‘My soul chooses strangling! And death, rather than this skeleton (or “life”)! I loathe it! I would not keep on living always! Leave me alone! For my days are empty (or “breath”)!’ Job 7:15-16.
Job felt he was being strangled. And he himself welcomed it. For he himself in his own soul chose it.
A sense of choking, is one of the accompaniments of elephantiasis. Sometimes it ends in actual suffocation.
Job here referred to this symptom. He said he was being driven to desire that it might indeed really be fatal. For in the very next sentence, he went on to say he wanted death rather than life.
Indeed, he selected death by choking and being strangled, as the form of dying incidental to his disease. For this was the form of death with which he had perhaps more than once been threatened.
Job said he wanted death more than life — death, more than those bones of his. For here he was describing the emaciated skeleton to which he had been reduced.
He said he then loathed his life. So keenly did he realize the misery of his condition and the intolerable painfulness of his life, that he broke out into the passionate cry that he hated it. He said he was weary of life.
He said he loathed it. He loathed life in general. The next words, ‘I would not keep on living always,’ indicate he did not want to keep alive what he called his ‘bones’ or his miserable skeleton.
He did not emphasize the word ‘always.’ But his phrase ‘I would not keep on living always’ is rather an exclamation of revulsion. It simply means that he did not desire to keep on living.
‘Leave me alone!’ — Job continued to plead with God. Cease paining me with such afflictions! Job, just like his friends, here regarded his sufferings as inflicted directly by the hand of God. He wrongly assumed that if God would leave him, his pains would cease.
These words of Job are hardly a prayer. They are rather something like an imperious command to God. For to such a height of boldness, the sufferer was being driven — by the keenness of his pains.
His last words here, were ‘for my days are vanity’ or emptiness. They are meant to support Job’s demand that God leave him alone, and let him die. This refers to the shortness of his life. He did, however, seek a little respite — before he might die (Job 10:20). For he referred to his life as ‘vanity’ – or still one more empty breath. And ‘my soul chooses…death, rather than life!’