Job 17:3
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Lay down, now, a pledge for me with Yourself; Who is there that will be my guarantor?

King James Bible
Lay down now, put me in a surety with thee; who is he that will strike hands with me?

Darby Bible Translation
Lay down now a pledge, be thou surety for me with thyself: who is he that striketh hands with me?

World English Bible
"Now give a pledge, be collateral for me with yourself. Who is there who will strike hands with me?

Young's Literal Translation
Place, I pray Thee, my pledge with Thee; Who is he that striketh hand with me?

Job 17:3 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Lay down now - This is evidently an address to God - a repetition of the wish which he had so often expressed, that he might be permitted to bring his cause directly before him; see Job 13:3. The whole passage here is obscure, because we are in a great measure ignorant of the ancient practices in courts of law, and of the ancient forms of trial. The general sense seems to be, that Job desires the Deity to enter into a judicial investigation, and to give him a "pledge" - or, as we should say, a "bond," or "security" - that he would not avail himself of his almighty power, but would place him on an equality in the trial, and allow him to plead his cause on equal terms; see the notes at Job 13:20-22. The phrase "lay down now" means, lay down a pledge, or something of that kind; and may have referred to some ancient custom of giving security on going to trial, that no advantage would be taken, or that the parties would abide by the decision in the case.

Put me in a surety with thee - The word used here (ערבני ‛ârabı̂yn) is from ערב ‛ârab, to mix, mingle; to exchange, to barter and then to become surety for anyone - that is, to "exchange" places with him, or to stand in his place; Genesis 43:9; Genesis 44:32. Here the idea seems to be, that Job wished the Deity to give him some pledge or security that justice would be done, or that he would not take advantage of his power and majesty to overawe him. Or, as has been remarked, it may refer to some custom of furnishing security on a voluntary trial or arbitration, that the award of the referees would be observed. I think it most probable that this is the idea. The controversy here was to be voluntary. In a voluntary trial, or an arbitration, there is a necessity of some security by the parties that the decision shall be submitted to - a pledge to each other that they will abide by it. Such a pledge Job desired in this case. All this is language taken from courts, and should not be pressed too much, nor should Job be hastily charged with irreverence. Having once suggested the idea of a "trial" of the cause, it was natural for him to use the language which was commonly employed in reference to such trials; and these expressions are to be regarded as thrown in for the sake of "keeping," or verisimilitude.

Who is he that will strike hands with me? - Striking hands then, as now, seems to have been one mode of confirming an agreement, or ratifying a compact. The idea here is," Who is there that will be surety to me for thee?" that is, for the faithful observance of right and justice. There is an appearance of irreverence in this language, but it arises from carrying out the ideas pertaining to a form of trial in a court. In entering into "sureties," it was usual to unite hands; see Proverbs 6:1 :

My son, if thou be surety for thy friend,

If thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger.

So Proverbs 17:18 :

A man void of understanding striketh hands,

And becometh surety in the presence of his friend

Compare Proverbs 11:15; Proverbs 22:26. The same custom prevailed in the times of Homer and of Virgil. Thus, Homer (Iliad, β b. 341) says:

Ποῦ δὴ -

- δεξιαὶ ἦς ἐπέπιθμεν -

Pou de4 -

- dexiai hēs epepithmen -

And so Virgil (Aeneid 4:597) says;


Job 17:3 Parallel Commentaries

Whether Christ Went Down into the Hell of the Lost?
Objection 1: It would seem that Christ went down into the hell of the lost, because it is said by the mouth of Divine Wisdom (Ecclus. 24:45): "I will penetrate to all the lower parts of the earth." But the hell of the lost is computed among the lower parts of the earth according to Ps. 62:10: "They shall go into the lower parts of the earth." Therefore Christ who is the Wisdom of God, went down even into the hell of the lost. Objection 2: Further, Peter says (Acts 2:24) that "God hath raised up Christ,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Cross References
Psalm 119:122
Be surety for Your servant for good; Do not let the arrogant oppress me.

Isaiah 38:14
"Like a swallow, like a crane, so I twitter; I moan like a dove; My eyes look wistfully to the heights; O Lord, I am oppressed, be my security.

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