Job 23:2

2 “Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand[a] is heavy in spite of[b] my groaning.

Job 23:2 in Other Translations

2 Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.
2 "Today also my complaint is bitter; my hand is heavy on account of my groaning.
2 “My complaint today is still a bitter one, and I try hard not to groan aloud.
2 "I'm not letting up - I'm standing my ground. My complaint is legitimate. God has no right to treat me like this - it isn't fair!
2 Today also my complaint is bitter. His hand is heavy despite my groaning.

Job 23:2 Meaning and Commentary

Job 23:2

Even today [is] my complaint bitter
Job's afflictions were continued on him long; he was made to possess months of vanity; and, as he had been complaining ever since they were upon him, he still continued to complain to that day, "even" after all the comforts his friends pretended to administer to him, as Jarchi observes: his complaints were concerning his afflictions, and his friends' ill usage of him under them; not of injustice in God in afflicting him, though he thought he dealt severely with him; but of the greatness of his afflictions, they being intolerable, and his strength unequal to them, and therefore death was more eligible to him than life; and he complained of God's hiding his face from him, and not hearing him, nor showing him wherefore he contended with him, nor admitting an hearing of his cause before him: and this complaint of his was "bitter": the things he complained of were such, bitter afflictions, like the waters of Marah the Israelites could not drink of, ( Exodus 15:23 ) ; there was a great deal of wormwood and gall in his affliction and misery; and it was in a bitter way, in the bitterness of his soul, he made his complaint; and, what made his case still worse, he could not utter any complaint, so much as a sigh or a groan, but it was reckoned "provocation", or "stubbornness [and] rebellion", by his friends; so some render the word F24, as Mr. Broughton does, "this day my sighing is holden a rebellion": there is indeed a great deal of rebellion oftentimes in the hearts, words and actions, conduct and behaviour, even of good men under afflictions, as were in the Israelites in the wilderness; and a difficult thing it is to complain without being guilty of it; though complaints may be without it, yet repinings and murmurings are always attended with it:

and my stroke is heavier than my groaning;
or "my hand" F25, meaning either his own hand, which was heavy, and hung down, his spirits failing, his strength being exhausted, and so his hands weak, feeble, and remiss, that he could not hold them up through his afflictions, and his groanings under them, see ( Psalms 102:5 ) ( Hebrews 12:12 ) ; or the hand of God upon him, his afflicting hand, which had touched him and pressed hard upon him, and lay heavy, and was heavier than his groanings showed; though he groaned much, he did not groan more, nor so much, as his afflictions called for; and therefore it was no wonder that his complaint was bitter, nor should it be reckoned rebellion and provocation; see ( Job 6:2 Job 6:3 ) ( 19:24 ) .


F24 (yrm) "exacerbatio", Montanus, Vatablus, Schmidt; "exasperatio", Mercerus, Drusius; "pertinacia", Bolducius; "contumacia habetur", Cocceius; "rebellionem haberi", Junius & Tremellius; "rebellio est", Piscator, Codurcus.
F25 (ydy) "manus mea", Montanus, Vatablus, Mercerus, Drusius, Michaelis.

Job 23:2 In-Context

1 Then Job replied:
2 “Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand is heavy in spite of my groaning.
3 If only I knew where to find him; if only I could go to his dwelling!
4 I would state my case before him and fill my mouth with arguments.
5 I would find out what he would answer me, and consider what he would say to me.

Cross References 3

  • 1. S Job 7:11
  • 2. S 1 Samuel 1:10; S Job 6:3
  • 3. Psalms 6:6; Psalms 32:4; Jeremiah 45:3; Ezekiel 21:7

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Septuagint and Syriac; Hebrew /"the hand on me"
  • [b]. Or "heavy on me in"
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