Commentary for Job 17

Job appeals from man to God. (1-9) His hope is not in life, but in death. (10-16)1-9 Job reflects upon the harsh censures his friends had passed upon him, and, looking on himself as a dying man, he appeals to God. Our time is ending. It concerns us carefully to redeem the days of time, and to spend them in getting ready for eternity. We see the good use the righteous should make of Job's afflictions from God, from enemies, and from friends. Instead of being discouraged in the service of God, by the hard usage this faithful servant of God met with, they should be made bold to proceed and persevere therein. Those who keep their eye upon heaven as their end, will keep their feet in the paths of religion as their way, whatever difficulties and discouragements they may meet with.

10-16 Job's friends had pretended to comfort him with the hope of his return to a prosperous estate; he here shows that those do not go wisely about the work of comforting the afflicted, who fetch their comforts from the possibility of recovery in this world. It is our wisdom to comfort ourselves, and others, in distress, with that which will not fail; the promise of God, his love and grace, and a well-grounded hope of eternal life. See how Job reconciles himself to the grave. Let this make believers willing to die; it is but going to bed; they are weary, and it is time that they were in their beds. Why should not they go willingly when their Father calls them? Let us remember our bodies are allied to corruption, the worm and the dust; and let us seek for that lively hope which shall be fulfilled, when the hope of the wicked shall be put out in darkness; that when our bodies are in the grave, our souls may enjoy the rest reserved for the people of God.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Job 17

  • Amadeus on Job 17:12
    My father quotes Job 17:12 quite often, citing that it refers to people who stay up at night and sleep during the day, thereby reversing the normal order of things (sleep during the night, awake during the day), insinuating that somehow tampering with this order is "wrong".

    How can we accurately understand the true meaning of this verse in its proper context?
  • Chris - in Reply on Job 17:12
    Amadeus, I don't believe that Job 17:12 actually says that, with due regard to your Father's understanding. When I study that verse, indeed the book of Job, I see a suffering man in every sense of the word. And to add insult to injury, his 'friends' often gave him atrocious advice & were of little comfort to him.

    So this verse is a small part of Job's appointment to continual suffering. In verse 11, he dismayed about the days given to him, even his thoughts & ambitions for the future, were in pieces. So in verse 12, I believe he intimates that his 'friends' added to his troubling thoughts, that kept him up all night ("turned night into day"), even his daylight hours were like darkness because of the darkness in his mind ("light is short because of darkness."). Then as you read on, his hopelessness is exacerbated, as he thinks of his nearness to death.

    If I should use a verse to describe what you've said, I could refer you to Proverbs 6:6-11. These verses speak about the Sluggard whose laziness takes him through the night into the next day, thereby assuring him of poverty. The Ant is cited as a creature that has more sense & work ethic than a lazy man. But if you're seeking a Scripture for people who need to stay up at night (e.g. medical staff, security, warehousing, etc.), then there is nothing in the Word, nor is there anything to suggest that reversing the order (i.e. sleep in the day & be awake at night) is wrong. Sometimes, this is necessary.
  • Mishael - in Reply on Job 17:12
    I'm retired; worked 46 years. I sleep when I need to. Past months I've been child sitting for free. As soon as I can, I come here. You make time for need to's and time for love to's. I've had a theory for years that if you sit too much, your backside rebels and moves to the frontside. Also if you listen to Psalms music you won't need chemicals to relax.

    The only reason to watch Dr Phil is to see how much family's lose by not following Jesus. Jesus will fill in all the cracks and holes and set you on your feet. If home is a war zone, get your own place. I'm famous for pinching pennies till they cry. You can do it. Give your time to God and He will bless you abundantly. I pray right now that Jesus would love you and make himself real and approachable to YOU! Amen
  • Annysia on Job 17:3
    Being in service to the Lord won't always be filled with happy days. Job suffered so greatly and lost all his friends to the Lord's cause. Of course, it was all according to His plan. Job lost people that didn't really believe in him and ended up mocking him. Nevertheless Job is human, and we struggle to hold out our faith in God because of the trials we're put through, and that's okay. It's okay to doubt as long as we still remain on our course.
  • Michael chimezie on Job 17
    This tells us that as humans, we have our weakness is times of trail, we are bound to feel down and out, but we should find encouragement in the Lordship of God almight, that He knows all things. Thanks to the encouragements and reprove from the Good friends he kept.
  • Maria on Job 17
    Job was suffering through a terrible calamity brought upon him; he thought that by serving God and live a righteous life both him and his family would be saved. when all the catastrophe happened to him, he begin to feel wretched and so he turns everything that 's happened to him onto himself, cursing himself and the day that he was born. Throughout all this, he still revered God, still trust him.
  • Dwight on Job 17
    I think it is very similar to Philippians 1:6. A true believer who knows that he is eternally secure realizes that no matter what takes place in his life that includes good things and will certainly include bad and tragic things, the Holy Spirit will continue to work in his life to conform him to the image of Jesus Christ.
  • GIFT KOFI TETTEY on Job 17:9
    Job 17:9,Simple means he who is righteous and having clean hands is always confident in the midst challenges and difficulties because his heart is at peace. He has the assurance that Jesus is the anchor of his/her hope so nothing absolutely nothing can move him. He is focus in life and always abide in the perfect will of God. Keeps moving forward despite the obstacles and setbacks
  • OLORUNDA TIMOTHY K on Job 17:3
    When you hold to your faith in jesus christ you sure of a surety


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Bible Trivia

What effect did Job's patience and acceptance of his sufferings had on other people?
  • They thought Job was a fool.
  • They realized that even though a person is good, he/she will still suffer greatly.
  • They admired Job and were stronger in their faith because of this.
  • They became convinced that God is evil.