Job 37:20

20 Should he be told that I want to speak? Would anyone ask to be swallowed up?

Read Job 37:20 Using Other Translations

Shall it be told him that I speak? if a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up.
Shall it be told him that I would speak? Did a man ever wish that he would be swallowed up?
Should God be notified that I want to speak? Can people even speak when they are confused?

What does Job 37:20 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Job 37:20

Shall it be told him that I speak?
&c.] And what I speak? there is no need of it, since he is omniscient, and knows every word that is spoken by men; or is anything I have said concerning him, his ways, and his works, worthy relating, or worthy of his hearing, being so very imperfect? nor can the things I have spoken of, though common things, be fully explained to any; or should it be told him, the Lord, that he, Elihu, had spoke as Job had done, and arraigned his justice, and complained of his dealings? God forbid; he would not have it said they were spoken by him for all the world: or "shall it be recorded unto him what I speak?" as Mr. Broughton, or that I speak; shall it be recorded in a book, and that sent to God; that I will speak in thy cause, and be an advocate for thee, and endeavour to justify thee in all thou hast said? no, by no means;

if a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up;
if he speaks of the being and perfections of God, he is soon lost; his essence, and many of his attributes, are beyond his comprehension; if he speaks of his works of nature and providence, he is presently out of his depth; there is a bathos, a depth in them he cannot fathom: if he speaks of his love, and grace, and mercy, in the salvation of man, he is swallowed up with admiration; he is obliged to say, what manner of love is this? it has heights he cannot reach, depths he cannot get to the bottom of, lengths and breadths immeasurable: or should he undertake to dispute with God, to litigate a point with him concerning his works, he could not answer him in one thing of a thousand; and particularly Elihu suggests, was he to undertake Job's cause, it would soon be lost and all over with him; so Mr. Broughton renders the words, "would any plead, when he should be undone?" who would engage in a cause he is sure would be lost, and prove his utter undoing?

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