Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt?
&c.] As any sort of pulse, peas, beans, lentiles which have no savoury and agreeable taste unless salted, and so many other things; and are disagreeable to men, and not relished by them, and more especially things bitter and unpleasant; and therefore Job intimates, it need not seem strange that the wormwood and water of gall, or the bread of adversity and water of affliction, he was fed with, should be so distasteful to him, and he should show such a nausea of it, and an aversion to it, and complain thereof as he did: though some apply this to the words and speeches of Eliphaz, and his friends he represented, which with Job were insipid and foolish talk, and very unsuitable and disagreeable to him, yea, loathed and abhorred by him, not being seasoned with the salt of prudence, grace, and goodness, see ( Colossians 4:6 ) ;
or is there [any] taste in the white of an egg?
none at all. The same things are designed by this as the former. Mr. Broughton renders it, "the white of the yolk"; and Kimchi says F4 it signifies, in the language of the Rabbins, the red part of the yolk, the innermost part; but others, from the use of the word in the Arabic language, interpret it of the froth of milk F5, which is very tasteless and insipid: but the first of the words we render "white" always signifies "spittle"; and some of the Jewish writers F6 call it the spittle of soundness, or a sound man, which has no taste, in distinction from that of a sick man, which has; and the latter word comes from one which signifies to dream; and Jarchi observes, that some so understand it here; and the whole is by some rendered, "is there any taste" or "savour in the spittle of a dream" or "drowsiness" F7? such as flows from a person asleep, or in a dream; and so may fitly express the vain and empty words, as the Septuagint translate the phrase, of Job's friends, in his esteem, which to him were no than the words of some idle and dreaming person, or were like the dribble of a fool or madman, as David mimicked, ( 1 Samuel 21:13 ) ; and it is observed F8, that the word "spittle" is very emphatically used, since it useless in judging of different tastes, and mixed with food, goes into nourishment, as the white of an egg.
F4 Sepher Shorash, rad. (Mlx) ; so Ben Melech.
F5 Hottinger. Smegma Oriental. l. 1. c. 7. p. 152. Hinckeman. Praefat. ad Alcoran. p. 29.
F6 R. Issac in Kimchi ibid. Ben Melech & Ben Gersom in loc; so some in Bar Tzemach; "saliva sanitatis", Gussetius, p. 260.
F7 (twmlx ryrb) "in saliva somnolentiae", Schultens.
F8 Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 4. p. 670.