|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
34:1-9 Elihu calls upon those present to decide with him upon Job's words. The plainest Christian, whose mind is enlightened, whose heart is sanctified by the Spirit of God, and who is versed in the Scriptures, can say how far matters, words, or actions, agree with true religion, better than any that lean to their own understandings. Job had spoken as if he meant wholly to justify himself. He that say, I have cleansed my hands in vain, does not only offend against God's children, Ps 73:13-15, but gratifies his enemies, and says as they say.
Verse 5. - For Job hath said, I am righteous. Job had maintained his "righteousness" in a certain sense, i.e. his integrity, his honesty, his conviction that God would ultimately acquit him; but he had not maintained his sinlessness (see the comment on Job 33:9). He had not even said, in so many words, "I am righteous." The nearest that he had come to saying it was when (in Job 13:18) he had exclaimed, "I know that I shall be held righteous," or "justified." And God hath taken away my judgment. Job had said this (Job 27:2), but in the sense that God had withheld from him the judgment on his cause which he desired, not that he had perverted judgment, and wrongfully condemned him (see the 'Speaker's Commentary,' vol. 4. p. 97).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For Job hath said, I am righteous,.... Not in express words, but what amounted to it: no doubt he was a righteous man in an evangelic sense, being justified by the righteousness of Christ, as all the Old Testament saints were, who looked to him and believed in him as the Lord their righteousness, and said, as the church in those times did, "surely in the Lord have I righteousness and strength"; Isaiah 45:24. And moreover he was an upright man, to which the Lord himself bore testimony, Job 1:8; and had the truth of grace in him, that "new man which is created in righteousness and true holiness"; and also lived an holy life and conversation; but then he did not say or think that he was righteous in or of himself, or so as to be free from sin: Job could not judge or speak thus of himself, which would be contrary to what he expressly declares, Job 7:20; though it must be owned, that he thought himself so righteous, holy, and good, that he ought not to have been afflicted in the manner he was; in which sense it is probable Elihu understood him: and besides, these words are not to be taken separately, but in connection with what follows, which shows Job's sense, and how Elihu understood him, that though he was a righteous person, he had not justice done him:
and God hath taken away my judgment; which words he did say; see Gill on Job 27:2; or, as Mr. Broughton renders the words, "the Omnipotent keeps back my right"; does not vindicate my cause, nor so much as give it a hearing, nor lets me know why he contends with me; and, though I call for justice to be done, cannot be heard, Job 19:7; a like complaint of the church in Isaiah 40:27.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. judgment—my right. Job's own words (Job 13:18; 27:2).
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