The Trial of Job

Chapter 30

Job's honor is turned into extreme contempt, 1-14; and his prosperity into calamity, 15-31.

"But now those who are younger than I/
have me in derision,/
whose fathers I would have disdained/
to put with the dogs of my flock.

Indeed, to what might the strength of their hands profit me,/
in whom old age had perished?

For lack and famine they were solitary,/
fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste.

They cut up mallows by the bushes/
and juniper roots for their food.

They were driven forth from among men/
(they cried after them as after a thief),

To dwell in the clefts of the valleys,/
in caves of the earth, and in the rocks.

Among the bushes they brayed./
Under the nettles they were collected.

They were children of fools, even children of base men./
They were viler than the earth.

And now I am their song./
Indeed, I am their by-word.

10 They abhor me, they flee far from me,/
and they do not spare to spit in my face.

11 Because he has loosened my cord and afflicted me,/
they have also let loose the bridle before me.

12 Upon my right hand rise the youth./
They push away my feet/
and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction.

13 They mar my path./
They set forward my calamity./
They have no helper.

14 They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters./
In the desolation they rolled themselves upon me.

15 Terrors are turned upon me./
They pursue my soul as the wind,/
and my welfare passes away as a cloud.

16 And now my soul is poured out upon me./
The days of affliction have taken hold upon me.

17 My bones are pierced in me in the night season/
and my sinews take no rest.

18 By the great force of my disease my garment is changed./
It binds me around as the collar of my coat.

19 He has cast me into the mire,/
and I have become like dust and ashes.

20 I cry to you, and you do not hear me./
I stand up, and you do not regard me.

21 You have become cruel to me./
With your strong hand you oppose yourself against me.

22 You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride upon it./
You dissolve my substance.

23 For I know that you will bring me to death/
and to the house appointed for all living.

24 Yet he will not stretch out his hand to the grave,/
though they cry in his destruction.

25 Did I not weep for him who was in trouble?/
Was my soul not grieved for the poor?

26 When I looked for good, evil came./
And when I waited for light, there came darkness.

27 My bowels boiled and did not rest./
The days of affliction came upon me.

28 I went mourning without the sun./
I stood up and cried in the congregation.

29 I am a brother to jackals/
and a companion to owls.

30 My skin is black upon me/
and my bones are burned with heat.

31 My harp is also turned to mourning/
and my pipe into the voice of those who weep."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Job, Chapter 30[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

Job in this chapter sets forth his then unhappy state and condition, in contrast with his former state of prosperity described in the preceding chapter: things had taken a strange turn, and were just the reverse of what they were before; he who was before in such high esteem and credit with all sorts of men, young and old, high and low, rich and poor, now is had in derision by the meanest and basest of men, whose characters are described (verses 1-8); and the instances of their contempt of him by words and gestures are given (verses 9-14); he who enjoyed so much ease of mind, and health of body, is now filled with distresses of soul, and bodily diseases (verses 15-19); and he who enjoyed so much of the presence of God, and communion with him, and of his love and favor, was now disregarded, and, as he thought, cruelly used by him, who not only had destroyed his substance, but was about to bring him to the grave (verses 20-24); all which came upon him, though he had a sympathizing heart with the poor, and those who were in trouble, and when he expected better things (verses 25-28); and he closes the chapter, lamenting his sad and sorrowful circumstances (verses 29-31).

[v.11] - "he has loosened my cord" - From Matthew Poole's Commentary: "He has slackened the string (as this word sometimes signifies) of my bow, and so rendered my bow and arrows useless, either to offend others, or to defend myself, i.e. he has deprived me of my strength or defense: so this is opposed to that expression, Job 29:20."

[v.22] - "substance" - Or, "wisdom."