Job 13:24

24 Why do you hide your face, and count me as your enemy?

Job 13:24 Meaning and Commentary

Job 13:24

Wherefore hidest thou thy face
Not from his cry, because of his sore and grievous afflictions, as Bar Tzemach; nor from helping and saving him from his troubles, as Sephorno; nor from looking on his right ways, as Jarchi; but from his person, withdrawing the manifestation of his face and favour; withholding the discoveries of his love; and denying him the light of his countenance, and sensible communion with him, and enjoyment of him, he had been indulged with; Job formerly had seen the face of God, enjoyed his presence, and walked in fellowship with him; but now he had withdrawn himself from him, and he knew not where to find him; see ( Job 23:2 Job 23:8 Job 23:9 ) ; a greater blessing cannot be had than the gracious presence of God; nothing gives more pleasure when enjoyed, and nothing more grievous to good men when it is withheld; oftentimes sin is the cause of it, but not always, as in this instance of Job; the end of the Lord in all his afflictions, both inward and outward, was to try his patience, his integrity, and faithfulness; but as Job was for the present ignorant of it, he desires to know the reason of this the Lord's behaviour towards him; as it is what all good men should do in the like circumstances, nothing being more afflicting and distressing to them, and even intolerable; see ( Psalms 10:11 ) ( 13:1 ) ( 88:14 ) ; some think here is an allusion to the behaviour of judges towards such as were condemned by them, they were prejudiced against, and would neither hear nor see them; or to a rite and custom in former times, as Pineda observes, when judges, at the time of pronouncing sentence on a malefactor, used to draw a curtain between them; or to the covering of the face of the criminal, see ( Job 9:24 ) ;

and holdest me for thine enemy?
Job had been an enemy to God, as all men are in a state of nature, yea, enmity itself, as is shown by their wicked works; but he was now reconciled unto God, the enmity of his heart was slain, and he had laid down his weapons of rebellion, and ceased committing hostilities against God, and was become subject to him and to his law, through the power of efficacious grace; a principle of love, which is the fruit of the spirit in regeneration, was implanted in him; and he was a true and sincere lover of God, one that feared him, and trusted in him; whose faith worked by love, and so appeared to be of the right kind; and therefore, since he was conscious to himself that he loved God with all his heart, loved his word, his ways, and worship, his people and all that belonged to him, it was cutting and grievous to him to be thought and accounted, or deal with, as an enemy to him; for so he interpreted his conduct towards him; as he afflicted him, he took it to be in anger and fury, and hot displeasure; and as he hid his face from him, he supposed it was in great wrath, viewing him in this light as his enemy.

Job 13:24 In-Context

22 Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and you reply to me.
23 How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin.
24 Why do you hide your face, and count me as your enemy?
25 Will you frighten a windblown leaf and pursue dry chaff?
26 For you write bitter things against me, and make me reap the iniquities of my youth.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.