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Bible Commentaries

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Job 30

 

 

Verse 1

"But now those younger than I mock me": Young people, rather than respecting him, ridiculed and made fun of him, compare with 29:8. "Whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock": "Worst of all, his tormentators are the young men upon whom all the rest of the society looks down with contempt. At one time, Job would not even hire their fathers to watch his dogs. They represent all the waste and wickedness that he avoided in his disciplined and righteous life" (McKenna p. 208). Job had the respect of the most respectable and now he has the contempt of the most contemptible (Andersen p. 235). "To be disgraced by peers or superiors would be distressing enough, but he was derided by those who were so low that he would not even put their fathers with the dogs of his flock" (Zuck p. 130). Please note that Job is not prejudiced against the poor, in fact he has helped many people who were less fortunate (29:12). Job is venting his disgust for the low-life who choose to be low-life.


Verse 2

Such people are useless and weak, unfit and unable to do hard work, that is, unwilling to work hard. It could be that Job had actually tried hiring some of these men and found them absolutely useless. No physical stamina.


Verse 3

They are thin from not having enough to eat and they act like animals "gnawing the ground in an effort to get food" (Zuck p. 130).


Verse 4

The word "mallow" refers to a plant with sour-tasting leaves that grew in salty marshes and the broom-shrub is a plant that only the desperate would seek to eat for food, especially the roots. "Thin, hungry and wandering about in the desert" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 752).


Verse 5

Normal society does not want these people around, they are expelled as if they were thieves, "driven away when they approached inhabited places" (Strauss p. 295).


Verse 6

"Since they are not welcome in any community, they live in the dreadful ravines among the rocks. Job bitterly relates how even these people taunt him, now that he is also an outcast living on a dunghill" (p. 295). Even these people think they are better than me!


Verse 7

For warmth they huddle together under desert brush.


Verse 8

"Fools, even those without a name": Having no respectful standing in the community, "nobodies". "Acting like fools who are so debased that they do not even deserve to be given names" (Zuck p. 130). "They were scourged from the land": That is, they are the scum of society.


Verse 9

"And now I have become their taunt, I have even become a byword to them": "This scum of society-a brood without even names-considered Job scum" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 752).


Verse 10

Even the low-life do not want to associate with Job, and they even spit upon him.


Verse 11

Job considered such insults from the scum of the earth to be an arrow from God, and the expression that they "have cast off the bridle before me" seems to mean that such people had cast off all restraint. They cursed him, spat upon him and might have even physically abused him.


Verse 12

This could mean that they knocked Job to the ground, blocked his paths, sought to harass and intimidate him.


Verse 13

"They profit from my destruction": It could be that they were stealing whatever Job might have left, or they were making the most of this chance to humiliate and hurt Job who had stood for everything they had despised, i.e., honesty, hard work, diligence, sacrifice and so on.


Verse 15

Job certainly no longer felt safe. He was surrounded by terrors, and the thought of what this rabble might do to him. He has lost all respect and safety. "The picture is strikingly violent. Job"s princely dignity, once so widely acknowledged is now blowing in the wind" (Strauss p. 297). The imagery in this section is of a man under siege from every direction, he is surrounded, like a wounded animal surrounded by a pack of hungry scavengers.


Verse 16

"His soul can absorb no more emotional strain. His suffering has drained him of all zest for life" (Strauss p. 298). Compare with Psalm 22:14; 42:4.


Verse 17

"He was in the grip of suffering for days on end, and at night his suffering was as intense as if swords had pierced to his very bones. The bones were considered the place of acute pain (Psalm 42:10) His gnawing pain was continuous" (Zuck p. 131).


Verse 18

Either Job is saying that his running sores had discolored his garment or that his clothing was twisted by his agonized tossing and turning at night, or that God had grabbed him as if by the garment and had thrown him to the ground.


Verse 19

God had cast him into the mire or the mud, Job felt that God was behind this humiliation.


Verse 20

"I cry out to You for help": Added to both his social rejection and physical pain, Job feels that God had abandoned him. He had cried to God for help, but God had ignored his pleas, Job had even "stood up" so he could grab God"s attention, but God had (seemingly) turned His back. "His effort to get God"s attention by standing up (meaning either in court or in a persistent attitude) was also useless" (Zuck p. 132).


Verse 21

Job feels that God has not merely been passively absent but actively cruel to him as well.


Verse 22

God, who had tossed him into the mud, had now tossed him helplessly into the middle of a storm.


Verse 23

"Job sensed that God would eventually end his life in death. "The house of the meeting for all living" to which God would bring him means death, the appointed place where all the living eventually meet" (p. 132).


Verse 24

Here Job bemoans the fact that in the midst of all this suffering, he had been forsaken by his friends as well. Job had cried out for help, only to be accused of some secret sin and being a hypocrite.


Verse 25

When Job had been prosperous he had been sympathetic to the less fortunate, he had been very compassionate and had always extended sympathy to any in distress. Yet now that Job"s life is hard, no one grieves for him. Where is the helping hand? See Romans 12:15; 1 Peter 3:8.


Verse 26

In this verse the terms "good" and "light" may stand for the help and compassion that Job was expecting from his friends but did not receive.


Verse 27

Inwardly, Job was in emotional turmoil, literally he was "boiling" on the inside. He was unable to relax or come to terms with any of this, and only affliction confronted him day after day.


Verse 28

Each new morning does not bring any rest, comfort, or change. The word "assembly" may infer that Job actually cried out in public.


Verse 29

"Jackals live in the desert, and the only place that Job is welcome is there. The jackals are also known for their plaintive cry, with which he also identifies. The ostrich, too, is known for its hissing, cackling, and doleful moaning. The mournful howl of these animals still disturbs the desert nights" (Strauss p. 300).


Verse 30

This blackened skin may be due to his disease, and on the inside he was burning with a fever.


Verse 31

"The glad, happy sounds are no more" (Strauss p. 301). In addition, music that Job had enjoyed in the past, had lost all its pleasure, the verse may even suggest that Job played himself, but no longer found enjoyment in any of this.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 30:4". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-30.html. 1999-2014.

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