|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:13-20 Zophar exhorts Job to repentance, and gives him encouragement, yet mixed with hard thoughts of him. He thought that worldly prosperity was always the lot of the righteous, and that Job was to be deemed a hypocrite unless his prosperity was restored. Then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; that is, thou mayst come boldly to the throne of grace, and not with the terror and amazement expressed in ch. 9:34. If we are looked upon in the face of the Anointed, our faces that were cast down may be lifted up; though polluted, being now washed with the blood of Christ, they may be lifted up without spot. We may draw near in full assurance of faith, when we are sprinkled from an evil conscience, Heb 10:22.
Verse 13. - If thou prepare thine heart. Having indicated God's righteousness by these general remarks (vers. 7-12), and implied that Job's complaints are vain and futile, Zophar, in conclusion, addresses Job once more directly: "If thou (אתּה) prepare thine heart," cleanse it, that is, of all defilement, direct it, and set it straight (see Psalm 78:8) before God, then such and such results (set forth in vers. 15-19) will follow. And stretch out thine hands toward him. The outward act of worship must follow the inward movement of the heart, for the turning to God to be complete.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands towards him. In this and the following verses Zophar proceeds to give some advice to Job; which, if taken, would issue in his future happiness, but otherwise it would be ill with him; he advises him to pray to God with an heart prepared for such service; so some render the last clause in the imperative, "stretch out thine hands (w) towards him"; that is, towards God; for, though not expressed, is implied, whose immensity, sovereignty, and omniscience, Zophar had been discoursing of; and, though stretching out the hands is sometimes a gesture of persons in distress and mournful circumstances, thereby signifying their grief and sorrow, and of others in great danger, in order to lay up anything for safety; and of conquered persons resigning themselves up into the hands of the conqueror; and of such who are desirous of being in friendship, alliance, and association with others; yet it is also sometimes used as for the whole of religious worship, Psalm 44:20; so particularly for prayer, Psalm 88:9; and this was what all Job's friends advised him to, to humble himself before God, to pray for the forgiveness of his sins, and for the removal of his afflictions and deliverance from them; see Job 5:8; in order to which it is proper the "heart should be prepared"; as it is requisite it should be to every good work by the grace of God so to this: and then may it be said to be prepared for such service, when the spirit of God is given as a spirit of grace and supplication, whereby the heart is impressed with a sense of its wants, and so knows what to pray for; and arguments and fit words are put into the mind and mouth, and it knows how to pray as it should; and is enabled to approach the throne of grace with sincerity, fervency, and in the exercise of faith, being sprinkled from an evil conscience by the blood of Jesus, and resigned to the divine will, in all its petitions it is directed to make: now this is the work of God, to prepare the heart; the preparation of the heart, as well as the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord; he is prayed to for it, and it is affirmed he will do it, Proverbs 16:1; but it is here represented as if it was man's act, which is said not to suggest any power in man to do it of himself; at least this is not the evangelic sense of such phrases; for Zophar might be of a more legal spirit, and not so thoroughly acquainted with the evangelic style; but this might be said, to show the necessity of such a preparation, and to stir up to a concern for it, and to expect and look for it from and by the grace of God.
(w) "Expande ad eum manus tuas", De Dieu.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. The apodosis to the "If" is at Job 11:15. The preparation of the heart is to be obtained (Pr 16:1) by stretching out the hands in prayer for it (Ps 10:17; 1Ch 29:18).
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