|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 12. - Behold, he taketh away; rather, he seizeth the prey (see the Revised Version). The expression is much stronger than that used in Job 1:21. Job seems to be smarting under the recollection of all that he has lost, and takes an aggrieved tone. Who can hinder him? (comp. Isaiah 45:9; Jeremiah 18:6; Romans 19:20). Who will say unto him, What doest thou? To have to do with such an irresistible Being, alone in his might, would indeed be terrible if, while absolutely powerful, unchecked and uncontrolled from without, he were not also absolutely good, and therefore controlled and checked by a law from within. This, however, Job, in his present mood, does not seem clearly to see.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, he taketh away,.... There are some things God never takes away from his people; he never takes away his love from them, he always rests in that towards them, let them be in what condition they will; he never takes away his grace from them, when once bestowed on them, or wrought in them; he never takes away his special gifts of grace, particularly the unspeakable gift of his son Christ Jesus, which is that good part, when chosen, which shall not be taken away; nor any of the spiritual blessings wherewith they are blessed in Christ; these are irreversible and irrevocable: but temporal blessings he takes away at pleasure; so he had taken away the children, the servants of Job, his substance, wealth, and riches, and also his bodily health, to which he may have a particular respect; yea, when it pleases him, he takes a man out of the world, as the Targum and Gersom interpret it:
who can hinder him? he does what he pleases in heaven and earth; his will is irresistible, his power is uncontrollable; there is no turning his mind, nor staying his hand, nor turning it back; when he works, none can let or hinder. Mr. Broughton translates it, "who shall make him restore?" (l) if a man takes away what he has no right to, he may be obliged by law to restore it; but whatever God takes away he has a right unto, be it relations and friends, health or wealth; if he pleases he can restore, and does; and as he did to Job, to whom he after gave twice as much as he had before; but then he is not obliged to do it, none can force him to it:
who will say unto him, what doest thou? not one that knows what God is, or that knows himself a creature of his; no person will choose or dare to ask what God does, or why he does this and not another thing, or why this in the manner he does it; for he gives no account of his matters to the sons of men, nor is he obliged to it, and it would be insolent in them to require it, see Job 33:13; this expresses his sovereignty.
(l) So Beza, Pagninus, Montanus, Bolducius, Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
12. If "He taketh away," as in my case all that was dear to me, still a mortal cannot call Him to account. He only takes His own. He is an absolute King (Ec 8:4; Da 4:35).
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