Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him
There is a double reading of these words; the "Keri", or marginal reading, is (wl) , "in him", which we follow; the "Cetib", or textual reading, is (al) , "not", which many follow, and render the words, "lo, he will slay me, I shall not hope"; or, "I have no hope", or "do not expect" F13 that is, any other than to be slain or die; and this agrees with various expressions of his elsewhere, that he had no hope of any long continuance of life, or of restoration to health and outward happiness again, but expected to die quickly; see ( Job 6:11 ) ( 7:21 ) ( 10:20 ) ( 19:10 ) ;
but I will maintain mine own ways before him;
or "to his face" F14; though I die on the spot instantly, I will stand by it, and make it appear that the ways I have walked in are right, that I have behaved as a sincere upright man, a man fearing God, and eschewing evil; a character which God himself has given of me, and I have not forfeited it: "I will argue" or "prove" F15 it before him, as it may be rendered; that my life and conversation has been agreeable to my profession of him; that my ways have been according to his revealed will, and my walk as becoming the character I bear; and this I will maintain and support as long as I live; I will never depart from this sentiment, or let go my integrity to my latest breath; see ( Job 27:5 Job 27:6 ) ; but the marginal reading seems best, "yet will I trust in him" F16? verily I will, though I am under cutting and slaying providences, under sore afflictions, which may be called killing and slaying, or death itself; though there is an addition of them, one affliction upon another, and sorrow upon sorrow; though I am killed continually, all the day long, or die by inches; yea, though in the article of death itself, yet even then "will I trust" and hope: God only is the object of trust and confidence, and not a creature, or any creature enjoyment, or creature act; and great encouragement there is to trust in him, seeing in him is everlasting strength, to fulfil his promises, to help in time of need, and to save with an everlasting salvation; he is to be trusted in at all times, in times of affliction, temptation, desertion, and death itself: it may be rendered F17, "I will hope in him", since there is mercy and plenteous redemption with him, and he delights in those that hope in his mercy; his eye is upon them, and his heart is towards them: or "I will wait for him", or "expect him" F18; wait for deliverance by him, wait all the days of his appointed time, till his change come; wait for the hope of righteousness by faith, expect all needful grace from him now, and eternal glory and happiness hereafter: "but" notwithstanding his trust was alone in God for time and eternity, yet, says he, "I will maintain mine own ways before him"; that I am not an hypocrite, or have behaved as a bad man; but have acted under the influence of grace, according to his mind and will revealed.
F13 "Non sperabo", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus. So Cocceius, Schultens, Gussetius, p. 420.
F14 (wynp-la) "ad facies ejus", Montanus, Bolducius; so Vatablus, Schultens.
F15 (xwkwa) "arguam", Pagninus, Montanus, Bolducius, Schmidt, Schultens; "probabo", Piscator.
F16 "An non sperem in eum?" so some in Munster; so Junius & Tremellius, Beza, Codurcus.
F17 "In eo tamen sperabo", Schmidt, Piscator, Michaelis.
F18 "Ipsum expectabo", Drusius.