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Bible Commentaries
Job 13

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary

Introduction

Job Chapter 13

Job 13:1 "Lo, mine eye hath seen all [this], mine ear hath heard and understood it." We see that Job’s patience with his three friends was wearing a little thin. Everything they had said to him, he already knew from the experiences of his life. Many of the things they had accused him of, he had taught against himself. He understood everything they were saying, but they would not believe that he had not sinned in the ways they discussed.

Job 13:2 "What ye know, [the same] do I know also: I [am] not inferior unto you." This is a repetition of a statement made in the last lesson. His friends had thought they would instruct him on repenting and reaching the LORD in prayer. He was as well acquainted with the LORD as they were.

Job 13:3 "Surely I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to reason with God." Job had no intention of trying to prove his innocence to anyone, but God. It is not a sin to reason with God. In fact, He invites his people to come and reason with Him. God is not so unreachable, that he will not hear our plea to Him.

Job 13:4 "But ye [are] forgers of lies, ye [are] all physicians of no value." His friends had pretended to come, so they might comfort him and help him. Instead, they have made him feel worse than he did before they came.

Job 13:5 "O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom." They would have been much wiser to have just sat with him without saying anything, than to have criticized him and made matters worse.

Job 13:6 “Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips.” The friends of Job might listen to these pleadings, but they were really addressed to God. He was asking God to hear his reasoning.

Job 13:7 "Will ye speak wickedly for God? and talk deceitfully for him?" The so-called friends of Job asked the question above. They were thoroughly convinced that Job had sinned, and that the calamity that came upon him was a judgement from God. They did not want him to sin further by reasoning with God.

Job 13:8 "Will ye accept his person? will ye contend for God?" God did not need Job’s friends to take His side. He was perfectly capable of deciding this for Himself. They were automatically assuming that God would not listen to Job.

Job 13:9 "Is it good that he should search you out? or as one man mocketh another, do ye [so] mock him?" Job, now, turned to the friends and asked them of their own motives. He would like to know if they were examined as closely as he had been, would they be able to stand? They were mocking Job, and perhaps, would have had an even worse time had they been found wanting in any area. They should consider their own faults, before they began to find fault in others.

Job 13:10 "He will surely reprove you, if ye do secretly accept persons." This was a statement against the friends that they had become his friends, because of his high standing. He had been a wealthy man, when they became his friends. He was questioning their motives in becoming his friends. Had they been his friends because of their great admiration for his belief in God, or were they his friends because of his wealth?

Job 13:11 "Shall not his excellency make you afraid? and his dread fall upon you?" His excellency is speaking of God. God is Truth and Purity to the utmost. He is no respecter of persons. He has no respect for those who are respecters of persons. These three friends of Job should be afraid of God judging them for their respect of persons.

Job 13:12 "Your remembrances [are] like unto ashes, your bodies to bodies of clay." Ashes are easily blown away. They had forgotten the good that Job had done. They were too earthy for Job. He spoke of them as a clump of clay without spirit. Job 13:13 "Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak, and let come on me what [will]." Job was asking his friends to leave him alone, so that he could speak with God. Job explained to them that he would take his chances with God. Job trusted God completely.

Job 13:14 "Wherefore do I take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in mine hand?" Job was saying that the words that come from his mouth might devour him. He realized, also, that he is taking his very life in his hands when he spoke to God, but he was willing to take that chance. Frankly, it could not be worse, for Job, than it already was.

Job 13:15 "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him." Job was placing his trust in God. He would not change the ways that he had been, because he had no guilt of sin in his life. He would present himself to God the same as he had been all along. His trust in God was greater than any fear that he might have. He knew that God was just and fair. He had nothing to fear.

Job 13:16 "He also [shall be] my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him." Job was absolutely assured that God would save him in due time. He might die in his misery, but God would save his soul. Job was saying, "I will not be a hypocrite and try to be something that I am not". God would not have any time for a hypocrite.

Job 13:17 "Hear diligently my speech, and my declaration with your ears." David cried out to God to hear him so many times. Every believer, sometime or other, has cried out to God to hear his prayer. This was basically the same thing. Job wanted God to listen carefully to his request.

Job 13:18 "Behold now, I have ordered [my] cause; I know that I shall be justified." We do not justify ourselves. It is God who justifies. Justification means just as if we had never sinned. Job had carefully planned what he would say to God, and would take full responsibility for what he said.

Job 13:19 "Who [is] he [that] will plead with me? for now, if I hold my tongue, I shall give up the ghost." Job was not absolutely sure whether God, Himself, would hear him, or whether He would send an angel to hear Job out. Job felt that if he had to wait any longer, he would die.

Job 13:20 "Only do not two [things] unto me: then will I not hide myself from thee."

Job 13:21 "Withdraw thine hand far from me: and let not thy dread make me afraid." We see that Job was asking for a temporary stop of the pain in his body, while he talked with God. He, also, wanted his great fear of God to be momentarily removed, so that he could speak without trembling. He wanted to be able to boldly come to God with his statement. He was asking permission, and not demanding it.

Job 13:22 "Then call thou, and I will answer: or let me speak, and answer thou me." Whenever the Lord was ready, he could call for Job, and Job would be ready. If God did not prefer to call Job, Job would speak and God could answer.

Job 13:23 "How many [are] mine iniquities and sins? make me to know my transgression and my sin." This was not a statement that he had no sin. This was a true statement, that if he had sinned he was unaware of what the specific sins were. Job truly did want to repent of any sin he had committed, and make it right with God. He just did not know what to change.

Job 13:24 "Wherefore hidest thou thy face, and holdest me for thine enemy?" Job had always enjoyed the presence of God. He suddenly had that taken away from him. It seemed to Job that God was hiding from him. He did not understand why he seemed to be God’s enemy.

Job 13:25 "Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro? and wilt thou pursue the dry stubble?" A withered leaf that had fallen from a tree and dry stubble are some of the most helpless things in the world. A little puff of wind can blow them away. Job was feeling as helpless as both of them. It seems, he could not help himself.

Job 13:26 "For thou writest bitter things against me, and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth." Job seemed to say to God, that He was drawing up papers full of accusations against him that he might be tried with. Job had, possibly, been a sinner in his youth, and the only thing that Job could think of that God might accuse him of were those past sins.

Job 13:27 "Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks, and lookest narrowly unto all my paths; thou settest a print upon the heels of my feet." God had not actually put him in stocks. The disease that he had, possibly, kept him as immobile as he would have been, had he been in stocks. There were marks on Job’s feet, and in fact, on every other part of his body, as well. What Job did not know, was that Satan had put the marks there.

Job 13:28 "And he, as a rotten thing, consumeth, as a garment that is moth eaten." Job was speaking of the disease that was ravishing his body. His skin was rotting away. Soon his flesh would be like a moth-eaten garment.

Job 13 Questions

1. Job’s patience with his friends was growing a little ______.

2. Many of the things they accused Job of he had __________ ________.

3. What did Job tell his friends in Job 13:2?

4. Who did Job desire to reason with?

5. Is it a sin to reason with God?

6. What did Job call his friends in Job 13:4?

7. His friends had pretended to come to ________ him.

8. What should they have done, instead of what they did?

9. Who was verse 6 addressed to really?

10. Who was asking the questions in Job 13:7?

11. What were Job’s friends automatically assuming in Job 13:8?

12. Job asked his friends of their own _________.

13. Did they have a right to mock Job?

14. Why had they become Job’s friends in the first place?

15. Who is "his excellency", in Job 13:11, speaking of?

16. What does the reference to ashes, in Job 13:12, mean?

17. Why did Job tell his friends to hold their peace?

18. What was Job saying in Job 13:14?

19. Quote Job 13:15.

20. Job was placing his trust in ________.

21. What was Job absolutely sure that God would do for him?

22. Who was Job speaking to in Job 13:17?

23. Who justifies us?

24. What does "justification" mean?

25. Job would take full ____________ for what he said to God.

26. Who did Job think God might have to listen to him, rather than God, Himself?

27. What two things did Job ask God for immediately?

28. Why did he want those two things?

29. What was Job 13:23 saying?

30. What did a withered leaf and dry stubble have to do with Job?

31. In Job 13:28, Job was speaking of what?

Verses 1-12

Job 13:1-12

Introduction

Job 13

JOB’S FOURTH DISCOURSE CONTINUED

There are three divisions in this chapter: (1) He accuses his "comforters" of forging lies (Job 13:1-12); (2) he again affirms his uprightness and righteousness (Job 13:13-19); and (3) he proclaimed his submissiveness to God’s will (Job 13:20-28). This third paragraph was called by Scherer, "A new attack upon God"; but, of course, it is no such thing.

Job 13:1-12

JOB DENIES THAT HIS FRIENDS’ ALLEGATIONS ARE TRUE

"Lo, mine eye hath seen all this,

Mine ear hath heard and understood it.

What ye know, the same do I know also:

I am not inferior to you.

Surely I would speak to the Almighty,

And I desire to reason with God.

But ye are forgers of lies;

Ye are all physicians of no value.

Oh that ye would altogether hold your peace!

And it would be your wisdom.

Hear now my reasoning,

And hearken to the pleadings of my lips.

Will ye speak unrighteously for God,

And talk deceitfully for him?

Will ye show partiality to him?

Will ye contend for God?

Is it good that he should search you out?

Or, as one deceiveth a man, will ye deceive him?

He will surely reprove you,

If ye do secretly show partiality.

Shall not his majesty make you afraid,

And his dread fall upon you?

Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes.

Your defenses are defenses of clay."

"Ye are forgers of lies" (Job 13:4). This is the topic sentence of the whole paragraph. Literature has no more severe a castigation of irresponsible language than this which Job here heaped upon his friends. He called them physicians of no value (Job 13:4), stated that their silence had more wisdom in it than their words (Job 13:5), indicated that they were speaking unrighteously and deceitfully for God (Job 13:7), noted that God would certainly reprove them (Job 13:10), flatly declared that their proverbs were proverbs of ashes, and that their defenses were defenses of clay (Job 13:12).

"Will ye show partiality ... contend for God" (Job 13:8)? Job here spoke of their untruthful allegation that God always dealt with men in this life according to their character, a crooked proposition indeed, as proved by God’s great blessings upon thieves, robbers, and all kinds of wicked men. In the view of his friends, they were defending God’s honor in this affirmation; but in these last few verses of the paragraph, Job appealed to their consciences, that in the majesty of God and their fear of him, they should be ashamed and afraid to defend such a lie.

JOB AGAIN AFFIRMS THAT HE IS RIGHTEOUS

In these affirmations, Job does not claim sinless perfection; because, he mentioned the iniquities of his youth (Job 13:26). What he does affirm is that the terrible misfortunes which have come upon him could not possibly have resulted from any gross wickedness on his part. In the concluding revelation, God Himself allowed the fact of Job’s righteousness (Job 42).

E.M. Zerr:

Job 13:1-2. Job stated what has been observed from the beginning of this story, that the friends said many things that were true but he already knew them; also, they had no bearing on the case in controversy. The few assertions that might have been a basis for an argument were not true.

Job 13:3. Job would prefer to make his appeal to God, for he would be given due consideration in the hearing, and not be misrepresented as the friends were doing.

Job 13:4. Using the physician as the illustration Job likened his friends to one who entered a case without the remedy necessary to it.

Job 13:5. They would show more wisdom by keeping silent than by their talking, since what they said was false in most particulars; this thought is also in Proverbs 17:28.

Job 13:6-7. God does not need the assistance of any man, much less one who would use deceit in his speech.

Job 13:8-9. The friends professed to be in harmony with God. Job’s proposition was that they come to "close quarters" with him and see if their contentions would stand the test of the divine scrutiny.

Job 13:10. If they insist on attacking Job at close range while remaining at a safe distance from God, it is likely they would justify a wicked man if they could do so secretly and also at a safe distance from God.

Job 13:11-12. This paragraph is a rebuke to these men for their lack of respect for the Lord. They were forgetful of the many evidences of God’s greatness. He compared their fickle memories to ashes and clay.

Verses 13-19

Job 13:13-19

Job 13:13-19

"Hold your peace, let me alone, that I may speak;

And let come on me what will.

Wherefore should I take my flesh in my teeth,

And put my life in my hand?

Behold, he will slay me; I have no hope:

Nevertheless I will maintain my ways before him.

This also shall be my salvation,

That a godless man shall not come before him.

Hear diligently my speech,

And let my declaration be in your ears.

Behold, now I have set my cause in order;

I know that I am righteous.

Who is he that will contend with me?

For then would I hold my peace, and give up the ghost."

"Hold thy peace, and let me speak" (Job 13:13). From this it appears that Job’s friends had attempted to renew their accusations, but that Job interrupted them, told them to shut up, and let him speak.

"Why should I take my flesh in my teeth" (Job 13:14). "The meaning of these words can only be guessed at." Job may have meant to ask, "Why should I place my life in jeopardy by affirming a falsehood in my claim to be righteous."

"Behold, he will slay me ... nevertheless I will maintain my ways before him"" (Job 13:15). The rendition before us is clumsy, awkward and ineffective. The KJV rendered the passage thus: "THOUGH HE SLAY ME; YET WILL I TRUST HIM; BUT I WILL MAINTAIN MINE OWN WAYS BEFORE HIM." Yes, we admit that a slight emendation by the Masoretes entered into this rendition, (and the radical critics don’t like that); and yet they (the critics) have made hundreds of emendations of their own, far more radical than the one here. The KJV is by far the preferable translation of this verse; and it is backed up by the Douay Version and the new Easy-to-Read Version of the Bible by the World Bible Translation Center. This is the quintessence of Biblical faith, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust him." We reject as totally unjustified the critical presumption that they may emend any passage they please to make it conform to their theory, but refuse to allow such an emendation as the one here that gives us one of the great passages in the whole Bible.

"This also shall be my salvation" (Job 13:16). "The fact that Job can conscientiously maintain his integrity before God is his ground of hope that he will eventually enjoy salvation; the reason behind this hope lies in Job’s conviction that God knows and will publish his innocence, and that he knows that a godless man would not thus of his own accord approach God to argue for his integrity.

"I know that I am righteous" (Job 13:18). Once more, Job thundered this claim in the ears of his friends; and, against their objections to his claim, Job had already called them liars with nothing but proverbs of ashes to offer in rebuttal (Job 13:4; Job 13:12).

"Who is he that will contend with me" (Job 13:19)? This was an open invitation for his critical `comforters’ to name his sins, point out his wickedness; upon which, if they did so, Job promised to hold his peace and give up the ghost.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 13:13. Job insisted on "having his say" in the controversy and after that he would be willing to take the consequences.

Job 13:14. Wherefore means "why," and Job asked why he was willing to take his life in his own hands in the manner just intimated.

Job 13:15. This verse answers the question raised in the preceding one. It means that no amount of affliction, even though it would be severe enough to threaten his life, would shake his confidence in God. But even though such a severe state of affairs as that should come, Job would deny that it was for the purpose assigned to him by the theory of his three friends.

Job 13:16. Job would disclaim being a hypocrite for such a character would not have any chance of being saved; yet he felt sure of his own chance for salvation.

Job 13:17-18. This paragraph describes the confidence Job had in the justice of his position. Since his argument did not rest on the ground of any claim to great righteousness, he was ready to face the test if called upon to do so.

Job 13:19. Job was so confident that he was innocent of the things they were charging against him, that if anyone should prove the contrary it would kill him.

Verses 20-28

Job 13:20-28

Job 13:20-28

JOB’S EARNEST PRAYER TO GOD TO KNOW WHAT HIS SIN IS

"Only do not two things unto me;

Then will I not hide myself from thy face:

Withdraw thy hand far from me;

And let not thy terror make me afraid.

Then call thou, and I will answer;

Or let me speak, and answer thou me.

How many are mine iniquities and sins?

Make me to know my transgression and my sin.

Wherefore hidest thou thy face,

And holdest me for thine enemy?

Wilt thou harrass a driven leaf?

And wilt thou pursue the dry stubble?

For thou writest bitter things against me,

And makest me to inherit the iniquities of my youth.

Thou puttest my feet also in the stocks, And markest all my paths;

Thou settest a bound to the soles of my feet.

Though I am like a rotten thing that consumeth,

Like a garment that is moth-eaten."

Job’s illness appeared to be terminal, and he expected nothing but death; yet in that awful extremity he turned to God in prayer. What a marvelous faith he had! In the previous paragraph he had asked his friends to reveal to him any sin that he had committed; and here he prayerfully asked the same thing of God.

"Withdraw thy hand far from me" (Job 13:21). This was Job’s plea that God would ease the punishment which he was suffering.

"Make me to know my transgression" (Job 13:23). The absolute sincerity and innocence of Job in all this is clearly visible. Not merely to his friends, but to God himself, he addressed this plea. Jesus himself made the same appeal to men, "Which of you convinceth me of sin" (John 8:46)?

"Wherefore hidest thou thy face" (Job 13:24)? This feeling that God had hidden from him, or had forsaken him, was also experienced by Jesus Christ upon the Cross, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me"?

The glory of these concluding verses of the chapter is that they are addressed to God. Scholars differ as to the exact meaning of some of the expressions here; but the big point is that, in spite of all the uncertainties, the perplexities, the sufferings, the hopelessness of his awful condition, and everything else, including the cruel allegations of his friends and their utter incapability of either providing any comfort for Job, or understanding him, - in spite of it all, Job poured out his heart to God; and THAT is what made all the difference, finally, completely frustrating Satan’s vain efforts to destroy Job’s integrity.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 13:20-22. The two things Job requested God to do for him were, withdraw thine hand and call thou. Those two favors would encourage Job to speak.

Job 13:23-24. This plea of Job was that which might be made by any devoted man of God. He was not conscious of any particular wrong, as his friends had been arguing, but made his confession on the general basis that man is frail and in need of the mercy of God at all times in his We on earth.

Job 13:25. The weakness of Job was compared to a beaten leaf and withered stubble.

Job 13:26. Like most human beings, Job realized that he had made mistakes in the days of his youth, and his present experiences caused him to realize it more.

Job 13:27-28. This paragraph is another description of the unfortunate conditions of Job. It was necessary that he give us a description of his experience. The purpose and manner of such a report received a more extended explanation at Job 3:2-3, and the reader is requested to consult those comments again.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Job 13". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/job-13.html.
 
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