Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Spirit. Hebrew, “breath is corrupt,” (Haydock) or spent. I cannot breathe without the greatest difficulty. (Calmet) — Only. Septuagint, “But I want the grave, and do not obtain it.” (Haydock)
Ver. 2. Not sinned. That is, I am not guilty of such sins as they charge me with. (Challoner) — Hebrew, “the wicked were not with me” in friendship at any time. Protestants, “Are there not mockers with me?” (Haydock) — Job was doubly afflicted, with corporal pain and calumny: yet hopeth in God. (Worthington)
Ver. 3. Fight. I am secure under thy protection. Hebrew, “who will strike hands with me?” or stand bondsman for my debt? (Proverbs vi. 1.) Who will take my place? You accuse me of weakness and of impiety: but how would you act, if you were treated in the same manner? (Calmet)
Ver. 4. Understanding. They will not answer for me. They are not of such a generous disposition; nor can they distinguish between the punishment of guilt and the trial of virtue. (Calmet)
Ver. 5. He. My friend. (Calmet) — Hebrew, “speaketh flattery,” (Haydock) or promiseth to caress me, while he neglects his own children. But the sense of the Vulgate and Chaldean seem preferable. My friends speak as if they could do any thing, and as if no trial would stagger their resolution. But they durst not be in my situation for a short time. (Calmet) — Like hunters, who have promised their children some prey, my friends will not, however, gain the victory over me. (Menochius)
Ver. 6. Example. Protestants, “a tabret.” (Haydock) — The people sing over my misfortune, Lamentations iii. 14. I am represented as a victim of God’s just indignation. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “a laughter,” or laughing-stock. (Haydock)
Ver. 7. Indignation of God, or of myself. (Menochius) — Nothing. Hebrew, “as a shadow.” (Calmet)
Ver. 8. Hypocrite. If you condemn me, I shall comfort myself with the approbation of the righteous, and still maintain my station. (Haydock) — Men of sense and virtue will tremble at the judgments of God, and will never join the crowd of scoffers. (Calmet)
Ver. 10. Man. He offers to dispute with them again, and convince them of folly; (Menochius) or rather he here concludes his address to them, and invites them to change their preposterous judgments.
Ver. 11. Thoughts, or fine projects of living happy a long time. (Calmet)
Ver. 12. Day. Sleep flees from me. (Menochius) — All is in confusion. — After. Hebrew and Septuagint, “light is near in the face of darkness.” (Haydock) — I still hope for relief.
Ver. 13. Hell. Seol. The region of the dead. (Challoner) — Protestants, “grave.” (Haydock) — But this text proves that there was a place of rest called hell. (Worthington) — He speaks here chiefly of the body. (Calmet) — Mors ultima linea rerum est. (Horace) — “Death is the end of all.” (Haydock) — If I refrain from complaining, still I cannot expect to be restored to health.
Ver. 14. Sister. I am nearly related to such things, and ready to drop into the grave, as my flesh is already devoured by worms. (Menochius)
Ver. 15. Who. Hebrew, “who shall see my hope?” I wish all might witness it. (Haydock) — But I expect no redress on this side of the grave. (Calmet)
Ver. 16. Deepest pit. Literally hell. (Challoner) — Hebrew, “We shall go down to the bars of the pit, when we shall rest together in the dust.” My hopes may be frustrated by death; (Haydock) or you, my friends, must also go to the house of eternity. (Calmet)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Job’s hope in God: he expects rest in death.
1 My spirit shall be wasted, my days shall be shortened, and only the grave remaineth for me.
2 I have not sinned, and my eye abideth in bitterness.
3 Deliver me, O Lord, and set me beside thee, and let any man’s hand fight against me.
4 Thou hast set their heart far from understanding, therefore they shall not be exalted.
5 He promiseth a prey to his companions, and the eyes of his children shall fail.
6 He hath made me, as it were, a bye-word of the people, and I am an example before them.
7 My eye is dim through indignation, and my limbs are brought, as it were, to nothing.
8 The just shall be astonished at this, and the innocent shall be raised up against the hypocrite.
9 And the just man shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.
10 Wherefore, be ye all converted, and come, and I shall not find among you any wise man.
11 My days have passed away, my thoughts are dissipated, tormenting my heart.
12 They have turned night into day, and after darkness I hope for light again.
13 If I wait, hell is my house, and I have made my bed in darkness.
14 I have said to rottenness: Thou art my father; to worms, my mother and my sister.
15 Where is now then my expectation, and who considereth my patience?
16 All that I have shall go down into the deepest pit: thinkest thou that there, at least, I shall have rest?