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Bible Commentaries

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 19

 

 

Verse 1

CHAP. XIX.

Job complains of his friends' cruelty, pathetically laments his sufferings, and implores their pity: he appeals to God, and expresses his faith and hope in a future resurrection.

Before Christ 1645.

Job 19:1. Then Job answered and said Disgusted by the little regard paid by the three friends to his defence, and finding them still insisting on their general maxims, Job desires them calmly to consider his case; to reflect that his failings, whatever they were, had not been at all prejudicial to them; but if, on the strength of their general principle, they thought themselves warranted from his sufferings to infer his guilt, he desires them to take notice that this was God's particular infliction: Job 19:2-7 that he insisted on his integrity, and desired nothing but to bring his cause to an issue, which was as yet denied him: Job 19:8-20 that God's inflictions were indeed very grievous; and, to excite their compassion, he gives here a very moving description of them; but tells them, that that should be a reason why they should pity him, and not add to the load by their unkind suspicions and cruel treatment: Job 19:21-22 that he was so far from retracting his plea, that he was desirous it should remain for ever on record: Job 19:23-24. Heath. For he was assured that a day was coming, in which all his afflictions would be fully recompensed, and in which they would wish that they had treated him in a more friendly manner; though he questioned whether that would suffice to avert God's judgments from them.


Verse 3

Job 19:3. Ye are not ashamed Are ye not ashamed to be so very obstinate against me? Heath.


Verse 10

Job 19:10. And mine hope hath he removed He rooteth up my hope like a tree. Houbigant and Heath.


Verse 12

Job 19:12. His troops come together, &c.— The words here are military terms, relative to a siege. And raise up their way against me, Houbigant renders, and fortify their way against me.


Verse 14

Job 19:14. My kinsfolk have failed Have departed. Houbigant. He means to say, that his friends had quite deserted him; had ceased from their office, according to the immediate meaning of the Hebrew word חדלו chadlu. See Schultens.


Verse 16

Job 19:16. He gave me no answer And he answered me not, though I intreated, &c. Houbigant.


Verse 17

Job 19:17. Though I intreated for the children's sake The word חנתי channothi, rendered intreated, may signify the place of a man's dwelling. The sense may be rendered, And my habitation to the children of my body. Houbigant translates the verse, My wife abhors even my breath; the children of my body fly far from my offensive smell: and he observes, that we are nowhere told that all the children of Job perished, but only such as were feasting in their elder brother's house.


Verse 18

Job 19:18. Yea, young children despised me Even the very meanest of my family despised me; and if I rise up, they flout at me. See Schultens and Houbigant.


Verse 19

Job 19:19. Inward friends Rather intimate friends.


Verse 20

Job 19:20. My bone cleaveth to my skin, &c.— My bones pierce through my skin and my flesh, and my teeth slip out from my gums. Heath and Le Clerc. Chappelow renders the clause, I am escaped with a torn skin, or, with my skin all over wrinkles, to denote his being quite emaciated. Schultens says, that to escape with the skin of the teeth, seems to be a proverbial expression for those who lie beaten and covered with wounds from head to foot; and their mouth being broken with blows, half dead, they are scarcely able to breathe.


Verse 21

Job 19:21. Have pity upon me! &c.— Nothing can be more pathetic than the repetition in this passage, as well as the immediate application to his friends: O ye my friends! "You, at least, with whom I have enjoyed so intimate and friendly a correspondence; you, who more especially should exert the tender office of consolation, do you have some pity upon me, since the hand of God hath so fearfully afflicted me!" Heath, after an ancient manuscript, reads, You are my friends. To be satisfied with his flesh, means, according to the eastern style, to feed upon his fame, or life, and, as it were, to glut themselves with his sufferings and afflictions. Bp. Lowth observes, that this passage, as well as that at the beginning of the 14th chapter, affords us a most beautiful specimen of the complete elegy. See his Praelections, p. 452. Octavo.


Verse 23-24

Job 19:23-24. Oh that they were printed in a book! The sense of these words, according to the translation of Schultens, is this: "Who now will write my words? Who will record them in a book? Let them be engraven on some sepulchral stone, with an iron pen and with lead, so as to last for ever." The word rock, which our translators have made use of, seems to me to be more just than that used by Schultens. It is certain that the word צור zur, signifies in other places of the Book of Job a rock; and never there, or anywhere else in the Scripture that I am aware of, does it signify a small sepulchral stone, or monumental pillar. Nor can the using of this term appear strange, if we consider the extreme antiquity of the Book of Job; since it is easy to imagine that the first inscriptions on stone were engraven on some places of the rocks which were accidentally smoothed and made pretty even; and, in fact, we find some that are very ancient engraven on the natural rock, and, which is remarkable, in Arabia, where it is supposed that Job lived. This is one of the most curious observations in that account of the Prefetto of Egypt which was published by the Bishop of Clogher; and it is, in my apprehension, an exquisite confirmation of our version. The Prefetto, speaking in his journal of his disengaging himself from the mountains of Paran, says, "We came, at length, to a large plain, surrounded with high hills; at the foot of which we reposed ourselves in our tents at about half an hour after ten. These hills are called Gebel-el-Mokatab, i.e. the Written Mountains; for, as soon as we had parted from the mountains of Paran, we passed by several others for an hour together, engraved with ancient unknown characters, which were cut into the hard marble rock, so high as to be in some places at twelve or fourteen feet distance from the ground; and though we had in our company persons who were acquainted with the Arabic, Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Coptic, Latin, Armenian, Turkish, &c. languages, yet none of them had any knowledge of these characters; which have nevertheless been cut into the hard rock with the greatest industry, in a place where there is neither water, nor any thing that can be gotten to eat." When I consider this nature of the place, and compare it with the account that Maillet gives us of the great burying-place of the Egyptians, which is called the plain of mummies, and which, according to him, is a dry sandy circular plain, no less than four leagues over; and when I recollect the account which Maundrell gives of figures and inscriptions which, like these, are engraven on tables planed in the natural rock, and at some height above the road, which he found near the river Lycus, and which, he tells us, seemed to resemble mummies, and related, as he imagined, to some sepulchres thereabouts;—I should be ready to suppose that this must be some very ancient burying-place. Such a supposition justifies the explanation of Dr. Grey as to the alluding in these words to a sepulchral inscription, but would engage us to retain the English translation, as to the term rock, in contradistinction to monumental pillars, or grave-stones cut from the quarry. Be this as it may, it is certain that there are in Arabia several inscriptions in the natural rock, and that this way of writing is very durable; for these engravings, it seems, have outlived the knowledge of the characters made use of. The practice was for the same reason very ancient: and if these letters are not so ancient as the days of Moses, as the Bishop of Clogher thinks they are, yet these inscriptions might very well be the continuation of a practice in use in the days of Job, and may therefore be thought to be referred to in these words. But, however happy our translators have been in using the word rock in the 24th verse, it is certain that they have been far otherwise in the 23rd, as to the word printed. It was absurd to employ a term which expresses what was invented but three or four hundred years ago; and especially as it does not, even by an improper expression, convey the idea of Job, which was, the perpetuating of his words, as is evident from the foregoing verse; Records, to which Job refers, being written, not printed, among us. These Written Arabian mountains very agreeably illustrate these words in part, and perhaps but in part; for it does not appear from the accounts of the Prefetto, with what view lead is mentioned here. Dr. Grey supposes that the letters, being hollowed in the rock with the iron pen, or chissel, were filled up with melted lead in order to be more legible; but it does not appear that any of these inscriptions are so filled up. Indeed, though some of them are engraven, most of those which Bishop Pococke observed near Mount Sinai were not cut, but stained, by making the granite of a lighter colour; which stain, he had an opportunity of being satisfied, sunk some depth into the stone: whether this was done with lead, let the curious determine. I shall only observe, that the LXX do not explain this at all, though the painting of granite rocks was anciently very common in Egypt, and those painting (stainings, or mere incrustations, as Norden took them to be) were extremely durable. "This sort of paintings," says Norden, "has neither shade nor gradation. The figures are incrustated like the cyphers on the dial-plates of watches; with this difference, that they cannot be detached. I must own, that this incrustated matter surpasses in strength, all that I have seen of this kind. It is superior to the al-fresco and Mosaic work; and, indeed, has the advantage of lasting a longer time. It is something surprising to see how gold, ultra marine, and divers other colours, have preserved their lustre to the present age. Perhaps I shall be asked how all these lively colours could soften together; and I must own that it is a question which I am unable to decide." If Job, in this place, referred to the writing with these durable staining materials on the rocks, the LXX did not understand him so to do; they seem rather to have supposed that he meant the recording of things by engraving them on plates of lead. Who will cause my words to be written, to be put in a book which shall last for ever? with an iron pen and lead, (i.e. upon lead) or to be engraven on the rocks? which cutting of letters on lead marks out an ancient method indeed of perpetuating the memory of things, but is very different from that which Bishop Pococke saw had anciently obtained in Arabia, the country of Job, and to which, therefore, his words may possibly refer. See Observations, p. 300. I would just observe, that the original words rendered and lead, which give this ingenious author to much trouble, are marked with a cross to denote their being doubtful as to the reading, and accordingly Mr. Heath omits them in his translation: That they were graven with an iron style; that they were cut in the rock to perpetuity!


Verses 25-27

Job 19:25-27. For I know that my Redeemer liveth, &c.— We are now come to the celebrated text which has so much divided interpreters, and which has been generally thought to express Job's strong faith in a future resurrection; and that so clearly, that some have imagined the passage an interpolation, as they conceive the declaration too strong for the time and faith of Job: while others, and those especially who contend for the modern date of this Book, give the words a very different explication, and suppose them to contain nothing more than a strong persuasion, on Job's part, of a future restoration to God's favour, and felicity in this life: accordingly, they render the passage, For I know that my Avenger liveth, and that he will at last stand on the earth; and although my skin be torn in this manner, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see on my side as mine eyes have beheld him, for he is no stranger. My reins within me are ready to faint with longing for him. See Mr. Heath's note on the passage. Now, I, with respect to the interpolation, as there is not one reasonable and proper foundation whereupon to build such a suspicion; as we might with as good reason suppose any other passage which did not strike in with our opinions interpolated; and as the allowance of such an interpolation would break though all the rules of criticism, and all the faith of manuscripts, the opinion certainly deserves not the least attention. II. As to the supposition that the text refers to Job's hope of a temporal deliverance, it seems utterly groundless; as, from all that has gone before, we evidently see that Job had no such hope. His earnest prayer, his utmost wish, was, for a deliverance from his troubles by death. See what we have said, chap. Job 14:7, &c. And if the interpretation that has been given of the preceding verses be admitted,—and there does not seem the least doubt of its propriety,—then to understand these verses as referring to an expectation of temporal deliverance would be most absurd; while they connect in the aptest manner, as alluding to Job's hope of justification in a future life. Having given the most pathetical description of his afflictions, which might move any heart, he applies to his friends in the most affecting manner, to cease from persecuting him, and to pity his forlorn condition; a condition utterly irremediable, and from which while he had no hopes to be delivered, he wishes in the most earnest manner that his words, his justification of his own integrity, the account of his wonderful, and to him unaccountable sufferings, might be engraven on his sepulchral stone, might be written in the rock to last for ages, till the great day oh his justification should come; for, "Though, in my present extremity of grief, I expect nothing but death, and to be laid in the grave; yet I am well persuaded that that day will come because (Job 19:25.) I know that my Redeemer liveth; גאלי goali; he who is to avenge me, and see that I have right done me." See Leviticus 25:25. This word, says Mr. Peters, is particularly apposite to Job's purpose, as it signifies one who vindicates the injuries of his friend, and does him justice after death: and moreover, in this view, it does not imply any necessity that this holy man should be acquainted with the whole mystery of our redemption, which is the great difficulty objected by learned men to the received interpretation of this passage. What knowledge of this matter Job, or the men of that age, might have conveyed down to them by tradition, is a point which we have no need to enquire into at present. It is sufficient to our purpose to understand the word here used in its plain and proper signification, that of a vindicator, or avenger. The next clause in the Hebrew, יקום עפר על ואחרון veacharon al apar yakum, is literally and at last over the dust he shall arise: i.e. over those who are reduced to dust, the dead. This is a very easy metonymy in the Hebrew poetry, and we have an example of it, Psalms 30:9. What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? shall the dust praise thee; i.e. the dead: the same word, עפר apar, and the same beautiful figure as here. There seems to be a peculiar elegance and significancy in the use of the word in this passage, as it brings to mind the sentence passed upon Adam, Dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return; from which sentence the good and just are now to be delivered; and therefore the day of resurrection is called in Scripture the day of their redemption: יקום yakum, rendered by our translators, he shall stand, signifies properly, he shall arise, or stand up; that is, he shall stand up to give sentence or execute judgment. It can scarcely have any other meaning; and I believe this was the posture in which judges usually delivered their sentences in all ages and countries. The phrase of God's arising to judgment is very usual in the sacred Scripture. See Psalms 74:22; Psalms 82:8 and, very remarkably, in the 14th verse of the 31st chapter of this Book, the very same word is used in exactly the same sense, What shall I do when God riseth up? i.e. to judgment. The next verse in our translation runs thus; and though, after my skin, worms destroy this body; yet in my flesh shall I see God. Here are three words supplied to fill out the sense; for in the Hebrew there is neither though, nor worms, nor body: the first and last, however, are rightly added; but as for the second, worms, there is no need of it. They have destroyed this, being in the Hebrew idiom the same with this be destroyed; and by this, must be meant this body, for there is plainly something wanting to fill up the sense, and there is no other word that we can think of so proper. I would just observe, that the Hebrew phrase is not in, but from my flesh I shall see God; which Vatablus, a judicious commentator, takes to mean, from, or after my flesh, thus consumed and destroyed. The next verse is, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eye shall behold, and not another, or a stranger. Possibly by the word זר zar, or stranger, Job, points at his mistaken friends and accusers; who, as he intimates, would be struck with shame and remorse in the day of judgment, and not be able to bear the sight of that Judge whom he himself should behold with pleasure. This gives an easy sense of the words, and, if I mistake not, a beautiful one. Or, supposing that by זר zar, a stranger, he meant, in general, one who is estranged from God and goodness, (for the word is often used in a bad sense) this will likewise render the passage easy. The next clause in our version is, though my reins be consumed within me. After this solemn declaration of his faith and hope in a resurrection, Job adds a few words more to close his speech, and they are very remarkable ones; such as, I think, confirm this interpretation of this famous text, and cannot possibly be reconciled with the other. There is nothing for though in the Hebrew; Job says, my reins are consumed within me; i.e. "I feel my very vitals fail me, and am hastening on apace towards that death which shall consign me to the future judgment." Here is a just coherence and agreement with what went before; but what can we make of this text, if the foregoing passage is to be understood of a temporal deliverance? Does he hope and despair in a breath? He then desires his friends, Job 19:28 not to persecute him any more, since the root of the matter or argument, that is, the strength of it, was found in him: and bids them beware that they were not convinced to their cost of the certainty of a righteous judgment hereafter, by the experience of some or other of those common plagues which God was oftentimes seen to distribute in this life. He mentions the sword particularly, which destroys promiscuously the good and the bad without distinction, and is sent, or suffered, by God with this design, that men may from thence infer there is a judgment. The expression in the Hebrew is remarkable: For wrath, that is, the wrath of God, bringeth the iniquities of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment: Job 19:29 intimating, that the violence and iniquity which always accompanies the ravages of the sword, the many unjust and cruel things that are done and suffered amidst the rage of war, and, in short, every dispensation of Providence which levels the good and bad in this life, is a demonstration of a righteous judgment to be expected hereafter. That this must be the meaning, seems plain; nor can the passage be well understood of any other than a future judgment: for what other judgment was it which Job's friends wanted to know, or to be put in mind of? Not God's judgment upon sinners in this life: it was their great error that they carried this point to an excess, and interpreted all the calamities sent by God in this world, even upon particular persons, as so many judgments: at least they considered Job's afflictions in this light. It was, therefore, quite foreign to his purpose to go about to persuade them of temporal judgments inflicted by God: but what he was most of all concerned to put them in mind of, was, that there was a future judgment to be expected after this life. Had they been as well assured of this as they should be, or had they well considered it, they would have seen less occasion for a strict retribution in this life; and, consequently, would have been less forward to interpret God's inflictions upon Job as if they were a judgment on him for some secret wickedness. We conclude our note upon this passage with Houbigant's translation, Mr. Peters's paraphrase, and a short observation on part of Mr. Heath's version. Houbigant's rendering of Job 19:25 is, For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall hereafter arise over the dust: Job 19:26. And that even I, after my skin is consumed, shall behold my God in my flesh: Job 19:27. Yes, I shall behold him: my eyes, and not another's, shall see him. This my hope is reposed in my bosom: Job 19:28. But if ye shall say, let us persecute him, and devise some cause of accusation against him; Job 19:29. Then be afraid for yourselves, from the threatening sword; for the sword will grow wroth against iniquities, that ye may know that a judgment hereafter is at hand. Mr. Peters paraphrases the 25th, 26th, and 27th verses as follows: "For I know that the vindicator of my innocence and reputation, which you have thus inhumanly attacked, now liveth, and shall live for ever; and that in some grand future period he shall arise to judge the dead; and though, after my skin, which you see so miserably affected, this whole frame shall dissolve, and turn into dust; yet, I believe that I shall live again hereafter, as truly and certainly as I do now, and shall appear personally before my Judge; whom I shall see for myself, or in my own cause, prepared to do me justice; and, conscious of my innocence, shall look up to him with hope and joy; whilst others, my accusers, unable to behold him, shall look down with shame and confusion." The candid reader will immediately observe how natural and easy this interpretation is, and how strained is every expression upon the supposition that a temporal deliverance is meant. However, the latter clause of the 27th verse, as well as the 28th, I think may be admitted, even according to Mr. Heath's version, upon the interpretation we have given the passage: for Job surely might as well say, in hope of a future as of a present appearance of God for him, my reins within me are ready to faint with longing for him. See Bishop Sherlock on Prophesy, p. 225 dissert. 2:

REFLECTIONS.—1st, Severe and cutting were these harsh censures which Bildad laid upon this man of sorrows. With just indignation therefore,

1. He complains of the cruel usage that he met with; They vexed his soul, added gall to his cup, attempted to rob him of his only remaining comfort, his integrity; and exasperated his spirit by provocations more than man could bear. They broke him in pieces with words, every one had a stone to throw at him: they reproached him as a wicked hypocrite; they were not ashamed to make themselves strange to him, however zealously attached to him before; his afflictions had made them shy of him, and they blushed not at the baseness of their conduct. They magnified themselves against him, looked down upon and insulted him: they pleaded against him his reproach, turned his sufferings into an argument of his hypocrisy and iniquity; and this they persisted in, notwithstanding all his remonstrances; and ten times, or several times, (a certain number for an uncertain) repeated their cruel reflections and unkindness. Note; (1.) Inward vexation is among the severest trials. (2.) Reproach has been the portion of many a good man. (3.) False friends discover themselves in adversity. (4.) They who are fallen, are generally trampled upon. (5.) It needs great patience to sustain repeated insult.

2. He makes a concession for argument's sake. Be it indeed that I have erred,—who is infallible? and errors of judgment deserved not such rough treatment. Besides, mine error remaineth with myself; if what I hold concerning God's dispensations be wrong, I only am chargeable with it, and answerable for it: or rather I must remain in what you call an error, receiving not the least conviction from your discourses. Note; (1.) It were the height of folly to conceit ourselves infallible. (2.) Truth is not the less precious, because proud and worldly-wise men stamp it with the brand of error.

3. He warns them not rashly to impute to God motives for his conduct that he would disavow. His sufferings were from his hand alone; he was compassed with God's net of afflictions. He cried out for judgment against his plunderers, but was not yet heard: yea, though he cried aloud, and wished that the whole of his case might appear before God, no court was appointed for hearing it, nor judgment given. But God knew wherefore he withheld the answer to his prayer, without admitting their conclusion that he was a wicked man. Note; (1.) Though our prayers may seem to be repulsed, we must not faint. (2.) Sooner or later every man's cause will be heard, and the righteous sentence be passed thereon.

2nd, Job acknowledged the hand of God in his afflictions; and here,

1. Complains of the displeasure of God therein manifested. Like a benighted traveller in a wood, with briars and thorns God had hedged up his way, and he could see no path out of his troubles. As one seized by robbers, he had lost his all; stripped of his earthly comforts, children, honours, and estate; destroyed on every side, his hope was gone, as a tree rooted up and dry, which never can revive again: but, more bitter than any thing beside, God's wrath appeared kindled against him, and he seemed to treat him as an enemy, compassing him with legions of afflictions, and sore pressing him on every side, like a besieged city. Note; (1.) Many pious people are apt to write bitter things against themselves, and to mistake the rod of love for the scourge of ruin. (2.) Hope is the last support of the miserable; when that is gone, the case is deplorable indeed. (3.) Though we may see no way to escape out of temptation, he who laid the trial upon us knows how to bring us through it with safety.

2. He laments the unkindness of his friends and acquaintance, wherein also he sees God's afflicting hand, His brethren he had put far from him. It was their sin that they were so faithless to him, but God suffered them. His relations failed him, his acquaintance shunned him, his familiar friends forsook him; his very domestics slighted him, and would not vouchsafe him an answer, though he called and intreated: the wife of his bosom cared not to come near him, and shunned his breath as if infectious; and, though he besought her by every endearing tie of conjugal affection; she paid no regard to his intreaty. Even the children in the streets had learned of their ungodly parents to mock at him; and as he went, or arose, to correct and silence them, they continued to revile him; nay, his bosom-friends, whom he loved as his own soul, not only forsook but abhorred him; not only as loathsome but as a wicked hypocrite; and, to justify their own perfidy, turned against him with the most virulent abuse. Note; (1.) They who are under frowning Providences will often see cause of complaint against man's baseness and ingratitude. (2.) The nearer the relation, the greater our love, and just expectations of due return, the bitterer will be the disappointment.

3. He bemoans the painful and diseased condition of his miserable body, reduced and emaciated by his sores and sorrows, till his bones appeared ready to start through his skin, and that all over ulcerated, except his gums or lips; Satan probably leaving him the use of speech, not out of compassion, but that he might curse God.

4. He intreats, on this representation of his case, the pity of his friends: if they would grant him nothing more, his very miseries deserved pity at least: and he upbraids them with the savage cruelty of thus persecuting him whom God had smitten, as if in his stead, and vested with his authority, not content with all the miseries that he had already suffered, and striving to fill to the brim the cup of his afflictions. Note; (1.) The least that we owe to human woe is pity; a friend will do more, he will partake in it, and labour to remove, or alleviate, the sorrows of the afflicted. (2.) It is doubly grievous where God hath wounded, instead of binding up the broken-hearted, to aggravate their pains.

3rdly, We have here the glorious confession of Job's faith, as his great and only support, when all beside seemed desperate. His friends might be convinced hereby that he was neither infidel nor wicked; he believed in a Divine Redeemer, and expected with confidence a judgment-day; when, if not before, all their unjust accusations would be confuted and confounded: and this is, to all the pious who are unjustly aspersed by calumny, and oppressed by the world, a most encouraging expectation. Some have explained away this remarkable scripture, as relative only to a temporal restitution; but it is evident from Job 19:10 that this he utterly despaired of; and from chap. Job 23:8-9, Job 30:23 it appears that he had not the least hope of prosperity returning in this world; and therefore he looked beyond the grave into a better, where his soul had cast anchor within the vail.

1. He prefaces his expectation with an earnest wish, that the words he was now about to say might be perpetuated to all ages, as a standing monument of his faith and hope, graven in the rock with an iron pen, and filled up with lead: perhaps, he wished that this inscription might be written on his tomb-stone, to testify, when he was dead, the sentiments which he entertained when alive. Note; It is for the glory of God, and the good of posterity, to leave behind us testimonies of our faith and hope; that in their works and writings, good men, like Job and Abel, (though dead) might still speak.

2. His confession deserves to be written, not merely in letters of lead on the rock, but on tables of gold, or rather on the fleshly tables of our hearts, for ever. For, or namely, this is what I would have inscribed on the rock, I know that my Redeemer liveth, my divine Goel, to whom the right of redemption belongs; he lives from everlasting to everlasting; and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, when he appears incarnate for his people's salvation; or rather above the earth, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to judgment, with power and great glory, and all nations shall be assembled before him to receive their final doom: and though after my skin, worms destroy this body in the grave, and corruption consume this mortal tabernacle, yet in my flesh shall I see God. In the resurrection-day, when rescued from the dust my flesh shall be restored, with my bodily eyes shall I behold God manifest in the person of my Redeemer, whom I shall see for myself, with joy unutterable; and mine eyes, these eyes now dim with tears, shall behold his glory, and not another, or a stranger; an ungodly man shall have no such delight or comfort in meeting him. Though my reins, (or better without the though) my reins be consumed within me; my soul is consumed with eager longing for this day of my Redeemer's appearance and glory. Note; (1.) The faith in a Redeemer was the only support of the saints of God in every age. (2.) The Lord Jesus hath offered himself to redeem for fallen man God's forfeited favour, and the heavenly inheritance; and in him our right to both is restored. (3.) A comfortable certainty of his interest in the Redeemer's regard is every believer's privilege: he may say, He is mine, and add, I know it, by blessed and delightful experience. (4.) The hope of a judgment-day is the support of God's suffering saints. (5.) Though our bodies return to the dust, they are not lost in the grave, but preserved against the resurrection-day. (6.) In the vision of the ever-blessed God consists the glorious happiness of the redeemed. (7.) Every day which brings us nearer to our last day, our desires should be more enlarged, and our longings for it more eager, while we cease not to pray, Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.

3. He intimates the effect that his declaration should have upon them. Instead of using him as they did, they should rather say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in him? He is found in the faith, and appears to be no hypocrite. At least, they ought to tremble for the consequences, if they persevered in using him ill. Be ye afraid of the sword of divine justice, for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword; an offended God will draw it from the scabbard, that ye may know there is a judgment; and woe unto you if he set his face against you. Note; (1.) If a man have the root of the matter in him, and is found in fundamentals, lesser differences should be overlooked. (2.) All persecution for conscience sake is detestable; and how especially guilty must it be to oppress those who hold one faith, one hope, one God, one Redeemer with us, merely because they will not square every opinion to our own, or, however weak their objections, dislike our form of worship, dress, or ceremonies. (3.) In a day of judgment, bigotry and censoriousness towards our brethren will be remembered; and if it destroy not our hope, it will tarnish our crown.

 


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Bibliography Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 19:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-19.html. 1801-1803.

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