Job 7


‘Do not mortals have hard service on earth? Are not their days like those of hired laborers? Like a slave longing for the evening shadows, or a hired labourer waiting to be paid, so I have been allotted months of futility, and nights of misery have been assigned to me. When I lie down I think, ‘How long before I get up?’ The night drags on, and I toss and turn until dawn. My body is clothed with worms and scabs, my skin is broken and festering. “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and they come to an end without hope. Remember, O God, that my life is but a breath; my eyes will never see happiness again. The eye that now sees me will see me no longer; you will look for me, but I will be no more. As a cloud vanishes and is gone, so one who goes down to the grave does not return. He will never come to his house again; his place will know him no more.’ Job 7:1-10

Job Continues With His Response

Job now turns Eliphaz’s argument right around, to turn it against him and God. In effect what he is saying is that God is my enemy. He describes his life as a hard and painful servitude and all there was to look forward to was the end of life. Months of misery are aggravated by the torture of his disease and he is not getting much sleep.

He describes the brevity of life, days are swifter than the weaver’s shuttle. The final thing being without hope is death but later he will later regret what he has said.

Like a cloud, it was vanishing away and headed for the grave. The dead don’t return to the living, he said, and so, the dead are forgotten by the living. He wants to be left alone because his days are up and he still felt that death was an option in order to be delivered from his suffering.

Clarke, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Human life is a state of probation, a time of exercise to train us for eternal life. It is warfare, we are enlisted in the Church Militant and must accomplish our time of service. And there is no discharge in that war, Ecclesiastes 8:8.’

‘Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Am I the sea, or the monster of the deep, that you put me under guard? When I think my bed will comfort me and my couch will ease my complaint, even then you frighten me with dreams and terrify me with visions, so that I prefer strangling and death, rather than this body of mine. I despise my life; I would not live forever. Let me alone; my days have no meaning. “What is mankind that you make so much of them, that you give them so much attention, that you examine them every morning and test them every moment? Will you never look away from me, or let me alone even for an instant? If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who sees everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you? Why do you not pardon my offenses and forgive my sins? For I will soon lie down in the dust; you will search for me, but I will be no more.” Job 7:11-21

Job now turns to bring his case before God. He says to God, why do you keep harassing me and watching me. ‘Am I a monster that you have to do this to’. He questioned why God would allow him to live since his plight was so miserable in life.

He even says that God pursues him in his dreams. He felt that God was constantly afflicting him, and so, questioned why he was being tormented.

In Psalm 8:4, the palmist asks, ‘what is man that you make so much of him’, but here, the contrast is vivid. Job says what is there about man that makes God hound him so much. God doesn’t look away long enough for Him to even leave him alone, even for an instant.

Job is worked up so much, that he challenges God, he asks if he has sinned, ‘show me, show everyone what I have done’. He sees himself as a target and even if he has sinned so badly why doesn’t God take away the consequences.

If he has sinned, why has God had not forgiven him of his sin. He says soon he will be gone and he will not be able to be kicked around anymore.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Job does not contemplate suicide. The case of Ahithophel, 2 Samuel 17:23, is the only bona fide case of suicide in the Old Testament. The instances of two warriors resorting to suicide, Judges 9:54 / 1 Samuel 31:4, in order to escape dishonour are not quite the same as deliberate and premeditated suicide.’

Job speaks disrespectfully and stupidly and he is desperate and doesn’t have the understanding that he has later. He still saw God as a God of love, 1 John 4:8 / 1 John 4:16, but he pleads that God seeks him out urgently before he died. Job appears to believe, that if he did die, he would be beyond God’s reach.

Go To Job 8