He teareth [me] in his wrath, who hateth me
By whom is meant not Satan, as Jarchi, though he is an enemy to, and an hater of mankind, especially of good men; nor Eliphaz, as others, who had fallen upon Job with a great deal of wrath and fury, tearing his character in pieces, which Job attributed to his hatred of him; but it rather appears from the context that God himself is intended, of whom Job had now a mistaken notion and apprehension; taking him for his enemy, being treated by him, as he thought, as if he had an aversion to him, and an hatred of him; whereas God hates none of his creatures, being his offspring, and the objects of his tender care, and providential regard: indeed sin is hateful to him, and makes men odious in his sight, and he hates all the workers of iniquity, and those whom he passed by, when he chose others; though they are said to be hated by him as Esau was, yet not with a positive but a negative hatred; that is, are not loved by him; and considered as profane and ungodly persons, and as such foreordained to condemnation; for sin may be said to be hated, but good men never are; God's chosen ones, his children and special people, are the objects of his everlasting love; and though he may be angry with them, and show a little seeming wrath towards them, yet never hates them; hatred and love are as opposite as any two things can possibly be; and indeed, strictly and properly speaking, there is no wrath nor fury in God towards his people; though they deserve it, they are not appointed to it, but are delivered from it by Christ; and neither that nor any of the effects of it shall ever light on them; but Job concluded this from the providence he was under, in which God appeared terrible to him, like a lion or any such fierce and furious creature, to which he is sometimes compared, and compares himself, which seizes on its prey, and tears and rends it to pieces; ( Isaiah 38:13 ) ( Hosea 5:14 ) ; thus God permitted Job's substance to be taken from him by the Chaldeans and Sabeans; his children by death, which was like tearing off his limbs; and his skin and his flesh to be rent and broken by boils and ulcers: Job was a type of Christ in his sorrows and sufferings; and though he was not now in the best frame of mind, the flesh prevailed, and corruptions worked, and he expressed himself in an unguarded manner, yet perhaps we shall not find, in any part of this book, things expressed, and the language in which they are expressed, more similar and to be accommodated to the case, and sorrows, and sufferings of Christ, than in this context; for though he was the son of God's love, his dear and well beloved son, yet as he was the surety of his people, and bore and suffered punishment in their stead, justice behaved towards him as though there was a resentment unto him, and an aversion of him; yea, he says, "thou hast cast off and abhorred, thou hast been wroth with thine Anointed" or "Messiah", ( Psalms 89:38 ) ; and indeed he did bear the wrath of God, the vengeance of justice or curse of the righteous law; and was suffered to be torn in every sense, his temples with a crown of thorns, his cheeks by those that plucked off the hair, his hands and feet by the nails driven in them, and his side by the spear; and his life was torn, snatched, and taken away from him in a violent manner:
he gnasheth upon me with his teeth;
as men do when they are full of wrath and fury: this is one way of showing it, as the enemies of David, a type of Christ, and the slayers of Stephen, his protomartyr, did, ( Psalms 35:16 ) ( Acts 7:54 ) ; and as beasts of prey, such as the lion, wolf, do:
mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me;
the Targum adds, as a razor. Here again Job considers God as his enemy, though he was not, misinterpreting his dealings with him; he represents him as looking out sharp after him, inspecting narrowly into all his ways, and works, and actions, strictly observing his failings and infirmities, calling him to an account, and afflicting him for them, and dealing rigidly and severely with him for any small offence: his eyes seemed to him to be like flames of fire, to sparkle with wrath and revenge; his thee, as he imagined, was set against him, and his eyes upon him to destroy him; and thus the eye of vindictive justice was upon Christ his antitype, when he was made sin and a curse for his people, and the sword of justice was awaked against him, and thrust in him.