Job 13:9

9 Would it go well if He examined you? Could you deceive Him as you would deceive a man?[a]

Job 13:9 Meaning and Commentary

Job 13:9

Is it good that he should search you out?
&c.] That is, God; searching is ascribed to him after the manner of men; not that he is ignorant of persons or things he searches after, or exercises that application, diligence, and industry, and takes those pains which are necessary in men to find out anything; when he makes search, it is not on his own account, but others; at least it is only to show his knowledge of persons and things, and to make men known to others, or things to them themselves; and is here to be understood in a judicial sense, as it frequently is the case, so it was here, a man that is "first in his own cause", as the wise man says, ( Proverbs 18:17 ) , "seemeth just"; to himself and others; it looks upon the representation he makes of things as if he was in the right: "but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him"; traverses his arguments in his own vindication, and shows the fallacy of them; so Job's friends, making the worst of his cause, and the best of their own, seemed right in their own eyes; but God, who is the searcher of hearts, and who knows all things, could see through their coverings of things, and could not be deceived by them, but would find them out, and expose them; as he did afterwards, when he gave judgment against them, and declared they had not said that which was right, as his servant Job had, ( Job 42:7 Job 42:8 ) ; and therefore it was not to their profit and advantage, and to their honour and credit, to be searched out by him, or to run the risk of it, as they did, which is the amount of this question:

or as one mocketh another, do ye [so] mock him?
men may be mocked by their fellow creatures, either by words or gestures, as good men usually are in all ages, especially the prophets of the Lord, and the ministers of his word; or they may he deceived and imposed upon by the false glosses and colourings of artful men, as simple men are deceived by the fair speeches of false teachers, which is no other than an illusion of them, or mocking them: in the first sense God may be mocked, though he should not; there have been and will be such bold and daring creatures as to mock at his promises and his providence, to mock at his word, ordinances, and ministers, which is interpreted by him a mocking and despising himself; but in the latter sense he cannot be mocked, and it is a vain thing to attempt it; "be not deceived, God is not mocked", ( Galatians 6:7 ) ; he sees through all the fallacious reasonings of men; he judges not according to outward appearance; he sees and knows the heart, and all the views and designs of men, and can detect all their sophisms and false glosses; he is not to be deceived by specious pretences of doing such and such actions for his glory, as casting out good men, and their names, or traducing their characters that he may be glorified, or killing them to do him service, ( Isaiah 66:5 ) ( John 16:2 ) ; he is not to be flattered as one man may flatter another; to do this with him, is to mock him, he is not to be mocked in this way.

Job 13:9 In-Context

7 Would you testify unjustly on God's behalf or speak deceitfully for Him?
8 Would you show partiality to Him or argue the case in His defense?
9 Would it go well if He examined you? Could you deceive Him as you would deceive a man?
10 Surely He would rebuke you if you secretly showed partiality.
11 Would God's majesty not terrify you? Would His dread not fall on you?

Footnotes 1

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