Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 17:4

"For You have kept their heart from understanding, Therefore You will not exalt them.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Job;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Worm;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Exalt;   Job, Book of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

For thou hast hid their heart - This address is to God; and here he is represented as doing that which in the course of his providence he only permits to be done.

Shalt thou not exalt them - This was exactly fulfilled: not one of Job's friends was exalted; on the contrary, God condemned the whole; and they were not received into the Divine favor till Job sacrificed, and made intercession for them.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 17:4". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-17.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For thou hast hid their heart from understanding - That is, the heart of his professed friends. Job says that they were blind and perverse, and indisposed to render him justice; and he therefore pleads that he may carry his cause directly before God. He attributes their want of understanding to the agency of God in accordance with the doctrine which prevailed in early times, and which is so often expressed in the Scriptures, that God is the source of light and truth, and that when people are blinded it is in accordance with his wise purposes; see Isaiah 6:9-10. It is “because” they were thus blind and perverse, that he asks the privilege of carrying the cause at once up to God - and who could blame him for such a desire?

Therefore thou shalt not exalt them - By the honor of deciding a case like this, or by the reputation of wisdom. The name of sage or “wise” man was among the most valued in those times; but Job says that that would not be awarded to his friends. God would not exalt or honor people thus devoid of wisdom.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 17:4". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-17.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For thou hast hid their heart from understanding,.... That is, the hearts of his friends, and therefore they were unfit to undertake his cause, or be sureties for him, or be judges in it. It is the same thing as to hide understanding from their hearts, which God sometimes does in a natural sense; when men like not the knowledge of him, as attainable by the light of nature, he gives them up to reprobate minds, minds void of knowledge and judgment in things natural; and sometimes, in a spiritual sense, he hides men's hearts from the knowledge of things divine and evangelical, and even this he does from the wise and prudent of this world; yea, sometimes he hides the knowledge of his providential dealings with men from his own people, as he did from Asaph, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, and others; and, as it seems, from Job's friends, who therefore mistook his case, and were very unfit and insufficient to determine it:

therefore shalt thou not exalt them; to such honour and dignity, to be umpires, arbitrators, or judges in the case of Job; this God had reserved for another, Elihu, or rather himself, who decided the controversy between Job and his friends, and declared in his favour, and that they had not spoken the thing that was right of him, as his servant Job had done, Job 42:7;

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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 17:4". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-17.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

For thou hast hid their heart from e understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt [them].

(e) That these my afflictions are your just judgments, though man does not know the reason.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 17:4". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-17.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

their heart — The intellect of his friends.

shalt  …  exalt — Rather imperative, “exalt them not”; allow them not to conquer [Umbreit], (Isaiah 6:9, Isaiah 6:10).

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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 17:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-17.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them.

Hid — Thou hast blinded the minds of my friends: therefore I desire a more wise and able judge.

Therefore — Thou wilt not give them the victory over me in this contest, but wilt make them ashamed of their confidence.

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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 17:4". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-17.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 17:4 For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt [them].

Ver. 4. Thou hast hid their heart from understanding] That is, thou hast hidden understanding from their heart, thou hast left them in the dark, destitute of a right judgment, while they condemn me to be a wicked person, because I am grievously afflicted; and thence it is that I do so confidently appeal to thee in Jesus Christ, since my friends are so far mistaken in this controversy. If God give not both light and sight, if he vouchsafe not to irradiate both organ and object, the best will be bemisted. Every good gift and perfect cometh from above, even from the Father of lights, James 1:17. It was he that made Reverend Doctor Sibbs (as one saith of him) spiritually rational and rationally spiritual; one that seemed to see the insides of nature and grace, and the world and heaven, by those perfect anatomies he had made of them all.

Therefore shalt thou not exalt them] Therefore thou shalt not give them honour, so Broughton rendereth it. But that is not all. Litotes est, saith Mercer; it is a figure, wherein less is said, and more is meant; thou shalt not only not exalt them, but thou shalt also abase and humble them; this contestation shall be nothing at all to their commendation in the end. It is sound knowledge of the truth according to godliness, that exalteth a man, and makes him to be accounted of; and the contrary. Howbeit many great and good men have been greatly mistaken in very great controversies and transactions, as was Luther, Doctor resolutus, sed non in omnibus illuminatus. And yet how many learned able men hath his name misled in the point of consubstantiation! Ursin was carried away with it awhile, till he read his arguments, which he found to be little better than an illogical argument. Holy Greenham, when pressed to conformity to the ceremonies, by the bishop of Ely, who urged Luther’s approbation of them; and are you wiser than Luther? his sober and gracious answer was, I reverence more the revealed will of God in teaching Luther so many necessary things to salvation than I search into his secret will, why he hid his heart from understanding in things less necessary.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 17:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-17.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Thou hast blinded the minds of my friends, that they can not see those truths which are most plain and evident to all men of sense and experience; therefore I desire a more wise and able judge.

Therefore shalt thou not exalt them, i.e. thou wilt not give them the victory over me in this contest, but wilt give sentence for me, and discharge them, and make them ashamed of their confidence in affirming falsehoods of thee, and punish them severely for their miscarriage. It is a usual figure, whereby much more is understood than is expressed.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 17:4". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-17.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

4.For — None but God can “undertake” for him! His purblind friends certainly cannot.

Not exalt them — above me. Thou wilt not let them prevail.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 17:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-17.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 17:4. Thou hast hid their heart from understanding — Rather, thou hast hid understanding from their heart. The minds of my friends are so blinded, that they cannot see those truths which are most plain and evident to all men of sense and experience. Hence, I desire a more wise and able judge. Therefore shalt thou not exalt them — Thou wilt not give them the victory over me in this contest, but wilt give sentence for me, and make them ashamed of their confidence in affirming falsehoods of thee, and wilt punish them severely for their misconduct.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 17:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-17.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Understanding. They will not answer for me. They are not of such a generous disposition; nor can they distinguish between the punishment of guilt and the trial of virtue. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 17:4". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-17.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"For You have kept their heart from understanding": Job"s friends were mindless of his innocence.

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 17:4". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-17.html. 1999-2014.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them.

Hid - withheld.

Their heart - the intellect of his friends.

Shalt ... exalt - rather, imperative, exalt them not. Allow them not to conquer (Umbreit). (Isaiah 6:9-10)

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 17:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-17.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(4) Their heart.—i.e., the heart of his friends.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 17:4". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-17.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them.
2 Samuel 15:31; 17:14; 2 Chronicles 25:16; Isaiah 19:14; Matthew 11:25; 13:11; Romans 11:8; 1 Corinthians 1:20
Reciprocal: Job 12:2 - ye are the people;  Job 12:20 - taketh;  Job 12:24 - He taketh;  Job 17:10 - for I;  Job 18:3 - Wherefore;  Job 39:17 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 17:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-17.html.