Turn from him, that he may rest
From this short lived afflicted man, whose days are limited, and will soon be at an end, meaning himself; not that he desires he would withdraw his gracious presence, nothing is more agreeable than this to a good man, and there is nothing he more deprecates than the withdrawing of it; besides, this was Job's case, and one part of his complaint, ( Job 13:24 ) ; nor to withhold his supporting presence, or his providential care of him, without which he could not subsist, but must die and drop into the dust; though some think this is the sense, and render the words, "turn from him, that he may cease" F14; to be, or to live, and so a wish for death, that he might have rest in the grave from all his labours, pains, and sorrows; but rather the meaning is, that he would turn away from afflicting him in this extraordinary, manner; since, according to the ordinary course of things, he would meet with many troubles and afflictions, and had but a little time to live, and therefore entreats he would take off his hand which pressed him sorely, and grant him a little respite; or "look off from him" F15; not turn away his eye of love, grace, and mercy, that is not reasonable to suppose; that was what he wanted, that God would look upon him, and have compassion on him under his affliction, and abate it; but that he would turn away his angry frowning countenance from him, which he could not bear; he had opened his eyes upon him, ( Job 14:3 ) ; and looked very sternly, and with great severity in his countenance, on him, and it was very distressing, and even intolerable to him; and therefore begs that he would take off his eye from him, that he might have rest from his adversity, that he might have some ease of body and mind, some intervals of peace and pleasure: or "that he might cease" F16 from murmuring, as Aben Ezra; or rather from affliction and trouble; not that he expected to be wholly free from it in this life, for man is born to it, as he full well knew; and the people of God have always their share of it, and which abides and waits for them while in this world; but he desires he might be rid of that very sore and heavy affliction now upon him; or "that it might cease" F17, the affliction he laboured under, which would be the case if God would turn himself, remove his hand, or look another way, and not so sharply upon him:
till he shall accomplish as an hireling his day;
an hireling, as if he should say, that is hired for any certain time, for a year, or more or less, he has some relaxation from his labours, time for eating and sleeping to refresh nature; or he has some time allowed him as a respite from them, commonly called holy days; or if he is hired only for a day, he has time for his meals; and if his master's eye is off of him, he slackens his hand, and gets some intermission from his labour; wherefore at least Job begs that God would let him have the advantage of an hireling. Moreover, to "accomplish his day", is either to do the work of it, or to get to the end of it; every man has work to do while in this world, in things natural, civil, and religious, and is the work of his day or generation, and what must be done while it is day; and a good man is desirous of finishing it; to which the recompence of reward, though it is not of debt, but of grace, is a great encouragement, as it is to the hireling: or "till as an hireling he shall will", or "desire with delight and pleasure F18 his day"; that is, his day to be at an end, which he wishes and longs for; and when it comes is very acceptable to him, because he then enjoys his rest, and receives his hire; so as there is a fixed time for the hireling, there is for man on earth; and as that time is short and laborious, so is the life of man; and at the close of it, the good and faithful servant of the Lord, like the hireling, in some sense rests from his labours, and receives the reward of the inheritance, having served the Lord Christ; which makes this day a grateful and acceptable one to him, what he desires, and with pleasure waits for, being better than the day of his birth; and especially when his life is worn out with trouble, and he is weary of it through old age, and the infirmities thereof, those days being come in which he has no pleasure. Job therefore entreats that God would give him some intermission from his extraordinary troubles, till his appointed time came, which then would be as welcome to him as the close of the day is to an hireling, see ( Job 7:1 Job 7:2 ) .
F14 (ldxyw) "donec desinat, sc. esse vel vivere", Piscator, Cocceius.
F15 (wylem hev) "respice [aliorsum] ab eo", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Schmidt, Michaelis; so De Dieu, Schultens.
F16 "Et cesset", Mercerus; "et desinat a malo suo", Pagninus.
F17 "Et cesset afflictio", Drusius; so the Targum.
F18 (hury) "grato animo excipiet", Tigurine version; "velit", Montanus, Bolducius; "acceptum habeat", Piscator; De Dieu, Michaelis.