English Standard Version
Though I am in the right, my own mouth would condemn me; though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
King James Bible
If I justify myself, mine own mouth shall condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, it shall also prove me perverse.
American Standard Version
Though I be righteous, mine own mouth shall condemn me: Though I be perfect, it shall prove me perverse.
If I would justify myself, my own mouth shall condemn me: if I would shew myself innocent, he shall prove me wicked.
English Revised Version
Though I be righteous, mine own mouth shall condemn me: though I be perfect, it shall prove me perverse.
Webster's Bible Translation
If I justify myself, my own mouth will condemn me: if I say, I am perfect, that also will prove me perverse.
Job 9:20 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
11 Behold, He goeth by me and I see not,
And passeth by and I perceive Him not.
12 Behold, He taketh away, who will hold Him back?
Who will say to Him: What doest Thou?
13 Eloah restraineth not His anger,
The helpers of Rahab stoop under Him -
14 How much less that I should address Him,
That I should choose the right words in answer to Him;
15 Because, though I were right, I could not answer, -
To Him as my Judge I must make supplication.
God works among men, as He works in nature, with a supreme control over all, invisibly, irresistibly, and is not responsible to any being (Isaiah 45:9). He does not turn or restrain His anger without having accomplished His purpose. This is a proposition which, thus broadly expressed, is only partially true, as is evident from Psalm 78:38. The helpers of Rahab must bow themselves under Him. It is not feasible to understand this in a general sense, as meaning those who are ready with boastful arrogance to yield succour to any against God. The form of expression which follows in Job 9:14, "much less I," supports the assumption that רהב עזרי refers to some well-known extraordinary example of wicked enterprise which had been frustrated, notwithstanding the gigantic strength by which it was supported; and שׁחהוּ may be translated by the present tense, since a familiar fact is used as synonymous with the expression of an universal truth. Elsewhere Rahab as a proper name denotes Egypt (Psalm 87:4), but it cannot be so understood here, because direct references to events in the history of Israel are contrary to the character of the book, which, with remarkable consistency, avoids everything that is at all Israelitish. But how has Egypt obtained the name of Rahab? It is evident from Isaiah 30:7 that it bears this name with reference to its deeds of prowess; but from Psalm 89:11; Isaiah 51:9, it is evident that Rahab properly denotes a sea-monster, which has become the symbol of Egypt, like tannn and leviathan elsewhere. This signification of the word is also supported by Job 26:12, where the lxx actually translate κητος, as here with remarkable freedom, ὑπ ̓ ἀυτοῦ ἐκάμφθησαν κήτη τὰ ὑπ ̓ οὐρανόν. It is not clear whether these "sea-monsters" denote rebels cast down into the sea beneath the sky, or chained upon the sky; but at any rate the consciousness of a distinct mythological meaning in רהב עזרי is expressed by this translation (as also in the still freer translation of Jerome, et sub quo curvantur qui portant orbem); probably a myth connected with such names of the constellations as Κῆτος and Πρίστις (Ewald, Hirz., Schlottm.). The poesy of the book of Job even in other places does not spurn mythological allusions; and the phrase before us reminds one of the Hindu myth of Indras' victory over the dark demon Vritras, who tries to delay the descent of rain, and over his helpers. In Vritras, as in רהב, there is the idea of hostile resistance.
Job compares himself, the feeble one, to these mythical titanic powers in Job 9:14. כּי אף (properly: even that), or even אף alone (Job 4:19), signifies, according as the connection introduces a climax or anti-climax, either quanto magis or quanto minus, as here: how much less can I, the feeble one, dispute with Him! אשׁר, Job 9:15, is best taken, as in Job 5:5, in the signification quoniam. The part. Poel משׁפטי we should more correctly translate "my disputant" than "my judge;" it is Poel which Ewald appropriately styles the conjugation of attack: שׁופט, judicando vel litigando aliquem petere; comp. Ges. 55, 1. The part. Kal denotes a judge, the part. Poel one who is accuser and judge at the same time. On such Poel-forms from strong roots, vid., on Psalm 109:10, where wedorschu is to be read, and therefore it is written ודרשׁוּ in correct Codices.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
I am perfect
Though I am in the right, I cannot answer him; I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.
I shall be condemned; why then do I labor in vain?
Your own mouth condemns you, and not I; your own lips testify against you.
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.