Job 11:10

10 If he 1passes through and 2imprisons and summons the court, who can 3turn him back?

Job 11:10 Meaning and Commentary

Job 11:10

If he cut off
The horns, power, dominion, and authority of the wicked; or the spirits of princes, or kingdoms and states, whole nations, as he did the seven nations of Canaan; or families, as Job's, his servants, and his children; or particular persons, by diseases, or by judgments, by famine, sword, and pestilence; there is none can hinder him; he will do what he pleases: or, as others render it, "if he changes" F12; if he makes revolutions in governments, changes in families, and in the estates of men, as in Job's; or changes men's countenances by death, and sends them out of time into eternity, there is no opposing him: or, "if he passes through" F13, as the word is sometimes used; see ( Isaiah 8:8 ) ; if he comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth, and goes through a kingdom and nation, making or suffering to be made devastations everywhere, as he went through the land of Egypt and smote all the firstborn in it, there is no stopping him: or, "if he passes on" F14, or "from" hence, or goes away; see ( 1 Samuel 11:3 ) ; or departs from a people or particular person, even his own people, and hides his face from them, and is long, at least as they think, before he returns; who can behold him, or find him out, or cause him to show himself? see ( Job 23:3 Job 23:8 Job 23:9 ) ( 34:29 ) ; or, "if he subverts" F15 and overturns things, or should reduce the world and all things in it to a chaos, as at the deluge, or as he overturned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, or should set on fire the whole course of nature, and burn up the whole world and all in it, and reduce it to ashes, as he will; there is none can stay his hand, and obstruct him in his designs and measures:

and shut up;
should he do so; shut up in a civil sense, either in a prison, as Gersom, or in the hands of an enemy, by giving them unto them, to be enclosed and straitened by them, there is none can deliver; ( Psalms 31:8 ) ( Deuteronomy 32:30 ) ; or to shut them up as he did Noah in the ark, by protecting them by his power and providence, and so appear to be on their side, and for them; who then can be against them? or what does it signify if any are, if the Lord shuts them up and keeps them close? or in a spiritual sense, if he concludes men in sin, and shuts them up in unbelief, and under the law; who but himself can set them free? or, if good men are shut up in their frames, and straitened in their souls, that they cannot come forth in the lively exercise of grace, and free discharge of duty; there is no opening for them till he pleases, ( Psalms 88:8 ) ( Job 12:14 ) ;

or gather together, then who can hinder him?
either gathers them into one place, in a civil sense; or in a gracious manner, with great mercies and everlasting kindness to himself, to have communion with him; to his son, to participate of the blessings of his grace, and to his church and people, to enjoy all spiritual privileges with them; or, gathers men at and by death; see ( Job 34:14 Job 34:15 ) ; and as he will gather them at the last day, even all nations, before him, the tares, and burn them and his wheat, and put them into his garner; and when he does any and every of these things, who can hinder him or turn him back from doing what he pleases: Job says much the same in ( Job 9:12 ) ; the Targum is,

``if he passes through and shuts up the heavens with clouds, and gathers armies, who can turn him back?''


F12 (Pwlxy Ma) "si permutet proprie", Mercerus, Heb. "si mutabit locum", Piscator.
F13 "Si transmeabit", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "si pervadat", Cocceius; "si transiverit", Michaelis.
F14 "Si abierit", Schmidt.
F15 "Si subverterit omnia", V. L.

Job 11:10 In-Context

8 It is higher than heaven--what can you do? Deeper than Sheol--what can you know?
9 Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea.
10 If he passes through and imprisons and summons the court, who can turn him back?
11 For he knows worthless men; when he sees iniquity, will he not consider it?
12 But a stupid man will get understanding when a wild donkey's colt is born a man!

Cross References 3

  • 1. See Job 9:11-16
  • 2. See Job 12:14
  • 3. Job 9:12; Job 23:13
The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.