1 "My soul is weary of my life. I will leave my complaint upon myself. I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
2 I will say to God, 'Do not condemn me. Show me why you contend with me.
3 Is it good to you that you should oppress, that you should despise the work of your hands and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?
4 Do you have eyes of flesh? Or do you see as man sees?
5 Are your days as the days of man? Are your years as man's days,
6 That you inquire after my iniquity and search after my sin?
7 You know that I am not wicked. And there is no one who can deliver out of your hand.
8 Your hands have made me and fashioned me in all my parts, yet you destroy me.
9 Remember, I implore you, that you have made me as the clay. And will you bring me into dust again?
10 Have you not poured me out as milk and curdled me like cheese?
11 You have clothed me with skin and flesh and fenced me with bones and sinews.
12 You have granted me life and favor, and your visitation has preserved my spirit.
13 And these things you have hid in your heart. I know that this is with you.
14 If I sin, then you mark me and will not acquit me from my iniquity.
15 If I am wicked, woe to me. And if I am righteous, yet I will not lift up my head. I am full of confusion; therefore, see my affliction.
16 And if my head exalts itself, you hunt me as a fierce lion, and again you show yourself wonderful upon me.
17 You renew your witnesses against me and increase your indignation upon me. Changes and war are against me.
18 Why then have you brought me forth from the womb? O that I had expired, and no eye had seen me!
19 I should have been as though I had not been. I should have been carried from the womb to the grave.'
20 Are my days not few? Cease then and leave me alone so that I may take comfort a little,
21 Before I go where I shall not return from, even to the land of darkness and the shadow of death,
22 A land of darkness as darkness itself, and of the shadow of death without any order, and where the light is as darkness."
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
Job here declares the greatness of his afflictions, which made him weary of his life, and could not help complaining; entreats the Lord not to condemn him but show him the reason of his thus dealing with him (verses 1-2); and expostulates with him about it, and suggests as if it was severe, and not easily reconciled to his perfections, when he knew he was not a wicked man (verses 3-7); he puts him in mind of his formation and preservation of him, and after all destroyed him (verses 8-12); and represents his case as very distressed; whether he was wicked or righteous it mattered not, his afflictions were increasing upon him (verses 13-17); and all this he observes, in order to justify his eager desire after death, which he renews (verses 18-19); and entreats, since his days he had to live were but few, that God would give him some respite before he went into another state, which he describes (verses 20-22).
[v.2] - From Matthew Henry's Commentary: "It is the comfort of those who are in Christ Jesus that, though they are in affliction, there is no condemnation to them (Romans 8:1). No, they are chastened of the Lord that they may not be condemned with the world (1st Corinthians 11:32)... When God afflicts us he contends with us, and when he contends with us there is always a reason. He is never angry without a cause, though we are; and it is desirable to know what the reason is, that we may repent of, mortify, and forsake the sin for which God has a controversy with us. In inquiring it out, let conscience have leave to do its office and to deal faithfully with us, as in Genesis 42:21."
[v.4] - From Matthew Henry's Commentary: "Many things are hidden from eyes of flesh, the most curious and piercing; there is a path which even the vulture's eye has not seen: but nothing is, or can be, hidden from the eye of God, to which all things are naked and open. Eyes of flesh see the outward appearance only... but God sees everything truly. His sight cannot be deceived, for he tries the heart, and is a witness to the thoughts and intents of that. Eyes of flesh discover things gradually, and, when we gain the sight of one thing, we lose the sight of another; but God sees everything at one view. Eyes of flesh are soon tired, must be closed every night but the keeper of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps, nor does his sight ever decay. God sees not as man sees, that is, he does not judge as man judges... as the thing appears rather than as it is, and too often according to the bias of the affections, passions, prejudices, and interest; but we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth, and that he knows truth, not by information, but by his own inspection."
[v.5] - From Matthew Henry's Commentary: "Men grow wiser by experience and more knowing by daily observation; with them truth is the daughter of time, and therefore they must take time for their searches, and, if one experiment fail, must try another. But it is not so with God; to him nothing is past, nothing future, but everything present. The days of time, by which the life of man is measured, are nothing to the years of eternity, in which the life of God is wrapped up."
[v.8] - From Matthew Henry's Commentary: "God made us, he, and not our parents, who were only the instruments of his power and providence in our production. He made us, and not we ourselves. His hands have made and fashioned these bodies of ours and every part of them, and they are fearfully and wonderfully made. The soul also, which animates the body, is his gift."
[v.11a] - From Matthew Henry's Commentary: "The admirable structure of human bodies is an illustrious instance of the wisdom, power, and goodness of the Creator. What a pity is it that these bodies should be instruments of unrighteousness which are capable of being temples of the Holy Spirit!"
[v.11b] - "fenced" - Literally, "hedged."
[v.12] - From Matthew Henry's Commentary: "God is the Father of spirits: he made us living souls, and endued us with the power of reason; he gave us life and favor, and life is a favor—a great favor, more than food, more than clothing—a distinguishing favor, a favor that puts us into a capacity of receiving other favors... Having lighted the lamp of life, he does not leave it to burn upon its own stock, but continually supplies it with fresh oil."
[v.15] - "A sinful state is a woeful state." —Matthew Henry
[v.16-17] - "God usually shows himself kind to his people; if at any time he shows himself otherwise, it is his wonderful work, his wonderful act, and he does in it show himself marvelous." —Matthew Henry
[v.17] - From the treasury of scripture knowledge: "I am as if attacked by successive troops; if one company is wearied, another succeeds to the attack."
[v.20] - "Those who are not duly thankful for constant ease should think how welcome one hour's ease would be if they were in constant pain." —Matthew Henry
[v.22a] - "the shades of death" - From the treasury of scripture knowledge: "Where death projects his shadow, intercepting the light of life."
[v.22b] - "without any order" - From the treasury of scripture knowledge: "Having no arrangement, no distinction of inhabitants; the poor and the rich are there, the king and the beggar, their bodies in equal corruption and disgrace."