Job 17, Exegetical Notes from Abner Chou

Job 17:1-5

Job continues to explain his situation from God’s point of view, a divine perspective.

Job 17:1

Job is ready to die.

Job 17:2

As he’s dying, people gather around to mock him.

Job 17:3

“Pledge” and “Guarantor” are down-payment language to show you are serious about it. Job is so serious about this, he will offer himself as bail/collateral…but that’s illogical. Plus, why does Job feel like he must offer himself? It’s because he has nothing else to offer. So he really wants someone else to post bail, to give a definitive downpayment on his behalf, but he doesn’t see one. The Bible talks about a downpayment, and that is the Holy Spirit, a downpayment of your eternal destiny as proof God will finish the job.

Job 17:4

God has closed the hearts of his friends. As illustration of that, there is this crazy proverb in Job 17:5.

Job 17:5

The one who informs his friend is the one who invites his friend over to party, to partake of his property. However, he doesn’t really have money, so he has to steal from his own children to put on the party, and therefore the children cry. Stealing from one person to please the other. Job is saying his friends are actually bankrupt and they are stealing from their bankrupt worldviews trying to make sense of Job’s situation. It won’t take long until people discover their fraud, and Job is saying that’s what he’s doing. He’s uncovered their folly. But God has closed off their minds to see that.

Job 17:6-10

We shift to man’s point of view, and Job reiterates his shame and physical depreciation.

Job says, We know that bad people suffer; so when you see me, you say, “You must be bad because you are suffering.” It’s circular logic, and it’s insular: they can only see what’s right in front of them and what they want to see. Job says You really think that’s smart and wise and really matches up to the way the world works?

Job 17:15-16

Because people can’t see clearly, Job has no hope. Hope is dead because Job can’t have anyone to testify for him who actually knows the situation—because man just doesn’t get it. The irony is this: God himself is the witness Job needs. And God knows Job was innocent all along.

“Hope is not the resolution of an immediate situation, hope is the confidence that God makes all things right in the end. And the Gospel solidifies that He has to, and will, and can.”