Who is he that hideth counsel - These are the words of Job, and they are a repetition of what Jehovah said, Job 38:2; : "Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?" Job now having heard the Almighty's speech, and having received his reproof, echoes back his words: "Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge Alas, I am the man; I have uttered what I understood not; things too wonderful for me, that I knew not. God had said, Job 38:3; : "Gird up now thy loins like a man; I will demand of thee, and answer thou me." In allusion to this, Job exclaims to his Maker, Job 42:4; : "Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will ask of Thee, and declare Thou unto Me." I acknowledge my ignorance; I confess my foolishness and presumption; I am ashamed of my conduct; I lament my imperfections; I implore thy mercy; and beg thee to show me thy will, that I may ever think, speak, and do, what is pleasing in thy sight.
Things too wonderful - I have spoken of thy judgments, which I did not comprehend.
Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? - This is repeated from Job 38:2. As used there these are the words of the Almighty, uttered as a reproof of Job for the manner in which he had undertaken to explain the dealings of God; see the notes at that verse. As repeated here by Job, they are an acknowledgment of the truth of what is there implied, that “he” had been guilty of hiding counsel in this manner, and the repetition here is a part of his confession. He acknowledges that he “had” entertained and expressed such views of God as were in fact clothing the whole subject in darkness instead of explaining it. The meaning is, “Who indeed is it, as thou saidst, that undertakes to judge of great and profound purposes without knowledge? I am that presumptuous man? Ilgen.”
Therefore have I uttered that I understood not - I have pronounced an opinion on subjects altogether too profound for my comprehension. This is the language of true humility and penitence, and shows that Job had at heart a profound veneration for God, however much he had been led away by the severity of his sufferings to give vent to improper expressions. It is no uncommon thing for even good people to be brought to see that they have spoken presumptuously of God, and have engaged, in discussions and ventured to pronounce opinions on matters pertaining to the divine administration, that were wholly beyond their comprehension.