The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Job 9

Job 9:1

Job 9,10: "Job's answer to Bildad shows the dilemma facing the patriarch: Job does not know why he suffers so grievously, and sets forth his feelings in Job 9,10. Bildad had upheld Eliphaz who had set forth the theory of exact retribution -- that suffering is an evidence of sin, claiming that to state otherwise would be to set forth that God is not just (Job 4:17). In reply, Job acknowledged that God alone is just, for no man is absolutely free of sin (Job 9:1-3). He acknowledges God's omniscience and omnipotence, and recognises that man should not presume to sit in judgment on His actions (vv 4-15). Job further recognises his feebleness in comparison with God's power and declares that if he set to justify himself against the declared revelation of God, he would be self-condemned (vv 16-21). However he repudiates that suffering is an evidence of sin in every case (vv 23,24). At the same time, advancing his own extreme sufferings, Job confesses confusion as to their cause and purpose, and would that he had a 'daysman' to intercede on his behalf, and secure an answer of peace (vv 25-35). As a type of the Lord Jesus, Job suffered that others might understand the need for endurance and patience in longsuffering; that notwithstanding what happens in life, there are no reasons to reject the Truth, nor to turn from the Almighty" (GEM).

Job 9:2

In answer to Eliphaz's statement: "Can a mortal be more righteous than God?" (Job 4:17; cp Bildad in Job 8:3,20).

Job 9:4

WHO HAS RESISTED HIM AND COME OUT UNSCATHED?: "Who hath hardened himself against him, and hath prospered?" (AV). Poss ref to Pharaoh's, who hardened his heart repeated, and was at last broken.

Job 9:8

SEA: Poss ref to "Yamm", Canaanite god of the sea; a great sea-monster. See Lesson, Leviathan -- esp the "Creation" myth.

Job 9:9

The study of astronomy: Seth and Enoch "invented" astronomy (Josephus). "Holy men spake since world began" (Luk 1:67-70; Act 3:20,21; Jdg 14). God speaks in heavens (Psa 19:1). Its ancient truth was corrupted by others (Gen 11:4n). Aristotle speaks of ancient wisdom, lost and replaced by mythology -- either through ignorance or design (Bullinger, "Witness of Stars" 60). Wise men of East looked for star (Mat 2:1,2). Paul knew Zodiac (Rom 1:20; Act 17:28n).

THE BEAR: "Arcturus" (AV).

Job 9:10

Job acknowledged the statement of Eliphaz in Job 5:9. But Eliphaz was describing the inevitability of God's power and judgment. Job responds, "Yea, truly, but you even admit that you cannot know how He operates!"

Job 9:12

WHO CAN SAY TO HIM, 'WHAT ARE YOU DOING?': "I cannot ask God to account for His actions. He does not have to explain things to me."

Job 9:13

RAHAB: Sig lit "pride" or "boasting". (1) Egypt, in Psa 87:4; 89:10; Isa 30:7. (2) Apparently, a mythological sea-monster in Isa 51:9; Job 9:13; 26:12. Poss ref to the crocodile of the Nile, sym of proud Egypt and her gods. See Lesson, Rahab (Egypt). The sentiment here is rather similar to that at the end of the book of Job, where Job is humbled before Yahweh in the wake of the second divine speech in which it is implied that he (Job) cannot overcome the chaos monsters Leviathan and Behemoth, which Yahweh did overcome (cf Job 40–42:6).

Job 9:17

CRUSH: "Shuwph" = to bruise, as in Gen 3:15 (cp Psa 139:11).

Job 9:22

IT IS ALL THE SAME; THAT IS WHY I SAY, 'HE DESTROYS BOTH THE BLAMELESS AND THE WICKED': "God knows when the good things are safe and when the evil things are needed; and the scriptural attitude is to accept, with a reverential submission, whatever comes; if good, with thanksgiving; if evil, with resignation. It would be altogether a mistake to assume that goodness only will be our lot, or that God regards us not if He suffer evil to happen. Job is ever a helpful illustration on this point. A man of the thoroughly approved stamp, God overthrew him in all his affairs without letting him know that he was being subjected to a test. Job, while asserting his integrity, took it all in submission, on the ground that God was supreme and did as He willed, and that man, as a created being, had no room to murmur if evil as well as good were his lot. In this Job took the right ground; for his judgment of the case was divinely endorsed as against that of his three friends, who argued that because Job had fallen into evil, therefore he must have been unrighteous" (SC 22).

Job 9:24

IF IT IS NOT HE, THEN WHO IS IT?: If God is not the author of this "confusion", who is?

Job 9:26

BOATS OF PAPYRUS: Very light, swift boats -- could be rowed faster than a man could run (Dawn 63:9).

Job 9:27

IF I SAY, 'I WILL FORGET MY COMPLAINT': "Even if I try to be uncomplaining..."

Job 9:30

Job acknowledges that he cannot save himself.

Job 9:33

SOMEONE TO ARBITRATE BETWEEN US": "A daysman" (AV). A man who sets the day and time to plead a case (v 19), and brings the two parties together. Cp 1Co 4:3, where man's "day" = man's judgment.

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