Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
1. all this--as to the dealings of Providence
3. Job wishes to plead his cause before God
(Job 9:34, 35),
as he is more and more convinced of the valueless character of his
4. forgers of lies--literally, "artful twisters of vain speeches"
The Arabs say, "The wise are dumb; silence is wisdom."
7. deceitfully--use fallacies to vindicate God in His dealings; as
if the end justified the means. Their "deceitfulness" for God, against
Job, was that they asserted he was a sinner, because he was a sufferer.
8. accept his person--God's; that is, be partial for Him, as when a
judge favors one party in a trial, because of personal considerations.
contend for God--namely, with fallacies and prepossessions against
Job before judgment
Partiality can never please the impartial God, nor the goodness of the
cause excuse the unfairness of the arguments.
9. Will the issue to you be good, when He searches out you and your
arguments? Will you be regarded by Him as pure and disinterested?
Rather, "Can you deceive Him as one man?" &c.
10. If ye do, though secretly, act partially.
Ps 82:1, 2).
God can successfully vindicate His acts, and needs no fallacious
argument of man.
11. make you afraid?--namely, of employing sophisms in His name
(Jer 10:7, 10).
12. remembrances--"proverbial maxims," so called because well
like unto ashes--or, "parables of ashes"; the image of lightness and
bodies--rather, "entrenchments"; those of clay, as opposed to those of
stone, are easy to be destroyed; so the proverbs, behind which they
entrench themselves, will not shelter them when God shall appear to
reprove them for their injustice to Job.
13. Job would wish to be spared their speeches, so as to speak out
all his mind as to his wretchedness
happen what will.
14. A proverb for, "Why should I anxiously desire to save my life?"
[EICHORN]. The image in the first clause is that of a wild beast, which
in order to preserve his prey, carries it in his teeth. That in the
second refers to men who hold in the hand what they want to keep
15. in him--So the margin or keri, reads. But the textual
reading or chetib is "not," which agrees best with the context, and
other passages wherein he says he has no hope
(Job 6:11; 7:21; 10:20; 19:10).
"Though He slay me, and I dare no more hope, yet I will maintain," &c.,
that is, "I desire to vindicate myself before Him," as not a hypocrite
[UMBREIT and NOYES].
16. He--rather, "This also already speaks in my behalf (literally,
'for my saving acquittal') for an hypocrite would not wish to come
before Him" (as I do) [UMBREIT].
(See last clause of
17. my declaration--namely, that I wish to be permitted to justify
myself immediately before God.
with your ears--that is, attentively.
18. ordered--implying a constant preparation for defense in his
confidence of innocence.
19. if, &c.--Rather, "Then would I hold my tongue and give up
the ghost"; that is, if any one can contend with me and prove me false,
I have no more to say. "I will be silent and die." Like our "I would
stake my life on it" [UMBREIT].
20. Address to God.
not hide--stand forth boldly to maintain my cause.
21. (See on
22. call--a challenge to the defendant to answer to the charges.
answer--the defense begun.
answer--to the plea of the plaintiff. Expressions from a trial.
23. The catalogue of my sins ought to be great, to judge from the
severity with which God ever anew crushes one already bowed down. Would
that He would reckon them up! He then would see how much my calamities
sin?--singular, "I am unconscious of a single particular sin, much
less many" [UMBREIT].
24. hidest . . . face--a figure from the gloomy impression caused by
the sudden clouding over of the sun.
enemy--God treated Job as an enemy who must be robbed of power by
(Job 7:17, 21).
Job compares himself to a leaf already fallen, which the storm still
chases hither and thither.
break--literally, "shake with (Thy) terrors." Jesus Christ does not
"break the bruised reed"
(Isa 42:3, 27:8).
26. writest--a judicial phrase, to note down the determined
punishment. The sentence of the condemned used to be written down
bitter things--bitter punishments.
makest me to possess--or "inherit." In old age he receives possession
of the inheritance of sin thoughtlessly acquired in youth. "To inherit
sins" is to inherit the punishments inseparably connected with them
in Hebrew ideas
27. stocks--in which the prisoner's feet were made fast until the
time of execution
lookest narrowly--as an overseer would watch a prisoner.
print--Either the stocks, or his disease, marked his soles (Hebrew, "roots") as the bastinado would. Better, thou drawest (or
diggest) [GESENIUS] a line (or trench)
[GESENIUS] round my soles,
beyond which I must not move [UMBREIT].
28. Job speaks of himself in the third person, thus forming the
transition to the general lot of man