1 But Job answered and said,

2 Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together!

3 For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up.

How fail and feeble we realise we are when ill-fortune comes as it inevitably will (5:7). 

Without Yahweh's blessings and protection we are liable to all the dangers and calamities that can befall the animal nature. But sorrow and suffering will come to all. The elect have the consolation that in their case it is divinely guided to bring forth perfection of character.

4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of Eloah do set themselves in array against me.


His complaints are not against God's overall justice, but against His seeming injustice in the affairs of this life -- especially that one who tried so hard to obey should be picked out for the most terrible of afflictions, while all men gloated, and the wicked were at ease. Job knew that at last all would be righted, but why this special, dreadful, unprovoked affliction of a righteous and faithful man?

Bro Growcott - Doth Job fear God for nought?

5 Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder?

Life was now with Job a poisoned thing; his spirit was wholly drunk up; the arrows of the Almighty (shaddai, a frequently occurring term almost peculiar to Job and Genesis) had pierced his soul, and the terrors of God were arrayed against him as an army.

Equally impossible that Job should be thus lowing and braying were the circumstances other than he represented them to be—the dreadfulness of which was so great upon him that there was only one thing now he really longed for: and that was that God would cut him off altogether out of the land of the living. Such was the weight of his grief that to die would be a real comfort.

For now his reduced strength suggested no more hope with regard to this life; and the end before him, looked at from all natural points of view, created no desire for the prolongation of his life. Like Christ, however, he had not concealed the words of the Holy One, nor refrained his lips from preaching righteousness (Ps. 40:9), and neither had he

"shunned to declare all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:20);

for like Abraham he believed him, like Noah he feared him, and like Paul he had not withheld the knowledge of God from any living. He had nothing to reproach himself with in these particulars. But pleading his present affliction, he does think that he was surely a fit object of pity on the part of those who called themselves his friends; but says he (speaking of Eliphaz),

"he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty."

Then turning to all of them, says he, "My brethren have dealt deceitfully" as a vanishing brook, which disappears altogether when the snow has melted away under the influence of the burning sun. Like the troops of Tema and the companies of Sheba, who had hoped for water and found none, so were they to him 'clouds without water," and brooks without streams.

Job admits the force of "right words," as it is said, "A word in season, how good it is," and "words fitly spoken are like apples of gold in pictures of silver"; but what had his friends done for him, and wherein had they reproved him or convicted him of error by their windy speeches?

Job had neither asked for their substance nor for any redemptory services at their hand: he had asked nothing, and they had brought nothing—worse than that, they had dug a pit for their friend, and overwhelmed the friendless.

The Christadelphian, Jan 1889

6 Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?

7 The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.

8 Oh that I might have my request; and that Eloah would grant me the thing that I long for!

9 Even that it would please Eloah to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!

He didn't understand that the righteous must suffer for the perfection of their character

Job speaking words without knowledge as he concedes when he comes to a fuller understanding that all things work together for good for the elect (42:3). 

Then he understood exaltation to the immortal state is the reward of patience in faith under the pressure of fiery trial bringing forth a character reflecting the divine attributes of the Yahweh name...

'And Yahweh passed by before him, and proclaimed, Yahweh, Yahweh Elohim, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth', (Ex 34:6).


10 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.

11 What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life?

12 Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass?

13 Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me?

14 To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty. 

A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Prov 17: 17)

15 My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away;

16 Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid:

17 What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place.

18 The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and perish.

19 The troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them.

20 They were confounded because they had hoped; they came thither, and were ashamed.

21 For now ye are nothing; ye see my casting down, and are afraid.

22 Did I say, Bring unto me? or, Give a reward for me of your substance?

23 Or, Deliver me from the enemy's hand? or, Redeem me from the hand of the mighty?

24 Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.

25 How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?

26 Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind?

27 Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.

28 Now therefore be content, look upon me; for it is evident unto you if I lie.

29 Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it.

30 Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things?