Job 23:4
I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
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23:1-7 Job appeals from his friends to the just judgement of God. He wants to have his cause tried quickly. Blessed be God, we may know where to find him. He is in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself; and upon a mercy-seat, waiting to be gracious. Thither the sinner may go; and there the believer may order his cause before Him, with arguments taken from his promises, his covenant, and his glory. A patient waiting for death and judgment is our wisdom and duty, and it cannot be without a holy fear and trembling. A passionate wishing for death or judgement is our sin and folly, and ill becomes us, as it did Job.I would order my cause before him - Compare the notes at Isaiah 43:26. That is, I would arrange my arguments, or plead my cause, as one does in a court of justice. I would suggest the considerations which would show that I am not guilty in the sense charged by my friends, and that notwithstanding my calamities, I am the real friend of God.

And fill my mouth with arguments - Probably he means that he would appeal to the evidence furnished by a life of benevolence and justice, that he was not a hypocrite or a man of distinguished wickedness, as his friends maintained.

4. order—state methodically (Job 13:18; Isa 43:26).

fill, &c.—I would have abundance of arguments to adduce.

I would orderly declare the things which concern and prove the right of my cause; not only debating the controversy between my friends and me, concerning my sincerity or hypocrisy before God, as a witness or judge; but also pleading with God as a party, and modestly inquiring whether he doth not deal more rigorously with me than I might reasonably expect, wherein I desire no other judge but himself.

Fill my mouth with arguments, to prove my innocency and sincerity towards God, and consequently that am severely used. I would order my cause before him,.... Either, as a praying person, direct his prayer to him, and set it in order before him, see Psalm 5:3; or else as pleading in his own defence, and in justification of himself; not of his person before God, setting his works of righteousness in order before him, and pleading his justification on the foot of them; for, by these no flesh living can be justified before God; but of his cause, for, as a man may vindicate his cause before men, and clear himself from aspersions cast upon him, as Samuel did, 1 Samuel 12:5; so he may before God, with respect to the charges he is falsely loaded with, and may appeal to him for justice, and desire he would stir up himself, and awake to his judgment, even to his cause, and plead it against those that strive with him, as David did, Psalm 35:1;

and fill my mouth with arguments; either in prayer, as a good man may; not with such as are taken from his goodness and righteousness, but from the person, office, grace, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ, and from the declarations of God's grace, and the promises of his word; or else as in a court of judicature, bringing forth his strong reasons, and giving proofs of his innocence, such as would be demonstrative, even convincing to all that should hear, and be not only proofs for him, and in his favour, but reproofs also, as the word (c) signifies, to those that contended with him.

(c) "increpationibus", V. L. and so Montanus, Beza, Mercerus, Drusius, Schultens.

I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
Verse 4. - I would order my cause before him. Job has put away the feelings of shame and diffidence, which were predominant with him when he said, "How should man be just with God? If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand" (Job 9:2, 3); and again, "How much less shall I answer him, and cheese out my words to reason with him? Whom, though I were righteous, yet would I not answer; but I would make my supplication to my Judge" (Job 9:14, 15). He now wishes to contend and argue and reason. This is quite in accordance with our experience. Many am the moods of man - various and conflicting his desires! His mind never continues long in one stay. And fill my mouth with arguments (comp. Psalm 38:14, where our translators render the same word by "reproofs," but where "arguments" or "pleadings" would be more appropriate). The LXX. has there ἐλεγμοὶ, and in the present passage ἔλεγχοι. The word is forensic. 26 For then thou shalt delight thyself in the Almighty,

And lift up they countenance to Eloah;

27 If thou prayest to Him, He will hear thee,

And thou shalt pay thy vows.

28 And thou devisest a plan, and it shall be established to thee,

And light shineth upon thy ways.

29 If they are cast down, thou sayest, "Arise!"

And him that hath low eyes He saveth.

30 He shall rescue him who is not guiltless,

And he is rescued by the purity of thy hands.

כּי־אז might also be translated "then indeed" (vid., on Job 11:15), as an emphatic resumption of the promissory והיה (tum erit), Job 22:25; but what follows is really the confirmation of the promise that God will be to him a rich recompense for the earthly treasures that he resigns; therefore: for then thou shalt delight thyself in the Almighty (vid., the primary passage, Psalm 37:4, and the dependent one, Isaiah 58:14; comp. infra, Job 27:10), i.e., He will become a source of highest, heartfelt joy to thee (על as interchanging with בּ by שׂמח). Then shall he be able to raise his countenance, which was previously depressed (נפלוּ, Genesis 4:6.), in the consciousness of his estrangement from God by dearly cherished sin and unexpiated guilt, free and open, confident and joyous, to God. If he prays to Him (תּעתּיר may be thus regarded as the antecedent of a conditional clause, like יברח, Job 20:24), He will hear him; and what he has vowed in prayer he will now, after that which he supplicated is granted, thankfully perform; the Hiph. העתּיר (according to its etymon: to offer the incense of prayer) occurs only in Exodus 8-10 beside this passage, whereas גּזר (to cut in pieces, cut off) occurs here for the first time in the signification, to decide, resolve, which is the usual meaning of the word in the later period of the language. On ותגזר (with Pathach, according to another reading with Kametz-chatuph), vid., Ges. 47, rem. 2. Moreover, the paratactic clauses of Job 22:28 are to be arranged as we have translated them; קוּם signifies to come to pass, as freq. (e.g., Isaiah 7:7, in connection with היה, to come into being). That which he designs (אמר) is successful, and is realized, and light shines upon his ways, so that he cannot stumble and does not miss his aim, - light like moonlight or morning light; for, as the author of the introductory Proverbs, to which we have already so often referred as being borrowed from the book of Job (comp. Job 21:24 with Proverbs 3:8), ingeniously says, ch. Job 4:18 : "The path of the righteous is as the morning light (כּאור נגהּ, comp. Daniel 6:20), which shineth brighter and brighter into the height of day (i.e., noonday brightness)."

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