Job 6

Job

1 Then Job replied:
2 “If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales!
3 It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas— no wonder my words have been impetuous.
4 The arrows of the Almighty are in me, my spirit drinks in their poison; God’s terrors are marshaled against me.
5 Does a wild donkey bray when it has grass, or an ox bellow when it has fodder?
6 Is tasteless food eaten without salt, or is there flavor in the sap of the mallow[a] ?
7 I refuse to touch it; such food makes me ill.
8 “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for,
9 that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut off my life!
10 Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain— that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.
11 “What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient?
12 Do I have the strength of stone? Is my flesh bronze?
13 Do I have any power to help myself, now that success has been driven from me?
14 “Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
15 But my brothers are as undependable as intermittent streams, as the streams that overflow
16 when darkened by thawing ice and swollen with melting snow,
17 but that stop flowing in the dry season, and in the heat vanish from their channels.
18 Caravans turn aside from their routes; they go off into the wasteland and perish.
19 The caravans of Tema look for water, the traveling merchants of Sheba look in hope.
20 They are distressed, because they had been confident; they arrive there, only to be disappointed.
21 Now you too have proved to be of no help; you see something dreadful and are afraid.
22 Have I ever said, ‘Give something on my behalf, pay a ransom for me from your wealth,
23 deliver me from the hand of the enemy, rescue me from the clutches of the ruthless’?
24 “Teach me, and I will be quiet; show me where I have been wrong.
25 How painful are honest words! But what do your arguments prove?
26 Do you mean to correct what I say, and treat my desperate words as wind?
27 You would even cast lots for the fatherless and barter away your friend.
28 “But now be so kind as to look at me. Would I lie to your face?
29 Relent, do not be unjust; reconsider, for my integrity is at stake.[b]
30 Is there any wickedness on my lips? Can my mouth not discern malice?

Job 6 Commentary

Chapter 6

Job justifies his complaints. (1-7) He wishes for death. (8-13) Job reproves his friends as unkind. (14-30)

Verses 1-7 Job still justifies himself in his complaints. In addition to outward troubles, the inward sense of God's wrath took away all his courage and resolution. The feeling sense of the wrath of God is harder to bear than any outward afflictions. What then did the Saviour endure in the garden and on the cross, when he bare our sins, and his soul was made a sacrifice to Divine justice for us! Whatever burden of affliction, in body or estate, God is pleased to lay upon us, we may well submit to it as long as he continues to us the use of our reason, and the peace of our conscience; but if either of these is disturbed, our case is very pitiable. Job reflects upon his friends for their censures. He complains he had nothing offered for his relief, but what was in itself tasteless, loathsome, and burdensome.

Verses 8-13 Job had desired death as the happy end of his miseries. For this, Eliphaz had reproved him, but he asks for it again with more vehemence than before. It was very rash to speak thus of God destroying him. Who, for one hour, could endure the wrath of the Almighty, if he let loose his hand against him? Let us rather say with David, O spare me a little. Job grounds his comfort upon the testimony of his conscience, that he had been, in some degree, serviceable to the glory of God. Those who have grace in them, who have the evidence of it, and have it in exercise, have wisdom in them, which will be their help in the worst of times.

Verses 14-30 In his prosperity Job formed great expectations from his friends, but now was disappointed. This he compares to the failing of brooks in summer. Those who rest their expectations on the creature, will find it fail when it should help them; whereas those who make God their confidence, have help in the time of need, ( Hebrews 4:16 ) . Those who make gold their hope, sooner or later will be ashamed of it, and of their confidence in it. It is our wisdom to cease from man. Let us put all our confidence in the Rock of ages, not in broken reeds; in the Fountain of life, not in broken cisterns. The application is very close; "for now ye are nothing." It were well for us, if we had always such convictions of the vanity of the creature, as we have had, or shall have, on a sick-bed, a death-bed, or in trouble of conscience. Job upbraids his friends with their hard usage. Though in want, he desired no more from them than a good look and a good word. It often happens that, even when we expect little from man, we have less; but from God, even when we expect much, we have more. Though Job differed from them, yet he was ready to yield as soon as it was made to appear that he was in error. Though Job had been in fault, yet they ought not to have given him such hard usage. His righteousness he holds fast, and will not let it go. He felt that there had not been such iniquity in him as they supposed. But it is best to commit our characters to Him who keeps our souls; in the great day every upright believer shall have praise of God.

Cross References 51

  • 1. Job 31:6; Proverbs 11:1; Daniel 5:27
  • 2. 1 Kings 4:29; Proverbs 27:3
  • 3. ver 11,26; Job 7:11; Job 16:6; Job 21:4; Job 23:2
  • 4. S Deuteronomy 32:23; Psalms 38:2
  • 5. S Genesis 17:1
  • 6. Job 7:20; Job 16:12,13; Job 19:12; Lamentations 3:12
  • 7. Job 21:20
  • 8. S Deuteronomy 32:32; Job 30:21; Job 34:6; Jeremiah 15:18; Jeremiah 30:12
  • 9. Job 9:34; Job 13:21; Job 18:11; Job 23:6; Job 27:20; Job 30:15; Job 33:16
  • 10. S Job 3:23; Psalms 88:15-18
  • 11. S Genesis 16:12
  • 12. Job 30:7
  • 13. Job 24:6; Isaiah 30:24
  • 14. Job 33:20; Psalms 107:18
  • 15. S Job 3:24
  • 16. Job 14:13
  • 17. Job 19:2
  • 18. S Numbers 11:15; 1 Kings 19:4; S Psalms 31:22
  • 19. S Job 2:11; Job 15:11; Psalms 94:19
  • 20. Psalms 38:17; Jeremiah 4:19; Jeremiah 45:3
  • 21. Job 22:22; Job 23:12; Psalms 119:102; Mark 8:38
  • 22. S Leviticus 11:44; S 2 Kings 19:22; S Isaiah 31:1; Leviticus 19:2; Isaiah 57:15
  • 23. S ver 3; Job 21:4
  • 24. Job 26:2
  • 25. Job 26:2
  • 26. S Job 4:5
  • 27. 1 Samuel 20:42; Job 15:4
  • 28. Job 12:4; Job 17:2,6; Job 19:19,21; Job 21:3; Job 30:1,10; Psalms 38:11; Psalms 69:20; 1 John 3:17
  • 29. S Genesis 17:1
  • 30. Job 13:4; Job 16:2; Job 21:34; Psalms 22:1; Psalms 38:11; Jeremiah 15:18
  • 31. Psalms 147:18
  • 32. Job 24:19
  • 33. S Genesis 25:15; Isaiah 21:14
  • 34. S Genesis 10:7,28
  • 35. Jeremiah 14:3; Joel 1:11
  • 36. Psalms 38:11
  • 37. S Numbers 35:31; Job 33:24; Psalms 49:7
  • 38. Jeremiah 15:10
  • 39. S 2 Kings 19:19
  • 40. S Job 2:10; Job 33:33; Psalms 39:1; Psalms 141:3; Proverbs 10:19; Proverbs 11:12; Proverbs 17:27; Ecclesiastes 5:2
  • 41. Job 19:4
  • 42. Ecclesiastes 12:11; Isaiah 22:23
  • 43. S ver 3; S Genesis 41:6; Job 8:2; Job 15:3; Job 16:3; Jeremiah 5:13
  • 44. Ezekiel 24:6; Joel 3:3; Obadiah 1:11; Nahum 3:10; 2 Peter 2:3
  • 45. S Exodus 22:22,24; Job 31:17,21; Isaiah 10:2
  • 46. Job 9:15; Job 24:25; Job 27:4; Job 32:10; Job 33:1,3; Job 34:6; Job 36:3,4
  • 47. Job 19:6; Job 27:2; Job 40:8; Isaiah 40:27
  • 48. S Job 2:3
  • 49. Job 9:21; Job 10:7; Job 11:2; Job 12:4; Job 23:7,10; Job 33:9,32; Job 34:5,36; Job 35:2; Job 42:6; Psalms 66:10; Zechariah 13:9
  • 50. Job 27:4
  • 51. Job 12:11

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  • [b]. Or "my righteousness still stands"

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JOB 6

This and the following chapter contain Job's answer to the speech of Eliphaz in the two foregoing; he first excuses his impatience by the greatness of his afflictions, which, if weighed by good and impartial hands, would be found to be heavier than the sand of the sea, and which words were wanting to express, Job 6:1-3; and the reason why they were so heavy is given, they being the arrows and terrors of the Almighty, Job 6:4; and by various similes he shows that his moans and complaints under them need not seem strange and unreasonable, Job 6:5-7; and what had been said not being convincing to him, he continues in the same sentiment and disposition of mind, and wishes to be removed by death out of his miserable condition, and gives his reasons for it, Job 6:8-13; and though his case was such as required pity from his friends, yet this he had not from them, but represents them as deceitful, and as having sadly disappointed him, and therefore he neither hoped nor asked for anything of them, Job 6:14-23; and observes that their words and arguments were of no force and weight with him, but harmful and pernicious, Job 6:24-27; and in his turn gives them some exhortations and instructions, and signifies that he was as capable of discerning between right and wrong as they, with which this chapter is concluded, Job 6:28-30.

Job 6 Commentaries