Job 9:33
Neither is there any judge between us, that might lay his hand on us both.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
9:25-35 What little need have we of pastimes, and what great need to redeem time, when it runs on so fast towards eternity! How vain the enjoyments of time, which we may quite lose while yet time continues! The remembrance of having done our duty will be pleasing afterwards; so will not the remembrance of having got worldly wealth, when it is all lost and gone. Job's complaint of God, as one that could not be appeased and would not relent, was the language of his corruption. There is a Mediator, a Daysman, or Umpire, for us, even God's own beloved Son, who has purchased peace for us with the blood of his cross, who is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God through him. If we trust in his name, our sins will be buried in the depths of the sea, we shall be washed from all our filthiness, and made whiter than snow, so that none can lay any thing to our charge. We shall be clothed with the robes of righteousness and salvation, adorned with the graces of the Holy Spirit, and presented faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. May we learn the difference between justifying ourselves, and being thus justified by God himself. Let the tempest-tossed soul consider Job, and notice that others have passed this dreadful gulf; and though they found it hard to believe that God would hear or deliver them, yet he rebuked the storm, and brought them to the desired haven. Resist the devil; give not place to hard thoughts of God, or desperate conclusions about thyself. Come to Him who invites the weary and heavy laden; who promises in nowise to cast them out.Neither is there any daysman - Margin, One that should argue, or, umpire. The word daysman in English means " "an umpire or arbiter, a mediator." Webster. Why such a man is called a daysman I do not know. The Hebrew word rendered "daysman" מוכיח môkı̂yach is from יכח yâkach, not used in the Qal, to be before, in front of; and then to appear, to be clear, or manifest; and in the Hiphil, to cause to be manifest, to argue, prove, convince; and then to argue down, to confute, reprove; see the word used in Job 6:25 : "What doth your arguing reprove?" It then means to make a cause clear, to judge, determine, decide, as an arbiter, umpire, judge, Isaiah 11:3; Genesis 31:37. Jerome renders it, "Non est qui utrumque valeat arguere." The Septuagint, "if there were, or, O that there were a mediator ὁ μεσίτης ho mesitēs, and a reprover (καί ἐλέγχων kai elengchōn), and one to hear us both" (καί διακούων ἀναμέτον ἀυφοτέρων kai diakouōn anameton amphoterōn).

The word as used by Job does not mean mediator, but arbiter, umpire, or judge; one before whom the cause might be tried, who could lay the hand of restraint on either party. who could confine the pleadings within proper bounds, who could preserve the parties within the limits of order and propriety, and who had power to determine the question at issue. Job complains that there could be no such tribunal. He feels that God was so great that the cause could be referred to no other, and that he had no prospect of success in the unequal contest. It does not appear, therefore, that he desired a mediator, in the sense in which we understand that word - one who shall come between us and God, and manage our cause before him, and be our advocate at his bar. He rather says that there was no one above God, or no umpire uninterested in the controversy, before whom the cause could be argued, and who would be competent to decide the matter in issue between him and his Maker. He had no hope, therefore, in a cause where one of the parties was to be the judge, and where that party was omnipotent; and he must give up the cause in despair.

It is not with strict propriety that this language is ever applied to the Lord Jesus, the great Mediator between God and man. He is not an umpire to settle a dispute, in the sense in which Job understood it; he is not an arbiter, to whom the cause in dispute between man and his Maker is to be referred; he is not a judge to listen to the arguments of the respective parties, and to decide the controversy. He is a mediator between us and God, to make it proper or possible that God should be reconciled to the guilty, and to propose to man the terms of reconciliation; to plead our cause before God, and to communicate to us the favors which he proposes to bestow on man.

That might lay his hand upon us both - It is not improbable that this may refer to some ancient ceremony in courts where, for some cause, the umpire or arbiter laid his hand on both the parties. Or, it may mean merely that the umpire had the power of control over both the parties; that it was his office to restrain them within proper limits, to check any improper expressions, and to see that the argument was fairly conducted on both sides. The meaning of the whole here is, that if there were such an umpire, Job would be willing to argue the cause. As it was, it was a hopeless thing, and he could do nothing more than to be silent. That there was irreverence in this language must be admitted; but it is language taken from courts of law, and the substance of it is, that Job could not hope to maintain his cause before one so great and powerful as God.

33. daysman—"mediator," or "umpire"; the imposition of whose hand expresses power to adjudicate between the persons. There might be one on a level with Job, the one party; but Job knew of none on a level with the Almighty, the other party (1Sa 2:25). We Christians know of such a Mediator (not, however, in the sense of umpire) on a level with both—the God-man, Christ Jesus (1Ti 2:5). Daysman; or, a reprover; or, a judge or umpire, whose office was to reprove the guilty person. That might lay his hand upon us both, i.e. use his power and authority to appoint the time and place of our meeting, to order and govern us in pleading, and to oblige us to stand to his decision. The

hand is oft put for power, and laying on the hand upon another was ofttimes an act and sign of superiority and dominion. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us,.... Or "one that reproves" (q); who upon hearing a cause reproves him that is found guilty, or is blameworthy, or has done injury to another; but there is no such person to be found, among angels or men, capable of this, supposing, as if Job should say, I should appear to be the injured person; or there is no "umpire" or "arbitrator" (r), to whom the case between us can be referred; for, as Bar Tzemach observes, he that stands in such a character between two parties must be both more wise and more mighty than they; but there is none among all beings wiser and mightier than God:

that might lay his hand upon us both; and restrain them from using any violence to one another, as contending persons are apt to do; and compromise matters, settle and adjust things in difference between them, so as to do justice to both, and make both parties easy, and make peace between them. Herodotus (s) makes mention of a custom among the Arabians,"when they enter into covenants and agreements with each other, another man stands in the midst of them both, and with a sharp stone cuts the inside of the hands of the covenanters near the larger fingers; and then takes a piece out of each of their garments, and anoints with the blood seven stones that lie between them; and while he is doing this calls upon a deity, and when finished the covenant maker goes with his friends to an host or citizen, if the affair is transacted with a citizen; and the friends reckon it a righteous thing to keep the covenant.''To which, or some such custom, Job may be thought to allude. Now, whereas Christ is the daysman, umpire and mediator between God and men, who has interposed between them, and has undertaken to manage affairs relating to both; in things pertaining to God, the glory of his justice, and the honour of his law, and to made reconciliation for the sins of men, and to make peace for them with God by the blood of his cross; which he has completely done, being every way qualified for it, inasmuch as he partakes of both natures, and is God and man in one person, and so could put his hand on both, and make both one; or bring them who were at variance to an entire agreement with each other, upon such a bottom, as even the strict justice of God cannot object unto. Now, I say, Job must not be understood as if he was ignorant of this, for he had knowledge of Christ as a Redeemer and Saviour, and so as the Mediator and Peacemaker; the Septuagint version renders it as a wish, "O that there was a mediator between us!" and so it may be considered as a prayer for Christ's incarnation, and that he would appear and do the work of a mediator he was appointed to, which Job plainly saw there was great need of; or, as others (t), "there is no daysman yet"; there will be one, but as yet he is not come; in due time he will, which Job had faith in and full assurance of: but there is no need of such versions and glosses: Job is here not speaking of the affair of salvation, about which he had no doubt, he knew his state was safe, and he had an interest in the living Redeemer and blessed Mediator; but of the present dispensation of Providence, and of the clearing of that up to the satisfaction of his friends, so that he might appear to be an innocent person; and since God did not think fit to change the scene, there was none to interpose on his behalf, and it was in vain for him to contend with God.

(q) "arguens", Montanus, Bolducius, Drusius; "redarguens", Vatablus, Mercerus. (r) "Arbiter", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Schultens. (s) Thalia, sive, l. 3. c. 8. (t) So some in Caryll.

Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, {a} that might lay his hand upon us both.

(a) Who might make an accord between God and me, speaking of impatience, and yet confessing God to be just in punishing him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
33. any daysman] i. e. any umpire, or, arbiter. The word possibly comes from the Lat. diem dicere, to fix a day for hearing a cause.

For what art thou

That mak’st thyself his dayes-man to prolong

The vengeance prest?

Spenser, Fae. Q. ii. 8. 28. (Wright, Bible Word-Book.)

lay his hand] i. e. impose his authority on both, and do justice between the two. There is no prophecy of the incarnation in these verses. But there is a cry of the human heart amidst its troubles that it might meet and see God as a man. Then man’s relations to Him might be understood and adjusted. That the cry is uttered under a misconception of God and of the meaning of His providence does not make the expression of man’s need any the less real or touching, for in our great darkness here misconceptions of God prevail so much over true conceptions of Him.Verse 33. - Neither is there any daysman betwixt us; literally 'judge or arbitrator called a "daysman," since he appoints the day on which the arbitration is to come off. The LXX. renders by μεσίτης, "mediator." That might lay his hand upon us bosh. Moderate between us, that is; keep us both in cheek; assert an authority to which we must both submit. 25 My days were swifter than a runner,

They fled away without seeing prosperity,

26 They shot by as ships of reeds,

As an eagle which dasheth upon its prey.

27 If my thought is: I will forget my complaint,

I will give up my dark looks and look cheerful;

28 I shudder at all my pains,

I feel that Thou dost not pronounce me innocent.

Such, as described in the preceding strophe, is the lot of the innocent in general, and such (this is the connection) is also Job's lot: his swiftly passing life comes to an end amidst suffering, as that of an evil-doer whom God cuts off in judgment. In the midst of his present sufferings he has entirely forgotten his former prosperity; it is no happiness to him, because the very enjoyment of it makes the loss of it more grievous to bear. The days of prosperity are gone, have passed swiftly away without טובה, i.e., without lasting prosperity. They have been swifter רץ מנּי. By reference to Job 7:6, this might be considered as a figure borrowed from the weaver's loom, since in the Coptic the threads of the weft (fila subteminis) which are wound round the shuttle are called "runners" (vid., Ges. Thesaurus); but Rosenmller has correctly observed that, in order to describe the fleetness of his life, Job brings together that which is swiftest on land (the runners or couriers), in water (fast-sailing ships), and in the air (the swooping eagle). עם, Job 9:26, signifies, in comparison with, aeque ac. But we possess only a rather uncertain tradition as to the kind of vessels meant by אבה אניות. Jerome translates, after the Targ.: naves poma portantes, by which one may understand the small vessels, according to Edrisi, common on the Dead Sea, in which corn and different kinds of fruits were carried from Zoar to Jericho and to other regions of the Jordan (Stickel, S. 267); but if אבה were connected with אב, we might rather expect אבּה, after the form אשּׁה (from אשׁ), instead of אבה. Others derive the word from אבה, avere: ships of desire, i.e., full-rigged and ready for sea (Gecatilia in Ges. Thes. suppl. p. 62), or struggling towards the goal (Kimchi), or steering towards (Zamora), and consequently hastening to (Symmachuc, σπευδούσαις), the harbour; but independently of the explanation not being suited to the description, it should then be accented beh, after the form נדה, קצה, instead of bh. The explanation, ships of hostility (Syr.),

(Note: Luther also perhaps understood pirate ships, when he translated, "wie die starcken Schiff.")

i.e., ships belonging to pirates or freebooters, privateers, which would suit the subject well, is still less admissible with the present pointing of the text, as it must then be אבה (איבה), with which the Egyptian uba, against, and adverse (contrarius), may be compared. According to Abulwalid (Parchon, Raschi), אבה is the name of a large river near the scene of the book of Job; which may be understood as either the Babylonian name for river Arab. 'bby, or the Abyssinian name of the Nile, ab; and אבה may be compared with לבנה in relation to the Arabic, lubna. But a far more satisfactory explanation is the one now generally received, according to the comparison with the Arabic abâ'un, a reed (whence abaa-t-un, a reed, a so-called n. unitatis): ships made from reeds, like גּמא כּלי, Isaiah 18:2, vessels of papyrus, βαρίδες παπύριναι. In such small ships, with Egyptian tackling, they used to travel as far as Taprobane. These canoes were made to fold together, plicatiles, so that they could be carried past the cataracts; Heliodorus describes them as ὀξυδρομώτατα.

(Note: There is no Egyptian word which can be compared to אבה, whereas han (hani) or an (ana) in Egyptian, like the Hebrew אניה, means a ship (vid., Chabas, Le Papyrus magique Harris, p. 246, No. 826, cf. pp. 33, 47); it is written with the sign for set equals downwards, since they fastened a stone at the front of the vessel, as was even known to Herodotus, in order to accelerate its speed in descending the river. From this one might conjecture for the passage before us אבן אניות equals swift sailers.)

The third figure is the eagle, which swoops down upon its prey; טוּשׂ, like Chaldee טוּס, by which the Targ. translates השׁ, Habakkuk 1:8; Grtz' conjecture of ישׁוּט (which is intended to mean flutters) is superfluous. Just as unnecessary is it, with Olshausen, to change אמרי אם into אמרתי אם: "if my saying (thinking)" is equivalent to, "as often as I say (think)." פנים is here (as in the German phrase, ein Gesicht machen) an ill-humoured, distorted, wry face. When Job desires to give up this look of suffering and be cheerful (הבליג, like Job 10:20, hilaritatem prae se ferre, vultum hilarem induere), the certainty that he is not favoured of God, and consequently that he cannot be delivered from his sufferings, all his anguish in spite of his struggles against it comes ever afresh before his mind. It is scarcely necessary to remark that תנקני is addressed to God, not to Bildad. It is important to notice that Job does not speak of God without at the same time looking up to Him as in prayer. Although he feels rejected of God, he still remains true to God. In the following strophe he continues to complain of God, but without denying Him.

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