New American Standard Bible
"Wise in heart and mighty in strength, Who has defied Him without harm?
King James Bible
He is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?
Darby Bible Translation
He is wise in heart and mighty in strength: who hath hardened himself against him, and had peace?
World English Bible
God who is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who has hardened himself against him, and prospered?
Young's Literal Translation
Wise in heart and strong in power -- Who hath hardened toward Him and is at peace?
Job 9:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
He is wise in heart - Herder renders this,
Even the wise and the powerful,
Who hath withstood him and prospered?
But the more common interpretation is to refer it to God. The meaning of Job appears to be, that God was a sagacious adversary; that he was able to manage his cause; that he could meet and refute all objections which could be urged; and that it would be in vain to engage in a litigation before him. He so well understood the whole ground of debate, and was so entirely skilled in the merits of the controversy, and could so successfully meet all that could be alleged, that it was useless to attempt to hold an argument with him.
And mighty in strength - He is able to execute all his designs, and to carry all his purposes into effect. Man is weak and feeble, and it is hopeless for him to attempt to contend with the Almighty.
Who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered? - To harden oneself, here means to resist or withstand him. It refers to the firmness or resolution which one is obliged to adopt who opposes another. Here it means the opposition which man makes to the law and government of the Most High; and the affirmation is, that no one can make such opposition who will not be ultimately overcome. God is so great, so powerful, and so just, that a successful resistance cannot be made. The arrangements of God will take their course, and man must yield to his claims and his government, or be prostrated. None can successfully resist God; and the true policy of man, as well as his duty, is to yield to him, and be at peace with him.
And hath prospered - Or been successful. He has failed in his opposition, and been obliged to yield. Prosperity is not found in opposing God. It is only by falling in with his arrangements and following his designs. A prosperous voyage is made by falling in with winds and currents, and not in opposing them; prosperous agriculture is carried on by coinciding with the favorable seasons of the year, and taking advantage of the dews, and rains, and sunbeams that God sends, and not in opposing them; prosperity in regard to health is found in taking advantage of the means which God gives to secure it, and not in opposing them. And the sinner in his course has no more chance of success and prosperity, than a man would have who should make it a point or principle of life always to sail against tides, and currents, and head winds; or he who should set at defiance all the laws of husbandry, and plant on a rock, or in the dead of winter; or he who should feed himself on poison rather than on nutritious food, and cultivate the nightshade rather that wheat. The great principle is, that if a man desires prosperity, he must fall in with the arrangements of God in his providence and grace; and wisdom is seen in studying these arrangements, and in yielding to them.
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
2 Chronicles 13:12
"Now behold, God is with us at our head and His priests with the signal trumpets to sound the alarm against you. O sons of Israel, do not fight against the LORD God of your fathers, for you will not succeed."
"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?
And show you the secrets of wisdom! For sound wisdom has two sides. Know then that God forgets a part of your iniquity.
"With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding.
"Would He contend with me by the greatness of His power? No, surely He would pay attention to me.
"But He drags off the valiant by His power; He rises, but no one has assurance of life.
"Dominion and awe belong to Him Who establishes peace in His heights.
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