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Job 30:3

    Job 30:3 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    They are gaunt with want and famine; They gnaw the dry ground, in the gloom of wasteness and desolation.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    They are wasted for need of food, biting the dry earth; their only hope of life is in the waste land.

    Webster's Revision

    They are gaunt with want and famine; They gnaw the dry ground, in the gloom of wasteness and desolation.

    World English Bible

    They are gaunt from lack and famine. They gnaw the dry ground, in the gloom of waste and desolation.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    They are gaunt with want and famine; they gnaw the dry ground; in the gloom of wasteness and desolation.

    Clarke's Commentary on Job 30:3

    Fleeing into the wilderness - Seeking something to sustain life even in the barren desert. This shows the extreme of want, when the desert is supposed to be the only place where any thing to sustain life can possibly be found.

    Barnes' Notes on Job 30:3

    For want and famine - By hunger and poverty their strength is wholly exhausted, and they are among the miserable outcasts of society. In order to show the depth to which he himself was sunk in public estimation, Job goes into a description of the state of these miserable wretches, and says that he was treated with contempt by the very scum of society, by those who were reduced to the most abject wretchedness, and who wandered in the deserts, subsisting on roots, without clothing, shelter, or home, and who were chased away by the respectable portion of the community as if they were thieves and robbers. The description is one of great power, and presents a sad picture of his own condition.

    They were solitary - Margin, or, "dark as the night." Hebrew גלמוד galmûd. This word properly means "hard," and is applied to a dry, stony, barren soil. In Arabic it means a hard rock. "Umbreit." In Job 3:7, it is applied to a night in which none are born. Here it seems to denote a countenance, dry, hard, emaciated with hunger. Jerome renders it, "steriles." The Septuagint, ἄγονος agonos - "sterile." Prof. Lee, "Hardly beset." The meaning is, that they were greatly reduced - or dried up - by hunger and want. So Umbreit renders it, "gantz ausgedorrt - altogether dried up."

    Fleeing into the wilderness - Into the desert or lonely wastes. That is, they "fled" there to obtain, on what the desert produced, a scanty subsistence. Such is the usual explanation of the word rendered "flee" - ערק ‛âraq. But the Vulgate, the Syriac, and the Arabic, render it "gnawinq," and this is followed by Umbreit, Noyes, Schultens, and Good. According to this the meaning is, that they were "gnawers of the desert;" that is, that they lived by gnawing the roots and shrubs which they found in the desert. This idea is much more expressive, and agrees with the connection. The word occurs in Hebrew only in this verse and in Job 30:17, where it is rendered "My sinews," but which may more appropriately be rendered "My gnawing pains." In the Syriac and Arabic the word means to "gnaw," or "corrode," as the leading signification, and as the sense of the word cannot be determined by its usage in the Hebrew, it is better to depend on the ancient versions, and on its use in the cognate languages. According to this, the idea is, that they picked up a scanty subsistence as they could find it, by gnawing roots and shrubs in the deserts.

    In the former time - Margin, "yesternight." The Hebrew word (אמשׁ 'emesh) means properly last night; the latter part of the preceding day, and then it is used to denote night or darkness in general. Gesenius supposes that this refers to "the night of desolation," the pathless desert being strikingly compared by the Orientals with darkness. According to this, the idea is not that they had gone but yesterday into the desert, but that they went into the shades and solitudes of the wilderness, far from the homes of men. The sense then is, "They fled into the night of desolate wastes."

    Desolate and waste - In Hebrew the same word occurs in different forms, designed to give emphasis, and to describe the gloom and solitariness of the desert in the most impressive manner. We should express the same idea by saying that they hid themselves in the "shades" of the wilderness.

    Wesley's Notes on Job 30:3

    30:3 Solitary - Although want commonly drives persons to places of resort for relief, yet they were so conscious of their own guilt, that they shunned company, and for fear or shame fled into, and lived in desolate places.
    Book: Job