and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man; that has lost his sight, his senses, and his feet, and knows not where he is, which way to go, nor how to keep on his legs, but reels to and fro, and is at the utmost loss what to do; all this is said of the heads or chief of the people, in consequence of their hearts being taken away, and so left destitute of wisdom and strength.
(g) "palpant tenebras et non lucem", Vatablus, Mercerus, Drusius, Schultens.
INTRODUCTION TO Job 13
Job begins this chapter by observing the extensiveness of his knowledge, as appeared from his preceding discourse, by which it was evident he was not less knowing than his friends, Job 13:1; and therefore would have nothing to do with them as judges in his cause, but would appeal to God, and debate the matter before him, and leave it to his decision, since he could expect no good from them, Job 13:3; and all the favour he entreats of them is, that they would for the future be no longer speakers, but hearers, Job 13:5; he expostulates with them about their wicked and deceitful way of pleading for God, and against him, Job 13:7; and in order to strike an awe upon them, suggests to them, that they were liable to the divine scrutiny; that God was not to be mocked by them, that he would surely reprove them for their respect of persons, and desires them to consider his dreadful majesty, and what frail creatures they were, Job 13:9; then he expresses his confidence in God, that he should be saved by him, notwithstanding the afflictive circumstances he was in, Job 13:14; and doubted not he should be able so to plead his cause, as that he should be justified, if God would but withdraw his hand, and take off his dread from him, Job 13:18; he desires to know what his sins were, that he should hide his face from him, and treat him with so much severity, who was but a poor, weak, feeble creature, Job 13:24; and concludes with a complaint of the bitterness and sharpness of his afflictions, with which he was consumed, Job 13:26.
mine ear hath heard; some things he had knowledge of by the report of others, from his forefathers, his ancestors, men of capacity and probity, that could be credited, and safely depended on, and even some things by revelation from God; for if Eliphaz his friend had an heavenly vision, and a divine revelation, which his ear received a little of, why may it not be thought that Job also was sometimes favoured with visions and revelations from God, whereby he became more intimately acquainted with divine and spiritual things?
and understood it; that is, what he had seen and heard; some things may be seen, and yet not known what they are; and other things may be heard, and not understood; but Job had an understanding of what he had seen with his own eyes, or had received by revelation, human or divine: and all this is introduced with a "lo" or "behold"; not as a note of admiration at his knowledge, though the things known by him were wonderful, but as a note of attention to them, and to his remark on them, and as expressive of the certainty of his sight, hearing, and understanding of these things.
(h) "omnia haec", V. L. Tigurine version, Beza, Michaelis; so Vatablus, Mercerus, Piscator, Codurcus. (i) "Alia omnia", Schmidt. (k) "Omnia", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Bolducius, Cocceius, Schultens.
I am not inferior unto you; as might be deduced from the preceding discourse; See Gill on Job 12:3.
and I desire to reason with God: not at the bar of his justice, with respect to the justification of his person by his own righteousness; so no man can reason with God, as to approve himself just with him; nor will any sensible man desire to enter into judgment with him on that foot; a poor sensible sinner may reason with God at the throne of grace, and plead for pardoning mercy and justifying grace through the blood and righteousness of Christ, and from the declarations, proclamations, and promises of grace through him; but of neither of these sorts of reasoning, are the words to be understood, but of debating the matter in controversy between Job and his friends before God, that he might hear it, and decide it; this was what Job was desirous of, of having the cause brought before him, the case stated and pleaded, and reasoned on in his presence; this he signifies would be a pleasure to him; he "should delight" to have it so, as the word (n) here used may be interpreted.
(l) "ideo, propterea", Pineda. (m) "pro Omnipotente--pro Deo", Junius & Tremellius. (n) "lubet", Schultens.
ye are all physicians of no value; or "idol physicians" (p); not that pretended to the cure of idols, but were no better than idols themselves, and understood no more how to cure than they, than an Heathen deity, the god of physic Aesculapius, or anyone that might be reckoned such; but was no other than an image of wood or stone, and so could not be possessed of the faculty of healing, and such were Job's friends; an idol is nothing, and is good for nothing, and such were they as physicians, they were idol physicians, like the "idol shepherd", Zechariah 11:17; of no value at all: the Rabbins (q) say, the word used signifies a nerve or sinew of the neck, which when broken is incurable; and such physicians were they, that could do him no service, no more than cure a broken neck; this is to be understood of them, not as physicians of his body, that they pretended not to be; he was greatly diseased from head to foot, and had no hope of a recovery of his health, nor did they pretend to prescribe for him, nor does he reproach them on that account; but as physicians of his soul, afflicted and distressed, they came to administer comfort to him under his afflictions, but they were miserable comforters, as he elsewhere calls them, Job 16:2; instead of acting the part of the good Samaritan, and pouring in oil and wine into his wounds, Luke 10:34, they poured in vinegar, and made them bleed and smart the more, and added affliction to his affliction; instead of healing, they wounded him yet more and more; and, instead of binding up his wounds, opened them wider, and gave him sensible pain; instead of giving him the cordials of the Gospel, they gave him the corrosives the law; and instead of pointing out unto him the gracious promises of God, for the support of his afflicted soul, they loaded him with charges of sin, and set him to work by repentance and reformation to obtain the forgiveness of them: they said many good things, but misapplied them, being ignorant of the case, and so were physicians of no value; as such are who are ignorant of the nature and causes of a disease, and therefore make wrong prescriptions, though the medicines they prescribe may in themselves be good: indeed, in the cases of souls, or for the healing of the diseases of the soul, which are natural and hereditary, epidemical and universal, nauseous and loathsome, and of themselves mortal, all physicians are of no value; but Jesus Christ, who is the only physician of souls, the able, skilful, and infallible one, that cures all fully freely that apply unto him; bodily physicians are no use in such cases, nor merry companions, nor legal preachers, who direct to supple the wounds with tears of repentance, and bind them up with rags of a man's own righteousness; Christ is the only Saviour, his blood the balsam that heals every wound, and his righteousness that affords peace, joy, and comfort to afflicted minds, and delivers from those weights and pressures of mind with which they are bowed down.
(o) "incrustatores fuci", Schultens. (p) "curatores idoli", Bolducius; so Ramban; "medici idoli", Pineda; so some in Drusius. (q) Jarchi & Bar Tzemach.
and it should be your wisdom: it would be the greatest evidence of it they could give; they had shown none by speaking; it would be a proof of some in them, should they hold their peace; a very biting expression this see Proverbs 17:28.
and hearken to the pleadings of my lips; he was capable of pleading his own cause, and he was desirous of doing it before God as his Judge; and begs the favour of his friends to be silent, and hear him out, and then let judgment be given, not by them, but by God himself.
and talk deceitfully for him? or tell lies for him, namely, those just mentioned, that only wicked men, and not good men, were afflicted by him, and that Job was a bad man, and an hypocrite.
will ye contend for God? it is right to contend for God, for the being of God against atheists, for the perfections of God, his sovereignty, his omniscience, omnipresence, &c. against those that deny them, for his truths and doctrines, word, worship, and ordinances, against the corrupters of them; but then he and those are not to be contended for in a foolish and imprudent manner, or with a zeal, not according to knowledge, much less with an hypocritical one, as was Jehu's, 2 Kings 10:28; God needs no such advocates, he can plead his own cause, or make use of persons that can do it in a better manner, and to better purpose.
or as one mocketh another, do ye so mock him? men may be mocked by their fellow creatures, either by words or gestures, as good men usually are in all ages, especially the prophets of the Lord, and the ministers of his word; or they may he deceived and imposed upon by the false glosses and colourings of artful men, as simple men are deceived by the fair speeches of false teachers, which is no other than an illusion of them, or mocking them: in the first sense God may be mocked, though he should not; there have been and will be such bold and daring creatures as to mock at his promises and his providence, to mock at his word, ordinances, and ministers, which is interpreted by him a mocking and despising himself; but in the latter sense he cannot be mocked, and it is a vain thing to attempt it; "be not deceived, God is not mocked", Galatians 6:7; he sees through all the fallacious reasonings of men; he judges not according to outward appearance; he sees and knows the heart, and all the views and designs of men, and can detect all their sophisms and false glosses; he is not to be deceived by specious pretences of doing such and such actions for his glory, as casting out good men, and their names, or traducing their characters that he may be glorified, or killing them to do him service, Isaiah 66:5; he is not to be flattered as one man may flatter another; to do this with him, is to mock him, he is not to be mocked in this way.
if ye do secretly accept persons; acceptance of persons in judgment is prohibited by God, and is highly resented by him; yea, even the acceptance of his own person to the prejudice of the character of an innocent man; which seems to be what Job has respect unto, as appears from Job 13:8; and some versions render it, "if ye accept his face" (a); and though this may be done no openly and publicly, but in a covert and secret manner, under disguise, and with specious pretences to the honour and glory of God.
(r) "arguiendo arguet", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Bolducius, Mercerus, Cocceius, Schmidt; "redarguendo redarguet", Michaelis. (a) "faciem ejus", V. L. Munster, Piscator; "personam ipsius", Beza, so the Targum.
and his dread fall upon you? the dread of men, of powerful and victorious enemies, is very terrible, as was the dread of the Israelites which fell upon the inhabitants of Canaan, Joshua 2:9; but how awful must be the terror of the great and dreadful God, when that falls upon men, or his terrible wrath and vengeance are revealed from heaven, and threaten every moment to fall upon the transgressors of his law, upon those that mock him and injure his people.
(b) "celsitudo ejus", Montanus, Vatablus, Bolducius; "sublimitas ejus", Beza, Mercerus. (c) "Elevatio, erectio", Drusius. (d) So some in Jarchi & Bar Tzemach.
your bodies to bodies of clay; that is, are like to bodies of clay, to such as are made of clay after the similitude of human bodies; and such are the bodies of men themselves, they are of the earth, earthly, they are houses of clay, which have their foundation in the dust; earthen vessels, and earthly houses of this tabernacle, poor, mean, frail, brittle things, are crushed before the moth, and much more before the Almighty; the word is by some rendered "eminencies", the most eminent men; what is most eminent in them are like to "eminences of clay" (g), or heaps of dirt: some interpret this, as the former expression, of their words, reasonings, arguments, and objections; which though great swelling words, were vain and empty, mere bubbles, and though reckoned strong reasonings, unanswerable arguments, and objections, had no strength in them, but were to be easily thrown down like hillocks of clay; and though thought to be like shields, or high and strong fortresses, as some (h) take the word to signify, yet are but clayey ones.
(e) "sententiae vestrae memorabiles", Schultens. (f) So the Tigurine version, "meminisse oportebat vos similea esse cineri". (g) "eminentiae vestrae, eminentiae luteae", Beza; so Bolducius. (h) So Cocceius, Beza.
that I may speak; or, "and I will speak",
and let come on me what will; either from men, or from God himself; a good man, when he knows his cause is good, and he has truth on his side, is not careful or concerned what reproach may be cast upon him, or what censures from men he may undergo; or what persecutions from them he may endure; none of these things move him from his duty, or can stop his mouth from speaking the truth; let him be threatened with what he will, he cannot but speak the things which he has seen and heard, and knows to be true; as for what may come upon him from God, that he is not solicitous about; he knows he will lay nothing upon him but what is common to men, will support him under it, or deliver him from it in his own time and way, or however make all things work together for his good: some render it, "and let something pass by me", or "from me" (k); that is, somewhat of his grief and sorrow, while he was speaking and pouring out his complaints before God; but the former sense seems best.
(i) "desistite a me", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (k) "ut transeat praeter me aliquid, vel a me", Schmidt.
and put my life in my hand? or, expose it to danger by a forced silence; when I am ready to burst, and must if I do not speak; I will not thus endanger my life; it is unreasonable I should, I will speak my mind freely and fully, that I may be refreshed; so Sephorno interprets it of Job's putting his hand to his mouth, that he might be silent; and of putting a forcible restraint upon himself, that he might not declare what was upon his mind; see Job 13:19; but others, as Bar Tzemach, take the sense to be, what is the sin I have committed, that such sore afflictions are laid upon me; that through the pain and distress I am in, I am ready to tear off my flesh with my teeth, and my life is in the utmost danger? and some think he was under a temptation to tear his own flesh, and destroy himself; and therefore argues why he should be thus hardly dealt with, as to be exposed to such a temptation, and thrown in such despair, which yet he laboured against; but rather the meaning is, in connection with the preceding verse, let whatsoever will come upon me, "at all events, I will take my flesh in my teeth, and I will put my life in my hand" (l); I will expose myself to the greatest dangers which is the sense of the last phrase in Judges 12:3; come life, come death, I will not fear; I am determined to speak out my mind let what will be the consequence; and with this bold and heroic spirit agrees what follows.
(l) "Super quocunque eventu", Schultens.
but I will maintain mine own ways before him; or "to his face" (n); though I die on the spot instantly, I will stand by it, and make it appear that the ways I have walked in are right, that I have behaved as a sincere upright man, a man fearing God, and eschewing evil; a character which God himself has given of me, and I have not forfeited it: "I will argue" or "prove" (o) it before him, as it may be rendered; that my life and conversation has been agreeable to my profession of him; that my ways have been according to his revealed will, and my walk as becoming the character I bear; and this I will maintain and support as long as I live; I will never depart from this sentiment, or let go my integrity to my latest breath; see Job 27:5; but the marginal reading seems best, "yet will I trust in him" (p)? verily I will, though I am under cutting and slaying providences, under sore afflictions, which may be called killing and slaying, or death itself; though there is an addition of them, one affliction upon another, and sorrow upon sorrow; though I am killed continually, all the day long, or die by inches; yea, though in the article of death itself, yet even then "will I trust" and hope: God only is the object of trust and confidence, and not a creature, or any creature enjoyment, or creature act; and great encouragement there is to trust in him, seeing in him is everlasting strength, to fulfil his promises, to help in time of need, and to save with an everlasting salvation; he is to be trusted in at all times, in times of affliction, temptation, desertion, and death itself: it may be rendered (q), "I will hope in him", since there is mercy and plenteous redemption with him, and he delights in those that hope in his mercy; his eye is upon them, and his heart is towards them: or "I will wait for him", or "expect him" (r); wait for deliverance by him, wait all the days of his appointed time, till his change come; wait for the hope of righteousness by faith, expect all needful grace from him now, and eternal glory and happiness hereafter: "but" notwithstanding his trust was alone in God for time and eternity, yet, says he, "I will maintain mine own ways before him"; that I am not an hypocrite, or have behaved as a bad man; but have acted under the influence of grace, according to his mind and will revealed.
(m) "Non sperabo", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus. So Cocceius, Schultens, Gussetius, p. 420. (n) "ad facies ejus", Montanus, Bolducius; so Vatablus, Schultens. (o) "arguam", Pagninus, Montanus, Bolducius, Schmidt, Schultens; "probabo", Piscator. (p) "An non sperem in eum?" so some in Munster; so Junius & Tremellius, Beza, Codurcus. (q) "In eo tamen sperabo", Schmidt, Piscator, Michaelis. (r) "Ipsum expectabo", Drusius.
for an hypocrite shall not come before him; a hypocrite may come into the house of God, and worship him externally, and seem to be very devout and religious; and he shall come before the tribunal of God, and stand at his bar, to be tried and judged; but he shall not continue in the presence of God, nor enjoy his favour, or he shall not be able to make his cause good before him; and indeed he does not care to have himself examined by him, nor shall he be saved everlastingly, but undergo the most severe punishment, Matthew 24:51. Job here either has respect to his friends, whom he censures as hypocrites, and retorts the charge upon they brought on him; or he has reference to that charge, and by this means clears himself of it, since there was nothing he was more desirous of than to refer his case to the decision of the omniscient God, and righteous Judge; which if he was an hypocrite he would never have done, since such can never stand so strict and severe an examination.
and my declaration with your ears; that is, that they would listen to it attentively, when he doubted not but he should make his case as clear as the sun, and set it in such a point of view, as that it would appear most plainly to be right, and he to be a just man.
(s) "audite audiendo", Pagninus, Montanus, Beza, &c.
I know that I shall be justified; which, though it may primarily respect the case in dispute between him and his friends, and the charge of wickedness and hypocrisy brought against him by them, from which he doubted not he should upon a fair hearing be acquitted by God himself, yet it may include his whole state of justification, God-ward, in which he was and should continue; and so may respect, not only the justification of his cause before men, as it was ordered and managed by him, but also the justification of his person before God, of which he had a full assurance; having ordered his cause aright, settled matters well, and proceeded upon a good plan and foundation; which to do is not to put justification upon the foot of purity of nature at first birth, and a sober life and conversation from youth upward, and a perfection of good works arrived unto, as imagined; nor upon a comparative righteousness with respect to other men, even profane and ungodly persons; nor, upon repentance, and sincere though imperfect obedience; nor upon an external belief of evangelic truths, and a submission to Gospel ordinances: but such order their cause well, and rightly conclude their justification, who see and own themselves to be transgressors of the law of God, behold and acknowledge their own righteousness to be insufficient to justify them, view the righteousness of Christ revealed in the Gospel, in its glory, excellency, and suitableness, and lay hold upon it as their justifying righteousness; and observing that the word of God declares, that those that believe in Christ are and shall be justified, and finding in themselves that they do with the heart believe in Christ for righteousness, hence they most comfortably and most sensibly conclude that they are justified persons; for this knowledge is of faith, and this faith the faith of assurance; it is not barely for a man to know that there is righteousness in Christ, and justification by it, but that there is righteousness in him for himself, and that he is the Lord his righteousness; for the words may be rendered, "I know that I am righteous"; or, "am justified" (u); justification is a past act in the mind of God; it is present, as it terminates on the conscience of a believer; it is future, as it will be notified at the day of judgment before angels and men; see Isaiah 45:25.
(t) "judicium", Pagninus, Montanus, &c. (u) "quod ego justus sum", Schmidt; "me justum esse, vel fore", Schultens.
for now, if I hold my peace, I shall give up the ghost; his sense seems to be, that if he was not allowed to speak for himself, and plead his cause, and have a hearing of it out, he could not live, he could not contain himself, he must burst and die; nor could he live under such charges and calumnies, he must die under the weight and pressure of them; though some think that this not only expresses his eagerness and impatience to have his cause tried fairly before God, but contains in it an argument to hasten it, taken from the near approach of his death: "for now", in a little time, "I shall be silent" (w); be in the silent grave: "I shall expire"; or die; and then it will be too late; therefore if any will plead with me, let them do it immediately, or I shall be soon gone, and then it will be all over: or rather the sense is, I challenge anyone to reason the matter, and dispute the point with me; and I promise that, if the cause goes against me, "now will I be silent"; I will not say one word more in my vindication: "I will die"; or submit to any death, or any sort of punishment, that shall be pronounced upon me; I shall patiently endure it, and not complain of it, or object to the execution of it; so Sephorno.
(w) "nune enim silebo et expirabo", Cocceius; so Schmidt, Schultens.
then will I not hide myself from thee; through fear or shame, but boldly appear before God, and come up even to his seat, and plead with him face to face.
and let not thy dread make me afraid; the terrors of his law, or the dreadful apprehensions of his wrath; he desires to be freed from all slavish fear of God, that now possessed his mind through the severity of his dispensations towards him, behaving as if he was his enemy; or he deprecates his appearance in any external visible way and manner, which might be frightening to him, and so hinder freedom of speech in his own defence; these two things are before requested, Job 9:34; which should they be granted, he proposes as follows.
or let me speak, and answer thou me: or he would be plaintiff, and put queries concerning the afflictions he was exercised with, or the severity of them, and the reason of such usage, and God be the defendant, and give him an answer to them, that he might be no longer at a loss as he was for such behaviour towards him: this is very boldly said indeed, and seems to savour of irreverence towards God; and may be one of those speeches for which he was blamed by Elihu, and by the Lord himself; though no doubt he designed not to cast any contempt upon God, nor to behave ill towards him; but in the agonies of his spirit, and under the weight of his affliction, and to show the great sense he had of his innocence, and his assurance of it, he speaks in this manner; not doubting but, let him have what part he would in the debate, whether that of plaintiff or defendant, he should carry the cause, and it would go in his favour; and though he proposes it to God to be at his option to choose which he would take, Job stays not for an answer, but takes upon him to be plaintiff, as in the following words.
make me to know my transgression and my sin; not that he was ignorant of sin, of the nature and demerit of it, as unregenerate men are, who know not the plague of their own hearts, indwelling sin, internal lusts, nor the exceeding sinfulness of sinful actions, nor the effect and consequences of sin, pollution, guilt, the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and eternal death; at least do not know it as to be affected with a sense of it, to have a godly sorrow for it, repent of it, confess it, and forsake it; such knowledge as this is from the spirit of God, and which Job had; but his meaning is, that if he could not be charged with many sins, as might seem to be the case, yet if there was but one that could be produced, and was the reason of his being afflicted after this manner, he desires to know what that was, that he might, upon conviction of it, acknowledge it, repent of it, relinquish it, and guard against it; he desires to have a copy of his indictment, that he might know what he stood charged with, for what he was arraigned, condemned, and punished, as it was thought he was; this he judged a reasonable request, and necessary to be granted, that he might answer for himself.
(i) "vox pertinet ad mulitudinem et magnitudinem", Pineda. (k) So Ben Melech interprets these words. (l) "sunt mihi", Beza, Schmidt, Michaelis.
and holdest me for thine enemy? Job had been an enemy to God, as all men are in a state of nature, yea, enmity itself, as is shown by their wicked works; but he was now reconciled unto God, the enmity of his heart was slain, and he had laid down his weapons of rebellion, and ceased committing hostilities against God, and was become subject to him and to his law, through the power of efficacious grace; a principle of love, which is the fruit of the spirit in regeneration, was implanted in him; and he was a true and sincere lover of God, one that feared him, and trusted in him; whose faith worked by love, and so appeared to be of the right kind; and therefore, since he was conscious to himself that he loved God with all his heart, loved his word, his ways, and worship, his people and all that belonged to him, it was cutting and grievous to him to be thought and accounted, or deal with, as an enemy to him; for so he interpreted his conduct towards him; as he afflicted him, he took it to be in anger and fury, and hot displeasure; and as he hid his face from him, he supposed it was in great wrath, viewing him in this light as his enemy.
and wilt thou pursue the dry stubble? which cannot stand before the wind, or the force of devouring fire; this also respects not Job in his spiritual estate, with regard to which he was not like to dry stubble or chaff, to which wicked men are compared, Psalm 1:4; but to standing corn and wheat in the full ear; and not only to green grass, which is flourishing, but to palm trees, and cedar trees of the Lord, which are full of sap, to which good men are like; but he describes him in his weak and afflicted state, tossed to and fro like dry stubble; and no more able to contend and grapple with an incensed God than dry stubble can withstand devouring flames; this he says, partly to suggest that it was below the Divine Being to set his strength against his weakness; as David said to Saul, "after whom is the king of Israel come out? after a dead dog, after a flea?" 1 Samuel 24:14; which words Bar Tzemach compares with these; and partly to move the divine pity and commiseration towards him, who uses not to "break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax", Isaiah 42:3.
and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth; which had been committed through weakness and ignorance; and which, it might have been thought, would not have been taken notice of and animadverted on; or rather which Job concluded had been forgiven and forgotten, according to the tenor of the covenant of grace, and would never have been brought into account any more; and yet these were not only remembered by the Lord, at least seemingly, by the afflictions that were endured; but they were by him brought to Job's remembrance, and the guilt of them charged upon him, and stared him in the face, and loaded his conscience, and filled him with reproach, and shame, as Ephraim, Jeremiah 31:19; and which is deprecated by the Psalmist, Psalm 25:7; and what aggravated this case and made it the more distressing was, that in Job's apprehension it was to continue with him as an inheritance, as the word (m) signifies, which abides with men in their families for ever; and some respect may be had to the corruption of nature, which is hereditary, and remains with men from their youth upwards.
(m) "haereditare me facis", Beza, Schmidt, Michaelis; so Junius and Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Schultens; so the Targum and Ben Melech.
and lookest narrowly into all my paths; so that there was no possibility of escaping out of his troubles and afflictions; so strict a watch was kept over him; see Job 7:19; according to Ben Gersom, this refers to the stocks, "it keeps all my ways", kept him within from going abroad about the business of life, and so may refer to the disease of his body, his boils and ulcers, which kept him at home, and suffered him not to stir out of doors; but the former sense is best:
thou settest a print upon the heels of my feet; either it, the stocks, made a mark upon his heels, with which they were pressed hard, as Gersom; or rather God set one upon them, afflicting him very sorely and putting him to an excruciating pain, such as is felt by criminals when heavy blows are laid upon the soles of their feet, to which the allusion may be; or else the sense is, that he followed him closely by the heels, that whenever he took a step, it was immediately marked, and observed by the Lord, as if he trod in his steps, and set his own foot in the mark that was left.
(n) "Calce tinxisti pedes meos", Gussetius, p. 550. so some in Ben Melech.