Job 30:21

21 You have 1turned cruel to me; with the might of your hand you 2persecute me.

Job 30:21 Meaning and Commentary

Job 30:21

Thou art become cruel to me
Or "turned", or "changed" {g}, to be cruel to me. Job suggests that God had been kind and gracious to him, both in a way of providence, and in showing special love and favour to him, in a very distinguishing manner; but now he intimates his affections were changed and altered, and these were alienated from him, and his love was turned into an hatred of him; this is one of the unbecoming expressions which dropped from his lips concerning God; for the love of God to his people is never changed; it remains invariable and unalterable, in all dispensations, in every state and condition into which they come; there may be some of God's dispensations towards them, which may have the appearance of severity in them; and he may make use of instruments to chastise them, which may use them cruelly; but even then his heart yearns towards them, and, being full of compassion, delivers out of their hands, and saves them, ( Jeremiah 30:14 ) ( 31:20 ) ( Hosea 11:8 Hosea 11:9 ) ;

with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me;
God has a strong hand and arm, and none like him, and sometimes he puts forth the strength of it, and exerts his mighty power in afflicting his people, and his hand presses them sore, and they can scarcely stand up under it; and then it becomes them to humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, and patiently bear it; and sometimes they take him to be their adversary, an enemy unto them, and filled with hatred of them, indignation against them, setting himself with all his might and main to ruin and destroy them; and this is a sad case indeed, to have such apprehensions of God, though unjust ones; for, as if God be for us, who shall be against us? so if he be against us, it signifies little who is for us; for there is no contending with him, ( Job 9:3 Job 9:4 ) .


F7 (Kpht) "mutatus es", V. L. Tigurine version; "versus es", Beza, Piscator; so Drusius, Cocceius, Vatablus, Michaelis, Mercerus, Schultens.

Job 30:21 In-Context

19 God has cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes.
20 I cry to you for help and you do not answer me; I stand, and you only look at me.
21 You have turned cruel to me; with the might of your hand you persecute me.
22 You lift me up on the wind; you make me ride on it, and you toss me about in the roar of the storm.
23 For I know that you will bring me to death and to the house appointed for all living.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Lamentations 4:3; [Isaiah 63:10]
  • 2. Job 16:9
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.