on Job 10 :8
Thine hands have made me - Thou art well acquainted with human nature, for thou art its author.
And fashioned me together round about - All my powers and faculties have been planned and executed by thyself. It is thou who hast refined the materials out of which I have been formed, and modified them into that excellent symmetry and order in which they are now found; so that the union and harmony of the different parts, (יחד yachad), and their arrangement and completion, (סביב sabib), proclaim equally thy wisdom, skill, power, and goodness.
Yet thou dost destroy me - ותבלעני vatteballeeni, "and thou wilt swallow me up." Men generally care for and prize those works on which they have spent most time, skill, and pains: but, although thou hast formed me with such incredible skill and labor, yet thou art about to destroy me! How dreadful an evil must sin be, when, on its account, God has pronounced the sentence of death on all mankind; and that body, so curiously and skilfully formed, must be decomposed, and reduced to dust!
on Job 10 :8
Thine hands have made me - Job proceeds now to state that he had been made by God, and that he had shown great skill and pains in his formation. He argues that it would seem like caprice to take such pains, and to exercise such amazing wisdom and care in forming him, and then, on a sudden, and without cause, dash his own work to pieces. Who makes a beautiful vase only to be destroyed? Who moulds a statue from marble only to break it to pieces? Who builds a splendid edifice only to pull it down? Who plants a rare and precious flower only to have the pleasure of plucking it up? The statement in Job 10:8-12, is not only beautiful and forcible as an argument, but is especially interesting and valuable, as it may be presumed to embody the views in the patriarchal age about the formation and the laws of the human frame. No inconsiderable part of the value of the book of Job, as was remarked in the Introduction, arises from the incidental notices of the sciences as they prevailed at the time when it was composed.
If it is the oldest book in the world, it is an invaluable record on these points. The expression, "thine hands have made me," is in the margin, "took pains about me." Dr. Good renders it, "have wrought me;" Noyes, "completely fashioned me;" Rosenmuller explains it to mean, "have formed me with the highest diligence and care." Schultens renders it, Manus tuae nervis colligarunt - "thy hands have bound me with nerves or sinews;" and appeals to the use of the Arabic as authority for this interpretation. He maintains (De Defectibus hodiernis Ling. Hebr. pp. 142, 144, 151), that the Arabic word atzaba denotes "the body united and bound in a beautiful form by nerves and tendons;" and that the idea here is, that God had so constructed the human frame. The Hebrew word used here (עצב ‛âtsab) means properly to work, form, fashion. The primary idea, according to Gesenius, is, that of cutting, both wood and stone, and hence, to cut or carve with a view to the forming of an image. The verb also has the idea of labor, pain, travail, grief; perhaps from the labor of cutting or carving a stone or a block of wood. Hence it means, in the Piel, to form or fashion, with the idea of labor or toil; and the sense here is undoubtedly, that God had elaborated the bodies of men with care and skill, like that bestowed on a carved image or statue. The margin expresses the idea not badly - took pains about me.
And fashioned me - Made me. The Hebrew here means simply to make.
Together round about - סביב יחד yachad sâbı̂yb. Vulgate, totum in circuitu. Septuagint simply, "made me." Dr. Good, "moulded me compact on all sides." The word יחד yachad rendered "together," has the notion of oneness, or union. It may refer to the oneness of the man - the making of one from the apparently discordant materials, and the compact form in which the body, though composed of bones, and sinews, and blood-vessels, is constructed. A similar idea is expressed by Lucretius, as quoted by Schultens. Lib. iii.:358:
- Qui coetu, conjugioque
Corporis atque anirnae consistimus uniter apti.
Yet thou dost destroy me - Notwithstanding I am thus made, yet thou art taking down my frame, as if it were of no consequence, and formed with no care.
on Job 10 :8