Job 30:1 ¦ But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.
Job begins to draw a contrast between the past and the present. He, who was a man highly respected, was now a man mocked by those much younger than he, by those whose fathers would not have qualified as fitting to help dogs watch his flocks.
Job 30:2 Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished?
Job 30:3 For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste.
Job 30:4 Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat.
Job 30:5 They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;)
Job 30:6 To dwell in the clifts of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks.
Job 30:7 Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together.
Job 30:8 They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth.
Job 30:9 And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword.
These verses seem to be a description of the people in the lowest level of society, people who used to benefit from JobŐs compassion, people who have now turned on him and mock him.
Job 30:10 They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.
Job 30:11 Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me.
Job 30:12 Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction.
Job 30:13 They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper.
Job 30:14 They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me.
Job describes the shameful treatment he endures from these people; they even spit in his face. Chuck Smith offers this insight: ŇSpitting, of course, is an insult in the Orient. ItŐs an insult any place to spit in a guyŐs face, I suppose. But in the Orient it is a sign of great disdain.Ó
Job 30:15 ¦ Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud.
Job 30:16 And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me.
Job 30:17 My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.
Job 30:18 By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat.
Job 30:19 He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.
In these verses Job talks about how his trouble has overwhelmed him, body and soul. He has lost both honor and wealth. He feels as if he is slowly dying, suffering continual pain. Even his clothes cause pain as he sits in the dust and ashes.
Clarke had a different take on verse 18 that made sense to me: ŇThere seem to be here plain allusions to the effect of his cruel disease; the whole body being enveloped with a kind of elephantine hide, formed by innumerable incrustations from the ulcerated surface. There is now a new kind of covering to my body, formed by the effects of this disease; and it is not a garment which I can cast off; it is as closely attached to me as the collar of my coat.Ó
I liked GillŐs comment on verse 15: ŇTerrors are turned upon me,.... Not the terrors of a guilty conscience, for Job had a clear one, and held fast his integrity; nor the terrors of a cursing and condemning law, for he knew he was justified by his living Redeemer, and his sins forgiven for his sake; nor the terrors of death, for that he had made familiar to him, and greatly desired it; nor the terrors of a future judgment, for there was nothing he was more solicitous for than to appear before the judgment seat of God, and take his trial there; but the afflictions that were upon him from the hand of God that was turned on him, who now hid his face from him, and withheld the influences of his grace and layout, and appeared as an enemy, and as a cruel one to him; the reason of all which he knew not, and this threw him into consternation of mind, and filled him with terror.Ó
Job 30:20 I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not.
Job 30:21 Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me.
Job 30:22 Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance.
Job 30:23 For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
Job feels like God is not listening to him as he cries out to him. His greatest pain comes from the thought that God has turned against him for some reason. He knows that God is sovereign and in control of his life, and he assumes that he will soon die.
Job 30:24 Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction.
Job looks at death as a release from his suffering, a time when he will be released from GodŐs judgment.
Again, one canŐt help but wonder how much Job knew about life after death and how he learned it. It is true that death is a release from suffering—but only for those who have placed their faith in the Savior. In JobŐs time that faith was placed in the one true God and held in trust until the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Old Testament saints were saved by grace through faith in GodŐs provision for them just as surely as are we. Those who die without having placed their trust in the Savior can only expect worse suffering after death.
Job 30:25 Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?
Job 30:26 When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.
Job 30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.
Job 30:28 I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation.
Job 30:29 I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.
Job 30:30 My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.
Job 30:31 My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.
Job still canŐt rectify GodŐs response to him with his beliefs about God. He knows that God would not turn away from one crying out to Him for help. He makes the comparison to how he himself had responded to such cries for help from others in the past. Yet, in spite of all his cries for help, Job suffered ever more evil and darkness. It seems that his disease is causing his skin to turn black as well as fever. The only music that resonates with him is that of mourning and weeping.