Wesley's Notes on the Bible
Then Job answered and said,
How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?
These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me.
19:3 Ten - Many times. A certain number for an uncertain. Strange - That you carry yourselves like strangers to me, and condemn me as if you had never known my integrity.
And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself.
19:4 Erred - If I have sinned, I myself suffer for my sins, and therefore deserve your pity rather than reproaches.
If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, and plead against me my reproach:
Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.
Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment.
19:7 Cry - Unto God. Wrong - That I am oppressed by my friends.
He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths.
He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head.
19:9 Glory - Of my estate, children, authority, and all my comforts. Crown - All my power, and laid my honour in the dust.
He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree.
19:10 Every side - In all respects, my person, and family, and estate. Gone - I am a lost and dead man. Hope - All my hopes of the present life, but not of the life to come. Tree - Which being once plucked up by the roots, never grows again. Hope in this life is a perishing thing. But the hope of good men, when it is cut off from this world, is but removed like a tree, transplanted from this nursery to the garden of God.
He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.
His troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle.
19:12 Troops - My afflictions, which are God's soldiers marching under his conduct. Raise - Cast up a trench round about me.
He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me.
19:13 Estranged - As we must eye the hand of God, in all the injuries we receive from our enemies, so likewise in all the slights and unkindnesses we receive from our friends.
My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.
They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight.
19:15 Maids - Who by reason of their sex, commonly have more compassionate hearts than men.
I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I intreated him with my mouth.
My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children's sake of mine own body.
Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me.
19:18 Arose - From my seat, to shew my respect to them, though they were my inferiors.
All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.
19:19 Inward - My intimates and confidants, to whom I imparted all my thoughts and counsels.
My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.
19:20 Skin - Immediately, the fat and flesh next to the skin being consumed. As - As closely as it doth to these remainders of flesh which are left in my inward parts.
Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.
19:21 Touched me - My spirit is touched with a sense of his wrath, a calamity of all others the most grievous.
Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?
19:22 As God - As if you had the same infinite knowledge which God hath, whereby you can search my heart and know my hypocrisy, and the same sovereign authority to say and do what you please with me. Not satisfied - Are like wolves or lions that are not contented with devouring the flesh of their prey, but also break their bones.
Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
19:23 My words - The words which I am now about to speak. And that which Job wished for, God granted him. His words are written in God's book; so that wherever that book is read, there shall this glorious confession be declared, for a memorial of him.
That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!
19:24 Lead - Anciently they used to grave the letters in a stone with an iron tool, and then to fill up the cuts with lead, that the words might be more plainly seen.
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
19:25 For - This is the reason of his confidence in the goodness of his cause, and his willingness to have the matter depending between him and his friends, published and submitted to any trial, because he had a living and powerful Redeemer to plead his cause, and to give sentence for him. My Redeemer - In whom I have a particular interest. The word Goel, here used; properly agrees to Jesus Christ: for this word is primarily used of the next kinsman, whose office it was to redeem by a price paid, the sold or mortgaged estate of his deceased kinsman; to revenge his death, and to maintain his name and honour, by raising up seed to him. All which more fitly agrees to Christ, who is our nearest kinsman and brother, as having taken our nature upon him; who hath redeemed that everlasting inheritance which our first parents had utterly lost, by the price of his own blood; and hath revenged the death of mankind upon the great contriver of it, the devil, by destroying him and his kingdom; and hath taken a course to preserve our name, and honour, and persons, to eternity. And it is well observed, that after these expressions, we meet not with such impatient or despairing passages, as we had before; which shews that they had inspired him with new life and comfort. Latter day - At the day of the general resurrection and judgment, which, as those holy patriarchs well knew and firmly believed, was to be at the end of the world. The earth - The place upon which Christ shall appear and stand at the last day. Heb. upon the dust; in which his saints and members lie or sleep, whom he will raise out of it. And therefore he is fitly said to stand upon the dust, or the grave, or death; because then he will put that among other enemies under his feet.
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
19:26 Though - Though my skin is now in a great measure consumed, and the rest of it, together with this body, shall be devoured by the worms, which may seem to make my case desperate. Flesh - Or with bodily eyes; my flesh or body being raised from the grave, and re - united to my soul. God - The same whom he called his Redeemer, ver.25, who having taken flesh, and appearing in his flesh or body with and for Job upon the earth, might well be seen with his bodily eyes. Nor is this understood of a simple seeing of him; but of that glorious and beatifying vision of God, which is promised to all God's people.
Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
19:27 See - No wonder he repeats it again, because the meditation of it was most sweet to him. For - For my own benefit and comfort. Another - For me or in my stead. I shall not see God by another's eyes, but by my own, and by these self - same eyes, in this same body which now I have. Though - This I do confidently expect, tho' the grave and the worms will consume my whole body.
But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?
19:28 Therefore - Because my faith and hope are in God. The root - The root denotes, a root of true religion. And the root of all true religion is living faith.
Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.
19:29 Sword - Of some considerable judgment to be inflicted on you which is called the sword, as Deut 32:41, and elsewhere. That - This admonition I give you, that you may know it in time, and prevent it. A judgment - God sees and observes, and will judge all your words and actions.