He putteth his mouth in the dust
Of self-abhorrence; sensible of his own vileness and nothingness, his unworthiness, and the unprofitableness of all his duties; ascribing the whole of his salvation to the free grace of God, ( Job 42:6 ) ; humbling himself under the mighty hand of God; not daring to open his mouth in a complaining way against him; but prostrating himself before him to the earth, as the manner of the eastern people in prayer was, to which the allusion is; licking as it were the dust of the earth, under a sense of the distance and disproportion between God and him, who is but dust and ashes; so the Targum adds,
``and is prostrate before the Lord:''if so be there may be hope;
or, "peradventure there is hope" F4; for, as some interpreters observe, these words do not express hesitation and doubt, but hope and expectation of help, to bear the yoke of God's commandments, and in due time to be delivered from affliction and distress.
F4 (hwqt vy ylwa) "forte est expectatio", Junius & Tremellius; "fortassis", Piscator, Cocceius; "forte est spes", Michaelis.