- Job sharply reproves his friends, verse 1-13.
- Professes his faith, verse 14-16.
- Desires to be heard, verse 17-19.
- Expostulates with God, verse 20-28.
Lo - All this which either you or I have discoursed concerning the infinite power and wisdom of God. I know, both by seeing it, by my own observation and experience, and by hearing it from my ancestors.
Surely - I had rather debate the matter with God than with you. I am not afraid of presenting my person and cause before him, who is a witness of my integrity.
Accept - Not judging according to the right of the cause, but the quality or the person.
Remembrance - Mouldering and coming to nothing. And the consideration of our mortality should make us afraid of offending God. Your mementos are like unto ashes, contemptible and unprofitable.
Wherefore - And this may be a reason of his desire of liberty of speech, because he could hold his tongue no longer, but must needs tear himself to pieces, if he had not some vent for his grief. The phrase having his life in his hand, denotes a condition extremely dangerous.
Hear - He now comes more closely to his business, the foregoing verses being mostly in way of preface.
Behold - I have seriously considered the state of my case, and am ready to plead my cause.
The ghost - My grief would break my heart, if I should not give it vent.
Withdraw - Suspend my torments during the time of my pleading with thee, that my mind may be at liberty. Do not present thyself to me in terrible majesty, neither deal with me in rigorous justice.
Then - This proposal savoured of self-confidence, and of irreverence towards God; for which, and the like speeches, he is reproved by God, chap. 38:2,3 40:2.
My sin - That I am a sinner, I confess; but not that I am guilty of such crimes as my friends suppose, if it be so, do thou, O Lord, discover it.
Leaf - One that can no more resist thy power, than a leaf, or a little dry straw can resist the wind or fire.
Writest - Thou appointest or inflictest. A metaphor from princes or judges, who anciently used to write their sentences.
He - He speaks of himself in the third person, as is usual in this and other sacred books. So the sense is, he, this poor frail creature, this body of mine; which possibly he pointed at with his finger, consumeth or pineth away.