How long will ye vex my soul
Which of all vexation is the worst; not only his bones were vexed, but his soul also, as David's was, ( Psalms 6:2 Psalms 6:3 ) . His body was vexed with boils from head to feet; but now his soul was vexed by his friends, and which denotes extreme vexation, a man's being vexed to his very heart: there are many things vexations to men, especially to good men; they are not only vexed with pains of the body, as others, and with loss of worldly substance; but even all things here below, and the highest enjoyment of them, as wealth, wisdom, honours, and pleasures, are all vanity and vexation of spirit, as they were to Solomon; but more especially truly good men are vexed with the corruptions of their hearts, which are as pricks in their eyes and thorns in their sides, and with the temptations of Satan, which are also thorns in the flesh and fiery darts, and with the conversation of wicked men, as was the soul of righteous Lot, and with the bad principles and practices of professors of religion; and sometimes, as Job was, they are vexed by their own friends, who should be their comforters, but prove miserable ones, as his did, and even vexations, and continued so to the wearing him out almost; and so some render the words, "how long will ye weary my soul" F3? with repeating their insinuations that he was a wicked and hypocritical man, and therefore was afflicted of God in the manner he was; and which, knowing his own innocency, extremely vexed him:
and break me in pieces with words?
not his body, but his spirit; which was broken, not by the word of God, which is like an hammer that breaks the rocky heart in pieces; for such a breaking is in mercy, and not an affliction to be complained of; and such as are thus broken are healed again, and bound up by the same hand that breaks; who has great, regard to broken spirits and contrite hearts; looks to them, and dwells with them, in order to revive and comfort them: but by the words of men; Job was smitten with the tongues of men; as Jeremiah was, and was beaten and bruised by them, as anything is beaten and bruised by a pestle in a mortar, as the word F4 signifies, and is sometimes rendered, ( Isaiah 53:5 Isaiah 53:10 ) ; these must be not soft but hard words, not gentle reproofs, which being given and taken in love, will not break the head, but calumnies and reproaches falsely cast, and with great severity, and frequently, which break the heart. See ( Psalms 69:20 ) .
F3 (Nwygt) "defatigabitis", Schmidt, Michaelis.
F4 (ynnwakdt) "obtundetis", Vatablus, Piscator, Schmidt; so Michaelis, Schultens.