|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:1-9 Job reflects upon the harsh censures his friends had passed upon him, and, looking on himself as a dying man, he appeals to God. Our time is ending. It concerns us carefully to redeem the days of time, and to spend them in getting ready for eternity. We see the good use the righteous should make of Job's afflictions from God, from enemies, and from friends. Instead of being discouraged in the service of God, by the hard usage this faithful servant of God met with, they should be made bold to proceed and persevere therein. Those who keep their eye upon heaven as their end, will keep their feet in the paths of religion as their way, whatever difficulties and discouragements they may meet with.
Verse 3. - Lay down now; or, give now a pledge (see the Revised Version). The terms used in this verse are law terms. Job calls upon God to go into court with him, and, first of all, to deposit the caution-money which the court will require before it undertakes the investigation of the case. Next, he goes on to say, put me in a surety with thee; or rather (as in the Revised Version), be surety for me with thyself which is either the same thing with giving a pledge, or a further legal requirement. Finally, he asks the question, Who is he that will strike hands with me? meaning, "Who else is there but thyself, to whom I can look to be my surety, and by striking hands (comp. Proverbs 6:1) with me to accept the legal responsibility?" As Dr. Stanley Leathes says, "It is wonderful the way in which the language of Job fits in with what we have since and elsewhere learnt concerning the Persons in the Godhead."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Lay down now,.... A pledge that thou wilt provide a surety, appoint and admit one to plead for me, and that thou wilt hear my cause, and determine it; or "put now", or "put, I pray thee" (r), thy heart and mind to me and my case, to my petition and request, and grant it:
put me in a surety with thee; appoint, provide, and place a surety for me with thee, and let him appear to do his work and office: such an one Jesus Christ is; he is of God the Father's appointing to be the Mediator between God and men, and who himself voluntarily engaged and agreed to be the surety of the better testament; and this was known to the Old Testament saints, and to Job; and his prayer was the prayer of faith: and this work and office Christ performs; he was surety for his people from eternity, he drew nigh to God on their account, and struck hands with his Father, or covenanted and agreed with him about the salvation of his people, and the manner of it; he gave his word, his bond, to his Father for them, that he would save them; and upon that suretyship engagement of Christ all the Old Testament saints were pardoned, justified, and glorified; he promised and bound himself to pay all their debts, to satisfy for all their sins, to bring in an everlasting righteousness for them, and to bring them all safe to heaven and happiness; in order to which, he put himself in their room and stead, and laid down his life a ransom for them; upon which Job might say, and so may every believer, what follows,
who is he that will strike hands with me? that will enter the lists, litigate and dispute the point with me, or bring any charge or accusation against me, having such a surety to answer for me, such an advocate to plead my cause, such a Mediator between God and man, who has made reconciliation for sin, brought in everlasting righteousness, and satisfied law and justice, see Romans 8:33; or else the sense is, "who is he", besides him that is a surety of God's appointing and providing, "can strike bands with me?" or be a surety for me? there is no other Mediator, Saviour, or Redeemer, besides him; if he had not undertaken the cause of his people, and the redemption of them, it must have ceased for ever, no other was equal to such a work; so that here is another reason used with the Lord to provide a surety, since no other could to any purpose.
(r) "pone nunc", Montanus; "poae quaeso", Pagninus, Piscator, Mercerus, Cocceius, Schmidt; "sub cor tunm", Vatablus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. Lay down now—namely, a pledge or security; that is, be my surety; do Thou attest my innocence, since my friends only mock me (Job 17:2). Both litigating parties had to lay down a sum as security before the trial.
put me in a surety—Provide a surety for me (in the trial) with Thee. A presage of the "surety" (Heb 7:22), or "one Mediator between God and man" (see on Job 16:21).
strike hands—"who else (save God Himself) could strike hands with me?" that is, be my security (Ps 119:122). The Hebrew strikes the hand of him for whom he goes security (Pr 6:1).
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