Job 30:17

17 Night pierces my bones; my gnawing pains never rest.

Read Job 30:17 Using Other Translations

My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.
The night racks my bones, and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.
At night my bones are filled with pain, which gnaws at me relentlessly.

What does Job 30:17 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Job 30:17

My bones are pierced in me in the night season
Such was the force of his disease, that it pierced and penetrated even into his bones, and the marrow of them; and such the pain that he endured in the muscles and tendons about them, and especially in the joints of them, that it was as if all his bones were piercing and breaking to pieces; he was in a like condition the sick man is described in ( Job 33:19 ) ; and as David and Hezekiah were, ( Psalms 6:2 ) ( 38:13 ) ; and what aggravated his case was, that this was "in the night season", when he should have got some sleep and rest, but could not for his pain: some render the words by supplying them thus; God, or the disease, or the pain, pierced my bones in the night season; or "the night pierced my bones from me"; so Mr. Broughton; but rather they may be rendered, and the sense be,

``in the night season everyone of my bones pierce "the flesh" that is upon me:''

his flesh was almost wasted and consumed, through the boil and ulcers on him, and he was reduced to a mere skeleton; and when he laid himself down on his bed, these pierced through his skin, and stuck out, and gave him exquisite pain:

and my sinews take no rest;
being contracted; or his nerves, as the word in the Arabic language signifies, as is observed by Aben Ezra, Jarchi, Donesh, and others; which were loosened, and the animal spirits were sunk, and he so low and dispirited, that he could get no rest: or the pulsatile veins and arteries, as Ben Gersom and Elias Levita F1, in which the pulse beats, and which beats with less strength when persons are asleep than when awake; but such was the force of Job's disease, that it beat even in the night, when on his bed, so strongly, that he could take no rest for it; the pulse beats, as physicians say {b}, sixty times in a minute, and double the number in a burning fever, and which might be Job's case. Some take the word in the sense of fleeing or gnawing F3, as it is used ( Job 30:3 ) ; and interpret it either of his enemies, who pursued after him, and had no rest in their beds, but went out in the night to inquire and hear what they could learn concerning him and his illness, whether it was become greater {d}; or who devoured him by their calumnies and detractions, and could not sleep unless they did mischief to him; see ( Proverbs 4:16 Proverbs 4:17 ) ; or of the worms with which his body was covered, and which were continually gnawing, never rested, nor suffered him to take any rest; the Targum is, they that gnash at me rest not.


FOOTNOTES:

F1 In Tishbi, p. 67. So Lud. Capellus in loc.
F2 Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 4. p 764.
F3 (yqrew) "et rodentia mea", Schultens; "fugientia membra mea", so some in Michaelis.
F4 Vid. Bar Tzemach in loc.
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