|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:1-13 In this answer Job declared that he did not doubt the justice of God, when he denied himself to be a hypocrite; for how should man be just with God? Before him he pleaded guilty of sins more than could be counted; and if God should contend with him in judgment, he could not justify one out of a thousand, of all the thoughts, words, and actions of his life; therefore he deserved worse than all his present sufferings. When Job mentions the wisdom and power of God, he forgets his complaints. We are unfit to judge of God's proceedings, because we know not what he does, or what he designs. God acts with power which no creature can resist. Those who think they have strength enough to help others, will not be able to help themselves against it.
Verses 1-35. - Job, in answer to Bildad, admits the truth of his arguments, but declines to attempt the justification which can alone entitle him to accept the favourable side of Bildad's alternative. Man cannot absolutely justify himself before God. It is in vain to attempt to do so. The contest is too unequal. On the one side perfect wisdom and absolute strength (ver. 4); on the other, weakness, imperfection, ignorance. guilt (vers. 17-20). And no "daysman," or umpire, between them; no third party to hold the balance even, and preside authoritatively over the controversy, and see that justice is done (vers. 33-35). Were it otherwise, Job would not shrink from the controversy; but he thinks it ill arguing with omnipotent power. What he seems to lack is the absolute conviction expressed by Abraham in the emphatic words'" Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25). Verses 1, 2. - And Job answered and said, I know it is so of a truth. "I freely admit," is., "all that has been said." God would not cast away a perfectly righteous man (Job 8:20); and, of course, he punishes evil-doers. But, applied practically, what is the result? How should man be just with God? or, before God? Apart from any knowledge of the doctrine of original or inherited sin, each man feels, deep in his heart, that he is sinful - "a chief of sinners." Bradford looks upon the murderer as he mounts the scaffold, and says, "But for the grace of God, there goes John Bradford!" Job has a similar conviction, that in the sight of God, righteousness, such as it is, shrinks away into insignificance, and is as nothing, cannot anyhow be relied upon. Such must be the attitude before God of every human soul that is not puffed up with pride or utterly insensate and sunk in apathy.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then Job answered and said. Without taking notice of Bildad's harsh expressions and severe censures, or his unfriendliness to him; he enters directly into the argument, grants some things, confutes others, and defends himself and his conduct.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Job 9:1-35. Reply of Job to Bildad.
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