The waters wear the stones
Either by continual running in them, or constant dropping upon them F16; and the excavations or hollow places they: make are never filled up again, these impressions are never effaced, nor the stones reduced to their ancient form; so man, though he may have the strength of stones, yet the waters of afflictions will gradually wear him away, and bring him to the dust of death, and where he must lie till the heavens be no more:
thou washest away the things which grow [out] of the dust
of the earth;
herbs, plants, and trees, which a violent inundation of water tears up by the roots, and carries away, and they are never restored to their places any more. The word (hyxypo) , which we render "the things which grow out", the spontaneous productions of the earth, as in ( Leviticus 25:5 ) . Aben Ezra interprets of floods of water; and so Schultens, from the use of the word F17 in the Arabic language, translates it, "their effusions"; that is, the effusions of waters before mentioned, the floods and inundations of them overflow, "and wash away the dust of the earth"; not only that which is on the surface of it, the soil of it; but, as the same learned man observes, they plough and tear up the earth itself, and carry it away, and it is never repaired; so men at death are carried away as with a flood, and are no more, see ( Psalms 90:5 ) ;
or "so" F18
thou destroyest the hope of man,
not the hope of a good man about his eternal state, and of enjoying eternal happiness; which is the gift of God's grace, which is without repentance, never revoked, called in, or taken away or destroyed; it is built upon the promise of God, who cannot lie; it is founded on the person, blood, and righteousness of Christ; and though it may be brought low, it is never lost; the hope of carnal men in an arm of flesh, in the creature and creature enjoyments, is indeed destroyed; and so is the hope of external professors of religion, that is formed on their own works of righteousness, and profession of religion; but of this Job is not speaking, but of the hope of man of living again in this world after death; for this is a reddition or application of the above similes used to illustrate this point, the irreparable state of man at death, so as that he shall never return to this life again, and to the same state and circumstances of things as before; and next follows a description of death, and the state of the dead.