New American Standard Bible
"Behold, I am insignificant; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth.
King James Bible
Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Darby Bible Translation
Behold, I am nought: what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth.
World English Bible
"Behold, I am of small account. What shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth.
Young's Literal Translation
Lo, I have been vile, What do I return to Thee? My hand I have placed on my mouth.
Job 40:4 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Behold, I am vile: what shall I answer thee? - "Instead of being able to argue my cause, and to vindicate myself as I had expected, I now see that I am guilty, and I have nothing to say." He had argued boldly with his friends. He had, before them, maintained his innocence of the charges which they brought against him, and had supposed that he would be able to maintain the same argument before God. But when the opportunity was given, he felt that he was a poor, weak man; a guilty and miserable offender. It is a very different thing to maintain our cause before God, from what it is to maintain it before people; and though we may attempt to vindicate our own righteousness when we argue with our fellow-creatures, yet when we come to maintain it before God we shall be dumb. On earth, people vindicate themselves; what will they do when they come to stand before God in the judgment?
I will lay mine hand upon my mouth - An expression of silence. Catlin, in his account of the Mandan Indians, says that this is a common custom with them when anything wonderful occurs. Some of them laid their hands on their mouths and remained in this posture by the hour, as an expression of astonishment at the wonders produced by the brush in the art of painting; compare Job 21:5, note; Job 29:9, note.
LibraryWhether at the Coming Judgment the Angels Will be Judged?
Objection 1: It would seem that the angels will be judged at the coming judgment. For it is written (1 Cor. 6:3): "Know you not that we shall judge angels?" But this cannot refer to the state of the present time. Therefore it should refer to the judgment to come. Objection 2: Further, it is written concerning Behemoth or Leviathan, whereby the devil is signified (Job 40:28): "In the sight of all he shall be cast down"; and (Mk. 1:24)* the demon cried out to Christ: "Why art Thou come to destroy us …
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica
Letter xx. Self-Examination.
Book vii. On the Useful or the Ordinary
"But we are all as an Unclean Thing, and all Our Righteousnesses are as Filthy Rags,"
They said to him, "Be silent, put your hand over your mouth and come with us, and be to us a father and a priest. Is it better for you to be a priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?"
"Look at me, and be astonished, And put your hand over your mouth.
"The princes stopped talking And put their hands on their mouths;
Then Job answered the LORD and said,
If you have been foolish in exalting yourself Or if you have plotted evil, put your hand on your mouth.
Let him put his mouth in the dust, Perhaps there is hope.
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