Job 30:24

24 "Yet does not one in a 1heap of ruins stretch out his hand, and in his disaster cry for help?[a]

Job 30:24 Meaning and Commentary

Job 30:24

Howbeit he will not stretch out [his] hand to the grave
Or, "verily" F8, truly he will not I am well assured he never will, meaning either he never would stretch out his hand to shut up the grave; or rather keep it shut, and prevent Job from going down into it; or to open it, and fetch him out of it when in it: God is indeed able to do either of these, and has done it; sometimes, when persons are brought as it were to the gates of death and the grave, he says to them, Return; yea, when they are brought to the dust of death, he prevents them going into the grave, by restoring them to life before carried thither, as the Shunammite's son, ( 2 Kings 4:32-37 ) ; Jairus's daughter, ( Mark 5:41 Mark 5:42 ) ; and the widow's son of Nain, even when he was carrying to his grave, ( Luke 7:12-15 ) ; some have been laid in the grave, and God has stretched out his hand, and raised them up again; as the man that was laid in Elisha's grave, ( 2 Kings 13:21 ) , and Lazarus after he had lain in the grave some days, ( John 11:39-44 ) ; but such things are not usually done; in common, when a man dies, and is laid in the grave, he rises not again, till the heavens be no more; and this Job was persuaded would be his case:

though they cry in his destruction;
that is, though the friends and relations of the sick person, or the poor that he has been kind and bountiful unto, should cry unto God, while he is destroying him by the diseases upon him, and which threaten him with destruction, that he would spare his useful and valuable life; yet he is inexorable, and will not hear, but go on with what he intends to do, and takes him off by death, and lays him in the grave, "the pit of destruction", ( Psalms 55:23 ) , so called because it wastes and consumes bodies laid in it; and when once laid there, all cries for a restoration to life again are vain and fruitless. Some take these words as expressed in a way of solace, as if Job comforted himself with this thought under his present afflictions, that, when once he was brought to death and the grave, there would be an end of all his sorrow; the hand of the Lord, that was now stretched out on him in a terrible way, would be no longer stretched out on him; he would then cease to afflict him, and he should be where the weary are at rest; and so the last clause is read with an interrogation, "is there any cry", or "do any cry, in his destruction?" {i}; no, when death has done its office, and the body is laid in the grave, there is no more pain nor sorrow, nor crying; all tears are wiped away, and there is no more sense of afflictions and sufferings; they are all at an end. Mr. Broughton renders these words as to the sense the same, and as in connection with the following ones, "and prayed I not when plague was sent? when hurt came to any, thereupon cried I not?" and so do some others F11.


F8 (Ka) "verum", Mercerus; profecto, Drusius, Bolducius; "sane", Tigurine version.
F9 (ewv Nhl wdypb Ma) "aut clamant aliqui post obitum suum?" Tigurine version; "si in contritione ejus eis clamor?" Montanus, Bolducius.
F11 Junius & Tremellius.

Job 30:24 In-Context

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.
24 "Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand, and in his disaster cry for help?
25 Did not I weep for him whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the needy?
26 But when I hoped for good, evil came, and when I waited for light, darkness came.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Psalms 79:1; Jeremiah 26:18; Micah 1:6; Micah 3:12

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.