If I had called, and he had answered me
Mr. Broughton reads the words, "if I cry, will he answer me?" as if Job had some doubt upon his mind whether God would vouchsafe to answer him, though he should make his supplication to him, as he proposed; seeing he had so sorely afflicted him, and still continued his hand upon him; or the words may be rendered, "though I have called, and he has answered" F17, in times past. Job was a praying person, he had often prayed to God in his closet, and in his family, for himself, and for his children, and for his friends, and he had found God to be a God hearing and answering prayer, but seems to question whether he would answer him now, if he did pray to him:
[yet] would I not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice,
or "would hearken" F18, at this time, and under the present circumstances; or should he, the mercy would be so great, that he could hardly believe it; so sometimes through joy men cannot believe what they hear and see, as the apostles, when Christ appeared to them after his resurrection; or as it was with the Jews returned from Babylon, they were like them that dream, they could scarcely tell whether their deliverance was a real fact, or whether they only dreamed of it, see ( Luke 24:41 ) ( Psalms 126:1 ) ; so Job intimates, that should he pray to God, and be heard and delivered, it would be so astonishing and transporting, that at first he should not be able to give credit to it; or, however, he should not believe that it was for his prayers and supplications, for any worth and value, virtue and efficacy, there was in them, that he was heard; but it must be purely for his mercy's sake, for the sake of the mediation of Christ, and because these prayers were the breathings of his own spirit: or else the sense is, that though he had heard and answered him formerly, when he prayed in a supplicating way, yet if he should contend with him in a judicial way, and insist upon his own righteousness, and present his supplication to God on that account, he could never expect to be heard; and, indeed, he could not believe he should be heard on any account, so long as his present sufferings lasted; which seems to be the sense of what follows, where he gives his reasons for such belief, or rather unbelief.
F17 (ynneyw ytarq Ma) "etiamsi clamavi et respondit mihi", Schmidt.
F18 (Nyzay yk) "quod exauditurus esset", Schmidt.