Job 10:2
I will say to God, Do not condemn me; show me why you contend with me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) I will say unto God . . .—This is a model of prayer for all, combining the prayer of the publican (Luke 18:13), and a prayer for that light for which we long so earnestly in times of affliction and darkness.

Job 10:2. I will say unto God, Do not condemn me — Hebrew, אל תרשׁיעני, al tarshigneeni, Do not pronounce me to be a wicked man; as my friends do; neither deal with me as such, as I confess thou mightest do, by thy sovereign power, and in rigorous justice: O discover my integrity by removing this stroke, for which my friends condemn me. Wherefore — For what ends and reasons, and for what sins; for I am not conscious to myself of any peculiar sins by which I have deserved to be made the most miserable of all men. When God afflicts, he contends with us: when he contends with us, there is always a reason for it. And it is desirable to know what that reason is, that we may forsake whatever he has a controversy with us for.10:1-7 Job, being weary of his life, resolves to complain, but he will not charge God with unrighteousness. Here is a prayer that he might be delivered from the sting of his afflictions, which is sin. When God afflicts us, he contends with us; when he contends with us, there is always a reason; and it is desirable to know the reason, that we may repent of and forsake the sin for which God has a controversy with us. But when, like Job, we speak in the bitterness of our souls, we increase guilt and vexation. Let us harbour no hard thoughts of God; we shall hereafter see there was no cause for them. Job is sure that God does not discover things, nor judge of them, as men do; therefore he thinks it strange that God continues him under affliction, as if he must take time to inquire into his sin.I will say unto God, Do not condemn me - Do not hold me to be wicked - תרשׁיעני אל 'al tarshı̂y‛ēnı̂y. The sense is, "Do not simply hold me to be wicked, and treat me as such, without showing me the reasons why I am so regarded." This was the ground of Job's complaint, that God by mere sovereignty and power held him to be a wicked man, and that he did not see the reasons why he was so considered and treated. He now desired to know in what he had offended, and to be made acquainted with the cause of his sufferings. The idea is, that it was unjust to treat one as guilty who had no opportunity of knowing the nature of the offence with which he was charged, or the reason why he was condemned. 2. show me, &c.—Do not, by virtue of Thy mere sovereignty, treat me as guilty without showing me the reasons. Do not condemn me; or, Pronounce me not to be a wicked man, as my friends do; neither deal with me as such, as I confess thou mightest do by thy sovereign power and in rigorous justice. O discover my integrity by removing this stroke, for which my friends so highly censure and condemn me.

Wherefore, i.e. for what ends and reasons, and for what sins? for I am not conscious to myself of any peculiar and eminent sins by which I have deserved to be made the most miserable of all mortals. I will say unto God, do not condemn me,.... Not that he feared eternal condemnation; there is none to them that are in Christ, and believe in him as Job did; Christ's undertakings, sufferings, and death, secure his people from the condemnation of law and justice; nor, indeed, are the afflictions of God's people a condemnation of them, but a fatherly chastisement, and are in order to prevent their being condemned with the world; yet they may look as if they were, in the eyes of the men of the world, and they as very wicked persons; and so the word may be rendered, "do not account me wicked" (d), or treat me as a wicked man, by continuing thine afflicting hand upon the; which, as long as it was on him, his friends would not believe but that he was a wicked man; wherefore, as God knew he was not such an one as they took him to be, he begs that he would not use him as such, that so the censure he lay under might be removed; and though he was condemned by them, he entreats that God would make it appear he was not condemned by him: and whereas he was not conscious to himself of any notorious wickedness done by him, which deserved such usage, he further prays:

show me wherefore thou contendest with me. Afflictions are the Lord's controversy with his people, a striving, a contending with them; which are sometimes so sharp, that were they continued long, the spirits would fail before him, and the souls that he has made: now there is always a cause or reason for them, which God has in his own breast, though it is not always known to man, at least not at first, or as soon as the controversy or contention is begun; when God afflicts, it is either for sin, to prevent it, or purge from it, or to bring his people to a sense of it, to repent of it, and forsake it, or to try their graces, and make them more partakers of his holiness; and when good men, as Job, are at a loss about this, not being conscious of any gross iniquity committed, or a course of sin continued in, it is lawful, and right, and commendable, to inquire the reason of it, and learn, if possible, the end, design, and use of such dispensations.

(d) "neque judices me improbum", Vatablus; so Schultens.

I will say unto God, Do not {c} condemn me; shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.

(c) He would not that God would proceed against him by his secret justice, but by the ordinary means that he punishes others.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. Do not condemn me] Or, make me not guilty; that is, by mere arbitrary will. Job felt himself “made guilty” by his afflictions, which to all were proofs that God held him guilty.

thou contendest with me] Job’s afflictions were proof that God had a contention or plea against him, Job desires to know the ground of it. Perhaps the afflictions themselves may be called the contention.Verse 2. - I will say unto God, Do not condemn me; literally, do not pronounce me wicked My friends, as they call themselves, have, one and all, condemned me: do not thou also condemn me. A touching appeal! Show me wherefore thou contendest with me. One of Job's principal trials is the perplexity into which his unexampled sufferings have thrown him. He cannot understand why he has been singled out for such tremendous punishment, when he is not conscious to himself of any impiety or other heinous sin against God. So now, when he has resolved to vent all the bitterness of his soul, he ventures to ask the question - Why is he so tried? What has he done to make God his enemy? Wherefore does God fight against him continually? 29 If I am wicked, why do I exert myself in vain?

30 If I should wash myself with snow water,

And make my hands clean with lye,

31 Then thou wouldst plunge me into the pit,

And my clothes would abhor me.

32 For He is not a man as I, that I should answer Him,

That we should go together to judgment.

33 There is not an arbitrator between us

Who should lay his hand upon us both.

The clause with strongly accented "I" affirms that in relation to God is from the first, and unchangeably, a wicked, i.e., guilty, man (Psalm 109:7) (רשׁע, to be a wicked man, means either to act as such Job 10:15, or to appear as such, be accounted as such, as here and Job 10:7; Hiph., Job 9:20, to condemn). Why, therefore, should he vainly (הבל, acc. adv., like breath, useless) exert himself by crying for help, and basing his plaint on his innocence? In Job 9:30 the Chethib is במו, the Keri במי, as the reverse in Isaiah 25:10; mo itself appears in the signification water (Egyptian muau), in the proper names Moab and Moshe (according to Jablonsky, ex aqua servatus); in במו, however, the mo may be understood according to Ges. 103, 2. This is the meaning - no cleansing, even though he should use snow and בּר (a vegetable alkali), i.e., not even the best-grounded self-justification can avail him, for God would still bring it to pass, that his clearly proved innocence should change to the most horrible impurity. Ewald, Rdiger, and others translate incorrectly: my clothes would make me disgusting. The idea is tame. The Piel תּעב signifies elsewhere in the book (Job 19:19; Job 30:10) to abhor, not to make abhorrent; and the causative meaning is indeed questionable, for מתעב (Isaiah 49:7) signifies loathing, as מכסּה (Job 23:17) covering, and Ezekiel 16:25 certainly borders on the signification "to make detestable," but תעב may also be in the primary meaning, abominari, the strongest expression for that contempt of the beauty bestowed by God which manifests itself by prostitution. Translate: My clothes would abhor me; which does not mean: I should be disgusted with myself (Hirzel); Job is rather represented as naked; him, the naked one, God would - says he - so plunge into the pit that his clothes would conceive a horror of him, i.e., start back in terror at the idea of being put on and defiled by such a horrible creature (Schlottm., Oehler). For God is not his equal, standing on the same level with him: He, the Absolute Being, is accuser and judge in one person; there is between them no arbitrator who (or that he) should lay, etc. Mercier correctly explains: impositio manus est potestatis signum; the meaning therefore is: qui utrumque nostrum velut manu imposita coerceat.

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