Job 19

1 Then Job answered, 2 “How long will you torment me, and crush me with words? 3 You have reproached me ten times. You aren’t ashamed that you attack me. 4 If it is true that I have erred, my error remains with myself. 5 If indeed you will magnify yourselves against me, and plead against me my reproach; 6 know now that God has subverted me, and has surrounded me with his net. 7 “Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard. I cry for help, but there is no justice. 8 He has walled up my way so that I can’t pass, and has set darkness in my paths. 9 He has stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head. 10 He has broken me down on every side, and I am gone. My hope he has plucked up like a tree. 11 He has also kindled his wrath against me. He counts me amongst his adversaries. 12 His troops come on together, build a siege ramp against me, and encamp around my tent. 13 “He has put my brothers far from me. My acquaintances are wholly estranged from me. 14 My relatives have gone away. My familiar friends have forgotten me. 15 Those who dwell in my house, and my maids, count me for a stranger. I am an alien in their sight. 16 I call to my servant, and he gives me no answer. I beg him with my mouth. 17 My breath is offensive to my wife. I am loathsome to the children of my own mother. 18 Even young children despise me. If I arise, they speak against me. 19 All my familiar friends abhor me. They whom I loved have turned against me. 20 My bones stick to my skin and to my flesh. I have escaped by the skin of my teeth. 21 “Have pity on me, have pity on me, you my friends; for the hand of God has touched me. 22 Why do you persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh? 23 “Oh that my words were now written! Oh that they were inscribed in a book! 24 That with an iron pen and lead they were engraved in the rock forever! 25 But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives. In the end, he will stand upon the earth. 26 After my skin is destroyed, then in my flesh shall I see God, 27 Whom I, even I, shall see on my side. My eyes shall see, and not as a stranger. “My heart is consumed within me. 28 If you say, ‘How we will persecute him!’ because the root of the matter is found in me, 29 be afraid of the sword, for wrath brings the punishments of the sword, that you may know there is a judgement.”

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

Verses 1–7

Job’s friends blamed him as a wicked man, because he was so afflicted; here he describes their unkindness, showing that what they condemned was capable of excuse. Harsh language from friends, greatly adds to the weight of afflictions: yet it is best not to lay it to heart, lest we harbour resentment. Rather let us look to Him who endured the contradiction of sinners against himself, and was treated with far more cruelty than Job was, or we can be. (Job 19:8-22)

Verses 8–22

How doleful are Job’s complaints! What is the fire of hell but the wrath of God! Seared consciences will feel it hereafter, but do not fear it now: enlightened consciences fear it now, but shall not feel it hereafter. It is a very common mistake to think that those whom God afflicts he treats as his enemies. Every creature is that to us which God makes it to be; yet this does not excuse Job’s relations and friends. How uncertain is the friendship of men! but if God be our Friend, he will not fail us in time of need. What little reason we have to indulge the body, which, after all our care, is consumed by diseases it has in itself. Job recommends himself to the compassion of his friends, and justly blames their harshness. It is very distressing to one who loves God, to be bereaved at once of outward comfort and of inward consolation; yet if this, and more, come upon a believer, it does not weaken the proof of his being a child of God and heir of glory.

Verses 23–29

The Spirit of God, at this time, seems to have powerfully wrought on the mind of Job. Here he witnessed a good confession; declared the soundness of his faith, and the assurance of his hope. Here is much of Christ and heaven; and he that said such things are these, declared plainly that he sought the better country, that is, the heavenly. Job was taught of God to believe in a living Redeemer; to look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come; he comforted himself with the expectation of these. Job was assured, that this Redeemer of sinners from the yoke of Satan and the condemnation of sin, was his Redeemer, and expected salvation through him; and that he was a living Redeemer, though not yet come in the flesh; and that at the last day he would appear as the Judge of the world, to raise the dead, and complete the redemption of his people. With what pleasure holy Job enlarges upon this! May these faithful sayings be engraved by the Holy Spirit upon our hearts. We are all concerned to see that the root of the matter be in us. A living, quickening, commanding principle of grace in the heart, is the root of the matter; as necessary to our religion as the root of the tree, to which it owes both its fixedness and its fruitfulness. Job and his friends differed concerning the methods of Providence, but they agreed in the root of the matter, the belief of another world.

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