Darby's Bible Synopsis
But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.
The following commentary covers Chapters 4 through 31.
As to the friends of Job, they do not call for any extended remarks. They urge the doctrine that God's earthly government is a full measure and manifestation of His righteousness, and of the righteousness of man, which would correspond with it: a doctrine which proves a total ignorance of what God's righteousness is, and of His ways; as well as the absence of all real knowledge of what God is, or man as a sinner. We do not see either that the feelings of their hearts were influenced by communion with God. Their argument is a false and cold estimate of the exact justice of His government as an adequate manifestation of His relationship with man, though they say many true commonplace things which even the Spirit of God adopts as just. Although Job was not before God in his estimate of himself, he judges rightly in these respects. He shews that although God shews His disapprobation of the wicked, yet the circumstances in which they are often found overthrow the arguments of his friends. We see in Job a heart which, although rebellious, depends upon God, and would rejoice to find Him. We see, too, that when he can extricate himself, by a few words, from his friends, who, he is quite sensible, understands nothing of his case, nor of the dealings of God, he turns to God (although he does not find Him, and although he complains that His hand is heavy upon him), as in that beautiful and touching chapter 23, and the reasonings as to divine government, chapters 24, 21. That is to say, we see one who has tasted that God is gracious, whose heart, wounded indeed and unsubdued, yet claims those qualities for God-because it knows Him-which the cold reasonings of his friends could not ascribe to Him; a heart which complains bitterly of God, but which knows that, could it once come near Him, it would find Him all that it had declared Him to be, and not such as they had declared Him to be, or were themselves-could he find Him, he would not be as they were, He would put words in his mouth; a heart which repelled indignantly the accusation of hypocrisy; for Job was conscious that he looked to God, and that he had known God and acted with reference to Him, though God thought fit to bring his sin to remembrance.
Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished?
For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste.
Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat.
They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;)
To dwell in the clifts of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks.
Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together.
They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth.
And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword.
They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.
Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me.
Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction.
They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper.
They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me.
Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud.
And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me.
My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.
By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat.
He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.
I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not.
Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me.
Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance.
For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction.
Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?
When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.
My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.
I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation.
I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.