Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 36:9

Then He declares to them their work And their transgressions, that they have magnified themselves.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Righteous;   The Topic Concordance - Death;   Deliverance;   Disobedience;   God;   Hearing;   Obedience;   Perishing;   Poverty;   Prosperity;   Righteousness;   Service;   Wrath;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Afflictions Made Beneficial;  
Dictionaries:
Fausset Bible Dictionary - Joseph;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Elihu;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Affliction;   Exceed;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He showeth them their work - He shows them the exceeding sinfulness of sin.

That they have exceeded - יתגברו yithgabbaru, "that they have strengthened themselves," and did not trust in the living God; and therefore they would not help themselves when trouble came.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 36:9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-36.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Then he showeth them their work - What their lives have been. This he does either by a messenger sent to them Job 33:23, or by their own reflections Job 33:27, or by the influences of his Spirit leading them to a proper review of their lives. The object of their affliction, Elihu says, is to bring them to see what their conduct has been, and to reform what has been amiss. It should not be interpreted either as proof that the afflicted are eminently wicked, as the friends of Job maintained, or as furnishing an occasion for severe reflections on the divine government, such as Job had indulged in. It is all consistent with an equitable and kind administration; with the belief that the afflicted have true piety - though they have wandered and erred; and with the conviction that God is dealing with them in mercy, and not in the severity of wrath. They need only recal the errors of their lives; humble themselves, and exercise true repentance, and they would find afflictions to be among even their richest blessings.

Transgressions that they have exceeded - Or, rather, “he shows them their transgressions that they have been very great”; that they have made themselves great, mighty, strong - יתגברוּ yitgâbarû The idea is, that their transgressions had been allowed to accumulate, or to become strong, until it was necessary to interpose in this manner, and check them by severe affliction. All this was consistent, however, with the belief that the sufferer was truly pious and might find favor if he would repent.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 36:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-36.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Job 36:9

Then He sheweth them their work, and their transgression that they have exceeded.

Showing up our transgressions

I. General remarks on the text.

1. Sin is properly attributable to man. It is “their work.” If God suffers moral evil to exist, He is not the author of it. Satan may tempt, but cannot constrain to the commission of sin. The whole guilt of it lies upon the offender. It first exists as simple apprehension, is then approved, and, being conceived in the heart, it brings forth actual transgression, until it is finished in death.

2. It is the prerogative of God effectually to convince men of sin; or, “to show unto them their work.” No man ever saw his sinfulness in a proper light until it was thus discovered to him.

3. The Lord frequently imparts this knowledge in a season of affliction: “then” it shows unto men their work. It was in deep adversity that Job was made to possess the iniquities of his youth, to recollect what had been long forgotten, and to feel the burden of his guilt.

4. The knowledge of our sinfulness is necessary to true repentance, and to our believing in Christ for eternal life. Sorrow for sin, confessing and forsaking it, will be the immediate effect. An irreconcilable hatred to sin, and an earnest desire to have it mortified and subdued, will be the necessary consequence of a true conviction of its evil nature.

II. In what respects the Lord may be said to “show unto men their transgressions.”

1. He makes known to them the fact that they are sinners, and that their transgressions are their own.

2. The Lord convinces them not only of the fact, but also of the evil of sin, and causes them to repent of that, as well as of its consequences.

3. When persons are truly convinced Of sin, the Lord not only shows them their work end their transgression, but also” that they have exceeded.” They are made to see that they have sinned with a high hand. God employs various means, and accompanies them with various effects. God often renews the discovery of sin in our later experience. (B. Beddom,, M. A.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Job 36:9". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/job-36.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Then he showeth them their work,.... Either what they ought to do, so the Tigurine version; and which they have not done, their sins of omission; when they have been negligent either of the duty of prayer in private and public, or of attendance on the ordinances of the house of God; then he sends an affliction, and by it, as in a glass, presents to their view the omissions they have been guilty of: or else the work which they have done, and should not have done, their sins of commission: sin is a work at which some toil and labour, and weary themselves to commit; it is a work of the flesh; and so it is in good men; it is a man's own work, and which he can work of himself; to have a will, and to do good works, is owing to God working in his people, and it is through him strengthening them they do them; but sin fill works are their own act and deed, though tempted to them by others, and which they are able to do of their own freewill and power. Now God, in the glass of affliction, holds forth to view the sinful actions of good men, and brings them to their remembrance which they had forgotten; as the cases of Joseph's brethren, David, and others, prove: the Lord shows them that they have done such actions, and shows them the evil of them, how exceeding sinful they are; and humbles them under a sense of them, and brings them to repentance for them, and the acknowledgment of them; which sense is confirmed by the next clause, which explains what this their work is,

and their transgressions that they have exceeded. Sin is a transgression of the law, 1 John 3:4; every sin, greater or lesser, is, and even righteous persons are guilty of many; for there is not a just man that sinneth not; and these exceed the bounds set by the righteous law of God, and many of them are sadly aggravated by the light and knowledge, grace and mercy, such have been favoured with; and some of them, they are suffered to fall into, are exceeding great and exceeding sinful; such as those of David, Peter, and others; all which they are made to see, bewail, and weep over, when God by afflictions brings them to a sense of them. Or "when" or "because they have prevailed"F13כי יתגברו "quum invalescunt", Mercerus; "quum invaluerunt", Munster, Piscator; so Drusius, Panginus, Bolducius. ; or begin to prevail: as soon as ever indwelling sin begins to be prevalent, the Lord is pleased to take measures to nip it in the bud, by sending a sharp and severe affliction; or when it has prevailed greatly, as sometimes it does, so that good is hindered from being done, and much evil is committed, then the soul is so much under the power of it, as to be carried captive with it; see Romans 7:23. Or "because they are become proud", or "behaved themselves proudly"F14"Quia superbierunt", Tigurine version; so Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens. ; and therefore he afflicts them to humble them, and drive pride from them.

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 36:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-36.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Then he sheweth them their f work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.

(f) He will move their hearts to feel their sins that they may come to him by repentance as he did Manasseh.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 36:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-36.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

work — transgression.

that … exceeded — “In that they behaved themselves mightily” (literally, “great”); that is, presumptuously, or, at least, self-confidently.

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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 36:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-36.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.

Work — Their evil works, by these afflictions he brings them to a sight of their sins.

Exceeded — That they have greatly sinned by abusing their power and prosperity; which even good men are too prone to do.

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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.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 36:9". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-36.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 36:9 Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.

Ver. 9. Then he showeth them their work] By these sharp waters he cleareth up their eyesight, and gives them to see their sin, the mother of their misery. Vexatio dat intellectum, Smart makes wit. Manasseh, for instance, and the prodigal, and King Croesus, with his Nocumenta documenta, and Tullus Hostilius, with his excess of devotion, when once he had paid for his learning (Herodot. lib. 1. Liv. decad. 1, l. 5).

And their transgressions that they have exceeded] Heb. when they prevail; that before they grow too potent they may cast them away: Ne illi victi in Gehennam descendant, lest they hale them into hell (Mercer).

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 36:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-36.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 36:9. That they have exceeded How they have set him at defiance. Heath.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 36:9". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-36.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Their work, i.e. their evil works, as the next clause explains and limits it. By these afflictions he brings them to a sight of their sins and to repentance, which is the way and means of their recovery.

That they have exceeded; that they have greatly sinned by abusing their power and prosperity; which even good men are too prone to do.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 36:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-36.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9.That they have exceeded — The Authorized Version is ambiguous; the literal reading is, “They show themselves strong.” In other words, God declares to them that they act proudly, (against him;) — one of the dangers of extreme prosperity.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 36:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-36.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Violent, while in power and on the throne, or because even in a private station, their will has risen up in rebellion against God. (Haydock) --- Poverty and afflictions are scourges, which are often inflicted by mercy, to bring us to a sense of duty. (Calmet)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 36:9". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-36.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

God allows the righteous to suffer for various purposes, He does not abandon them, rather He might be trying to call their attention to a sin in their life, or humble them so they do not become arrogant. "God can use these to teach them, and especially to arrest pride" (Jackson p. 73).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 36:9". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-36.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

transgressions. Hebrew. pasha". App-44.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 36:9". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/job-36.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(9) Then he sheweth them their work.—The true nature of their conduct and their transgressions, that they have behaved themselves proudly. This is Elihu’s special doctrine, that God’s chastisements are by way of discipline, to reform the future rather than to chastise the past.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 36:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-36.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Then he sheweth them their work, and their transgressions that they have exceeded.
he
10:2; Deuteronomy 4:21,22; 2 Chronicles 33:11-13; Psalms 94:12; 119:67,71; Lamentations 3:39,40; Luke 15:17-19; 1 Corinthians 11:32
their
Psalms 5:10; Isaiah 59:12; Ezekiel 18:28-31; Romans 5:20; 1 Timothy 1:15
Reciprocal: Genesis 42:21 - they said;  Job 13:23 - make me;  Psalm 107:10 - bound

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 36:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-36.html.