Zophar Accuses Job of Iniquity

111 Then Zophar the Naamathite made answer and said, 2 Are all these words to go unanswered? and is a man seen to be right because he is full of talk? 3 Are your words of pride to make men keep quiet? and are you to make sport, with no one to put you to shame? 4 You may say, My way is clean, and I am free from sin in your eyes. 5 But if only God would take up the word, opening his lips in argument with you; 6 And would make clear to you the secrets of wisdom, and the wonders of his purpose!

7 Are you able to take God's measure, to make discovery of the limits of the Ruler of all? 8 They are higher than heaven; what is there for you to do? deeper than the underworld, and outside your knowledge; 9 Longer in measure than the earth, and wider than the sea. 10 If he goes on his way, shutting a man up and putting him to death, who may make him go back from his purpose? 11 For in his eyes men are as nothing; he sees evil and takes note of it. 12 And so a hollow-minded man will get wisdom, when a young ass of the field gets teaching.

13 But if you put your heart right, stretching out your hands to him; 14 If you put far away the evil of your hands, and let no wrongdoing have a place in your tent; 15 Then truly your face will be lifted up, with no mark of sin, and you will be fixed in your place without fear: 16 For your sorrow will go from your memory, like waters flowing away: 17 And your life will be brighter than day; though it is dark, it will become like the morning. 18 And you will be safe because there is hope; after looking round, you will take your rest in quiet; 19 Sleeping with no fear of danger; and men will be desiring to have grace in your eyes; 20 But the eyes of the evil-doers will be wasting away; their way of flight is gone, and their only hope is the taking of their last breath.

Job Affirms God's Power and Wisdom

121 And Job made answer and said, 2 No doubt you have knowledge, and wisdom will come to an end with you. 3 But I have a mind as well as you; I am equal to you: yes, who has not knowledge of such things as these? 4 It seems that I am to be as one who is a cause of laughing to his neighbour, one who makes his prayer to God and is answered! the upright man who has done no wrong is to be made sport of! 5 In the thought of him who is in comfort there is no respect for one who is in trouble; such is the fate of those whose feet are slipping.

6 There is wealth in the tents of those who make destruction, and those by whom God is moved to wrath are safe; even those whose god is their strength. 7 But put now a question to the beasts, and get teaching from them; or to the birds of the heaven, and they will make it clear to you; 8 Or to the things which go flat on the earth, and they will give you wisdom; and the fishes of the sea will give you news of it. 9 Who does not see by all these that the hand of the Lord has done this? 10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all flesh of man. 11 Are not words tested by the ear, even as food is tasted by the mouth?

12 Old men have wisdom, and a long life gives knowledge. 13 With him there is wisdom and strength; power and knowledge are his. 14 Truly, there is no building up of what is pulled down by him; when a man is shut up by him, no one may let him loose. 15 Truly, he keeps back the waters and they are dry; he sends them out and the earth is overturned. 16 With him are strength and wise designs; he who is guided into error, together with his guide, are in his hands; 17 He takes away the wisdom of the wise guides, and makes judges foolish; 18 He undoes the chains of kings, and puts his band on them; 19 He makes priests prisoners, overturning those in safe positions; 20 He makes the words of responsible persons without effect, and takes away the good sense of the old; 21 He puts shame on chiefs, and takes away the power of the strong; 22 Uncovering deep things out of the dark, and making the deep shade bright; 23 Increasing nations, and sending destruction on them; making wide the lands of peoples, and then giving them up. 24 He takes away the wisdom of the rulers of the earth, and sends them wandering in a waste where there is no way. 25 They go feeling about in the dark without light, wandering without help like those overcome with wine.

Job Defends His Integrity

131 Truly, my eye has seen all this, word of it has come to my ear, and I have knowledge of it. 2 The same things are in my mind as in yours; I am equal to you. 3 But I would have talk with the Ruler of all, and my desire is to have an argument with God. 4 But you put a false face on things; all your attempts to put things right are of no value. 5 If only you would keep quiet, it would be a sign of wisdom! 6 Give ear to the argument of my mouth, and take note of the words of my lips. 7 Will you say in God's name what is not right, and put false words into his mouth? 8 Will you have respect for God's person in this cause, and put yourselves forward as his supporters? 9 Will it be good for you to be searched out by him, or have you the thought that he may be guided into error like a man? 10 He will certainly put you right, if you have respect for persons in secret. 11 Will not his glory put you in fear, so that your hearts will be overcome before him? 12 Your wise sayings are only dust, and your strong places are only earth.

13 Keep quiet, and let me say what is in my mind, whatever may come to me. 14 I will take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand. 15 Truly, he will put an end to me; I have no hope; but I will not give way in argument before him; 16 And that will be my salvation, for an evil-doer would not come before him, 17 Give ear with care to my words, and keep what I say in your minds. 18 See now, I have put my cause in order, and I am certain that I will be seen to be right. 19 Is any one able to take up the argument against me? If so, I would keep quiet and give up my breath. 20 Only two things do not do to me, then I will come before your face: 21 Take your hand far away from me; and let me not be overcome by fear of you. 22 Then at the sound of your voice I will give answer; or let me put forward my cause for you to give me an answer.

23 What is the number of my evil-doings and my sins? give me knowledge of them. 24 Why is your face veiled from me, as if I was numbered among your haters? 25 Will you be hard on a leaf in flight before the wind? will you make a dry stem go more quickly on its way? 26 For you put bitter things on record against me, and send punishment on me for the sins of my early years; 27 And you put chains on my feet, watching all my ways, and making a limit for my steps; 28 Though a man comes to nothing like a bit of dead wood, or like a robe which has become food for the worm.

The Conversion of Saul

91 But Saul, still burning with desire to put to death the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 And made a request for letters from him to the Synagogues of Damascus, so that if there were any of the Way there, men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 And while he was journeying, he came near Damascus; and suddenly he saw a light from heaven shining round him; 4 And he went down on the earth, and a voice said to him, Saul, Saul, why are you attacking me so cruelly? 5 And he said, Who are you, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus, whom you are attacking: 6 But get up, and go into the town, and it will be made clear to you what you have to do. 7 And the men who were with him were not able to say anything; hearing the voice, but seeing no one. 8 And Saul got up from the earth, and when his eyes were open, he saw nothing; and he was guided by the hand into Damascus. 9 And for three days he was not able to see, and he took no food or drink.

10 Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and the Lord said to him in a vision, Ananias! and he said, Here I am, Lord. 11 And the Lord said to him, Get up, and go to the street which is named Straight, and make search at the house of Judas for one named Saul of Tarsus: for he is at prayer; 12 And he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hands on him, so that he may be able to see. 13 But Ananias said, Lord, I have had accounts of this man from a number of people, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem: 14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to make prisoners all who give worship to your name. 15 But the Lord said, Go without fear: for he is a special vessel for me, to give to the Gentiles and kings and to the children of Israel the knowledge of my name: 16 For I will make clear to him what troubles he will have to undergo for me. 17 And Ananias went out and came to the house, and putting his hands on him, said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, whom you saw when you were on your journey, has sent me, so that you may be able to see, and be full of the Holy Spirit. 18 And straight away it seemed as if a veil was taken from his eyes, and he was able to see; and he got up, and had baptism; 19 And when he had taken food his strength came back. And for some days he kept with the disciples who were in Damascus.

Saul Preaches at Damascus

20 And straight away, in the Synagogues, he was preaching Jesus as the Son of God. 21 And all those hearing him were full of wonder and said, Is not this the man who in Jerusalem was attacking all the worshippers of this name? and he had come here so that he might take them as prisoners before the chief priests.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on Acts 9:1-21

Commentary on Acts 9:1-9

(Read Acts 9:1-9)

So ill informed was Saul, that he thought he ought to do all he could against the name of Christ, and that he did God service thereby; he seemed to breathe in this as in his element. Let us not despair of renewing grace for the conversion of the greatest sinners, nor let such despair of the pardoning mercy of God for the greatest sin. It is a signal token of Divine favour, if God, by the inward working of his grace, or the outward events of his providence, stops us from prosecuting or executing sinful purposes. Saul saw that Just One, 14; 26:13. How near to us is the unseen world! It is but for God to draw aside the veil, and objects are presented to the view, compared with which, whatever is most admired on earth is mean and contemptible. Saul submitted without reserve, desirous to know what the Lord Jesus would have him to do. Christ's discoveries of himself to poor souls are humbling; they lay them very low, in mean thoughts of themselves. For three days Saul took no food, and it pleased God to leave him for that time without relief. His sins were now set in order before him; he was in the dark concerning his own spiritual state, and wounded in spirit for sin. When a sinner is brought to a proper sense of his own state and conduct, he will cast himself wholly on the mercy of the Saviour, asking what he would have him to do. God will direct the humbled sinner, and though he does not often bring transgressors to joy and peace in believing, without sorrows and distress of conscience, under which the soul is deeply engaged as to eternal things, yet happy are those who sow in tears, for they shall reap in joy.

Commentary on Acts 9:10-22

(Read Acts 9:10-22)

A good work was begun in Saul, when he was brought to Christ's feet with those words, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And never did Christ leave any who were brought to that. Behold, the proud Pharisee, the unmerciful oppressor, the daring blasphemer, prayeth! And thus it is even now, and with the proud infidel, or the abandoned sinner. What happy tidings are these to all who understand the nature and power of prayer, of such prayer as the humbled sinner presents for the blessings of free salvation! Now he began to pray after another manner than he had done; before, he said his prayers, now, he prayed them. Regenerating grace sets people on praying; you may as well find a living man without breath, as a living Christian without prayer. Yet even eminent disciples, like Ananias, sometimes stagger at the commands of the Lord. But it is the Lord's glory to surpass our scanty expectations, and show that those are vessels of his mercy whom we are apt to consider as objects of his vengeance. The teaching of the Holy Spirit takes away the scales of ignorance and pride from the understanding; then the sinner becomes a new creature, and endeavours to recommend the anointed Saviour, the Son of God, to his former companions.