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Bible Commentaries
Job 9

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-35



Verses 1-35:

Verses 1, 2 relate that Job responded to Bildad’s adversarial address by conceding that he was a sinner, but he did not know how to be justified or acquitted, how to understand or receive release from his suffering, affliction and sorrow. He raised the question, "how can man be just with God?" It is not by morality, ethics, or good works. But Job’s question seems to be deeper, meaning how can a righteous man who suffers and is-afflicted be justified with, or recognized as justified before God, when he suffers severe affliction and loss before men? Job 8:3; Psalms 143:2; Romans 3:20; Romans 3:26.

Verse 3 asserts that if one should contend with or question the motives and acts of God, he could not, in one instance in a thousand, give a valid objection to Divine decisions and actions, v. 15; In the end God asked Job question after question. To not one could Job give an answer, Job 38:1 to Job 41:14.

Verse 4 affirms that he, "God," is "wise in heart or understanding, and mighty in strength," as set forth Job 36:5. God’ confounds the most mighty in power, 1 Corinthians 1:25-28; 1 Corinthians 3:18-20. Note his dealings with Pharoah in Egypt and Belshazzar and Nebuchadnezzar in Babylon, and Herod in Israel, Exodus ch. 11-15:21; Daniel 5:17-23; Daniel 5:30; Acts 12:20-25. Job inquires just who has hardened himself against the Lord and prospered? Only the obedient of the Lord should prosper, Psalms 1:3; Proverbs 29:1.

Verse 5 adds that this God of omniscience and omnipotence, of all knowledge and all power removeth mountains or wicked governments and empires, overturning them in His judgment anger; and they do not recognize it, are unaware in their rebellion and spiritual blindness.

Verse 6 declares that this mighty God has absolute control of His universe, at all times, so that nothing happens to it, except it be by His directive or permissive will. -Even in earthquakes, the shocking of earth’s foundation, his hand is there to steady, when the quake of His anger has become silent, like the calm after the storm, Exodus 19:18; Psalms 75:3; Isaiah 2:19; Isaiah 2:21; Isaiah 24:20; Isaiah 26:7; Haggai 2:6; Haggai 2:21; Hebrews 12:26.

Verses 7, 8 add that it is this mighty, intelligent, living God who speaks and controls the sun, interrupting it, causing it to stand still, or rise and move at His Lordly direction, Joshua 10:2-14. He seals up the stars, eclipses her maker and obeys her Lord. It is He who spreadeth out (continually sustains), upholds the heavens and walks upon the waves of the sea, as though they were streets of crystal, Isaiah 40:23; Psalms 104:2. Our Lord demonstrated that He was God come down to earth when He walked upon the waters of the Sea of Galilee, Matthew 14:26.

Verses 9, 10 further witness that this living, mighty God has made, therefore, yet controls Arcturus, Orion, Pleiades, and their constellations; As well as the chambers of the south, their southernmost companions of influence in directing Marines at sea or travelers over land, Genesis 1:16; Job 38:31; Amos 5:8. They do great things, beyond comprehension, as they obediently serve their creator. The idea is, should men do less? Job 5:9-16.

Verse 11 asserts that this invisible God passed by Job, as a General reviews soldiers, or a Lord observes, takes inventory of his servants. Yet Job did not physically see Him, Job 23:8; Though He was as real as the wind that blows-, or the spirit that convicts, and speaks to men, Isaiah 21:1; John 3:8; Romans 8:14-26; Hebrews 3:7-8.

Verse 12 adds that this mighty, living God, "taketh away," suddenly, violently (in the piel stem) unexpectedly, as He wills. Then Job asks, just who is able, powerful enough to hinder, obstruct, or prevent him? Or just who would presume to question, even dare ask Him," Just what are you doing?" Isaiah 29:16; Isaiah 45:9; Jeremiah 18:5; Romans 9:20.

Verse 13 concludes that "if God will not (voluntarily) withdraw His anger," the proud helpers, the arrogant adversaries of God, who join with other enemies, will but fall beneath his heavy hand of anger and Divine judgment, Job 26:12; Isaiah 30:7-14.

Verses 14, 15 recount Job’s questioning resignation to the sovereign acts of God. If one doesn’t dare arrogantly resist the words and wisdom of his master or his king, how much more wisdom there is in avoiding critically questioning, adversary-like dispute with the mighty, living, all wise God. He would instead make a respectful supplication or appeal for mercy, help, or compassion, as an accused before a judge, Job 9:20; Job 10:15; Luke 18:14 b; 1 Corinthians 4:4.

Verses 16, 17 relate that if he had called the Lord, as judge, to hear his case or complaint in court, and he had submitted his complaint, he would not believe the "Lord-judge," had hearkened or ruled favorably because of his continuing affliction to that moment. He added that the Lord had broken and still broke him like a tempest, as a tree is stripped of its fruit and leaves in a mighty storm, Job 13:22. He concludes that his wounds were multiplied without an earthly cause, so far as he knew. It was not because of any known wilful sin in his life, See? Job 2:3; Job 16:17; Job 34:6; Psalms 25:3; Psalms 69:4; Proverbs 1:11; Matthew 5:22; John 15:25; 1 Peter 2:19-20.

Verses 18, 19 express Job’s further complaint that the Lord will not permit him to breathe, get his breath, swallow his spittal, except he do it with bitterness, suffering, and pain, a thing he could not then understand, but accepted, Job 7:19. If Job spoke of strength none was strong enough to contend with God; and if he spoke of wisdom or judgment regarding justice and right, none was superior in judicial knowledge, to hear his cause, than this living God, in whom Job trusted, Job 2:9-10; Job 13:15; Jeremiah 49:19.

Verses 20, 21 are a concession of Job that he does not consider himself to be perfect, nor would he dare contend such in a court of Divine equity, 1Kg 8:46; Ecclesiastes 7:20. Should he attempt such he asserted that he would find his own mouth entrapping, betraying, or condemning him before the high court of Divine justice and he would be found perverse, twisted, deformed, or warped as he related to the absolute righteousness of God, Job 15:6; Luke 19:22.

Verse 22 concludes that this is Job’s judgment of his afflicted condition. God destroys or brings to great suffering and loss both the perfect (upright and mature) and the wicked, as the law of sin and death strikes the good and the bad, as a result of natural, inherent, inborn depravity, James 1:15; Ezekiel 21:3. This he maintained before his friends, Job 4:7; Luke 13:5. Great suffering does not’ prove great personal sin, else Jesus would not have so suffered, Ecclesiastes 9:2; 1 Peter 2:21-24.

Verse 23 relates that if or when the Lord slays or scourges the wicked suddenly, the innocent too may "pine away" or wail in affliction, as God laughs at the trial (testing) of the innocent, knowing that he is working eventual joy and happiness and triumph for the life of that person, Romans 5:3-5; 1 Peter 4:12-16.

Verse 24 adds that the earth is given into the hand of the wicked, even the "wicked one" for a time. God covers the faces of the judges, causes or permits them to be blind in administering judgment, for a time. But He Himself judges or tests no one unjustly, 2 Samuel 15:30; 2 Samuel 19:4; Jeremiah 14:4.

Verses 25, 26 express Job’s view of the brevity of life. He compares the brevity of life with the news carriers of the day, the fastest mode of carrying royal messages on dromedaries or by fast running footmen, 1 Peter 3:10; Job 7:6-7. He adds that his days of life are rapidly slipping away like a swift sailing ship, ships of Ebeh, made of papyrus reed, sailed on the Nile river in Egypt. And like a rocketing eagle that descends as lighting on its prey. The idea is that he realized his life would soon be gone, finished among men, Isaiah 18:2; Job 14:1-2.

Verses 27, 28 testify of Job’s uncertainty of the purpose of his continuing affliction as he asserted that if he should leave off all his complaining, his sorrowing, and all his sorrows, he would still fear all his sorrows that had befallen him, and that God would not hold him to be innocent of a need for the trials that had been brought on him by Satan, Exodus 20:7; Ecclesiastes 7:20; 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Verses 29-31 explain that if Job were wicked, then why should he labor in vain to find escape from his afflictions, for he could not withstand God. He is convinced God is right in permitting his affliction. He adds that if he should wash himself with snow water, considered more nearly clean or pure than common water, yet the Lord would plunge him into the ditch, so that his own hands and clothes of contaminated putrefaction would abhor him or cause him to be abhorred. He realized that he had no self-righteousness that would commend him to God, Psalms 73:13; Jeremiah 2:22; Isaiah 64:6; Titus 3:5.

Verse 32 witnesses that God is not a man, a mere man, as Job was. So that he could not dispute with God, or enter controversy with him in a legal court, as he might with a man who was like himself, Ecclesiastes 6:10; Isaiah 45:9; Jeremiah 49:19; Romans 9:20.

Verse ,33 asserts that there was no daysman, arbitrator, mediator, or umpire between Job and God to lay his hand on both and say, "I will intervene fairly as a disinterested party." But in matters of offense there is for us a mediator, even Jesus Christ, our advocate, mediator and intercessor, 1 Samuel 2:25; 1 Timothy 2:15; 1 John 2:1-2; Hebrews 7:25.

Verses 34, 35 conclude that Job appealed for God to "remove the rod," or take away the affliction Satan had laid upon him, to terrify him. He seems to know that Satan had inflicted, grief and anxiety, though God had permitted it, and God alone could remove the pain and sorrow. Job asserts that until the rod of affliction was taken from him, he would have fear or reverence toward the Lord, and not dare try to vindicate himself any more against him as a king ­absolute, who could be both accuser and judge, Job 21:9; Job 27:13; Proverbs 20:2; Romans 8:15; 1 John 4:18; Isaiah 12:1-2.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Job 9". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/job-9.html. 1985.
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