Job 17:1 ¦ My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me.
Job 17:2 Are there not mockers with me? and doth not mine eye continue in their provocation?
JobŐs response continues. He declares his spirit to be in great pain as death nears. He is surrounded by mockers that continue to add to his grief.
Job 17:3 Lay down now, put me in a surety with thee; who is he that will strike hands with me?
Job 17:4 For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them.
Job 17:5 He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail.
Job knows that his only hope is that God will justify him. He feels that his friends wonŐt listen to him because God has closed their minds, so only God can show them that they are wrong.
I think in verse 5 that Job is saying that children will follow the wicked example of their fathers. If so, that is true a great percentage of the time.
Job 17:6 He hath made me also a byword of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret.
Job 17:7 Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow.
Job 17:8 Upright men shall be astonied at this, and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite.
Job 17:9 The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.
Again, Job assumes that it is God that has made him a mockery among men, an object of their contempt (from Hebrew for ŇtabretÓ). Sorrow has affected his vision, and his body is wasting away. Righteous men are astonished at his appearance and immediately misjudge him and only get stronger in the belief that they are right about his guilt.
Job 17:10 ¦ But as for you all, do ye return, and come now: for I cannot find one wise man among you.
Job 17:11 My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart.
Job 17:12 They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness.
Job reasons that even if they came before him again, not one of them would change their assessment of his situation. Not one would be wise enough to believe him.
Verse 12 is hard. Some commentators note that it references the advice given by his friends that if Job would just make things right with God, His darkness would be made light.
Job 17:13 If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness.
Job 17:14 I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister.
Job 17:15 And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it?
Job 17:16 They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust.
Job seems to be saying that all he has to look forward to is death; heŐs lost hope of ever being proven innocent.