on Job 2 :8
on Job 2 :8
And he took him a potsherd - The word used here חרשׁ chârâsh means a fragment of a broken vessel; see the notes at Isaiah 45:9. The Septuagint renders it ὄστρακον ostrakon - "a shell." One object of taking this was to remove from his body the filth accumulated by the universal ulcer, compare Job 7:4-5; and another design probably was, to "indicate" the greatness of his calamity and sorrow. The ancients were accustomed to show their grief by significant external actions (compare the notes at Job 1:20), and nothing could more strongly denote the greatness of the calamity, than for a man of wealth, honor, and distinction, to sit down in the ashes, to take a piece of broken earthen-ware, and begin to scrape his body covered over with undressed and most painful sores. It does not appear that anything was done to heal him, or any kindness shown in taking care of his disease. It would seem that he was at once separated from his home, as a man whom none would venture to approach, and was doomed to endure his suffering without sympathy from others.
To scrape himself withal - The word used here גרד gârad has the sense of grating, scraping, sawing; or to scrape or rasp with an edged tool. The same word identically, as to letters, is used at present among the Arabs; meaning to rasp or scrape with any kind of tool. The idea here seems to be, that Job took the pieces of broken pottery that he found among the ashes to scrape himself with.
And he sat down among the ashes - On the expressions of grief among the ancients, see the notes at Job 1:20. The general ideas of mourning among the nations of antiquity seem to have been, to strip off all their ornaments; to put on the coarsest apparel, and to place themselves in the most humiliating positions. To sit on the ground (see the note at Isaiah 3:26), or on a heap of ashes, or a pile of cinders, was a common mode of expressing sorrow; see the note at Isaiah 58:5. To wear sackcloth to shave their heads and their beards and to abstain from pleasant food and from all cheerful society, and to utter loud and long exclamations or shrieks, was also a common mode of indicating grief. The Vulgate renders this "sedates in sterquilinio," "sitting on a dunghill." The Septuagint, "and he took a shell to scrape off the ichor (ἰχῶρα ichōra) the "sanies," or filth produced by a running ulcer, and sat upon the ashes "out of the city,"" implying that his grief was so excessive that he left the city and his friends, and went out to weep alone.
on Job 2 :8