Job xxiii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 2. Bitterness. Instead of comfort, he only meets with insult from his friends. He therefore appeals to God, (Worthington) but with fear. (Calmet) — Scourge, is not in Hebrew. (Menochius) — But it explains the meaning of “my hand,” (Haydock) or the heavy chastisement (St. Gregory) which I endure. (Menochius)

Ver. 6. Nor. Protestants, “No, but he would put strength in me.” He would enable me to stand my trial. (Haydock) — He would lay no falsehood to my charge.

Ver. 7. Victory. Before such a judge I should hope to be acquitted. Job must have been well convinced of his innocence. For woe to man, if God treat him according to the rigour of his justice! (Calmet) — Septuagint, “For truth and reproof are with him. But, oh! that he would bring my judgment to an end.” (Haydock)

Ver. 8. East, or Hebrew, “before….if behind I cannot perceive him.” (Calmet) — Where, then, shall I find this just judge? ver. 3. (Haydock)

Ver. 9. Right, southward. — See. The southern part of the heavens, or the antarctic stars would not be discerned in Idumea, chap. ix. 9. (Calmet) — Job speaks in a human manner, as he was not ignorant of God’s immensity. (Menochius)

Ver. 10. Fire. They had not a stone, like the Greeks, to try gold. (Calmet)

Ver. 12. Lips, given to Noe, (Genesis ix. 5.) or to Moses. This work was written by a Jew, who dresses up the sentiments of Job in his own style. The holy man was also acquainted with the Mosaic dispensation, though he was not bound to observe the ceremonial part of it. (Calmet) — His words may, however, be verified, though he speak only of the natural law, or of that which was preserved by tradition of the patriarchs, as both proceeded from God. (Haydock) — Hid. Protestants, “esteemed….more than my necessary food.” (Haydock) — Septuagint agree with the Vulgate. The ancients placed in their bosom what they greatly esteemed. The Turks still use it as a pocket. (Thevenot xxii.) (Calmet)

Ver. 13. Alone. Self-existent. Hebrew, “in one thing,” or resolution. He is immutable: all I could say would avail nothing. (Calmet)

Ver. 14. With him, to punish me afresh. Hebrew, “when he shall have appointed me my portion, he shall still have many such.” He may treat me as a slave, allowing me only a certain portion of meat, Proverbs xxx. 8., and xxxi. 15. (Calmet)

Ver. 17. Face. My afflictions have not yet taken away my life, as might have been expected. (Haydock) — I am less affected with my miseries, than with the dread of God’s presence, ver. 15, 16. (Calmet)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Job wishes to be tried at God’s tribunal.

1 Then Job answered, and said:

2 Now also my words are in bitterness, and the hand of my scourge is more grievous than my mourning.

3 Who will grant me that I might know and find him, and come even to his throne?

4 I would set judgment before him, and would fill my mouth with complaints.

5 That I might know the words that he would answer me, and understand what he would say to me.

6 I would not that he should contend with me with much strength, nor overwhelm me with the weight of his greatness.

7 Let him propose equity against me, and let my judgment come to victory.

8 But if I go to the east, he appeareth not: if to the west, I shall not understand him.

9 If to the left hand, what shall I do? I shall not take hold on him: if I turn myself to the right hand, I shall not see him.

10 But he knoweth my way, and has tried me as gold that passeth through the fire.

11 My foot hath followed his steps; I have kept his way, and have not declined from it.

12 I have not departed from the commandments of his lips, and the words of his mouth I have hid in my bosom.

13 For he is alone, and no man can turn away his thought: and whatsoever his soul hath desired, that hath he done.

14 And when he shall have fulfilled his will in me, many other like things are also at hand with him.

15 And therefore I am troubled at his presence, and when I consider him I am made pensive with fear.

16 God hath softened my heart, and the Almighty hath troubled me.

17 For I have not perished because of the darkness that hangs over me, neither hath the mist covered my face.