on Job 31 :35
O that one would hear me! - I wish to have a fair and full hearing: I am grievously accused; and have no proper opportunity of clearing myself, and establishing my own innocence.
Behold, my desire is - Or, הן תוי hen tavi, "There is my pledge." I bind myself, on a great penalty, to come into court, and abide the issue.
That the Almighty would answer me - That he would call this case immediately before himself; and oblige my adversary to come into court, to put his accusations into a legal form, that I might have the opportunity of vindicating myself in the presence of a judge who would hear dispassionately my pleadings, and bring the cause to a righteous issue.
And that mine adversary had written a book - That he would not indulge himself in vague accusations, but would draw up a proper bill of indictment, that I might know to what I had to plead, and find the accusation in a tangible form.
on Job 31 :35
O that one would hear me! - This refers undoubtedly to God. It is, literally, "Who will give to me one hearing me;" and the wish is that which he has so often expressed, that he might get his cause fairly before God. He feels assured that there would be a favorable verdict, if there could be a fair judicial investigation; compare the notes at Job 13:3.
Behold, my desire is - Margin, "Or, my sign is that 'the Almighty will answer me.'" The word rendered in the text desire, and in the margin sign, (תו tâv), means properly a mark, or sign, and is also the name of the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Then the word means, according to Gesenius (Lex.), a mark, or cross, as subscribed to a bill of complaint; hence, the bill itself, or, as we should say, the pleading. According to this, Job means to say that he was ready for trial, and that there was his bill of complaint, or his pleading, or his bill of defense. So Herder renders it, "See my defense." Coverdale, "Lo, this is my cause." Miss Smith renders it, "Behold my gage!" Umbreit, Meinel Kagschrift - My accusation. There can be no doubt that it refers to the forms of a judicial investigation, and that the idea is, that Job was ready for the trial. "Here" says he, "is my defense, my argument, my pleading, my bill! I wait that my adversary should come to the trial." The name used here as given to the bill or pleading (תו tâv, mark, or sign), probably had its origin from the fact that some mark was affixed to it - of some such significance as a seal - by which it was certified to be the real bill of the party, and by which he acknowledged it as his own. This might have been done by signing his name, or by some conventional mark that was common in those times.
That the Almighty would answer me - That is, answer me as on trial; that the cause might be fairly brought to an issue. This wish he had frequently expressed.
And that mine adversary - God; regarded as the opposite party in the suit.
Had written a book - Or, would write down his charge. The wish is, that what God had against him were in like manner entered in a bill or pleading that the charge might be fairly investigated. On the word book, compare the notes at Job 19:23. It means here a pleading in court, a bill, or charge against anyone. There is no irreverence in the language here. Job is anxious that his true character should be investigated, and that the great matter at issue should be determined; and he draws his language and illustrations from well-known practices in courts of law.
on Job 31 :35
31:35 Had written - Had given me his charge written in a book or paper, as the manner was in judicial proceedings. This shews that Job did not live, before letters were in use. And undoubtedly the first letters were those wrote on the two tables, by the finger of God. He wishes, his friends, who charged him with hypocrisy, would draw up the charge in writing.