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. 12 I was at ease, but He hath broken me in pieces;

And He hath taken me by the neck and shaken me to pieces,

And set me up for a mark for himself.

13 His arrows whistled about me;

He pierced my reins without sparing;

He poured out my gall upon the ground.

14 He brake through me breach upon breach,

He ran upon me like a mighty warrior.

He was prosperous and contented, when all at once God began to be enraged against him; the intensive form פּרפּר (Arab. farfara) signifies to break up entirely, crush, crumble in pieces (Hithpo. to become fragile, Isaiah 24:19); the corresponding intensive form פּצפּץ (from פּצץ, Arab. fḍḍ, cogn. נפץ), to beat in pieces (Polel of a hammer, Jeremiah 23:29), to dash to pieces: taking him by the neck, God raised him on high in order to dash him to the ground with all His might. מטּרה (from נטר, τηρεῖν, like σκοπός from σκέπτισθαι) is the target, as in the similar passage, Lamentations 3:12, distinct from מפגּע, Job 7:20, object of attack and point of attack: God has set me up for a target for himself, in order as it were to try what He and His arrows can do. Accordingly רבּיו (from רבב equals רבה, רמה, jacere) signifies not: His archers (although this figure would be admissible after Job 10:17; Job 19:12, and the form after the analogy of רב, רע, etc., is naturally taken as a substantival adj.), but, especially since God appears directly as the actor: His arrows ( equals הצּיו, Job 6:4), from רב, formed after the analogy of בּז, מס, etc., according to which it is translated by lxx, Targ., Jer., while most of the Jewish expositors, referring to Jeremiah 50:29 (where we need not, with Bttch., point רבים, and here רביו), interpret by מורי החצים. On all sides, whichever way he might turn himself, the arrows of God flew about him, mercilessly piercing his reins, so that his gall-bladder became empty (comp. Lamentations 2:11, and vid., Psychol. S. 268). It is difficult to conceive what is here said;

(Note: The emptying of the gall takes place if the gall-bladder or any of its ducts are torn; but how the gall itself (without assuming some morbid condition) can flow outwardly, even with a severe wound, is a difficult question, with which only those who have no appreciation of the standpoint of imagery and poetry will distress themselves. [On the "spilling of the gall" or "bursting of the gall-bladder" among the Arabs, as the working of violent and painful emotions, vid., Zeitschr. der deutschen morgenlnd. Gesellsch. Bd. xvi. S. 586, Z. 16ff. - Fl.])

it is, moreover, not meant to be understood strictly according to the sense: the divine arrows, which are only an image for divinely decreed sufferings, pressed into his inward parts, and wounded the noblest organs of his nature. In Job 16:14 follows another figure. He was as a wall which was again and again broken through by the missiles or battering-rams of God, and against which He ran after the manner of besiegers when storming. פּרץ is the proper word for such breaches and holes in a wall generally; here it is connected as obj. with its own verb, according to Ges. 138, rem. 1. The second פרץ (פּרץ with Kametz) has Ssade minusculum, for some reason unknown to us.

The next strophe says what change took place in his own conduct in consequence of this incomprehensible wrathful disposition of God which had vented itself on him.

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