Job 13:9
Is it good that he should search you out? or as one man mocketh another, do ye so mock him?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) As one man mocketh another.—As one man, with mingled flattery and deception, seeks to impose upon another.

Job 13:9-10. Is it good that he should search you out? — Will it be to your credit and comfort, that he should narrowly examine your hearts and discourses, whether you have uttered truth or falsehood, and whether your speeches have proceeded from true zeal for the glory of God, or from your own prejudices and passions? Do ye so mock him? — By covering your uncharitableness and corrupt affections with pretences of piety, as if God could not discern your artifices; or, by pleading his cause with weak and foolish arguments, which is a kind of mockery of him, and an injury to his cause; or, by seeking to flatter him with false praises, as if he distributed the things of this world with exact justice, prospering only the good, and severely afflicting none but wicked men. He will surely reprove you — Hebrew, הוכח יוכח, hocheach, jocheach, redarguendo redarguet, in confuting, he will confute you; that is, he will surely confute, or punish you, as the word often means. “He will severely chastise you, for designing to gratify him by condemning me.” — Bishop Patrick. If ye do secretly accept persons — Though it be concealed in your own breasts, and no eye see it; yea, though your own minds and consciences, through ignorance or inadvertency, do not perceive it; yet he, who is greater than your consciences, sees and knows it.

13:1-12 With self-preference, Job declared that he needed not to be taught by them. Those who dispute are tempted to magnify themselves, and lower their brethren, more than is fit. When dismayed or distressed with the fear of wrath, the force of temptation, or the weight of affliction, we should apply to the Physician of our souls, who never rejects any, never prescribes amiss, and never leaves any case uncured. To Him we may speak at all times. To broken hearts and wounded consciences, all creatures, without Christ, are physicians of no value. Job evidently speaks with a very angry spirit against his friends. They had advanced some truths which nearly concerned Job, but the heart unhumbled before God, never meekly receives the reproofs of men.Is it good that he should search you out? - Would it be well for you if he should go into an investigation of your character, and of the arguments which you adduce? The idea is, that if God should make such an investigation, the result would be highly unfavorable to them. Perhaps Job means to intimate that, if they were subjected to the kind of trial that he had been, it would be seen that they could not bear it. "Or as one man mocketh another." The idea here is, "it is possible to delude or deceive man, but God cannot be deceived. You may conceal your thoughts and motives from man, but you cannot from God. You may use arguments that may impose upon man - you may employ fallacies and sophisms which he cannot detect, but every such effort is vain with God;" compare Galatians 6:7. 9. Will the issue to you be good, when He searches out you and your arguments? Will you be regarded by Him as pure and disinterested?

mock—(Ga 6:7). Rather, "Can you deceive Him as one man?" &c.

Is it good? will it be to your credit and comfort?

Search you out, i.e. narrowly examine your hearts and discourses, whether you have uttered truth or falsehood, and whether your speeches proceed from true zeal for God, or from your own prejudices and passions, and from a desire to curry favour with him.

Do ye so mock him, to wit, by covering your uncharitableness and corrupt affections with pretences of piety, as if God could not discern your artifices; or by pleading his cause with weak and foolish arguments, which is a kind of mockery to him, and an injury to his cause; or by seeking to flatter him with false praises, as if he did distribute the things of this world with exact justice, prospering only the good, and severely afflicting none but wicked men?

Is it good that he should search you out?.... That is, God; searching is ascribed to him after the manner of men; not that he is ignorant of persons or things he searches after, or exercises that application, diligence, and industry, and takes those pains which are necessary in men to find out anything; when he makes search, it is not on his own account, but others; at least it is only to show his knowledge of persons and things, and to make men known to others, or things to them themselves; and is here to be understood in a judicial sense, as it frequently is the case, so it was here, a man that is "first in his own cause", as the wise man says, Proverbs 18:17, "seemeth just"; to himself and others; it looks upon the representation he makes of things as if he was in the right: "but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him"; traverses his arguments in his own vindication, and shows the fallacy of them; so Job's friends, making the worst of his cause, and the best of their own, seemed right in their own eyes; but God, who is the searcher of hearts, and who knows all things, could see through their coverings of things, and could not be deceived by them, but would find them out, and expose them; as he did afterwards, when he gave judgment against them, and declared they had not said that which was right, as his servant Job had, Job 42:7; and therefore it was not to their profit and advantage, and to their honour and credit, to be searched out by him, or to run the risk of it, as they did, which is the amount of this question:

or as one mocketh another, do ye so mock him? men may be mocked by their fellow creatures, either by words or gestures, as good men usually are in all ages, especially the prophets of the Lord, and the ministers of his word; or they may he deceived and imposed upon by the false glosses and colourings of artful men, as simple men are deceived by the fair speeches of false teachers, which is no other than an illusion of them, or mocking them: in the first sense God may be mocked, though he should not; there have been and will be such bold and daring creatures as to mock at his promises and his providence, to mock at his word, ordinances, and ministers, which is interpreted by him a mocking and despising himself; but in the latter sense he cannot be mocked, and it is a vain thing to attempt it; "be not deceived, God is not mocked", Galatians 6:7; he sees through all the fallacious reasonings of men; he judges not according to outward appearance; he sees and knows the heart, and all the views and designs of men, and can detect all their sophisms and false glosses; he is not to be deceived by specious pretences of doing such and such actions for his glory, as casting out good men, and their names, or traducing their characters that he may be glorified, or killing them to do him service, Isaiah 66:5; he is not to be flattered as one man may flatter another; to do this with him, is to mock him, he is not to be mocked in this way.

Is it good that he should search you out? or as one man mocketh another, do ye so mock him?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. Is it good] The words may mean, will it be well (for you) that He should search (or, when He shall search)? or as ch. Job 10:3, do you like that He should search you out? The second clause should read,

Or as one deceiveth a man will ye deceive Him?

When God searches you out and looks into the secret springs of your actions do you expect to be able to deceive Him by representations or demeanour or look as one imposes on a man, who cannot “read the mind’s construction in the face”?

Verse 9. - Is it good that he should search you out? "Are your motives in thus acting," Job asks his opponents, "so pure that they will stand the severity of God's judgment when he turns his scrutiny upon you and searches out the grounds of your proceedings? Is not your real motive to carry favour with him because he is so great and powerful?" Or as one man mocketh another, do ye so meek him? You may impose on a man by so acting, but you will not impose on God. Job 13:9 7 Will ye speak what is wrong for God,

And speak what is deceitful for Him?

8 Will ye be partial for Him,

Or will ye play the part of God's advocates?

9 Would it be pleasant if He should search you out,

Or can ye jest with Him, as one jesteth with men?

10 He will surely expose you

If ye secretly act with partiality.

11 Will not His majesty confound you,

And His fear fall upon you?

Their advocacy of God - this is the thought of this strophe - is an injustice to Job, and an evil service rendered to God, which cannot escape undisguised punishment from Him. They set themselves up as God's advocates (לאל ריב, like לבּעל ריב, Judges 6:31), and at the same time accept His person, accipiunt (as in acceptus equals gratus), or lift it up, i.e., favour, or give preference to, His person, viz., at the expense of the truth: they are partial in His favour, as they are twice reminded and given to understand by the fut. energicum תּשּׂאוּן. The addition of בּסּתר (Job 13:10) implies that they conceal their better knowledge by the assumption of an earnest tone and bearing, expressive of the strongest conviction that they are in the right. They know that Job is not a flagrant sinner; nevertheless they deceive themselves with the idea that he is, and by reason of this delusion they take up the cause of God against him. Such perversion of the truth in majorem Dei gloriam is an abomination to God. When He searches them, His advocates, out (חקר, as Prov.Job 28:11), they will become conscious of it; or will God be mocked, as one mocketh mortal men? Comp. Galatians 6:7 for a similar thought. חתל is inf. absol. after the form תּללּ, and תּהתלּוּ is also to be derived from תּללּ, and is fut. Hiph., the preformative not being syncopated, for תּתלּוּ (Ges. 53, rem. 7); not Piel, from התל (as 1 Kings 18:27), with the doubling of the middle radical resolved (Olsh. in his Lehrb. S. 577). God is not pleased with λατρεία (John 16:2) which gives the honour to Him, but not to truth, such ζῆλος Θεοῦ ἀλλ ̓ ου ̓ κατ ̓ ἐπίγνωσιν (Romans 10:2), such advocacy contrary to one's better knowledge and conscience, in which the end is thought to sanctify the means. Such advocacy must be put to shame and confounded when He who needs no concealment of the truth for His justification is manifest in His שׂאת, i.e., not: in the kindling of His wrath (after Judges 20:38; Isaiah 30:27), but: in His exaltation (correctly by Ralbag: התנשׂאותו ורוממותו), and by His direct influence brings all untruth to light. It is the boldest thought imaginable, that one dare not have respect even to the person of God when one is obliged to lie to one's self. And still it is also self-evident. For God and truth can never be antagonistic.

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