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
CommentaryBarnes' 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!
LibraryWhether 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?
On the Animals
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit as Revealed in his Names.
"It stood still, but I could not discern its appearance; A form was before my eyes; There was silence, then I heard a voice:
"In truth I know that this is so; But how can a man be in the right before God?
"How then can a man be just with God? Or how can he be clean who is born of woman?
"Did not He who made me in the womb make him, And the same one fashion us in the womb?
"For I do not know how to flatter, Else my Maker would soon take me away.
"But no one says, 'Where is God my Maker, Who gives songs in the night,
"I will fetch my knowledge from afar, And I will ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
Jump to PreviousClean Maker Mankind Mortal Pure Righteous Upright
Jump to NextClean Maker Mankind Mortal Pure Righteous Upright
LinksJob 4:17 NIV
Job 4:17 NLT
Job 4:17 ESV
Job 4:17 NASB
Job 4:17 KJV
Job 4:17 Bible Apps
Job 4:17 Biblia Paralela
Job 4:17 Chinese Bible
Job 4:17 French Bible
Job 4:17 German Bible
Job 4:17 Commentaries