Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay,
&c.] Not of the clay, though man was made originally of the dust of the earth, and the bodies of men are houses of clay, earthen vessels, and earthly tabernacles, but "as the clay"; either as the clay is wrought in the hand of the potter, and worked into what form, and made into what vessel he pleases, so are men in the hand of God, made by him in what form, and for what use and end he thinks fit; or rather this denotes not the likeness of the operation, but the likeness of the matter of the human body to clay: not for the impurity of it; for though man is in a state and condition comparable to the mire and clay, this he has brought himself into by sin, and not the Lord; he made man upright, but man has made himself sinful and polluted; but for the brittleness of it; as a vessel made of clay is brittle and easily broke to pieces, and cannot bear much weight, or any heavy stroke; so the body of man is weak and frail, and feeble; its strength is not the strength of stones, and its flesh brass, but clay: and this Job humbly entreats the Lord would "remember", and that "now" F8; immediately; and deal mildly and mercifully with him, since he was not able to bear the weight of his hand, which would soon, crush him and break him to pieces; not that God forgets this, for he remembers man's frame and composition, that he is but dust; that he is flesh, and a wind or vapour that passes away: but he may seem to do so, when he sorely afflicts, and his hand lies heavy, and he does not remove it, but continues it, and rather in creases the affliction; and therefore, as the Lord allows his people to put him in remembrance, Job here desires that he would show himself, in his providential dealings with him, that he was mindful of his natural frailty and infirmity; see ( Job 7:12 ) ( Psalms 78:3 ) ( 89:47 ) ( 103:14 ) ;
and wilt thou bring me into dust again?
to the dust of death; to the original of which he was made; and that so soon, and at once; or, "and unto dust will return me?" as Mr. Broughton and others F9, according to the original sentence, "dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return", ( Genesis 3:19 ) ; and which Job expected, and will be the case of all men, ( Ecclesiastes 12:7 ) ; and therefore he thought that this might suffice, that it was enough that he should die in a little while through the course of nature, and therefore desires he might have some respite and ease while he did live; he could not see there was any occasion to press him so hard, and follow him so close with afflictions one after another, or be so rough with him and quick upon him; since in a short time his brittle clay would break of itself, and he should drop into the dust and lie decaying there, as it was of old decreed he should.
F8 (an) "nunc", Drusius; so the Targum.
F9 (ynbyvt) "reducturus", Schmidt, Schultens; "reduces me?" V. L. Beza, Michaelis; "redire facies me?" Pagninus, Montanus, Bolducius.