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Bible Commentaries

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Job 6

 

 

Verse 1

"Oh that my grief were actually weighed and laid in the balances together with my calamity! For then it would be heavier than the sand of the seas": If his misery and suffering could be measured it would be heavier than all the wet sand in the oceans! "What a picturesque way to express his burdens, for wet sand is unusually heavy" (Zuck p. 36). "Therefore my words have been rash": He justifies his outburst in chapter three by suggesting that such rash words were nothing compared to his suffering. Job admits what he said was rash, but he seems annoyed at the advice to having patience. His speech has been wild but not unjustified. His rash words are equal to his suffering.


Verse 4

"For the arrows of the Almighty are within me": Job now names God as the author of his misery. Like Eliphaz he believes that God punishes, but he rejects the idea that this suffering is deserved. "To him, the problems were more difficult to bear simply because he believed that they were from God. The God he had known and the God he now experiences seemed irreconcilable" (Zuck p. 36).


Verse 5

"Does that not give Job cause for complaint? Surely it does, Job suggested. As a wild donkey does not bray or an ox does not low when it has food, so Job would not have complained if his situation were comfortable" (p. 36). Job is saying that even dumb animals, like the wild donkey, understand what Eliphaz does not understand.


Verse 6

The idea seems to be that as tasteless food requires salt, Job"s trouble and his complaining go together as well. Therefore, his complaining should be excused and viewed as normal.


Verse 8

Job hopes for death, that God would grant his request to die (3:20-23), and loose His hand from sustaining Job"s life. "The Hebrew verb rendered "loose" carries the idea of settling prisoners freed and the Hebrew verb rendered "cut off" pictures a weaver cutting thread" (Zuck p. 37). 6:10 "But it is still my consolation": His pain was unsparing, that is, did not let up, he never had any rest, but his only consolation in all this suffering is that he had not denied God. This is the first of several of Job"s affirmations that he is innocent and has not rebelled against God. He had not betrayed God"s trust, he has been an obedient servant, thus his suffering is not because of his own rebellion.


Verse 11

"What is my strength, that I should wait?" Job can endure no more. This is a response to Eliphaz"s exhortation to repent and receive blessings (5:18ff). 6:12 "Is my strength the strength of stones": Job complains that Eliphaz must believe that Job is made of stone or is insensitive as one made of bronze. "Men of stone and bronze feel nothing. Job is flesh and blood whose power to resist pain is all but exhausted" (Strauss pp. 58-59). 6:13 "Is it that my help is not within me": All human power to alleviate his suffering has failed, "thus Job stated that he had no help in himself and no resources" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 727).


Verse 14

"For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; so that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty": Here we see the beginning of Job"s disappointment in his friends. When a man is suffering his friend should be loyal, and not accuse him unjustly of sin. Without the support of his friends, Job might be tempted to turn away from God.


Verse 15

"My brothers have acted deceitfully like a wadi": "His friends had been like a riverbed. In the rainy season, a wadi is filled with rushing, raging water, but in the summer it vanishes or dries up just when it is most needed" (Zuck pp. 37-38). Thus Job"s friends have disappointed him, they promised relief but only brought more suffering, and they were like a mirage.


Verse 19

"Caravans from Tema, in northern Arabia and Sheba, in southwestern Arabia, both known for their trading, have been lost looking for water in the riverbeds" (Zuck p. 38). His friends have been as disappointing as a dry oasis.


Verse 21

"You see a terror and are afraid": "Job charges them with cowardice in withholding their sympathy from him, afraid lest they should become sharers of the calamity if they provoked God by showing sympathy with one whom they judged to have offended God. Perhaps they feared guilt by association" (p. 38).


Verse 22

"Have I said, "Give me something"": If Job had actually asked them for a bribe to influence a judge or deliverance to free him from some tyrant, he could understand their fear of wanting to get involved. Rather, he has only asked for their concern and friendship.


Verse 24

"Teach me, and I will be silent; and show me how I have erred": Yet Job is still willing to learn, to be proven wrong. "Where is the evidence I have sinned?"


Verse 25

"How painful are honest words! But what does your argument prove?" Job is willing to accept honest words, even if they are painful to accept, yet he is unconvinced that his friends have proven their point.


Verse 26

"Not only were their words of no help; they even treated his words like wind" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 728). Job feels that his friends are simply treating his words like wind, meaning that they would soon blow away and they would forget them. Are they really listening to anything he is saying?


Verse 27

"The three friends seemed as opposed to him as if they were taking undue advantage of an orphan or even selling a friend" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 728).


Verse 28

Job claims that he is not lying, in fact is he not wise enough to detect falsehood if he was speaking it? It could be that Job"s friends were even unwilling to look Job in the face, "please look at me" (6:28). "His palate could still discern calamities, that is, he could understand the flavor of his sufferings and know if they were deserved" (Zuck p. 39).

 


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Bibliography Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 6:4". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-6.html. 1999-2014.

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