Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Life. Job had intimated a fear to proceed any farther. (Calmet) — But perceiving that he had not convinced his friends, he continues his discourse (Haydock) in still stronger terms, yet so as to acknowledge the justice of God. (Calmet) — Speech against. Hebrew, “complaint upon, (Haydock) or respecting myself,” I will deplore my misfortunes, (Calmet) or I will say no more about them. (Menochius)
Ver. 2. Judgest. Hebrew, “contendest with me,” as with an enemy? Is it to punish some fault, or only to make thy grace shine forth? (Calmet)
Ver. 3. Calumniate permissively, by treating me in such a manner, that others lay false crimes to my charge. Hebrew, “oppress and despise the work.” — Wicked, who are ready enough (Haydock) to assert that virtue is useless, (Calmet) and that God mindeth not human affairs. My affliction will confirm them in their false notion, (Haydock) and my friends will triumph as if their arguments were well founded. The devil will also exult. (Calmet) — He knew that God could not be guilty of calumny, and inquireth why he is afflicted. (Worthington)
Ver. 4. Seeth, judging only of the exterior. (Tirinus) (Ver. 6.)
Ver. 5. Days, sometimes denote judgments, 1 Corinthians iv. 3. Is God liable to change, like men, or does he stand in need of time to examine them, or fear lest they should escape? (Calmet) — Is it necessary for him to prove his friends, to know their real dispositions? (Sanctius)
Ver. 7. Shouldst. Hebrew and Septuagint, “Thou knowest that….and there,” &c. (Haydock) — It would be vain for me to appeal to any other. (Calmet)
Ver. 8. Sudden, like a potter’s vessel? Job was reduced to misery all at once. (Calmet) — He acknowledges that God may destroy him as his creature; but that character encourages him to hope for mercy, grace, and glory. (Worthington)
Ver. 10. Milked. Hebrew, “poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese?” (Haydock) — See Wisdom vii. 1. The ancients explained our origin by the comparison of milk curdled, or cheese; (Arist.[Aristotle?] i. 10.; Pliny, [Natural History?] vii. 15.) which the moderns have explained on more plausible principles. (Calmet) — Yet still we may acknowledge our ignorance with the mother of Machabees, 2 Machabees vii. 22.
Ver. 12. Thy fatherly visitation (Haydock) but still preserved my life. (Calmet)
Ver. 13. Rememberest. Septuagint, “canst do all things.” Hebrew, “this is with thee.” (Haydock) — I am convinced that thou still regardest me with affection, though it would appear as if thou hadst forgotten me. (Calmet)
Ver. 14. Iniquity? Punishing me for the sins which seemed to be pardoned. (Calmet) — Hebrew, “If I sin, then thou markest me, and wilt not suffer; (Haydock) or if thou hast not pardoned my iniquity: (15) And,” &c. (Calmet)
Ver. 15. Woe. Thou wilt not suffer me to pass unpunished. (Calmet) — Head. I will adore in silence, chap. ix. 15, 31. (Ven. Bede) (Calmet)
Ver. 16. Pride. If I give way to pride, thou wilt pull me down, though I were as fierce and strong as a lioness. Hebrew, “for it (affliction) increaseth. Thou huntest me.” (Protestants) — Returning. Hebrew and Septuagint, “again.” (Haydock)
Ver. 17. Witnesses, afflictions; (Menochius) “wounds.” (Pagnin) (Tirinus)
Ver. 20. Lament. Hebrew, “take comfort,” (Haydock) or breath. (Calmet) — Repentance is always necessary, but more particularly at the hour of death. (Worthington)
Ver. 21. Death, to the grave, or to hell, (Calmet) if my sins deserve it. (Haydock)
Ver. 22. Horror. At death all distinction of ranks is at an end. (Tirinus) — Hebrew, “where the light is as darkness.” (Protestants) Septuagint, “To the land of eternal darkness, where there is no sound, nor life of mortals to see.” (Haydock)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Job laments his afflictions, and begs to be delivered.
1 My soul is weary of my life, I will let go my speech against myself, I will speak in the bitterness of my soul.
2 I will say to God: Do not condemn me: tell me why thou judgest me so?
3 Doth it seem good to thee that thou shouldst calumniate me, and oppress me, the work of thy own hands, and help the counsel of the wicked?
4 Hast thou eyes of flesh: or, shalt thou see as man seeth?
5 Are thy days as the days of man, and are thy years as the times of men:
6 That thou shouldst inquire after my iniquity, and search after my sin?
7 And shouldst know that I have done no wicked thing, whereas there is no man that can deliver out of thy hand?
8 Thy hands have made me, and fashioned me wholly round about, and dost thou thus cast me down headlong on a sudden?
9 Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay, and thou wilt bring me into dust again.
10 Hast thou not milked me as milk, and curdled me like cheese?
11 Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh: thou hast put me together with bones and sinews:
12 Thou hast granted me life and mercy, and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit.
13 Although thou conceal these things in thy heart, yet I know that thou rememberest all things.
14 If I have sinned, and thou hast spared me for an hour: why dost thou not suffer me to be clean from my iniquity?
15 And if I be wicked, woe unto me: and if just, I shall not lift up my head, being filled with affliction and misery.
16 And for pride thou wilt take me as a lioness, and returning, thou tormentest me wonderfully.
17 Thou renewest thy witnesses against me, and multipliest thy wrath upon me, and pains war against me.
18 Why didst thou bring me forth out of the womb? O that I had been consumed, that eye might not see me!
19 I should have been as if I had not been, carried from the womb to the grave.
20 Shall not the fewness of my days be ended shortly? Suffer me, therefore, that I may lament my sorrow a little:
21 Before I go and return no more, to a land that is dark and covered with the mist of death:
22 A land of misery and darkness, where the shadow of death, and no order, but everlasting horror dwelleth.