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Breakio bere ne bodies like every
Ver. 7. “ And smote Job with sore boils.”]-The Hebrew word signifies an ulcer, a burning or an inflaming ulcer. Satan did, as it were, kindle a fire in the bowels of Job, inflamed his blood, and heated the bumours of his body, from whence these boils, these ulcers, these sores did arise. The grammarians express it some times more generally, a filthy scab; sometimes more particularly, an ulcer, a boil; sometimes a leprosy: it is indeed any foul disease breaking out upon the body.
Observe, that satan, when permitted, may have a great power over the bodies of christians, and that the children of God are sometimes, like Job, not only deprived of every comfort, but afflicted in every part of their body. Thus God's children and distinguishing servants may be brought to the greatest extremities.
Ver. 9. “ Dost thou still retain thine integrity ? curse God, and die."]-In these words we have two things: first, a sharp and scornful expostulation ; " Dost thou retain thine integrity ?" that is, bold and keep thine integrity? canst thou think that God loves thee, and delights in thee, and yet so greatly afflicts thee? Secondly, here is a sinful and wicked counsel, “ Curse God and die :" wbich shews the enmity and rebellion of our nature under the afflictions of God's hand upon us, and that our nearest friends are often our greatest enemies and afflictions. But Beza aod others observe, that the original word barac, which in the text is rendered to curse, signifies blessing, and it is by many expositors so rendered : Mr. Broughton tbus translates it, Dost tbou still retain thine integrity, blessing God, and dying ?' as though Job's wife spoke by way of surprize at bis faith under such great afflictions.
Ver. 10.- Thou speakest as one of the foolish women.”] -This answer of Job leads many to think that Job's wife directed bim under his affliction to curse God, because he calls her a foolish woman; but it may be supposed that he would then have called her a wicked woman; wbereas he only calls her a foolish woman for her being surprized at his confidence under great trials, or at the greatuess of his affliction from the band of God; for he adds, “Shall we receive good at the hands of the Lord, and not evil?"
" In all this did not Job sin with his lips."]_That is, satan did not gain his designed end over him. Thus believers shall be more than conquerors over satan's temptations.
Ver. 13. " For they saw that his grief was very great."]—The word in the original signifies an overwhelming or excessive grief, both of body and mind. Thus God's own children are sometimes greatly afflicted in his infinite wisdom, love, and faithfulness; which makes their fellow christians think that they have been guilty of some great sin, when it is a display of infinite sovereignty, or for the trial of faith, or to foil satan in all his temptations.
“ Ye have heard of the patience of Job," saith the apostle, James v. 11.
So we have, and of his impatience too: we admired that a man should be so patient as he was, chap. i. and ii. bat we marvel that a good man should be so impatient as he is in this, where we find him cursing his day, and in passion, (1.) Complaining that he was born, ver. 1–13. (2.) Complaining that he did not die as soon as he was born, ver. 11– 19. (3.) Complaining that his life was now continued when he was in misery, ver. 20-26. In this it must be owned that Job sinned with his lips, and it is written not for our imitation, but our admonition, that he who thinks he stands may take beed lest he fall.
VER. 17. “ There the weary be at rest." ]-The chil. dren of God are so often under outward afiiction, and inward trials, from the corruptions of their hearts, the temptations of satan, the frowns of the world, the pains and infirmities of the body, and the deceitfulness of seeming friends, that they are weary of this life. Note, that God in infinite mercy has provided a rest for the weary bodies as well as the souls of the saints, namely, the grave, where their dust resteth in hope, and they sleep in Jesus; while their souls are happy in Abraham's bosom, where the world can no more disturb them, nor satan annoy them, nor corruptions distress tbem any more.
Ver. 26. " Yet trouble came.”]-Christians may foresee a trouble coming, may fear it, and be ready to tremble at the thoughts of it, and do all they can to prevent it; but God is a sovereign, and to shew his wisdom, power, and sovereignty, be sometimes brings trouble upon them, and the end of it appears to be his glory and their good.
Job having warmly given vent to his passion, and so broken the ice, his
friends here come gravely to give vent to their judgment upon his case. Eliphaz, who it is likely, was the senior, begins with him: in which, (i.) He bespeaks a patient hearing, ver. 2. (2.) He compli. ments Job with an acknowledgnient of the eminency and usefulness of the profession he had made of religion, ver. 3, 4. (3.) He charges him with hypocrisy, grounding his charge upou lis present troubles, and his carriage under them, ver. 5, 6. (4.) He maintains that man's wickedness is that which always brings down God's judgments, ver. 7-11. (5.) He corroborates bis assertion by a vision which he had, in which he was minded of the incontestible purity and justice of God, and the meanness, weakness, and sinfulness of man, ver. 1921. By all this he aims to make him both penitent and patient under his afflictions.
VER. 5. " But now it is come upon thee, and thou faintest; it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled,"]-The word faintest in the original signifies an overwhelming fainting, or the understanding sinking through distress; and the word used for troubled signifies one amazed with vehemency at the greatness of the trouble: thus the afflictions of the Lord's people are often exceeding great.
Ver. 6. “Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy -hope?"]- Elipbaz hastily asks Job as to the ground of bis fear, confidence, and hope. The fear of God is bis grace, love, or divine favour implanted in the soul; and it is the saints preservation in the hour of trial and tribulation. Confidence is a strong faith, or the cbristian's full persuasion of his interest in the love, favour, and good-will of God; in Christ as his redeemer, mediator, and intercessor; in the Holy Spirit as his comforter, sealer, and sanctifier; in peace with God in the covenant of grace, as his portion and happiness. Hope is grounded upon the promise of God, and the person of Christ, and is a firm expectation of things future and unseen, because the promises “ are sure to all tbe seed.”.
Ver. 17. “Shall mortal man be more just than God?"] -Great and continued afilictions make the christian sometimes complain of God's ways; and as this was the case of Job, Eliphaz reproves him, looking upon Job as rather justifying himself than God in his sovereign and afflictive dispensations.
Eliphaz in this chapter appeals to those that bear record on earth, to the
saints, the faithful witnesses of God's truths in all ages, ver. 1. they will testify, (1.) That the sin of sinners is their ruin, ver. 2-5. (2.) That yet affliction is the common lot of mankind, ver. 6, 7. (3.) That when we are iu affliction it is our duty to apply ourselves to God, for he is able and ready to help us, ver. 8—16. (4.) That the afflictions which are borne well will end well; and Job particularly, if he would come to a better temper,' might assure himself that God had great mercy in store for him, ver. 17-27. so that he concludes his dis. course in somewbat a better huniour than he began it.
VER. 6. " Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust.”]-Afflictions are appointed by God, and prove to be covenant blessings to his people.
Ver. 19. “He shall deliver thee in six troubles.” Tbis shews that the saints shall be delivered out of their troubles, because God is engaged for them.
Ver. 27. “ Hear it, and know thou it for thy good.” - The Hebrew word signifies, know thou it for thyself; that is, that all thy afflictions and great trials in body and mind are for thy good.
Eliphaz concluded his discourse with an air of assurance; very confident le
was that what he had said was so plain and so pertinent, that nothing could be objected in answer to it. But though be that is first in his own cause seemeth just, yet his neighbour comes and searches him : Job is not convinced by all he had said, but still justifies himself in his complaints, and condemns him for the weakness of his arguing. (1.) He shews that he had just cause to complain as he did of his tronbles, and so it would appear to any in partial judge, ver. 2-7, (2.) He continues his passionate wish that he might speedily' be cut off by the stroke of death, and so be eased of all his miseries, ver. 8-13. (3.) He reproves his friends for their ancharitable censures of him, and the unkind treatment, they gave him, ver. 14-30. It must be owned that Job iu all this spoke a deal of reason, but with a mix. ture of passion and human infirmity : and in this contest, as indeed in most contests, there was fault on both sides.
VER. 4. " The terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.”] The afflictions of Job were great, and even beyond all comparison. Thus it is the pleasure of the
Lord to deal with his children, and none can judge of their case, nor feelingly sympathize with them but those only who have felt tbe like troubles.
Job in this chapter goes on in expressing the bitter sense he had of his cala
mities, and to justify himself in his desire of death. (1.) He complains to himself and his friends of his troubles, ver, 1-6. (2.) He turns to God, and expostulates with bim, ver. 7, to the end. Io which, (1.) He pleads the final period which death puts to our present state, ver. 7-10. (2.) He passionately complains of the miserable condition he was in, ver. 11--16. (3.) He wonders God will thus contend with him, and begs for the pardon of his sins, and a speedy release out of his miseries, ver. 17–21. It is hard to methodize the speeches of one who owned himself almost desperate, chap. vi. 26.
VER. 17. “ What is man that thou shouldest mag. nify him?"]-The Hebrew expression is, wbat is miserable man? can there be any motive in bim for God to love bim, to magnify him, and set his heart upon him ? Surely, no: then all the glories and riches of divine grace must flow from his sovereign will, and not from any motive in the creature.
Ver. 21. « Why dost thou not pardon my transgres. sion, and take away mine iniquity ?"]Job acknowledges his sin and transgression against God, and declares that his afflictions were so great tbat his life was a burden; and therefore enquires why the Lord did not ease his soul, and release him from his afflictions, by pardoning his transgressions ; for the word in the original signiñes, to remove or take away a burden. Such may be the trials of the cbris. Lian, both in soul and body, that he may not only be strait. ened, but entirely at a loss to reconcile these dispensations with the covenant, counsel, and promise of God.
rior, in and transac great he Lord
In this chapter Bildad endeavours to convince Job, (1.) That he had
spoken too passionately, ver. 2. (2.) That he and his children had sotfered justly, ver, 3, 4. (3.) That if he were a true penitent, God