Job 19:3
These ten times have you reproached me: you are not ashamed that you make yourselves strange to me.
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19:1-7 Job's friends blamed him as a wicked man, because he was so afflicted; here he describes their unkindness, showing that what they condemned was capable of excuse. Harsh language from friends, greatly adds to the weight of afflictions: yet it is best not to lay it to heart, lest we harbour resentment. Rather let us look to Him who endured the contradiction of sinners against himself, and was treated with far more cruelty than Job was, or we can be.These ten times - Many times; the word "ten" being used as we often say, "ten a dozen" or "twenty," to denote many; see Genesis 31:7, "And your father hath changed my wages "ten times." Leviticus 26:26, "and when I have broken your staff of bread, "ten women" shall bake your bread, in one oven;" compare Numbers 14:22; Nehemiah 4:6.

You are not ashamed that you make yourselves strange to me - Margin, "harden yourselves strange to me." Margin, "harden yourselves against me." Gesenius, and after him Noyes, renders this, "Shameless ye stun me." Wemyss, "Are ye not ashamed to treat me thus cruelly? The word used here (הכר hâkar) occurs no no where else, and hence, it is difficult to determine its meaning. The Vulgate renders it, "oppressing me." The Septuagint, "and you are not ashamed to press upon me." - ἐπίκεισθέ υοι epikeisthe moi. Schultens has gone into an extended examination of its meaning, and supposes that the primary idea is that of being "stiff," or "rigid." The word in Arabic, he says, means to be "stupid with wonder." It is applied, he supposes, to those who are "stiff or rigid" with stupor; and then to those who have a stony heart and an iron an iron fore-head - and who can look on the suffering without feeling or compassion. This sense accords well with the connection here. Gesenius, however, supposes that the primary idea is that of beating or pounding; and hence, of stunning by repeated blows. In either case the sense would be substantially the same - that of "stunning." The idea given by our translators of making themselves "strange" was derived from the supposition that the word might be formed from נכר nâkar - to be strange, foreign; to estrange, alienate, etc. For a more full examination of the word, the reader may consult Schultens, or Rosenmuller "in loco."

3. These—prefixed emphatically to numbers (Ge 27:36).

ten—that is, often (Ge 31:7).

make yourselves strange—rather, "stun me" [Gesenius]. (See Margin for a different meaning [that is, "harden yourselves against me"]).

These ten times, i.e. many times. A certain number for an uncertain. So this phrase is oft used, as Genesis 31:7 Numbers 14:22, &c.

That ye make yourselves strange to me; that you carry yourselves like strangers to me, and are not concerned nor affected with my calamities, and condemn me as if you had never known my former piety and integrity. These ten times have ye reproached me,.... Referring not to ten sections or paragraphs, in which they had done it, as Jarchi; or to the five speeches his friends, in which their reproaches were doubled; or to Job's words, and their answer, as Saadiah; for it does not denote an exact number of their reproaches, which Job was not so careful to count; but it signifies that he had been many times reproached by them; so Aben Ezra, and in which sense the phrase is often used, see Genesis 31:7; it is the lot of good men in all ages to be reproached by carnal and profane sinners, on account of religion, and for righteousness' sake, as Christians are for the sake of Christ and his Gospel; and which Moses esteemed greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt; but to be reproached by friends, and that as an hypocrite and a wicked man, as Job was, must be very cutting; and this being often repeated, as it was an aggravation of the sin of his friends, so likewise of his affliction and patience:

ye are not ashamed, so that ye make yourselves strange to me; they looked shy at him; would not be free and friendly with him, but carried it strange to him, and seemed to have their affections alienated from him. There should not be a strangeness in good men one to another, since they are not aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, to the grace of God, and communion with him; since they are fellow citizens, and of the household of God; belong to the same city, share in the same privileges, are of the same family, children of the same father, and brethren one of another, members of the same body, heirs of the same grace and glory, and are to dwell together in heaven to all eternity; wherefore they should not make themselves strange to each other, but should speak often, kindly, and affectionately, one to another, and freely converse together about spiritual things; should pray with one another, and build up each other on their most holy faith, and by love serve one another, and do all good offices mutually that lie in their power, and bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law Christ: but, instead of this, Job's friends would scarcely look at him, much less speak one kind word to him; yea, they "hardened themselves against" him, as some (e) render the word; had no compassion on him or pity for him in his distressed circumstances, which their relation to him obliged unto, and was due unto him on the score of friendship; nay, they "mocked" at him, which is the sense of the word, according to Ben Gersom (f); and of this he had complained before, Job 12:4; and with some (g) it has the signification of impudence and audaciousness, from the sense of the word in the Arabic language, see Isaiah 3:9; as if they behaved towards him in a very impudent manner: or, though they "knew" him, as the Targum paraphrases it, yet they were "not ashamed" to reproach him; though they knew that he was a man that feared God; they knew his character and conversation before his all afflictions came on, and yet traduced him as an hypocrite and a wicked man. Whatever is sinful, men should be ashamed of, and will be sooner or later; not to be ashamed thereof is an argument of great hardness and impenitence; and among other things it becomes saints to be ashamed of their making themselves strange to one another. Some render it interrogatively (h), "are ye not ashamed?" &c. you may well be ashamed, if you are not; this is put in order to make them ashamed.

(e) "indurastis facies vestras contra me", Vatablus; so Broughton. (f) "Erubescitis subsannare me", Pagninus. (g) Drusius; so Schultens. (h) So Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

These {a} ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me.

(a) That is, many times, as in Ne 4:12.

3. Job 19:23-27. Hopeless in the present he turns his eye to the future. He desires that his protest of innocence might find indelible record in the rock, that the generations to come might read it. Yet how small a thing that would be to him, whose chief sorrow lay in the alienation of God from his spirit. He shall have more. He knows that God shall yet appear to vindicate him, and that he shall see Him with his eyes—in peace.

Third, Job 19:28-29. Finally he adds a brief threat to his friends.

3. Ten times is a round number for often, Genesis 31:7; Numbers 14:22.

make yourselves strange to me] An expression of uncertain meaning, as the word does not occur again, unless, as some suppose, it be found in Isaiah 3:9. The meaning may be, ye wrong me, the root having some resemblance to an Arabic verb rendered by Lane “to wrong,” also “to be persistent in contention.” Ew., ye are unfeeling towards me.Verse 3. - These ten times have ye reproached me. (For the use of the expression "ten times" for "many times." "frequently." see Genesis 31:7, 41; Numbers 14:22; Nehemiah 4:12; Daniel 1:20, etc.) Ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me; rather, that ye deal hardly with me (see the Revised Version). The verb used does not occur elsewhere, but seems to have the meaning of "ill use" or "ill treat" (see Professor Lee's "Commentary on the Book of Job" p. 328). 16 His roots wither beneath,

And above his branch is lopped off.

17 His remembrance is vanished from the land,

And he hath no name far and wide on the plain;

18 They drive him from light into darkness,

And chase him out of the world.

19 He hath neither offspring nor descendant among his people,

Nor is there an escaped one in his dwellings.

The evil-doer is represented under the figure of a plant, Job 18:16, as we have had similar figures already, Job 8:16., Job 15:30, Job 15:32.;

(Note: To such biblical figures taken from plants, according to which root and branch are become familiar in the sense of ancestors and descendants (comp. Sir. 23:25, 40:15; Wisd. 4:3-5; Romans 11:16), the arbor consanguineitatis, which is not Roman, but is become common in the Christian refinement of the Roman right, may be traced back; the first trace of this is found in Isidorus Hispalensis (as also the Cabbalistic tree אילן, which represents the Sephir-genealogy, has its origin in Spain).)

his complete extirpation is like the dying off of the root and of the branch, as Amos 2:9; Isaiah 5:24, and "let him not have a root below and a branch above" in the inscription on the sarcophagus of Eschmunazar. Here we again meet with ימּל, the proper meaning of which is so disputed; it is translated by the Targ. (as by us) as Niph. יתמולל, but the meaning "to wither" is near at hand, which, as we said on Job 14:2, may be gained as well from the primary notion "to fall to pieces" (whence lxx ἐπιπεσεῖται), as from the primary notion "to parch, dry." אמל (whence אמלל, formed after the manner of the Arabic IX. form, usually of failing; vid., Caspari, 59) offers a third possible explanation; it signifies originally to be long and lax, to let anything hang down, and thence in Arab. (amala) to hope, i.e., to look out into the distance. Not the evil-doer's family alone is rooted out, but also his memory. With חוּץ, a very relative notion, both the street outside in front of the house (Job 31:32), and the pasture beyond the dwelling (Job 5:10), are described; here it is to be explained according to Proverbs 8:26 (ארץ וחוצות), where Hitz. remarks: "The lxx translates correctly ἀοικήτους. The districts beyond each persons' land, which also belong to no one else, the desert, whither one goes forth, is meant." So ארץ seems also here (comp. Job 30:8) to denote the land that is regularly inhabited - Job himself is a large proprietor within the range of a city (Job 29:7) - and חוץ the steppe traversed by the wandering tribes which lies out beyond. Thus also the Syr. version transl. 'al apai barito, over the plain of the desert, after which the Arabic version is el-barrı̂je (the synon. of bedw, bâdije, whence the name of the Beduin

(Note: The village with its meadow-land is el-beled wa 'l-berr. The arable land, in distinction from the steppe, is el-ardd el-âmira, and the steppe is el-berrı̂je. If both are intended, ardd can be used alone. Used specially, el-berrı̂je is the proper name for the great Syrian desert; hence the proverb: el-hhurrı̂je fi 'l-berrı̇je, there is freedom in the steppe (not in towns and villages). - Wetzst.)).

What is directly said in Job 18:17 is repeated figuratively in Job 18:18; as also what has been figuratively expressed in Job 18:16 is repeated in Job 18:19 without figure. The subj. of the verbs in Job 18:18 remains in the background, as Job 4:19; Psalm 63:11; Luke 12:20 : they thrust him out of the light (of life, prosperity, and fame) into the darkness (of misfortune, death, and oblivion); so that the illustris becomes not merely ignobilis, but totally ignotus, and they hunt him forth (ינדּהוּ from the Hiph. הנד of the verb נדד, instead of which it might also be ינדהו from נדּה, they banish him) out of the habitable world (for this is the signification of תּבל, the earth as built upon and inhabited). There remains to him in his race neither sprout nor shoot; thus the rhyming alliteration נין and נכד (according to Luzzatto on Isaiah 14:22, used only of the descendants of persons in high rank, and certainly a nobler expression than our rhyming pairs: Germ. Stumpf und Stiel, Mann und Maus, Kind und Kegel). And there is no escaped one (as Deuteronomy 2:34 and freq., Arab. shârid, one fleeing; sharûd, a fugitive) in his abodes (מגוּר, as only besides Psalm 55:16). Thus to die away without descendant and remembrance is still at the present day among the Arab races that profess Dı̂n Ibrâhı̂m (the religion of Abraham) the most unhappy thought, for the point of gravitation of continuance beyond the grave is transferred by them to the immortality of the righteous in the continuance of his posterity and works in this world (vid., supra, p. 386); and where else should it be at the time of Job, since no revelation had as yet drawn the curtain aside from the future world? Now follows the declamatory conclusion of the speech.

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