And that he would show thee the secrets of
Either of sound doctrine, in opposition to his own doctrine he had such a vain opinion of; and then he would see, as he thought, that it was not so pure as he imagined it to be: the Gospel, and the doctrines of it, are the wisdom of God, the produce of it, and in which it is displayed; as in the doctrines of election to grace and glory, of redemption by Christ, of justification by his righteousness, and pardon by his blood; by which all the divine perfections are glorified, the justice and holiness of God, as well as his grace and mercy: and there are "secrets" or mysteries in this wisdom of God, ( 1 Corinthians 2:6 1 Corinthians 2:7 ) ( Matthew 13:11 ) ; of mysterious doctrines, which, though revealed, yet the "modus", or manner of them, is not to be searched out and understood; such is the trinity of Persons in the Godhead, the union of the two natures in Christ, the saint's union to God and communion with him, the resurrection of the dead and these and such like them are only shown by the Lord; men cannot come at them of themselves, by their own natural reason and understanding; it is God that reveals them, in his word, and by his spirit, and gives his people an increasing knowledge of them, ( 1 Corinthians 2:9 1 Corinthians 2:10 ) ( Psalms 25:14 ) ( 119:18 ) ; or it may be rather the secrets of the wisdom of Divine Providence, in the government of the world, and the ordering of all things in it according to the counsel of God, may be here meant; there is a great display of the wisdom of God in Providence, and there are secrets in it undiscoverable by creatures; his ways are past finding out, they are in the deep waters, and his footsteps are not known, nor to be traced; though sometimes he makes his judgments manifest, and his mind in them; and what he does now, which men know not, he shows them hereafter; especially his own people, and particularly when in the sanctuary of the Lord, and in the way of their duty, when everything appears right and beautiful they before were ready to complain of; see ( Romans 11:33 ) ; and then it is seen:
that [they are] double to that which is!
or to "wisdom" F2; as the word is rendered in ( Proverbs 2:7 ) ; that is, to human wisdom; and then the sense is, that the secrets of divine wisdom displayed, whether in the doctrines of grace or in the methods of Providence, being shown and made manifest, would appear to be "double"; that is, vastly, yea, infinitely to exceed the wisdom of men; and that these, which men are apt to arraign as weak and wrong, are the effects of the highest wisdom, or they then appear so "to a man of wisdom" F3; so the supply may be made, as is in ( Micah 6:9 ) ; or else the sense is, were Job let in to the secret wisdom of God more, and into the purity and holiness of his law, which some understand by "that which is", or "wisdom", and render it "according to the law" F4 and see what that requires, and how much short he comes of it, and what and how many were his transgressions and violations of it; it then would be plain to him, that the punishment that God, in wisdom, and according to his righteous law, might inflict upon him, would be double; or, greatly, yea, infinitely exceed those afflictions he was now exercised with, and therefore he had no reason to complain; to which agrees what follows:
know therefore that God exacteth of thee [less] than thine
or punishes, afflicts, or chastises, less than the deserts of sin; see ( Ezra 9:13 ) ; some render it, "God exacteth of thee [something] of thine iniquity"; so Junius and Tremellius; according to which version the sense is, that sins are debts, and these many; and that payment of part of the debt of punishment for them is only required, which is not truth; for, though there is a debt of punishment due to justice for sin, yet it is not part of it only that is required of the sinner, but the whole, if any; for indeed no part of it is exacted of God's people, since the whole has been exacted of Christ, and he has answered and paid the whole debt, and blotted out the handwriting against them; wherefore the word used has rather the signification of forgetfulness, and may be rendered, either "God hath caused", or "suffered thee to forget [part] of thine iniquity" F5; or thou couldest never say that thou wert clean in his eye, and free from sin; or, "God himself has forgot part of thine iniquity" F6; in that he has afflicted thee so mildly, and with so much lenity; or, "hath forgotten thee for thine iniquity" F7; forsook him, hid his face from him, laid his hand on him, and sorely chastised him, so that he seemed to be forgotten by him, or he to forget to be gracious to him; all which were owing to his sins, these were the causes of it; or, "will condemn thee for thine iniquity" F8.