|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:23-28 Job begs to have his sins discovered to him. A true penitent is willing to know the worst of himself; and we should all desire to know what our transgressions are, that we may confess them, and guard against them for the future. Job complains sorrowfully of God's severe dealings with him. Time does not wear out the guilt of sin. When God writes bitter things against us, his design is to make us bring forgotten sins to mind, and so to bring us to repent of them, as to break us off from them. Let young persons beware of indulging in sin. Even in this world they may so possess the sins of their youth, as to have months of sorrow for moments of pleasure. Their wisdom is to remember their Creator in their early days, that they may have assured hope, and sweet peace of conscience, as the solace of their declining years. Job also complains that his present mistakes are strictly noticed. So far from this, God deals not with us according to our deserts. This was the language of Job's melancholy views. If God marks our steps, and narrowly examines our paths, in judgment, both body and soul feel his righteous vengeance. This will be the awful case of unbelievers, yet there is salvation devised, provided, and made known in Christ.
Verse 23. - How many are mine iniquities and sins? This is scarcely, as Professor Stanley Leathes represents it, "a deep confession of personal sin" ('Old Testament Commentary,' vol. 4. p. 27). It is more in the nature of a remonstrance. "These sins of mine, for which I. am so grievously punished, what are they? Name them. How many are there of them? Let me know exactly what they are; and then I can question my conscience concerning them." Make me to know my transgression and my sin. These words imply that lie does not know them at present. He knows of some infirmities and lighter misdoings of his youth (ver. 26); but he knows of no such sins as are commensurate with his sufferings.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
How many are mine iniquities and sins? Whether of ignorance or presumption, through mistake or wilfulness, voluntary or involuntary, sins of omission or commission, secret or open, or of heart, lip, or life; for by this heap of words he uses in this and the next clause he means all sorts of sins, be they what they would; he desires to know what they were, both with respect to quality and quantity, how great (i) they were, what heinous and capital crimes he had been guilty of, that such sore afflictions were laid upon him; and how many they were, as they were suggested to be by his friends, and who indeed call them infinite, Job 22:5; and as they might seem to be from the many afflictions endured by him, which were supposed to be for sins; though, as Schultens observes, such an interrogation as the force of a diminution and negation, as that of the Psalmist; "how many are the days of thy servant?" Psalm 119:84; that is, how few are they? or rather none at all; namely, of light and joy, of pleasure and comfort; so Job represents by this his sins to be but few (k) in comparison of what his friends surmised, or might be concluded from his afflictions; and indeed none at all of a capital nature, and such as were of a deep die, atrocious and enormous crimes; only such as were common to good men, who all have their frailties, infirmities, and imperfections, there being not a just man that does good and sins not: Job did not pretend to be without sin, but he was not sensible of any notorious sin he could be charged with, nor was he conscious of allowing himself in any known sin, or of living and walking therein, which is inconsistent with the grace of God; moreover, as he knew his interest in his living Redeemer and surety, to whom, and not to himself, his sins and transgressions were imputed; he might ask, "how many iniquities and sins are to me" (l)? as the words may be literally rendered; that is, which are to be reckoned to me, to be placed to my account? none at all; see 2 Corinthians 5:19;
make me to know my transgression and my sin; not that he was ignorant of sin, of the nature and demerit of it, as unregenerate men are, who know not the plague of their own hearts, indwelling sin, internal lusts, nor the exceeding sinfulness of sinful actions, nor the effect and consequences of sin, pollution, guilt, the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and eternal death; at least do not know it as to be affected with a sense of it, to have a godly sorrow for it, repent of it, confess it, and forsake it; such knowledge as this is from the spirit of God, and which Job had; but his meaning is, that if he could not be charged with many sins, as might seem to be the case, yet if there was but one that could be produced, and was the reason of his being afflicted after this manner, he desires to know what that was, that he might, upon conviction of it, acknowledge it, repent of it, relinquish it, and guard against it; he desires to have a copy of his indictment, that he might know what he stood charged with, for what he was arraigned, condemned, and punished, as it was thought he was; this he judged a reasonable request, and necessary to be granted, that he might answer for himself.
(i) "vox pertinet ad mulitudinem et magnitudinem", Pineda. (k) So Ben Melech interprets these words. (l) "sunt mihi", Beza, Schmidt, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. The catalogue of my sins ought to be great, to judge from the severity with which God ever anew crushes one already bowed down. Would that He would reckon them up! He then would see how much my calamities outnumber them.
sin?—singular, "I am unconscious of a single particular sin, much less many" [Umbreit].
Job 13:23 Parallel Commentaries
Job 13:23 NIV
Job 13:23 NLT
Job 13:23 ESV
Job 13:23 NASB
Job 13:23 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible