|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 4. - For thou hast hid their heart from understanding. My so-called friends will certainly not undertake for me, since thou hast blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts against me. Therefore shalt thou not exalt them. God will not exalt those who are without understanding.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For thou hast hid their heart from understanding,.... That is, the hearts of his friends, and therefore they were unfit to undertake his cause, or be sureties for him, or be judges in it. It is the same thing as to hide understanding from their hearts, which God sometimes does in a natural sense; when men like not the knowledge of him, as attainable by the light of nature, he gives them up to reprobate minds, minds void of knowledge and judgment in things natural; and sometimes, in a spiritual sense, he hides men's hearts from the knowledge of things divine and evangelical, and even this he does from the wise and prudent of this world; yea, sometimes he hides the knowledge of his providential dealings with men from his own people, as he did from Asaph, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, and others; and, as it seems, from Job's friends, who therefore mistook his case, and were very unfit and insufficient to determine it:
therefore shalt thou not exalt them; to such honour and dignity, to be umpires, arbitrators, or judges in the case of Job; this God had reserved for another, Elihu, or rather himself, who decided the controversy between Job and his friends, and declared in his favour, and that they had not spoken the thing that was right of him, as his servant Job had done, Job 42:7;
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. their heart—The intellect of his friends.
shalt … exalt—Rather imperative, "exalt them not"; allow them not to conquer [Umbreit], (Isa 6:9, 10).
Job 17:4 Parallel Commentaries
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