King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Job 17

Job appeals from man to God. (1-9) His hope is not in life, but in death. (10-16)

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Job appeals from man to God

1 My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me.

2 Are there not mockers with me? and doth not mine eye continue in their provocation?

3 Lay down now, put me in a surety with thee; who is he that will strike hands with me?

4 For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them.

5 He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail.

6 He hath made me also a byword of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret.

7 Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow.

8 Upright men shall be astonied at this, and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite.

9 The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.

His hope is not in life, but in death

10 But as for you all, do ye return, and come now: for I cannot find one wise man among you.

11 My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart.

12 They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness.

13 If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness.

14 I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.

15 And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it?

16 They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Spirit. Heb. “breath is corrupt,” (H.) or spent. I cannot breathe without the greatest difficulty. C. — Only. Sept. “But I want the grave, and do not obtain it.” H.

Ver. 2. Not sinned. That is, I am not guilty of such sins as they charge me with. Ch. — Heb. “the wicked were not with me” in friendship at any time. Prot. “Are there not mockers with me?” H. — Job was doubly afflicted, with corporal pain and calumny: yet hopeth in God. W.

Ver. 3. Fight. I am secure under thy protection. Heb. “who will strike hands with me?” or stand bondsman for my debt? Prov. vi. 1. Who will take my place? You accuse me of weakness and of impiety: but how would you act, if you were treated in the same manner? C.

Ver. 4. Understanding. They will not answer for me. They are not of such a generous disposition; nor can they distinguish between the punishment of guilt and the trial of virtue. C.

Ver. 5. He. My friend. C. — Heb. “speaketh flattery,” (H.) or promiseth to caress me, while he neglects his own children. But the sense of the Vulg. and Chal. seem preferable. My friends speak as if they could do any thing, and as if no trial would stagger their resolution. But they durst not be in my situation for a short time. C. — Like hunters, who have promised their children some prey, my friends will not, however, gain the victory over me. M.

Ver. 6. Example. Prot. “a tabret.” H. — The people sing over my misfortune. Lam. iii. 14. I am represented as a victim of God’s just indignation. C. — Sept. “a laughter,” or laughing-stock. H.

Ver. 7. Indignation of God, or of myself. M. — Nothing. Heb. “as a shadow.” C.

Ver. 8. Hypocrite. If you condemn me, I shall comfort myself with the approbation of the righteous, and still maintain my station. H. — Men of sense and virtue will tremble at the judgments of God, and will never join the crowd of scoffers. C.

Ver. 10. Man. He offers to dispute with them again, and convince them of folly; (M.) or rather he here concludes his address to them, and invites them to change their preposterous judgments.

Ver. 11. Thoughts, or fine projects of living happy a long time. C.

Ver. 12. Day. Sleep flees from me. M. — All is in confusion. — After. Heb. and Sept. “light is near in the face of darkness.” H. — I still hope for relief.

Ver. 13. Hell. Seol. The region of the dead. Ch. — Prot. “grave.” H. — But this text proves that there was a place of rest called hell. W. — He speaks here chiefly of the body. C. — Mors ultima linea rerum est. Hor. — “Death is the end of all.” H. — If I refrain from complaining, still I cannot expect to be restored to health.

Ver. 14. Sister. I am nearly related to such things, and ready to drop into the grave, as my flesh is already devoured by worms. M.

Ver. 15. Who. Heb. “who shall see my hope?” I wish all might witness it. H. — But I expect no redress on this side of the grave. C.

Ver. 16. Deepest pit. Literally hell. Ch. — Heb. “We shall go down to the bars of the pit, when we shall rest together in the dust.” My hope may be frustrated by death; (H.) or you, my friends, must also go to the house of eternity. C.