But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock.
they that are
younger than I
Heb. of fewer days than I. whose.
For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste.
or, dark as the night.
in former time
Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat.
The Hebrew mallu‰ch, in Arabic, malluch, and in Syriac mallucho, is probably the [Lalima or Lalimos] of the Greeks, and halimus of the Romans, which Dioscorides describes as a kind of bramble, without thorns, the leaves of which are boiled and eaten.
The Hebrew rothem, in Arabic, ratim, and in Spanish, retama, most probably signifies the genista or broom, which is very abundant in the deserts of Arabia.
for their meat
They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;)
To dwell in the clifts of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks.
Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together.
Charul probably denotes some kind of briar or bramble: so Vulgate renders it by spina or sentis, (Pr 24:31. Zep 2:9.) Celsius and Scheuchzer are inclined to think it the paliurus, a shrub growing sometimes to a considerable height in desert places. "One of the inconveniences of the vegetable thickets of Egypt is," says Denon, "that it is difficult to remain in them, as nine tenths of the trees and plants are armed with inexorable thorns, which suffer only an unquiet enjoyment of the shadow which is so constantly desirable."
They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth.
Heb. men of no name. viler.
And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword.
They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face.
spare not to spit in my face
Heb. withhold not spittle from my face.
Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me.
Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction.
they raise up
They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper.
they set forward
They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me.
as a wide
Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud.
Heb. principal one. as a cloud.
And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me.
have taken hold
My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest.
in the night season
By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat.
By the great
He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes.
I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not.
Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me.
Heb. turned to be cruel.
thy strong hand
Heb. the strength of thy hand.
Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance.
For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living.
Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction.
Heb. heap. they cry.
Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor?
Did not I
Heb. hard of day. was.
When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness.
When I looked
My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.
I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation.
I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.
or, ostriches. Benoth y‰‚nah, in Arabic, bintu n‰‚matin, not owls, but ostriches, so called from their doleful and hideous noises. "I have often," says Dr. Shaw, "heard them groan as if they were in the greatest agonies."
My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat.
My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.