If you be righteous, what give you him? or what receives he of your hand?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Psalm 16:2; much less any goodness of theirs: their best works of righteousness are due to him, and not gifts; and though they may contribute to his manifestative glory, both in them that do them and in others that see them, they can add nothing to the essential glory of God;
or what receiveth he of thine hand? He can receive nothing but what he has given, or what he has a prior right to and is his due, and so cannot be laid under any obligation to man by what he does; nor can man merit anything at his hand, not even the least temporal mercy, and much less spiritual ones and everlasting life: and what notice God is pleased to take of the good works of men, in away of reward, is not of debt, but of grace, and entirely owing to his goodness; and does not arise from any intrinsic worth in them, or from any advantage to him by them.If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? or what receiveth he of thine hand?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 7. - If thou be righteous, what givest thou him? By parity of reasoning, as our sins do not injure God, so our righteousness cannot benefit him. As David says, "My goodness extendeth not to thee" (Psalm 16:2). Or what receiveth he of thine hand? All things being already God's, we can but give him of his own. We cannot really add to his possessions, or to his glory, or to his felicity. We cannot, as some have supposed they could ('Religions of the Ancient World,' pp. 143, 144), lay him under an obligation.
2 Dost thou consider this to be right,
Sayest thou: my righteousness exceedeth God's,
3 That thou sayest, what advantage is it to thee,
What doth it profit me more than my sin?
4 I will answer thee words,
And thy companions with thee.
The neutral זאת, Job 35:2, refers prospectively to כּי־תאמר, Job 35:3: this that thou sayest. חשׁב with acc. of the obj. and ל of the predicate, as Job 33:10, comp. Job 13:24, and freq. The second interrogative clause, Job 35:2, is co-ordinate with the first, and the collective thought of this ponderous construction, Job 35:2, Job 35:3, is this: Considerest thou this to be right, and thinkest thou on this account to be able to put thy righteousness above the divine, that, as thou maintainest, no righteousness on the side of God corresponds to this thy righteousness, because God makes no distinction between righteousness and the sin of man, and allows the former to go unrewarded? צדקי (for which Olsh. wishes to read צדקתּי, as Job 9:27 אמרתי for אמרי) forms with מאל a substantival clause: justitia mea est prae Deo (prae divina); מן comparative as Job 32:2, comp. on the matter Job 34:5, not equivalent to ἀπό as Job 4:17. כי־תאמר is first followed by the oratio obliqua: what it (viz., צדקך) advantageth thee, then by the or. directa (on this change vid., Ew. 338, a): what profit have I((viz., בצדקי), prae peccato meo; this מן is also comparative; the constantly ambiguous combination would be allowable from the fact that, according to the usage of the language, "to obtain profit from anything" is expressed by הועיל בּ, not by הועיל מן. Moreover, prae peccato meo is equivalent to plus quam inde quod pecco, comp. Psalm 18:24, מעוני, Hosea 4:8 אל־עונם. We have already on Job 34:9 observed that Job has not directly said (he cites it, Job 21:15, as the saying of the ungodly) what Elihu in Job 35:3 puts into his mouth, but as an inference it certainly is implied in such utterances as Job 9:22. Elihu's polemic against Job and his companions (רעיך are not the three, as lxx and Jer. translate, but the אנשׁי און, to whom Job is likened by such words as Job 34:8, Job 34:36) is therefore not unauthorized; especially since he assails the conclusion together with its premises. In the second strophe the vindication of the conclusion is now refuted.
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