Darby's Bible Synopsis
Then Job answered and said,
The following commentary covers Chapters 4 through 31.
As to the friends of Job, they do not call for any extended remarks. They urge the doctrine that God's earthly government is a full measure and manifestation of His righteousness, and of the righteousness of man, which would correspond with it: a doctrine which proves a total ignorance of what God's righteousness is, and of His ways; as well as the absence of all real knowledge of what God is, or man as a sinner. We do not see either that the feelings of their hearts were influenced by communion with God. Their argument is a false and cold estimate of the exact justice of His government as an adequate manifestation of His relationship with man, though they say many true commonplace things which even the Spirit of God adopts as just. Although Job was not before God in his estimate of himself, he judges rightly in these respects. He shews that although God shews His disapprobation of the wicked, yet the circumstances in which they are often found overthrow the arguments of his friends. We see in Job a heart which, although rebellious, depends upon God, and would rejoice to find Him. We see, too, that when he can extricate himself, by a few words, from his friends, who, he is quite sensible, understands nothing of his case, nor of the dealings of God, he turns to God (although he does not find Him, and although he complains that His hand is heavy upon him), as in that beautiful and touching chapter 23, and the reasonings as to divine government, chapters 24, 21. That is to say, we see one who has tasted that God is gracious, whose heart, wounded indeed and unsubdued, yet claims those qualities for God-because it knows Him-which the cold reasonings of his friends could not ascribe to Him; a heart which complains bitterly of God, but which knows that, could it once come near Him, it would find Him all that it had declared Him to be, and not such as they had declared Him to be, or were themselves-could he find Him, he would not be as they were, He would put words in his mouth; a heart which repelled indignantly the accusation of hypocrisy; for Job was conscious that he looked to God, and that he had known God and acted with reference to Him, though God thought fit to bring his sin to remembrance.
How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?
These ten times have ye reproached me: ye are not ashamed that ye make yourselves strange to me.
And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error remaineth with myself.
If indeed ye will magnify yourselves against me, and plead against me my reproach:
Know now that God hath overthrown me, and hath compassed me with his net.
Behold, I cry out of wrong, but I am not heard: I cry aloud, but there is no judgment.
He hath fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he hath set darkness in my paths.
He hath stripped me of my glory, and taken the crown from my head.
He hath destroyed me on every side, and I am gone: and mine hope hath he removed like a tree.
He hath also kindled his wrath against me, and he counteth me unto him as one of his enemies.
His troops come together, and raise up their way against me, and encamp round about my tabernacle.
He hath put my brethren far from me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me.
My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.
They that dwell in mine house, and my maids, count me for a stranger: I am an alien in their sight.
I called my servant, and he gave me no answer; I intreated him with my mouth.
My breath is strange to my wife, though I intreated for the children's sake of mine own body.
Yea, young children despised me; I arose, and they spake against me.
All my inward friends abhorred me: and they whom I loved are turned against me.
My bone cleaveth to my skin and to my flesh, and I am escaped with the skin of my teeth.
Have pity upon me, have pity upon me, O ye my friends; for the hand of God hath touched me.
Why do ye persecute me as God, and are not satisfied with my flesh?
Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book!
That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever!
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
But ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?
Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishments of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment.