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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Job 7

 

 

Verses 1-21

Job 7:1. Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? הלא צבא hela zaba, Nonne militia est homini super terra, et sicut dies mercenarii dies ejus? “Is not the life of man a warfare upon the earth; and his days as a mercenary;” hired for the campaign? N’ y a-t-il pas un train de guerre ordonne aux mortels sur la terre? Is there not a train of warfare ordained to mortals on the earth? Then Job wisely contends, that as afflictions are the common lot of man, his friends ought not tacitly to impute his unprecedented calamities to secret crimes.

Job 7:6. A weaver’s shuttle which flies swiftly, and the shoots are not counted. In like manner, our fugitive moments pass away, and little noticed, till the webb of life is cut out of the loom. Weaving is an invention of the greatest antiquity, and silks must have been wove with a shuttle; in this art the Hindoos still surpass the Europeans.

Job 7:12. Am I a sea, or a whale. תנין tannin, a dragon, a sea-serpent, as Amos 9:3, or a whale. The sense seems to be, Am I tumultuous like the swelling waves of the sea, or destructive like a monster that ranges in the sea, that thou settest a watch over me, and bindest me down with the chains of affliction; or sendest a harpooner against me? So in Job 7:19, he asks a little repose that he might swallow his spittle.

REFLECTIONS.

Job here describes his conflicts, and the nature of his afflictions. His body was covered with ulcers, and so extremely offensive to his attendants that no one would wash them; the flies deposited their eggs in his sores, and filled them with maggots. Hence, life being a time of trial, of warfare or affliction, we must expect visitations from the Lord, and assaults from our foes. Though Job allowed that life was short, as the wasting day of a labourer; that it hasted to go down as the shadow of the sun, and vanished as a cloud; yet he thought it too slow, because his months of affliction were vanity. His life was of no use, and therefore he vehemently desired death. He would not take the culprit’s guilt, but he would gladly interpose to receive the punishment. His soul preferred strangling to life. A farther reason for his request to die was, the affliction of his mind. When he was wearied and worn out with the pains of the day, and hoped for a little repose at night, then God scared him with dreams, and terrified him with visions. The fever of his body, and above all, the injections of Satan, contributed to the terrors and inquietude of his sleep. Invisible phantoms stood before him; futurity, full of confusion, opened to his view. Hence he longed for God to receive his spirit, for he had no farther hopes in life. Therefore he adds, I loathe it: I would not live always.

The pleas he addresses to God for release by death are very affecting. My life is but wind. What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him in so great a contest; that thou shouldest set thy heart upon him, to wrestle with or try him every moment. If I have sinned, what can I do, oh thou that knowest the heart of man! I am a burden to myself.—Hence he besought the Lord, not to pardon the iniquity he had in common with men, but to let him escape in the night, that his body only might be found in the morning. In this extraordinary case, we see how much a confidence in God, on the one hand, and extreme afflictions on the other, contribute to make men weary of the world, and desirous of heaven.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 7:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/job-7.html. 1835.

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