Job 9:1
Then Job answered and said,
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Job 9:1. Then Job answered and said — “In reply to Bildad, Job begins with hinting, that their opinions seemed a little to clash; Eliphaz had insisted, from revelation, that the common failings of men were a sufficient justification of providence, even in the most afflicting dispensations. Bildad says, if he were pure and upright, God would interpose in his behalf. Job replies, that all this is very true; but the difficulty is, to be thus pure and upright: ‘for I am not exempt from the common failings of men: if, therefore, they are sufficient to account for the great calamities which have befallen me, I am still without a remedy. As to God’s power and wisdom, I am as thoroughly convinced, and can give as many instances of it as you; and, therefore, I know it is in vain for me to contend with him, Job 9:2-13. I have nothing left but to acknowledge my own vileness, and to make my supplication to him, Job 9:14-19. But yet, as to any heinous crimes, beyond the common infirmities of human nature, these I disclaim; and let the event be what it will, I will rather part with my life than accuse myself wrongfully. And whereas you affirm, that affliction is an infallible mark of guilt, you quite mistake the matter; for afflictions are indifferently assigned to be the portion of the innocent and the guilty. God, indeed, sometimes in his anger destroys the wicked; but, doth he not as frequently afflict the innocent? The dispensations of providence, in this world, are frequently such, that, were it not that God now and then lets loose his fury against them, one would be almost tempted to imagine the rule of this world was delivered over into the hands of wicked men, Job 9:21-24. As for my own part, my days are almost come to an end: it is therefore labour lost for me to plead the cause of my innocence: besides, that in the sight of God I must appear all vileness; so that it is not for such a one as me to pretend to put myself on a level with him. And, even though I were able to do so, there is no one that hath sufficient authority to judge between us, Job 9:25-33. Yet, were it his pleasure to grant me a little respite, I could say a great deal in my own vindication; but, as matters stand, I dare not; for which reason my life is a burden to me, and my desire is, it may speedily come to an end, chap. 10. Job 9:1, to the end. I would, however, expostulate a little with the Almighty.’ And here he enters into the most beautiful and tender pleading which heart can conceive; ending, as before, with a prayer, that his sufferings and life might soon come to a period; and that God would grant him some little respite before his departure hence.” — Heath and Dodd.

9:1-13 In this answer Job declared that he did not doubt the justice of God, when he denied himself to be a hypocrite; for how should man be just with God? Before him he pleaded guilty of sins more than could be counted; and if God should contend with him in judgment, he could not justify one out of a thousand, of all the thoughts, words, and actions of his life; therefore he deserved worse than all his present sufferings. When Job mentions the wisdom and power of God, he forgets his complaints. We are unfit to judge of God's proceedings, because we know not what he does, or what he designs. God acts with power which no creature can resist. Those who think they have strength enough to help others, will not be able to help themselves against it.They that hate thee shall be clothed with shame - When they see your returning prosperity, and the evidences of the divine favor. They will then be ashamed that they regarded you as a hypocrite, and that they reproached you in your trials.

And the dwelling-place of the wicked ... - The wicked shall be destroyed, and his family shall pass away. That is, God will favor the righteous, but punish the wicked. This opinion the friends of Job maintain all along, and by this they urge him to forsake his sins, repent, and return to God.



Job 9:1-35. Reply of Job to Bildad.Job’s answer: man cannot stand in judgment with God, because of his justice, wisdom, and power, which are unsearchable, Job 9:1-11. All help or reason against God is vain; nor can we answer him; but must supplicate to our Judge, Job 9:12-15. God’s sovereignty, and our vileness before him, Job 9:16-21. The godly are punished as well as the wicked by general calamities and wicked oppression, Job 9:22-24. His time swift; his sorrows bitter: if wicked, he could not clear himself; nor would God hold him innocent, Job 9:25-31; yet wisheth for a daysman, and a removal of Divine terror; then would he before God maintain his innocency, Job 9:32-35.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Then Job answered and said. Without taking notice of Bildad's harsh expressions and severe censures, or his unfriendliness to him; he enters directly into the argument, grants some things, confutes others, and defends himself and his conduct. Then Job answered and said,
2. It is not quite easy to see what form of the maxim of the friends it is to which Job gives his sneering assent in this verse, when he says, To be sure I know that it is so. In Job 9:10 he quotes words from Eliphaz, ch. Job 5:9, verbatim, and he may refer to the form in which this speaker put forward the principle common to them all, Shall man be righteous before God? ch. Job 4:17. In this case the second member of the verse merely explains the words that it is so,

Of a truth I know that it is so:

How shall man be righteous with God?

Job, however, gives a different turn to the words, meaning by them, How shall man substantiate his righteousness, and make it to appear, when he has to maintain it in the face of the overpowering might of God? (Job 9:3). Or, Job may attach his reply to Bildad’s question, Will God pervert right? (ch. Job 8:3). To which he replies: Of course—but how shall man have right with God? God’s power makes right. Job does not quibble with words. He speaks from the point of view of his own circumstances and the construction which he put on them. His afflictions were proof that God held him guilty, while his own conscience declared his innocence. But he was helpless against God’s judgment of him. In the view of his friends and all men, and even himself, his afflictions were God’s verdict against him. And his answer is that man must be guilty before God because he cannot contend with an omnipotent power resolved to hold him guilty.

Verses 1-35. - Job, in answer to Bildad, admits the truth of his arguments, but declines to attempt the justification which can alone entitle him to accept the favourable side of Bildad's alternative. Man cannot absolutely justify himself before God. It is in vain to attempt to do so. The contest is too unequal. On the one side perfect wisdom and absolute strength (ver. 4); on the other, weakness, imperfection, ignorance. guilt (vers. 17-20). And no "daysman," or umpire, between them; no third party to hold the balance even, and preside authoritatively over the controversy, and see that justice is done (vers. 33-35). Were it otherwise, Job would not shrink from the controversy; but he thinks it ill arguing with omnipotent power. What he seems to lack is the absolute conviction expressed by Abraham in the emphatic words'" Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25). Verses 1, 2. - And Job answered and said, I know it is so of a truth. "I freely admit," is., "all that has been said." God would not cast away a perfectly righteous man (Job 8:20); and, of course, he punishes evil-doers. But, applied practically, what is the result? How should man be just with God? or, before God? Apart from any knowledge of the doctrine of original or inherited sin, each man feels, deep in his heart, that he is sinful - "a chief of sinners." Bradford looks upon the murderer as he mounts the scaffold, and says, "But for the grace of God, there goes John Bradford!" Job has a similar conviction, that in the sight of God, righteousness, such as it is, shrinks away into insignificance, and is as nothing, cannot anyhow be relied upon. Such must be the attitude before God of every human soul that is not puffed up with pride or utterly insensate and sunk in apathy. Job 9:1 1 Then Job began, and said:

2 Yea, indeed, I know it is thus,

And how should a man be just with God!

3 Should he wish to contend with God,

He could not answer Him one of a thousand.

4 The wise in heart and mighty in strength,

Who hath defied Him and remained unhurt?

Job does not (Job 9:1) refer to what Eliphaz said (Job 4:17), which is similar, though still not exactly the same; but "indeed I know it is so" must be supposed to be an assert to that which Bildad had said immediately before. The chief thought of Bildad's speech was, that God does not pervert what is right. Certainly (אמנם, scilicet, nimirum, like Job 12:2), - says Job, as he ironically confirms this maxim of Bildad's, - it is so: what God does is always right, because God does it; how could man maintain that he is in the right in opposition to God! If God should be willing to enter into controversy with man, he would not be able to give Him information on one of a thousand subjects that might be brought into discussion; he would be so confounded, so disarmed, by reason of the infinite distance of the feeble creature from his Creator. The attributes (Job 9:4) belong not to man (Olshausen), but to God, as Job 36:5. God is wise of heart (לב equals νοῦς) in putting one question after another, and mighty in strength in bringing to nought every attempt man may make to maintain his own right; to defy Him (הקשׁה, to harden, i.e., ערף, the neck), therefore, always tends to the discomfiture of him who dares to bid Him defiance.

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