Job 6:7
The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 6:7. The things that my soul refused, &c. — “Job, persisting in his allegory,” says Schultens, “goes on to show how disagreeable to his stomach the speech of Eliphaz had been.” This learned critic accordingly translates the verse thus: My soul refuseth to touch such things; they are to me as corrupted food. But Dr. Dodd, after quoting these words of Schultens, observes, he “cannot help thinking that this and the two preceding verses will bear another interpretation, and that Job means, in them, to offer a justification for himself; to declare that he had sufficient ground for complaint, without which it was no more usual for man to lament than for the ox or ass to low or bray, when they had sufficient food, &c.” The sense of the verse seems to be, Those grievous afflictions, which I dreaded the very thought of, are now my daily, though sorrowful, bread.6:1-7 Job still justifies himself in his complaints. In addition to outward troubles, the inward sense of God's wrath took away all his courage and resolution. The feeling sense of the wrath of God is harder to bear than any outward afflictions. What then did the Saviour endure in the garden and on the cross, when he bare our sins, and his soul was made a sacrifice to Divine justice for us! Whatever burden of affliction, in body or estate, God is pleased to lay upon us, we may well submit to it as long as he continues to us the use of our reason, and the peace of our conscience; but if either of these is disturbed, our case is very pitiable. Job reflects upon his friends for their censures. He complains he had nothing offered for his relief, but what was in itself tasteless, loathsome, and burdensome.The things that my soul refused to touch - That I refused to touch - the word "soul" here being used to denote himself. The idea here is, that those things which formerly were objects of loathing to him, had become his painful and distressing food. The idea may be either that he was reduced to the greatest pain and distress in partaking of his food, since he loathed that which he was obliged to eat (compare notes, Job 3:24), or more probably his calamity is described under the image of loathsome food in accordance with the Oriental usage, by which one is said to eat or taste anything; that is, to experience it. His sorrows were as sickening to him as the articles of food which he had mentioned were to the stomach. The Septuagint renders it strangely, "For my wrath - μοῦ ἡ ὀργή mou hē orgē - cannot cease. For I see my food offensive as the smell of a lion' - ὥσπερ ὀσμὴν λέοντος hōsper osmēn leontos. 7. To "touch" is contrasted with "meat." "My taste refused even to touch it, and yet am I fed with such meat of sickness." The second clause literally, is, "Such is like the sickness of my food." The natural taste abhors even to touch insipid food, and such forms my nourishment. For my sickness is like such nauseous food [Umbreit]. (Ps 42:3; 80:5; 102:9). No wonder, then, I complain. Heb. As the sicknesses or sorrows of my meat, i.e. as my sorrowful meat, which I am constrained to eat with grief of heart. The particle as, either,

1. Notes not the similitude, but the truth of the thing, as it is oft used, as hath been formerly noted and proved. So the sense is, that such meat as formerly he should have abhorred to touch, either for the quality of it, or for his tears or ulcerous matter which mixed themselves with it, he was now forced by the necessities of nature, and his own poverty, to eat. Or,

2. Implies that the following words are not to be understood properly, but metaphorically. And so the sense may be this, Those grievous afflictions, which according to the principles and common inclinations of human nature I dreaded the very touch and thought of, they are now my daily, though sorrowful, bread; I am forced constantly to feed upon them; as other persons in great afflictions are said to be fed with bread of tears, Psalm 80:5, and to eat ashes like bread, Psalm 102:9. Others make this a censure of Eliphaz’s words, as ungrateful and loathsome to him. But that sense seems neither to agree with the words of this verse, nor with its scope and coherence with the former, of which See Poole "Job 6:6". The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat. Meaning either the above things, that which is unsavoury, and the white of an egg, of any other food, which in the time of his prosperity he would not touch with his fingers, much less eat, but now was glad of, and were his constant food in his present sorrowful circumstances; the sense given by some Jewish writers (i) is, that what he disdained to touch or wipe his hands with formerly, he was glad to make use of as a tablecloth to eat his bread of sorrow upon; but it rather intends the insipid and disagreeable words of his friends, their doctrines, instructions, and exhortations they gave him, but were refused and rejected by him; and which he before compares to unsavoury food, the white of an egg, or the spittle of a dreaming man, or the dribble of a fool; and which were as much loathed and nauseated by him, as his food that was "loathed" by him (k), either because of his want of appetite, or because of the badness of it, such as were corrupt and "rotten", and even as the "excrements" of food (l); those he refused to receive with as much indignation as he could such sort of food offered him; and therefore we find, that notwithstanding all that had been said to him, he continued in the same sentiment and disposition of mind, to desire death rather than life, as follows.

(i) Jarchi & R. Mesallem in ib. (k) "ut fastidia pannis mei", Cocceius. (l) "Velut excrement um panis", Neuman. apud Michael.

The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. This verse may be rendered not quite literally,

My soul refuseth to touch them!

Such things are like loathsome food to me.

Literally, like my corrupted, or, diseased food. Job does not name his afflictions but refers to them indirectly as “they” and “such things.” He compared his sufferings to food in ch. Job 3:24.Verse 7. - The things that my soul refuse to touch are as my sorrowful meat; rather, as in the Revised Version, my soul refuseth to touch them; they are as loathsome meat to me. The doubt remains whether Job is speaking of the arguments of Eliphaz, or of the series of afflictions which have befallen him. Either explanation is possible. 1 Then began Job, and said:

2 Oh that my vexation were but weighed,

And they would put my suffering in the balance against it!

3 Then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea:

Therefore my words are rash.

4 The arrows of the Almighty are in me,

The burning poison whereof drinketh up my spirit;

The terrors of Eloah set themselves in array against me.

Vexation (כּעשׂ) is what Eliphaz has reproached him with (Job 5:2). Job wishes that his vexation were placed in one scale and his היּה (Keri הוּה) in the other, and weighed together (יחד). The noun היּה (הוּה), from הוה (היה), flare, hiare, signifies properly hiatus, then vorago, a yawning gulf, χάσμα, then some dreadful calamity (vid., Hupfeld on Psalm 5:10). נשׂא, like נטל, Isaiah 11:15, to raise the balance, as pendere, to let it hang down; attollant instead of the passive. This is his desire; and if they but understood the matter, it would then be manifest (כּי־עתּה, as Job 3:13, which see), or: indeed then would it be manifest (כּי certainly in this inferential position has an affirmative signification: vid., Genesis 26:22; Genesis 29:32, and comp. 1 Samuel 25:34; 2 Samuel 2:27) that his suffering is heavier than the unmeasurable weight of the sand of the sea. יכבּד is neuter with reference to והיּתי. לעוּ, with the tone on the penult., which is not to be accounted for by the rhythm as in Psalm 37:20; Psalm 137:7, cannot be derived from לעה, but only from לוּע, not however in the signification to suck down, but from לוּע equals לעה, Arab. lagiya or also lagâ, temere loqui, inania effutire, - a signification which suits excellently here.

(Note: ילע, Proverbs 20:25, which is doubly accented, and must be pronounced as oxytone, has also this meaning: the snare of a man who has thoughtlessly uttered what is holy (an interjectional clause equals such an one has implicated himself), and after (having made) vows will harbour care (i.e., whether he will be able to fulfil them).)

His words are like those of one in delirium. עמּדי is to be explained according to Psalm 38:3; חמתם, according to Psalm 7:15. יערכוּני is short for עלי מלחמה יערכי, they make war against me, set themselves in battle array against me. Bttcher, without brachylogy: they cause me to arm myself, put one of necessity on the defensive, which does not suit the subject. The terrors of God strike down all defence. The wrath of God is irresistible. The sting of his suffering, however, is the wrath of God which his spirit drinks as a draught of poison (comp. Job 21:20), and consequently wrings from him, even from his deepest soul, the thought that God is become his enemy: therefore his is an endless suffering, and therefore is it that he speaks so despondingly.

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