1. younger—not the three friends (Job
15:10; 32:4, 6, 7). A general
description: Job 30:1-8,
the lowness of the persons who derided him; Job 30:9-15, the derision itself. Formerly old
men rose to me (Job 29:8).
Now not only my juniors, who are bound to reverence me (Le 19:32), but even the mean and
base-born actually deride me; opposed to, "smiled upon"
29:24). This goes farther
than even the "mockery" of Job by relations and friends
(Job 12:4; 16:10, 20; 17:2, 6;
19:22). Orientals feel keenly
any indignity shown by the young. Job speaks as a rich Arabian emir,
proud of his descent.
dogs—regarded with disgust in the East
as unclean (1Sa 17:43; Pr 26:11). They are not allowed to enter a house,
but run about wild in the open air, living on offal and chance morsels
59:14, 15). Here again we are
reminded of Jesus Christ (Ps 22:16).
"Their fathers, my coevals, were so mean and famished that I would not
have associated them with (not to say, set them over) my dogs in
guarding my flock."
2. If their fathers could be of no profit to
me, much less the sons, who are feebler than their sires; and in whose
case the hope of attaining old age is utterly gone, so puny are they
5:26) [Maurer]. Even if they had "strength of hands," that
could be now of no use to me, as all I want in my present affliction is
3. solitary—literally, "hard as a
rock"; so translate, rather, "dried up," emaciated with hunger. Job
describes the rudest race of Bedouins of the desert [Umbreit].
fleeing—So the Septuagint.
Better, as Syriac, Arabic, and Vulgate, "gnawers
of the wilderness." What they gnaw follows in Job 30:4.
in former time—literally, the
"yesternight of desolation and waste" (the most utter
desolation; Eze 6:14);
that is, those deserts frightful as night to man, and even there from
time immemorial. I think both ideas are in the words darkness
[Gesenius] and antiquity [Umbreit]. (Isa 30:33, Margin).
4. mallows—rather, "salt-wort," which
grows in deserts and is eaten as a salad by the poor [Maurer].
by the bushes—among the bushes.
juniper—rather, a kind of broom,
Spartium junceum [Linnæus],
still called in Arabia, as in the Hebrew of Job, retem,
of which the bitter roots are eaten by the poor.
5. they cried—that is, "a cry is
raised." Expressing the contempt felt for this race by civilized and
well-born Arabs. When these wild vagabonds make an incursion on
villages, they are driven away, as thieves would be.
6. They are forced "to dwell."
cliffs of the valleys—rather, "in the
gloomy valleys"; literally, "in the gloom of the valleys," or wadies.
To dwell in valleys is, in the East, a mark of wretchedness. The
troglodytes, in parts of Arabia, lived in such dwellings as caves.
7. brayed—like the wild ass (Job 6:5 for food). The inarticulate tones
of this uncivilized rabble are but little above those of the beast of
gathered together—rather, sprinkled
here and there. Literally, "poured out," graphically picturing their
disorderly mode of encampment, lying up and down behind the thorn
nettles—or brambles [Umbreit].
8. fools—that is, the impious and
abandoned (1Sa 25:25).
base—nameless, low-born rabble.
viler than, &c.—rather, they were
driven or beaten out of the land. The Horites in Mount
14:6 with which compare Ge
36:20, 21; De 2:12, 22) were
probably the aborigines, driven out by the tribe to which Job's
ancestors belonged; their name means troglodytæ, or "dwellers in
caves." To these Job alludes here (Job 30:1-8, and Ge 24:4-8, which compare together).
9. (Job 17:6). Strikingly similar to the derision
Jesus Christ underwent (La 3:14; Ps 69:12). Here Job returns to the sentiment in
30:1. It is to such I am
become a song of "derision."
10. in my face—rather, refrain not to
spit in deliberate contempt before my face. To spit at all in
presence of another is thought in the East insulting, much more so when
done to mark "abhorrence." Compare the further insult to Jesus Christ
(Isa 50:6; Mt 26:67).
11. He—that is, "God"; antithetical to
"they"; English Version here follows the marginal reading
my cord—image from a bow unstrung;
opposed to Job 29:20.
The text (Chetib), "His cord" or "reins" is better; "yea,
each lets loose his reins" [Umbreit].
12. youth—rather, a (low) brood.
To rise on the right hand is to accuse, as that was the position of the
accuser in court (Zec 3:1; Ps 109:6).
push … feet—jostle me out of the
ways of—that is, their ways of (that
is, with a view to my) destruction. Image, as in Job 19:12, from a besieging army throwing up a way
of approach for itself to a city.
13. Image of an assailed fortress continued.
They tear up the path by which succor might reach me.
set forward—(Zec 1:15).
they have no helper—Arabic proverb for
contemptible persons. Yet even such afflict Job.
14. waters—(So 2Sa 5:20). But it is better to retain the image
30:12, 13. "They came [upon
me] as through a wide breach," namely, made by the besiegers in
the wall of a fortress (Isa 30:13)
in the desolation—"Amidst the crash"
of falling masonry, or "with a shout like the crash" of, &c.
soul—rather, "my dignity" [Umbreit].
cloud—(Job 7:9; Isa 44:22).
16-23. Job's outward calamities affect his
poured out—in irrepressible complaints
42:4; Jos 7:5).
17. In the Hebrew, night is poetically
personified, as in Job 3:3:
"night pierceth my bones (so that they fall) from me" (not as
English Version, "in me"; see Job 30:30).
sinews—so the Arabic, "veins,"
akin to the Hebrew; rather, "gnawers" (see on Job 30:3), namely, my gnawing pains never cease. Effects
18. of my disease—rather, "of God"
garment changed—from a robe of honor
to one of mourning, literally (Job 2:8; Joh 3:6) and metaphorically [Umbreit]. Or rather, as Schuttens, following up Job 30:17, My outer garment is changed into
affliction; that is, affliction has become my outer garment; it also
bindeth me fast round (my throat) as the collar of the inner
coat; that is, it is both my inner and outer garment. Observe the
distinction between the inner and outer garments. The latter refers to
his afflictions from without (Job 30:1-13); the former his personal afflictions
30:14-23). Umbreit makes "God" subject to "bindeth," as in
19. God is poetically said to do that which
the mourner had done to himself (Job 2:8). With lying in the ashes he had become,
like them, in dirty color.
20. stand up—the reverential attitude of
a suppliant before a king (1Ki 8:14; Lu 18:11-13).
not—supplied from the first clause.
But the intervening affirmative "stand" makes this ellipsis unlikely.
Rather, as in Job 16:9 (not
only dost thou refuse aid to me "standing" as a suppliant, but),
thou dost regard me with a frown: eye me sternly.
22. liftest … to wind—as a "leaf"
or "stubble" (Job 13:25).
The moving pillars of sand, raised by the wind to the clouds, as
described by travellers, would happily depict Job's agitated spirit, if
it be to them that he alludes.
dissolvest … substance—The
marginal Hebrew reading (Keri), "my wealth," or else
"wisdom," that is, sense and spirit, or "my hope of
deliverance." But the text (Chetib) is better: Thou
dissolvest me (with fear, Ex 15:15)
in the crash (of the whirlwind; see on Job
30:14) [Maurer]. Umbreit translates as a verb, "Thou
23. This shows Job 19:25 cannot be restricted to Job's hope of a
death—as in Job 28:22, the realm of the dead (Heb 9:27; Ge
24. Expressing Job's faith as to the state
after death. Though one must go to the grave, yet He will no more
afflict in the ruin of the body (so Hebrew for "grave")
there, if one has cried to Him when being destroyed. The "stretching of
His hand" to punish after death answers antithetically to the raising
"the cry" of prayer in the second clause. Maurer gives another translation which accords with
the scope of Job 30:24-31; if it be natural for one in affliction
to ask aid, why should it be considered (by the friends) wrong in my
case? "Nevertheless does not a man in ruin stretch out his hand"
(imploring help, Job 30:20; La 1:17)? If one be in his calamity
(destruction) is there not therefore a "cry" (for aid)? Thus in the
parallelism "cry" answers to "stretch—hand"; "in his calamity,"
to "in ruin." The negative of the first clause is to be supplied in the
second, as in Job 30:25
25. May I not be allowed to complain of my
calamity, and beg relief, seeing that I myself sympathized with those
"in trouble" (literally, "hard of day"; those who had a hard time of
26. I may be allowed to crave help, seeing
that, "when I looked for good (on account of my piety and charity), yet
27. bowels—regarded as the seat of deep
feeling (Isa 16:11).
boiled—violently heated and
prevented—Old English for
"unexpectedly came upon" me, "surprised" me.
28. mourning—rather, I move about
blackened, though not by the sun; that is, whereas many are
blackened by the sun, I am, by the heat of God's wrath (so "boiled,"
30:27); the elephantiasis
covering me with blackness of skin (Job 30:30), as with the garb of mourning (Jer 14:2). This striking enigmatic form of
Hebrew expression occurs, Isa 29:9.
stood up—as an innocent man crying for
justice in an assembled court (Job 30:20).
29. dragons … owls—rather,
"jackals," "ostriches," both of which utter dismal screams (Mic 1:8); in which respect, as also in
their living amidst solitudes (the emblem of desolation), Job is their
brother and companion; that is, resembles them. "Dragon," Hebrew,
tannim, usually means the crocodile; so perhaps here, its open jaws
lifted towards heaven, and its noise making it seem as if it mourned
over its fate [Bochart].
30. upon me—rather, as in Job 30:17 (see on Job
30:17), "my skin is black (and falls away) from me."
my bones—(Job 19:20; Ps
31. organ—rather, "pipe" (Job 21:12). "My joy is turned into the voice of
5:15). These instruments are
properly appropriated to joy (Isa 30:29, 32), which makes their use now in sorrow
the sadder by contrast.