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Job 9:21

    Job 9:21 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Though I were perfect, yet would I not know my soul: I would despise my life.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    I am perfect; I regard not myself; I despise my life.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    I have done no wrong; I give no thought to what becomes of me; I have no desire for life.

    Webster's Revision

    I am perfect; I regard not myself; I despise my life.

    World English Bible

    I am blameless. I don't respect myself. I despise my life.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    I am perfect; I regard not myself; I despise my life.

    Clarke's Commentary on Job 9:21

    Though I were perfect - Had I the fullest conviction that, in every thought, word, and deed, I were blameless before him, yet I would not plead this; nor would I think it any security for a life of ease and prosperity, or any proof that my days should be prolonged.

    Barnes' Notes on Job 9:21

    Though I were perfect - The same mode of expression occurs here again. "I perfect! I would not know it, or recognize it. If this were my view, and God judged otherwise, I would seem to be ignorant of it. I would not mention it."

    Yet would I not know my soul - Or, "I could not know my soul. If I should advance such a claim, it must be from my ignorance of myself." Is not this true of all the claims to perfection which have ever been set up by man? Do they not demonstrate that he is ignorant of his own nature and character? So clear does this seem to me, that I have no doubt that Job expressed more than three thousand years ago what will be found true to the end of time - that if a man advances the claim to absolute perfection, it is conclusive proof that he does not know his own heart. A superficial view of ourselves, mingled with pride and vanity, may lead us to think that we are wholly free from sin. But who can tell what he would be if placed in other circumstances? Who knows what latent depravity would be developed if he were thrown into temptations?

    I would despise my life - Dr. Good, I think, has well expressed the sense of this. According to his interpretation, it means that the claim of perfection would be in fact disowning all the consciousness which he had of sinfulness; all the arguments and convictions pressed on him by his reason and conscience, that he was a guilty man. Schultens, however, has given an interpretation which slightly differs from this, and one which Rosenmuller prefers. "Although I should be wholly conscious of innocence, yet that clear consciousness could not sustain me against the infinite splendor of the divine glory and majesty; but I should be compelled to appear ignorant of my own soul, and to reprobate, condemn, and despise my life passed with integrity and virtue." This interpretation is in accordance with the connection, and may be sustained by the Hebrew.

    Wesley's Notes on Job 9:21

    9:21 Perfect - If I should think myself perfect, yet I would not know, not acknowledge, my soul; I could not own nor plead before God the integrity of my soul, but would only make supplication to my judge, I would abhor, or condemn my life, I would not trust to the integrity either of my soul and heart, or of my life, so as to justify myself before the pure and piercing eyes of the all - seeing God.
    Book: Job