CHAPTER 30.

 Ye heard how Job laid out his prosperity in the former chapter, here he lays out his adversity, that by laying the one against the other; his prosperity against his adversity, his adversity may take the deeper impression on these who hear of it.

He speaks last of his respect and reverence which he had in his prosperity, and he lays opposite to that his adversity in six or seven steps, drawing his adversity to so many heads as it were to verse 15. and from verse 25. to the end, aggreges his afflictiom from the unanswerable meeting he got from others, common to all the steps of it, and from the efects it had on himself.

First, He sets down the reproach he met with, that whereas he was in great respect, now he was in as great reproach and contempt, this he sets forth in respect of the persons contemning him to verse 9. 2dly, How they dealt with him, verse 9, 10. and verse I1. is the cause, and this is his first step of his adversity.

t. The persons that contemned him were young ones, or young men, these had him in derision,  2dly, He tells thir young men were not of the best sort, but of the basest sort of the people, such as he describes thus, Whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock, that is, who were a kind of beggarly folks, that I would not have concredited to keep my flocks with the dogs; nor to have given them a dish of meat with the dogs; this he speaks not in his pride and passion, to cry them down and himself up, but to set them out that mocked him now, how unworthy wretches they were? He describes them further, verse 2. as unfit for any use or labour, that if he had never so much ado with folks, he would not employ them, partly, because they were so idle, habituated to idleness and beggary, partly, because they were so unqualified, that though they were willing they could do him no good; neither in their youth nor old age, could they ever have done him a good turn, and yet now they run him down. 3dly, He sets them out by their misery, verse 3. For want and famine they were solitary, fleeing into the wilderness, they were ashamed to live among men, and fled to desolate places, being unable to pay what they were owing. 4thly, They cut up mallows by the bushes, verse 4. They were so miserable, that they had no bread to live on, but were put to live on roots, and these not of the best sort, but such as served poor people for food. A fifth step of their misery is, verse 5. They were driven forth from among men, these men were so base, that though they would have abidden, they were not suffered to reside among men, but they were so contemned by all, that men drove them out, and raised the hue and cry after them as after a thief. And verse 6. the lodging that was allowed them, was the clifts of the rock and caves of the earth. And verse 7. when they were driven out, They brayed among the bushes, that is, they cried for meat, and could get none, (as Job vi. 5. the wild ox or ass is said to bray when he wants fodder) and all their lodging was a bush of nettles. They were children of fools, and base men, for their kindred base, and for their qualifications base; more vile than the earth, expressions to set out their unworthiness and vileness, and little estimation, verse 8. 2dly, He sets out how all thir men dealt with him, which is the scope of all, verse 9, 10. And now I am their song and byword, as Psalm xxxv. 15. and lxix. 12. and Lament. ii. 16. the same phrase is used. He says, they made their song of him, as profane, graceless men did of David, and he was their byword; scarce had they another discourse, nor of Job, and they that durst not look him in the face before, abhorred him, and could not abide to see him, such a filthy man was he to them; or, if they came near him, they spit in his face; it may hold literally, or it is an expression used to hold out their outmost contempt, 3dly, There is the cause of all this, verse 11. Because He, that is, God has loosed my cord, that is, my authority, and laid my honour in the dust; while I was in honour and respect, God bridled them, and now in my affliction he has let them loose; but I look to God, who gave me authority, loosing the cord of it again, as it is said before, chapter xii. 13. He looses the bonds of kings, &c. To tell that authority comes not from folks place, and parts, but from God.

The second step of his adversity is the violence he met with, verse 12, 13, 14. They rise upon my right-hand, &c. they are not satisfied with scorning of me, but they rise up against me; They push away my feet, they use means to make me fall; They raise up against me the ways of their destruction; as enemies besieging a town, mount up works against it, that they may get entry; so they not only cast blocks in his way to make him fall, but used all means to add to his affliction; therefore he says, They marred his path, and set forward his calamity; They have no helper, that is, they are not respected by any, yet they are enough for me, or they need none to help them in this ill turn; a very little thing will do it, and this is set out further, verse 14. They came in upon me as a wide breaking in of waters; as waters break in when a vent is made, so do they break in on me. In the desolation they rolled themselves upon me, or they tumbled over on me. They were ready so soon as ever God took down the hedge to take advantage of me.

The third step of his adversity is in the afflictions that were on his spirit, verse 15, 16. Terrors are turned upon me; as I have straits without, so I have terrors within, terrible apprehensions of God's anger, and these terrors pursued his soul as the wind doth a light thing, and my welfare, that is, all my temporal happiness passes away as a cloud, that soon evanishes. A second expression of his inward trouble is verse 10. My soul is poured out upon me; when my soul was in good condition, it was whole; but now it is poured out or melted, or melts upon my hand, as Psalm xlii. I pour out my soul in me; an expression that is used when affliction melts the heart, and faints, and pulls away all inward courage; The days of affliction have taken hold of me, seized upon me, that it hath captivated me.

The fourth step, or part of his adversity and grief, is the straits that his body was in, verse 18. My bones are pierced in me in the night season; and my sinews take no rest; the health of the body, consists mainly in two things, that is, in the soundness of the bones and sinews, and neither of these were sound in him; when others were sleeping, he was keeped waking through the yarking79 of his bones that suffered him not to get rest, and the drawing in of the sinews was a continual pain to him; and an effect of this is, verse 18. By the great force of my disease is my garment changed. I am grown so loathsom in my body, that that which runs out of my sores makes them change their colour, and folks to think they are another thing not clothes, (as the following words clear), It bindeth me about as the collar of my coat, my garment, or clothes, that should ease or refresh me, are grown so stiff, and barkened with the matter that runs from my boils and sores, that they are as a band binding me about.

The fifth step is an aggravation of his misery from the apprehension at least of God's dealing with him, verse 9. He hath cast me into the mire,. and I am become like dust and ashes, as if he said, how can it be otherwise with me, God hath laid me in a gutter, as it were, and tramped upon me, and made me contemptible, as a man would do with another that he is angry at; and he sets out God's dealing in several particulars in the words following. That he speaks and cries to God, and gets no answer, and though he stand up, that is persevere, and be earnest in prayer, yet he is not regarded, more than if he were praying none at all. Speaking from sense, and somewhat out of passion, for he said before, God had heard him. A second instance is, verse 21. Thou art become cruel unto me, to all my outward affliction thou hast added this great aggravation, as to seem unmerciful and cruel, an ordinary exercise to the saints, when they are under outward affliction, to be also under inward desertion; and as ordinary in such cases to construct hardly of God, so weak are we to bear many troubles together. With thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me, thou guides me as a man does his adversary against whom he puts forth all his power. Yea, 3dly, verse 22. Thou liftest me up to the wind, &c. Thou handles me as folks use to do things that they would have blown up and down with the wind, and made an object to all beholders, as corn is winnowed; Thou causest me to ride upon it, thou hast steeped me in this trial; and dissolved my substance, thou hast undone that which made me respected before others. 4. He aggreges this from the desperation of his condition, verse 23. I know that thou wilt bring me to death, I know thou wilt not leave off till thou bring me to the grave, the house appointed for all living, for all tryst there; And he adds a consolation against this, verse 24. Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, that is, though God pursue me with trouble to the grave, yet he will not pursue me when I am there; when I am dead, his anger towards me will cease, and I will find no more pain; and though they try in his destruction, that is, though thee that contemn me now cry loud when I am destroyed, and it likes them well to see me thus handled, yet it comforts me, that then he will cease pursuing me any further.

In the second part of the chapter, from verse 25. he aggreges his affliction. 1. From the unanswerable meeting he got from others, Did not I weep with them who are in trouble? When they were in trouble I sympathised with them, my soul was grieved when any of them was made poor; the like we have in David, Psalm xxxv. I3. When they were sick my fasting was sackcloth, but he got an ill meeting, and so did Job. 2dly, He aggreges it from this, that it was unexpected, when I looked for good, evil came unto me, I thought in my prosperity to have died in my nest, but instead of continued prosperity, adversity is come upon me, which he sets out in particulars. 1st. My bowels boiled, and rested not, my bowels for pain are like a seething pot. 2dly, The days of my affliction prevented me; as chapter iii. i6. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, nor was quiet, yet trouble came, I could not refrain from crying, I cried in the great congregation; his trouble was so great, that it put him a grave man without the bounds of modesty. 3dly, I am a brother to dragons, and companion to owls, verse 29. (which explicates the former), my company now is such creatures, that I affect more than the society of men, as Psalm cii. 6. Like a pelican in the wilderness, like an owl in the desert, setting out his abstractedness from society. 4thly, My skin is black upon me, my pain has this effect upon me, that it has changed the colour of my skin, and no marvel, for my bones are burnt up with heat. 5thly, My harp is turned to mourning, and my organ, &c. Sometimes I had the lawful use of mirth, but now I have nothing but weeping and mourning; I have no other music now., Thus we see the sad case Job is now in, especially compared with the case he was in.

 OBSERVATIONS.

I. From the sum of the chapter, comparing his prosperity in the former, with the change in this chapter. Observe. How little outward prosperity is to be trusted in, when it may be in a moment turned to adversity, and a man so respected before is now contemned of all, and mocked by the vilest of men.

II. When we look on Job's cross, we should think little of any cross that can come on us, therefore beware of complaining while we have no cause. Cry not out, Was there ever a body handled as I am? Is there any thing ye are under to be compared to this? And yet this is a man approved and beloved of God.

III. Let us learn to give God much liberty in his sovereignty, not being anxious nor solicitous in seeking out the reasons of it, but reverence and adore him, giving him his will, in lifting up and casting down, God aims at this in great part in the dispensations  in hand, to learn all flesh to stoop to him.

IV. Know that folks have much ado to keep good thoughts of God in times of straits, sense and suggestion will then readily present God as an enemy and cruel; and when patient Job is thus to express himself, we had need to guard well against such a temptation.

V. Seeing God took this way with job, and he takes much scouth80 to take temptations part against himself, when his friends held their tongue, whereas before he spoke for God against his friends when they opposed him; mark when folks fall off from taking God's part against temptation, readily they will take temptation's part against both God and themselves: It is good folks be balanced on both hands to keep them even, and ye would guard against extreams.