As long as my breath is in me, And the breath of God in my nostrils, My lips will not speak wickedness, Nor my tongue utter deceit. Job 27:3, 4
Job maintains the justice of his cause and keeps on affirming his integrity (27:1-6). What is more, Job’s friends have falsely accused him and they, who speak so learnedly of divine judgement, are themselves in danger (vv. 7-12). Job concludes as his friends have begun. God does, most certainly, punish the wicked (vv. 13-23).
1 Moreover Job continued his discourse, and said: 2 “As God lives, who has taken away my justice, And the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter, 3 As long as my breath is in me, And the breath of God in my nostrils, 4 My lips will not speak wickedness, Nor my tongue utter deceit. 5 Far be it from me That I should say you are right; Till I die I will not put away my integrity from me. 6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go; My heart shall not reproach me as long as I live.
“Speaking wickedness” (27:1-6). What a temptation to say what we think others want to hear. The pious platitude often covers up an aching heart or painful doubts. Job has taken a courageous course and will not desert it. However great the pressure, he will be honest with God and honest with others. The fierce honesty that Job chose did not produce any easy or quick answers. But in the end, as we will see, it won commendation from God.
2 “As God lives, who has taken away my justice, And the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter,
27:2 As God lives: These words reflect part of an oath formula used in ancient courts. Job paradoxically combines these words with two accusations against God. According to Job, the living God is the very one who has denied him justice – his legal right to due process. Job swears in the name of the divine Judge who, as his opponent, has perverted justice in His own favor. He alleges that God has made him bitter. Job’s responses only exposed the attitude that lay deep within his being. The message of the Lord for Job was that no matter what the circumstances, one should resolutely trust in God (see 40:8 42:1-6).
27:4, 5 Job denies that he would use the tactics of his so-called friends. He not only refuses to speak wickedness, he will not lie nor attempt to defend himself. You: This Hebrew in plural refers to all of Job’s three friends. Job maintains that they are erroneous in their reasoning, and to agree with them would be to compromise his integrity.