on Job 16 :8
Thou hast filled me with wrinkles - If Job's disease were the elephantiasis, in which the whole skin is wrinkled as the skin of the elephant, from which this species of leprosy has taken its name, these words would apply most forcibly to it; but the whole passage, through its obscurity, has been variously rendered. Calmet unites it with the preceding, and Houbigant is not very different. He translates thus: - "For my trouble hath now weakened all my frame, and brought wrinkles over me: he is present as a witness, and ariseth against me, who telleth lies concerning me; he openly contradicts me to my face." Mr. Good translates nearly in the same way; others still differently.
on Job 16 :8
And thou hast filled me with wrinkles - Noyes renders this, "and thou hast seized hold of me, which is a witness against me." Wemyss, "since thou hast bound me with chains, witnesses come forward." Good, "and hast cut off myself from becoming a witness." Luther, "he has made me "kuntzlich" (skillfully, artificially, cunningly,) and bears witness against me." Jerome, "my wrinkles bear witness against me." Septuagint, "my lie has become a witness, and is risen up against me." From this variety of explanations, it will be seen that this passage is not of easy and obvious construction. The Hebrew word which is here used and rendered, "thou hast filled me with wrinkles" (תקמטני tı̂qâmaṭēnı̂y), from קמט qâmaṭ - occurs only in one other place in the Bible; Job 22:16. It is there in the "Pual" form, and rendered "were cut down." According to Gesenius, it means, to lay fast hold of, to seize with the hands, and answers to the Arabic "to bind."
The word in Chaldee (קמט qâmaṭ) means to wrinkle, or collect in wrinkles; and is applied to anything that is "contracted," or rough. It is applied in the form קימט qâymaṭ to the pupil of the eye as being "contracted," as in the declaration in Derek 'Erets, c. 5, quoted by Castell. "The world is like the eye; where the ocean that surrounds the world is white; the world itself is black; the pupil is Jerusalem, and the image in the pupil is the sanctuary." Probably the true notion of the word is to be found in the Arabic. According to Castell, this means, to tie together the four feet of a sheep or lamb, in order that it might be slain; to bind an infant in swaddling clothes before it is laid in a cradle; to collect camels into a group or herd; and hence, the noun is used to denote a cord or rope twisted of wool, or of leaves of the palm, or the bandages by which an infant is bound. This idea is not in use in the Hebrew; but I have no doubt that this was the original sense of the word, and that this is one of the numerous places in Job where light may be cast upon the meaning of a word from its use in Arabic. The Hebrew word may be applied to the "collecting" or "contraction" of the face in wrinkles by age, but this is not the sense here. We should express the idea by "being "drawn up" with pain or affliction; by being straitened, or compressed." The meaning - is that of "drawing together" - as the feet of a sheep when tied, or twisting - as a rope; and the idea here is, that Job was drawn up, compressed, bound by his afflictions - and that this was a witness against him. The word "compressed" comes as near to the sense as any one that we have.
Which is a witness against me - That is, "this is an argument against my innocence. The fact that God has thus compressed, and fettered, and fastened me; that he has bound me as with a cord - as if I were tied for the slaughter, is an argument on which my friends insist, and to which they appeal, as a proof of my guilt. I cannot answer it. They refer to it constantly. It is the burden of their demonstration, and how can I reply to it?" The position of mind here is, that he could appeal to God for his uprightness, but these afflictions stood in the way of his argument for his innocence with his friends. They were the "usual" proofs of God's displeasure, and he could not well meet the argument which was drawn from them in his case, for in all his protestations of innocence there stood these afflictions - the usual proofs of God's displeasure against people - as evidence against him, to which they truimphantly appealed.
And my leanness rising up in me - Dr. Good renders this, "my calumniator." Wemyss, "false witnesses." So Jerome, "falsiloquus." The Septuagint renders it," my lie - τὸ ψευδός μου to pseudos mou - rises up against me." The Hebrew word (כחשׁ kachash) means properly "a lie, deceit, hypocrisy." But it cannot be supposed that Job would formally admit that he was a liar and a hypocrite. This would have been to concede the whole point in dispute. The word, therefore, it would seem, "must" have some other sense. The verb כחשׁ kâchash is used to denote not only to "lie," but also to "waste away, to fail." Psalm 109:24, "my flesh "faileth" of fatness." The idea seems to have been, that a person whose flesh had wasted away by sickness, as it were, "belied himself;" or it was a "false testimony" about himself; it did not give "a fair representation" of him. That could be obtained only when he was in sound health. Thus, in Habakkuk 3:17, "the labour of the olive "shall fail."" Hebrew shall "lie" or "deceive;" that is, it shall belie itself, or shall not do justice to itself; it shall afford no fair representation of what the olive is fitted to produce. So the word is used Hosea 9:2. It is used here in this sense, as denoting "the false appearance of Job" - his present aspect - which was no proper representation of himself; that is, his emaciated and ulcerated form. This, he says, was a "witness" against him. It was one of the proofs to which they appealed, and he did not know how to answer it. It was usually an evidence of divine displeasure, and he now solemnly and tenderly addresses God, and says, that he had furnished this testimony against him - and he was overwhelmed.
on Job 16 :8