on Job 19 :28
But ye should say - Or, Then ye shall say.
Why persecute we him - Or, as Mr. Good, How did we persecute him! Alas! we are now convinced that we did wrong.
Seeing the root of the matter - A pure practice, and a sound hope, resting on the solid ground of sound faith, received from God himself. Instead of בי bi, in Me, בי bo, in Him, is the reading of more than one hundred of Kennicott's and De Rossi's MSS., and in several of the versions. Seeing the root of the matter is found in Him.
on Job 19 :28
But ye should say - Noyes renders this, "Since ye say, 'How may we persecute him, and find grounds of accusation against him?'" Dr. Good,
Then shall ye say, "How did we persecute him?"
When the root of the matter is disclosed in me.
The Vulgate, "Why now do ye say, let us persecute him, and find ground of accusation - "radicem verbi" against him?" The Septuagint, "If you also say, What shall we say against him? and what ground of accusation - ῥίζαν λόγου rizan logou - shall we find in him?" Rosenmuller renders it, "When you say, let us persecute him, and see what ground of accusation we can find in him, then fear the sword." Most critics concur in such an interpretation as implies that they had sought a ground of accusation against him, and that they would have occasion to fear the divine displeasure on account of it. It seems to me, however, that our translators have given substantially the fair sense of the Hebrew. A slight variation would, perhaps, better express the idea: "For you will yet say, Why did we persecute him? The root of the matter was found in him - and since this will be the case, fear now that justice will overtake you for it, for vengeance will not always slumber when a friend of God is wronged."
Seeing the root of the matter - Margin, "and" what "root of matter is found in me." The word rendered "matter" (דבר dâbâr), "word or thing." means, properly, word or thing - and may refer to "any" thing. Here it is used in one of the two opposite senses, "piety" or "guilt" - as being "the thing" under consideration. The interpretation to be adopted must depend on the view taken of the other words of the sentence. To me it seems that it denotes piety, and that the idea is, that the root of true piety was in him, or that he was not a hypocrite. The word root is so common as to need no explanation. It is used sometimes to denote the "bottom," or the lowest part of anything - as e. g., the foot (see Job 13:27, "margin"), the bottom of the mountains Job 28:9, or of the sea, Job 36:30, "margin." Here it means the foundation, support, or source - as the root is of a tree; and the sense, I suppose, is, that he was not a dead trunk, but he was like a tree that had a root, and consequently support and life. Many critics, however, among whom is Gesenius, suppose that it means that the root of the controversy, that is, the ground of strife, was in "him," or that he was the cause of the whole dispute.
on Job 19 :28
19:28 Therefore - Because my faith and hope are in God. The root - The root denotes, a root of true religion. And the root of all true religion is living faith.