Job 6

1 Then Job answered:
2 "O that my vexation were weighed, and all my calamity laid in the balances!
3 For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea; therefore my words have been rash.
4 For the arrows of the Almighty are in me; my spirit drinks their poison; the terrors of God are arrayed against me.
5 Does the wild ass bray over its grass, or the ox low over its fodder?
6 Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt, or is there any flavor in the juice of mallows?
7 My appetite refuses to touch them; they are like food that is loathsome to me.
8 "O that I might have my request, and that God would grant my desire;
9 that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off!
10 This would be my consolation; I would even exult in unrelenting pain; for I have not denied the words of the Holy One.
11 What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should be patient?
12 Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh bronze?
13 In truth I have no help in me, and any resource is driven from me.
14 "Those who withhold kindness from a friend forsake the fear of the Almighty.
15 My companions are treacherous like a torrent-bed, like freshets that pass away,
16 that run dark with ice, turbid with melting snow.
17 In time of heat they disappear; when it is hot, they vanish from their place.
18 The caravans turn aside from their course; they go up into the waste, and perish.
19 The caravans of Tema look, the travelers of Sheba hope.
20 They are disappointed because they were confident; they come there and are confounded.
21 Such you have now become to me; you see my calamity, and are afraid.
22 Have I said, "Make me a gift'? Or, "From your wealth offer a bribe for me'?
23 Or, "Save me from an opponent's hand'? Or, "Ransom me from the hand of oppressors'?
24 "Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone wrong.
25 How forceful are honest words! But your reproof, what does it reprove?
26 Do you think that you can reprove words, as if the speech of the desperate were wind?
27 You would even cast lots over the orphan, and bargain over your friend.
28 "But now, be pleased to look at me; for I will not lie to your face.
29 Turn, I pray, let no wrong be done. Turn now, my vindication is at stake.
30 Is there any wrong on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern calamity?

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.

Footnotes 7

  • [a]. Traditional rendering of Heb [Shaddai]
  • [b]. Meaning of Heb uncertain
  • [c]. Meaning of Heb uncertain
  • [d]. Meaning of Heb uncertain
  • [e]. Syr Vg Compare Tg: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  • [f]. Traditional rendering of Heb [Shaddai]
  • [g]. Cn Compare Gk Syr: Meaning of Heb uncertain

Chapter Summary


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

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.