Job 27:4
My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.
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27:1-6 Job's friends now suffered him to speak, and he proceeded in a grave and useful manner. Job had confidence in the goodness both of his cause and of his God; and cheerfully committed his cause to him. But Job had not due reverence when he spake of God as taking away his judgment, and vexing his soul. To resolve that our hearts shall not reproach us, while we hold fast our integrity, baffles the designs of the evil spirit.My lips shall not speak wickedness - This solemn profession made on oath might have done something to allay the suspicions of his friends in regard to him, and to show that they had been mistaken in his character. It is a solemn assurance that he did not mean to vindicate the cause of wickedness, or to say one word in its favor; and that as long as he lived he would never be found advocating it.

Nor my tongue utter deceit - I will never make any use of sophistry; I will not attempt to make "the worse appear the better reason;" I will not be the advocate of error. This had always been the aim of Job, and he now says that no circumstance should ever induce him to pursue a different course as long as he lived. Probably he means, also, as the following verse seems to imply, that no consideration should ever induce him to countenance error or to palliate wrong. He would not be deterred from expressing his sentiments by any dread of opposition, or even by any respect for his friends. No friendship which he might have for them would induce him to justify what he honestly regarded as error.

4. (Job 6:28, 30). The "deceit" would be if he were to admit guilt against the witness of his conscience. I will speak nothing but the truth with all plainness and impartiality, neither defending myself and cause by vain and false professions of those virtues or graces which I know I have not; nor yet, in compliance with your desire and design, falsely accusing myself of those crimes wherewith you charge me, whereof I know myself to be innocent.

My lips shall not speak wickedness,.... This is the thing he swears to, this the matter of his oath, not only that he would not speak a wicked word not anything corrupt, unsavoury, unchaste, profane, and idle nor speak evil of his neighbours and friends or of any man; but that he would not speak wickedly of himself, as he must do, if he owned himself to be a wicked man and an hypocrite as his friends charged him, and they would have had him confessed; but he swears he would not utter such wickedness as long as he had any breath in him:

nor my tongue utter deceit; which respects the same thing; not merely any fallacy or lie, or what might impose upon and deceive another, which yet he was careful of; but such deceit and falsehood as would be a belying himself, which would be the case should he say that he was devoid of integrity and sincerity.

{b} My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit.

(b) However men judge me, yet will I not speak contrary to that which I have said, and so do wickedly in betraying the truth.

4. my lips shall not] Rather, do not. These words contain Job’s oath. He swears that he is sincere and speaks truly; comp. ch. Job 6:28. The words refer to his utterances in general, especially in regard to himself, but naturally in the main, as the connexion requires, to his assertions in regard to his innocence of wrong-doing (Job 27:5-6).

Verse 4. - My lips shall not speak wickedness. Nothing shall induce him, Job says, to speak knowingly wicked words. Nor my tongue utter deceit. Neither will he be induced, whatever happens, to utter untruth. A confession of guilt, such as his friends have endeavoured to extort from him, would be both wicked and false. Job 27:4 1 Then Job continued to take up his proverb, and said:

2 As God liveth, who hath deprived me of my right,

And the Almighty, who hath sorely saddened my soul -

3 For still all my breath is in me,

And the breath of Eloah in my nostrils -

4 My lips do not speak what is false,

And my tongue uttereth not deceit!

5 Far be it from me, to grant that you are in the right:

Till I die I will not remove my innocence from me.

6 My righteousness I hold fast, and let it not go:

My heart reproacheth not any of my days.

7 Mine enemy must appear as an evil-doer,

And he who riseth up against me as unrighteous.

The friends are silent, Job remains master of the discourse, and his continued speech is introduced as a continued שׂאת משׁלו (after the analogy of the phrase נשׂא קול), as in Numbers 23:7 and further on, the oracles of Balaam. משׁל is speech of a more elevated tone and more figurative character; here, as frequently, the unaffected outgrowth of an elevated solemn mood. The introduction of the ultimatum, as משׁל, reminds one of "the proverb (el-methel) seals it" in the mouth of the Arab, since in common life it is customary to use a pithy saying as the final proof at the conclusion of a speech.


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