Job 16:17
Not for any injustice in my hands: also my prayer is pure.
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(17) Not for any injustice.—Literally, for no injustice, just as in Isaiah 53:9 : “because he had done no violence,” should be “not because he had done any violence, or because deceit was in his mouth.”

Job 16:17-18. Not for any justice in my hands — And all this is not come upon me for any injurious dealing, but for other reasons, known to God only; also my prayer is pure — I do not cast off God’s fear and service, Job 15:4. I do still pray and worship God, and my prayer is accompanied with a sincere heart. O earth, cover not thou my blood — The earth is said to cover that blood which lies undiscovered and unrevenged: of which see on Genesis 4:10-11; and Isaiah 26:21. But, says Job, if I be guilty of destroying any one man by murder, or oppression, as I am traduced, O Lord, let the earth disclose it; let it be brought to light, that I may suffer condign punishment for it. And let my cry have no place — That is, either, 1st, Let the cries and groans which I have forced from others by my oppressions, have no place to hide them. Or, rather, 2d, Let the cry of my complaints to men, or prayers to God, find no place in the ears or hearts of God or men, if this be true.16:17-22 Job's condition was very deplorable; but he had the testimony of his conscience for him, that he never allowed himself in any gross sin. No one was ever more ready to acknowledge sins of infirmity. Eliphaz had charged him with hypocrisy in religion, but he specifies prayer, the great act of religion, and professes that in this he was pure, though not from all infirmity. He had a God to go to, who he doubted not took full notice of all his sorrows. Those who pour out tears before God, though they cannot plead for themselves, by reason of their defects, have a Friend to plead for them, even the Son of man, and on him we must ground all our hopes of acceptance with God. To die, is to go the way whence we shall not return. We must all of us, very certainly, and very shortly, go this journey. Should not then the Saviour be precious to our souls? And ought we not to be ready to obey and to suffer for his sake? If our consciences are sprinkled with his atoning blood, and testify that we are not living in sin or hypocrisy, when we go the way whence we shall not return, it will be a release from prison, and an entrance into everlasting happiness.Not for any injustice ... - Still claiming that he does not deserve his sorrows, and that these calamities had not come upon him on account of any enormous sins, as his friends believed.

My prayer is pure - My devotion; my worship of God is not hypocritical - as my friends maintain.

16. foul—rather, "is red," that is, flushed and heated [Umbreit and Noyes].

shadow of death—that is, darkening through many tears (La 5:17). Job here refers to Zophar's implied charge (Job 11:14). Nearly the same words occur as to Jesus Christ (Isa 53:9). So Job 16:10 above answers to the description of Jesus Christ (Ps 22:13; Isa 50:6, and Job 16:4 to Ps 22:7). He alone realized what Job aspired after, namely, outward righteousness of acts and inward purity of devotion. Jesus Christ as the representative man is typified in some degree in every servant of God in the Old Testament.

And all this is not come upon me for any injurious dealing with others by oppression, or deceit, or bribery, wherewith I am implicitly charged, Job 15:16,20,34; but for other reasons known to God only, for I cannot discover them.

Also my prayer is pure; I do not cast off God’s fear and service, as I am accused to do, Job 15:4. I do still pray and worship God, and my prayer is accompanied with a sincere heart and undefiled conscience: see Psalm 109:7 Proverbs 28:9 1 Timothy 2:8. So that I have lived inoffensively towards God and towards men; and therefore your assertion is both uncharitable and false, that eminent afflictions are peculiar to ungodly men. Not for any injustice in my hands,.... Came all those afflictions and calamities upon him, which occasioned so much sorrow, weeping, mourning, and humiliation; he does not say there was no sin in him, not any in his heart, nor in his life, nor any iniquity done by him, he had acknowledged these things before, Job 7:20; but that there was nothing in his hands gotten in an unjust manner; he had taken away no man's property, nor injured him in the least in a private way; nor had he perverted justice as a public magistrate, by taking bribes or accepting persons, and could challenge any to prove he had, as Samuel did, 1 Samuel 12:3;

also my prayer is pure: he prayed, which disproves the calumny of Eliphaz, Job 15:4; and his prayer was pure too; not that it was free from failings and infirmities, which attend the best, but from hypocrisy and deceit; it came not out of feigned lips, but was put up in sincerity and truth; it sprang from an heart purified by the grace of God, and sprinkled from an evil conscience; it was put up in the faith of Christ, and as a pure offering through him; Job lifted up pure and holy hands, and with these a pure and holy heart, and for pure and holy things; so that it was not for want of doing justice to men, nor for want of devotion towards God, that be was thus afflicted by him; compare with this what is said of his antitype, Isaiah 53:9.

Not for any injustice in {q} mine hands: also my prayer {r} is pure.

(q) Signifying that he is not able to understand the cause of this his grievous punishment.

(r) That is, unfeigned and without hypocrisy.

17. Not for any injustice] i. e. though there is no wrong in my hands, cf. Isaiah 53:9. The first clause denies that he had done anything amiss in action; and the second affirms that his “prayer,” i. e. his whole religious walk with God, was pure. The last words give a reply to the insinuations of Eliphaz, ch. Job 15:4, and the former to his allusion ch. Job 15:34.Verse 17. - Not for any injustice in mine hands; or, not that there is any violence in my hands (scrap. Isaiah 53:9, where the expression used of the Messiah is nearly the same). Job repudiates the charge of rapine and robbery which Eliphaz has brought against him (Job 15:28, 34). His hands have not done violence to any. Also my prayer is pure. Neither has he been guilty of the hypocrisy which Eliphaz has also charged him with (Job 15:34). His prayers have been sincere and genuine. 10 They have gaped against me with their mouth,

In contempt they smite my cheeks;

They conspire together against me.

11 God left me to the mercy of the ungodly,

And cast me into the hands of the evil-doer.

He does not mean the friends by those who mock and vex him with their contemptuous words, but the men around him who envied his prosperity and now rejoice at his misfortune; those to whom his uprightness was a burden, and who now consider themselves disencumbered of their liege lord, the over-righteous, censorious, godly man. The perfects here also have not a present signification; he depicts his suffering according to the change it has wrought since it came upon him. The verb פּער is used with the instrumental Beth instead of with the acc., as Job 29:23 (comp. on במלים, Job 16:4): they make an opening with their mouth (similar to Psalm 22:8, they make an opening with the lips, for diducunt labia). Smiting on the cheeks is in itself an insult (Lamentations 3:30); the additional בּחרפּה will therefore refer to insulting words which accompany the act. The Hithpa. התמלּא, which occurs only here, signifies not only to gather together a מלא in general, Isaiah 31:4, but (after the Arab. tamâla'a ‛ala, to conspire against any one)

(Note: Wetzstein thinks the signification conspirare for יתמלאון poor in this connection, and prefers to translate: All together they eat themselves full upon me, התמלּא as reflexive of מלּא, Job 38:39, synon. of נשׂבע, as in "the Lovers of Amsi," Ferhht, after the death of his beloved, cries out: We are not separated! To-morrow (i.e., soon) the All-kind One will unite us in paradise, and we shall satisfy ourselves one with another (Arab. w-ntmll' mn b-'dn 'l-b'd). One would, however, expect ממּנּי instead of עלי; but perhaps we may refer to the interchange of התענג על, Job 22:26; Job 27:10, with התענג מן, Isaiah 66:11.)

to complete one's self, to strengthen one's self (for a like hostile purpose): Reiske correctly: sibi invicem mutuam et auxiliatricem operam contra me simul omnes ferunt.

(Note: The signification to help, which belongs to the I. form Arab. mala'a, proceeds from malâ'un, to have abundance, to be well off; prop. to be able to furnish any one with the means (opes, copias) for anything, and thereby to place him in a position to accomplish it. Comp. the Lat. ops, opem ferre, opitulari, opes, opulentus (Arab. mal'un). - Fl.)

The meaning of עויל is manifest from Job 21:11; from עוּל, to suckle, alere (Arab. ‛âl med. Wau, whence the inf. ‛aul, ‛uwûl, and ‛ijâle), it signifies boys, knaves; and it is as unnecessary to suppose two forms, עויל and עויל, as two meanings, puer and pravus, since the language and particularly the book of Job has coined עוּל for the latter signification: it signifies in all three passages (here and Job 19:18; Job 21:11) boys, or the boyish, childish, knavish. The Arabic warratta leaves no doubt as to the derivation and meaning of ירטני; it signifies to cast down to destruction (warttah, a precipice, ruin, danger), and so here the fut. Kal ירטני for יירטני (Ges. 69, rem. 3), praecipitem me dabat (lxx ἔῤῥιψε, Symm. ἐνέβαλε), as the praet. Kal, Numbers 22:32 : praeceps equals exitiosa est via. The preformative Jod has Metheg in correct texts, so that we need not suppose, with Ralbag, a רטה, similar in meaning to ירט.

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