King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Job 6

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

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Job justifies his complaints

1 But Job answered and said,

2 Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together!

3 For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up.

4 For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.

5 Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder?

6 Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?

7 The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.

He wishes for death

8 Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!

9 Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!

10 Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.

11 What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life?

12 Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass?

13 Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me?

Job reproves his friends as unkind

14 To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.

15 My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away;

16 Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid:

17 What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place.

18 The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and perish.

19 The troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them.

20 They were confounded because they had hoped; they came thither, and were ashamed.

21 For now ye are nothing; ye see my casting down, and are afraid.

22 Did I say, Bring unto me? or, Give a reward for me of your substance?

23 Or, Deliver me from the enemy’s hand? or, Redeem me from the hand of the mighty?

24 Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.

25 How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?

26 Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind?

27 Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.

28 Now therefore be content, look upon me; for it is evident unto you if I lie.

29 Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it.

30 Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things?

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. My sins, &c. In the Heb. my wrath. He does not mean to compare his sufferings with his real sins; but with the imaginary crimes which his friends falsely imputed to him: and especially with his wrath or grief, expressed in the third chapter, which they so much accused. Though, as he tells them here, it bore no proportion with the greatness of his calamity. Ch. — Job does not deny but he may have transgressed. C. See C. vii. 20. — But his is not conscious of any mortal offence; such as his friends insisted he must have committed, as he was so cruelly tormented. H. — Some deny canonical authority to the words of Job, because God reprehended him. But S. Greg. (Mor. vii.) says, Ab √¶terno judice casurus laudari non potuit. D. — “The man who was on the point of falling, could not be praised by the eternal Judge;” (H.) and it seems to be a mistake that Job erred, (Houbig.) though asserted by many. See C. W. &c. — Wrath. Heb. “O that my grief (H. or complaints. C.) were thoroughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together.” Prot. H. — A just man confesses his own sins, but not those which are wrongfully laid to his charge. W.

Ver. 3. Heavier. The figure hyperbole is frequently used in Scripture, to give us some idea of what surpasses our understanding. Job intimates that he punishment was incomparably greater than his sins. As he and other saints, particularly our Saviour and the blessed Virgin, have thus patiently suffered more than they had deserved, these merits form part of that treasure of the Church, out of which the pope and bishops are empowered to dispense indulgences, to release people from the pains due to sin, either in this world or in purgatory. W. — Sept. “Yea, these (sorrows) are heavier than the sand of the seashore. But, it seems my words are wicked.” H.

Ver. 4. Rage. Heb. “poison,” (H.) or “venom;” (Chal. M.) as it was customary to use poisoned arrows. C. — Sept. “When I begin to speak, they pierce me. For what! Does the wild ass continually bray, except when he is in quest of food?” H. — It is easy for those to be silent who suffer nothing. The wild asses were so common in those parts, (C.) that Herod sometimes slew 40 in a hunt. Joseph. Bel. i. 16. — Many fabulous account have been given of them. Some are still found in Ethiopia resembling a mule, except in the ears, and beautifully striped with grey, black, and reddish colours. Bernier.

Ver. 6. Salt. I wonder not that you should consider my lamentations as insipid; I now find some consolation in them, v. 7. C. — Or can. Heb. “or is there any taste in the white of an egg?” (Prot.) or in blue milk? (Mercer) or “in the spittle, which a man swallows in a dream?” See Isai. xxviii. 8. If pain did not extort these complaints, should I find any pleasure in them? C. — Sept. “is there any taste in vain words?” Can I hear your arguments without indignation? H. M. — Some MSS. add, “For to a hungry soul even bitter things appear to be sweet,” from Prov. xxvii. 7. C.

Ver. 9. Off, and release me from this state of misery and danger. H. — He is ready to die cheerfully, if it be God’s will. C. — Sept. “May the Lord, who has begun, wound me, but not take me away finally. Yea, let my city, over which I have exulted, be my grave. I will not spare, for I have not belied a word of my holy God.” H.

Ver. 11. End. Sept. “time.” I am too weak and short-lived to bear all this. H. — I can perceive no end. M. — Keep. Prot. “prolong my life.” H. — “What is the extent of my soul, to reach so far?” C. — Longanimity is the characteristic of a great soul. H.

Ver. 12. Brass. This is proverbial. Homer (Iliad A) says, “Attack the Greeks; their skin is neither of stone, (C.) iron, or brass.” Those who are aware of their own frailty, ought not to expose themselves to dangerous company, particularly to those of the other sex.

Ver. 13. Myself. “Have I not placed my trust in him?” God alone. H. — All my other friends have abandoned me, v. 15. C. — Can they wonder if I express my grief? H. — Familiar. Heb. “is wisdom removed far from me?” H. — Has my strength abandoned me, so that I cannot be recognized? C.

Ver. 16. Them. They shall run from a less to a greater evil. C. — Sept. “Those who respected me, have now fallen upon me, like snow or ice; (17) as when it is consumed with heat, it is no longer known where it was: (18) thus I have been abandoned by all, lost and expelled from my house.” Consider, (19) Heb. continues, in the comparison of the torrents, (15) “which are hidden by the ice and snow,” and are left dry and of no service in summer, when most wanted. H. — So these friends stood by me only in the days of my prosperity. C. — Luther and the Dutch version follow the Vulg. Amama says, improperly. He proposes that of Pagnin, “which (torrents) are darkened by the ice. Snow is concealed in (Mont. upon) them.” H.

Ver. 18. Entangled. Like meandering streams, my friends act crookedly. M.

Ver. 19. While. Till the torrents subside, when the caravans from these towns of Arabia may pass on. Job may also address his friends, (C.) and bid them consider how few had taken any notice of him. M. — Prot. “the troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them.”

Ver. 20. I. Heb. “they had hoped” to pass along. H.

Ver. 21. Come. Heb. “are good for nothing.” C. — Prot. marg. “like to them.”

Ver. 25. Why. Heb. “How strong are the words of truth!” C. — Whereas. Prot. “But what doth your arguing reprove?” What part of my discourse do you find erroneous? Sept. “But it seems the words of the man of truth are deceitful. Yet I do not beg from you (a word or) strength.” H.

Ver. 26. Wind. Job humbles the vanity of Eliphaz. C. — Sept. “nor shall your rebuke silence my words: for I will not admit the sound of your discourse. Nay, you rush,” &c.

Ver. 30. Mouth. He engages their attention. C. — Heb. “Cannot my taste discern perverse things,” (Prot. H.) or “the evil” which I endure? My complaints are not surely unfounded. C.