Job 11:7
Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
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(7) Canst thou by searching find out God? Literally, Canst thou attain to the searching out of God?

Job 11:7-8. Canst thou by searching find out God? — That is, discover all the depths of his wisdom, and the reasons of all his actions. It is as high as heaven — Thou canst not measure the heights of the visible heavens, much less of the divine perfections; what canst thou do? — Namely, to find him out. Deeper than hell; what canst thou know? — Concerning him and his ways, which are far out of thy sight and reach. God is unsearchable. The ages of his eternity cannot be numbered, nor the spaces of his immensity measured; the depths of his wisdom cannot be fathomed, nor the extent of his power bounded: the brightness of his glory can never be described, nor the treasures of his goodness counted. This is a good reason why we should always speak of God with humility and caution, and never prescribe to him, or quarrel with his dispensations; why we should be thankful for what he has revealed of himself, and long to be there where we shall see him as he is.

11:7-12 Zophar speaks well concerning God and his greatness and glory, concerning man and his vanity and folly. See here what man is; and let him be humbled. God sees this concerning vain man, that he would be wise, would be thought so, though he is born like a wild ass's colt, so unteachable and untameable. Man is a vain creature; empty, so the word is. Yet he is a proud creature, and self-conceited. He would be wise, would be thought so, though he will not submit to the laws of wisdom. He would be wise, he reaches after forbidden wisdom, and, like his first parents, aiming to be wise above what is written, loses the tree of life for the tree of knowledge. Is such a creature as this fit to contend with God?Canst then, by searching, find out God? - In order to illustrate the sentiment which he had just expressed, that the secrets of divine wisdom must be far above our comprehension, Zophar introduces here this sublime description of God - a description which seems to have the form and force of a proverb. It seems to have been a settled opinion that man could not find out the Almighty to perfection by his own powers - a sentiment, which is as true now, as it was then, and which is of the utmost importance in all our inquiries about the Creator. The sentiment is expressed in a most beautiful manner; and the language itself is not unworthy of the theme. The word "searching," חקר chêqer, is from חקר châqar to search, to search out, to examine; and the primary sense, according to Gesenius, lies in searching in the earth by boring or digging - as for metals. Then it means to search with diligence and care. Here it means that by the utmost attention in examining the works of God, it would be impossible for man to find out the Almighty to perfection. All the investigations which have been made of God, have fallen short of the object; and at the present time it is as true as it was in the days of Job, that we cannot, by searching, find him out. Of much that pertains to him and his plans we must be content to remain in ignorance, until we are admitted to the revelations of a higher world - happy and thankful now that we are permitted to know so much of him as we do, and that we are apprized of the existence of one infinite and perfect mind. It is an inexpressible privilege to know "anything" of God; and it is proof of the exalted nature of man, that he is now capable of becoming in any degree acquainted with the divine nature. 7. Rather, "Penetrate to the perfections of the Almighty" (Job 9:10; Ps 139:6). Find out God, i.e. discover all the depths of his wisdom, and the reasons of all his actions.

Canst thou by searching find out God?.... God is not to be found out by human search; that there is a God may be found out by inquiring into the book of nature, by considering the creatures that are made, who all proclaim some first cause or maker of them, who is God; but then it cannot be found out what God is, his nature, being, and perfections: an Heathen philosopher (i), being asked by a certain king what God was, required a day to give in his answer; when that was up he desired a second, and still went on asking more; and being demanded the reason of his dilatoriness, replied, the more he had considered the question, the more obscure it was to him: the world by wisdom, or the wiser part of the Heathen world, knew not God; though they knew there was one, they knew not who and what he was; and therefore in some places altars were erected to the unknown God, Acts 17:23, and though some of the perfections of God may be investigated from the works of nature, such as the power, wisdom, and goodness of God, Romans 1:19; yet not all his perfections, such as his grace, mercy, &c. proclaimed and displayed in Christ; nor indeed his counsels, purposes, and decrees, which lie in his eternal mind, are the thoughts of his heart, the deep things of God, which none but the Spirit of God searches, knows, and reveals; and since Zophar's request was, that God should show to Job "the secrets of wisdom", these may be meant here, either evangelical wisdom, the wisdom of God in a mystery hid in his heart from everlasting, and the mysterious truths and doctrines or it, things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man to conceive of; these are not to be found out by human search, but are by the revelation of God; or else the reasons of the proceedings of God in Providence, which are out of the reach of men, dark, intricate, mysterious, unsearchable, and past finding out:

canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? to the uttermost of his nature and perfections; all his attributes, the last of them, and the extremity thereof: that God is perfect and entire, wanting nothing, and is possessed of all perfections, may be found out, or otherwise he would not be God; but his essence and attributes, being infinite, can never be traced and comprehended by finite minds; there are some perfections of God we have no idea of, but are lost in confusion and amazement as soon as we think of them and reason about them, as his eternity and immensity particularly; for, when we have rolled over in our minds millions and millions of ages, we are as far off from eternity as when we began; and when we have pervaded all worlds, and every space and place, we have got no further into immensity than at first; we are confounded when we think of a Being without beginning and without bounds, unoriginated, and unlimited; yea, even it is but a small part of the works of God in creation that is known by men, or of God in and by them; nay, by divine revelation, which gives the clearest and most enlarged view of him, whereby he has proclaimed his name, a God gracious and merciful, &c. yet it is only his back parts that are shown, not his face; it is only through a glass, darkly, we now see; indeed, in the other world, we shall see him face to face, and as he is, yet then never comprehend his essence: and, after all, it is only in Christ that God is to be found, to saving purposes; in him is the most glorious display of him; being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person; and not only all his perfections are in him, as a divine Person, but they are glorified by him as Mediator; every step in salvation is taken in Christ, and every blessing of grace comes through him; what of the divine Presence and communion with God is enjoyed is by him; and he will be the medium of the enjoyment of God, and of all the glory and happiness of the saints in the world to come.

(i) Simonides, apud Cicero, de Nat. Deor. l. 1.

Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
7. The verse means, Canst thou fathom or conceive God? The special side of God’s being, which Zophar declares to be unfathomable, is His wisdom or omniscience. This is the point in question, for it is this which discovers Job’s heart and his sins; and Zophar desires to put this omniscience before Job to bring him to take a right place before it, just as Eliphaz brought the holiness of God before him. Literally the verse reads: Canst thou find the deeps of (or, that which has to be searched out in) God, canst thou reach to the perfection (the outmost, the ground of the nature) of the Almighty? Cf. ch. Job 26:10, Job 28:3.

7–12. Panegyric on the Divine Wisdom or Omniscience. This wisdom cannot be fathomed by man (Job 11:7). It fills all things (Job 11:8-9). And this explains the sudden calamities that befall men, for God perceives their hidden wickedness (Job 11:10-11). But man is of no understanding (Job 11:12).

Verse 7. - Canst thou by searching find out God? literally, Canst thou attain to the searching out of God? Canst thou suppose, that is, that, whatever thy wisdom, learning, subtlety, sagacity, power of insight, thou wilt be able to search out and fully know the character, attributes, modes of thought and action, of the Most High? No. In one sense, all men do well to profess them. selves "Agnostics" - not that they can know nothing of God, but that they can never know him fully, never exhaust the knowledge of him. As the apostle says, "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God l how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?" (Romans 11:33, 34). Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? rather. Canst thou attain to the perfection of the Almighty? understand, i.e., his inconceivable perfectness. Job 11:7 7 Canst thou find out the nature of Eloah,

And penetrate to the foundation of the existence of the Almighty?

8 It is as the heights of heaven-what wilt thou do?

Deeper than Hades-what canst thou know?

9 The measure thereof is longer than the earth,

And broader than the sea.

The majority of modern commentators erroneously translate חקר searching equals comprehension, and תּכלית perfection, a meaning which this word never has. The former, indeed, signifies first in an active sense: finding out by search; and then also objectively: the object sought after: "the hidden ground" (Ewald), the depth (here and Job 38:16; also, according to Ew., Job 8:8, of the deep innermost thought). The latter denotes penetrating to the extreme, and then the extreme, πέρας, itself (Job 26:10; Job 28:3). In other words: the nature that underlies that which is visible as an object of search is called חקר; and the extreme of a thing, i.e., the end, without which the beginning and middle cannot be understood, is called תכלית. The nature of God may be sought after, but cannot be found out; and the end of God is unattainable, for He is both: the Perfect One, absolutus; and the Endless One, infinitus.

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