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'«. And why shouldest thou, Eliphaz, try to prevent my complaint against my life, or my desire of death, by giving me hopes of many prosperous days in this world ? Or, pray mistake me not ; as if I thought the time appointed of God could be anticipated. No; I know it cannot; though I take the liberty, in such language, to express my present uneasiness.
i Verse 2. -As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow, and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his work.'
“ The shadow means that which is most refreshing and desirable to a labourer. The same word signifies desire earnestly; and also to gape and draw in the air pantingly. Christ gives the character of the hireling, John x. His reward is the object he has in view. But he that works for Christ finds his reward in his work, and his eye is upon his work as a reward.
« Now, saith Job, as a servant earnestly de. sires the shadow, and the hireling waits for his wages at night, so, and for the same reason, I desire death.
“ Verse 3. · For I am made to possess months of vanity:'-'The word signifies, to possess by inheritance; and notes also their continuance. Months of vanity; that is, his days were useless, and had been so a great while. They are empty moons, always in the wane, or ever in the eclipse. I am tired out with, and have no sensible benefit of, my troubles ; my hopes are frustrate, and my expectations of relief disaps pointed. And · Wecirisome nights are appointa
ed unto me. This seems to be as if Job had said, when the servant is weary with his work he can lie down at night and rest himself; but I, who am labouring in the heat of this aftliction, and would be glad of some repose, yet the night is as troublesome to me as the day ; and as the hireling receives his wages, so I would like to see the end and issue of my troubles ; but my wages are months of vanity, and my reward nights of trouble. It must very much increase the affliction of sickness and age to a good man, that he is thereby forced from his usefulness. He insists not so much that he hath no pleasure, as that they are days in which he doth no good. .“ Observe, That sleep gives some intermission to the cares, and pains, and groans that afflict us; but poor Job could not gain this relief.
“ The next verse is a most exact description of a wearisome night. . .“ Verse 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.
- What a pitiful plight, to be so full of trouble and torture, and so tossed, as to have no rest night nor day; and what an addition to his affliction, as not to be able to obtain a nap in the morning! .“ Observe, It is common for a man in pain to look for relief from change of position, or even from change of time. Let us remember how distressing it is, through pain of body or agitation of mind, to lie all night telling the clock, and wishing for the day; and to be in this situation day after day, and no hope of recovery, is very trying. While we bless and thank God for good nights, let us pity and pray for all who are suffering adversity.
of He goes on to show what a pitiful spectacle he was, and that it was no wonder he had restless nights and mournful days.
“ Verse 5. "My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken and become loathsome.'
“ Job is in his grave-clothes before he dies, and he accounts himself as good as dead ; or, like Heman, free among the dead, a member of that corporation already; for he was now in that habit or livery, a gown of worms, set or embroidered with clods of dust. His worn-out skin had many rents in it that needed mending, and he was so filthy as to need washing.
" Seeing our bodies have in them the principles of corruption, and that they may soon become so loathsome, that we may wish to get rid of them, how foolish to pamper or be proud of them, and deck them with fine attire! He carries his complaint still farther.
“ Verse 6. My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope.'
“ The speed of the shuttle is proverbial for all things that are quick and transient. By his days here, we understand his days of comfort and prosperity ; but now every hour seems a year, and the remembrance of former times aggravates my present distress. Job said, My
days are spent; and, what is still more, my hope is spent ; for I have no expectation of recovery from this disease.
•• There are many hints of the quick invisible motion of time in this book, and this is a point so universally known, that every man assents to it; but alas, very few believe it. Hence observe, that common truths neglected, is apt to lead us to make light of every truth.
“ Since time once gone cannot be recovered, we should carefully improve it as it passes along. It moves along at an equal rate; though, according to the circumstances in which we are placed, it appears either tedious or quick.
« It is true, that hope is the anchor of the soul, &c. and while hope holds, comfort continues; but even a godly man's hope may lie prostrate, and then all is gone.
- Job, having thus complained of his condition, and vindicated his desire of death, now turns from his friends, and betakes himself to God. The next words are generally understood as an apostrophe to God.
- Verse 7. “O remember that my life is wind; mine eye shall no more see good.' Here he turns to God, and speaks to him. If men will not hear us, God will; and he can help when men cannot. · “ He here represents himself to God as surely and speedily dying; and I shall then be beyond the smart of earthly sorrows, and above the sense of earthly joys; for mine eye shall no more see good.
6 When Hezekiah said, I shall not see the Lord, &c. he means, that he should not behold God in his great works, or in his ordinances.'
Observe, That God is usually the last, but always the best refuge.
“ 2d, It is an argument moving the Lord to compassion, to mind him of the frailty of our condition. It is said, Deut. xxxii. 36, · The Lord shall repent himself for his servants;' but when will he do so ? .when he seeth that their power is gone.' &c. ; that is, when they have no strong place to defend themselves, and are ready to sink, then the Lord takes this both as an argument and season for him to change the way of his administration to them.
“ 3d, That however good worldly things are, they will be or no use after death, therefore be so wise as to improve this time, which passes like a shuttle and a blast of wind ; to lay up such good things as your eyes shall see when you are laid in the grave, even such things as eye hath not seen.
“ Verse 8. · The eye of him that seeth me, shall see me no more.'
« Death takes us from seeing, and from being seen; as all the good we have seen will be hid from our eyes, so all our glory and excellency will be obscured from the eyes of others in the grave.
«« Thine eyes are upon me, and I am not. Lord, if thou defer but a little to help me, I shall be laid in the grave, and then help will be too late. Death sweeps all that appears of man into the grave; the world shall no more