Job 9:32-33 Justice (Daysman)

For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him,

and we should come together in judgment.

Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand on us both.

In the Eastern countries, there are three kinds of justice available. There are the judges, the Elders at the Gate, and the daysman. Now we will focus on the daysman.


We see a reference to him mentioned in Job 9:32-33:


For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment.


Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand on us both.


Job is speaking, in verse 32, of God when he says "he is not a man as I am." We know that God is Spirit, John 4:24: Job is here reaffirming that since God is Spirit and Job is a man they cannot appear before a judge for judgment in this matter.


You remember that Job is here answering his "miserable comforters", the friends who came to commiserate with him concerning the loss of all that he had: children, cattle; everything but his wife. The Scripture says that these friends sat down and said not a word for seven days and seven nights.


The daysman is neither elected nor appointed as were the others we discussed, but he rises up from the people as a wise man, well-versed in the Scriptures, who acts to reconcile the wrong-doer to the wronged.


The daysman is called "Mahatma" which means great soul. You have heard of Mahatma Gandhi, who became well-known because he was active in politics. But there are many Mahatmas in India of whom you have not heard, acting as daysmen.


As an example of what the daysman does, take a case of two young men, John and George. John owes George some money and refuses to pay it. Finally George gets angry and punches John in the nose. Now the parents of the two boys become concerned about the matter. They say "You two boys cannot go on like this. Something must be done about it. Come; let us go to the daysman."


And they all go to the daysman's house. He is usually a wealthy man, with a large comfortable home suitable for receiving such a group of guests. They all come to the daysman's house: the two boys, their parents and other relatives and friends who might be concerned.


They knock on the door and he says "Come in." They go in and he asks, "Wouldn't you like something to drink this morning?" And then he calls for coconut milk. He doesn't ask who they are, or whether they belong to the same church that he does, or anything like that. He doesn't say, "Can I do anything for you?" Neither does he peek through a small window, as they do in England to see who it is before opening the door. "Come in", the daysman calls to whomever is calling at the entrance; so they drink something and then sit down, and the daysman waits until they tell him why they are there.


The parents explain that the two boys have had a quarrel and that they wish this quarrel settled without bitterness and more quarreling afterwards, and so forth.


The daysman seats himself at a table and spreads out several books of Scripture before him: The Vedas, the Bhagavad-Gila, the Talmud, the Bible, the Upanishads etc. He seats George, the one who has done the nose-punching, to the right of him, and John to his left.


He says, "What religion are you boys? Both Hindu? All right." He picks up the appropriate Holy Book and, turning to the place, he says to George:


"Ah, you punched his nose - - - do you know that he is your brother?"


"Yes, Sir."


"And you know that if God had punched you in the nose for all the things that you have done wrong since you were small, you wouldn't have any nose left, would you?"


George says, " Yes sir. "


The daysman continues, "Look here, .George, you see where it says in the Scripture, 'If thy brother hath need of any thing give it to him'? Not loan; give. You should not have loaned the money in the first place. You should have given it to him. Now on top of that, You punched him in the nose. Aren't you sorry?"


Thus the daysman talks, showing George the Scripture convicting him, proving to him that he is wrong. He takes all the time needed, two or three hours if necessary, to show him that he is in the wrong. He will say, "When you loaned him the money, you gave it to him. If he is not able to pay, you should not have asked him. You broke one law there, asking him for it. Then you broke another law by hitting him. And then, what you lent him was not your money; it was God's money - it belonged to God. The Scripture teaches that what you have is not your own. If God had not given you the strength to earn, how could you have earned your money in the first place? God gave you the power to earn so that you may lend the money to a brother."


"You were able to earn the money, whereas your brother was not able to earn the money", the daysman tells George. He keeps talking until the boy sees how wrong he has been and begins to cry and says to him. "Sir, I am sorry. I was wrong from the beginning. I am truly sorry. I was ignorant. No one taught me this way. I am very sorry, and I will do anything that you ask me to do. I feel guilty and ashamed from the beginning to the end. What shall I do now to put this thing right?"


Now that George is in tears, the daysman leaves him alone awhile and turns to John.


"See here, John," he says. "Don't you know it says in the Scriptures, 'Provoke not thy brother to anger'? You are the one who is the cause of all his anger, do you know that? Here you have borrowed money from him and never paid it back. You should have paid it back long ago. You could have given him his money back, even if you had only paid him ten cents a day. But you had no intention of paying him, you went to him in time of need, and he helped you. You should be grateful to him, but instead you caused him to get angry. If he had not been angry, he would not have hit you. Suppose he had died, you would have had to pay every penny to God. 'Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.' What do you have to say for yourself?"


I am very sorry, sir; very sorry," John says. And he is almost in tears by now.


You see what the daysman is doing here: he is making both parties wrong. In a court, it is only possible for one party to be wrong. Any fool can punish a wrong-doer, but it takes a gracious man to love the wrongdoer. Jesus loved us to the extent that he died for us! Can't we show as much love towards our next-door neighbor? That is the philosophy of the daysman.


The daysman may now lay one hand on each of them and instruct them to forgive each other. George must fall at the feet of John and kiss his feet until forgiven; John in his turn must kiss George's feet until George says he is forgiven; (This is the traditional gesture of begging forgiveness in the East; remember the woman in Luke 7:38 who washed Jesus' feet with tears and kissed them? and Jesus said. verse 48, "Thy sins are forgiven." Kissing the feet is an Eastern expression of not only confessing guilt, but also the willingness to be reconciled.)


The daysman now calls for food, some kind of food such as olives which have been prepared with salt; the two boys now dip their hands into the dish together and declare, "In the name of the salt, I promise that I will never, never remember the hatred and bitterness I had in my heart concerning this matter, so help me God."


Now that all has been forgiven, the daysman draws John to the side. "Say, John, you know you still owe the money to George. When are you going to pay it?"


John says, "Well, sir. I am out of work just now. Later when I get a job I will pay it."


The daysman reaches his hand into his pocket and hands John the money. "Here," he says, "you pay George his money with this. But you do not have to pay me back. For I give it to you. Now you do not owe George, or me, or anyone. Go in peace."


And the two boys and their families may now depart, rejoicing that peace and harmony have been reestablished among them. Assuredly, this procedure takes much time and wisdom. The Elders at the Gate would never spend this much time on such a case. They would say, "He punched you in the nose? You have two witnesses?" Bang! "Ten dollars' fine and ten days in jail!"


This, then, is what the daysman does. Some of you may have a translation of the Bible which renders the word daysman as "umpire". Do you see now what a shallow and inadequate description this is for the "Mahatma", the great soul which the daysman is?


In the time of Job, there was no daysman between man and God. But since that time, God was gracious and merciful to send a daysman in the person of Jesus Christ. Christ is the dayspring, the daystar, the daysman for us all, that we may be reconciled to God.

Bishop K.C. Pillai, D.D.