Oh, that one would hear me!
&c.] Or, "who will give me a hearer?" F12 Oh, that I had one! not a nearer of him as a teacher and instructor of many, as he had been, ( Job 4:3 ) ; or only to hear what he had delivered in this chapter; but to hear his cause, and hear him plead his own cause in a judiciary way; he does not mean an ordinary hearer, one that, comes out of curiosity into courts of judicature to hear causes tried, what is said on both sides, and how they will issue; but, as Bar Tzemach paraphrases it,
``who shall give me a judge that shall hear me,''that would hear his cause patiently, examine it thoroughly, and judge impartially, which is the business of judges to do, ( Deuteronomy 1:16 Deuteronomy 1:17 ) ; he did not care who it was, if he had but such an one; though he seems to have respect to God himself, from what he says in the next clause, and wishes that he would but hear, try, and judge his cause:
behold, my desire [is, that] the Almighty would answer me:
answer to what he had said, or had further to say in his own defence; this is a request he had made before, and now repeats it, see ( Job 13:22 ) ( Job 23:3 Job 23:4 Job 23:5 ) ; some render it, "behold my mark", or "scope" F13; so Mr. Broughton, "behold my scope in this"; this is what I aim at, what I design and mean by wishing for an hearer, that the Almighty himself would take the cause in hand, and give me an answer: or, "behold my sign" F14; the sign of my innocence, appealing to God, leaving my cause to be heard, tried, and judged by him, who is my witness, and will answer for me; see ( Job 16:19 ) ; as well as desiring mine adversary to put down in writing what he has against me; or, "behold my signature" F15; the plea I have given is signed by my own hand: now "let the Almighty answer me"; a bold expression indeed, and a making too free with the Almighty, and was one of those speeches Job was to be blamed for, and for which he was after humbled and repented of:
and [that] mine adversary had written a book;
or "the man of my contention" F16: either that contended for him, as Aben Ezra, that pleaded for him, was his advocate in court, whom he would have take a brief of him, and so distinctly plead his cause; or rather that contended against him, a court adversary, by whom he means either his three friends, or some one of them, whom he more especially took for his enemy; see ( Job 16:9-11 ) ; and who he wishes had brought a bill of indictment, and put down in a book, on a paper in writing, the charge he had against him; that so it might be clearly known what could be alleged against him; and that it might be particularly and distinctly examined; when he doubted not but he should be able to give a full answer to every article in it; and that the very bill itself would carry in it a justification of him: or it may be, rather he means God himself, who carried it towards him as an adversary, at least in a providential way; he had before requested that be would show him wherefore he contended with him, ( Job 10:2 ) ; and now he desires he would give in writing his charge against him, being fully confident, that if he had but the opportunity of answering to it before him, he should be able sufficiently to vindicate himself; and that he should come off with honour, as follows.
F12 (yl emv yl Nty ym) "quis dabit mihi audientem me?" Montanus; "utinam sit mihi auditor", Tigurine version.
F13 (ywt Nh) "en scopum meum", Junius & Tremellius.
F14 "Ecce signum meum", Pagninus, Montanus, Beza, Bolducius; so Ben Gersom.
F15 "En Signaturam meam", Schultens.
F16 (ybyr vya) "vir litis meae", Montanus, Beza, Bolducius, Drusius, Michaelis; so Vatablus, Mercerus.