Job 9:29
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Since I am already found guilty, why should I struggle in vain?

New Living Translation
Whatever happens, I will be found guilty. So what's the use of trying?

English Standard Version
I shall be condemned; why then do I labor in vain?

New American Standard Bible
"I am accounted wicked, Why then should I toil in vain?

King James Bible
If I be wicked, why then labour I in vain?

Christian Standard Bible
Since I will be found guilty, why should I struggle in vain?

Contemporary English Version
So what's the use of trying to prove my innocence?

Good News Translation
Since I am held guilty, why should I bother?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Since I will be found guilty, why should I labor in vain?

International Standard Version
I will be condemned, so why should I wear myself out with this futility?

NET Bible
If I am guilty, why then weary myself in vain?

New Heart English Bible
I shall be condemned. Why then do I labor in vain?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I've already been found guilty. Why should I work so hard for nothing?

JPS Tanakh 1917
I shall be condemned; Why then do I labour in vain?

New American Standard 1977
“I am accounted wicked, Why then should I toil in vain?

Jubilee Bible 2000
If I am wicked, why then shall I toil in vain?

King James 2000 Bible
If I am wicked, why then labor I in vain?

American King James Version
If I be wicked, why then labor I in vain?

American Standard Version
I shall be condemned; Why then do I labor in vain?

Douay-Rheims Bible
But if so also I am wicked, why have I laboured in vain?

Darby Bible Translation
Be it that I am wicked, why then do I labour in vain?

English Revised Version
I shall be condemned; why then do I labour in vain?

Webster's Bible Translation
If I am wicked, why then do I labor in vain?

World English Bible
I shall be condemned. Why then do I labor in vain?

Young's Literal Translation
I -- I am become wicked; why is this? In vain I labour.
Study Bible
Job: No Arbiter Between God and Man
28I am afraid of all my pains, I know that You will not acquit me. 29"I am accounted wicked, Why then should I toil in vain? 30"If I should wash myself with snow And cleanse my hands with lye,…
Cross References
Job 9:20
"Though I am righteous, my mouth will condemn me; Though I am guiltless, He will declare me guilty.

Job 10:2
"I will say to God, 'Do not condemn me; Let me know why You contend with me.

Psalm 37:33
The LORD will not leave him in his hand Or let him be condemned when he is judged.
Treasury of Scripture

If I be wicked, why then labor I in vain?

Job 9:22 This is one thing, therefore I said it, He destroys the perfect and the wicked.

Job 10:7,14-17 You know that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver …

Job 21:16,17,27 See, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is …

Job 22:5 Is not your wickedness great? and your iniquities infinite?

Psalm 73:13 Truly I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocence.

Jeremiah 2:35 Yet you say, Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from …

Verse 29. - If I be wicked; rather, I am wicked; i.e. I am accounted so - I am already condemned. The extreme afflictions raider which I suffer indicate that God has passed sentence upon me, and awarded me my punishment. Why then labour I in vain? i.e. Why argue? Why seek to justify myself, since no result is likely to follow? Nothing that I can say will alter God's foregone conclusion. If I be wicked, why then labour I in vain? If he was that wicked person, that hypocrite, Bildad and his other friends took him to be, it was in vain for him to make his supplications to God, as they advised him; so Gersom gives the sense of the words; since God hears not sinners, such as live in sin, regard iniquity in their hearts, and practise it in their lives, at least secretly, as it was suggested Job did; if he was such an one, it must be all lost labour to pray to God to show favour to him, and deliver him out of his troubles, since he might reasonably expect he would shut his eyes and stop his ears at such a man, and regard not his cries; seeking to him must be in vain; prayer may be fitly enough expressed by labour, it is a striving and wrestling with God, and especially when it is constant, importunate, and fervent: but rather the sense is, that if he was a wicked man in the account of God, or was dealt with as one; if God would not hold him innocent, as he asserts in the latter part of Job 9:28; then it was a vain thing to labour the point in the vindication of himself; since he could never think of succeeding against God, so wise and powerful, so holy, just, and pure. The word "if" is not in the original text, and may be left out, and the words be rendered, "I am wicked" (l); not in any notorious manner, as having lived a scandalous life, or been guilty of some gross enormities, as his friends insinuated, but in common with other men; he was born a sinner, had been a transgressor from the womb, and though he was renewed and sanctified by the spirit of God, yet sin dwelt in him, and through the infirmity of the flesh he was daily sinning in thought, word, or deed; nor did he expect it would be otherwise with him while in this world; yea, it was impossible for him to be without sin, as Bar Tzemach observes to be the sense of the phrase; and therefore if God would not clear him, or hold him innocent, unless he was entirely free from sin, as it was labouring in vain to attain to such perfection, so it must be to no purpose, and is what he chiefly intends, to attempt to vindicate himself before God: or "I shall be wicked", or "ungodly" (m); I shall be treated as such not only by his friends, who would reckon him a very wicked man so long as those afflictions continued on him, let him say what he would; but by the Lord himself, who he believed would never release him from them as long as he lived, which in the eye of men would be a tacit condemnation of him; so the Targum,"I shall be condemned,''and therefore it was labour in vain, striving against the stream, to go about to vindicate himself; nor was it possible that he could make himself out so clear and pure and perfect, that such an holy Being as God was could find no fault in him, in whose sight the heavens, and the inhabitants of them, were not clean; this is further evinced in the following words.

(l) "impius sum", V. L. Pagninus; so Schmidt. (m) "Ego impius ero", Montanus, Mercerus, Bolducius; "ego reus ero", Codurcus; "equidem improbus ero", Schultens. 29. The "if" is better omitted; I (am treated by God as) wicked; why then labor I in vain (to disprove His charge)? Job submits, not so much because he is convinced that God is right, as because God is powerful and he weak [Barnes].9:25-35 What little need have we of pastimes, and what great need to redeem time, when it runs on so fast towards eternity! How vain the enjoyments of time, which we may quite lose while yet time continues! The remembrance of having done our duty will be pleasing afterwards; so will not the remembrance of having got worldly wealth, when it is all lost and gone. Job's complaint of God, as one that could not be appeased and would not relent, was the language of his corruption. There is a Mediator, a Daysman, or Umpire, for us, even God's own beloved Son, who has purchased peace for us with the blood of his cross, who is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God through him. If we trust in his name, our sins will be buried in the depths of the sea, we shall be washed from all our filthiness, and made whiter than snow, so that none can lay any thing to our charge. We shall be clothed with the robes of righteousness and salvation, adorned with the graces of the Holy Spirit, and presented faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. May we learn the difference between justifying ourselves, and being thus justified by God himself. Let the tempest-tossed soul consider Job, and notice that others have passed this dreadful gulf; and though they found it hard to believe that God would hear or deliver them, yet he rebuked the storm, and brought them to the desired haven. Resist the devil; give not place to hard thoughts of God, or desperate conclusions about thyself. Come to Him who invites the weary and heavy laden; who promises in nowise to cast them out.
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