Job 30

1 “But now they mock me, men younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to put with my sheep dogs.
2 Of what use was the strength of their hands to me, since their vigor had gone from them?
3 Haggard from want and hunger, they roamed[a] the parched land in desolate wastelands at night.
4 In the brush they gathered salt herbs, and their food[b] was the root of the broom bush.
5 They were banished from human society, shouted at as if they were thieves.
6 They were forced to live in the dry stream beds, among the rocks and in holes in the ground.
7 They brayed among the bushes and huddled in the undergrowth.
8 A base and nameless brood, they were driven out of the land.
9 “And now those young men mock me in song; I have become a byword among them.
10 They detest me and keep their distance; they do not hesitate to spit in my face.
11 Now that God has unstrung my bow and afflicted me, they throw off restraint in my presence.
12 On my right the tribe[c] attacks; they lay snares for my feet, they build their siege ramps against me.
13 They break up my road; they succeed in destroying me. ‘No one can help him,’ they say.
14 They advance as through a gaping breach; amid the ruins they come rolling in.
15 Terrors overwhelm me; my dignity is driven away as by the wind, my safety vanishes like a cloud.
16 “And now my life ebbs away; days of suffering grip me.
17 Night pierces my bones; my gnawing pains never rest.
18 In his great power God becomes like clothing to me[d] ; he binds me like the neck of my garment.
19 He throws me into the mud, and I am reduced to dust and ashes.
20 “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me.
21 You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me.
22 You snatch me up and drive me before the wind; you toss me about in the storm.
23 I know you will bring me down to death, to the place appointed for all the living.
24 “Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man when he cries for help in his distress.
25 Have I not wept for those in trouble? Has not my soul grieved for the poor?
26 Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came darkness.
27 The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me.
28 I go about blackened, but not by the sun; I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
29 I have become a brother of jackals, a companion of owls.
30 My skin grows black and peels; my body burns with fever.
31 My lyre is tuned to mourning, and my pipe to the sound of wailing.

Job 30 Commentary

Chapter 30

Job's honour is turned into contempt. (1-14) Job a burden to himself. (15-31)

Verses 1-14 Job contrasts his present condition with his former honour and authority. What little cause have men to be ambitious or proud of that which may be so easily lost, and what little confidence is to be put in it! We should not be cast down if we are despised, reviled, and hated by wicked men. We should look to Jesus, who endured the contradiction of sinners.

Verses 15-31 Job complains a great deal. Harbouring hard thoughts of God was the sin which did, at this time, most easily beset Job. When inward temptations join with outward calamities, the soul is hurried as in a tempest, and is filled with confusion. But woe be to those who really have God for an enemy! Compared with the awful state of ungodly men, what are all outward, or even inward temporal afflictions? There is something with which Job comforts himself, yet it is but a little. He foresees that death will be the end of all his troubles. God's wrath might bring him to death; but his soul would be safe and happy in the world of spirits. If none pity us, yet our God, who corrects, pities us, even as a father pitieth his own children. And let us look more to the things of eternity: then the believer will cease from mourning, and joyfully praise redeeming love.

Cross References 61

  • 1. S Job 6:14; S Job 11:3; S Psalms 119:21; Job 12:4
  • 2. Isaiah 56:10
  • 3. Isaiah 8:21
  • 4. Job 24:5
  • 5. Jeremiah 17:6
  • 6. Job 39:6
  • 7. S 1 Kings 19:4
  • 8. Isaiah 2:19; Hosea 10:8
  • 9. Job 6:5
  • 10. Job 39:5-6
  • 11. S Judges 9:4
  • 12. S Job 18:18
  • 13. S Job 16:10; Psalms 69:11
  • 14. Job 12:4; Lamentations 3:14,63
  • 15. S Job 17:6
  • 16. Job 19:19
  • 17. Numbers 12:14; S Deuteronomy 25:9; Isaiah 50:6; Matthew 26:67
  • 18. S Job 29:20
  • 19. S Genesis 12:17; S Ruth 1:21
  • 20. Job 41:13; Psalms 32:9
  • 21. Psalms 109:6; Zechariah 3:1
  • 22. S Job 18:9
  • 23. Psalms 140:4-5
  • 24. S Job 16:10; Job 19:12
  • 25. Isaiah 3:12
  • 26. S Job 10:3
  • 27. S 2 Kings 25:4
  • 28. S Job 6:4
  • 29. S Exodus 3:6; Job 10:8; Job 31:2-3,23; Job 31:23; Psalms 55:4-5
  • 30. S Job 3:25; Hosea 13:3
  • 31. S Job 3:24; Psalms 22:14; Psalms 42:4
  • 32. ver 27; S Job 9:17
  • 33. S Deuteronomy 28:35; S Job 16:16
  • 34. S Job 9:4
  • 35. Psalms 40:2; Psalms 69:2,14; Psalms 130:1; Jeremiah 38:6,22
  • 36. S Genesis 3:19; S Job 2:8
  • 37. S 1 Kings 8:52; Psalms 34:17; Proverbs 2:3; Micah 4:9
  • 38. S Job 19:7; Lamentations 3:8
  • 39. Job 19:6,22; Jeremiah 6:23; Jeremiah 30:14; Jeremiah 50:42
  • 40. Job 16:9,14; Isaiah 9:12; Isaiah 14:26; Isaiah 31:3; Ezekiel 6:14
  • 41. S Job 4:5; S Job 6:4; S Job 10:3
  • 42. Job 27:21; Jude 1:12
  • 43. S Job 9:17
  • 44. S 2 Samuel 14:14; S Job 3:13; S Job 10:3; Job 9:22; Job 10:8
  • 45. S Job 3:19
  • 46. Psalms 145:14; Isaiah 42:3; Isaiah 57:15
  • 47. S Job 19:7
  • 48. Luke 19:41; Philippians 3:18
  • 49. S Job 24:4; Psalms 35:13-14; Romans 12:15
  • 50. S Job 3:6,17; Job 3:25-26; S Job 19:8; S Psalms 82:5; S Jeremiah 4:23; Jeremiah 8:15
  • 51. Psalms 38:8; Lamentations 2:11
  • 52. S ver 16
  • 53. S Job 17:14; Lamentations 4:8; Psalms 38:6; Psalms 42:9; Psalms 43:2
  • 54. S Job 19:7; S Job 24:12
  • 55. Psalms 44:19; Isaiah 34:13; Jeremiah 9:11
  • 56. Psalms 102:6; Micah 1:8
  • 57. S Job 17:14
  • 58. Lamentations 3:4; Lamentations 4:8
  • 59. S Deuteronomy 28:35; S Job 16:16; Psalms 102:3; Lamentations 1:13; Lamentations 5:10
  • 60. S Genesis 8:8; Psalms 137:2; Isaiah 16:11; Isaiah 24:8; Ezekiel 26:13
  • 61. S Genesis 4:21

Footnotes 4

  • [a]. Or "gnawed"
  • [b]. Or "fuel"
  • [c]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  • [d]. Hebrew; Septuagint "power he grasps my clothing"

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JOB 30

Job in this chapter sets forth his then unhappy state and condition, in contrast with his former state of prosperity described in the preceding chapter: things had taken a strange turn, and were just the reverse of what they were before; he that was before in such high esteem and credit with all sorts of men, young and old, high and low, rich and poor, now is had in derision by the meanest and basest of men, whose characters are described, Job 30:1-8; and the instances of their contempt of him by words and gestures are given, Job 30:9-14; he who enjoyed so much ease of mind, and health of body, is now filled with distresses of soul, and bodily diseases, Job 30:15-19; and he who enjoyed so much of the presence of God, and communion with him, and of his love and favour, was now disregarded, and, as he thought, cruelly used by him, who not only had destroyed his substance, but was about to bring him to the grave, Job 30:20-24; all which came upon him, though he had a sympathizing heart with the poor, and them that were in trouble, and when he expected better things, Job 30:25-28; and he close the chapter, lamenting his sad and sorrowful circumstances, Job 30:29-31.

Job 30 Commentaries