Job 9

1 Then Job answered, 2 “Truly I know that it is so, but how can man be just with God? 3 If he is pleased to contend with him, he can’t answer him one time in a thousand. 4 God who is wise in heart, and mighty in strength: who has hardened himself against him, and prospered? 5 He removes the mountains, and they don’t know it, when he overturns them in his anger. 6 He shakes the earth out of its place. Its pillars tremble. 7 He commands the sun, and it doesn’t rise, and seals up the stars. 8 He alone stretches out the heavens, and treads on the waves of the sea. 9 He makes the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, and the rooms of the south. 10 He does great things past finding out; yes, marvelous things without number. 11 Behold, he goes by me, and I don’t see him. He passes on also, but I don’t perceive him. 12 Behold, he snatches away. Who can hinder him? Who will ask him, ‘What are you doing?’ 13 “God will not withdraw his anger. The helpers of Rahab stoop under him. 14 How much less shall I answer him, And choose my words to argue with him? 15 Though I were righteous, yet I wouldn’t answer him. I would make supplication to my judge. 16 If I had called, and he had answered me, yet I wouldn’t believe that he listened to my voice. 17 For he breaks me with a storm, and multiplies my wounds without cause. 18 He will not allow me to catch my breath, but fills me with bitterness. 19 If it is a matter of strength, behold, he is mighty! If of justice, ‘Who,’ says he, ‘will summon me?’ 20 Though I am righteous, my own mouth shall condemn me. Though I am blameless, it shall prove me perverse. 21 I am blameless. I don’t respect myself. I despise my life. 22 “It is all the same. Therefore I say he destroys the blameless and the wicked. 23 If the scourge kills suddenly, he will mock at the trial of the innocent. 24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked. He covers the faces of its judges. If not he, then who is it? 25 “Now my days are swifter than a runner. They flee away, they see no good, 26 They have passed away as the swift ships, as the eagle that swoops on the prey. 27 If I say, ‘I will forget my complaint, I will put off my sad face, and cheer up;’ 28 I am afraid of all my sorrows, I know that you will not hold me innocent. 29 I shall be condemned. Why then do I labor in vain? 30 If I wash myself with snow, and cleanse my hands with lye, 31 yet you will plunge me in the ditch. My own clothes shall abhor me. 32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, that we should come together in judgement. 33 There is no umpire between us, that might lay his hand on us both. 34 Let him take his rod away from me. Let his terror not make me afraid; 35 then I would speak, and not fear him, for I am not so in myself.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 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.

Verses 14–21

Job is still righteous in his own eyes, ch. 32:1, and this answer, though it sets forth the power and majesty of God, implies that the question between the afflicted and the Lord of providence, is a question of might, and not of right; and we begin to discover the evil fruits of pride and of a self-righteous spirit. Job begins to manifest a disposition to condemn God, that he may justify himself, for which he is afterwards reproved. Still Job knew so much of himself, that he durst not stand a trial. If we say, We have no sin, we not only deceive ourselves, but we affront God; for we sin in saying so, and give the lie to the Scripture. But Job reflected on God’s goodness and justice in saying his affliction was without cause.

Verses 22–24

Job touches briefly upon the main point now in dispute. His friends maintained that those who are righteous and good, always prosper in this world, and that none but the wicked are in misery and distress: he said, on the contrary, that it is a common thing for the wicked to prosper, and the righteous to be greatly afflicted. Yet there is too much passion in what Job here says, for God doth not afflict willingly. When the spirit is heated with dispute or with discontent, we have need to set a watch before our lips.

Verses 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.

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