I am clean without transgression
This with what follows is supposed to be gathered from ( Job 10:6 Job 10:7 ) ( 13:23 ) ( Job 27:5 Job 27:6 ) ; for this is nowhere said by Job in express words; though I rather think, since Elihu so peremptorily affirms that they were spoken in his hearing, that these words and the following did drop from Job's lips, in the controversy with his friends, though not recorded; for we are not to suppose that everything that was said on both sides is preserved, only so much as the Holy Ghost thought fit should be: no man is naturally clean, or free from sin; man came clean out of the hands of God, by sin is become unclean. This impurity is propagated by natural generation, and is in all without exception. Job expresses himself clearly on this point, and agreeably to it, ( Job 14:4 ) ; nor is any man clean by and of himself, or through anything he is capable of doing, in a moral, ceremonial, or evangelic sense, to make himself clean; as by moral actions, by ceremonial ablutions and sacrifices, or by submission to evangelic ordinances, or even by his own tears, repentance, and humiliation. Job seemed clearly and fully sensible of this, ( Job 9:30 Job 9:31 ) ; see ( Proverbs 20:9 ) ( Jeremiah 2:22 ) ; yet there are some persons that are clean through the blood of Christ, in which they are washed, and which cleanses from all sin; and through the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, in which they appear without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; and through the sentence of justification pronounced on them, by which word spoken they are all clean; and through the grace of God bestowed on them, the clean water that is sprinkled upon them, by which they are cleansed from all filthiness, and hence said to have clean hearts and clean hands; and if Job meant it in this sense, as he had knowledge of his living Redeemer, he no doubt was such an one, ( Job 19:25 ) : but not "without transgression": without transgression imputed he was, and such are all they whose persons are justified, and their sins pardoned; to those God does not impute sin, ( Psalms 32:1 Psalms 32:2 ) ; but they are not without the being nor commission of sin; for no man, even the best of men, are clear of it in this sense. Job might be free from the grosser sins of life, but not from indwelling sin, and the actings of it; we find him confessing sin, and disclaiming perfection, ( Job 7:20 ) ( 9:20 ) ;
I [am] innocent;
so he was, as to the charges brought against him by his friends, or the things it was insinuated he was guilty of, as hypocrisy or as to doing any injury to the persons and properties of men, or with respect to gross enormities, from which he had sufficiently cleared himself in ( Job 31:1-40 ) ; but not so innocent as to be free from all sin, as Adam was in his state of innocence, which is contrary to his own declarations in the passages before referred to; some, as Aben Ezra observes, interpret the word "covered" F6, and as having the same sense with ( Psalms 32:1 ) ; and in which sense it was true of Job, that his iniquities were covered; and others of his being covered with righteousness, with civil righteousness, as in ( Job 29:14 ) ; which was true of the exercise of it; and in an evangelic sense he was covered with the justifying righteousness of Christ; the Targum renders the word "washed", as he was in a spiritual sense. Jarchi interprets it "wiped" or "rubbed", and others combed and brushed, and so "neat" and "clean", which is the sense of several versions F7:
neither [is there] iniquity in me;
in a Gospel sense there is none in believers in Christ; their iniquities being removed from them to him, and are done away and made an end of by him; nor are they to be seen with the eye of vindictive justice; God has cast them behind his back, and into the depths of the sea, never to be seen more; but then there is iniquity in them, as considered in themselves; for men to say they have none shows pride and ignorance, and is inconsistent with the truth of grace. If Job is to understood in these expressions in an evangelical sense, or with respect to the grossest sins of life, or a vicious course of life (and indeed in no other sense can he well be understood, consistent with himself), he is not to be blamed for what he said, and I apprehend that Elihu does not blame him for saying these things in his own defence; but for insisting so much and so long upon his innocence and purity, and unspotted life; and especially for joining with it undue and unbecoming reflections on the Lord, for afflicting a person so holy and righteous, as follows.
F6 (Px) "tectus", Montanus, Bolducius.
F7 "Mundus", Beza; "nitidus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "tersus", Codurcus, Cocceius.