Job 9:28-35

28 I would still dread all the pain, for I know you will not find me innocent, O God.
29 Whatever happens, I will be found guilty. So what’s the use of trying?
30 Even if I were to wash myself with soap and clean my hands with lye,
31 you would plunge me into a muddy ditch, and my own filthy clothing would hate me.
32 “God is not a mortal like me, so I cannot argue with him or take him to trial.
33 If only there were a mediator between us, someone who could bring us together.
34 The mediator could make God stop beating me, and I would no longer live in terror of his punishment.
35 Then I could speak to him without fear, but I cannot do that in my own strength.

Job 9:28-35 Meaning and Commentary

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 9:28-35 In-Context

26 It disappears like a swift papyrus boat, like an eagle swooping down on its prey.
27 If I decided to forget my complaints, to put away my sad face and be cheerful,
28 I would still dread all the pain, for I know you will not find me innocent, O God.
29 Whatever happens, I will be found guilty. So what’s the use of trying?
30 Even if I were to wash myself with soap and clean my hands with lye,
31 you would plunge me into a muddy ditch, and my own filthy clothing would hate me.
32 “God is not a mortal like me, so I cannot argue with him or take him to trial.
33 If only there were a mediator between us, someone who could bring us together.
34 The mediator could make God stop beating me, and I would no longer live in terror of his punishment.
35 Then I could speak to him without fear, but I cannot do that in my own strength.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.