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FRAMEWORKS: Job 17: Job (5) Part 2 of 2: Please Think Again


[Preliminary Comments: The subject of the mockers [does he see the three ‘friends' as these?] continues [v.2] and so recognising that no one seems to be able to help him, he calls on the Lord again [v.3,4]. Those who turn on their friends, he suggests, bring trouble on their family [v.5]. The trouble is that even many good people see what has happened and think ill of him unfairly [v.6-9]. He appeals to those with him to think again, for he himself feels a glimmer of light in the darkness [v.10-12] even though the future, at the moment, only heralds death [v.13-16]



v.1,2 I feel down and out with all these mockers against me


v.1 My spirit is broken, my days are cut short, the grave awaits me. 

v.2 Surely mockers surround me; my eyes must dwell on their hostility. 


v.3,4 Lord, give me your support for no one else understands


v.3  “Give me, O God, the pledge you demand. Who else will put up security for me? 

v.4  You have closed their minds to understanding; therefore you will not let them triumph. 


v.5 Betrayers only bring trouble on themselves


v.5  If anyone denounces their friends for reward, the eyes of their children will fail. 


v.6-9 Many good people think ill of me


v.6  “God has made me a byword to everyone, a man in whose face people spit. 

v.7 My eyes have grown dim with grief; my whole frame is but a shadow. 

v.8 The upright are appalled at this; the innocent are aroused against the ungodly. 

v.9 Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger. 


v.10-12 Come on, any of you got any wisdom to suit my terrible circumstances?


v.10 “But come on, all of you, try again! I will not find a wise man among you. 

v.11 My days have passed, my plans are shattered. Yet the desires of my heart 

v.12  turn night into day; in the face of the darkness light is near. 


v.13-16 At the moment my only hope is death and what hope is there?


v.13  If the only home I hope for is the grave, if I spread out my bed in the realm of darkness, 

v.14 if I say to corruption, ‘You are my father,' and to the worm, ‘My mother' or ‘My sister,' 

v.15 where then is my hope— who can see any hope for me? 

v.16 Will it go down to the gates of death? Will we descend together into the dust?”



[Concluding Comments: In the face of ongoing absence of helpful encouragement, that verges on mockery, he cries to the Lord, from a place where even the righteous think badly of him. Verses 11 & 12 suggest he has hope but as death appears the only thing on the horizon at the moment, he calls on the friends for extra effort to come up with some hope in the face of the complete absence of it.]


So, to sum up, what has Job been saying in this chapter? He

•  feels broken with mockers around him [v.1,2],

•  calls for God to help him [v.3-5],

•  because he feels surrounded by people thinking ill of him [v.6-9],

•  challenges the ‘friends' to try harder [v.10-12],

•  for all he can see is death facing him [v.13-19].

People have not been a help to him; to the contrary they are part of his reason for feeling so low.]



Continue to Chapter 18