on Job 16 :9
He teareth me in his wrath - Who the person is that is spoken of in this verse, and onward to the end of the fourteenth, has been a question on which commentators have greatly differed. Some think God, others Eliphaz, is intended: I think neither. Probably God permitted Satan to show himself to Job, and the horrible form which he and his demons assumed increased the misery under which Job had already suffered so much. All the expressions, from this to the end of the fourteenth verse, may be easily understood on this principle; e.g., Job 16:9 : "He (Satan) gnasheth upon me with his teeth; mine enemy sharpeneth his eyes upon me." Job 16:10 : "They (demons) have gaped on me with their mouth; - they have gathered themselves together against me." Job 16:11 : "God hath delivered me to the ungodly, (עויל avil, to the Evil One), and turned me over into the hands of the wicked." He hath abandoned me to be tortured by the tempter and his host. If we consider all these expressions as referring to Job's three friends, we must, in that case, acknowledge that the figures are all strained to an insufferable height, so as not to be justified by any figure of speech.
on Job 16 :9
He teareth me in his wrath - The language here is all taken from the ferocity of wild beasts; and the idea is, that his enemy had come upon him as a lion seizes upon its prey. Rosenmuller, Reiske, and some others suppose that this refers to God. Cocceius refers it to Satan. Schultens, Dr. Good, and some others, to Eliphaz, as the leading man among his adversaries. I have no doubt that this is the true reference. The connection seems to demand this; and we ought not to suppose that Job would charge this upon God, unless there is the clearest evidence. The whole passage is a description of the manner in which Job supposed his friends had come upon him. He says they had attacked him like wild beasts. Yet it must be admitted that he sometimes attributes these feelings to God, and says that he came upon him like a roaring lion see Job 10:16-17.
Who hateth me - Or rather, "and persecutes me, or is become my adversary," for so the word used here (שׂטם śâṭam) means; see the notes at Job 30:21.
He gnasheth upon me with his teeth - As an enraged wild animal does when about to seize upon its prey. A similar figure occurs in Otway, in his "Orphan:"
- For my Castalio's false;
False as the wind, the water, or the weather:
Cruel as tigers o'er their trembling prey:
I feel him in my breast, he tears my heart,
And at each sigh he drinks the gushing blood.
And so Homer, when he describes the wrath of Achilles as he armed himself to avenge the death of Patroclus, mentions among other signs of wrath his gnashing his teeth:
Τοῦ καὶ ὀδόντων μὲν καναχὴ πέλε.
Tou kai odontōn men kanachē pele.
Iliad xix. 364.
So Virgil describes his hero as
furens animis, dentibus infrendens.
on Job 16 :9
16:9 Eyes - Looks upon me with a fierce, and sparkling eye, as enraged persons use to do.