Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? So our Revisers; and so Dillmann and Canon Cook. Professor Lee suggests "the whey of cheese" for "the white of an egg;" others, "the juice of purslaine." We have certainly no other evidence that eggs were eaten in primitive times.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible:
Mr. Broughton renders it, "the white of the yolk"; and Kimchi says it signifies, in the language of the Rabbins, the red part of the yolk, the innermost part; but others, from the use of the word in the Arabic language, interpret it of the froth of milk, which is very tasteless and insipid: but the first of the words we render "white" always signifies "spittle"; and some of the Jewish writers call it the spittle of soundness, or a sound man, which has no taste, in distinction from that of a sick man, which has; and the latter word comes from one which signifies to dream; and Jarchi observes, that some so understand it here; and the whole is by some rendered, "is there any taste" or "savour in the spittle of a dream" or "drowsiness"?
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary:
the white—literally, "spittle" (1Sa 21:13), which the white of an egg resembles.
Barnes' Notes on the Bible:
Critics and commentators have been greatly divided about the meaning of this. The Septuagint renders it, is there any taste in vain words? Jerome (Vulgate), "can anyone taste that which being tasted produces death?" The Targums render it substantially as it is in our version. The Hebrew word rendered "white" means properly spittle; 1 Samuel 21:13. If applied to an egg, it means the white of it, as resembling spittle. The word rendered "egg" occurs nowhere else in the Scriptures. If it be regarded as derived from -- to sleep, or dream, it may denote somnolency or dreams, and then fatuity, folly, or a foolish speech, as resembling dreams; and many have supposed that Job meant to characterize the speech of Eliphaz as of this description.
The word may mean, as it does in Syriac, a species of herb, the "purslain" (Gesenius), proverbial for its insipidity among the Arabs, Greeks, and Romans, but which was used as a salad; and the whole phrase here may denote purslain-broth, and hence, an insipid discourse. This is the interpretation of Gesenius. But the more common and more probable explanation is that of our common version, denoting the white of an egg.
But what is the point of the remark as Job uses it? That it is a proverbial expression, is apparent; but in what way Job meant to apply it, is not so clear. The Jews say that he meant to apply it to the speech of Eliphaz as being insipid and dull, without anything to penetrate the heart or to enliven the fancy; a speech as disagreeable to the mind as the white of an egg was insipid to the taste. Rosenmuller supposes that he refers to his afflictions as being as unpleasant to bear as the white of an egg was to the taste. It seems to me that the sense of all the proverbs used here is about the same, and that they mean, "there is a reason for everything which occurs. The ass brays and the ox lows only when destitute of food. That which is insipid is unpleasant, and the white of an egg is loathsome. So with my afflictions. They produce loathing and disgust, My very food Job 6:7 is disagreeable, and everything seems tasteless as the most insipid food would.