Job 21:4

As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled?

As for me, is my complaint to man?.... Job had been complaining, and still was, and continued to do so after this, but not to them, his friends, nor any other man; his complaint was made to God, and of him he thought he was hardly dealt with by him, he could not tell for what; he had desired to know the reason why he contended with him in such a manner, but could get no satisfaction; when his friends came first to visit him, they said nothing to him, nor he to them; and when he did speak, it was not to them, but to God, of whom he complains; and expostulates with him why he had ever been born, or had not died as soon as born, and not have lived to have seen such unhappy days, and endured so much affliction and trouble:

and if it were so; that he had made his complaint to man, since it would have been in vain, and to no purpose, he should have got no relief, nor obtained any satisfaction:

why should not my spirit be troubled? or "shortened" {l}; or, as the Targum, be straitened; for as comfort and joy enlarge the heart, trouble contracts and straitens it; or is "my prayer" or {m} "petition to men?" it was not, though he was reduced so low, and was in such a distressed condition; he had asked nothing of men, not of these his friends, neither to give him of their substance, nor to help him out of the hands of his enemies, Job 6:21; he had poured out his complaint before God, and had directed his prayer to the God of his life; he had desired to speak to none but the Almighty, and to reason only with him; he had petitioned him to take cognizance of his case, and to admit of a hearing of it before him, and to have it determined by him; he had complained of wrongs and injuries done him, and begged to be redressed and righted, but got no answer; God did not think fit to answer him, but hid himself from him, and continued so to do: "and if", if this be the case, as it really was, "why should not my spirit be troubled?" is there not reason for it? Some think Job's meaning is, is "my disputation", as the Vulgate Latin version, or is my discourse concerning human things, things within the compass of human knowledge and reasoning? or, to be attained to by the force of that, without divine revelation? no, it is concerning divine things; concerning the mysteries of Providence, with respect to good and bad men; concerning the living Redeemer, his incarnation, resurrection, &c. and faith in him; concerning the general resurrection, the final judgment, and a future state of happiness: or does my complaint, petition, or discourse, savour of that which is human, and is intermixed with human frailty? if it be so, it should be borne with, it should be considered I am but a man, and liable to err; and especially great allowances should be made in my present circumstances, being trader such sore afflictions; and it may be reasonably thought, that though the spirit may be willing to behave in a better manner, the flesh is weak, and much must be imputed unto that; and it will not seem so extravagant to indulge a troubled spirit so severely exercised; persons under afflictions generally think they do well to be troubled, and that there is reason enough for it, and ought to be borne with, and not to be reproached and rallied on that account.

{l} ruqt "abbreviabitur", Montanus, Vatablus, "abbreviaretur", Drusius, Cocceius, Michaelis.
{m} yxyv "precatio mea", Drusius.