Wesley's Notes on the Bible
Lo, mine eye hath seen all this, mine ear hath heard and understood it.
13:1 Lo - All this which either you or I have discoursed concerning the infinite power and wisdom of God. I know, both by seeing it, by my own observation and experience, and by hearing it from my ancestors.
What ye know, the same do I know also: I am not inferior unto you.
Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.
13:3 Surely - I had rather debate the matter with God than with you. I am not afraid of presenting my person and cause before him, who is a witness of my integrity.
But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.
O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom.
Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips.
Will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him?
Will ye accept his person? will ye contend for God?
13:8 Accept - Not judging according to the right of the cause, but the quality or the person.
Is it good that he should search you out? or as one man mocketh another, do ye so mock him?
He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly accept persons.
Shall not his excellency make you afraid? and his dread fall upon you?
Your remembrances are like unto ashes, your bodies to bodies of clay.
13:12 Remembrance - Mouldering and coming to nothing. And the consideration of our mortality should make us afraid of offending God. Your mementos are like unto ashes, contemptible and unprofitable.
Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me what will.
Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine hand?
13:14 Wherefore - And this may be a reason of his desire of liberty of speech, because he could hold his tongue no longer, but must needs tear himself to pieces, if he had not some vent for his grief. The phrase having his life in his hand, denotes a condition extremely dangerous.
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.
Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears.
13:17 Hear - He now comes more closely to his business, the foregoing verse s being mostly in way of preface.
Behold now, I have ordered my cause; I know that I shall be justified.
13:18 Behold - I have seriously considered the state of my case, and am ready to plead my cause.
Who is he that will plead with me? for now, if I hold my tongue, I shall give up the ghost.
13:19 The ghost - My grief would break my heart, if I should not give it vent.
Only do not two things unto me: then will I not hide myself from thee.
Withdraw thine hand far from me: and let not thy dread make me afraid.
13:21 Withdraw - Suspend my torments during the time of my pleading with thee, that my mind may be at liberty. Do not present thyself to me in terrible majesty, neither deal with me in rigorous justice.
Then call thou, and I will answer: or let me speak, and answer thou me.
13:22 Then - This proposal savoured of self - confidence, and of irreverence towards God; for which, and the like speeches, he is reproved by God, chap.38:2,3 40:2.
How many are mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin.
13:23 My sin - That I am a sinner, I confess; but not that I am guilty of such crimes as my friends suppose, if it be so, do thou, O Lord, discover it.
Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and holdest me for thine enemy?
Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro? and wilt thou pursue the dry stubble?
13:25 Leaf - One that can no more resist thy power, than a leaf, or a little dry straw can resist the wind or fire.
For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth.
13:26 Writest - Thou appointest or inflictest. A metaphor from princes or judges, who anciently used to write their sentences.
Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks, and lookest narrowly unto all my paths; thou settest a print upon the heels of my feet.
And he, as a rotten thing, consumeth, as a garment that is moth eaten.
13:28 He - He speaks of himself in the third person, as is usual in this and other sacred books. So the sense is, he, this poor frail creature, this body of mine; which possibly he pointed at with his finger, consumeth or pineth away.