Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, July 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Job 23

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes

Verses 1-7

Job’s longing 23:1-7

Job admitted that he had rebelled against God to the extent that he had complained about his condition (Job 23:2 a). "His hand" (Job 23:2 b) is "My hand" in the Hebrew text. Job had not given up his desire to present his case before God before he died (cf. Job 9:14-16).

"It is obvious that Job rests his hope for a favorable decision on the Judge’s just character." [Note: Hartley, p. 339.]

Verses 1-25

2. Job’s third reply to Eliphaz chs. 23-24

Job temporarily ignored Eliphaz’s groundless charges of sin and proceeded to reflect on the problem of God’s injustice.

"The first part of this speech is superb. The option placed before Job by Eliphaz has clarified his thinking. He has come to quite different conclusions, and he expresses them in a soliloquy, for he does not appear to be addressing either Eliphaz or God." [Note: Andersen, p. 207.]

Verses 8-12

Job’s innocence 23:8-12

Wherever Job looked, he could not find God. Two paraphrases of Job 23:10 are these. Because (the first word in the verse in Hebrew) He knows my ways, God is evading me. "He knows I am innocent and therefore is refusing to appear in court, for once He heard my case He would have to admit to injustice." [Note: Zuck, Job, p. 108.] A better explanation, I think, follows.

"A more literal translation . . . yields: ’But he (God) knows (his) way with me.’ Because God knows what He is doing with Job, Job is coming to a point where he will be satisfied even if God never explains the reason for His strange conduct. Earlier Job had demanded to know why God was dealing with him thus, and he found his trial insufferable (Job 7:18). Now he accepts the testing, because he knows: I shall come forth as gold." [Note: Andersen, p. 210.]

Job believed that people would eventually recognize that he was as pure as gold (cf. Job 22:25). Job had this hope because he trusted God and had walked before God faithfully (Job 23:11-12; cf. Job 22:15).

"Here Job’s assurance that God is concerned with his well-being rises to its highest point." [Note: Hartley, p. 340.]

"When God puts His own people into the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat. He knows how long and how much." [Note: Wiersbe, p. 51.]

Verses 13-17

Job’s frustration 23:13-24:17

God’s irresistible power and inscrutable behavior made Job afraid (Job 23:13-17). Nevertheless he determined to confront God with His apparent injustice.

Job could not understand why God did not always judge overt sin quickly (Job 24:1-12). Most people still have the same question. He mentioned three sins specifically: removing boundary landmarks and thereby appropriating someone else’s land, stealing flocks of sheep, and mistreating the weak. Job could not see why God seemingly ignored the perpetrators of these terrible sins, yet afflicted him so severely. Neither could he see why God did not judge sinners who practiced secret atrocities, specifically: murderers, adulterers, and burglars (Job 24:14-17).

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Job 23". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/job-23.html. 2012.
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