Job 9

1 Then Job answered and said,
2 I know it is so of a truth, but how shall a man be justified with God?
3 If he desires to contend with him, he will not be able to answer him one thing of a thousand.
4 He is wise in heart and mighty in strength; who has hardened himself against him and remained in peace?
5 Who uproots the mountains in his anger, and they know not who overturned them.
6 Who removes the earth out of her place and causes her pillars to tremble.
7 Who commands the sun, and it rises not; and seals up the stars.
8 He alone extends the heavens and walks upon the waves of the sea.
9 He who made Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the secret places of the south.
10 He who does great things past finding out, and wonders without number.
11 Behold, he shall pass before me, and I shall not see him; and he shall pass on, and I shall not understand him.
12 Behold, he shall take away, who can cause him to restore? Who shall say unto him, What doest thou?
13 God will not withdraw his anger, and under him those who help, unto pride are bent over.
14 How much less shall I answer him and choose out my words to reason with him?
15 Who even though I am righteous, yet I would not answer, but I would make supplication to my judge.
16 Who if I were to invoke him, and he answered me; yet I would not believe that he had hearkened unto my voice.
17 For he has broken me with a tempest and has multiplied my wounds without cause.
18 He will not suffer me to take my breath but has filled me with bitterness.
19 If we were to speak of his strength, he is certainly strong; and if of his judgment, who shall cause us to meet?
20 If I justify myself, my own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, he shall prove me perverse.
21 If I say I am imperfect, I know not my soul; I would condemn my life.
22 One thing remains, that I say, He consumes the perfect and the wicked.
23 If it is the scourge, it slays suddenly, and it does not laugh at the trial of the innocent.
24 The earth is given into the hand of the wicked; he covers the faces of its judges; if it is not he who does this then, who is it and where is he?
25 Now my days are swifter than a post; they fled away, they never saw good.
26 They are passed away as the ships of Ebeh {Heb. reed} as the eagle that throws himself on the prey.
27 If I say, I will forget my complaint, I will leave off my heaviness and comfort myself;
28 I am afraid of all my troubles; I know that thou wilt not hold me guiltless.
29 If I am wicked, why then shall I toil in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow water and make my hands never so clean;
31 yet thou shalt plunge me into the pit, and my own clothes shall abhor me.
32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together unto judgment.
33 Neither is there any arbiter between us, that might lay his hand upon us both.
34 Let him take his tormentor away from me, and his terror will not perturb me.
35 Then I would speak and not fear him, because in this state I am not myself.

Job 9 Commentary

Chapter 9

Job acknowledges God's justice. (1-13) He is not able to contend with God. (14-21) Men not to be judged by outward condition. (22-24) Job complains of troubles. (25-35)

Verses 1-13 In this answer Job declared that he did not doubt the justice of God, when he denied himself to be a hypocrite; for how should man be just with God? Before him he pleaded guilty of sins more than could be counted; and if God should contend with him in judgment, he could not justify one out of a thousand, of all the thoughts, words, and actions of his life; therefore he deserved worse than all his present sufferings. When Job mentions the wisdom and power of God, he forgets his complaints. We are unfit to judge of God's proceedings, because we know not what he does, or what he designs. God acts with power which no creature can resist. Those who think they have strength enough to help others, will not be able to help themselves against it.

Verses 14-21 Job is still righteous in his own eyes, ch. 32:1 , and this answer, though it sets forth the power and majesty of God, implies that the question between the afflicted and the Lord of providence, is a question of might, and not of right; and we begin to discover the evil fruits of pride and of a self-righteous spirit. Job begins to manifest a disposition to condemn God, that he may justify himself, for which he is afterwards reproved. Still Job knew so much of himself, that he durst not stand a trial. If we say, We have no sin, we not only deceive ourselves, but we affront God; for we sin in saying so, and give the lie to the Scripture. But Job reflected on God's goodness and justice in saying his affliction was without cause.

Verses 22-24 Job touches briefly upon the main point now in dispute. His friends maintained that those who are righteous and good, always prosper in this world, and that none but the wicked are in misery and distress: he said, on the contrary, that it is a common thing for the wicked to prosper, and the righteous to be greatly afflicted. Yet there is too much passion in what Job here says, for God doth not afflict willingly. When the spirit is heated with dispute or with discontent, we have need to set a watch before our lips.

Verses 25-35 What little need have we of pastimes, and what great need to redeem time, when it runs on so fast towards eternity! How vain the enjoyments of time, which we may quite lose while yet time continues! The remembrance of having done our duty will be pleasing afterwards; so will not the remembrance of having got worldly wealth, when it is all lost and gone. Job's complaint of God, as one that could not be appeased and would not relent, was the language of his corruption. There is a Mediator, a Daysman, or Umpire, for us, even God's own beloved Son, who has purchased peace for us with the blood of his cross, who is able to save to the uttermost all who come unto God through him. If we trust in his name, our sins will be buried in the depths of the sea, we shall be washed from all our filthiness, and made whiter than snow, so that none can lay any thing to our charge. We shall be clothed with the robes of righteousness and salvation, adorned with the graces of the Holy Spirit, and presented faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. May we learn the difference between justifying ourselves, and being thus justified by God himself. Let the tempest-tossed soul consider Job, and notice that others have passed this dreadful gulf; and though they found it hard to believe that God would hear or deliver them, yet he rebuked the storm, and brought them to the desired haven. Resist the devil; give not place to hard thoughts of God, or desperate conclusions about thyself. Come to Him who invites the weary and heavy laden; who promises in nowise to cast them out.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JOB 9

This and the following chapter contain Job's answer to Bildad, and in this he asserts the strict justice at God; which is such, that no man can be just in his sight, not being able to answer to one charge, or for one sin, of a thousand he is guilty of, Job 9:1-3; and that such are his wisdom and power, that the most daring man cannot expect to succeed in an opposition to him, Job 9:4; instances are given of his power in the works of nature and providence, Job 9:5-10; notice is taken of the imperceptibleness of his actions and motions, and of his sovereignty in all his ways, Job 9:11,12; and of his fierce wrath and anger, which is such as obliges the proudest of men to stoop under him; and therefore Job chose not to contend in a judicial way with him, but in a suppliant manner would entreat him, since his hand was so heavy upon him, Job 9:13-21; he affirms, in direct opposition to Bildad and his friends, and insists upon it, that God afflicts both the righteous and the wicked; yea, gives the earth to the latter when he slays the former, Job 9:22-24; he then observes the shortness of his days, and complains of his heavy afflictions, Job 9:25-28; and concludes, that it was in vain for him to expect his cause to be heard before God, there being no daysman between them; and wishes that the dread of the Divine Majesty might be taken from him, and then he would freely and without fear speak unto him, Job 9:29-35.

Job 9 Commentaries

The Jubilee Bible

(from the Scriptures of the Reformation)

edited by Russell M. Stendal

Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2010