|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 6. - Should I lie against my right? This was an essential portion of Job's argument (see Job 27:4). Against the theory of his secret heinous wickedness put forward by his "comforters," he maintained consistently his freedom from conscious deliberate opposition to the will of God, and refused to make the confessions which they suggested or required, on the ground that they would have been untrue - in making them he would have "lied against his right." In this certainly Job "sinned not." But it was essential to the theory of Elihu, no less than to that of Eliphaz and his friends, that Job was suffering on account of past iniquity, whether he were being punished for it in anger or chastised for it in love (see Job 33:17, 27). My wound (literally, my arrow; comp. Job 6:4) is incurable without transgression; i.e. without my having committed any transgression to account for it.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Should I lie against my right?.... No; I ought not: this though Job had not said in so many words, yet this seems to be his sense in Job 27:4; that should he own and say that he was a wicked man, a hypocrite, and destitute of the grace of God, he should not only speak against himself, but, contrary to his conscience, say an untruth, and not do justice to his character. Some read the words without an interrogation, as Mr. Broughton,
"for my right I must be a liar;''
that is, for vindicating my right, seeking and endeavouring to do myself justice, and clear myself from false imputations, I am reckoned a liar. And to this purpose is the paraphrase of Aben Ezra,
"because I seek judgment, they say that I lie.''
Others render them, "there is a lie in judging me", so the Vulgate Latin version; that is,
"I am falsely accused, I am judged wrongfully:''
things I know not are laid to my charge, which has often been the case of good men: or, "I have lied in judgment"; that is, "failed", as the word is sometimes used, Isaiah 58:11; failed in his expectation of judgment or of justice being done him; he looked for it, but was disappointed; but the first sense seems best;
my wound is incurable without transgression; not that he thought himself without transgression, but that his wound or stroke inflicted on him, or the afflictions he was exercised with, were without cause; were not for any injustice in his hands, or wickedness that he had committed; and that he utterly despaired of being rid of them, or restored to his former health and prosperity; and to this sense he had expressed himself, Job 9:17. In the Hebrew text it is, "my arrow" (y), that is, the arrow that was in him, the arrows of the Lord that stuck fast in him; these were thrown at him and fastened in him without cause; and there was no hope of their being drawn out, or of the wounds made by them being healed; see Job 6:4. Now what Elihu was offended at in these expressions was, that Job should so rigidly insist on his innocence, and not own himself faulty in any respect; nor allow there was any cause for his afflictions, nor entertain any hope of the removal of them: whereas it became him to acknowledge his sins, which no man is free from, and that he was dealt with less than his iniquities deserved; and that, instead of indulging despair, he should rather say, "I will return" to the Lord; he hath "torn" and he will "heal", he hath "smitten" and he will "bind up", Hosea 6:1.
(y) "sagitta mea", Montanus, Schultens, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. Were I to renounce my right (that is, confess myself guilty), I should die. Job virtually had said so (Job 27:4, 5; 6:28). Maurer, not so well, "Notwithstanding my right (innocence) I am treated as a liar," by God, by His afflicting me.
my wound—literally, "mine arrow," namely, by which I am pierced. So "my stroke" ("hand," Job 23:2, Margin). My sickness (Job 6:4; 16:13).
without transgression—without fault of mine to deserve it (Job 16:17).
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