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Job 33:14

Job 33:14

For God speaketh once, yea, twice
Or, "but God speaketh" {i}; though he is not bound to give an account of his matters, and the reasons of his proceedings in a way of providence or grace; yet such is his condescension and goodness, that he makes use of various ways and means to make known his mind and will in his dispensations, if men were but attentive to them; he speaks once, in dreams and visions, as in ( Job 33:15 ) ; and twice, or a second time, by chastisements, as in ( Job 33:18 ) ; or he speaks frequently, again and again, see ( Psalms 62:11 ) ; gives line upon line, and precept upon precept; if one way is without effect, he will take another; and if one warning and admonition is not sufficient, he will give another; so that though he is a sovereign Being, and not accountable to any, yet he does not act the unkind and unfriendly part Job had suggested:

[yet man] perceiveth it not:
the voice of God speaking in one way or another; hearkens not to the admonition given in a dream or vision, nor hears the chastising rod, and him that has appointed it; he is deaf to all instructions; he understands not the mind and meaning of God in his dispensations; which is not owing to want of means of knowledge, but to the blindness and ignorance of his mind, to dulness of hearing, to negligence and inattention, and to the prevalence of sin and corruption: the words, "yet man", are a supplement to the text, and not in it, and some versions are without it, and understand the whole of God, rendering the words thus, "God speaketh once, and a second time he does not repeat it"; so the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions: or "does not revise it", or "will not see it" F11; to which agrees the Targum,

``and a second time he needs not to look upon it;''

and which rendering, as it suits with the context, so is more agreeable to the accents; but is differently applied, by some to the sufficiency of the word of God, that God has at once made known all truth, and there is no need to do it a second time; but certain it is, that God did at sundry times, and in divers manners, speak unto the fathers by the prophets; though indeed in these last days he hath spoken at once all his mind and will by his Son, so that no future revelation is to be expected; but though this is true now, it was not in the times of Elihu: by others it is referred to God's dealings with a proud man, that calls him to an account for his actions, to whom he speaks once, and reproves him for his boldness; but a second time he will not look at him, nor bear his pride and insolence: and by others to the unalterable decrees and purposes of God; what he has said or determined in his eternal mind is done at once, and remains invariably fixed; he has no need to look over a second time, or revise his first thoughts and designs, or reconsider them, whether it is proper to make any alteration in them or not, they are at once so wisely formed; and he has all things before him in one view in his all comprehending mind, so that there cannot possibly anything turn up unforeseen by him, to hinder the execution of his purposes, or cause him to make any change in them; no new thoughts, resolutions, or purposes, can arise in his mind, with whom there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning. This agrees well with his sovereignty, expressed in ( Job 33:13 ) , and carries in it a strong reason enforcing what is there said. Though some take the meaning to be this, that God speaks once to a man, and admonishes and reproves him as he used to do, in the way expressed in the following verse; and if he regards it not, he do not speak to him a second time in that way, or no more by words, but now by blows or chastisements.


FOOTNOTES:

F9 (yk) "sed", Beza, Piscator.
F11 (hnrwvy al Mytvbw) "secundo non revidet", Schmidt & Maius apud Michaelis; "et secunda vice non videbit illud", Schultens.
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