[Then] would I speak, and not fear him
With a servile fear, though with reverence and godly fear; meaning either at the throne of grace, having liberty of access, boldness of spirit, and freedom of speech through Christ the Mediator, and in the view of his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice; for when the rod of his law and the terror of his justice are removed, and his grace and favour in Christ shown, a believer can speak boldly and freely to God, and not be afraid before him: but rather Job's sense is, that were the rod of his anger taken off and the dread of his majesty, which so awed him that he could not tell his case as it was, and use the arguments he might to advantage; he should speak without fear, and so as to defend himself, and make his cause to appear to be just; to this the Lord seems to refer in ( Job 38:3 ) ( 40:7 ) ; being bold and daring expressions, which Job blushed when made sensible of it, ( Job 42:5 Job 42:6 ) ;
but [it is] not so with me;
there was no daysman between the Lord and him; the rod was not taken off his back, nor the dread and terror of the Almighty removed from him; and so could not speak in his own defence, as otherwise he might: or it was not so with him as his friends thought of him; he was not the wicked hypocritical man they took him to be, or as the afflictive dispensations of God made him to appear to be, according to their judgment of them: or the words may be rendered, "I am not so with myself" F21; that is, he was not conscious to himself that he was such a person they judged him; or such were the troubles and afflictions that were upon him, that he was not himself, he was not "compos mentis", and so not capable on that account, as well as others, of pleading his own cause: or "I am not right in" or "with myself" F23; not in his right mind, being distracted with the terrors of God, and the arrows of the Almighty that stuck in him; or he was not righteous in himself; for though he was clear of hypocrisy he was charged with, he did not pretend to be without sin, or to have such a righteousness as would justify him before God; and therefore desires things might be put upon the foot of grace, and not of strict justice.
F21 (ydme ykna Nk al) "non sic ego apud me", Pagninus, Montanus, Beza, Vatablus, Mercerus, Schmidt, Schultens.
F23 "Quia non probus ego apud me", Bolducius; "quod non sim rectus apud me", Cocceius.