Job complains of unkind usage. (1-7) God was the Author of his afflictions. (8-22) Job's belief in the resurrection. (23-29)
Verses 1-7 Job's friends blamed him as a wicked man, because he was so afflicted; here he describes their unkindness, showing that what they condemned was capable of excuse. Harsh language from friends, greatly adds to the weight of afflictions: yet it is best not to lay it to heart, lest we harbour resentment. Rather let us look to Him who endured the contradiction of sinners against himself, and was treated with far more cruelty than Job was, or we can be.
Verses 8-22 How doleful are Job's complaints! What is the fire of hell but the wrath of God! Seared consciences will feel it hereafter, but do not fear it now: enlightened consciences fear it now, but shall not feel it hereafter. It is a very common mistake to think that those whom God afflicts he treats as his enemies. Every creature is that to us which God makes it to be; yet this does not excuse Job's relations and friends. How uncertain is the friendship of men! but if God be our Friend, he will not fail us in time of need. What little reason we have to indulge the body, which, after all our care, is consumed by diseases it has in itself. Job recommends himself to the compassion of his friends, and justly blames their harshness. It is very distressing to one who loves God, to be bereaved at once of outward comfort and of inward consolation; yet if this, and more, come upon a believer, it does not weaken the proof of his being a child of God and heir of glory.
Verses 23-29 The Spirit of God, at this time, seems to have powerfully wrought on the mind of Job. Here he witnessed a good confession; declared the soundness of his faith, and the assurance of his hope. Here is much of Christ and heaven; and he that said such things are these, declared plainly that he sought the better country, that is, the heavenly. Job was taught of God to believe in a living Redeemer; to look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come; he comforted himself with the expectation of these. Job was assured, that this Redeemer of sinners from the yoke of Satan and the condemnation of sin, was his Redeemer, and expected salvation through him; and that he was a living Redeemer, though not yet come in the flesh; and that at the last day he would appear as the Judge of the world, to raise the dead, and complete the redemption of his people. With what pleasure holy Job enlarges upon this! May these faithful sayings be engraved by the Holy Spirit upon our hearts. We are all concerned to see that the root of the matter be in us. A living, quickening, commanding principle of grace in the heart, is the root of the matter; as necessary to our religion as the root of the tree, to which it owes both its fixedness and its fruitfulness. Job and his friends differed concerning the methods of Providence, but they agreed in the root of the matter, the belief of another world.
This chapter contains Job's reply to Bildad's second speech, in which he complains of the ill usage of his friends, of their continuing to vex him, and to beat, and bruise, and break him in pieces with their hard words, and to reproach him, and carry it strange to him, Job 19:1-3; which he thought was very cruel, since, if he was mistaken, the mistake lay with himself, Job 19:4; and if they were determined to go on at this rate, he would have them observe, that his afflictions were of God, and therefore should take care to what they imputed them, since he could not get the reasons of them, or his cause to be heard, though he vehemently and importunately sought it, Job 19:5-7; and then gives an enumeration of the several particulars of his distress, all which he ascribes to God, Job 19:8-12; and he enlarges upon that part of his unhappy case, respecting the alienation of his nearest relations, most intimate acquaintance and friends, from him, and their contempt of him, and the like treatment he met with from his servants, and even young children, Job 19:13-19; all which, with other troubles, had such an effect upon him as to reduce him to a mere skeleton, and which he mentions to move the pity of these his friends, now conversing with him, Job 19:20-22; and yet after all, and in the midst of it, and which was his great support under his trials, he expresses his strong faith in his living Redeemer, who should appear on the earth in the latter day, and be his Saviour, and in the resurrection of the dead through him, which he believed he should share in, and in all the happiness consequent on it; and he wishes this confession of his faith might be written and engraven, and be preserved on a rock for ever for the good of posterity, Job 19:23-27; and closes the chapter with an expostulation with his friends, dissuading them from persecuting him any longer, since there was no reason for it in himself, and it might be attended with bad consequences to them, Job 19:28,29.