|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:14-30 In his prosperity Job formed great expectations from his friends, but now was disappointed. This he compares to the failing of brooks in summer. Those who rest their expectations on the creature, will find it fail when it should help them; whereas those who make God their confidence, have help in the time of need, Heb 4:16. Those who make gold their hope, sooner or later will be ashamed of it, and of their confidence in it. It is our wisdom to cease from man. Let us put all our confidence in the Rock of ages, not in broken reeds; in the Fountain of life, not in broken cisterns. The application is very close; for now ye are nothing. It were well for us, if we had always such convictions of the vanity of the creature, as we have had, or shall have, on a sick-bed, a death-bed, or in trouble of conscience. Job upbraids his friends with their hard usage. Though in want, he desired no more from them than a good look and a good word. It often happens that, even when we expect little from man, we have less; but from God, even when we expect much, we have more. Though Job differed from them, yet he was ready to yield as soon as it was made to appear that he was in error. Though Job had been in fault, yet they ought not to have given him such hard usage. His righteousness he holds fast, and will not let it go. He felt that there had not been such iniquity in him as they supposed. But it is best to commit our characters to Him who keeps our souls; in the great day every upright believer shall have praise of God.
Verse 25. - How forcible are right words! literally, words of uprightness. Such words have a force that none can resist. If the charges made by Eliphaz had been right and true, and his arguments sound and just, then Job must have yielded to them, have confessed himself guilty, and bowed down with shame before his judges. But they had had no such constraining power. Therefore they were not "words of uprightness." But what doth your arguing reprove? literally, What doth your reproving reprove? That is - What exactly is it that ye think to be wrong in me? At what is your invective aimed?
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
How forcible are right words!.... That are according to right reason; such as may be called strong reasons, or bony arguments, as in Isaiah 41:21; there are strength and weight in such words, reasonings, and arguments; they bring evidence and conviction with them, and are very powerful to persuade the mind to an assent unto them, and have great influence to engage to a profession or practice of what they are used for; such are more especially the words of God, the Scriptures of truth, the doctrines of the Gospel; these are right words, see Proverbs 8:6; they are not contrary to right reason, although above it; and are agreeably to sanctified reason, and received by it; they are according to the perfections of God, even his righteousness and holiness, and according to the law of God, and in no wise repugnant to it, which is the rule of righteousness; and they are doctrines according to godliness, and are far from encouraging licentiousness; and they are all strictly true, and must be right: and there is a force and strength in those words; they come with weight, especially when they come in demonstration of the Spirit and power of God; they are mighty, through God, for the pulling down the strong holds of sin, Satan, and self, and for the bringing of men to the obedience of Christ; to the quickening dead sinners, enlightening dark minds, softening hard hearts; renewing, changing, and transforming men into quite another temper and disposition of mind they formerly had; for the comforting and relieving souls in distress, and saints under affliction; and have so very wonderful an influence on the lives and conversations of those to whom they come, not in word only, but in power and in the Holy Ghost, as to teach them to deny all sin and ungodliness, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly: or, "how forcible are the words of an upright man!" (a) that is, sincere, impartial, and faithful; which Job suggests his friends were not: some think Job has respect to his own words, and render the clause, "what hardness", or "harshness", have "right words!" (b) Such as he believed his own were, and in which there were nothing hard and harsh, sharp and severe, or which might give just offence; such as his cursing the day in which he was born, or charging his friends with treachery and deceit: but rather he tacitly reflects upon the words and arguments of his friends; intimating, that though there is force and strength in right words, theirs were neither right nor forcible, but partial and unjust, and weak and impotent; which had no strength of reasoning in them, nor carried any conviction with them, as follows:
but what doth your arguing reprove? their arguments they had used with him had no strength in them; they were of no avail; they did not reprove or convince of any evil he had been guilty of, or any mistake he had made; they were weak, impertinent, and useless, and fell with no weight upon him, nor wrought any conviction in him.
(a) So Aquila apud Drusium. (b) "quid duritiei habent verba rectitudinis", Schmidt; so Luther.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. And what will your arguings reprove?—literally, "the reproofs which proceed from you"; the emphasis is on you; you may find fault, who are not in my situation [Umbreit].
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