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Job’s Third Speech (continued)
1-12. Job claims to understand as much about God as the friends. He rejects their opinion as to the cause of his troubles, and regards it as an attempt to curry favour with God.
1. The v. is in close connexion with Job 12. Eye refers to Job 12:7-8, ear to Job 12:13.: cp. Job 12:11
3. Surely] rather, ’but.’ Job seeks an explanation from God, not from man.
4. Forgers] better, ’plasterers,’ i.e. they plaster their lies over God’s misgovernment and hide its evils.
7, 8. ’Does God require His actions to be defended by their untruths and servile flattery?’ The friends condemned Job unjustly in order to uphold God’s justice. They were special pleaders for God, because they wanted to curry favour with Him.
8, 10. Accept] RV ’respect.’ The phrase is used of a judge who shows partiality. Considerations of self-interest lead them to give God their verdict and not Job.
9. ’Do they think they can deceive God with their partiality? He penetrates their cowardly motives.’
10. Job believes that God will not approve of those who lie for Him, an assertion of God’s righteousness in remarkable contrast to the assertions of His unrighteousness.
12. RV ’Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, your defences are defences of clay.’ Job regards their view as worthless, and their arguments such as any one could refute.
13-22. He turns from man, and boldly pleads his cause with God.
14, 15. Render, with a slight alteration, ’I will take my flesh in my teeth and I will put my life in my hand (be daring). Lo, he will slay me: I have no hope, but I will maintain my words before him.’ The meaning of the phrase ’to take the flesh in the teeth’ is uncertain. Probably it signifies just the same as to ’put the life in the hand,’ which means to dare the uttermost peril. Job is resolved to speak out, though he feels that God will kill him for doing it.
16. He] RV ’This.’ The v. may mean that God would pardon his boldness but not a false confession of sin: see Job 42:7.
18. Ordered my cause] i.e. prepared his defence.
19. Plead with] RV ’contend with’: to prove him a sinner. For now, etc.] RV ’For now shall I hold my peace and give up the ghost’: i.e. if his innocence were disputed. Note how in prospect of his case coming into court Job’s spirits rise. He is so certain of his innocence that he cannot believe that it can help being established. The axiom on which this rests is his conviction of God’s righteousness, once more a strange contrast to his charges against Him.
20, 21. Job begs that God will free him from the sense of terror which he naturally feels. Thy dread] i.e. dread of Thee.
23-28. He seeks to know his sins, and the reasons of God’s treatment.
26. Possess] RV ’inherit.’ Job thinks he must be suffering for his early follies.
27. Stocks] rather, ’clog,’ to prevent slaves escaping. Thou settest, etc] lit. ’Thou dost make a mark upon the roots of my feet,’ perhaps, i.e. make them sore with the clog upon them.
28. And he, etc.] RV ’Though I am like a rotten thing that consumeth’; an allusion to his miserable state.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Job 13". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Sixth Week after Easter