16:3 Shall a vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest?
(a) Which serve for vain ostentation and for no true comfort. 16:4 I also could speak as ye [do]: if your c soul were in my souls stead, I could heap up words against you, and d shake mine head at you.
(c) I would that you felt what I do. 16:5 [But] I would strengthen you e with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage [your grief].
(d) That is, mock at your misery, as you do at mine.
(e) If this were in my power, yet I would comfort you and not do as you do to me. 16:6 Though I speak, my grief is f not asswaged: and [though] I forbear, what am I eased?
(f) If you would say, "Why do you not then comfort yourself?" he answers that the judgments of God are more heavy than he is able to assuage either by words or silence. 16:7 But now g he hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my h company.
(g) Meaning, God. 16:8 And thou hast filled me with i wrinkles, [which] is a witness [against me]: and my leanness rising up in me beareth witness to my face.
(h) That is, destroyed most of my family.
(i) In token of sorrow and grief. 16:9 k He teareth [me] in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me.
(k) That is, God by his wrath: and in this diversity of words and high style, he expresses how grievous the hand of God was on him. 16:10 They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the l cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me.
16:11 God hath delivered me to the ungodly, and turned me over into the m hands of the wicked.
(l) That is, has handled me contemptuously: for so slapping the cheek signified, ( 1 Kings 22:24 ; Mark 14:65 )
(m) They have led me where they would. 16:13 His n archers compass me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; he poureth out my gall o upon the ground.
(n) His manifold afflictions. 16:15 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and defiled my p horn in the dust.
(o) I am wounded to the heart.
(p) Meaning, his glory was brought low. 16:17 Not for [any] injustice in q mine hands: also my prayer r [is] pure.
(q) Signifying that he is not able to understand the cause of this his grievous punishment. 16:18 O earth, cover not thou my s blood, and let my cry have no place.
(r) That is, unfeigned and without hypocrisy.
(s) Let my sin be known if I am such a sinner as my adversaries accuse me, and let me find no favour. 16:19 Also now, behold, my t witness [is] in heaven, and my record [is] on high.
(t) Though man condemn me, yet God is witness of my cause. 16:20 My friends u scorn me: [but] mine eye poureth out [tears] unto God.
(u) Use painted words instead of true consolation. 16:21 O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man x [pleadeth] for his neighbour!
(x) Thus by his great torments he is carried away, and breaks out into passions, and speaks unadvisedly, as though God would intreat man more gently, seeing he has only a short time here to live.