Job 4:17
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
'Can mankind be just before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker?

King James Bible
Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?

Darby Bible Translation
Shall mortal man be more just than +God? Shall a man be purer than his Maker?

World English Bible
'Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker?

Young's Literal Translation
'Is mortal man than God more righteous? Than his Maker is a man cleaner?

Job 4:17 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Shall mortal man - Or, shall feeble man. The idea of "mortal" is not necessarily implied in the word used here, אנושׁ 'ĕnôsh. It means man; and is usually applied to the lower classes or ranks of people; see the notes at Isaiah 8:1. The common opinion in regard to this word is, that it is derived from אנשׁ 'ânash, to be sick, or ill at ease; and then desperate, or incurable - as of a disease or wound; Jeremiah 15:18; Micah 1:9; Job 34:6. Gesenius (Lex) calls this derivation in question; but if it be the correct idea, then the word used here originally referred to man as feeble, and as liable to sickness and calamity. I see no reason to doubt that the common idea is correct, and that it refers to man as weak and feeble. The other word used here to denote man (גבר geber) is given to him on account of his strength. The two words, therefore, embrace man whether considered as feeble or strong - and the idea is, that none of the race could be more pure than God.

Be more just than God - Some expositors have supposed that the sense of this expression in the Hebrew is, "Can man be pure before God, or in the sight of God?" They allege that it could not have been made a question whether man could be more pure than God, or more just than his Maker. Such is the view presented of the passage by Rosenmuller, Good, Noyes, and Umbreit:

"Shall mortal man be just before God?

Shall man be pure before his Maker?"

In support of this view, and this use of the Hebrew preposition מ (m), Rosenmuller appeals to Jeremiah 51:5; Numbers 32:29; Ezekiel 34:18. This, however, is not wholly satisfactory. The more literal translation is that which occurs in the common version, and this accords with the Vulgate and the Chaldee. If so understood, it is designed to repress and reprove the pride of men, which arraigns the equity of the divine government, and which seems to be wiser and better than God. Thus, understood, it would be a pertinent reproof of Job, who in his complaint Job 3 had seemed to be wiser than God. He had impliedly charged him with injustice and lack of goodness. All people who complain against God, and who arraign the equity and goodness of the divine dispensations, claim to be wiser and better than he is. They would have ordered flyings more wisely, and in a better manner. They would have kept the world from the disorders and sins which actually exist, and would have made it pure and happy. How pertinent, therefore, was it to ask whether man could be more pure or just than his Maker! And how pertinent was the solemn question propounded in the hearing of Eliphaz by the celestial messenger - a question that seems to have been originally proposed in view of the complaints and murmurs of a self-confident race!

Job 4:17 Parallel Commentaries

Whether Human Nature was More Assumable by the Son of God than any Other Nature?
Objection 1: It would seem that human nature is not more capable of being assumed by the Son of God than any other nature. For Augustine says (Ep. ad Volusianum cxxxvii): "In deeds wrought miraculously the whole reason of the deed is the power of the doer." Now the power of God Who wrought the Incarnation, which is a most miraculous work, is not limited to one nature, since the power of God is infinite. Therefore human nature is not more capable of being assumed than any other creature. Objection
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Christ Received Knowledge from the Angels?
Objection 1: It would seem that Christ received knowledge from the angels. For it is written (Lk. 22:43) that "there appeared to Him an angel from heaven, strengthening Him." But we are strengthened by the comforting words of a teacher, according to Job 4:3,4: "Behold thou hast taught many and hast strengthened the weary hand. Thy words have confirmed them that were staggering." Therefore Christ was taught by angels. Objection 2: Further, Dionysius says (Coel. Hier. iv): "For I see that even Jesus---the
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

On the Animals
The birds are the saints, because they fly to the higher heart; in the gospel: and he made great branches that the birds of the air might live in their shade. [Mark 4:32] Flying is the death of the saints in God or the knowledge of the Scriptures; in the psalm: I shall fly and I shall be at rest. [Ps. 54(55):7 Vulgate] The wings are the two testaments; in Ezekiel: your body will fly with two wings of its own. [Ez. 1:23] The feathers are the Scriptures; in the psalm: the wings of the silver dove.
St. Eucherius of Lyons—The Formulae of St. Eucherius of Lyons

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit as Revealed in his Names.
At least twenty-five different names are used in the Old and New Testaments in speaking of the Holy Spirit. There is the deepest significance in these names. By the careful study of them, we find a wonderful revelation of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. I. The Spirit. The simplest name by which the Holy Spirit is mentioned in the Bible is that which stands at the head of this paragraph--"The Spirit." This name is also used as the basis of other names, so we begin our study with this.
R. A. Torrey—The Person and Work of The Holy Spirit

Cross References
Job 4:16
"It stood still, but I could not discern its appearance; A form was before my eyes; There was silence, then I heard a voice:

Job 9:2
"In truth I know that this is so; But how can a man be in the right before God?

Job 25:4
"How then can a man be just with God? Or how can he be clean who is born of woman?

Job 31:15
"Did not He who made me in the womb make him, And the same one fashion us in the womb?

Job 32:22
"For I do not know how to flatter, Else my Maker would soon take me away.

Job 35:10
"But no one says, 'Where is God my Maker, Who gives songs in the night,

Job 36:3
"I will fetch my knowledge from afar, And I will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.

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