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FRAMEWORKS: Job 19: Job (6): Woes and faith


[Preliminary Comments: This chapter in some ways reads like a psalm in that it lays out the woes of the writer but ends with major faith declarations. Bildad has just piled negatives on him in the previous chapter and so his first words are those of defence [v.1-7]. Perhaps as part of that he expresses what he feels Gpd has done to him [v.8-12] and takes that on into how his family is now against him as well [v.13-19]. At the end of it he just feels a bag of bones with nothing left to give [v.20-22] and, perhaps feeling on the edge of death, wishes he could save his words for posterity [v.23,24] [?perhaps for the truth to be seen one day.] But then comes the most amazing faith statement of the whole book, that he has a redeemer which means one day he will see God [v.25-27]. So sure of this is he that he gives a warning to his detractors that if they come after him, God will come after them [v.28,29]. A truly remarkable ending to the chapter.]



v.1-7 Job asserts that any guilt he may have is between him and God alone


v.1 Then Job replied

v.2 “How long will you torment me and crush me with words? 

v.3 Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly you attack me. 

v.4 If it is true that I have gone astray, my error remains my concern alone. 

v.5 If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me and use my humiliation against me, 

v.6  then know that God has wronged me and drawn his net around me. 

v.7 “Though I cry, ‘Violence!' I get no response; though I call for help, there is no justice. 



v.8-12 He lists what he feels God has done


v.8  He has blocked my way so I cannot pass; he has shrouded my paths in darkness. 

v.9 He has stripped me of my honour and removed the crown from my head. 

v.10 He tears me down on every side till I am gone; he uproots my hope like a tree. 

v.11 His anger burns against me; he counts me among his enemies. 

v.12 His troops advance in force; they build a siege ramp against me and encamp around my tent. 



v.13-19 He takes that list on to include how his family feels about him


v.13  “He has alienated my family from me; my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. 

v.14  My relatives have gone away; my closest friends have forgotten me. 

v.15  My guests and my female servants count me a foreigner; they look on me as on a stranger. 

v.16  I summon my servant, but he does not answer, though I beg him with my own mouth. 

v.17  My breath is offensive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. 

v.18  Even the little boys scorn me; when I appear, they ridicule me. 

v.19  All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me. 


v.20-22 He is just aware of his awful physical state


v.20  I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth. 

v.21 “Have pity on me, my friends, have pity, for the hand of God has struck me. 

v.22 Why do you pursue me as God does? Will you never get enough of my flesh? 


v.23,24 He would like to leave a record of what he has been saying


v.23  “Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, 

v.24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever! 


v.25-28 An Amazing Faith Statement


v.25  I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth

v.26  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God

v.27 I myself will see him with my own eyes — I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! 


v.28,29 If you people come after me, watch out, God is for me


v.28  “If you say, ‘How we will hound him, since the root of the trouble lies in him, ' 

v.29  you should fear the sword yourselves; for wrath will bring punishment by the sword, and then you will know that there is judgment.



[Concluding Comments: As commented at the beginning, a chapter that starts with woes but ends with faith!

What has Job said in this chapter? He

•  rebukes the ‘friends' for having failed him [v.1-7],

•  attributes all that has happened to God [v.8-12],

•  speaks of how his household have rejected him [v.13-19],

•  appeals to them from bis broken state [v.20-22],

•  desires to record for posterity what has happened [v.23-24]

•  knows there is One in heaven who will come, who he will see [v.25-27]

•  and warns the others that to be against him will be to be against God [v.28-29]

A chapter of realism – of his rejection by friends & family, of his terrible physical state, and YET one with an amazing statement of faith!]



Continue to Chapter 20