Job 6:20
They were confounded because they had hoped; they came thither, and were ashamed.
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(20) They were confounded.—Comp. Jeremiah’s description of the famine (Jeremiah 14:3). (See margin.)

Job 6:20. They were confounded — That is, the troops and companies were miserably disappointed; because they hoped — Comforted themselves with the expectation of water there to quench their thirst; they came, and were ashamed — To think that they should expect relief from such uncertain streams, and had deceived themselves and others. Thus we prepare confusion for ourselves by our vain hopes: the reeds break under us because we lean upon them.

6:14-30 In his prosperity Job formed great expectations from his friends, but now was disappointed. This he compares to the failing of brooks in summer. Those who rest their expectations on the creature, will find it fail when it should help them; whereas those who make God their confidence, have help in the time of need, Heb 4:16. Those who make gold their hope, sooner or later will be ashamed of it, and of their confidence in it. It is our wisdom to cease from man. Let us put all our confidence in the Rock of ages, not in broken reeds; in the Fountain of life, not in broken cisterns. The application is very close; for now ye are nothing. It were well for us, if we had always such convictions of the vanity of the creature, as we have had, or shall have, on a sick-bed, a death-bed, or in trouble of conscience. Job upbraids his friends with their hard usage. Though in want, he desired no more from them than a good look and a good word. It often happens that, even when we expect little from man, we have less; but from God, even when we expect much, we have more. Though Job differed from them, yet he was ready to yield as soon as it was made to appear that he was in error. Though Job had been in fault, yet they ought not to have given him such hard usage. His righteousness he holds fast, and will not let it go. He felt that there had not been such iniquity in him as they supposed. But it is best to commit our characters to Him who keeps our souls; in the great day every upright believer shall have praise of God.They were confounded because they had hoped - The caravans of Tema and Sheba. The word "confounded" here means ashamed. It represents the state of feeling which one has who has met with disappointment. He is perplexed, distressed, and ashamed that he had entertained so confident hope; see the notes at Isaiah 30:5. They were downcast and sad that the waters had failed, and they looked on one another with confusion and dismay. There are few images more poetic than this, and nothing that would more strikingly exhibit the disappointment of Job, that he had looked for consolation from his friends, and had not found it. He was down-cast, distressed, and disheartened, like the travelers of Tema and of Sheba, because they had nothing to offer to console him; because he had waited for them to sustain him in his afflictions, and had been wholly disappointed. 20. literally, "each had hoped"; namely, that their companions would find water. The greater had been their hopes the more bitter now their disappointment;

they came thither—to the place.

and were ashamed—literally, "their countenances burn," an Oriental phrase for the shame and consternation of deceived expectation; so "ashamed" as to disappointment (Ro 5:5).

They were confounded, i.e. the troops and companies. Because they had hoped; they comforted themselves with the expectation of water there to quench their thirst.

Were ashamed; as having deceived themselves and others with vain and false hopes.

And they were confounded because they had hoped,.... When they came to the places where they hoped to find water, finding none were ashamed of their vain hope, and reflected upon themselves for being so foolish as to raise their expectations upon such a groundless surmise:

they came thither, and were ashamed; which is the same thing expressed in different words; and aptly enough describes Job's disappointment in not meeting with that relief and comfort he expected from his friends, to whom he makes application of all this in the following words.

They were confounded because they had hoped; they came thither, and were ashamed.
Verse 20. - They were confounded because they had hoped. Shame and confusion of face came upon them in consequence of their vain hope. In the same way, Job implies, he is ashamed of having looked for compassion and kindness from his friends. He should have been wiser and have known better. They came thither, and were ashamed. They not only hoped, but acted on their hope-let it turn them aside from their way (ver. 18) and bring them to ruin. Job 6:2018 The paths of their course are turned about,

They go up in the waste and perish.

19 The travelling bands of Tma looked for them,

The caravans of Saba hoped for them;

20 They were disappointed on account of their trust,

They came thus far, and were red with shame.

As the text is pointed, ארחות, Job 6:18, are the paths of the torrents. Hitz., Ew., and Schlottm., however, correct ארחות, caravans, which Hahn even thinks may be understood without correction, since he translates: the caravans of their way are turned about (which is intended to mean: aside from the way that they are pursuing), march into the desert and perish (i.e., because the streams on which they reckoned are dried up). So, in reality, all modern commentators understand it; but is it likely that the poet would let the caravans perish in Job 6:18, and in Job 6:19. still live? With this explanation, Job 6:19. drag along tautologically, and the feebler figure follows the stronger. Therefore we explain as follows: the mountain streams, נחלים, flow off in shallow serpentine brooks, and the shallow waters completely evaporate by the heat of the sun. בתּהוּ עלה signifies to go up into nothing (comp. Isaiah 40:23), after the analogy of בעשׁן כּלה, to pass away in smoke. Thus e.g., also Mercier: in auras abeunt, in nihilum rediguntur. What next happens is related as a history, Job 6:19., hence the praett. Job compares his friends to the wady swollen by ice and snow water, and even to the travelling bands themselves languishing for water. He thirsts for friendly solace, but the seeming comfort which his friends utter is only as the scattered meandering waters in which the mountain brook leaks out. The sing. בּטח individualizes; it is unnecessary with Olsh. to read בּטחוּ.

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