Job 16:17
Not for any injustice in mine 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. Job 16:17The construction of the Chethib is like 1 Samuel 4:15, of the Keri on the other hand like Lamentations 1:20; Lamentations 2:11 (where the same is said of מעי, viscera mea); חמרמר is a passive intensive form (Ges. 55, 3), not in the signification: they are completely kindled (lxx συγκέκανται, Jer. intumuit, from the חמר, Arab. chmr, which signifies to ferment), but: they are red all over (from חמר, Arab. ḥmr, whence the Alhambra, as a red building, takes its name), reddened, i.e., from weeping; and this has so weakened them, that the shadow of death (vid., on Job 10:21.) seems to rest upon his eyelids; they are therefore sad even to the deepest gloom. Thus exceedingly miserable is his state and appearance, although he is no disguised hypocrite, who might need to do penance in sackcloth and ashes, and shed tears of penitence without any solace. Hirz. explains על as a preposition: by the absence of evil in my hands; but Job 16:17 and Job 16:17 are substantival clauses, and על is therefore just, like Isaiah 53:9, a conjunction ( equals על־אשׁר). His hands are clean from wrong-doing, free from violence and oppression; his prayer is pure, pura; as Merc. observes, ex puritate cordis et fidei. From the feeling of the strong contrast between his piety and his being stigmatized as an evil-doer by such terrible suffering, - from this extreme contrast which has risen now to its highest in his consciousness of patient endurance of suffering, the lofty thoughts of the next strophe take their rise.
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