Job 6:25
How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?
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(25) How forcible are right words !—“How forcible are words of uprightness! But what doth your reproof reprove? Open rebuke is better than secret love; better to be honestly and openly rebuked by you than be subject to the secret insinuations which are intended to pass for friendship.”

6:14-30 In his prosperity Job formed great expectations from his friends, but now was disappointed. This he compares to the failing of brooks in summer. Those who rest their expectations on the creature, will find it fail when it should help them; whereas those who make God their confidence, have help in the time of need, Heb 4:16. Those who make gold their hope, sooner or later will be ashamed of it, and of their confidence in it. It is our wisdom to cease from man. Let us put all our confidence in the Rock of ages, not in broken reeds; in the Fountain of life, not in broken cisterns. The application is very close; for now ye are nothing. It were well for us, if we had always such convictions of the vanity of the creature, as we have had, or shall have, on a sick-bed, a death-bed, or in trouble of conscience. Job upbraids his friends with their hard usage. Though in want, he desired no more from them than a good look and a good word. It often happens that, even when we expect little from man, we have less; but from God, even when we expect much, we have more. Though Job differed from them, yet he was ready to yield as soon as it was made to appear that he was in error. Though Job had been in fault, yet they ought not to have given him such hard usage. His righteousness he holds fast, and will not let it go. He felt that there had not been such iniquity in him as they supposed. But it is best to commit our characters to Him who keeps our souls; in the great day every upright believer shall have praise of God.How forcible are right words! - How weighty and impressive are words of truth! Job means that he was accustomed to feel their power, and to admit it on his soul. If their words were such, he would listen to them with profound attention, and in silence. The expression has a proverbial cast.

But what doth your arguing reprove? - Or rather, what doth the reproof from you reprove? or what do your reproaches prove? Job professes a readiness to listen to words of truth and wisdom; he complains that the language of reproach used by them was not adapted to instruct his understanding or to benefit his heart. As it was, he did not feel himself convinced, and was likely to derive no advantage from what they said.

25. And what will your arguings reprove?—literally, "the reproofs which proceed from you"; the emphasis is on you; you may find fault, who are not in my situation [Umbreit]. Right words, i.e. the words of truth or solid arguments, have a marvellous power to convince and persuade a man; and if yours were such, I should readily yield to them.

Your arguing reprove; or, your arguing argue. There is no truth in your assertions, nor weight in your arguments, and therefore are they of no account or power with me.

How forcible are right words!.... That are according to right reason; such as may be called strong reasons, or bony arguments, as in Isaiah 41:21; there are strength and weight in such words, reasonings, and arguments; they bring evidence and conviction with them, and are very powerful to persuade the mind to an assent unto them, and have great influence to engage to a profession or practice of what they are used for; such are more especially the words of God, the Scriptures of truth, the doctrines of the Gospel; these are right words, see Proverbs 8:6; they are not contrary to right reason, although above it; and are agreeably to sanctified reason, and received by it; they are according to the perfections of God, even his righteousness and holiness, and according to the law of God, and in no wise repugnant to it, which is the rule of righteousness; and they are doctrines according to godliness, and are far from encouraging licentiousness; and they are all strictly true, and must be right: and there is a force and strength in those words; they come with weight, especially when they come in demonstration of the Spirit and power of God; they are mighty, through God, for the pulling down the strong holds of sin, Satan, and self, and for the bringing of men to the obedience of Christ; to the quickening dead sinners, enlightening dark minds, softening hard hearts; renewing, changing, and transforming men into quite another temper and disposition of mind they formerly had; for the comforting and relieving souls in distress, and saints under affliction; and have so very wonderful an influence on the lives and conversations of those to whom they come, not in word only, but in power and in the Holy Ghost, as to teach them to deny all sin and ungodliness, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly: or, "how forcible are the words of an upright man!" (a) that is, sincere, impartial, and faithful; which Job suggests his friends were not: some think Job has respect to his own words, and render the clause, "what hardness", or "harshness", have "right words!" (b) Such as he believed his own were, and in which there were nothing hard and harsh, sharp and severe, or which might give just offence; such as his cursing the day in which he was born, or charging his friends with treachery and deceit: but rather he tacitly reflects upon the words and arguments of his friends; intimating, that though there is force and strength in right words, theirs were neither right nor forcible, but partial and unjust, and weak and impotent; which had no strength of reasoning in them, nor carried any conviction with them, as follows:

but what doth your arguing reprove? their arguments they had used with him had no strength in them; they were of no avail; they did not reprove or convince of any evil he had been guilty of, or any mistake he had made; they were weak, impertinent, and useless, and fell with no weight upon him, nor wrought any conviction in him.

(a) So Aquila apud Drusium. (b) "quid duritiei habent verba rectitudinis", Schmidt; so Luther.

How {p} forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?

(p) He who has a good conscience does not shrink at the sharp words or reasonings of others, unless they are able to persuade him by reason.

25. how forcible are right words] Or, words of uprightness, that is honest, straightforward, close dealing with a man about himself, or his offences, sign of true friendship, Psalm 141:5; cf. ch. Job 33:3, where Elihu claims to speak out of this rectitude of mind. The word rendered forcible is of rather uncertain meaning. It occurs again 1 Kings 2:8, a grievous curse, Micah 2:10, a sore destruction, and in Job 16:3, what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest? The fundamental sense of the word is assumed to be to be sharp, hence, to be strong, vehement. This is conjectural. What may be but another form of the word occurs in Psalm 119:103, how sweet are thy words unto my taste! And many prefer that meaning here: how sweet are words of uprightness.

your arguing reprove] lit. what doth reproving from you, the kind of reproving that comes from you, insinuations and captious laying hold of more excited language, reprove? In Job 6:24 Job demanded to know from his friends directly what sins they laid to his charge. He would welcome straightforward dealing that went into his circumstances.

Verse 25. - How forcible are right words! literally, words of uprightness. Such words have a force that none can resist. If the charges made by Eliphaz had been right and true, and his arguments sound and just, then Job must have yielded to them, have confessed himself guilty, and bowed down with shame before his judges. But they had had no such constraining power. Therefore they were not "words of uprightness." But what doth your arguing reprove? literally, What doth your reproving reprove? That is - What exactly is it that ye think to be wrong in me? At what is your invective aimed? Job 6:2524 Teach me, and I will be silent,

And cause me to understand wherein I have failed.

25 How forcible are words in accordance with truth!

But what doth reproof from you reprove?

26 Do you think to reprove words?

The words of one in despair belong to the wind.

27 Ye would even cast lots for the orphan,

And traffic about your friend.

נמרצוּ, Job 6:25, in the signification of נמלצוּ (Psalm 119:103), would suit very well: how smooth, delicate, sweet, are, etc. (Hirz., Ew., Schlottm.); but this meaning does not suit Job 16:3. Hupfeld, by comparison with mar, bitter, translates: quantumvis acerba; but מה may signify quidquid, though not quantumvis. Hahn compares the Arabic verb to be sick, and translates: in what respect are right words bad; but physical disease and ethical badness are not such nearly related ideas. Ebrard: honest words are not taken amiss; but with an inadmissible application of Job 16:3. Von Gerl. is best: how strong or forcible are, etc. מרץ is taken as related to פּרץ, in the signification to penetrate; Hiph. to goad; Niph. to be furnished with the property of penetrating, - used here of penetrating speech; 1 Kings 2:8, of a curse inevitably carried out; Micah 2:10, of unsparing destruction. Words which keep the straight way to truth, go to the heart; on the contrary, what avails the reproving from you, i.e., which proceeds from you? הוכח, inf. absol. as Proverbs 25:27, and in but a few other passages as subject; מכּם, as Job 5:15, the sword going forth out of their mouth. In Job 6:26 the waw introduces a subordinate adverbial clause: while, however, the words of one in despair belong to the wind, that they may be carried away by it, not to the judgment which retains and analyzes them, without considering the mood of which they are the hasty expression. The futt. express the extent to which their want of feeling would go, if the circumstances for it only existed; they are subjunctive, as Job 3:13, Job 3:16. גּורל, the lot, is to be supplied to תּפּילוּ, as 1 Samuel 14:42. The verb כּרה, however, does not here signify to dig, so that שׁחת, a pit, should be supplied (Heiligst.), still less: dig out earth, and cast it on any one (Ebrard); but has the signification of buying and selling with על of the object, exactly like Job 39:27.

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