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Bible Commentaries

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

Job 19



Verse 25


‘I know that my Redeemer liveth.’

Job 19:25

I. The office described—the Redeemer. He redeems from wrath and sin and the grave.

II. The life declared.—The Redeemer liveth—is the Living One; and though He died once, He lives again, and has ‘the power of an endless life.’

III. The interest claimed.—My Redeemer, Who remembered me in my lost estate—Who gave Himself for me, a ransom for my soul—Who has delivered me in part, and in Whom I trust that He will yet deliver.

IV. The knowledge possessed.—‘I know’ from the testimony of a well-accredited Revelation, and on the ground of my own experience. “He that believeth hath the witness in himself.”

V. The seasons when the thought of this is especially appropriate.

(a) On the return of the Lord’s Day. The early Christians were wont to salute one another on the first day of the week with ‘The Lord is risen.’

(b) In seasons of painful bereavement. ‘My child is dead’—‘my husband is dead’—‘my friend is dead’—‘but I know that my Redeemer liveth.’


‘To say “I hope so, I trust so” is comfortable; and there are thousands in the fold of Jesus who hardly ever get much further. But to reach the essence of consolation you must say “I know.” Ifs, buts, and perhapses are sure murderers of peace and comfort. Doubts are dreary things in times of sorrow. Like wasps they sting the soul! If I have any suspicion that Christ is not mine, then there is vinegar mingled with the gall of death; but if I know that Jesus lives for me, then darkness is not dark; even the night is light about me. Surely if Job, in those ages before the coming and advent of Christ, could say, “I know,” we should not speak less positively. God forbid that our positiveness should be presumption. Let us see that our evidences are right, lest we build upon an ungrounded hope; and then let us not be satisfied with the mere foundation, for it is from the upper rooms that we get the widest prospect. A living Redeemer, truly mine, is joy unspeakable.’

Verse 28


‘But ye should say, Why persecute we him? seeing the root of the matter is found in me.’

Job 19:28

‘The root of the matter’ is (as we learn from the context) ‘Faith in a living Redeemer.’ That is the root of true religion.

I. It is the beginning of religion.—In such a world as ours all true religion begins in the faith of God’s love to us—‘the record He has given concerning His Son.’ ‘Add to your faith virtue, and knowledge,’ and the rest (2 Peter 1:5-7). This is a noble superstructure; but it is ‘built up on our most holy faith.’ These form a precious cluster of graces, but they are all fruits of faith.

II. It is the stability of it.—It is the root that keeps the tree firm in the earth; if the root were cut away, it would fall before the first rude blast, with all its honours thick upon it. So it is faith that sustains religion amid the assaults of temptation and the blast of persecution. ‘Who is he that overcometh, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?’ ‘This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.’

III. It furnishes the nourishment of it.—The various root-fibres are so many means of gathering nourishment for the trunk, branches, twigs, leaves, blossoms, and fruit; so religion owes its strength, beauty, and blessedness to faith. But the root has no supplies of its own. It attaches itself to the earth, draws out of it the virtue it possesses, and transmits this to the topmost branch, the uppermost bough, and the remotest leaf; and so it is with faith. It has no merit of its own, but looks for all in Christ. It is the fibrous root that attaches itself to the sacred soil of Scripture, and finds nourishment in the grace that is enshrined there.


‘Here is the secret of the difference between Job and his friends. There were roots to his religious life, and just as the roots of the vine will travel far under the soil to reach the river, so he sent out the radicles of his soul-life to that Redeemer Whom he knew to be alive, and Who would presently come to vindicate His afflicted servant.

Look at the branchlets of these roots. First, he asserts his belief that a divine Redeemer, his Goël and nearest Kinsman, was living. His soul drew sustenance and strength from direct contact with the Lord Jesus in His pre-existent state. Next, he believed that this glorious Ally would come one day to stand upon the earth on his behalf. In addition, he believed that though his body might be destroyed, yet with the eyes of a body that should be bestowed on him, he would see God. With personal conscious identity, he would behold Him for himself. See how the roots of his soul went out to the living Saviour, and to the great future, and the resurrection. Was it possible that one so moored to the Eternal could be overthrown by the storm-blasts of a day? Could such a soul be withered by sirocco of fiery trial?’


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Bibliography Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Job 19:4". Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.

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