|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 8. - Upright men shall be astonied at this. When Job's case comes to beknown, "upright men" will be astonished at it. They will marvel how it came to pass that such a man - so true, so faithful, so "perfect" (Job 1:1) - could have been allowed by God to suffer so terribly. In a world where, up to Job's time, prosperity had been taken as the measure of goodness, the marvel was naturally great. Even now many a Christian is surprised and disturbed in mind if he gives the case prolonged and serious attention, though he holds the clue to it in that most enlightening phrase, "perfect through sufferings" (Hebrews 2:10). And the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite. On astonishment will follow indignation. When it becomes generally recognized that, in a vast number of cases, the righteous suffer, while the wicked enjoy great prosperity, good men's feelings will be stirred up against these prosperous ones; they will wax indignant, and take part against them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Upright men shall be astonished at this,.... Such as were upright in heart, and in their walk conversation, sincere and honourable in their profession of religion, these would be amazed at the afflictions of Job, and the unkindness of his friends; it is hereby suggested, that it would be then, and in ages to come, a matter of surprise to truly gracious persons, when they should hear of such sore afflictions laid upon so good a man, and he told what censures, calumnies, and reproaches, were cast upon him by his friends; this would be so astonishing, that they would not know how to believe it, and still more at a loss how to account for it, that such things should be permitted in Providence, there being reason to believe the truth of them:
and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite; that is, such, who though they are not free from sin, yet live holy and harmless lives and conversations among men, so that they are not chargeable with any gross iniquity, or what is scandalous and unbecoming their character; these shall rise up with indignation against such persons as pretend to a great deal of sanctify and devotion, and yet have no charity or love to an afflicted saint, but censure and reproach him, and add affliction to his affliction. Thus Job retorts the charge of hypocrisy his friends brought against him upon them; for he seems tacitly to design them, and delivers these words as a kind of solace to himself; that though he was thus used by them at that time, yet good men in future time would have different apprehensions of him, and rise up and vindicate his name and character.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. astonied—at my unmerited sufferings.
against the hypocrite—The upright shall feel their sense of justice wounded ("will be indignant") because of the prosperity of the wicked. By "hypocrite" or "ungodly," he perhaps glances at his false friends.
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