The Trial of Job

Chapter 23

Job longs to appear before God, 1-5, in confidence of his mercy, 6, 7. God, who is invisible, observes our ways, 8-10. Job's innocence, 11, 12. God's decree is immutable, 13-17.

1 Then Job answered and said,

"Even today my complaint is bitter./
My stroke is heavier than my groaning.

Oh that I knew where I might find him!/
Oh that I might come even to his seat!

I would order my cause before him/
and fill my mouth with arguments.

I would know the words which he would answer me/
and understand what he would say to me.

Would he plead against me with his great power?/
No, but he would put strength in me.

There the righteous might dispute with him,/
and I would be delivered forever from my judge.

Behold, I go forward, but he is not there./
I go backward, but I cannot perceive him.

I go on the left hand where he works,/
but I cannot behold him./
He hides himself on the right hand/
so that I cannot see him.

10 But he knows the way that I take./
When he has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

11 My foot has held his steps./
His way I have kept and not declined,

12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips./
I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my appointed food.

13 But he is in one mind, and who can turn him?/
And what his soul desires, even that he does.

14 For he performs the thing that is appointed for me./
And many such things are with him.

15 Therefore, I am troubled at his presence./
When I consider, I am afraid of him.

16 For God makes my heart soft,/
and the Almighty troubles me.

17 For I am not cut off by the darkness,/
but he has hidden the darkness from my face."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Job, Chapter 23[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

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 (verses 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 favorably with him, and both admit him and strengthen him, to plead his own cause, and would acquit him forever from the charges laid against him (verses 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 (verses 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 (verses 13-17).

[v.3-7] - Here Job desires an audience with God to speak to him. God later addresses Job in chapters 38-41.