Job 7 Summary

Enjoy this free digital Job 7 summary from ExplainingTheBook.com in which we seek to explain verses 13-21 of Job, chapter 7. For comments on the first 12 verses of this chapter, see our Job 7 Commentary article.

Job 7 Summary | No Rest

And it seems to Job as if God will not leave him alone in peace. This watch that God has set over him is apparently in effect even when he tries to get some rest.

13 When I say,

My bed shall comfort me,
my couch shall ease my complaint;

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

So, Job says that God is sending dreams to him that terrify him and disturb his sleep.

Job 7 Summary | Effect of Sleep Deprivation

And here’s the effect of this sleep deprivation that God is working in Job’s life.

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.

Job doesn’t want to live forever. And so – in his mind – he might as well go now. That’s what he would choose – death – even if the way to that death was strangling.

Job 7 Summary | Job’s Psalm

And then, Job does something interesting in verses 17 and 18. He makes a statement that sounds very similar to one of the Psalms. You see if you can catch it.

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

And the part that sounds so familiar about verse 17 is those first three words – “what is man?”

It hearkens back to Psalm 8 – “what is man that thou art mindful of him?” But what the psalmist in Psalm 8 is doing is marveling at man’s place in God’s creation.

Job 7 Summary | Marveling

And Job marvels, alright! But here’s what he’s marveling about…

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

Psalm 8 is full of gratitude at God’s gracious dealings with mankind. That he created the awesomely expansive heavens. And yet he stoops down and takes notice of little weak helpless mankind.

Job 7 Summary | God Brings Suffering

But Job is focused on the fact that God is so involved in mankind – but in order to bring suffering to them.

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

What a pitiful picture. He wants to be left alone in order to do something that is so simple and so homely – swallowing one’s own saliva.

Job’s whole speech is full of reasons for both his friends and God himself to pity him and have mercy on him and to relent from treating him harshly.

Job 7 Summary | Sin

And Job ends this two-chapter monologue by speaking to the Lord about his own sin.

20 [If…] I have sinned; what [shall/have] I do unto thee, O thou [preserver/watcher] of men?
why hast thou set me as [a mark against thee/your target], so that I am a burden to myself?

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

I think what’s happening here is that Job is acknowledging that he’s not sinless. That was the big charge from Eliphaz – that Job had sinned.

Job says here – yes, I do sin. But – verse 21 – why are you not pardoning my sin? Job confessed it to God. He offered sacrifice for it. Why is God not responding in the way that Job thinks he should and stop the suffering?

Because – after all – the three friends and Job himself are all believing that God’s ways are as follows: Do right, and God will bless. Sin, and God will destroy.

But Job is still a man of integrity – not sinless, but dealing with his sin in the appropriate way – and yet, God seems to be destroying him.

That just doesn’t make sense. God’s ways don’t make sense. And Eliphaz has done nothing to help Job to trust God’s wisdom.

Well, maybe Bildad will do better next time.

Job 7 Commentary

Enjoy this free digital Job 7 Commentary from ExplainingTheBook.com in which we seek to explain the first 12 verses of Job, chapter 7. For more information about verses 13-21 of this chapter, see our Job 7 Summary article.

Job starts chapter 7 with an apparent reference to the fact that his days are numbered – verse 1.

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

Well, how do hirelings consider their days? Verse 2…

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

You probably know what it’s like to work somewhere that you don’t necessarily enjoy very much. When you’re in that position, it’s easy to find yourself watching the clock. Waiting for the bell. Hoping for 5:00!

Job 7 Commentary | Life

And that’s how Job feels – not about his work – but about his life. Verse 3.

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

So, Job is looking for the end – not of his work shift – but of his days on earth. And yet, he’s been given this “gift” of months that he would really rather return – because they are vanity. Emptiness. Worthless in his estimation. And yet, he possesses them.

Job 7 Commentary | Nights

The same is true of his nights. He’d rather not need to experience the night time at all. Because his night time routine is miserable– verse 4…

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.

Add to this bedtime routine the fact that he still has this very extreme skin condition – verse 5.

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

And though his nights last forever – his days speed by – verse 6.

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

And it almost sounds positive that Job’s days are swift. At least, in contrast to his long drawn-out nights. And yet, Job is not pointing this out as a good thing. He’s pointing to the fleeting nature of his days. In addition, there would surely be an element of repetition worked into the metaphor about a weaver’s shuttle. It goes back and forth – back and forth – endlessly!

Job 7 Commentary | An Appeal for Understanding

And so – in light of all these terrible realities and how weak Job is, he once again appeals for an understanding response from his friends.

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/but] I [am/will be] not.

Job can’t see his immediate situation ending in anything besides death.

Job 7 Commentary | Finality of Death

And then Job muses on the finality of death – which he expects to see soon.

9 As the cloud is [consumed/dispersed] 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.

Now, Job is not denying resurrection here. That’s not the realm of which he’s speaking.

He’s considering the fact that a man’s body – as it currently is – once it dies, it will never be that way again. The grave is a permanent place for a physical fallen body.

There is a resurrection of the body – and Job seems to testify of that reality later on in this book where he asserts that he will see God in his body. And yet, the resurrection body is similar to – but also different from – the body that’s put into the grave.

I don’t think any of us is hoping that when our bodies are raised we’ll be able to go back to our old homes and pick up life as usual. We’re certainly not hoping that this old corrupt body is what we’ll inhabit when we rise from the grave! We’re hoping for something far better.

And so, when Job points out the fact that when he dies he’s not coming back to his old life – he’s not denying that there is a resurrection. He’s saying that he’s not coming back in the same exact body which was laid in the grave to do the same exact routines that he did before his death.

Job 7 Commentary | No Holding Back

But because he foresees his death as something that is soon-to-come and because his life is now so miserable – he’s not going to hold back – verse 11.

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.

And actually – it appears that Job has shifted from addressing Eliphaz and the other two – to now addressing God directly.

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

Job pictures his circumstances as if he were somehow dangerous in God’s sight. And if that weren’t the case, then why is God seeming to set this watch over him? Job feels like God is monitoring him as if he were some unpredictable and dangerous creature or force.

Job 6 Summary

Enjoy this free digital Job 6 summary from ExplainingTheBook.com that seeks to explain Job, chapter 6 verses 24-30. To see comments on verses 1-13 of this chapter read our Job 6 Commentary article and for explanation of verses 14-23 refer to our Job 6 Meaning article.

Job 6 Summary | Why No Comfort?

And so, therefore, there must be some other reason that they refuse to sympathize with Job. Maybe he’s missing something. And he says as much in verse 24.

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

And Job’s being honest. If the friends have something substantive to say, he will readily listen.

Job 6 Summary | He Wants Reproof

Job even admits that he appreciates this kind of reproof – even if it’s forcible in verse 25…

25 How [forcible/painful] are [right/honest] words!
but what doth your arguing [reprove/prove]?

That’s the key. The words need to be honest. It’s OK if they’re forcible and painful – as long as they’re right and honest.

But that’s not how Job views Eliphaz’s words. Eliphaz’s arguments have proved nothing. They haven’t helped Job to understand at all why he’s suffering. And of course – that’s what Job is looking for. An explanation. A way in which he can understand God’s ways in his life.

Job 6 Summary | No Gain From Attack

But Eliphaz’s speech didn’t do the trick. Eliphaz just attacked Job. And Job tells Eliphaz in verse 26 that he really doesn’t gain anything from attacking Job. Because Job admits that his words are just wind…

26 Do ye imagine to [reprove/criticize] [mere…] words,
and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind?

And Job compares Eliphaz’s actions in verbally accosting him in his desperate state to one who would – as it were – take candy from a baby. Or – Job states it in a more ancient near eastern manner when he says…

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

Job feels as though he’s the fatherless and Eliphaz has overwhelmed him in his helpless state. Even though he’s supposedly Eliphaz’s friend – he feels as though this man has attempted to bury Job alive!

And what seems to be hurting Job most about Eliphaz’s criticisms of Job is that Eliphaz is indicating that Job is lying. In order for Eliphaz’s statements in chapters 4 and 5 to be true, then Job needs to be a deceitful liar.

Job 6 Summary | He’s Not Lying

And so, Job tells Eliphaz and his friends to look right at him – and Job is confident that if Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar take a careful look at him, they will know that Job is not lying in verse 28.

28 Now therefore be [content,/good enough to] look upon me;
for it is evident unto you if I lie.

And what’s interesting about that challenge is how it corresponds to Eliphaz’s emphasis on his own personal experiences. Remember? Eliphaz several times made reference to his own personal experiences in attempting to prove that Job was hiding sin for which God was now punishing him.

Well – now Job says – gain some personal experience, Eliphaz. Look at me. You will personally experience the fact that I am not lying. You put such confidence in your own reckoning of things? Well, reckon this – I’m not lying. Look, you’ll see.

And here’s what Job is not lying about – verse 29…

29 [Return/Relent], I pray you, let [it not be iniquity/there be no falsehood];
yea, [return again/reconsider for], my righteousness is [in it/intact].

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

Again, in other words, I’m innocent! Not sinless, but innocent.

So, Job takes Eliphaz’s explanation for Job’s sufferings – that is, that he sinned and God is punishing him – and flatly denies it.

Job 6 Meaning

You’ve dropped into a free digital Job 6 meaning, covering chapter 6 verses 14 through 23. You can read our Job 6 commentary on the first 13 verses of chapter 6. You can also read about 24-30 in our Job 6 Summary article.

Job 6 Meaning | Help!

But – as the book of Ecclesiastes says – two is better than one. Because if one is overcome, the second is able to help him.

And that’s true. But Job is not experiencing that kind of help – either from Eliphaz and the other two or from his own family, according to verse 14 and following…

14 To him that is afflicted [pity/kindness] should be shewed from his friend;
[but/even if] he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.

So, even if a man turns into a fool and forsakes the fear of the Almighty – if that man is under some extreme pressure and suffering – the least a true friend could do is to show him some kindness. Maybe that would win this one back to wisdom.

Job 6 Meaning | What Eliphaz Did

But Eliphaz has not done that – as we saw in chapters 4 and 5. Rather…

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

These streams can be concealed by cold…

16 Which are [blackish/dark] by reason of the ice,
and wherein the snow is hid: [piles of snow hide them…]

These streams can disappear due to heat…

17 What time they [wax warm/are scorched], 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.

Then Job continues the metaphor of bad friends being like vanishing streams as he pictures thirsty wanderers looking for water from these streams but finding none…

19 The [troops/caravans] of Tema looked, [for these streams…]
the [companies/traveling merchants] of Sheba waited for them.

20 They were [confounded/distressed] because they had [hoped/been so confident];
they came thither, and were [ashamed/disappointed].

So, Job is comparing both his three friends and his own relatives to these middle-eastern wadis – these shallow streams that are filled with water during the rainy season – and then disappear just as quickly in the dry season.

And he makes that point absolutely clear in verse 21.

21 For now ye are nothing [like those streams…];
ye see my casting down, and are afraid.

In other words, instead of being there to support Job, these men are now afraid of his calamity and they’re not ready to help their friend – but rather they’re proving to be unreliable like those vanishing streams.

Job 6 Meaning | No Comfort

And so, Job asks them a few questions to help them see how foolish their refusal to comfort him truly is in verses 22 and 23.

22 Did I say, Bring [something…] unto me?
or, Give a [reward/gift] for me of your substance?

Job hasn’t asked them to give him anything – though after being robbed by the Sabeans and Chaldeans he surely could have used something from them.

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

So, neither is he asking these men to deliver him from some enemy of his.

These kinds of questions would be imposing upon them. That at least would explain why they are being standoffish and aloof in terms of not comforting him.

Job 6 Commentary

Enjoy this free digital Job 6 commentary from ExplainingTheBook.com in which we seek to explain the first thirteen verses of Job, chapter 6! To see explanation on verses 14-23 of Job, chapter 6, read our Job 6 Meaning article. And check out our Job 6 Summary for information on verses 24-30.

In Job chapters 6 and 7 we have a speech from Job. This speech is in reaction to Eliphaz’s response to Job’s first speech.

And what Job will be reacting to is Eliphaz’s assertion – from his own personal experiences – that wicked people suffer. And therefore Job must be wicked on some level. He looked so good – but apparently there’s some wickedness that Job is hiding. And finally God is dealing with him. That’s what Eliphaz is thinking.

But the problem is that Eliphaz doesn’t understand that Job is righteous and that God is not doing this to Job as punishment or even as chastening for any sin in his life. God is doing this to prove to Satan and to all that God is worthy of worship simply for who he is – not just for the things he gives those who worship him.

But none of this makes sense to Eliphaz. And none of it even makes sense to Job.

These men are having great difficulties understanding God’s ways. And therefore, they need to get to the point where they trust his wisdom.

But – they’re not there yet. And that’s why we’re in the middle of the first of three whole cycles of debate and dialog between men who are really confused about what God is doing in Job’s life.

Job 6 Commentary | Intro

And that’s how we enter chapter 6.

1 But Job answered and said,

Job explains his previous statements in chapter 3…

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

3 For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea:
therefore my words [are swallowed up/have been wild].

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

So, I think that Job is appealing to his friends here. He wishes that he could convey accurately his grief. As if he could quantify it and put a label on it so that they could understand the enormity of it.

It’s like when my wife Lori was pregnant with our two boys and would feel sick. And I just could not get it through my skull what that was like. I would ask her to rate her sick feeling on a scale of 1 to 10. Somehow knowing that answer helped me interact more compassionately with her.

And that’s what Job ultimately wants – as we’ll see later. He wants compassion from his friends.

And it’s interesting that Job admits that his words are swallowed up – or in another translation – wild.

And his words are indicative of his sense that God has abandoned him. And even worse – that God is positively against him.

Job 6 Commentary | Additional Suffering

Now, at this point, I want us to consider that Job’s sufferings extend beyond what we heard about in chapters 1 and 2. Loss of children, loss of possessions, and his skin disease were not the only distresses that Job had.

We actually hear of the additional struggle that Job had of not being able to eat starting in verse 5…

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

The answer is no. Animals don’t cry out for food when food is right in front of them.

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

The answer again is no. No one likes eating tasteless food.

Job 6 Commentary | Difficulty Eating

And so, Job is going to follow-up those questions by relating that he has great difficulty eating anything – whether tasteless or salted.

7 [The/These] things that my soul refused to touch
[they…] are as [my/to me] [sorrowful meat/loathesome food].

And for this reason – on top of all the others we’re aware of – Job wants God to kill him…

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

Well, what’s that?…

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

Because in Job’s troubled mind – if he were to die, the following would be the case…

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

Compared to Job’s miserable life, death would be a comfort. And even though this verse is somewhat puzzling – I think the gist of it is that at least he would die not having concealed God’s words. Even if he died in the midst of unsparing sorrow – he could die in comfort – he could harden or encourage his own heart, knowing that he had been a faithful hearer and doer of God’s words in this short and miserable life of his.

Job 6 Commentary | Lack of Strength

Then Job goes on to speak of his lack of strength in verses 11-13…

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

In other words, he’s wondering why he should even continue to be strong and live. Why not die? He has nothing to live for.

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

No – of course it isn’t. Man’s flesh – compared to stone and metal is supremely weak and destructible.

13 Is not my help in me? [i.e., as weak as he is…]
and is wisdom driven quite from me? [he lacks wisdom to help himself…]

So, Job says that he lacks both strength and wisdom. He can’t help himself by either of those means. He is utterly powerless to stop his unceasing suffering.