" in such sense, yet he "would not be" (a), or should die; but rather his angry eyes, the frowns of his countenance, which were now upon him, and might be discerned in the dispensations of his providence towards him, by reason of which he "was not" as he was before; not fit for anything, as Sephorno understands it; or should he frown upon him, one angry look would sink him into the state of the dead, and he should be no more, who "looks on the earth, and it trembles", Psalm 104:32. Mr. Broughton renders it as a petition, "let thine eyes be upon me, that I be no more"; that is, let me die, the same request he made in Job 6:8; but it seems best to interpret it or the eyes of God's omnipresence and providence, which are on men in every state and place; and the sense be, either as granting, that though the eyes of men should not see him after death, yet the eyes of God would be upon him when he was not, or in the state of the fiend; or else, that should he long defer doing him good, it would be too late, he should soon die, and then, though he should look after him, and seek for him, he should not be in the land of the living, according to Job 7:21; or this may denote the suddenness of death, which comes to a man in a moment, as Bar Tzemach observes, in the twinkling of an eye; nay, as soon as the eye of God is upon a man, that is, as soon almost as a man appears in the world, and the eye of Divine Providence is upon him, he is out of it again, and is no more; see Ecclesiastes 3:2.
(e) Heb. "oculus visus", Drusius, Piscator; "aspectus", Mercerus; so Simeon Bar Tzemach. (f) "Ocuium perspicacissimum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (g) Posthac, Tigurine version. (a) "Etiam oculis tuis ad me respicientibus, me non fore amplius", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more: thine eyes are upon me, and I am not.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)8. are upon me, and I am not] Perhaps rather, shall be upon me and I shall not be; God will look for him, enquiring, it may be, after the work of His hands, but he shall be gone; cf. Job 7:21.Verse 8. - The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more; that is, I shall go down to the grave, and be no more seen upon earth. Neither friend nor enemy shall behold me after that. Thine eyes. God's eyes. God still sees him and watches him; this is a certain consolation; but will it last? Are upon me, and I am not. I am on the point of disappearing. Even now I scarcely exist.
And his days are like the days of a hireling?
2 Like a servant who longs for the shade,
And like a hireling who waits for his wages,
3 So am I made to possess months of disappointment,
And nights of weariness are appointed to me.
The conclusion is intended to be: thus I wait for death as refreshing and rest after hard labour. He goes, however, beyond this next point of comparison, or rather he remains on this side of it. צבא is not service of a labourer in the field, but active military service, then fatigue, toil in general (Isaiah 40:20; Daniel 10:1). Job 7:2 Ewald and others translate incorrectly: as a slave longs, etc. כּ can never introduce a comparative clause, except an infinitive, as e.g., Isaiah 5:24, which can then under the regimen of this כּ be continued by a verb. fin.; but it never stands directly for כּאשׁר, as כּמו does in rare instances. In Isaiah 5:3, שׁוא retains its primary signification, nothingness, error, disappointment (Job 15:31): months that one after another disappoint the hope of the sick. By this it seems we ought to imagine the friends as not having come at the very commencement of his disease. Elephantiasis is a disease which often lasts for years, and slowly but inevitably destroys the body. On מנּוּ, adnumeraverunt equals adnumeratae sunt, vid., Ges. 137, 3*.
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