He has also kindled his wrath against me, and he counts me to him as one of his enemies.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He hath also kindled . . .—Comp. Job 16:9; Job 16:12, &c.
And he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies - He treats me as he would an enemy. The same complaint he elsewhere makes; see Job 13:24; perhaps also in Job 16:9. We are not to understand Job here as admitting that "he" was an enemy of God. He constantly maintained that he was not, but he was constrained to admit that God "treated him" as if he were his enemy, and he could not account for it. "On this ground," therefore, he now maintains that his friends ought to show him compassion, instead of trying to prove that he "was" an enemy of God; they ought to pity a man who was so strangely and mysteriously afflicted, instead of increasing his sorrows by endeavoring to demonstrate that he was a man of eminent wickedness.
He counteth me unto him as one of his enemies, i.e. he useth me as sharply as if I were an inveterate enemy of God and of all goodness, though he knoweth I am and have ever been a hearty lover and servant of him. Job 19:12; in which way Job apprehended God was come forth against him; he imagined that the wrath of God, which is comparable to fire for its force and fury, was kindled against him; that it began to appear, and was bursting out in a flame upon him, and all around him, to consume him; he thought his afflictions were in wrath, which is often the mistaken apprehension of good men, see Psalm 38:1; and that the terrors of it were set in battle array against him, Job 6:4;
and he counted me unto him as one of his enemies; all men are by nature enemies to God, yea, enmity itself, and so are his own people while unregenerate, until the enmity of their hearts is slain, and they are reconciled to God by his spirit and grace; but as Job was truly a gracious man, and possessed of the fruits of the spirit, he must among the rest of his graces have the love of God in his heart; and he was sensible and conscious to himself that he was no enemy to God, and could appeal to him, as the searcher of hearts, that he knew he loved him; nay, he could not believe that God reckoned him his enemy, when he had given such a testimony of him, and of his fear of him, that there was none like him; and when Job so strongly trusted in him for salvation, and believed he should enjoy him for ever: but his sense is, that God treated him, by afflicting him in the manner he did, as if he was one of his enemies; had he really been one, he could not have used him, he thought, more roughly and severely; so that, judging according to the outward appearance of things, it might be concluded, as it seems it was by his friends, that he was a wicked man, an hypocrite, an enemy to God and godliness; but whereas Job thought that God dealt with him as with an enemy, he was mistaken; since when God afflicts his people, he deals with them as with sons, Hebrews 12:7.He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)11–12. Figures of hostile assault; God directs charge after charge of His army against Him. The reference is to his afflictions, cf. ch. Job 10:17.Verse 11. - He hath also kindled his wrath against me. It is not what has happened to him in the way of affliction and calamity that so much oppresses and crushes the patriarch, as the cause to which he, not unnaturally, ascribes his afflictions, vie. the wrath of God. Participating in the general creed of his time, he believes his sufferings to come direct from God, and to be proofs of God's severe anger against him. He is not, however, prepared on this account to renounce God. "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" (Job 13:15) is still his inward sustaining thought and guiding principle. And he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies. Job felt himself treated as an enemy of God, and supposed that God must consider him such. He either had no glimpse of the cheering truth, "Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth" (Hebrews 12:6), or he could not imagine that such woes as his were mere chastenings.
2 How long will ye vex my soul,
And crush me with your words?
3 These ten times have ye reproached me;
Without being ashamed ye astound me.
4 And if I have really erred,
My error rests with myself.
5 If ye will really magnify yourselves against me,
And prove my reproach to me:
6 Know then that Eloah hath wronged me,
And hath compassed me with His net.
This controversy is torture to Job's spirit; enduring in himself unutterable agony, both bodily and spiritually, and in addition stretched upon the rack by the three friends with their united strength, he begins his answer with a well-justified quousque tandem. תּגיוּן (Norzi: תּוגיוּן) is fut. energicum from הוּגה (יגה), with the retention of the third radical., Ges. 75, rem. 16. And in וּתדכּאוּנני (Norzi: וּתדכּוּנני with quiescent Aleph) the suff. is attached to the n of the fut. energicum, Ges. 60, rem. 3; the connecting vowel is a, and the suff. is ani, without epenthesis, not anni or aneni, Ges. 58, 5. In Job 19:3 Job establishes his How long? Ten times is not to be taken strictly (Saad.), but it is a round number; ten, from being the number of the fingers on the human hand, is the number of human possibility, and from its position at the end of the row of numbers (in the decimal system) is the number of that which is perfected (vid., Genesis, S. 640f.); as not only the Sanskrit daan is traceable to the radical notion "to seize, embrace," but also the Semitic עשר is traceable to the radical notion "to bind, gather together" (cogn. קשׁר). They have already exhausted what is possible in reproaches, they have done their utmost. Renan, in accordance with the Hebr. expression, transl.: Voil (זה, as e.g., Genesis 27:36) la dixime fois que vous m'insultez. The ἅπ. γεγρ. תּהכּרוּ is connected by the Targ. with הכּיר (of respect of persons equals partiality), by the Syr. with כּרא (to pain, of crvecoeur), by Raschi and Parchon with נכּר (to mistake) or התנכּר (to alienate one's self), by Saadia (vid., Ewald's Beitr. S. 99) with עכר (to dim, grieve);
(Note: Reiske interprets according to the Arabic ‛kr, denso et turbido agmine cum impetu ruitis in me.)
he, however, compares the Arab. hkr, stupere (which he erroneously regards as differing only in sound from Arab. qhr, to overpower, oppress); and Abulwalid (vid., Rdiger in Thes. p. 84 suppl.) explains Arab. thkrûn mn-nı̂, ye gaze at me, since at the same time he mentions as possible that הכר may be equals Arab. khr, to treat indignantly, insultingly (which is only a different shade in sound of Arab. hkr,
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