|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:1-12 With self-preference, Job declared that he needed not to be taught by them. Those who dispute are tempted to magnify themselves, and lower their brethren, more than is fit. When dismayed or distressed with the fear of wrath, the force of temptation, or the weight of affliction, we should apply to the Physician of our souls, who never rejects any, never prescribes amiss, and never leaves any case uncured. To Him we may speak at all times. To broken hearts and wounded consciences, all creatures, without Christ, are physicians of no value. Job evidently speaks with a very angry spirit against his friends. They had advanced some truths which nearly concerned Job, but the heart unhumbled before God, never meekly receives the reproofs of men.
Verse 5. - Oh that ye would altogether hold your peace! The friends had "held their peace" for seven days after their arrival (Job 2:13). Oh that they would have held it altogether! Their words had done nothing but exasperate and goad almost to madness. There is a mournful pathos in Job's entreates to them to be silent (comp ver. 13). And it should be your wisdom. "Speech," it has been said, "is silvern, silence is golden." No doubt" there is a time for everything... a time to keep silence, and a time to speak" (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7); nor is the rule of La Trappe altogether a wise one. But probably ten times as much harm is done in the world by speaking as by keeping silence. "Words for God" need especial care and caution. If they do not do good, the harm that they may do is incalculable.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And that ye would altogether hold your peace,.... Since what they said of him was not true, nor anything to the purpose, or that tended to the comfort of his afflicted soul, but the reverse; and therefore he could have wished they had never broke silence, but continued as they were the first seven days of their visit; and now, since they had spoken, and had done no good by speaking, but hurt, he desires for the future they would be silent, and say no more:
and it should be your wisdom: it would be the greatest evidence of it they could give; they had shown none by speaking; it would be a proof of some in them, should they hold their peace; a very biting expression this see Proverbs 17:28.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. (Pr 17:28). The Arabs say, "The wise are dumb; silence is wisdom."
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