Job 23:9

9 on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.

Job 23:9 Meaning and Commentary

Job 23:9

On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold
The northern part of the world, where his seat is, or the circle of the earth, says Bar Tzemach, and who has stretched out the north over the empty place, ( Job 26:7 ) . Jarchi's note is, when he created it, he did not make it the place of his throne: God works everywhere in a way of providence, but in some places more eminently than in others; the northern part of the world is observed to be more inhabited than the southern, and the people of it to be more active in war and business than elsewhere; and more and greater things are done by God among them as instruments than among any other; and Mr. Caryl observes, that the Gospel has ever more generally and more clearly been preached here than in the southern parts of the world; and perhaps by the northern chambers in Ezekiel's vision, ( Ezekiel 42:1 ) , were designed the Protestant churches in the northern parts, as it is well known the Protestant doctrine is called the northern heresy: but what Job meant by God's works in the north is not easy to say; but as this refers to some place where God had been used to work either in the way of providence or grace, it was the most likely one to find him in, and yet Job could not behold him, or get any sight of him, either as on a throne of grace or justice:

he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see [him];
or "he covereth the right hand" F8, the southern parts of the world; he covers the face of the south with his face, that I cannot see him, so Jarchi; this is said because the south is covered with the waters of the ocean, as Bar Tzemach observes; what we call the South sea: or rather the meaning is, that God covered himself on the right hand, or on the south, as with a garment, as the word signifies; wrapped himself up either in light inaccessible, as with a garment, or with clouds of darkness, that he could not be seen; and if he hides himself, as he often does from the best of men, who can behold him? ( Job 34:29 ) ; see ( Job 9:11 ) .


F8 (Nymy Pjey) "operiet dextram", Montanus, Junius & Tremellius; so Cocceius, Drusius, Schmidt, Schultens, & Broughton.

Job 23:9 In-Context

7 There an upright man could argue with him, and I would be acquitted forever by my judge.
8 "Behold, I go forward, but he is not there, and backward, but I do not perceive him;
9 on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him; he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.
10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.
11 My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside.