on Job 40 :2
He that reproveth God, let him answer it - Let the man who has made so free with God and his government, answer to what he has now heard.
on Job 40 :2
Shall he that contendeth with the A mighty instruct him? - Gesenius renders this, "Contending shall the reprover of God contend with the Almighty?" Prof. Lee, "Shall one by contending with the Almighty correct this?" On the grammatical construction, see Gesenius on the word יסור yissôr, and Rosenmuller and Lee, in loc. The meaning seems to be this: "Will he who would enter into a controversy with the Almighty now presume to instruct him? He that was so desirous of arguing his cause with God, will he now answer?" All the language used here is taken from courts, and is such as I have had frequent occasion to explain in these notes. The reference is to the fact that Job had so often expressed a wish to carry his cause, as before a judicial tribunal, directly up to God. He had felt that if he could get it there, he could so argue it as to secure a verdict in his favor; that he could set arguments before the Almighty which would secure a reversal of the fearful sentence which had gone out against him, and which had caused him to be held as a guilty man. God now asks whether he who had been so anxious to have a legal argument, and to carry his cause himself before God - a man disposed to litigation before God (רוב rûb) - was still of the same mind, and felt himself qualified to take upon himself the office of an instructor, a corrector, an admonisher (יסור yissôr) of God? He had the opportunity now, and God here paused, after the sublime exhibition of his majesty and power in the previous chapters, to give him an opportunity, as he wished, to carry his cause directly before him. The result is stated in Job 40:3-4. Job had now nothing to say.
He that reproveth God - Or rather, "He that is disposed to carry his cause before God," as Job had often expressed a wish to do. The word used here (יכח yâkach) is often employed, especially in the Hiphil, in a "forensic sense," and means "to argue, to show, to prove" anything; then "to argue down, to confute, to convict;" see Job 6:25; Job 13:15; Job 19:5; Job 32:12; Proverbs 9:7-8; Proverbs 15:12; Proverbs 19:25. It is evidently used in that sense here - a Hiphil participle מוכיח môkiyach - and refers, not to any man in general who reproves God, but to Job in particular, as having expressed a wish to carry his cause before him, and to argue it there.
Let him answer it - Or rather, "Let him answer him." That is, Is he now ready to answer? There is now an opportunity for him to carry his cause, as he wished, directly before God. Is he ready to embrace the opportunity, and to answer now what the Almighty has said? This does not mean, then, as the common version would seem to imply, that the man who reproves God must be held responsible for it, but that Job, who had expressed the wish to carry his cause before God, had now an opportunity to do so. That this is the meaning, is apparent from the next verses, where Job says that he was confounded, and had nothing to say.
on Job 40 :2
40:2 Reproveth - That boldly censureth his ways or works; it is at his peril.