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Verses of Job 17

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Job 17:1 Commentary - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

1. my breath ] Rather as margin, my spirit is spent, i. e. consumed. The “spirit” is the principle of life.

the graves are ready for me ] lit. graves are mine; the meaning being: the grave is my portion; cf. Job 17:13 seq. Coverdale: I am harde at deathes dore.

Ch. Job 16:18 to Job 17:9. Job, dying a martyr’s death, beseeches God that He would uphold his right with God and against men, and give him a pledge that He will make his innocence appear

In Job 16:12-14 Job described the terrible hostility of God, who dashed him to pieces, laid him in ruins and poured out his soul to the ground brought him unto death. Then the other thought rose in his mind that all this befell him though he was innocent both in life and in spirit. Here he comes to the point at which he always loses self-control when he realizes that in spite of his innocence he is held guilty. This is an overwhelming feeling, and under it Job either wildly challenges the rectitude of God, as in the first cycle of speeches; or he flings off from him altogether the form of things in the present world, and forces his way into another region, where such perversions cannot prevail and where the face of God, clouded here, must be clear and propitious. This second direction, entered upon first in ch. 14, is pursued in the present passage, and reaches its highest point in ch. 19. Already in ch. 10. Job had drawn a distinction between God of the present, who persecuted him as guilty though he was innocent, and God of the past, whose gracious care of him had been wonderful; though there he grasped at a frightful reconciliation of the contradiction: God of the present, who destroyed him, seemed the real God, and His past mercies were no true expression of His nature (see on Job 10:13 seq.). In ch. 14. Job reached out his hand into the darkness and clutched at another idea, a distinction between God of the present who would pursue him unto death, and God of the future God when His anger should be over-past and He would yearn again towards His creature, the work of His hands (see on Job 14:13 seq.). This God of the future was God as He is in truth, true to His own past dealing and to man’s conceptions of Him. It is on this line of thought that the present passage moves.

The two great ideas which fill Job’s mind in all this discourse are, first, the certainty of his speedy death under God’s afflicting hand; and second, the moral infamy and the inexplicable contradiction to his conscience which death in such circumstances carries with it. The first, his speedy death, Job accepts as inevitable, and he cannot restrain his contemptuous indignation at the foolishness of his friends, who talk as if something else were possible (Job 17:2-4; Job 17:10-16). But such a death under the hand of God meant to Job the reprobation of God and the scorn and abhorrence of men. And it is against this idea, not his mere death, that Job wrestles with all his might. This is the meaning of such a death; but it cannot be that God will allow this obloquy and injustice to overwhelm His innocent creature for ever. His blood will utter a ceaseless cry for reparation. And even now he has in heaven one who will witness to his innocence. And he prays to God that He would maintain his right with God and against men.

It is impossible to escape the conclusion that Job prays or hopes for this vindication not before but after death. For he contemplates dying an unjust death his blood will cry for vengeance. His present unjust afflictions will bring him to the grave. But these fatal afflictions are just God’s witness to his guilt. Any interference of God, therefore, to declare his innocence cannot take place in this life, for an intervention of God to declare his innocence, all the while that He continued to declare him guilty by His afflictions, could not occur to Job’s mind.

The passage Job 16:18 to Job 17:9 embraces two sections similar to one another, each of which contains a fervent appeal to God, followed by words which support it, Job 16:18 to Job 17:2, and Job 17:3-9.

22 17:2. What Job sought with tears was that God would cause his innocence to be acknowledged by God, and made manifest against men. Now he adds words in support of his prayer, or gives the reason for it. He so prays, for here in this life he has no hope of restoration. God’s anger will pursue him to the grave, which is already his portion.

16:22. For a few years shall come,

And I shall go the way whence I shall not return!

17:1. My spirit is spent,

My days are extinct.

The grave is ready for me!

17:2. Surely mockeries encompass me,

And mine eye must dwell on their provocation!

Verses of Job 17

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Consult other comments:

Job 17:1 - Albert Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Job 17:1 - Joseph Benson’s Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Job 17:1 - The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges

Job 17:1 - B.H. Carroll's An Interpretation of the English Bible

Job 17:1 - Through the Bible Commentary

Job 17:1 - Adam Clarke's Commentary and Critical Notes on the Bible

Job 17:1 - Commentary on the Holy Bible by Thomas Coke

Job 17:1 - College Press Bible Study Textbook Series

Job 17:1 - Companion Bible Notes, Appendices and Graphics

Job 17:1 - Expositors Bible Commentary

Job 17:1 - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers (Old and New Testaments)

Job 17:1 - Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Job 17:1 - Expositor's Dictionary of Text by Robertson

Job 17:1 - F.B. Meyer's Through the Bible Commentary

Job 17:1 - Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Job 17:1 - John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Job 17:1 - Grant's Commentary on the Bible

Job 17:1 - Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Job 17:1 - Matthew Henry's Whole Bible Commentary

Job 17:1 - Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Job 17:1 - Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

Job 17:1 - William Kelly Major Works (New Testament)

Job 17:1 - The Popular Commentary on the Bible by Kretzmann

Job 17:1 - A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures, Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical by Lange

Job 17:1 - An Exposition on the Whole Bible

Job 17:1 - The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

Job 17:1 - Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Job 17:1 - English Annotations on the Holy Bible by Matthew Poole

Job 17:1 - The Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary Edited by Joseph S. Exell

Job 17:1 - The Complete Pulpit Commentary

Job 17:1 - Old and New Testaments Restoration Commentary

Job 17:1 - The Bible of the Expositor and the Evangelist by Riley

Job 17:1 - The Sermon Bible

Job 17:1 - Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Job 17:1 - John Trapp's Complete Commentary (Old and New Testaments)

Job 17:1 - The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Job 17:1 - Whedon's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges