When I washed my steps with butter
Not the steps of his house or palace; for to have done this, or his servants by his orders, as it would have been a very great impropriety, so a piece of great prodigality, which Job could never have been guilty of; but either his footsteps, the prints of his feet; and the sense be, that his cattle produced such a vast quantity of milk, that when his servants brought it from the fields to the dairy, their milk pails ran over in such abundance, that Job could not step out of his house, and take a walk in his fields, but he stepped into puddles of milk, of which butter was made: this is an exaggerated phrase, like that by which the land of Canaan is described as "flowing with milk and honey"; or rather this is to be understood of the washing of his feet, which are the instruments of stepping or walking. It was usual in those times, in the eastern countries, to wash their feet upon travelling, or at festivals; but then this was commonly done with water, not with butter, see ( Genesis 18:4 ) ( 19:2 ) ( Luke 7:44 ) ; and the meaning can only be, that Job had such abundance of milk, or butter made of it, that he could, if he would, have washed his feet in it; indeed, they had used to anoint the feet with ointment; but whether cream or butter was any ingredient in it, and so the part is put for the whole, is not certain, see ( Luke 7:38 ) ( Job 12:3 ) ; besides, that would have been more properly expressed by anointing than washing; it seems to be an hyperbole, an expression like that of Zophar, in ( Job 20:17 ) ; signifying the vast abundance of the increase and produce of Job's kine; who is said to wash his feet in milk or butter, as Asher is said to dip his feet in oil, because of the great plenty of it, ( Deuteronomy 33:24 ) ; the spiritual meditation upon the words may be this; the feet of the best of saints need washing, there being many failings and infirmities in their walk and conversation; in which they gather much pollution and faith daily; the proper wash for this is the blood of Christ, of which the layer in the tabernacle and temple was a type, at which the priests washed their hands and feet; but the word of God, called the sincere milk of the word, is the instrument or means of washing, or of directing souls to the fountain opened to wash in; so that with respect to that, the feet of saints, as the eyes of Christ, may be said to be washed with milk:
and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;
another hyperbolical expression, like that in ( Deuteronomy 32:13 ) , where honey is said to be sucked out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; as honey may be got out of a rock, because bees may make their nests and hives there, where it is laid up by them; so oil, in like manner, may be had from the flinty rock, olive trees growing on hills, mountains, and rocks, which yield oil in great abundance; near Jerusalem was a mount called Olivet, from thence: the land of Edom, or Idumea, where Job lived, abounded with cragged mountains and rocks; and there might be in Job's estate such on which olive trees grew in great plenty, as to produce vast quantities of oil: it is a very fanciful thought of Bolducius, that this rock was no other than a stone vessel, in which was oil, somewhat like the alabaster box in ( Matthew 26:7 ) ; and which was plentifully poured on Job, when he was anointed high priest; and another learned man F21, though he rejects the notion of its being a vessel for sacred use, yet is willing to allow it was an oil vessel for common use: as to the spiritual sense, it may be observed, that a rock in Scripture often signifies a divine Person, ( 1 Corinthians 10:4 ) ; it is an emblem of Christ, as oil also is of the Spirit of God and his grace, ( Matthew 25:3 Matthew 25:4 ) ; and which flows from Christ, who is full thereof, and that in such great abundance, as to be expressed by rivers; see ( John 1:14 John 1:16 ) ( 7:38 ) .
F21 Fortunat. Schacch. Elaeochrysm. Myroth. l. 2. c. 79. p. 715.