Yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me.
Yet shall thou plunge me in the ditch,.... In the filthy ditch of sin, the pit wherein is no water, the horrible pit, the mire and clay, in which all unregenerate men are, and to which hypocrites return, as the swine to its wallowing in the mire; and in which impurity self-righteous persons are, and are sooner or later made to appear, notwithstanding all their outward righteousness, holiness, purity, and perfection they boast of; and though Job was neither of these, not an unregenerate man, nor an hypocrite, nor a self-righteous person; yet he knew that, in comparison of the perfect purity and holiness of God, he should appear exceedingly impure; and that God would treat him as such, and hold him out to the view of others as the filth of the world, and the offscouring of all things, by continuing his afflictions, from whence it would be concluded that he was the most impure person; and indeed by the ditch may be meant the ditch of afflictions, as Sephorno, either his present ones continued, his filthy ulcers and scabs, with which his body was covered all over, or new afflictions he would bring him into, where he would sink in deep mire, there being no standing, Psalms 69:2; some understand this of the grave, the ditch or pit of corruption, into which he should be cast, and there putrefy and rot: but the other senses seem best:
and mine own clothes shall abhor me; not his clothes in a literal sense; either while living, his filthy ulcers being such, that were his clothes sensible of them, they would loathe and abhor to touch him, and cover him; or when dead, his sepulchre garments, his shroud, or winding sheet, would disdain to cover such a filthy body, overspread with worms and dust; or as Vatablus paraphrases it, clothes do not become a dead body; or as Mr. Broughton,
"when I go naked to the grave, as though my clothes loathed me:''
but the words are rather to be understood figuratively, either of some of his friends that were as near and as close to him as his clothes, or had been, but now were estranged from him, and loathed and abhorred him, see Job 19:13; or better, of his best works of righteousness, which he put on as a robe, Job 29:14; and which are a covering to the saints before men, and are ornamental to them, though not justifying in the sight of God; and indeed in themselves, and compared with the holy law, and holy nature of God, are imperfect and impure; and if God was to enter into judgment with men, they would be so far from justifying them in his sight, or rendering them acceptable to him, that they would cause them to be abhorred by him, as all self-righteousness and self-righteous persons are, see Proverbs 21:27; yea, even the best works of men are but dung in the judgment of a good man himself, what then must they be in the account of God? Philippians 3:8; Job here, and in Job 9:30, has most exalted ideas of the purity, holiness, and majesty of God, so that no creature, nor creature holiness, be they ever so perfect, can stand before him, or be pure in his sight.