Job 19:13
He has put my brothers far from me, and my acquaintance are truly estranged from me.
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(13) He hath put my brethren far from me.—The Psalmist has apparently copied this in Psalm 88:8. The sense of human desertion is hardly less terrible than that of being forsaken by God, and this has been added to him. It is not easy to read these sad complaints of Job without seeing how fitly they apply to the sorrows of the Man of sorrows. Those who, with the present writer, believe in the overruling presence of the Holy Ghost will adore His wisdom in this fitness; but at all events it shows how completely Christ entered into the very heart of human suffering, in that the deepest expressions of suffering inevitably remind us of Him, whether those expressions are met with in the Book of Job, in the Psalms of David, or in the Lamentations of Jeremiah.

Job 19:13. He hath put my brethren far from me, &c. — I looked for some support and comfort from my kindred and friends, but they were so astonished at the number and dreadfulness of my calamities that they fled from me as a man accursed of God: and as for my neighbours, who formerly much courted my acquaintance: they keep aloof from me, as if they had never known me. As we must see the hand of God in all the injuries we receive from our enemies, so likewise in all the slights and unkindnesses we receive from our friends.19:8-22 How doleful are Job's complaints! What is the fire of hell but the wrath of God! Seared consciences will feel it hereafter, but do not fear it now: enlightened consciences fear it now, but shall not feel it hereafter. It is a very common mistake to think that those whom God afflicts he treats as his enemies. Every creature is that to us which God makes it to be; yet this does not excuse Job's relations and friends. How uncertain is the friendship of men! but if God be our Friend, he will not fail us in time of need. What little reason we have to indulge the body, which, after all our care, is consumed by diseases it has in itself. Job recommends himself to the compassion of his friends, and justly blames their harshness. It is very distressing to one who loves God, to be bereaved at once of outward comfort and of inward consolation; yet if this, and more, come upon a believer, it does not weaken the proof of his being a child of God and heir of glory.He hath put my brethren - This is a new source of afflication that he had not adverted to before, that God had caused all his children to be estranged from him - a calamity which he regarded as the crown of all his woes. The word rendered "my brethren" (אחי 'âchāy) means means properly "my brothers" - but whether he means literally his brothers, or whether he designs it to be taken in a figuratie sense as denoting his intimate friends, or those of the same rank in life or calling, it is impossible now to determine.

And mine acquaintance - My friends - on whom I relied in time of calamity.

And verily estranged - They have forgotten me, and treat me as a stranger. What an accurate description is this of what often occurs! In prosperity a man will be surrounded by friends; but as soon as his prosperity is stripped away, and he is overwhelmed with calamity, they withdraw, and leave him to suffer alone. Proud of his acquaintance before, they now pass him by as a stranger, or treat him with cold civility, and when he "needs" their friendship, they are gone.

13. brethren—nearest kinsmen, as distinguished from "acquaintance." So "kinsfolk" and "familiar friends" (Job 19:14) correspond in parallelism. The Arabic proverb is, "The brother, that is, the true friend, is only known in time of need."

estranged—literally, "turn away with disgust." Job again unconsciously uses language prefiguring the desertion of Jesus Christ (Job 16:10; Lu 23:49; Ps 38:11).

My brethren, i.e. my kindred and friends, who might and should have supported and comforted me in my distress.

Far from me; either,

1. In place; because they feared or disdained, or at least neglected, to visit or succour me. Or,

2. In their affections, which are far from me, when their bodies are present with me, as I find in you. But this also I ascribe to God; he hath alienated your hearts from me. He hath put my brethren far from me,.... As it is one part of business in war to cut off all communication between the enemy and their confederates and auxiliaries, and to hinder them of all the help and assistance from them they can; so Job here represents God dealing with him as with an enemy, and therefore keeps at a distance from him all such from whom he might expect comfort and succour, as particularly his brethren; by whom may be meant such who in a natural relation are strictly and properly brethren; for such Job had, as appears from Job 42:11; who afterwards paid him a visit, and showed brotherly love to him; but for the present the affliction that God laid upon him had such an influence on theft, as to cause them to stand aloof off, and not come near him, and show any regard unto him; and as this was the effect of the afflicting hand of God, Job ascribes it to him, and which added to his affliction; see Psalm 69:8;

and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me; such as knew him in the time of his prosperity, and frequently visited him, and conversed with him, and he with them; but now, things having taken a different turn in his outward circumstances, they carried it strange to him, as if they had never been acquainted with him: "si fueris felix", &c.

He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me.
13–14. First, his relations outside his own immediate circle and his acquaintances stood aloof from him.

13–19. The estrangement and abhorrence of men.

Job’s complaint now is even more touching than before: God not only afflicted him with trouble but removed far from him all human sympathy. And there is something more breaking to the heart in the turning away of men from us than in the severest sufferings. It crushes us quite. We steel ourselves against it for a time and rise to it in bitterness and resentment, but gradually it breaks us and we are crushed at last. And this seems the way whether men frown on us with justice or no. And there came on Job when he contemplated his complete casting off by men, by his friends and his household and even by the little children, a complete break-down, and he cries, Pity me, O ye my friends (Job 19:21). This alienation of men was universal:—Verse 13. - He hath put my brethren far from me. Job had actual "brothers" (Job 42:11), who forsook him and "dealt deceitfully" with him (Job 6:15) during the time of his adversity, but were glad enough to return to him and "eat bread with him" in his later prosperous life. Their alienation from him during the period of his afflictions he here regards as among the trials laid upon him by God. Compare the similar woe of Job's great Antitype (John 5:5, "For neither did his brethren believe on him"). And mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me (comp. Psalm 38:11; Psalm 69:9; Psalm 88:8, 18). The desertion of the afflicted by their fair-weather friends is a standing topic with the poets and moralists of all ages and nations. Job was not singular in this affliction. 7 Behold I cry violence, and I am not heard;

I cry for help, and there is no justice.

8 My way He hath fenced round, that I cannot pass over,

And He hath set darkness on my paths.

9 He hath stripped me of mine honour,

And taken away the crown from my head.

10 He destroyed me on every side, then Iperished,

And lifted out as a tree my hope.

11 He kindled His wrath against me,

And He regarded me as one of His foes.

He cries aloud חמס (that which is called out regarded as accusa. or as an interjection, vid., on Habakkuk 1:2), i.e., that illegal force is exercised over him. He finds, however, neither with God nor among men any response of sympathy and help; he cries for help (which שׁוּע, perhaps connected with ישׁע, Arab. s‛t, from ישׁע, Arab. ws‛, seems to signify), without justice, i.e., the right of an impartial hearing and verdict, being attainable by him. He is like a prisoner who is confined to a narrow space (comp. Job 3:23; Job 13:27) and has no way out, since darkness is laid upon him wherever he may go. One is here reminded of Lamentations 3:7-9; and, in fact, this speech generally stands in no accidental mutual relation to the lamentations of Jeremiah. The "crown of my head" has also its parallel in Lamentations 5:16; that which was Job's greatest ornament and most costly jewel is meant. According to Job 29:14, צדק and משׁפט were his robe and diadem. These robes of honour God has stripped from him, this adornment more precious than a regal diadem He has taken from him since, i.e., his affliction puts him down as a transgressor, and abandons him to the insult of those around him. God destroyed him roundabout (destruxit), as a house that is broken down on all sides, and lifted out as a tree his hope. הסּיע does not in itself signify to root out, but only to lift out (Job 4:21, of the tent-cord, and with it the tent-pin) of a plant: to remove it from the ground in which it has grown, either to plant it elsewhere, as Psalm 80:9, or as here, to put it aside. The ground was taken away from his hope, so that its greenness faded away like that of a tree that is rooted up. The fut. consec. is here to be translated: then I perished (different from Job 14:20 : and consequently he perishes); he is now already one who is passed away, his existence is only the shadow of life. God has caused, fut. Hiph. apoc. ויּחר, His wrath to kindle against him, and regarded him in relation to Himself as His opponents, therefore as one of them. Perhaps, however, the expression is intentionally intensified here, in contrast with Job 13:24 : he, the one, is accounted by God as the host of His foes; He treats him as if all hostility to God were concentrated in him.

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