They that dwell in mine house
Not his neighbours, as the Septuagint; for though they dwelt near his house, they did not dwell in it; nor inmates and sojourners, lodgers with him, to whom he let out apartments in his house; this cannot be supposed to have been his case, who was the greatest man in all the east; nor even tenants, that hired houses and lands of him; for the phrase is not applicable to them; it designs such who were inhabitants in his house. Job amidst all his calamities had an house to dwell in; it is a tradition mentioned by Jerom F3, that Job's house was in Carnea, a large village in his time, in a corner of Batanea, beyond the floods of Jordan; and he had people dwelling with him in it, who are distinct from his wife, children, and servants after mentioned; and are either "strangers" F4 as the word sometimes signifies, he had taken into his house in a way of hospitality, and had given them lodging, and food, and raiment, as the light of nature and law of God required, ( Deuteronomy 10:18 Deuteronomy 10:19 ) ( Job 31:32 ) ; or else proselytes, of whom this word F5 is sometimes used, whom he had been the instrument of converting from idolatry, superstition, and profaneness, and of gaining them over to the true religion; and whom he had taken into his house, to instruct them more and more in the ways of God, such as were the trained servants in Abraham's family: these, says he,
and my maids, count me for a stranger;
both the one and the other, the strangers he took out of the streets, and the travellers he opened his doors unto, and entertained in a very generous and hospitable manner; the proselytes he had made, and with whom he had taken so much pains, and to whom he had shown so much kindness and goodness, and been the means of saving their souls from death; and his maidens he had hired into his house, to do the business of it, and who ought to have been obedient and respectful to him, and whose cause he had not despised, but had treated them with great humanity and concern; the Targum wrongly renders the word, "my concubines"; yet these one and another looked upon him with an air of the utmost indifference, not as if he was the master of the house, but a stranger in it, as one that did not belong unto it, and they had scarce ever seen with their eyes before; which was very ungrateful, and disrespectful to the last degree; and if they reckoned him a stranger to God, to his grace, to true religion and godliness, this was worse still; and especially in the proselytes of his house, who owed their conversion, their light and knowledge in divine things, to him as an instrument:
I am an alien in their sight;
as a foreigner, one of another kingdom and nation, of a different habit, speech, religion, and manners; they stared at him as if they had never seen him before, as some strange object to be looked at, an uncommon spectacle, that had something in him or about him unusual and frightful; at least contemptible and to be disdained, and not to be spoke to and familiarly conversed with, but to be shunned and despised.
F3 De loc. Heb. fol. 89. M.
F4 (yrg) "peregrini", Schmidt, Schultens.
F5 Apud Rabbinos, passim.