|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.
Verse 4. - He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength. The sense is strengthened if we omit "he is," and render, Wise in heart, and mighty in strength, who hath hardened etc.? God's combination of perfect wisdom with infinite strength renders it hopeless for any man to contend with him. Who hath hardened himself against him; and hath prospered? Job fully admits the wisdom of all that Eliphaz (Job 4:17) and Bildad (Job 8:3-6) have said, or hinted, with respect to his inability wholly to justify himself. No one has ever taken this line of absolute self-justification, and prospered.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He is wise in heart,.... Originally, essentially, truly, really, and perfectly so; he is the only, and the all wise God; his understanding is infinite; he is able to traverse all the schemes of men, in things civil or religious, and disappoint all their devices; for though there be ever so many of them, or be ever so deeply laid, the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand; for there is no wisdom, understanding, or counsel against him; and therefore it is in vain to contend with him: he is so wise and knowing, that he sees and knows all that is in man, or is done by him, whether in public or in private; there is not a thought in his heart, nor a word on his tongue, nor an action in his life and conversation, but what he is thoroughly acquainted with; and everyone of these he will bring into judgment: how therefore is it possible that sinful men should be just in the sight of such a wise and holy Being, upon the score of his own righteousness?
and mighty in strength; he is the most mighty; he is the Almighty; he has a mighty arm and strong hand; and unless a man had a strong arm like him, his own right hand can never save him, or his own righteousness justify him; wherefore, to what purpose is it for a feeble man to contend and strive with him? and since he is not a man, as he is, how should they come together in judgment? and what a vain thing must it he to set a time for it, since, if we speak of strength, lo, he is strong? see Job 9:19,
who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered? either by behaving proudly and insolently to him, as Pharaoh, Sennacherib, and others, by speaking hard words against him, as the Jews in the times of Malachi; and such hard speeches ungodly sinners utter against God, Christ, his Gospel, ordinances, people, ways, and worship, of which they will be convinced, and for which they will be condemned at the last judgment; and by bold and daring acts of sin, running upon the thick bosses of his buckler, giving themselves up to commit all uncleanness with greediness, and making a covenant with hell and an agreement with death, and so think themselves safe and secure at all events; but such never prospered and succeeded as they promised themselves, but came to ruin and destruction: or "had peace" (x), or "found quietness", as Mr. Broughton: there is no peace to wicked men, true, solid peace, either here or hereafter; when they cry "Peace", or promise themselves much of it, destruction comes; and if God sets home the guilt of sin upon their consciences, the lead of it is intolerable; it sinks them into despair, and what then will be the worm that dieth not?
(x) "et pacem habuit", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Bolducius; "et pace frueretur", Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. wise in heart—in understanding!—and mighty in power! God confounds the ablest arguer by His wisdom, and the mightiest by His power.
hardened himself—or his neck (Pr 29:1); that is, defied God. To prosper, one must fall in with God's arrangements of providence and grace.
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