Wesley's Notes on the Bible
But Job answered and said,
Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together!
6:2 My grief - The cause of my grief. Weighed - Were fully understood, and duly considered. O that I had an equal judge! that would understand my case, and consider whether I have not cause for complaints. Together - Together with any other most heavy thing to be put into the other scale.
For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up.
6:3 Sea - Which is heavier than dry sand. Swallowed - My voice and spirit fail me. I cannot find, or utter words sufficient to express my sorrow or misery.
For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.
6:4 Arrows - So he fitly calls his afflictions, because, like arrows, they came upon him swiftly and suddenly one after another, immediately shot by God into his spirit. Poison - Implying that these arrows were more keen than ordinary, being dipped in God's wrath, as the barbarous nations used to dip their arrows in poison, that they might not only pierce, but burn up and consume the vital parts. Drinketh - Exhausteth and consumeth my soul. In array - They are like a numerous army, who invade me on every side. This was the sorest part of his calamity, wherein he was an eminent type of Christ, who complained most of the sufferings of his soul. Now is my soul troubled. My soul is exceeding sorrowful. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Indeed trouble of mind is the sorest trouble. A wounded spirit who can bear.
Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder?
6:5 Doth, and c. - Even the brute beasts, when they have convenient food, are quiet and contented. So it is no wonder that you complain not, who live in ease and prosperity, any more than I did, when I wanted nothing.
Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?
6:6 Can, and c. - Do men use to eat unsavoury meats with delight, or without complaint? Men commonly complain of their meat when it is but unsavoury, how much more when it is so bitter as mine is?
The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.
6:7 The things, and c. - The sense may be, those grievous afflictions, which I dreaded the very thought of, are now my daily, though sorrowful bread.
Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!
Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!
6:9 Destroy - To end my days and calamities together.
Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.
6:10 Harden - I would bear up with courage under all my torments, with the hopes of death, and blessedness after death. Spare - Not suffer me to live any longer. Concealed - As I have steadfastly believed them, and not wilfully departed from them, so I have not been ashamed, nor afraid, boldly to profess and preach the true religion in the midst of Heathens. And therefore I know if God doth cut me off, I shall be a gainer by it.
What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life?
6:11 Strength - My strength is so spent, that it is vain for me to hope for such restitution as thou hast promised me, chap.5:22. End - What is death to me? It is not terrible, but comfortable. That - Then why should I desire to prolong my life. But as desirous of death as Job was, yet he never offered to put an end to his own life. Such a thought will never be entertained by any, that have the least regard to the law of God and nature. How uneasy soever the soul's confinement in the body may be, it must by no means break the prison, but wait for a fair discharge.
Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass?
6:12 Is, and c. - I am not made of stone or brass, but of flesh and blood, as others are, therefore I am unable to endure these miseries longer, and can neither hope for. nor desire the continuance of my life.
Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me?
6:13 What, and c. - If my outward condition be helpless and hopeless? Have I therefore lost my understanding, cannot I judge whether it is more desirable for me to live or to die, whether I be an hypocrite or no, whether your words have truth and weight in them; whether you take the right method in dealing with me?
To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.
6:14 To him - Heb. to him that is melted or dissolved with affections. But. and c. - But thou hast no pity for thy friend; a plain evidence that thou art guilty of what thou didst charge me with, even of the want of the fear of God. The least which those that are at ease can do for them that are pained, is to pity them, to feel a tender concern for them, and to sympathize with them.
My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away;
6:15 Brethren - Friends; for though Eliphaz only had spoken, the other two shewed their approbation of his discourse. Deceitfully - Adding to the afflictions which they said they came to remove. And it is no new thing, for even brethren to deal deceitfully. It is therefore our wisdom to cease from man. We cannot expect too little from the creature, or too much from the creator.
Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid:
6:16 Which - Which in winter when the traveller neither needs nor desires it, are full of water congealed by the frost. Snow - Under which the water from snow, which formerly fell, and afterward was dissolved, lies hid. So he speaks not of those brooks which are fed by a constant spring, but of them which are filled by accidental falls of water or snow.
What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place.
6:17 Warm - When the weather grows milder. Hot - In the hot season, when waters are most refreshing and necessary.
The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and perish.
6:18 Perish - They are gone out of their channel, flowing hither and thither, 'till they are quite consumed.
The troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them.
6:19 Tema - This place and Sheba were both parts of the hot and dry country of Arabia, in which waters were very scarce, and therefore precious and desirable, especially to travellers. Companies - Men did not there travel singly, as we do, but in companies for their security against wild beasts and robbers.
They were confounded because they had hoped; they came thither, and were ashamed.
6:20 Hoped - They comforted themselves with the expectation of water. Ashamed - As having deceived themselves and others. We prepare confusion for ourselves, by our vain hopes: the reeds break under us, because we lean upon them.
For now ye are nothing; ye see my casting down, and are afraid.
6:21 Nothing - You are to me as if you had never come to me; for I have no comfort from you. Afraid - You are shy of me, and afraid for yourselves, lest some further plagues should come upon me, wherein you for my sake, should be involved: or, lest I should be burdensome to you.
Did I say, Bring unto me? or, Give a reward for me of your substance?
6:22 Did I say - Give me something for my support or relief. You might have at least given me comfortable words, when I expected nothing else from you.
Or, Deliver me from the enemy's hand? or, Redeem me from the hand of the mighty?
6:23 Deliver - By the force of your arms, as Abraham delivered Lot. Redeem - By price or ransom.
Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.
6:24 Teach - Convince me by solid arguments. I will - I will patiently hear and gladly receive your counsels.
How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?
6:25 Forcible - The words of truth have a marvellous power. Reprove - But there is no truth in your assertions or weight in your arguments.
Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind?
6:26 Words - Do you think it is sufficient to quarrel with some of my words, without giving allowance for human infirmity, or extreme misery. Desperate - Of a poor miserable, hopeless and helpless man. As wind - Which pass away and are forgotten.
Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.
6:27 Overwhelm - You load with censures and calumnies. Desolate - Me who am deprived of all my children, my estate, and my friends. I spoke all I thought, as to my friends, and you thence occasion to cast me down.
Now therefore be content, look upon me; for it is evident unto you if I lie.
6:28 Look - Consider my cause better than you have done, that you may give a more righteous judgment. Evident - You will plainly discover it.
Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it.
6:29 Return - Turn from your former judgment. Iniquity - Or, there shall be no iniquity, in my words. Righteousness - In this cause or matter between you and me; and you will find the right to be on my side.
Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things?
6:30 Is there - Consider if there be any untruth or iniquity in what I have already said, or shall farther speak. Taste - My judgment, which judgeth of words and actions, as the palate doth of meats.