|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:1-13 In this answer Job declared that he did not doubt the justice of God, when he denied himself to be a hypocrite; for how should man be just with God? Before him he pleaded guilty of sins more than could be counted; and if God should contend with him in judgment, he could not justify one out of a thousand, of all the thoughts, words, and actions of his life; therefore he deserved worse than all his present sufferings. When Job mentions the wisdom and power of God, he forgets his complaints. We are unfit to judge of God's proceedings, because we know not what he does, or what he designs. God acts with power which no creature can resist. Those who think they have strength enough to help others, will not be able to help themselves against it.
Verse 11. - Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not. Near as God is to us, close as he comes to us, we cannot directly see him, or feel him, or perceive his presence. We know it by faith, we may feel it in our inmost spirits; but there is no manifestation of it to our senses. A sharp line divides the visible and invisible worlds; and this line, if it is ever crossed, is very rarely crossed. Job possibly reflects upon the pretension of Eliphaz to have had a physical consciousness of the visitation of a spirit (Job 4:15, 16), and asserts, with a tinge of sarcasm, that it is otherwise with him - the spirit-worm passes him by, and he receives no light, no illumination, no miraculous direction from it. He passeth on also. The same verb is used by Eliphaz (Job 4:15) in speaking of his spiritual visitation. But I perceive him not. Eliphaz perceived the presence of the spirit (Job 4:15, 16) and heard its voice (Job 4:16-21). Job seems to mean that he is not so favoured.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Lo, he goeth by me, and I see him not,.... This is expressive of the invisibility of God; for though the angels in heaven always behold his face, and men, in the works of creation, may see his eternal power and Godhead, and other perfections of it displayed therein; and saints by faith have a comfortable and delightful view of him, of his countenance, his love, grace and mercy in his word and ordinances, and especially in the face and person of Christ, the image of the invisible God, and will in heaven most clearly see him as he is, in the greater display of his glory and his grace; yet his essence is invisible, not only not to be seen with corporeal eyes, but not to be comprehended in the mind:
he passeth on also, but I perceive him not; this "going and passing on", as, ascribed to God, must be understood in consistence with his omnipresence; he cannot be thought to move from place to place who is everywhere, who fills heaven and earth with his presence, and there is no going from it: local motion cannot be said of him; but this respects the operations of his providence; he is continually working all around us, by supporting us in being, and supplying us with what we want, and so is near us, and yet we see him not: Job experienced the bounties of his providence, as well as the blessings of his grace, in the time of his prosperity, and now he felt the weight of his afflicting hand upon him; but yet, as to his essence, he could not see him; he was sensible that he was nigh him, and find a concern in all that befell him, but he could neither see nor comprehend him, nor account for his dealings with him: he had "passed by" him in his state of nature, and had looked graciously on him, and had said unto him, Live; he had "passed on" from him, and hid his face so that he could not see him, nor find him backward nor forward, on the right hand, nor on the left, where he used to work, see Job 23:3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. I see him not: he passeth on—The image is that of a howling wind (Isa 21:1). Like it when it bursts invisibly upon man, so God is felt in the awful effects of His wrath, but is not seen (Joh 3:8). Therefore, reasons Job, it is impossible to contend with Him.
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