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1 Then Job answered and said,

2 I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.

3 Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest?

4 I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you.

5 But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief.

6 Though I speak, my grief is not asswaged: and though I forbear, what am I eased?

7 But now he hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company.

8 And thou hast filled me with wrinkles, which is a witness against me: and my leanness rising up in me beareth witness to my face.

9 He teareth me in his wrath, who hateth me: he gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me.

10 They have gaped upon me with their mouth; they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me.

11 God hath delivered me to the ungodly, and turned me over into the hands of the wicked.

12 I was at ease, but he hath broken me asunder: he hath also taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces, and set me up for his mark.

13 His archers compass me round about, he cleaveth my reins asunder, and doth not spare; he poureth out my gall upon the ground.

14 He breaketh me with breach upon breach, he runneth upon me like a giant.

15 I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and defiled my horn in the dust.

16 My face is foul with weeping, and on my eyelids is the shadow of death;

17 Not for any injustice in mine hands: also my prayer is pure.

18 O earth, cover not thou my blood, and let my cry have no place.

19 Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.

20 My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.

21 O that one might plead for a man with God, as a man pleadeth for his neighbour!

22 When a few years are come, then I shall go the way whence I shall not return.

Commentary for Job 16

Job reproves his friends. (1-5) He represents his case as deplorable. (6-16) Job maintains his innocency. (17-22)1-5 Eliphaz had represented Job's discourses as unprofitable, and nothing to the purpose; Job here gives his the same character. Those who pass censures, must expect to have them retorted; it is easy, it is endless, but what good does it do? Angry answers stir up men's passions, but never convince their judgments, nor set truth in a clear light. What Job says of his friends is true of all creatures, in comparison with God; one time or other we shall be made to see and own that miserable comforters are they all. When under convictions of sin, terrors of conscience, or the arrests of death, only the blessed Spirit can comfort effectually; all others, without him, do it miserably, and to no purpose. Whatever our brethren's sorrows are, we ought by sympathy to make them our own; they may soon be so.

6-16 Here is a doleful representation of Job's grievances. What reason we have to bless God, that we are not making such complaints! Even good men, when in great troubles, have much ado not to entertain hard thoughts of God. Eliphaz had represented Job as unhumbled under his affliction: No, says Job, I know better things; the dust is now the fittest place for me. In this he reminds us of Christ, who was a man of sorrows, and pronounced those blessed that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

17-22 Job's condition was very deplorable; but he had the testimony of his conscience for him, that he never allowed himself in any gross sin. No one was ever more ready to acknowledge sins of infirmity. Eliphaz had charged him with hypocrisy in religion, but he specifies prayer, the great act of religion, and professes that in this he was pure, though not from all infirmity. He had a God to go to, who he doubted not took full notice of all his sorrows. Those who pour out tears before God, though they cannot plead for themselves, by reason of their defects, have a Friend to plead for them, even the Son of man, and on him we must ground all our hopes of acceptance with God. To die, is to go the way whence we shall not return. We must all of us, very certainly, and very shortly, go this journey. Should not then the Saviour be precious to our souls? And ought we not to be ready to obey and to suffer for his sake? If our consciences are sprinkled with his atoning blood, and testify that we are not living in sin or hypocrisy, when we go the way whence we shall not return, it will be a release from prison, and an entrance into everlasting happiness.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Job 16

  • Anne
    Ps. 34:19 is comforting, it says 'many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all". Also v. 15 "The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry".
  • A disciple
    Why do so many still dare to open their mouths against the Lord's servants? The LORD considered Job among the rarest and most beloved men ever in the world, with Noah and Daniel someone who could move God powerfully with his prayers. Who are you to find fault? What right and authority puts you in the seat to judge God's servant; of whom God testified that he is perfect and upright like none else!
  • BSP
    In verse 12, Job mistakenly stated that God set him up as his target. It was really Satan who was targeting Job. We should remember who is really the cause of suffering and evil.
  • Pam
    Though Christ said not a word, the Job depucts his anguish and suffering
  • Ruth scruggs
    Job was a man of integrity.lost all he had.but never gave up on God.a lot of times things sometime block our way and cause us to not see the things that God would have us to see.and a lot of times God will remove those things that block us from seeing spiritual.to let us know that I got this trust me.Job trust God and came through as pure Gold.
  • Sylvia williams
    Don't be so critical of one that appears to have fallen from Grace. It is only an opportunity for you to pray for him and let God use you heart and tears to restore him! What a privilege!
  • Lu2677
    In Job 15 we learn his friends told him his afflictions were his punishment for his sins: Job knows this is not true in v.17. Job 16:2"I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all." In v. 11 he called them "wicked". It looks like his friends lived close to him. I hope this helps.
  • Lu2677
    Bible fan, you say, "pain and suffering can't be good." Please read Psalm 119:71 "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I might learn thy statutes." Psalm 119:75 "I know O Lord that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me."

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Bible Trivia

Whom does Job blame for his suffering?
  • Job thought God caused the sufferings, although he respected Him.
  • He thought Satan caused it.
  • He thought someone put an evil spell on him and his family.
  • He blamed his enemies from the village.