Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 11:4

"For you have said, ‘My teaching is pure, And I am innocent in your eyes.'
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Self-Righteousness;   Uncharitableness;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Zophar;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Holman Bible Dictionary - God;   Job, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Doctrine;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Clean;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Doctrine;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

My doctrine is pure - לקחי likchi, "my assumptions." What I assume or take as right, and just, and true, are so; the precepts which I have formed, and the practice which I have founded on them, are all correct and perfect. Job had not exactly said, My doctrine and way of life are pure, and I am clean in thine eyes; but he had vindicated himself from their charges of secret sins and hypocrisy, and appealed to God for his general uprightness and sincerity: but Zophar here begs the question, in order that he may have something to say, and room to give vent to his invective.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 11:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-11.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

My doctrine is pure - The Septuagint instead of the word “doctrine” here reads “deeds,” ἔργοις ergois the Syriac, “thou sayest I have acted justly.” But the word used here (לקח leqach ) means properly “fair speech” or “taking arguments,” that by which one is “taken” or captivated, from לקח lâqach “to take.” Then it means doctrine, or instruction, Proverbs 1:5; Proverbs 9:9. Here it means the views which Job had expressed. Dr. Good supposes that it means “conduct,” a word which would suit the connection, but the Hebrew is not used in this sense.

And I am clean in thine eyes - In the eyes of God, or in his sight. This was a false charge. Job had never maintained that he was perfect (compare the notes at Job 9:20); he had only maintained that he was not such a sinner as his friends maintained that he was, a hypocrite, and a man eminent for guilt. His lack of absolute perfection he was ever ready to admit and mourn over.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 11:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-11.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For thou hast said,.... What follows is produced to support the charge, especially of lying, which seems to be founded on what he had said in Job 6:10,

my doctrine is pure; free from error, unadulterated, unmixed, not blended with Heathenish principles and human doctrines; but tending to purity of heart and life, as every word of God, and doctrine that comes from him, is pure, yea, very pure, like silver purified seven times; and such was Job's doctrine which he "received" from God, "took"F25לקחי "doctrina aut oratio mea et sententia mente accepta", Michaelis; so Cocceius; "id quid ab aliis acceptum", Drusius. up and professed, taught and delivered to others, so far as was agreeable to the will of God, and the revelation he had then made: and it appears that Job had very clear and sublime notions of God, of his being and perfections, of his works of nature, providence, and grace; of Christ his living Redeemer, of redemption and justification by him, and of the resurrection of the dead; and had purer and better notions of divine things than his friends had, and spoke better things of God than they did, God himself being witness, Job 42:7; some interpret this of the purity of his life and conversation: he is further charged with saying:

and I am clean in thine eyes: speaking to God, as Jarchi observes; and indeed so he was, and every believer is, in an evangelic sense; as to the new man, which is created in righteousness and true holiness, is without sin, and cannot commit it; and as washed from all sin in the blood of Christ, and as clothed with his righteousness, in which the saints are faultless before the throne, and are unblamable and irreprovable in the sight of God: but Zophar's meaning is, that Job had asserted that he was entirely free from sin in himself, was wholly without it, and did not commit any; and had appealed to God, as knowing it to be true; and which he seems to have grounded on what he had said, Job 10:7; through a mistake of his sense; which was not that he was free from sin entirely, but from any gross notorious sin, or from a wicked course of living, and particularly from the sin of hypocrisy, his friends suggested he was guilty of; otherwise he confesses himself a sinner, and prays for the pardon of his sins, and disclaims perfection in himself; see Job 7:20; and indeed there is no creature in itself clean in the sight of God, either angels or men; every man is naturally unclean; no good man is without sin, without the being, indwelling, and commission of it; nor will any truly gracious man say he is; he knows otherwise, and acknowledges it; he that says he is must be an ignorant man, or a vain and pharisaical man; yea, must not say the truth: some have suspected the first part of the words to be Job's, "and I am clean": and the other Zophar's explaining them; that is, "in thine eyes"F26Vid. Schultens in loc. ; in his own apprehension, as if he had a high and conceited opinion of himself.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 11:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-11.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

For thou hast said, b My doctrine [is] pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.

(b) He charges Job with this, that he should say, that the thing which he spoke was true, and that he was without sin in the sight of God.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 11:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-11.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

doctrine — purposely used of Job‘s speeches, which sounded like lessons of doctrine (Deuteronomy 32:2; Proverbs 4:2).

thine — addressed to God. Job had maintained his sincerity against his friends suspicions, not faultlessness.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 11:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-11.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.

Doctrine — Concerning God and his providence.

Clean — I am innocent before God; I have not sinned either by my former actions, or by my present expressions. But Zophar perverts Job's words, for he did not deny that he was a sinner, but only that he was an hypocrite.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 11:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-11.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 11:4 For thou hast said, My doctrine [is] pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.

Ver. 4. For thou hast said] Thou hast confidently affirmed; and this he makes to be a loud lie, and not an idle word only. But where and when had Job said it? Did not Zophar openly play the sophister, so interpreting what Job had spoken, Job 6:10; Job 9:22; Job 10:7, in defence of his innocence, as if Job had maintained that he was free from all sin; whereas, notwithstanding, he had very often witnessed and confessed himself to be a sinner, insomuch as that albeit he were without sin, yet he could not be accounted clear and pure in the sight of God? But Zophar took these for good words only, and was therefore so sharply set against him. So Cyril and Theodoret mistook one another, and objected heresy mutually; when afterwards it appeared that they were both of one judgment. Charity would have taught Zophar to have taken Job in a better sense, and to have said of him, as Cruciger did of Luther, eum commodius sentire quam loquitur dum effervescit, that he held right, though in his heat he spake not so fitly as might be wished. Good men’s words are reverenter glossanda (as one said of the laws), to have a reverent gloss put upon them, and not, by a spiritual unmannerliness, to be taken with the left hand, when they might and ought to be taken with the right.

My doctrine is pure] Clear as crystal, transparent as a crystal glass with a light in the midst; you may see through it, and find no flaw or filth in it. Job was no professed preacher, yet he had "not concealed the words of the Holy One," Job 6:10. As he had received the knowledge of the truth from parents and teachers (the word here rendered doctrine comes from a root that signifieth to receive), so he had freely and purely imparted it to others, commending it unto them as sound and sincere, and therefore well worthy of all acceptation. But that which troubled Zophar and his two fellows was, that Job should affirm that God did afflict good men in this world as heavily as bad men, which yet was an irrefragable truth, such as Job resolved to live and die in.

And I am clean in thine eyes] i.e. I am not sinless, but sincere and upright, no hypocrite (as you have charged me), no worker of iniquity, but one that would be cleansed from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and do, by the daily practice of mortification, purify myself as God is pure. More than this Job said not, though Zophar thought he did, and therefore wisheth in the next words that God himself would convince him of his error.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 11:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-11.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 11:4. Thou hast said, my doctrine is pure The Hebrew signifies my way of life, my morals, or conduct. Mr. Chappelow rightly observes, that this phrase is the same as is made use of by St. Paul, Acts 26:4. Η'βιωσις μου, my way of life.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 11:4". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-11.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

My doctrine, concerning God and his providence. Pure, i.e. true and certain.

I am clean in thine eyes; I am innocent before God; I have not sinned, either by my former actions, or by my present expressions. Thou standest wholly upon thy justification. But Zophar aggravates and perverts Job’s words, for he did not deny that he was a sinner in God’s sight, Job 7:20,21 9:2,3 10:14, but only that he was a hypocrite or ungodly man, as they made him.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 11:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-11.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4.Doctrine is pure — Not that he had used just such an expression, but this was the quintessence of Job’s speech.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 11:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-11.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 11:4. Thou hast said, My doctrine — Concerning God and his providence; is pure — That is, true and certain. The word לקחי, likchi, according to R. Levi, signifies consuetudo mea, et dispositio mea, my way and manner of life; the same that St. Paul calls η βιωσις μου; my way of life. See Chappelow. And I am clean in thine eyes — I am innocent before God: I have not sinned either by my former actions or by my present expressions. But Zophar aggravates and perverts Job’s words; for he did not deny that he was a sinner in God’s sight; but only that he was a hypocrite or ungodly man, as they thought him to be.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 11:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-11.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Sight. Job had just said the reverse, chap. ix. 2. (St. Chrysostom)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 11:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-11.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

He is also upset because Job has been trying to justify himself and proclaim his innocence.

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 11:4". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-11.html. 1999-2014.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.

Thou hast said, My doctrine is pure - purposely used of Job's speeches, which sounded like lessons of doctrine. "My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew" (Deuteronomy 32:2; Proverbs 4:2).

And I am clean in thine eyes - addressed to God. Job had maintained his sincerity against his friends' suspicions, not faultlessness.

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 11:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-11.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) Clean in thine eyes is variously referred to God, to mortal men (Job 11:3), and to Job himself (Job 32:1). The first seems most to be preferred, for at all events Job had hypothetically spoken of himself as righteous before God (Job 10:15). (Comp. Job 9:30. &c.) Zophar, therefore, who professes superior wisdom, desires that God would show Job how far short he falls of it: that He would show him the hidden things, the secrets of wisdom; for sound wisdom is manifold: it has many aspects, and lies as it were fold over fold in unexpected complexities, defying the shallow and unscrutinising gaze; and were He to do this, Job would find out to his dismay that God still credited him part of the penalty due to him.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 11:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-11.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes.
For thou
6:10; 10:7; 1 Peter 3:15
I am clean
6:29,30; 7:20; 9:2,3; 14:4; 34:5,6; 35:2
Reciprocal: Exodus 38:21 - tabernacle of testimony;  Job 9:14 - shall I;  Job 33:9 - clean

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 11:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-11.html.