Job 23:1-12

Job

1 Then Job replied:
2 “Even today my complaint is bitter; his hand[a] is heavy in spite of[b] 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.
6 Would he vigorously oppose me? No, he would not press charges against me.
7 There the upright can establish their innocence before him, and there I would be delivered forever from my judge.
8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him.
9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.
10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
11 My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.
12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.

Images for Job 23:1-12

Job 23:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 Then Job answered and said,
ESV
1 Then Job answered and said:
NLT
1 Then Job spoke again:
MSG
1 Job replied:
CSB
1 Then Job answered:

Job 23:1-12 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JOB 23

This and the following chapter contain Job's reply to the last oration of Eliphaz; in this he first declares his present sorrowful estate and condition, Job 23:1,2; wishes he knew where to find God, as a judge sitting on a throne, before whom he might lay his cause, and plead it, and have his judgment and final decision passed upon it; when he doubted not but he would deal favourably with him, and both admit him and strengthen him, to plead his own cause, and would acquit him for ever from the charges laid against him, Job 23:3-7; in order to which he sought for him everywhere, but could not find him, but contents himself with this, that God knew his way; and that, after trial of him, he should shine like pure gold, and appear to be no apostate from him, but one sincerely obedient to his commands, and a true lover of his word, Job 23:8-12; and as for his afflictions, they were the result of the unalterable purposes and appointments of God: but what gave him the greatest uneasiness was, that there were more of that sort yet to come, which filled him with fears and faintings, with trouble and darkness, Job 23:13-17.

Job 23:1-12 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.
6 Would he vigorously oppose me? No, he would not press charges against me.
7 There the upright can establish their innocence before him, and there I would be delivered forever from my judge.
8 “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him.
9 When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.
10 But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
11 My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside.
12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
13 “But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? He does whatever he pleases.
14 He carries out his decree against me, and many such plans he still has in store.
15 That is why I am terrified before him; when I think of all this, I fear him.
16 God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me.

Cross References 20

  • 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
  • 4. Deuteronomy 4:29
  • 5. S Job 13:18
  • 6. S Job 9:15
  • 7. S Job 11:5
  • 8. S Job 9:4
  • 9. S Job 6:4
  • 10. S Job 1:1
  • 11. S Genesis 3:8; S Job 9:3; Job 13:3
  • 12. S Job 6:29
  • 13. S Job 9:11
  • 14. Job 1:1; Job 27:6; Job 31:6; Job 36:7; Psalms 7:9; Psalms 11:5; Psalms 34:15; Psalms 37:18; Psalms 94:11; Psalms 119:168; Psalms 146:8
  • 15. S Job 7:18; Psalms 66:10; Psalms 139:1-3
  • 16. S Job 6:29; S Job 22:15; S Psalms 12:6; 1 Peter 1:7
  • 17. Psalms 17:5
  • 18. Job 31:7; Psalms 40:4; Psalms 44:18; Psalms 119:51,59,157; Psalms 125:5; Jeremiah 11:20
  • 19. S Job 6:10
  • 20. S Job 15:11; Matthew 4:4; John 4:32,34

Footnotes 2

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