Job 13


1 Look, my eye has seen it all; my ear has heard and understood it.
2 Just as you know, I also know; I'm not inferior to you.
3 But I want to speak to the Almighty; I would gladly present my case to God.

Friends attacked

4 You, however, are plasterers of lies; ineffective healers, all of you.
5 Would that you were completely quiet; that would be your wisdom.
6 Hear my teaching and pay attention to the arguments of my lips.
7 Will you speak injustice for God, speak deceit on his behalf?
8 Will you be partial or contend for God?
9 Will it go well when he searches you, or can you fool him as you fool people?
10 He will certainly correct you if you've been secretly partial.
11 Wouldn't his majesty scare you and dread of him fall on you?
12 Your old sayings are proverbs made of ashes, your sayings defenses made of clay.

Job will speak out

13 Be quiet and I will speak, come what may.
14 For what reason will I take my flesh in my teeth, put my life in jeopardy?
15 He will slay me; I'm without hope; I will surely prove my way to his face.
16 Also this will be my vindication, that a godless person won't come before him.
17 Listen closely to my words so that my remarks will be in your ears.

Against God

18 Look, I have laid out my case; I know that I'm innocent.
19 Who would dare contend with me, for then I would be quiet and die.
20 Only don't do two things to me, then I won't hide from your face.
21 Remove your hand far from me and don't terrify me with your anger.
22 Then call and I'll answer, or I'll speak and you can reply.
23 How many are my offenses and sins? Inform me about my rebellions and sins.
24 Why hide your face from me and consider me your enemy?
25 Will you cause a wind-tossed leaf to tremble, or will you pursue dry straw?
26 You even write bitter things about me, make me inherit my youthful indiscretions.
27 You tie up my feet and restrict all actions; you stamp marks on the bottom of my feet.

Human destiny

28 Surely a person wastes away like refuse, like clothing that a moth eats.

Job 13 Commentary

Chapter 13

Job reproves his friends. (1-12) He professes his confidence in God. (13-22) Job entreats to know his sins. (23-28)

Verses 1-12 With self-preference, Job declared that he needed not to be taught by them. Those who dispute are tempted to magnify themselves, and lower their brethren, more than is fit. When dismayed or distressed with the fear of wrath, the force of temptation, or the weight of affliction, we should apply to the Physician of our souls, who never rejects any, never prescribes amiss, and never leaves any case uncured. To Him we may speak at all times. To broken hearts and wounded consciences, all creatures, without Christ, are physicians of no value. Job evidently speaks with a very angry spirit against his friends. They had advanced some truths which nearly concerned Job, but the heart unhumbled before God, never meekly receives the reproofs of men.

Verses 13-22 Job resolved to cleave to the testimony his own conscience gave of his uprightness. He depended upon God for justification and salvation, the two great things we hope for through Christ. Temporal salvation he little expected, but of his eternal salvation he was very confident; that God would not only be his Saviour to make him happy, but his salvation, in the sight and enjoyment of whom he should be happy. He knew himself not to be a hypocrite, and concluded that he should not be rejected. We should be well pleased with God as a Friend, even when he seems against us as an enemy. We must believe that all shall work for good to us, even when all seems to make against us. We must cleave to God, yea, though we cannot for the present find comfort in him. In a dying hour, we must derive from him living comforts; and this is to trust in him, though he slay us.

Verses 23-28 Job begs to have his sins discovered to him. A true penitent is willing to know the worst of himself; and we should all desire to know what our transgressions are, that we may confess them, and guard against them for the future. Job complains sorrowfully of God's severe dealings with him. Time does not wear out the guilt of sin. When God writes bitter things against us, his design is to make us bring forgotten sins to mind, and so to bring us to repent of them, as to break us off from them. Let young persons beware of indulging in sin. Even in this world they may so possess the sins of their youth, as to have months of sorrow for moments of pleasure. Their wisdom is to remember their Creator in their early days, that they may have assured hope, and sweet peace of conscience, as the solace of their declining years. Job also complains that his present mistakes are strictly noticed. So far from this, God deals not with us according to our deserts. This was the language of Job's melancholy views. If God marks our steps, and narrowly examines our paths, in judgment, both body and soul feel his righteous vengeance. This will be the awful case of unbelievers, yet there is salvation devised, provided, and made known in Christ.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or Though he slay me, yet I will trust him.

Chapter Summary


Job begins this chapter by observing the extensiveness of his knowledge, as appeared from his preceding discourse, by which it was evident he was not less knowing than his friends, Job 13:1,2; and therefore would have nothing to do with them as judges in his cause, but would appeal to God, and debate the matter before him, and leave it to his decision, since he could expect no good from them, Job 13:3,4; and all the favour he entreats of them is, that they would for the future be no longer speakers, but hearers, Job 13:5,6,13,17; he expostulates with them about their wicked and deceitful way of pleading for God, and against him, Job 13:7,8; and in order to strike an awe upon them, suggests to them, that they were liable to the divine scrutiny; that God was not to be mocked by them, that he would surely reprove them for their respect of persons, and desires them to consider his dreadful majesty, and what frail creatures they were, Job 13:9-12; then he expresses his confidence in God, that he should be saved by him, notwithstanding the afflictive circumstances he was in, Job 13:14-16; and doubted not he should be able so to plead his cause, as that he should be justified, if God would but withdraw his hand, and take off his dread from him, Job 13:18-22; he desires to know what his sins were, that he should hide his face from him, and treat him with so much severity, who was but a poor, weak, feeble creature, Job 13:24,25; and concludes with a complaint of the bitterness and sharpness of his afflictions, with which he was consumed, Job 13:26-28.

Job 13 Commentaries