Job 9:3
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Though they wished to dispute with him, they could not answer him one time out of a thousand.

New Living Translation
If someone wanted to take God to court, would it be possible to answer him even once in a thousand times?

English Standard Version
If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times.

New American Standard Bible
"If one wished to dispute with Him, He could not answer Him once in a thousand times.

King James Bible
If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If one wanted to take Him to court, he could not answer God once in a thousand times.

International Standard Version
If one were to seek to argue with him, he won't be able to answer him even once in a thousand times.

NET Bible
If someone wishes to contend with him, he cannot answer him one time in a thousand.

New Heart English Bible
If he is pleased to contend with him, he can't answer him one time in a thousand.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
If he wished to debate with God, he wouldn't be able to answer one question in a thousand.

JPS Tanakh 1917
If one should desire to contend with Him, He could not answer Him one of a thousand.

New American Standard 1977
“If one wished to dispute with Him,
            He could not answer Him once in a thousand times.

Jubilee Bible 2000
If he desires to contend with him, he will not be able to answer him one thing of a thousand.

King James 2000 Bible
If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.

American King James Version
If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.

American Standard Version
If he be pleased to contend with him, He cannot answer him one of a thousand.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one for a thousand.

Darby Bible Translation
If he shall choose to strive with him, he cannot answer him one thing of a thousand.

English Revised Version
If he be pleased to contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.

Webster's Bible Translation
If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.

World English Bible
If he is pleased to contend with him, he can't answer him one time in a thousand.

Young's Literal Translation
If he delight to strive with Him -- He doth not answer him one of a thousand.
Study Bible
Job: No Arbiter Between God and Man
2"In truth I know that this is so; But how can a man be in the right before God? 3"If one wished to dispute with Him, He could not answer Him once in a thousand times. 4"Wise in heart and mighty in strength, Who has defied Him without harm?…
Cross References
Job 9:14
"How then can I answer Him, And choose my words before Him?

Job 9:32
"For He is not a man as I am that I may answer Him, That we may go to court together.

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

Job 13:19
"Who will contend with me? For then I would be silent and die.

Job 23:6
"Would He contend with me by the greatness of His power? No, surely He would pay attention to me.

Job 40:2
"Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it."

Job 40:5
"Once I have spoken, and I will not answer; Even twice, and I will add nothing more."
Treasury of Scripture

If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.

he will contend

Job 9:20,32,33 If I justify myself, my own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am …

Job 10:2 I will say to God, Do not condemn me; show me why you contend with me.

Job 23:3-7 Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!…

Job 31:35-37 Oh that one would hear me! behold, my desire is, that the Almighty …

Job 33:13 Why do you strive against him? for he gives not account of any of his matters.

Job 34:14,15 If he set his heart on man, if he gather to himself his spirit and his breath…

Job 40:2 Shall he that contends with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproves …

Isaiah 57:15,16 For thus said the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose …

Romans 9:20 No but, O man, who are you that reply against God? Shall the thing …

he cannot

Psalm 19:12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse you me from secret faults.

Psalm 40:12 For innumerable evils have compassed me about: my iniquities have …

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

1 John 3:20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows …

(3) If he will contend with him.--If man choose to contend with God, he cannot answer Him one question of a thousand, once in a thousand times.

Verse 3. - If he will contend with him; rather, if he should desire to contend with him; i.e. if, notwithstanding his knowledge of his own weakness and guilt, he should nevertheless be mad enough to desire to contend with God, then he will find that he cannot answer him one of a thousand. Of the charges which God might in his omniscience bring against him, he could not make a satisfactory reply to one in a thousand. It is not that Job admits any special guilt in himself; but such he feels to be the universal condition of humanity. "All have sinned in ten thousand ways, "and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). If he will contend with him,.... If God will contend with man, so Sephorno; enter into a controversy with him, litigate and dispute the point in law, whether he is just or not, man cannot answer to the allegations he will produce; or if man should contend with God, a potsherd strive with its maker, to what purpose would it be? he could never avail himself by such a procedure; the match is unequal, there is no striving or contending with God in a judicial, way:

he cannot answer him one of a thousand; which some understand, that God will not answer men; he will not vouchsafe to give an answer to such that plead with him, or talk with him of his judgments in providence, or pretend to vindicate themselves, their ways, and their works, before him; but this sense seems contrary to Jeremiah 12:1; but the meaning is, that man cannot answer God; either not one man out of a thousand, that is, none at all; unless, by one of a thousand, is meant the interpreter, one among a thousand, even the Messiah, the chiefest among ten thousand; the one man of a thousand Solomon found upon search; see Job 33:23; he indeed has made himself responsible for his people, as their surety, and was able to answer for them; and he has answered for them, and made satisfaction for their sins; it was exacted, or required, that is, a full payment of their debts, or a plenary satisfaction for their sins, "and he answered", according to Isaiah 53:7; but rather the sense is, that a man cannot answer, either one time of a thousand (u), or one argument to one article exhibited, or to one objection or charge of a thousand brought against him by the law or justice of God; that is, for one sin of a thousand he has committed; so Mr. Broughton renders it, "to one thing of a thousand" (w); this suggests that the sins of men are numerous; their debts are many, they are more than ten thousand talents, which they are not able to answer to, or pay off, no, not one of them; their iniquities are more than the hairs of their head, they cannot be understood or reckoned: and now a man cannot answer for one of a thousand, or the millions of sins he is guilty of; he cannot deny them, he cannot excuse them, he cannot make satisfaction for anyone of them; they are committed against an infinite Being, and require an infinite satisfaction, which man cannot give; they are violations of a law, and injuries to divine justice, that no man is able to atone for; whatever obedience he is capable of, or does perform, God has a prior right unto it, and therefore can never answer for former transgressions; this being the case, sinful man cannot be just with God upon the foot of his works, which is the thing this observation is made to illustrate: man's obedience is so short, and God's commandment or law so very broad, that these two can never be brought to meet, agree together, or answer to one another; and therefore it may be strongly concluded that a man is justified, if ever he is justified at all, in the sight of God, by faith in Christ and his righteousness, without the deeds of the law, Romans 3:28.

(u) "una vice ex millibus", Schmidt. (w) "Ad rem unam ex mille", Beza; "ad unum argumentum ex mille argumentis", Vatablus; so Castalio, Bar Tzemach. 3. If he—God

will contend with him—literally, "deign to enter into judgment."

he cannot answer, etc.—He (man) would not dare, even if he had a thousand answers in readiness to one question of God's, to utter one of them, from awe of His Majesty.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.
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