Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 33:9

‘I am pure, without transgression; I am innocent and there is no guilt in me.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Thompson Chain Reference - Humility-Pride;   Pride;   Self-Justification-Self-Condemnation;   Self-Righteousness;  
Dictionaries:
Fausset Bible Dictionary - Job;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Pit;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elihu;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Innocence;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I am clean - I am pure and holy.

Without transgression - Job had not used these very expressions, nor had he intended to maintain that he was absolutely free from sin; see Job 9:20. He had maintained that he was not chargeable with the transgressions of which his three friends maintained that he was guilty, and in doing that he had used strong language, and language which even seemed to imply that he was without transgression; see Job 9:30; Job 10:7; Job 13:23; Job 16:17.

I am innocent - The word used here (חף chaph ) is from the verb חפף chophaph - to cover, to protect; and also, as a secondary meaning, from the Arabic, to rub, to wipe off; to wash away; to lave. Hence, it denotes that which is rubbed clean, washed, pure - and then innocent. The word occurs only in this place. It is not the exact language which Job had used, and there seems to be some injustice done him in saying that he had employed such language. Elihu means, doubtless, that he had used language which implied this, or which was equivalent to it.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 33:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-33.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I am clean without transgression,.... This with what follows is supposed to be gathered from Job 10:6; for this is nowhere said by Job in express words; though I rather think, since Elihu so peremptorily affirms that they were spoken in his hearing, that these words and the following did drop from Job's lips, in the controversy with his friends, though not recorded; for we are not to suppose that everything that was said on both sides is preserved, only so much as the Holy Ghost thought fit should be: no man is naturally clean, or free from sin; man came clean out of the hands of God, by sin is become unclean. This impurity is propagated by natural generation, and is in all without exception. Job expresses himself clearly on this point, and agreeably to it, Job 14:4; nor is any man clean by and of himself, or through anything he is capable of doing, in a moral, ceremonial, or evangelic sense, to make himself clean; as by moral actions, by ceremonial ablutions and sacrifices, or by submission to evangelic ordinances, or even by his own tears, repentance, and humiliation. Job seemed clearly and fully sensible of this, Job 9:30; see Proverbs 20:9; yet there are some persons that are clean through the blood of Christ, in which they are washed, and which cleanses from all sin; and through the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, in which they appear without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; and through the sentence of justification pronounced on them, by which word spoken they are all clean; and through the grace of God bestowed on them, the clean water that is sprinkled upon them, by which they are cleansed from all filthiness, and hence said to have clean hearts and clean hands; and if Job meant it in this sense, as he had knowledge of his living Redeemer, he no doubt was such an one, Job 19:25, but not "without transgression": without transgression imputed he was, and such are all they whose persons are justified, and their sins pardoned; to those God does not impute sin, Psalm 32:1; but they are not without the being nor commission of sin; for no man, even the best of men, are clear of it in this sense. Job might be free from the grosser sins of life, but not from indwelling sin, and the actings of it; we find him confessing sin, and disclaiming perfection, Job 7:20;

I am innocent; so he was, as to the charges brought against him by his friends, or the things it was insinuated he was guilty of, as hypocrisy, &c. or as to doing any injury to the persons and properties of men, or with respect to gross enormities, from which he had sufficiently cleared himself in Job 31:1; but not so innocent as to be free from all sin, as Adam was in his state of innocence, which is contrary to his own declarations in the passages before referred to; some, as Aben Ezra observes, interpret the word "covered"F6חף "tectus", Montanus, Bolducius. , and as having the same sense with Psalm 32:1; and in which sense it was true of Job, that his iniquities were covered; and others of his being covered with righteousness, with civil righteousness, as in Job 29:14; which was true of the exercise of it; and in an evangelic sense he was covered with the justifying righteousness of Christ; the Targum renders the word "washed", as he was in a spiritual sense. Jarchi interprets it "wiped" or "rubbed", and others combed and brushed, and so "neat" and "clean", which is the sense of several versionsF7"Mundus", Beza; "nitidus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "tersus", Codurcus, Cocceius. :

neither is there iniquity in me; in a Gospel sense there is none in believers in Christ; their iniquities being removed from them to him, and are done away and made an end of by him; nor are they to be seen with the eye of vindictive justice; God has cast them behind his back, and into the depths of the sea, never to be seen more; but then there is iniquity in them, as considered in themselves; for men to say they have none shows pride and ignorance, and is inconsistent with the truth of grace. If Job is to understood in these expressions in an evangelical sense, or with respect to the grossest sins of life, or a vicious course of life (and indeed in no other sense can he well be understood, consistent with himself), he is not to be blamed for what he said, and I apprehend that Elihu does not blame him for saying these things in his own defence; but for insisting so much and so long upon his innocence and purity, and unspotted life; and especially for joining with it undue and unbecoming reflections on the Lord, for afflicting a person so holy and righteous, as follows.

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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 33:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-33.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

I am d clean without transgression, I [am] innocent; neither [is there] iniquity in me.

(d) He repeats Job's words, by which he protested his innocency in various places, but especially in the 13th, 16th and 30th chapters.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 33:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-33.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

clean — spotless.

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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 33:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-33.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me.

Clean — Not absolutely, for he often confesses himself to be a sinner, but no such transgression, as might give God just occasion to punish him so severely, as is implied, where he blames God for finding occasions against him, implying that he had given him none by his sins. And thus far Elihu's charge was just, and herein it differs from the charge of Job's three friends, who often accuse him, for asserting his own innocency; although they did it, because they thought him an hypocrite, whereas Elihu does it upon other grounds, even because Job's justification of himself was accompanied with reflections upon God.

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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 33:9". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-33.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 33:9 I am clean without transgression, I [am] innocent; neither [is there] iniquity in me.

Ver. 9. I am clean without transgression] Clear as the picked glass, without defection.

I am innocent] Heb. Neat and compt, not a hair out of order; as it was objected to Pompey the Great, Nitidus ego, הפ a Syriaca voce חפפ pectere.

Neither is there iniquity in me] Nothing crooked or dishonest. But had Elihu ever heard Job saying thus? Or did not he rather misinterpret his words? Some proud monk hath been heard to say, Non habeo, Domino, quod mihi ignoscas, I have not done anything, Lord, that needeth thy pardon. The reporter of Bellarmine’s life and death telleth us, that when the priest came to absolve him, he could not remember any particular sin he had to confess; till he went back in his thoughts as far as his youth. But good Job had no such conceit of himself, as may appear by many passages of his, as Job 9:2; Job 9:20-21; Job 14:4; &c. Only out of the greatness of his grief, and the unkind usage of his friends (who spared not without all reason to revile him as a most wicked and ungodly liver), he did soon cast out some rash and harsh words against God, {see Job 10:7; Job 16:17; Job 23:10-11; Job 27:5} and hence this accusation here laid against him as a perfectist, or self-justiciary.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 33:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-33.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Not simply and absolutely none, for he oft confesseth himself to be a sinner, as Job 9:1,2, &c.; Job 14:4; but no such transgression or iniquity as might give God just occasion to punish him so severely, as is implied in the next verse, where he blameth God for finding occasions against him, implying that he had given him none by his sins. And thus far Elihu’s charge was just and true, and herein it differs from the charge of Job’s three friends, who oft accuse him, and that in words much like these, for asserting his own righteousness and innocency; although they did it because they thought him a secret sinner and a hypocrite, whereas Elihu doth it upon other grounds, even because Job’s justification of himself was accompanied with reflections upon God, as hath been said.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 33:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-33.html. 1685.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

In me. Job had not said so in express terms, though he had said something to the same purpose. But he had sufficiently explained himself, and Eliu could not be ignorant that he only meant that his present sufferings were not proportioned to his guilt. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 33:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-33.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me.

Clean - spotless.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 33:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-33.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(9) I am clean without transgression.—Job has nowhere used this language; but many of his statements were capable of being so perverted and misrepresented (Job 9:20-21; Job 16:17; Job 23:10-12; Job 27:5-6). This shows that Elihu even was incapable of entering fully into Job’s position. He did not understand that a man could alone be righteous in proportion as he trusted God, but that, trusting God, he was righteous with His righteousness. This was the truth that Job dimly perceived and was faintly, though surely, striving after; and to his friends it was unintelligible, and not wholly apprehended by Elihu.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 33:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-33.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me.
clean
9:17; 10:7; 11:4; 16:17; 23:11,12; 27:5,6; 29:14
innocent
9:23,28; 17:8; Jeremiah 2:35
Reciprocal: Genesis 20:5 - and innocency;  1 Samuel 15:20 - Yea;  Job 7:20 - I have sinned;  Job 32:1 - righteous;  Job 34:5 - I;  Proverbs 30:12 - that are

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 33:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-33.html.