Job 17

1 “My spirit is consumed. My days are extinct, And the grave is ready for me. 2 Surely there are mockers with me. My eye dwells on their provocation. 3 Now give a pledge, be collateral for me with yourself. Who is there who will strike hands with me? 4 For you have hidden their heart from understanding, Therefore you shall not exalt them. 5 He who denounces his friends for plunder, Even the eyes of his children shall fail. 6 But he has made me a byword of the people. They spit in my face. 7 My eye also is dim by reason of sorrow. All my members are as a shadow. 8 Upright men shall be astonished at this. The innocent shall stir up himself against the godless. 9 Yet shall the righteous hold on his way. He who has clean hands shall grow stronger and stronger. 10 But as for you all, come on now again; I shall not find a wise man amongst you. 11 My days are past, my plans are broken off, as are the thoughts of my heart. 12 They change the night into day, saying ‘The light is near’ in the presence of darkness. 13 If I look for Sheol as my house, if I have spread my couch in the darkness, 14 If I have said to corruption, ‘You are my father;’ to the worm, ‘My mother,’ and ‘my sister;’ 15 where then is my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it? 16 Shall it go down with me to the gates of Sheol, or descend together into the dust?”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–9

Job reflects upon the harsh censures his friends had passed upon him, and, looking on himself as a dying man, he appeals to God. Our time is ending. It concerns us carefully to redeem the days of time, and to spend them in getting ready for eternity. We see the good use the righteous should make of Job’s afflictions from God, from enemies, and from friends. Instead of being discouraged in the service of God, by the hard usage this faithful servant of God met with, they should be made bold to proceed and persevere therein. Those who keep their eye upon heaven as their end, will keep their feet in the paths of religion as their way, whatever difficulties and discouragements they may meet with.

Verses 10–16

Job’s friends had pretended to comfort him with the hope of his return to a prosperous estate; he here shows that those do not go wisely about the work of comforting the afflicted, who fetch their comforts from the possibility of recovery in this world. It is our wisdom to comfort ourselves, and others, in distress, with that which will not fail; the promise of God, his love and grace, and a well-grounded hope of eternal life. See how Job reconciles himself to the grave. Let this make believers willing to die; it is but going to bed; they are weary, and it is time that they were in their beds. Why should not they go willingly when their Father calls them? Let us remember our bodies are allied to corruption, the worm and the dust; and let us seek for that lively hope which shall be fulfilled, when the hope of the wicked shall be put out in darkness; that when our bodies are in the grave, our souls may enjoy the rest reserved for the people of God.

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