Job 13:17
Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears.
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Job 13:17. Hear diligently my speech — This he desired before, (Job 13:6,) and now repeats, either, because they manifested some dislike of his speech, and some desire to interrupt him; or, because he now comes more closely to the question; the foregoing verses being mostly in the way of preface to it. And my declaration — That is, the words whereby I declare my mind.

13:13-22 Job resolved to cleave to the testimony his own conscience gave of his uprightness. He depended upon God for justification and salvation, the two great things we hope for through Christ. Temporal salvation he little expected, but of his eternal salvation he was very confident; that God would not only be his Saviour to make him happy, but his salvation, in the sight and enjoyment of whom he should be happy. He knew himself not to be a hypocrite, and concluded that he should not be rejected. We should be well pleased with God as a Friend, even when he seems against us as an enemy. We must believe that all shall work for good to us, even when all seems to make against us. We must cleave to God, yea, though we cannot for the present find comfort in him. In a dying hour, we must derive from him living comforts; and this is to trust in him, though he slay us.Hear diligently my speech - That which I have made; that is, the declaration which I have made of my innocence. He refers to his solemn declaration, Job 13:15-16 that he had unwavering confidence in God, and that even should God slay him he would put confidence in him. This solemn appeal he wished them to attend to as one of the utmost importance. 17. my declaration—namely, that I wish to be permitted to justify myself immediately before God.

with your ears—that is, attentively.

This he desired before, Job 13:6, and now repeateth, either because they manifested some neglect or dislike of his speech, and some desire to interrupt him; or because he now comes more closely to his business, the foregoing verses being mostly in way of preface to it.

My declaration, i.e. the words whereby I declare my mind.

Hear diligently my speech,.... Or, "in hearing hear" (s); meaning, not only that his friends would attentively hear him, but continue to hear him; that they would hear him out what he had to say further: upon his expressing himself with so much faith and confidence in God, they might rise up from their seats and be preparing to be gone, as not having patience to hear a man talk so confidently, who they thought was a bad man and an hypocrite; or they might attempt to interrupt him while speaking, and therefore he desires they would be still, and patiently and diligently hear what he had more to say:

and my declaration with your ears; that is, that they would listen to it attentively, when he doubted not but he should make his case as clear as the sun, and set it in such a point of view, as that it would appear most plainly to be right, and he to be a just man.

(s) "audite audiendo", Pagninus, Montanus, Beza, &c.

Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears.
17–22. Assured of victory, he commands his friends to mark his pleading of his cause.

Verse 17. - Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears. A last appeal to his opponents to give him their full attention (comp. ver. 6), Job 13:1717 Hear, O hear my confession,

And let my declaration echo in your ears.

18 Behold now! I have arranged the cause,

I know that I shall maintain the right.

19 Who then can contend with me?

Then, indeed, I would be silent and expire.

Eager for the accomplishment of his wish that he might himself take his cause before God, and as though in imagination it were so, he invites the friends to be present to hear his defence of himself. מלּה (in Arabic directly used for confession equals religion) is the confession which he will lay down, and אחוה the declaration that he will make in evidence, i.e., the proof of his innocence. The latter substantive, which signifies brotherly conduct in post-biblical Hebrew, is here an ἅπ. λεγ. from חוה, not however with Aleph prostheticum from Kal, but after the form אזכּרה equals הזכּרה, from the Aphl equals Hiphil of this verb, which, except Psalm 19:3, occurs only in the book of Job as Hebrew (comp. the n. actionis, אחויה, Daniel 5:12), Ewald, 156, c. It is unnecessary to carry the שׁמעוּ on to Job 13:17 (hear now ... with your own ears, as e.g., Jeremiah 26:11); Job 13:17 is an independent substantival clause like Job 15:11; Isaiah 5:9, which carries in itself the verbal idea of תּהי or תּבא (Psalm 18:7). They shall hear, for on his part he has arranged, i.e., prepared (משׁפּט ערך, causam instruere, as Job 23:4, comp. Job 33:5) the cause, so that the action can begin forthwith; and he knows that he, he and no one else, will be found in the right. With the conviction of this superiority, he exclaims, Who in all the world could contend with him, i.e., advance valid arguments against his defence of himself? Then, indeed, if this impossibility should happen, he would be dumb, and willingly die as one completely overpowered not merely in outward appearance, but in reality vanquished. יריב עמדי following הוא מי (comp. Job 4:7) may be taken as an elliptical relative clause: qui litigare possit mecum (comp. Isaiah 50:9 with Romans 8:34, τίς ὁ καταδρίνων); but since זה הוא מי is also used in the sense of quis tandem or ecquisnam, this syntactic connection which certainly did exist (Ewald, 325, a) is obliterated, and הוא serves like זה only to give intensity and vividness to the מי. On עתּה כּי (in meaning not different to אז כּי), vid., Job 3:13; Job 8:6. In Job 13:19 that is granted as possible which, according to the declaration of his conscience, Job must consider as absolutely impossible. Therefore he clings to the desire of being able to bring his cause before God, and becomes more and more absorbed in the thought.

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