Job 19 Commentary

Job’s reply to Bildad (19:1-29)

Again Job rebukes his friends and rejects their assertion that his sufferings prove he must be a great sinner. Even if he has sinned, he argues, that is no concern of theirs (19:1-4). As Job sees things, he has not been wicked, but God has made it look as if he has by placing him in this humiliating situation (5-6). God has used his power against Job and Job can do nothing about it. He feels helpless (7-12). Relatives, friends and servants have all turned against him (13-16). His wife has forsaken him, children laugh at him, and people in general find him repulsive (17-20). Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar are the only ones who have chosen to stay with him. Can they not therefore take pity on him and give him some comfort (21- 22)?

Job wishes that his words could be recorded permanently, so that some day someone would declare him right (23-24). At this thought Job recalls his previous wish for new life after death (see notes on 14:13-17). This time, however, his words are more than just a wish. He is now confident that there must be a new and victorious life after death, for if God is to make a declaration that Job is righteous, Job must be there to hear it. So though his body may die, he will somehow live again. In his own body, with his own eyes, he will see God (25-27).

When that day comes, justice will be done to those who at present insist that Job’s suffering is the result of his secret sins. His accusers will be proved wrong and his persecutors will be punished (28-29).

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