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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Job 16

 

 

Verses 1-22

Job 16:2. Miserable comforters are ye all. The Vulgate, “burdensome comforters,” who afflicted instead of consoling their friend.

Job 16:3. Shall vain words have an end. He plainly tells Eliphaz that he did not understand his case.

Job 16:9. He who hateth me teareth me in his wrath. So the text should be transposed. They have gaped upon me, and smitten me. Not God, for he loves those whom he chastens; not Satan, for he is invisible; but an envious rival, who thought that Job’s prosperity was his right, and therefore rejoiced at his fall.

Job 16:14. Like a giant. Men about nine feet high. See Genesis 6:4.

Job 16:15. I have—defiled my horn. The horn designates majesty, power, and prosperity. The horn of the righteous shall be exalted. Psalms 112:9. The horn was defiled in the dust when the beast was slain; so Job laid his case at the Lord’s feet.

Job 16:18. Oh earth, cover not thou my blood. Conceal not my wrongs when I am dead: for he adds in Job 16:22, “I go whence I shall not return.”

REFLECTIONS.

Job rises under feelings differing widely from his friends. Though afflicted and borne down, he is only depressed. He replies with a conscious mind; he feels a superiority in liberal views of providence, and in excellence of sentiment. Had they been in his case, he would have comforted them, and upheld their hands; whereas all their artillery of argument were pointed to cast him down.

He next recites his anguish, and the reproaches of his enemies, which should have excited their compassion. He was a prince fallen and desolate, the wrinkles of age were on his face, and leanness had wasted his flesh. His envious neighbours gnashed their teeth against him, while others gazed, with ungracious aspects, as on one going to execution. His face was besmeared with weeping, but not for injustice to his neighbour; in that view his hands were clean, and his devotion pure. Thus impressed in mind, and affected in heart, he utters the sublimest apostrophe to heaven which could possibly proceed from man. “Oh earth, cover thou not my blood, and deny not a record to my cry. For now behold, my witness is in heaven, and my testimony in the highest.” The true sublime in fine writing is always simple in expression, and copies the grandeur of nature, whether of sentiment or of action, just as she is.

Job having now no comfort left on earth, and perceiving that in a few years he must go the final journey, whence he should not return, groans in spirit for the aids of religious society. “Oh that one might plead for a man with God.” To the sick and dying, the society of holy and heavenly-minded people, affords the sweetest consolation that can be enjoyed on earth. But in this tragic case, the three prophets who attended Job were so misguided and employed by Satan, as to pierce his soul with the keenest darts of anguish and grief. If an enemy had done this, I could have borne it; but you my three friends, alas, alas!

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 16:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/job-16.html. 1835.

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