Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 40:5

"Once I have spoken, and I will not answer; Even twice, and I will add nothing more."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Conviction;   God;   Humility;   Job;   Prayer;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Leviathan;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Job;   Providence;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Job, the Book of;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Job, Book of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Once have I spoken - See on Job 42:3; (note), etc.

I will proceed no farther - I shall attempt to justify myself no longer; I have spoken repeatedly; and am confounded at my want of respect for my Maker, and at the high thoughts which I have entertained of my own righteousness. All is impurity in the presence of thy Majesty.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 40:5". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-40.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Once have I spoken - That is, in vindicating myself. He had once spoken of God in an irreverent and improper manner, and he now saw it.

But I will not answer - I will not now answer, as I had expressed the wish to do. Job now saw that he had spoken in an improper manner, and he says that he would not repeat what he had said.

Yea, twice - He had not only offended once, as if in a thoughtless and hasty manner, but he had repeated it, showing deliberation, and thus aggravating his guilt. When a man is brought to a willingness to confess that he has done wrong once, he will be very likely to see that he has been guilty of more than one offence. One sin will draw on the remembrance of another; and the gate once open, a flood of sins will rush to the recollection. It is not common that a man can so isolate a sin as to repent of that alone, or so look at one offence against God as not to feel that he has been often guilty of the same crimes.

But I will proceed no further - Job felt doubtless that if he should allow himself to speak again, or to attempt now to vindicate himself, he would be in danger of committing the same error again. He now saw that God was right; that he had himself repeatedly indulged in an improper spirit, and that all that became him was a penitent confession in the fewest words possible. We may learn here:

(1) That a view of God is fitted to produce in us a deep sense of our own sins. No one can feel himself to be in the presence of God, or regard the Almighty as speaking to him, without saying, “Lo I am vile? There is nothing so much fitted to produce a sense of sinfulness and nothingness as a view of God.

(2) The world will be mute at the day of judgment. They who have been most loud and bold in vindicating themselves will then be silent, and will confess that they are vile, and the whole world “will become guilty before God.” If the presence and the voice of God produced such an effect on so good a man as Job, what will it not do on a wicked world?

(3) A true penitent is disposed to use but few words; “God be merciful to me a sinner,” or, “lo, I am vile,” is about all the language which the penitent employs. He does not go into long arguments, into metaphysical distinctions, into apologies and vindications, but uses the simplest language of confession, and then leaves the soul, and the cause, in the hands of God.

(4) Repentance consists in stopping where we are, and in resolving to add no more sin. “I have erred,” is its language. “I will not add to it, I will do so no more,” is the immediate response of the soul. A readiness to go into a vindication, or to expose oneself to the danger of sinning again in the same way, is an evidence that there is no true repentance. Job, a true penitent, would not allow himself even to speak again on the subject, lest he should be guilty of the sin which he had already committed.

(5) In repentance we must be willing to retract our errors, and confess that we were wrong - no matter what favorite opinions we have had, or how tenaciously and zealously we have defended and held them. Job had constructed many beautiful and eloquent arguments in defense of his opinions; he had brought to bear on the subject all the results of his observation, all his attainments in science, all the adages and maxims that he had derived from the ancients, and from a long contact with mankind, but he was now brought to a willingness to confess that his arguments were not solid, and that the opinions which he had cherished were erroneous. It is often more difficult to abandon opinions than vices; and the proud philosopher when he exercises repentance has a more difficult task than the victim of low and debasing sensuality. His opinions are his idols. They embody the results of his reading, his reflections, his conversation, his observation, and they become a part of himself. Hence, it is, that so many abandoned sinners are converted, and so few philosophers; that religion spreads often with so much success among the obscure and the openly wicked, while so few of the “wise men of the world” are called and saved.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 40:5". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-40.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Once have I spoken; but I will not answer,.... Some think this refers to what he had just now said of his vileness, he had owned that, and that was all he had to say, or would say, he would give no other answer; Jarchi says, some suppose he has respect to his words in Job 9:22;

yea, twice; but I will proceed no further; the meaning seems to be, that he who had once and again, or very often, at least in some instances, spoken very imprudently and indecently, for the future would take care not to speak in such a manner: for this confession was not quite free and full; and therefore the Lord takes him in hand again, to bring him to make a more full and ingenuous one, as he does in Job 42:1.

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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 40:5". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-40.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

twice — oftentimes, more than once (Job 33:14, compare with Job 33:29; Psalm 62:11):

I have spoken — namely, against God.

not answer — not plead against Thee.

Copyright Statement
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 40:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-40.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

Answer — Speak again; I will contend no more with thee.

Twice — Often, the definite number being used indefinitely.

Copyright Statement
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 40:5". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-40.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 40:5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

Ver. 5. Once have I spoken, but I will not answer] It is enough of that once: the saints, running out, and meeting with a bargain of sin, come back by weeping cross, and cry, What have I to do any more with wickedness? Hosea 14:8. Judah knew his daughter Tamar no more, Genesis 38:26. "If I have done iniquity, I will do no more," Job 34:31-32. That was Elihu’s counsel; and now it is Job’s practice.

Yea, twice] That is, often; so eager was I set upon a dispute. This was an aggravation of Job’s sin, the committing of it again and again. Numbers added to numbers are first ten times more; then a hundred; then a thousand, &c. "This hath been thy manner from thy youth," Jeremiah 22:21; that was an ill business.

But I will proceed no further] sc. In this controversy. I will not come into the lists to contend with thee. I see there is no safety in such a contest. In many things we offend all, saith St James; and he is a perfect man who sinneth not with his tongue. But as he who hath drunk poison maketh haste to cast it up again, ere it get to the vitals; so should we deal by our daily misdoings. It is not falling into the water that drowns a man, but lying long under it. Bewail thy sin and hasten to get out of it.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 40:5". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-40.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

I will not answer, or speak again; answering being oft put for speaking. I will contend no more with thee.

Yea, twice, i.e. ofttimes, or again and again, the definite number being used indefinitely.

I will proceed no further in such bold and presumptuous expressions and accusations of thy providence towards me. Vain therefore are the excuses which some interpreters make for Job, as if he were faultless in his foregoing discourses, when both God chargeth him with faultiness therein, and Job himself confesseth it.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 40:5". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-40.html. 1685.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"I will add no more": Jackson notes that silence is not trust, Job still has a way to go, and the Lord is not through with him yet. Some see this as silence, but not true repentance yet. "He was only admitting that he need not repeat himself, not that he had said too much. Because Job did not admit to any sin, God found it necessary to continue with a second speech, to speak not only once, but twice" (Zuck p. 176).

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 40:5". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-40.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Once . . . twice. Hebrew idiom (App-6) for doing a thing repeatedly. Compare Psalms 62:11.

but. Some codices, with Septuagint and Syriac, omit "but".

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 40:5". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/job-40.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

Once ... twice - oftentimes, more than once (Job 33:14, cf. with 29, margin; Psalms 62:11), "I have spoken''-namely, against God.

Not answer - not plead against thee.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 40:5". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-40.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
but I will not
34:31,32; Romans 3:19
twice
33:14; 2 Kings 6:10; Psalms 62:11
but I will proceed
Jeremiah 31:18,19
Reciprocal: Genesis 38:26 - And he knew;  Leviticus 13:23 - GeneralJudges 18:19 - lay thine;  1 Kings 18:21 - answered;  Job 6:26 - reprove;  Job 13:2 - GeneralJob 13:15 - but I will;  Job 13:22 - GeneralJob 31:35 - Oh;  Job 33:29 - oftentimes;  Psalm 39:9 - GeneralPsalm 106:33 - he spake;  Isaiah 43:26 - Put;  Ezekiel 16:63 - and never;  Jonah 4:9 - I do well to be angry;  Zephaniah 1:7 - thy;  Matthew 15:27 - Truth;  Mark 14:31 - he spake;  Romans 9:20 - who art

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 40:5". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-40.html.