Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Job 16:21

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

O that one might plead - Let me only have liberty to plead with God, as a man hath with his fellow.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Oh that one might plead for a man - A more correct rendering of this would be, “Oh that it might be for a man to contend with God;” that is, in a judicial controversy. It is the expression of an earnest desire to carry his cause at once before God, and to be permitted to argue it there. This desire Job had often expressed; see Job 13:3, note; Job 13:18-22, notes. On the grammatical construction of the passage, see Rosenmuller.

As a man pleadeth for his neighbour - Hebrew “the son of man;” that is, the offspring of man. Or, rather, as a man contendeth with his neighbor; as one man may carry on a cause with another. He desired to carry his cause directly before God, and to be permitted to argue the case with him, as one is permitted to maintain an argument with a man; see the notes at Job 13:20-21.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Job's condition was very deplorable; but he had the testimony of his conscience for him, that he never allowed himself in any gross sin. No one was ever more ready to acknowledge sins of infirmity. Eliphaz had charged him with hypocrisy in religion, but he specifies prayer, the great act of religion, and professes that in this he was pure, though not from all infirmity. He had a God to go to, who he doubted not took full notice of all his sorrows. Those who pour out tears before God, though they cannot plead for themselves, by reason of their defects, have a Friend to plead for them, even the Son of man, and on him we must ground all our hopes of acceptance with God. To die, is to go the way whence we shall not return. We must all of us, very certainly, and very shortly, go this journey. Should not then the Saviour be precious to our souls? And ought we not to be ready to obey and to suffer for his sake? If our consciences are sprinkled with his atoning blood, and testify that we are not living in sin or hypocrisy, when we go the way whence we shall not return, it will be a release from prison, and an entrance into everlasting happiness.