|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:1-6 Job comes closer to the question in dispute. This was, Whether outward prosperity is a mark of the true church, and the true members of it, so that ruin of a man's prosperity proves him a hypocrite? This they asserted, but Job denied. If they looked upon him, they might see misery enough to demand compassion, and their bold interpretations of this mysterious providence should be turned into silent wonder.
Verse 3. - Suffer me that I may speak; or, suffer me, and I also will speak. There is an emphasis on the "I" (אנכי). Job implies that his opponents are not allowing him his fair share of the argument, which is an accusation that can scarcely be justified. Since the dialogue opened, Job's speeches have occupied eleven chapters, those of his "comforters" seven only. But a controversialist who has much to say is apt to think that sufficient time is not allowed him. And after that I have spoken, mock on. Job does not hope to convince, or silence, or shame the other interlocutors. When he has said his say, all that he expects is mockery and derision.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Suffer me that I may speak,.... To go on with his discourse, without any interruption, until he had finished it; as he before craves their attention, here he entreats their patience to hear him out, as well as to give him leave to begin; they might by their gestures seem as if they were breaking up and departing; or they raised a tumultuous clamour, to hinder his proceeding to reply; or he might fear, that if he was allowed to speak, they would break in upon him before he had done, as they had already; or "bear me", as several of the Jewish commentators explain the phrase; though what he was going to say might sit heavy upon their minds, and be very burdensome, grating, and uneasy to them; yet he entreats they would endure it patiently, until he had made an end of speaking:
and after that I have spoken, mock on; as they had already, Job 12:4; they had mocked not at his troubles and afflictions, but at his words and arguments in vindication of his innocence; and now all he entreats of them is, that they would admit him to speak once more, and to finish his discourse; and then if they thought fit, or if they could, to go on with their scoffs and derisions of him; if he could but obtain this favour, he should be easy, he should not regard their mockings, but bear them patiently; and he seems to intimate, that he thought he should be able to say such things to them, that would spoil their mocking, and prevent it for the future; so the Greek version renders it, "thou shalt not laugh"; and the words being singular have led many to think, that Zophar, who spoke last, is particularly intended, though it may respect everyone of his friends.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. literally, "Begin your mockings" (Job 17:2).
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