Job 23:13
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? He does whatever he pleases.

New Living Translation
But once he has made his decision, who can change his mind? Whatever he wants to do, he does.

English Standard Version
But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does.

New American Standard Bible
"But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does.

King James Bible
But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But He is unchangeable; who can oppose Him? He does what He desires.

International Standard Version
"But he is One—who can change him? He does whatever he wants to do.

NET Bible
But he is unchangeable, and who can change him? Whatever he has desired, he does.

New Heart English Bible
But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? What his soul desires, even that he does.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"But God is one of a kind. Who can make him change his mind? He does whatever he wants!

JPS Tanakh 1917
But He is at one with Himself, and who can turn Him? And what His soul desireth, even that He doeth.

New American Standard 1977
“But He is unique and who can turn Him?
            And what His soul desires, that He does.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But if he determines something, who can turn him? His soul desired it, and he did it.

King James 2000 Bible
But he is of one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desires, even that he does.

American King James Version
But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desires, even that he does.

American Standard Version
But he is in one mind , and who can turn him? And what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For he is alone, and no man can turn away his thought: and whatsoever is soul hath desired, that hath he done.

Darby Bible Translation
But he is in one [mind], and who can turn him? And what his soul desireth, that will he do.

English Revised Version
But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

Webster's Bible Translation
But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

World English Bible
But he stands alone, and who can oppose him? What his soul desires, even that he does.

Young's Literal Translation
And He is in one mind, And who doth turn Him back? And His soul hath desired -- and He doth it.
Study Bible
Job Responds: He Longs for God
12"I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. 13"But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. 14"For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such decrees are with Him.…
Cross References
Job 10:7
'According to Your knowledge I am indeed not guilty, Yet there is no deliverance from Your hand.

Job 10:13
'Yet these things You have concealed in Your heart; I know that this is within You:

Job 23:12
"I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

Job 23:14
"For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such decrees are with Him.

Isaiah 14:24
The LORD of hosts has sworn saying, "Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned so it will stand,
Treasury of Scripture

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

who can

Job 9:12,13 Behold, he takes away, who can hinder him? who will say to him, What do you…

Job 11:10 If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him?

Job 12:14 Behold, he breaks down, and it cannot be built again: he shuts up …

Job 34:29 When he gives quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hides …

Numbers 23:19,20 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that …

Ecclesiastes 1:15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is …

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that, whatever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can …

Romans 9:19 You will say then to me, Why does he yet find fault? For who has …

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down …

and what

Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he has done whatever he has pleased.

Psalm 135:6 Whatever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in …

Proverbs 19:21 There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel …

Isaiah 14:24-27 The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so …

Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the …

Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and …

Ephesians 1:9-11 Having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his …

(13) He is one, or in one.--Job either declares His unique sovereignty or His unchangeable purpose. The context seems to support the latter, in which case the sense given by the Authorised Version is correct.

Verse 13. - But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? Once more we hear the voice of complaint. The happier tone of thought which extends from ver. 6 to ver. 12 grows out of a sanguine hope on Job's part that God will bring him before his tribunal, and judge his cause according to righteousness. Now he bethinks himself that hitherto God, notwithstanding his prayers, has refused to summon him to his judgment-seat, and begins to fear that there is no likelihood of his changing. "He is One," or "in one." With him is "no variableness, neither shadow of turning" (James 1:17). How is it likely that he will act in the future otherwise than he has acts! in the past? What his soul desireth, even that he doeth. A somewhat harsh way of saying that God doeth that which seemeth him best - and which, therefore, is best. Job does not really suppose that God is actuated by caprice or favouritism. But he is in one mind,.... Either with respect to his commandments, every precept remains in full force, he never alters the thing that is gone out of his lips, or delivers out other commandments different from, or contrary to what he has given; and therefore Job thought it his duty to abide by them, and not decline from them; which is the sense of a Jewish commentator (c), connecting the words with the preceding: Or with respect to his dispensations towards Job in afflicting him; which he continued notwithstanding his innocence, because he is a sovereign Being, and does whatsoever he pleases; he is unchangeable in his purposes and decrees; he is not to be wrought upon by any means to alter his fixed course; he is not to be contradicted nor resisted; and this was the reason why he would not be found by him, though he sought him so earnestly and diligently, and why he would not hear him, and would not appear to try his cause, though he knew he was innocent, because he was determined to go on to afflict him; and he never changes his mind, or alters his counsels, on any account whatever. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "for he is alone": and so the Targum,

"if he is alone, or the only one;''

there is none with him to advise him, for "with whom took he counsel?" or to persuade him to be of another mind, and take contrary measures, who might be applied to, to use their interest with him to act it, a different manner; but he is alone, there are none with him that have any influence upon him, and can prevail with him to do otherwise than he does; some translate the words, "if he acts against one" (d); against a man in a hostile way, if he sets his face against him, and comes upon him as an enemy; and so Mr. Broughton, "yet when he is against me, who can stay him?" notwithstanding my innocence and integrity, though I keep his ways, and do not go back from his commandments. Some think there is a redundancy of a letter, which we translate "in", and then the words wilt be read thus: "but he is one"; the one only living and true God; this is the voice of reason and revelation, "hear, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord", Deuteronomy 6:4; for though there are three Persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, "these three are one God", 1 John 5:7; and so the words are expressive of the unity of the Divine Being; but this seems not to be Job's sense: Aben Ezra says, the truth is, that the letter is not added, is no redundancy, and should be read "he is in one"; but, says he, I cannot explain it, there is a great mystery in it: what the Jew understood not may be more clear and plain to us Christians, who are taught the mystery of the indwelling of the divine Persons in each other, the Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father, as they are divine Persons; though in what manner they are we are not able to explain; besides, God was in Christ, as Mediator, reconciling the world, choosing his people in him, and blessing them with all spiritual blessings in him; though the true sense seems to, be what is before given, agreeably to our version, that God is in one mind, purpose, and design; that his decrees are unchangeable and invariable; that he always acts according to them, and never alters them:

and who can turn him? turn his mind, or cause him to change his counsel, and alter his purposes; or turn his hand, or stop and stay it from the execution of them; it is not to be done by force and power, there is no power equal to his, and much less superior to his; which must be the case, if any could turn him: and though he may be turned by the prayers of his people, and by the repentance of men, so as to repent himself, and not do what he has threatened to do; yet this is no change of his mind and counsels, only an alteration in the course of his providence, or a change of his outward dealings with men, according to his unchangeable will; see Isaiah 14:27;

and what his soul desireth, even that he doth: that is, what he himself desireth earnestly and vehemently; he has done all things in creation according to the good pleasure of his will; and he does all things in providence according to the counsel of it, and as seems best in his sight; and so he does all things in grace, chooses whom he will, predestinates to the adoption of children according to the good pleasure of his will: redeems whom he pleases, and calls by his grace, and brings to glory whomsoever he will be gracious to; see Psalm 115:3.

(c) Sophorno. (d) "sed si ipse contra unum agit", Junius & Tremellius; so Piscator, Cocceius. 13. in one mind—notwithstanding my innocence, He is unaltered in His purpose of proving me guilty (Job 9:12).

soul—His will (Ps 115:3). God's sovereignty. He has one great purpose; nothing is haphazard; everything has its proper place with a view to His purpose.23:13-17 As Job does not once question but that his trials are from the hand of God, and that there is no such thing as chance, how does he account for them? The principle on which he views them is, that the hope and reward of the faithful servants of God are only laid up in another life; and he maintains that it is plain to all, that the wicked are not treated according to their deserts in this life, but often directly the reverse. But though the obtaining of mercy, the first-fruits of the Spirit of grace, pledges a God, who will certainly finish the work which he has began; yet the afflicted believer is not to conclude that all prayer and entreaty will be in vain, and that he should sink into despair, and faint when he is reproved of Him. He cannot tell but the intention of God in afflicting him may be to produce penitence and prayer in his heart. May we learn to obey and trust the Lord, even in tribulation; to live or die as he pleases: we know not for what good ends our lives may be shortened or prolonged.
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