But he knoweth the way that I take
This he seems to say in a way of solace to himself, comforting and contenting himself, that though he could not find God, nor knew where he was, or what way he took, nor the reasons of his ways and dispensations with the children of men, and with himself, yet God knew where he was, and what way he took; by which he means either the way he took, being directed to it for his acceptance with God, his justification before him, and eternal salvation; which was his living Redeemer, he looked unto by faith for righteousness and eternal life: or rather the way and manner of life he took to, the course of his conversation, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, in the paths of piety and truth, of righteousness and holiness; and this God knew not barely by his omniscience, as he knows all the ways of men, good and bad; his eyes are upon them, lie compasses them, and is thoroughly acquainted with them; but by way of approbation, he approved of it, and was well pleased with it, it being so agreeable to his revealed will, so pure and holy; thus the Lord knows the way of the righteous, ( Psalms 1:6 ) ;
[when] he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold;
as pure as gold, as free from dross as that, appear quite innocent of the charges brought against him, and shine in his integrity. He was as valuable and precious as gold, as all God's people are in his esteem, however reckoned of by others; they are precious sons of Zion, comparable to fine gold; not that they have any intrinsic, worth in themselves, they are in no wise the better than others by nature; but through the grace of God bestowed on them, which is as gold tried in the fire; and through the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, which is gold of Ophir, and clothing of wrought gold; and, on account of both, they are like a mass of gold, and are the chosen of God, and precious: this gold he tries, the Lord trieth the righteous; and which he does by afflictive providences; he puts them into the furnace of affliction, which is the fiery trial to try them; and hereby their graces are tried, their faith, hope, love, patience their principles and doctrines they embrace, whether they are gold, silver, and precious stones, or whether wood, hay, and stubble; the fire tries every man's work, of what sort it is, and whether they will abide by them and their profession also, whether they will adhere to it; and by this means he purges away their dross and tin, and they come out of the furnace as pure gold in great lustre and brightness, as those in ( Revelation 7:13 Revelation 7:14 ) ; now Job was in this furnace and trying; and he was confident that, as he should come out of it, he should appear to great advantage, pure and spotless; though it may be he may have respect to his trial at the bar of justice, where he desired to be tried, and be brought under the strictest examination; and doubted not but he should be acquitted, and shine as bright as gold; nay, these words may be given as a reason why God would not be found by him as his Judge to try his cause, because he knew his uprightness and integrity, and that he must go from him acquitted and discharged; and therefore, for reasons unknown to him, declined the judging of him; to this purpose Jarchi interprets the words, which may be rendered, "for he knoweth the way that I take" F1; and therefore will not be seen by me, nor appear to judge me: "he hath tried me"; again and again, and has seen the integrity of my heart, as Sephorno interprets it, and well knows my innocence; see ( Psalms 17:3 ) ; and if he would try me again, "I shall come forth as gold"; quite clear of all charges and imputations; I am able to stand the strictest scrutiny: this he said as conscious of his uprightness, and of his strict regard to the ways and word of God, as follows; but this was a bold saying, and an unbecoming expression of his to God; and of which he afterwards was ashamed and repented, when God appeared and spoke to him out of the whirlwind.
F1 (yk) "quia", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Piscator, Michaelis; "nam", Tigurine version, Cocceius, Schultens.