1 "Behold, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it.
2 What you know, the same I also know. I am not inferior to you.
3 Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God.
4 But you are forgers of lies. You are all physicians of no value.
5 O that you would altogether hold your peace and it would be your wisdom.
6 Hear now my reasoning and listen to the pleadings of my lips.
7 Will you speak wickedly for God and talk deceitfully for him?
8 Will you accept his person? Will you contend for God?
9 Is it good that he should search you out? Or as one man mocks another, do you likewise mock him?
10 He will surely reprove you, if you secretly accept persons.
11 Shall his excellence not make you afraid and his dread fall upon you?
12 Your remembrances are like ashes, your defenses like defenses of clay.
13 Hold your peace. Leave me alone so that I may speak. And let come on me what will.
14 Why do I take my flesh in my teeth and put my life in my hand?
15 Though he slay me, yet I will trust in him. But I will maintain my own ways before him.
16 He also shall be my salvation, for a hypocrite shall not come before him.
17 Hear diligently my speech and my declaration with your ears.
18 Behold now, I have ordered my cause. I know that I shall be justified.
19 Who is he who will plead with me? For now, if I hold my tongue, I shall expire.
20 Only do not do two things to me, then I will not hide myself from you:
21 Withdraw your hand far from me and do not let your dread make me afraid.
22 Then call, and I will answer. Or let me speak, and answer me.
23 How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me to know my transgression and my sin.
24 Why do you hide your face and hold me for your enemy?
25 Will you terrify a leaf driven to and fro? And will you pursue the dry stubble?
26 For you write bitter things against me and make me to possess the iniquities of my youth.
27 You put my feet also in the stocks and look narrowly to all my paths. You set a print upon the soles of my feet.
28 And he, as a rotten thing, consumes, as a garment that is moth-eaten."
John Gill's Chapter Summary:
Job begins this chapter by observing the extensiveness of his knowledge, as appeared from his preceding discourse, by which it was evident he was not less knowing than his friends (verses 1-2); and therefore would have nothing to do with them as judges in his cause, but would appeal to God, and debate the matter before him, and leave it to his decision, since he could expect no good from them (verse 3-4); and all the favor he entreats of them is, that they would for the future be no longer speakers, but hearers (verses 5-6, 13, 17); he expostulates with them about their wicked and deceitful way of pleading for God, and against him (verses 7-8); and in order to strike an awe upon them, suggests to them, that they were liable to the divine scrutiny; that God was not to be mocked by them, that he would surely reprove them for their respect of persons, and desires them to consider his dreadful majesty, and what frail creatures they were (verses 9-12); then he expresses his confidence in God, that he should be saved by him, notwithstanding the afflictive circumstances he was in (verses 14-16); and doubted not he should be able so to plead his cause, as that he should be justified, if God would but withdraw his hand, and take off his dread from him (verses 18-22); he desires to know what his sins were, that he should hide his face from him, and treat him with so much severity, who was but a poor, weak, feeble creature (verses 24-25); and concludes with a complaint of the bitterness and sharpness of his afflictions, with which he was consumed (verses 26-28).
[v.12] - "defenses" - That is, defenses used in arguments.
[v.15] - "Though he slay me, yet I will trust in him." - This can also be read as, "Behold, he will slay me. I have no hope."
[v.20] - "from you" - Or, "from your face."
[v.25] - "terrify" - Literally, "cause to tremble."
[v.27a] - "look narrowly to" - That is, mark, watch (suspiciously).
[v.27b] - "soles" - Literally, "roots," that is, the bottom (root) of the feet.