Job 19:4
And be it indeed that I have erred, my error remains with myself.
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Job 19:4-5. Be it that I have erred, &c. — If I have sinned, I myself suffer for my sins, and therefore deserve your pity rather than your reproaches. If you will magnify yourselves, &c. — Use imperious and contemptuous speeches against me; or seek praise from others by outreasoning me: and plead against me my reproach — Declaim against me, and allege my calamities, which have made me contemptible, as an argument to prove me a hypocrite, and condemn me as such.19:1-7 Job's friends blamed him as a wicked man, because he was so afflicted; here he describes their unkindness, showing that what they condemned was capable of excuse. Harsh language from friends, greatly adds to the weight of afflictions: yet it is best not to lay it to heart, lest we harbour resentment. Rather let us look to Him who endured the contradiction of sinners against himself, and was treated with far more cruelty than Job was, or we can be.And be it indeed that I have erred - Admitting that I have erred, it is my own concern. You have a right to reproach and revile me in this manner.

Mine error abideth with myself - I must abide the consequences of the error." The design of this seems to be to reprove what he regarded as an improper and meddlesome interference with his concerns. Or it may be an expression of a willingness to bear all the consequences himself. He was willing to meet all the fair results of his own conduct.

4.erred—The Hebrew expresses unconscious error. Job was unconscious of wilful sin.

remaineth—literally, "passeth the night." An image from harboring an unpleasant guest for the night. I bear the consequences.

If my opinion in this point be faulty and erroneous, as you pretend it is. Or, if I have sinned, (for sin is oft called error in Scripture,) and am therefore punished.

Mine error remaineth with myself; either,

1. It is likely to continue, I see no cause from your reasons to change my judgment. Or,

2. I suffer deeply for my sins, and therefore deserve your pity and help, rather than your reproaches, whereby you add affliction to the afflicted. And be it indeed that I have erred,.... Which is a concession for argument's sake, but not an acknowledgment that he had erred; though it is possible he might have erred, and it is certain he did in some things, though not in that respect with which he was charged; "humanum est errare", all men are subject to mistakes, good men may err; they may err in judgment, or from the truth in some respect, and be carried away for a while and to some degree with the error the wicked, though they shall be turned from it again; they may err in practice, and wander from the way of God's commandments; and indeed their strayings and aberrations of this sort are so many, that David says, "who can understand his errors?" Psalm 19:12; and they may err in words, or make a mistake in speech; but then no man should be made an offender for a word for he must be a perfect man that is free from mistakes of this kind: now Job argues that supposing this to be his case in any of the above instances; yet, says he,

mine error remaineth with myself; I only am chargeable with it, and answerable for it; it is nothing to you, and why should you trouble yourselves about it? it will not be imputed to you, nor will you suffer on account of it; or, admitting I have imbibed an error, I do not publish it abroad; I keep it to myself; it lies and lodges in my own breast, and nobody is the worse for it: or "let it remain", or "lodge with me" (k); Why should my mistakes be published abroad, and all the world be made acquainted with them? or else this expresses his resolution to abide by what his friends called an error; and then the so is, if this is an error which I have asserted, that God afflicts both good and bad men, and that afflictions are no argument of a man's being an hypocrite and a wicked man, I am determined to continue in it; I will not give it up, I will hold it fast; it shall remain with me as a principle never to be departed from; or it may be rather his meaning is, that this notion he had imbibed would remain with him, and was likely to do so, for anything they had said, or could say to the contrary.

(k) "mecum maneat", Beza; to the same sense Mercerus, Schmidt, Junius and Tremellius, Piscator, Michaelis, Schultens.

And be it indeed that I have erred, mine error {b} remaineth with myself.

(b) That is, I myself will be punished for it, or you have not yet consulted it.

4. In this verse Job must mean to repudiate the offences insinuated against him. The precise force of the second clause, however, is obscure. It might mean, “my error is my own and no matter for your intermeddling”; or, “I alone am conscious of it and you can know nothing regarding it,”—in either case a mere passing rejection of the charges of his friends. Or, “had I indeed sinned my error would remain with myself, I should be conscious of it,” cf. ch. 9:36. Ewald’s idea that the “error” which Job alludes to is his mistaken hope of judgment and righteousness on God’s part is less suitable to the connexion.Verse 4. - And be it indeed that I have erred; or, done wrong. Job at no time maintains his impeccability. Sins of infirmity he frequently pleads guilty to, and specially to intemperate speech (see Job 6:26; Job 9:14, 20, etc.). Mine error remaineth with myself; i.e. "it remains mine; and I suffer the punishment." 16 His roots wither beneath,

And above his branch is lopped off.

17 His remembrance is vanished from the land,

And he hath no name far and wide on the plain;

18 They drive him from light into darkness,

And chase him out of the world.

19 He hath neither offspring nor descendant among his people,

Nor is there an escaped one in his dwellings.

The evil-doer is represented under the figure of a plant, Job 18:16, as we have had similar figures already, Job 8:16., Job 15:30, Job 15:32.;

(Note: To such biblical figures taken from plants, according to which root and branch are become familiar in the sense of ancestors and descendants (comp. Sir. 23:25, 40:15; Wisd. 4:3-5; Romans 11:16), the arbor consanguineitatis, which is not Roman, but is become common in the Christian refinement of the Roman right, may be traced back; the first trace of this is found in Isidorus Hispalensis (as also the Cabbalistic tree אילן, which represents the Sephir-genealogy, has its origin in Spain).)

his complete extirpation is like the dying off of the root and of the branch, as Amos 2:9; Isaiah 5:24, and "let him not have a root below and a branch above" in the inscription on the sarcophagus of Eschmunazar. Here we again meet with ימּל, the proper meaning of which is so disputed; it is translated by the Targ. (as by us) as Niph. יתמולל, but the meaning "to wither" is near at hand, which, as we said on Job 14:2, may be gained as well from the primary notion "to fall to pieces" (whence lxx ἐπιπεσεῖται), as from the primary notion "to parch, dry." אמל (whence אמלל, formed after the manner of the Arabic IX. form, usually of failing; vid., Caspari, 59) offers a third possible explanation; it signifies originally to be long and lax, to let anything hang down, and thence in Arab. (amala) to hope, i.e., to look out into the distance. Not the evil-doer's family alone is rooted out, but also his memory. With חוּץ, a very relative notion, both the street outside in front of the house (Job 31:32), and the pasture beyond the dwelling (Job 5:10), are described; here it is to be explained according to Proverbs 8:26 (ארץ וחוצות), where Hitz. remarks: "The lxx translates correctly ἀοικήτους. The districts beyond each persons' land, which also belong to no one else, the desert, whither one goes forth, is meant." So ארץ seems also here (comp. Job 30:8) to denote the land that is regularly inhabited - Job himself is a large proprietor within the range of a city (Job 29:7) - and חוץ the steppe traversed by the wandering tribes which lies out beyond. Thus also the Syr. version transl. 'al apai barito, over the plain of the desert, after which the Arabic version is el-barrı̂je (the synon. of bedw, bâdije, whence the name of the Beduin

(Note: The village with its meadow-land is el-beled wa 'l-berr. The arable land, in distinction from the steppe, is el-ardd el-âmira, and the steppe is el-berrı̂je. If both are intended, ardd can be used alone. Used specially, el-berrı̂je is the proper name for the great Syrian desert; hence the proverb: el-hhurrı̂je fi 'l-berrı̇je, there is freedom in the steppe (not in towns and villages). - Wetzst.)).

What is directly said in Job 18:17 is repeated figuratively in Job 18:18; as also what has been figuratively expressed in Job 18:16 is repeated in Job 18:19 without figure. The subj. of the verbs in Job 18:18 remains in the background, as Job 4:19; Psalm 63:11; Luke 12:20 : they thrust him out of the light (of life, prosperity, and fame) into the darkness (of misfortune, death, and oblivion); so that the illustris becomes not merely ignobilis, but totally ignotus, and they hunt him forth (ינדּהוּ from the Hiph. הנד of the verb נדד, instead of which it might also be ינדהו from נדּה, they banish him) out of the habitable world (for this is the signification of תּבל, the earth as built upon and inhabited). There remains to him in his race neither sprout nor shoot; thus the rhyming alliteration נין and נכד (according to Luzzatto on Isaiah 14:22, used only of the descendants of persons in high rank, and certainly a nobler expression than our rhyming pairs: Germ. Stumpf und Stiel, Mann und Maus, Kind und Kegel). And there is no escaped one (as Deuteronomy 2:34 and freq., Arab. shârid, one fleeing; sharûd, a fugitive) in his abodes (מגוּר, as only besides Psalm 55:16). Thus to die away without descendant and remembrance is still at the present day among the Arab races that profess Dı̂n Ibrâhı̂m (the religion of Abraham) the most unhappy thought, for the point of gravitation of continuance beyond the grave is transferred by them to the immortality of the righteous in the continuance of his posterity and works in this world (vid., supra, p. 386); and where else should it be at the time of Job, since no revelation had as yet drawn the curtain aside from the future world? Now follows the declamatory conclusion of the speech.

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