Because he hath loosed my cord
Not his silver cord, for then he must have died immediately, ( Ecclesiastes 12:6 ) ; though it may be understood of the loosening of his nerves through the force of his disease, and the afflictions he endured from God and man, see ( Job 30:17 ) ; or rather of the shattered state and condition of his family and substance; which, while he enjoyed, he had respect and reverence from men; but now all being loosed, scattered, and destroyed, he was treated with derision and scorn; or, better still, of his power and authority as a civil magistrate, by which, as with a cord, he bound many to subjection and obedience to him, and which commanded reverence of him; but this being now loosed and removed from him, persons of the baser sort behaved in an insolent manner towards him; there is a "Keri", or a marginal reading of this clause, which we follow; but the "Cetib", or written text, is "his cord"; and so Mr. Broughton renders it, "he hath loosed his string"; which he explains of the string or rein of his government, that holdeth base men from striving with the mighty, and which comes to the same sense; for the power and authority Job had as a governor were of God, and which he had now loosened; the allusion may be to the string of a bow, which being loosed, it cannot cast out the arrow; and respect may be had to what Job had said, ( Job 29:20 ) , "my bow was renewed in my hand"; it then abode in strength, and its strength was renewed; but now he had lost his power and strength, at least it was greatly weakened, that he could not defend himself, nor punish the wicked:
and afflicted me;
that is, God, who is also understood in the preceding clause, though not expressed. Job's afflictions were many, and there were second causes of them, who were the movers, instruments, and means of them, as Satan, the Sabeans and Chaldeans, yet they were of God, as the appointer, orderer, and sender of them; and so Job understood them, and always as here ascribed them to him; wherefore there was a just cause for them, and an end to be answered by them, and it became Job patiently to bear them, and to wait the issue of them: now, on this account, the above persons were emboldened and encouraged to use Job in the ill manner they did:
they have also let loose the bridle before me;
the restraints that were upon them when Job was in his prosperity, and had the reins of government in his hand; these they now cast off, and showed no manner of reverence of him, nor respect for him; and the bridle that was upon their mouths, which kept them from speaking evil of him while he was in power, now they slipped it from them, and gave themselves an unbounded liberty in deriding, reproaching, and reviling him; see ( Psalms 39:1 ) ; and this they did before him, in his presence and to his face, who before were mute and silent.