Because I was not cut off before the darkness
That is, it was amazing to him, and troubled him when he thought of it, that he was not cut off by death, before the darkness of afflictions, or this dark dispensation came upon him; as sometimes righteous ones are taken from the evil to come, as Methuselah was before the flood, ( Genesis 5:27 ) ; and Job wonders this was not his case, or at least he wishes it had been; for so Aben Ezra seems to understand and read the words, "why was I not cut off?" &c. as if it was a wish, and expressive of his desire, that this had been done; which was what he had expostulated with God about at first, in the third chapter, and death was what he always desired, and still continued to wish for: or else the sense is, that he was amazed that he "was not cut off, because", "at", "through", or "by darkness" F2; by means of his afflictions; he wondered how he was supported under them, and carried through them, that they did not press him down to death; how such a poor wasted creature as he was, reduced to skin and bones, should ever be able to endure what he did;
[neither] hath he covered the darkness from my face;
that I should not see and feel the afflictions I do; or rather, "he hath covered the darkness from my face", for the word "neither" is not in the text, though repeated by many interpreters from the foregoing clause; and then the sense is though I am sensible of the darkness of affliction upon me, yet he has covered it so from me, that I cannot see an end of it, or any way to escape out of it; or, which is the sense Drusius gives, he hath covered death and the grave from me, which is a state of darkness, a land of darkness, or darkness itself, as he calls ( Job 10:21 Job 10:22 ) ; that he could not see it, and enjoy it; he wished for death, but could not have it, it was hid from him. Cocceius renders the words very differently, he, that is, "God, hath covered himself with darkness from my face"; and interprets it of divine desertion, which troubled and terrified Job; and because he thus covered himself as it were with a cloud, this was the reason why he knew not where he was, and could not find him, when he made the most diligent search for him, and this grieved and astonished him, see ( Lamentations 3:44 ) .
F2 (Kvx ynpm) "propter tenebras", Pagninus, Piscator, Cocceius; so V. L. "a tenebris", Drusius; "a praesentibus, tenebris", Beza.