Back in the Great Depression a lot of wealthy people committed suicide because without their wealth they saw no reason to live.
I think Job’s friends would have done that if they were in his shoes. Job obviously 1 trusts You, and even though he assumes that You are the cause of his predicament, he hasn’t walked away from You or even suggested suicide.
In contrast to the positive notes of blessing and honor sounded in ch 29, Job now bemoans the suffering and dishonor he has been forced to undergo. God has heaped overwhelming terrors on him (v 15). His final, forlorn lament (see v 31) over his condition shows that his rage has not yet subsided.
“But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock. Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished?” (Job 30:1-2)
In his prime, Job viewed those who now condemn him as weak and decrepit.
“For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste. Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat” (Job 30:3-4).
mallows – probably saltwort, which grows in otherwise infertile areas, including the regions east of Sinai where Job and his friends lived (cf 39:6).
juniper toots – or broom shrubs, large bushes that grow in the deserts of the Middle East (see 1 Kgs 19:4; Ps 120:4).
“They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief; To dwell in the clifts of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks. Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together. They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth.
And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword. They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face. Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me” (Job 30:5-11).
They…let loose the bridle before me – People who once respected Job now had no restraint in their attacks against him.
“Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction. They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper. They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me.
Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud. And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me. My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest. By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat” (Job 30:12-18).
Job’s affliction is like a garment that is about to choke him to death.
“He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes” (Job 30:19).
dust and ashes – Symbolic of humiliation and insignificance. Job would someday use dust and ashes to symbolize repentance (42:6).
“I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not. Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me.
Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance. For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living” (Job 30:20-23).
Job now directs his thoughts away from men and toward God. He accuses God of abusing His power by attacking him despite his please for mercy. He tells God that He had tossed him about with a violent wind.
“Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction” (Job 30:24).
he will not stretch out his hand…grave – it appears that God refuses to help even though Job is at the point of death.
“Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor? When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness. My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me. I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation. I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls” (Job 30:25-29).
brother to dragons…companions to owls – dragons = jackals and owls may be ostriches. The prophet Micha uses similar imagery of himself in Mic 1:8.
“My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat. My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep” (Job 30:30-31:).
1 “Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt 6:25-33).
En Gedi (“spring of the goats”) is located on the western side of the Dead Sea. The site was inhabited as far back as the 4th millennium B.C., the period from which the remains of a temple have been discovered.
A cave several miles south of En Gedi has yielded ivory carvings and other objects that were probably temple items hidden by the inhabitants before an Egyptian campaign in the area.To the north of the area, occupation levels dating from the 7th century B.C. to the 5th century A.D. have been uncovered. Today a kibbutz (Israeli communal or settlement) and nature park are located at En Gedi.
While under Israelite occupation the city belonged to the territory of Judah (Josh 15:62). David sought refuge from Saul at En Gedi (1 Sam 23:29) and hid in a cave in close reach of the king. (Still today numerous caves pockmark the hillsides above the waterfall there.)
In Chr 20:2 the site is given the name Hazazon Tamar, which in Hebrew suggests a grove of palm trees, and Song of Songs/Song of Solomon 1:14 inform us that there were beautiful vineyards there.
It was from this location that the Moahbites, Amorites and Edomites attempted to invade Judah (2 Chr 20), possibly because the terrain was so difficult that an attack from this direction would have been unexpected.
Nevertheless Jehoshaphat was warned of their plan, and the Lord answered his prayer by turning the invading armies upon one another, so that the Judahite army found only dead bodies and plunder (vv.5-26).
En Gedi was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 582 B.C. in the aftermath of his destruction of Jerusalem.’ When the Israelites returned from captivity they rebuilt the site, which was later occupied by the Has-moneans.
Herod the Great destroyed this town and then rebuilt and fortified it, but this settlement too was destroyed during the Jewish War.
In the nearby caves several letters were found that had been written by Bar Kokhba, leader of the Jewish uprising that was defeated in 135 A.D., indicating that Bar Kokhba and his men had used En Gedi as a hideout.