So these three men ceased to answer Job
His three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, who came to visit and comfort him under his afflictions; but unawares were led into a controversy with him, occasioned by some rash and impatient expressions of his; which controversy had been carried on between them a considerable time, but now dropped; they grew weary of it, and now rested themselves as men do on a sabbath, as the word signifies; they set themselves down, and made no reply to Job's vindication of himself, not caring to give themselves any further trouble, or labour the point any more and longer, perceiving it was all to no purpose: or "and these three men ceased" the last words of the preceding chapter are, "the words of Job are ended", ( Job 31:40 ) ; and the copulative "and" connects these with them, and shows that these men also had done speaking; so that the dispute was closed between Job and them, and the way was clear for another disputant that might think fit to enter, as Elihu did, after mentioned
because he [was] righteous in his own eyes;
some take this to express the state of the question between them, rendering the words, "that he was righteous" F6. The notion his friends had of him was, that he was righteous in his own account, and as he professed to be, and might so seem to others; but was a wicked man, and an hypocrite, as his afflictions showed; this point they had been labouring to prove, but, upon Job's long and clear vindication of his integrity, they ceased to defend it: others suppose the words to be an inference of Job's from their silence: "therefore he was righteous" they making no reply to him, he concluded himself to be quit and clear of the charge they had brought against him; but they rather, according to our version, contain a reason why they ceased to answer him; because they thought him self-conceited, self-willed, obstinate, and incorrigible; not open to conviction, stiffly insisting on his own innocence, not allowing that he was guilty of any sin or sins, which were the cause of his afflictions; otherwise, in the article of justification before God, Job was no self-righteous man, nor was he so charged by his friends; to say he was is to abuse his character, and is contrary to that which God himself has given of him; nor would he have so highly commended him as to suggest there was none like him on earth, when of all men in the world there are none more abominable to God than a self-righteous man; see ( Isaiah 65:4 ) ( Luke 16:15 ) ( 18:14 ) . It is contrary to Job's knowledge of and faith in Christ, as his living Redeemer, ( Job 19:25 ) ; and to many clear and strong expressions, confessing his sin, disclaiming perfection, and declaring himself no self-justiciary, ( Job 7:20 ) ( Job 9:2 Job 9:20 Job 9:31-33 ) .