New American Standard Bible
"If it is a matter of power, behold, He is the strong one! And if it is a matter of justice, who can summon Him?
King James Bible
If I speak of strength, lo, he is strong: and if of judgment, who shall set me a time to plead?
Darby Bible Translation
Be it a question of strength, lo, he is strong; and be it of judgment, who will set me a time?
World English Bible
If it is a matter of strength, behold, he is mighty! If of justice, 'Who,' says he, 'will summon me?'
Young's Literal Translation
If of power, lo, the Strong One; And if of judgment -- who doth convene me?
Job 9:19 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
If I speak of strength, lo, he is strong - There has been a considerable variety in the interpretation of this passage. The meaning seems to be this. It refers to a judicial contest, and Job is speaking of the effect if he and God were to come to a trial, and the cause were to be settled before judges. He is urging reasons why he would have no hope of success in such a case. He says, therefore, "If the matter pertained only to strength, or if it were to be determined by strength, lo, he is more mighty than I am, and I could have no hope of success in such a controversy: and if the controversy was one of judgment, that is, of justice or right, I have no one to manage my cause - no one that could cope with him in the pleadings - no one who could equal him in setting forth my arguments, or presenting my side of the case. It would, therefore, be wholly an unequal contest, where I could have no hope of success; and I am unwilling to engage in such a controversy or trial with God. My interest, my duty, and the necessity of the case, require me to submit the case without argument, and I will not attempt to plead with my Maker." That there was a lack of right feeling in this, must be apparent to all.
There was evidently the secret belief that God had dealt with him severely; that he had gone beyond his deserts in indicting pain on him, and that he was under a necessity of submitting not so much to justice and right as to mere power and sovereignty. But who has not had something of this feeling when deeply afflicted? And yet who, when he has had it, has not felt that it was far from being what it should be? Our feeling should be, "we deserve all that we suffer, and more than we have yet endured. God is a sovereign; but He is right. Though he afflicts us much, and others little, yet it is not because he is unjust, but because he sees that there is some good reason why we should suffer. That reason may be seen yet by us, but if not, we should never doubt that it exists."
Who shall set me a time to plead? - Noyes renders this, "Who shall summon me to trial?" Dr. Good, "Who should become a witness for me?" The sense is, "Who would summon witnesses for me? If it was a mere trial of strength, God is too mighty for me; if it were a question of justice, who would compel witnesses to come on my side? Who could make them willing to appear against God, and to bear testimony for me in a controversy with the Almighty?"
LibraryWashed to Greater Foulness
Turning to my text, let me say, that as one is startled by a shriek, or saddened by a groan, so these sharp utterances of Job astonish us at first, and then awake our pity. How much are we troubled with brotherly compassion as we read the words,--"If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean; yet shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall abhor me!" The sense of misery couched in this passage baffles description. Yet this is but one of a series, in which sentence …
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 32: 1886
The Power of God
Whether Man Can Know that He Has Grace?
Opposition to Messiah in Vain
"Wise in heart and mighty in strength, Who has defied Him without harm?
"There is no umpire between us, Who may lay his hand upon us both.
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