King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Job 7

Job’s troubles. (1-6) Job expostulates with God. (7-16) He begs release. (17-21)

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Job’s troubles

1 Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?

2 As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work:

3 So am I made to possess months of vanity, and wearisome nights are appointed to me.

4 When I lie down, I say, When shall I arise, and the night be gone? and I am full of tossings to and fro unto the dawning of the day.

5 My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome.

6 My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.

Job expostulates with God

7 O remember that my life is wind: mine eye shall no more see good.

8 The eye of him that hath seen me shall see me no more: thine eyes are upon me, and I am not.

9 As the cloud is consumed and vanisheth away: so he that goeth down to the grave shall come up no more.

10 He shall return no more to his house, neither shall his place know him any more.

11 Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

12 Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch over me?

13 When I say, My bed shall comfort me, my couch shall ease my complaints;

14 Then thou scarest me with dreams, and terrifiest me through visions:

15 So that my soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than my life.

16 I loathe it; I would not live alway: let me alone; for my days are vanity.

He begs release

17 What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him?

18 And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment?

19 How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle?

20 I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?

21 And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away my iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Warfare. Heb. “is it not determined” (H.) for some short space, as the Levites had to serve from 30 to 50 years of age; (Num. iv. 3. and viii. 25.) and the days of a hireling are also defined and short. Isai. xvi. 14. Amama. — No soldier or hireling was ever treated so severely as Job. Yet they justly look for the term of their labours. Sept. have peiraterion. Old Vulg. tentatio. “Is not the life of man a temptation?” C. — Pal├Žstra, school, or time given to learn the exercise of a soldier and wrestler; or of one who has to prepare himself for a spiritual warfare, and for heaven. H. — Are we not surrounded with dangers? and may we not desire to be set at liberty? The Vulg. is very accurate, (C.) and includes all these senses. H. — A soldier must be obedient even unto death, and never resist his superior. W. — Hireling, who has no rest till the day is spent. C.

Ver. 3. And have. Heb. “they have appointed for me.” C. — God treats me with more severity, as even the night is not a time of rest for me, and my months of service are without any present recompense. H.

Ver. 4. And again. Heb. “and the night be completed, I toss to and fro,” (H.) or “I am disturbed with dreams, (C.) till day break.” Vulg. insinuates that night and day are equally restless to a man in extreme pain. H. — As I find no comfort, why may I not desire to die? M. — I desire to be dissolved, as being much better, said S. Paul.

Ver. 6. Web. Heb. “the weaver’s shuttle.” C. xvi. 23. Isa. xxxviii. 12. H. — The pagans have used the same comparison. But they make the three daughters of Necessity guide the thread of life. Plato Rep. xii. Natal. iii. 6. — Sept. “my life is swifter than speech.” Tetrapla, “than a runner.” C. — Hope. Heu fugit, &c. Ah! time is flying , never to return! H.

Ver. 7. Wind. What is life compared with eternity, or even with past ages? C. — “What is any one? Yea, what is no one? Men are the dream of a shadow,” says Pindar; (Pyth. viii. Skias onar onthropoi) “like the baseless fabric of a vision.” Shakespeare.

Ver. 8. Eyes, in anger, (C.) or thy mercy will come too late when I shall be no more.

Ver. 9. Hell, or the grave. M. — He was convinced of the resurrection. But he meant that, according to the natural course, we can have no means of returning to this world after we are dead.

Ver. 10. More. This may be explained both of the soul and of the body. Ps. cii. 16. The former resides in the body for a short time, and then seems to take no farther notice of it (C.) till the resurrection.

Ver. 11. Mouth. I will vent my bitter complaints before I die. H.

Ver. 12. Sea. Ungovernable and malicious. Some of the ancients looked upon the sea as a huge animal, whose breathing caused the tides. Strabo i. Solin xxxii. — They represented its fury as proverbial. “Fire, the sea, and woman are three evils;” and they call the most savage people sons of Neptune. Agel. xv. 21. — Am I so violent as to require such barriers? Am I capacious, or strong enough to bear such treatment? C.

Ver. 15. Hanging. Prot. “strangling and death, rather than my life,” or Marg. “bones.” H. — Any species of Death would be preferable to this misery. C. — Who would not entertain the same sentiments, if the fear of worse in the other world did not withhold him? But Job had reason to hope that his sorrows would end with his life. H. — It is thought that he was dreadfully tempted to despair. C. — Yet he resisted manfully, and overcame all attempts of the wicked one.

Ver. 16. Hope of surviving this misery. H.

Ver. 17. Magnify him, or put his to such severe trials. He is not worthy of thy attention. C. — Heb. ii. 6. H.

Ver. 18. Suddenly. During his whole life, he is exposed to dangers; (C.) of if, at first, he taste some comfort, that is presently over. The greatest saints have experienced this treatment. H.

Ver. 20. Sinned. I acknowledge my frailty. M. — How may I obtain redress? C. — Job’s friends maintained that he was guilty. But he does not acquiesce in their conclusion, that these sufferings were precisely in punishment of some crime, though he acknowledges that he is not without his faults. H. — Shall. Heb. also, “what have I done to thee?” I have only hurt myself. But this reasoning is nugatory. Though God loses nothing by our sins, they are not less offensive to him, as the rebel does his utmost to disturb the order which he has established. The sinner indeed resembles those brutal people, who hurl darts against the sun, which fall upon their own heads. C. iii. 8. C. — Opposite, as a butt to shoot at. H. — Myself. Heb. was formerly “to thee,” till the Jews changed it, as less respectful. Cajet. — Sept. still read, “and why am I a burden to thee?” (H.) as I am under the necessity of complaining, in my own defence. C. — I throw my grief upon the Lord, that He may support me. Ps. liv. 23. 1 Pet. v. 7. Pineda.

Ver. 21. Be. He lovingly expostulates with God, and begs that he would hasten his deliverance, lest it should be too late. C.