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.
Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together!
For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea: therefore my words are swallowed up.
For the arrows of the Almighty are within me, the poison whereof drinketh up my spirit: the terrors of God do set themselves in array against me.
Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder?
Can that which is unsavoury be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?
The things that my soul refused to touch are as my sorrowful meat.
Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!
Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!
Then should I yet have comfort; yea, I would harden myself in sorrow: let him not spare; for I have not concealed the words of the Holy One.
What is my strength, that I should hope? and what is mine end, that I should prolong my life?
Is my strength the strength of stones? or is my flesh of brass?
Is not my help in me? and is wisdom driven quite from me?
To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.
My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook, and as the stream of brooks they pass away;
Which are blackish by reason of the ice, and wherein the snow is hid:
What time they wax warm, they vanish: when it is hot, they are consumed out of their place.
The paths of their way are turned aside; they go to nothing, and perish.
The troops of Tema looked, the companies of Sheba waited for them.
They were confounded because they had hoped; they came thither, and were ashamed.
For now ye are nothing; ye see my casting down, and are afraid.
Did I say, Bring unto me? or, Give a reward for me of your substance?
Or, Deliver me from the enemy's hand? or, Redeem me from the hand of the mighty?
Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred.
How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?
Do ye imagine to reprove words, and the speeches of one that is desperate, which are as wind?
Yea, ye overwhelm the fatherless, and ye dig a pit for your friend.
Now therefore be content, look upon me; for it is evident unto you if I lie.
Return, I pray you, let it not be iniquity; yea, return again, my righteousness is in it.
Is there iniquity in my tongue? cannot my taste discern perverse things?