Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Job 33:9

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

I am clean - I am pure and holy.

Without transgression - Job had not used these very expressions, nor had he intended to maintain that he was absolutely free from sin; see Job 9:20. He had maintained that he was not chargeable with the transgressions of which his three friends maintained that he was guilty, and in doing that he had used strong language, and language which even seemed to imply that he was without transgression; see Job 9:30; Job 10:7; Job 13:23; Job 16:17.

I am innocent - The word used here (חף chaph ) is from the verb חפף chophaph - to cover, to protect; and also, as a secondary meaning, from the Arabic, to rub, to wipe off; to wash away; to lave. Hence, it denotes that which is rubbed clean, washed, pure - and then innocent. The word occurs only in this place. It is not the exact language which Job had used, and there seems to be some injustice done him in saying that he had employed such language. Elihu means, doubtless, that he had used language which implied this, or which was equivalent to it.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Elihu charges Job with reflecting upon the justice and goodness of God. When we hear any thing said to God's dishonour, we ought to bear our testimony against it. Job had represented God as severe in marking what he did amiss. Elihu urges that he had spoken wrong, and that he ought to humble himself before God, and by repentance to unsay it. God is not accountable to us. It is unreasonable for weak, sinful creatures, to strive with a God of infinite wisdom, power, and goodness. He acts with perfect justice, wisdom, and goodness, where we cannot perceive it.