Iyov 9

1 Then Iyov answered and said,
2 I know it is indeed thus, but how should yitzdak Enosh im El (Man be in the right, justified, before G-d)?
3 If he will contend with Him, once of a thousand can Man not answer G-d back.
4 G-d is chochom in lev, and mighty in ko’ach; who hath hardened himself to defy Him and remained unhurt?
5 Which removeth the harim (mountains), and they know not; which overturneth them in His anger;
6 Which shaketh eretz out of its place, and the ammudim thereof tremble;
7 Which commandeth the cheres (sun), and it riseth not; and sealeth up the kokhavim;
8 Which spreadeth out Shomayim by Himself alone, and treadeth upon the waves of the yam;
9 Which maketh the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades, and the chambers of the constellations on the south side of the heavens;
10 Which doeth gedolot past finding out; yea, and nifla’ot (wonders) without number.
11 Hen (lo), He passeth by me, and I see Him not; He goeth on also, but I perceive Him not.
12 Hinei, He taketh away, who can stop Him? Who will say unto Him, Mah ta’aseh (what are You doing)?
13 If Eloah restraineth not His anger, the helpers of Rahab must bow themselves under Him.
14 How much less shall I dispute with Him, and choose my dvarim with Him?
15 Whom, though I were tzaddik (righteous, innocent, in the right), yet would I not answer, but I would make techinnah (supplication, plea for mercy) for my mishpat (right).
16 If I had summoned, and He had responded to me, yet would I not believe that He had paid heed unto my kol (voice);
17 For He breaketh me in a sa’arah (tempest, storm), and multiplieth my wounds without cause.
18 He will not allow me to take my ruach (breath), but filleth me with bitterness.
19 If I speak of ko’ach, hinei, He is mighty, and if of mishpat, who can give Him a court summons?
20 If etzdak (I am justified, in the right), mine own mouth would condemn me; if I say, I am blameless, He would prove me perverse.
21 Though I were blameless, yet would I not know my nefesh; I would despise my life.
22 This is one thing; therefore I said it, He destroyeth the tam (blameless) and the rasha (wicked).
23 If the shot (scourge) slay suddenly, He laugheth at the melting away [in anguish] of the nekiyim (innocent ones, the guiltless ones).
24 Eretz is given into the yad of the resha; He blindfoldeth the faces of the shofetim (judges) thereof; if not, then, who doeth it?
25 Now my yamim are swifter than a runner; they flee away, they see no tovah.
26 They slip by like oniyyot (boats) of reed; as the nesher that swoopeth down on the prey.
27 If I say, I will forget my si’akh (complaint), I will leave off my heaviness, and comfort myself,
28 I am afraid of all my sorrows; I have da’as that Thou wilt not hold me innocent.
29 If I be wicked, why then labor I in hevel (vain)?
30 If I wash myself with sheleg (snow), and make my hands clean with lye,
31 Yet shalt Thou plunge me in the shachat (slime pit), and mine own clothes shall abhor me.
32 For He is not an ish, as I am, that I should answer Him, and we should come together in mishpat (in the court).
33 Neither is there any mochiach (arbitrator) between us, that might lay his yad upon us both.
34 Let Him take His shevet (rod) away from me, and let not His fear terrify me.
35 Then would I speak, and not fear Him; but it is not ken (so) with me.

Iyov 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


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.

Iyov 9 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.