Darby's Bible Synopsis
But 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.
Hear diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations.
Suffer me that I may speak; and after that I have spoken, mock on.
As for me, is my complaint to man? and if it were so, why should not my spirit be troubled?
Mark me, and be astonished, and lay your hand upon your mouth.
Even when I remember I am afraid, and trembling taketh hold on my flesh.
Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?
Their seed is established in their sight with them, and their offspring before their eyes.
Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them.
Their bull gendereth, and faileth not; their cow calveth, and casteth not her calf.
They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance.
They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.
They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave.
Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.
What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have, if we pray unto him?
Lo, their good is not in their hand: the counsel of the wicked is far from me.
How oft is the candle of the wicked put out! and how oft cometh their destruction upon them! God distributeth sorrows in his anger.
They are as stubble before the wind, and as chaff that the storm carrieth away.
God layeth up his iniquity for his children: he rewardeth him, and he shall know it.
His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty.
For what pleasure hath he in his house after him, when the number of his months is cut off in the midst?
Shall any teach God knowledge? seeing he judgeth those that are high.
One dieth in his full strength, being wholly at ease and quiet.
His breasts are full of milk, and his bones are moistened with marrow.
And another dieth in the bitterness of his soul, and never eateth with pleasure.
They shall lie down alike in the dust, and the worms shall cover them.
Behold, I know your thoughts, and the devices which ye wrongfully imagine against me.
For ye say, Where is the house of the prince? and where are the dwelling places of the wicked?
Have ye not asked them that go by the way? and do ye not know their tokens,
That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath.
Who shall declare his way to his face? and who shall repay him what he hath done?
Yet shall he be brought to the grave, and shall remain in the tomb.
The clods of the valley shall be sweet unto him, and every man shall draw after him, as there are innumerable before him.
How then comfort ye me in vain, seeing in your answers there remaineth falsehood?