Job 34:6
Should I lie against my right? my wound is incurable without transgression.
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(6) Should I lie against my right?—Comp. Job 27:2-6.

My wound is incurable.—Literally, my arrow, i.e., the arrow which hath wounded me. (See Job 16:11; Job 17:1, &c.)

Without transgression.—That is to say, on my part. (See Job 16:17.) Some understand the former clause, “Notwithstanding my right, I am accounted a liar,” but the Authorised Version is more probably right.

34:1-9 Elihu calls upon those present to decide with him upon Job's words. The plainest Christian, whose mind is enlightened, whose heart is sanctified by the Spirit of God, and who is versed in the Scriptures, can say how far matters, words, or actions, agree with true religion, better than any that lean to their own understandings. Job had spoken as if he meant wholly to justify himself. He that say, I have cleansed my hands in vain, does not only offend against God's children, Ps 73:13-15, but gratifies his enemies, and says as they say.Should I lie against my right? - These are also quoted as the words of Job, and as a part of the erroneous opinions on which Elihu proposes to comment. These words do not occur, however, as used by Job respecting himself, and Elihu must be understood to refer to what he regarded as the general strain of the argument maintained by him. In regard to the meaning of the words, there have been various opinions. Jerome renders them, "For in judging me there is falsehood - mendacium est; my violent arrow (the painful arrow in me) is without any sin." The Septuagint, "He the Lord hath been false in my accusation" - ἐψένσατο δὲ τῳ κρίματί μου epseusato de tō krimati mou - "my arrow is heavy without transgression." Coverdale, "I must needs be a liar, though my cause be right." Umbreit renders it, "I must lie if I should acknowledge myself to be guilty."

Noyes, "Though I am innocent, I am made a liar." Prof. Lee, "Should I lie respecting my case? mine arrow is mortal without transgression." That is, Job said he could not lie about it; he could use no language that would deceive. He felt that a mortal arrow had reached him without transgression, or without any adequate cause. Rosenmuller renders it, "However just may be my cause, I appear to be a liar." That is, he was regarded as guilty, and treated accordingly, however conscious he might be of innocence, and however strenuously he might maintain that he was not guilty. The meaning probably is, "I am held to be a liar. I defend myself; go over my past life; state my course of conduct; meet the accusations of my friends, but in all this I am still held to be a liar. My friends so regard me - for they will not credit my statements, and they go on still to argue as if I was the most guilty of mortals. And God also in this holds me to be a liar, for he treats me constantly as if I were guilty. He hears not my vindication, and he inflicts pain and woe upon me as if all that I had said about my own integrity were false, and I were one of the most abandoned of mortals, so that on all hands I am regarded and treated as if I were basely false." The literal translation of the Hebrew is, "Concerning my judgment (or my cause) I am held to be a liar."

My wound is incurable - Margin, as in Hebrew "arrow." The idea is, that a deadly arrow had smitten him, which could not be extracted. So in Virgil:

Haeret lateri letalis arundo. Aeneid iv. 73.

The image is taken from an animal that had been pierced with a deadly arrow.

Without transgression - Without any sin that deserved such treatment. Job did not claim to be absolutely perfect; he maintained only that the sufferings which he endured were no proper proof of his character; compare Job 6:4.

6. Were I to renounce my right (that is, confess myself guilty), I should die. Job virtually had said so (Job 27:4, 5; 6:28). Maurer, not so well, "Notwithstanding my right (innocence) I am treated as a liar," by God, by His afflicting me.

my wound—literally, "mine arrow," namely, by which I am pierced. So "my stroke" ("hand," Job 23:2, Margin). My sickness (Job 6:4; 16:13).

without transgression—without fault of mine to deserve it (Job 16:17).

Should I lie against my right? so Job had said in effect, Job 27:4-6. Should I falsely accuse myself of such sins of which I am no way conscious to myself? Should I betray mine own cause, and deny my integrity, and say that I deserved worse than I have done?

Without transgression, i.e. without any great, or heinous, or crying sin, as this word commonly signifies, which might reasonably bring down such terrible judgments upon my head.

Should I lie against my right?.... No; I ought not: this though Job had not said in so many words, yet this seems to be his sense in Job 27:4; that should he own and say that he was a wicked man, a hypocrite, and destitute of the grace of God, he should not only speak against himself, but, contrary to his conscience, say an untruth, and not do justice to his character. Some read the words without an interrogation, as Mr. Broughton,

"for my right I must be a liar;''

that is, for vindicating my right, seeking and endeavouring to do myself justice, and clear myself from false imputations, I am reckoned a liar. And to this purpose is the paraphrase of Aben Ezra,

"because I seek judgment, they say that I lie.''

Others render them, "there is a lie in judging me", so the Vulgate Latin version; that is,

"I am falsely accused, I am judged wrongfully:''

things I know not are laid to my charge, which has often been the case of good men: or, "I have lied in judgment"; that is, "failed", as the word is sometimes used, Isaiah 58:11; failed in his expectation of judgment or of justice being done him; he looked for it, but was disappointed; but the first sense seems best;

my wound is incurable without transgression; not that he thought himself without transgression, but that his wound or stroke inflicted on him, or the afflictions he was exercised with, were without cause; were not for any injustice in his hands, or wickedness that he had committed; and that he utterly despaired of being rid of them, or restored to his former health and prosperity; and to this sense he had expressed himself, Job 9:17. In the Hebrew text it is, "my arrow" (y), that is, the arrow that was in him, the arrows of the Lord that stuck fast in him; these were thrown at him and fastened in him without cause; and there was no hope of their being drawn out, or of the wounds made by them being healed; see Job 6:4. Now what Elihu was offended at in these expressions was, that Job should so rigidly insist on his innocence, and not own himself faulty in any respect; nor allow there was any cause for his afflictions, nor entertain any hope of the removal of them: whereas it became him to acknowledge his sins, which no man is free from, and that he was dealt with less than his iniquities deserved; and that, instead of indulging despair, he should rather say, "I will return" to the Lord; he hath "torn" and he will "heal", he hath "smitten" and he will "bind up", Hosea 6:1.

(y) "sagitta mea", Montanus, Schultens, Michaelis.

Should I lie against my {d} right? my wound is {e} incurable without transgression.

(d) Should I say, I am wicked, being an innocent?

(e) I am more punished, than my sin deserves.

6. should I lie against my right?] This sense is possible, the meaning being, “shall I admit guilt when I am not guilty but wrongly afflicted”? Perhaps the sense is rather: against (or, notwithstanding) my right I am made to lie: when I affirm my rectitude God’s treatment of me belies my affirmations by making me guilty, and this against my right; comp. ch. Job 9:20, Job 16:8.

my wound] lit. my arrow, the arrow of divine affliction infixed in me, comp. ch. Job 6:4, Job 16:13.

Verse 6. - Should I lie against my right? This was an essential portion of Job's argument (see Job 27:4). Against the theory of his secret heinous wickedness put forward by his "comforters," he maintained consistently his freedom from conscious deliberate opposition to the will of God, and refused to make the confessions which they suggested or required, on the ground that they would have been untrue - in making them he would have "lied against his right." In this certainly Job "sinned not." But it was essential to the theory of Elihu, no less than to that of Eliphaz and his friends, that Job was suffering on account of past iniquity, whether he were being punished for it in anger or chastised for it in love (see Job 33:17, 27). My wound (literally, my arrow; comp. Job 6:4) is incurable without transgression; i.e. without my having committed any transgression to account for it. Job 34:6 5 For Job hath said: "I am guiltless,

"And God hath put aside my right.

6 "Shall I lie in spite of my right,

"Incurable is mine arrow without transgression."

7 Where is there a man like Job,

Who drinketh scorning like water,

8 And keepeth company with the workers of iniquity,

And walketh with wicked men,

9 So that he saith: "A man hath no profit

"From entering into fellowship with God"?!

That in relation to God, thinking of Him as a punishing judge, he is righteous or in the right, i.e., guiltless (צדקתּי with Pathach in pause, according to Ew. 93, c, from צדק equals צדק, but perhaps, comp. Proverbs 24:30; Psalm 102:26, because the Athnach is taken only as of the value of Zakeph), Job has said verbatim in Job 13:18, and according to meaning, Job 23:10; Job 27:7, and throughout; that He puts aside his right (the right of the guiltless, and therefore not of one coming under punishment): Job 27:2. That in spite of his right (על, to be interpreted, according to Schultens' example, just like Job 10:7; Job 16:17), i.e., although right is on his side, yet he must be accounted a liar, since his own testimony is belied by the wrathful form of his affliction, that therefore the appearance of wrong remains inalienably attached to him, we find in idea in Job 9:20 and freq. Elihu makes Job call his affliction חצּי, i.e., an arrow sticking in him, viz., the arrow of the wrath of God (on the objective suff. comp. on Job 23:2), after Job 6:4; Job 16:9; Job 19:11; and that this his arrow, i.e., the pain which it causes him, is incurably bad, desperately malignant without (בּלי as Job 8:11) פּשׁע, i.e., sins existing as the ground of it, from which he would be obliged to suppose they had thrust him out of the condition of favour, is Job's constant complaint (vid., e.g., Job 13:23.). Another utterance of Job closely connected with it has so roused Elihu's indignation, that he prefaces it with the exclamation of astonishment: Who is a man like Job, i.e., where in all the world (מי as 2 Samuel 7:23) has this Job his equal, who ... . The attributive clause refers to Job; "to drink scorn (here: blasphemy) like water," is, according to Job 15:16, equivalent to to give one's self up to mockery with delight, and to find satisfaction in it. ארח לחברה, to go over to any one's side, looks like a poeticized prose expression. ללכת is a continuation of the ארח, according to Ew. 351, c, but not directly in the sense "and he goes," but, as in the similar examples, Jeremiah 17:10; Jeremiah 44:19; 2 Chronicles 7:17, and freq., in the sense of: "he is in the act of going;" comp. on Job 36:20 and Habakkuk 1:17. The utterance runs: a man does not profit, viz., himself (on the use of סכן of persons as well as of things, vid., on Job 22:2), by his having joyous and familiar intercourse (בּרצתו, as little equivalent to בּרוּץ as in Psalm 50:18) with God. Job has nowhere expressly said this, but certainly the declaration in Job 9:22, in connection with the repeated complaints concerning the anomalous distribution of human destinies (vid., especially Job 21:7, Job 24:1), are the premises for such a conclusion. That Elihu, in Job 34:7, is more harsh against Job than the friends ever were (comp. e.g., the well-measured reproach of Eliphaz, Job 15:4), and that he puts words into Job's moth which occur nowhere verbatim in his speeches, is worked up by the Latin fathers (Jer., Philippus Presbyter, Beda,

(Note: Philippus Presbyter was a disciple of Jerome. His Comm. in Iobum is extant in many forms, partly epitomized, partly interpolated (on this subject, vid., Hieronymi Opp. ed. Vallarsi, iii. 895ff.). The commentary of Beda, dedicated to a certain Nectarius (Vecterius), is fundamentally that of this Philippus.)

Gregory) in favour of their unfavourable judgment of Elihu; the Greek fathers, however, are deprived of all opportunity of understanding him by the translation of the lxx (in which μυκτηρισμόν signifies the scorn of others which Job must swallow down, comp. Proverbs 26:6), which here perverts everything.

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