Matthew Henry's Commentary
My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me.
17:1-9 Job reflects upon the harsh censures his friends had passed upon him, and, looking on himself as a dying man, he appeals to God. Our time is ending. It concerns us carefully to redeem the days of time, and to spend them in getting ready for eternity. We see the good use the righteous should make of Job's afflictions from God, from enemies, and from friends. Instead of being discouraged in the service of God, by the hard usage this faithful servant of God met with, they should be made bold to proceed and persevere therein. Those who keep their eye upon heaven as their end, will keep their feet in the paths of religion as their way, whatever difficulties and discouragements they may meet with.
Are there not mockers with me? and doth not mine eye continue in their provocation?
Lay down now, put me in a surety with thee; who is he that will strike hands with me?
For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them.
He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail.
He hath made me also a byword of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret.
Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow.
Upright men shall be astonied at this, and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite.
The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.
But as for you all, do ye return, and come now: for I cannot find one wise man among you.
17:10-16 Job's friends had pretended to comfort him with the hope of his return to a prosperous estate; he here shows that those do not go wisely about the work of comforting the afflicted, who fetch their comforts from the possibility of recovery in this world. It is our wisdom to comfort ourselves, and others, in distress, with that which will not fail; the promise of God, his love and grace, and a well-grounded hope of eternal life. See how Job reconciles himself to the grave. Let this make believers willing to die; it is but going to bed; they are weary, and it is time that they were in their beds. Why should not they go willingly when their Father calls them? Let us remember our bodies are allied to corruption, the worm and the dust; and let us seek for that lively hope which shall be fulfilled, when the hope of the wicked shall be put out in darkness; that when our bodies are in the grave, our souls may enjoy the rest reserved for the people of God.
My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart.
They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness.
If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness.
I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.
And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it?
They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust.