Job 30:10
They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.
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30:1-14 Job contrasts his present condition with his former honour and authority. What little cause have men to be ambitious or proud of that which may be so easily lost, and what little confidence is to be put in it! We should not be cast down if we are despised, reviled, and hated by wicked men. We should look to Jesus, who endured the contradiction of sinners.They abhor me - Hebrew, They regard me as abominable.

They flee far from me - Even such an impious and low born race now will have nothing to do with me. They would consider it no honor to be associated with me, but keep as far from me as possible.

And spare not to spit in my face - Margin, "withhold not spittle from." Noyes renders this "Before my face;" and so Luther Wemyss, Umbreit, and Prof. Lee. The Hebrew may mean either to spit in the face, or to spit "in the presence" of anyone. It is quite immaterial which interpretation is adopted, since in the view of Orientals the one was considered about the same as the other. In their notions of courtesy and urbanity, he commits an insult of the same kind who spits in the presence of another which he would if he spit on him. Are they not right? Should it not be so considered every where? Yet how different their views from the more refined notions of the civilized Occidentals! In America, more than in any other land, are offences of this kind frequent and gross. Of nothing do foreigners complain of us more, or with more justice; and much as we boast of our intelligence and refinement, we should gain much if in this respect we would sit down at the feet of a Bedouin Arab, and incorporate his views into our maxims of politeness.

10. in my face—rather, refrain not to spit in deliberate contempt before my face. To spit at all in presence of another is thought in the East insulting, much more so when done to mark "abhorrence." Compare the further insult to Jesus Christ (Isa 50:6; Mt 26:67). They flee far from me, in contempt of my person, and loathing of my sores.

Spare not to spit in my face; not literally, for they kept far from him, as he now said; but figuratively, i.e. they use all manner of contemptuous and reproachful expressions and carriages towards me, not only behind my back, but even to my face.

They abhor me,.... As it is no wonder they should, since his inward and most intimate friends did, Job 19:19; they abhorred him, not for any evil in him; Job was ready enough to abhor that himself, and himself for it, as he did when sensible of it, Job 42:6; but for the good that was in him, spoken or done by him; which carried in it a reproof to them they could not bear; see Amos 5:10; they abhorred him also because of his present meanness and poverty, and because of his afflictions and distresses; and particularly the diseases of his body; so Christ was abhorred by the Scribes, Pharisees and elders of the people, the three shepherds his soul loathed, and their soul abhorred him for his meanness and for his ministry: and even by the whole nation of the Jews, by the body of the people, particularly when they preferred Barabbas, a thief and a murderer, to him, Mark 15:7; see Zechariah 11:8;

they flee from me; as from some hideous monster, or infectious person, as if he had the plague on him, or some nauseous disease, the stench of which they could not bear; so Christ his antitype was used by: his people; when they saw him in his afflictions they hid their faces from him, did not care to look at him, or come nigh him, Isaiah 53:3;

and spare not to spit in my face; not in his presence only, as some think, which is too low a sense, but literally and properly in his face, when they vouchsafed to come near him; in this opprobrious way they used him, than which nothing was a greater indignity and affront; and we need not scruple to interpret it in this sense of Job, since our Lord, whose type he was in this and other things, was so treated, Isaiah 50:6.

They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.
Verse 10. - They abhor me, they flee far from me; rather, they abhor me, they stoat aloof from me (see the Revised Version). And spare not to spit in my face. This has generally been taken literally, as it seems to have been by the LXX. But it, perhaps, means no more than that they did not refrain from spitting in Job's presence (see Professor Lee's ' Book of Job,' p. 422). Job 30:10 9 And now I am become their song,

And a by-word to them.

10 They avoid me, they flee far from me,

And spare not my face with spitting.

11 For my cord of life He hath loosed, and afflicted me,

Therefore they let loose the bridle recklessly.

12 The rabble presses upon my right hand,

They thrust my feet away,

And cast up against me their destructive ways.

The men of whom Job complains in this strophe are none other than those in the preceding strophe, described from the side of their coarse and degenerate behaviour, as Job 24:4-8 described them from the side of the wrong which was practised against them. This rabble, constitutionally as well as morally degraded, when it comes upon Job's domain in its marauding expeditions, makes sport of the sufferer, whose former earnest admonitions, given from sympathizing anxiety for them, seemed to them as insults for which they revenge themselves. He is become their song of derision (נגינתם to be understood according to the dependent passage, Lamentations 3:14, and Psalm 69:13), and is למלּה to them, their θρύλλημα (lxx), the subject of their foolish talk (מלּה - Arab. mille, not equals melle, according to which Schultens interprets it, sum iis fastidio). Avoiding him, and standing at a distance from him, they make their remarks upon him; and if they come up to him, it is only for the sake of showing him still deeper scorn: a facie ejus non cohibent sputam. The expositors who explain that, contrary to all decent bearing, they spit in his presence (Eichh., Justi, Hirz., Vaih., Hlgst.), or with Fie! spit out before him (Umbr., Hahn, Schlottm.), overlook the fact of its being מפּני, not לפני. The expression as it stands can only affirm that they do not spare his face with spitting (Jer. correctly: conspuere non veruntur), so that consequently he is become, as he has complained in Job 17:6, a תּפת, an object of spitting (comp. also the declaration of the servant of Jehovah, Isaiah 50:6, which stands in close connection with this declaration of Job, according to previous explanations).

It now becomes a question, Who is the subj. in Job 30:11? The Chethib יתרו demands an attempt to retain the previous subj. Accordingly, most moderns explain: solvit unusquisque eorum funem suum, i.e., frenum suum, quo continebatur antea a me (Rosenm., Umbr., Stick., Vaih., Hlgst., and others), but it is to be doubted whether יתר can mean frenum; it signifies a cord, the string of a bow, and of a harp. The reconciliation of the signification redundantia, Job 22:20, and funis, is, in the idea of the root, to be stretched tight and long.

(Note: The Arab. verb watara shows its sensuous primary signification in Arab. watarun, יתר, cord, bow-string, harp-string (Engl. string): to stretch tight, to extend, so that the thing continues in one line. Hence then Arab. watrun, witrun, separate, unequal, singulus, impar, opp. Arab. šaf‛un, bini, par, just as fard, single, separate, unequal (opp. zaug, a pair, equal number), is derived from farada, properly, so to strain or stretch out, that the thing has no bends or folds; Greek εξαπλοῦν (as in the Shepherd of Hermas: ἐπάνω λεντίου ἐξηπλωμένον λίνον καρπάσινον), an original transitive signification still retained in low Arabic (vid., Bocthor under tendre and Dployer). Then from Arab. watara spring the secondary roots Arab. tatara and tarâ, which proceed from the VIII form (ittatara). The former (tatara) appears only in the Arab. adverb tatran and tatrâ, sigillatim, alii post alios, singly one after another, so that several persons or things form a row interrupted by intervals of space of time; the latter (tara) and its IV form (atra) are equivalent to wâtara, to be active at intervals, with pauses between, as the Arabs explain: "We say Arab. atrâ of a man when he so performs several acts which do not directly follow one another, that there is always a [Arab.] fatrat, intermissio, between two acts." Hence also תּרין, תּרתּין, duals of an assumed sing. תּר, singulus (um), תּרתּ singula, therefore prop. duo singuli (a), duae singulae, altogether parallel to the like meaning thinâni (ithnâni', thinaini (ithnaini), שׁנים; fem. thintâni (ithnatâni), thintaini (ithnataini), שׁתּים instead of שׁנתּים, from an assumed sing. thin-un (ithn-un), thint-un (ithnat-un), from Arab. tanâ, שׁנה, like bin (ibn), bint (ibnat), בּן, בּת ( equals בּנת, hence בּתּי) from Arab. banâ, בּנה.

The significations of watara which Freytag arranges under 1, 2, 3, 4, proceed from the transitive application of יתר, as the Italian soperchiare, soverchiare, from supra, to offend, insult; oltraggiare, outrager, from ultra; ὑβρίζειν from ὑπέρ. Similarly, Arab. tṭâwl ‛lı̂h and ‛stṭâl ‛lı̂h (form VI and X from ṭâl), to act haughtily towards any one, to make him feel one's superiority, properly to stretch one's self out over or against any one.

But in another direction the signif. to be stretched out goes into: overhanging, surpassing, projecting, to be superfluous, and to be left over, περιττὸν εἶναι, to exceed a number or bulk, superare (comp. Italian soperchiare as intrans.), περιεῖναι, ὑπερεῖναι; to prove, as result, gain, etc., περιεῖναι, etc. Similar is the development of the meaning of Arab. faḍala and of ṭâ'l, gain, use, from Arab. ṭâl, to be stretched out. In like manner, the German reich, reichlich rich, abundant, comes from the root reichen, recken to stretch, extend. - Fl.)


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