Job 16:19
Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.
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(19) My witness is in heaven.—It is very important to note passages such as these, because they help us to understand, and serve to illustrate, the famous confession in Job 19. This is surely a wonderful declaration for a man in the position of Job. What can the believer, in the full light of the Gospel revelation, say more, with the knowledge of One in heaven ever making intercession for him? And yet Job’s faith had risen to such a height as this, and had grasped such a hope as this. In no other book of the Bible is there such a picture of faith clinging to the all-just God for justification as in the Book of Job.

Job 16:19-20. Behold, my witness is in heaven — Besides the witness of men, and of my own conscience, God is witness of my integrity. The witness of men, and even that in our own bosoms for us, will stand us in little stead if we have not a witness in heaven for us also: for God is greater than our own hearts, and than the hearts of all men: neither are we to judge ourselves, nor are men to be our judges. This therefore was Job’s triumph, that he had a witness in heaven, and could appeal to God’s omniscience concerning his integrity. My friends scorn me — Who ought to defend me from the scorns and injuries of others; but mine eye poureth out tears unto God — I pour forth my prayers and tears to him, that he would judge me according to my innocence, and plead my righteous cause against those that accuse and condemn me.

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.My witness is in heaven - That is, I can appeal to God for my sincerity. He is my witness; and he will bear record for me. This is an evidence of returning confidence in God - to which Job always returns even after the most passionate and irreverent expressions. Such is his real trust in God, that though he is betrayed at times into expressions of impatience and irreverence, yet he is sure to return to calmer views, and to show that he has true confidence in the Most High. The strength, the power, and the point of his expressions of passion and impatience are against his "friends;" but they "sometimes" terminate on God, as if even he was leagued with them against him. But he still had "permanent" or "abiding" confidence in God.

My record is on high - Margin "in the high places." It means, in heaven. Luther renders this, und der mich kennet, ist in der Hohe - and he who knows me is on high. The Hebrew is שׂהדי śâhêdı̂y - "my witness;" properly an eye witness. The meaning is, that he could appeal to God as a witness of his sincerity.

19. Also now—Even now, when I am so greatly misunderstood on earth, God in heaven is sensible of my innocence.

record—Hebrew, "in the high places"; Hebrew, "my witness." Amidst all his impatience, Job still trusts in God.

Besides the witness of men and of my own conscience, God is witness of my integrity.

Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven,.... That is, God, who dwells in the heavens, where his throne is, and which is the habitation of his holiness, and from whence he beholds all the sons of men, and their actions, is the all seeing and all knowing Being; and therefore Job appeals to him as his witness, if he was guilty of the things laid to his charge, to bear witness against him, but if not to be a witness for him, which he believed he would, and desired he might:

for my record is on high; or "my testimony"; that can testify for me; who is an "eyewitness" (k), as some render it, before whom all things are naked and open; who has seen all my actions, even the very inmost recesses of my mind, all the thoughts of my heart, and all the principles of my actions, and him I desire to bear record of me; such appeals are lawful in some cases, which ought not to be common and trivial ones, but of moment and importance, and which cannot well be determined in any other way; such as was the charge of hypocrisy against Job, and suspicions of his having been guilty of some notorious crime, though it could not be pointed at and proved; see 1 Samuel 12:3, 2 Corinthians 1:13.

(k) "oculatus meus testis", Schultens.

Also now, behold, my {t} witness is in heaven, and my record is on high.

(t) Though man condemn me, yet God is witness of my cause.

19. If his blood is to cry with an unceasing voice for reparation until it find it, there must be some one to take up the cry and see reparation made. Job is assured that already he has such a Witness and sponsor in heaven. The verse reads,

Even now, behold my witness is in heaven,

And he that voucheth for me is on high.

my record] This is inexact; the word describes a person and means precisely the same as Witness, being the Aramean equivalent to the Heb. in the first clause. The word occurs again in the expression Jegar Sahadutha, heap of witness, Genesis 31:47, as the Hebrew word does in the corresponding phrase, Gal-‘Ed. It is difficult to find a corresponding noun in English; perhaps advocate or sponsor comes pretty near, as there was no difference between advocate and witness in the Hebrew courts, the part of a witness being to testify in behalf of one and see justice done to him, as Job 16:21 describes what part Job desires his witness to play for him. “Witness” does not mean merely one who knows Job’s innocence, but one who will testify to it and see it recognised, just as in Job 17:3 surety is one who undertakes to see right maintained.

Verse 19. - Also now, behold, my Witness is in heaven; rather, even now (see the Revised Version). Job claims God for his Witness, looks to him for an ultimate vindication of his character, is sure that in one way or another he will make his righteousness clear as the noonday in the sight of men and angels (see Job 19:25-27, of which this is in some sort an anticipation). My record - or, he that vouches for me (Revised Version) - is on high - one of the so frequent pleonastic repetitions of one and the same idea. Job 16:1918 Oh earth, cover thou not my blood,

And let my cry find no resting-place!! -

19 Even now behold in heaven is my Witness,

And One who acknowledgeth me is in the heights!

20 Though the mockers of me are my friends -

To Eloah mine eyes pour forth tears,

21 That He may decide for man against Eloah,

And for the son of man against his friend.

22 For the years that may be numbered are coming on,

And I shall go a way without return.

Blood that is not covered up cries for vengeance, Ezekiel 24:7.; so also blood still unavenged is laid bare that it may find vengeance, Isaiah 26:21. According to this idea, in the lofty consciousness of his innocence, Job calls upon the earth not to suck in his blood as of one innocently slain, but to let it lie bare, thereby showing that it must be first of all avenged ere the earth can take it up;

(Note: As, according to the tradition, it is said to have been impossible to remove the stain of the blood of Zachariah the son of Jehoiada, who was murdered in the court of the temple, until it was removed by the destruction of the temple itself.)

and for his cry, i.e., the cry (זעקתי to be explained according to Genesis 4:10) proceeding from his blood as from his poured-out soul, he desires that it may urge its way unhindered and unstilled towards heaven without finding a place of rest (Symm. στάσις). Therefore, in the very God who appears to him to be a blood-thirsty enemy in pursuit of him, Job nevertheless hopes to find a witness of his innocence: He will acknowledge his blood, like that of Abel, to be the blood of an innocent man. It is an inward irresistible demand made by his faith which here brings together two opposite principles - principles which the understanding cannot unite - with bewildering boldness. Job believes that God will even finally avenge the blood which His wrath has shed, as blood that has been innocently shed. This faith, which sends forth beyond death itself the word of absolute command contained in Job 16:18, in Job 16:19 brightens and becomes a certain confidence, which draws from the future into the present that acknowledgment which God afterwards makes of him as innocent. The thought of what is unmerited in that decree of wrath which delivers him over to death, is here forced into the background, and in the front stands only the thought of the exaltation of the God in heaven above human short-sightedness, and the thought that no one else but He is the final refuge of the oppressed: even now (i.e., this side of death)

(Note: Comp. 1 Kings 14:14, where it is probably to be explained: Jehovah shall raise up for himself a king over Israel who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam that day, but what? even now (גם עתה), i.e., He hath raised him up ( equals but no, even now).)


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