|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:13-22 Job resolved to cleave to the testimony his own conscience gave of his uprightness. He depended upon God for justification and salvation, the two great things we hope for through Christ. Temporal salvation he little expected, but of his eternal salvation he was very confident; that God would not only be his Saviour to make him happy, but his salvation, in the sight and enjoyment of whom he should be happy. He knew himself not to be a hypocrite, and concluded that he should not be rejected. We should be well pleased with God as a Friend, even when he seems against us as an enemy. We must believe that all shall work for good to us, even when all seems to make against us. We must cleave to God, yea, though we cannot for the present find comfort in him. In a dying hour, we must derive from him living comforts; and this is to trust in him, though he slay us.
Verse 19. - Who is he that will plead with me? Will God himself plead? Or will he depute some one, man or angel? Job is impatient that the pleadings should begin. For now, if I hold my tongue, I shall give up the ghost. Some translate, "For now shall I hold my peace and give up the ghost," which they explain to mean, "If God does implead me, I shall take refuge in silence, and straightway expire." But this seems an impossible conclusion, when all that Job has been aiming at and striving for since his opponents taxed him with wickedness has been that he might "speak to the Almighty, and reason with God" (ver. 3). It is far simpler to keep to the translation of the Authorized Version, and understand Job to mean that things have now reached a point at which he must either speak or expire.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Who is he that will plead with me,.... Enter the lists with him; dispute the point, and try the strength of his arguments he had to plead for his own justification: thus Christ, the head of the church, and the surety of his people, is represented as speaking when he had by his obedience and sufferings made satisfaction for them, by bringing in an everlasting righteousness, and was, as their public and federal head, justified and acquitted, Isaiah 1:4; and much the same words are put into the mouth of a believer in him, and are expressed by him, Romans 8:33; who stands acquitted from all charges that men or devils, friends or foes, the law or justice of God, the devil and his own unbelieving heart, at any time, can bring against him. Job, well knowing the uprightness of his heart and life, the justness of his cause depending between him and his friends, boldly challenges them to come forth, and try it with him; or rather he seems desirous that God himself would take the case in hand, and plead with him; he was ready to engage with him, and in the presence of his friends, and in their hearing; and doubted not of being acquitted before God, and at his bar; so satisfied was he of his own innocence as to the things charged upon him:
for now, if I hold my peace, I shall give up the ghost; his sense seems to be, that if he was not allowed to speak for himself, and plead his cause, and have a hearing of it out, he could not live, he could not contain himself, he must burst and die; nor could he live under such charges and calumnies, he must die under the weight and pressure of them; though some think that this not only expresses his eagerness and impatience to have his cause tried fairly before God, but contains in it an argument to hasten it, taken from the near approach of his death: "for now", in a little time, "I shall be silent" (w); be in the silent grave: "I shall expire"; or die; and then it will be too late; therefore if any will plead with me, let them do it immediately, or I shall be soon gone, and then it will be all over: or rather the sense is, I challenge anyone to reason the matter, and dispute the point with me; and I promise that, if the cause goes against me, "now will I be silent"; I will not say one word more in my vindication: "I will die"; or submit to any death, or any sort of punishment, that shall be pronounced upon me; I shall patiently endure it, and not complain of it, or object to the execution of it; so Sephorno.
(w) "nune enim silebo et expirabo", Cocceius; so Schmidt, Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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].
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