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Bible Commentaries

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

Job 23

 

 

Verses 1-25

CHAPTERS 23-24 Job’s Reply

1. O that I knew where I may find Him (Job 23:1-8)

2. Trusting yet doubting (Job 23:10-17)

3. Hath God failed? (Job 24:1-12)

4. Job’s further testimony as to the wicked (Job 24:13-25)

Job 23:1-9. Job here does not disprove at once the false charges of Eliphaz. He can afford to wait till later, till their mouths are completely silenced. Then he speaks the final word. He acknowledgeth that he is still rebellious. His hand which is upon him is heavier than all his groanings. Then that outburst which reveals the longing of his tried and tempest-tossed soul--”Oh, that I knew where I might find Him, that I might even come to His seat! I would order my cause before Him, and fill my mouth with arguments.” Then in blinded self-righteousness he speaks a bold word: “I would know the words He would answer to me, and understand what He would say to me.” He is so sure of it all that he declares “He would give heed to me.” How different it was when the Lord did speak and Job’s lips are sealed, only to open in expression of deepest self-abhorrence. Yet even in the words he speaks here, still in the dark as to the reason of his suffering, he demonstrates that he is not the defiant wicked man, but one who longs for God.

Job 23:10-17. Trusting yet doubting expresseth the sentiment of what he says next. Trust is expressed in the beautiful utterance, “But He knoweth the way that I take; when He hath tried me I shall come forth as gold.” Yet it is self-vindication which speaks next, not in God’s presence, but to clear himself before his friends. “My foot held fast to His steps.” Doubt follows for he still considers God, not his friend, but his enemy.

Job 24:1-12. The rendering of the opening verse is difficult to make. It has been paraphrased in this wise: “Since, then, events from the Almighty are not hid, why do not they who love Him know His ways?” This perhaps expresseth the true meaning of his thought. He shows what so often happens on the earth and which seemingly indicates a failure of God in His righteous government. Why is it all? And never before in the history of the race has Job’s charge of the failure of God been so prominent as in our evil days.

From city and from houses groans ascend;

With shrieks those being murdered cry for help

Yet God regards not this enormity.

Job 24:13-25. He describes the paths of the wicked again and yet they seem to escape the retribution in this life which they so well deserve. They even have security. And Job still is haunted by the thought that in these facts there is found an evidence that God is favorable to them. Death surely comes to them “yet a little while and they are gone” but what comes after death he does not mention. Then boldly he raiseth himself up and says, “And if it be not so now, who will prove me a liar, and make my speech of no account?” What an assertion that all he declared is infallibly true!

 


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Bibliography Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Job 23:4". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/job-23.html. 1913-1922.

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