Jon 6:Verses 8-12. – Here we have an expansion of the plea in ver. 3, “Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest despise the work of thine own hands?” Job appeals to God, not only as his Greater, but as, up to a certain time, his Supporter and Sustainer. Verse 8. – Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about (comp. Psalm 139:12-16, “My reins are thine; thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks unto thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvellous are thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well My bones are not hid from thee, though I be made secretly, and fashioned beneath in the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book were all my members written, which day by day were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them”).
Canon Cook observes with much truth,
“The processes of nature are always attributed in Scripture to the immediate action of God. The formation of every individual stands, in the language of the Holy Ghost, precisely on the same footing as that of the first man”(‘Speaker’s Commentary,’ vol. 4. p. 50).
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
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.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
10:8-13 Job seems to argue with God, as if he only formed and preserved him for misery. God made us, not we ourselves. How sad that those bodies should be instruments of unrighteousness, which are capable of being temples of the Holy Ghost! But the soul is the life, the soul is the man, and this is the gift of God.
If we plead with ourselves as an inducement to duty, God made me and maintains me, we may plead as an argument for mercy, Thou hast made me, do thou new-make me; I am thine, save me.