Job 23:14
For he performes the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) He performeth the thing that is appointed for me.—“He will accomplish my appointed lot; He will complete that which He has decreed for me; and like these things there are many (more) with Him” (Job 10:13). Job is disposed to take the full measure of the worst, like a pessimist, that being steeled against it, he may be prepared; and so steeled, he still trusts God. (Comp. Job 13:15, Authorised Version.)

Job 23:14-15. He performeth, &c. — Hebrew, ישׁלום חקי, jashlim chukki, he will perfect, or finish, my appointed portion, that is, those calamities which he hath allotted to me for my portion. And many such things are with him. There are many such examples of God’s proceeding with men; and his counsels and providences, though always just, yet are often secret; and we cannot discern the reasonableness or equity of them. Therefore am I troubled at his presence, &c. — When I set this great and holy God before me, and reflect that I am in his presence, I am troubled at the consideration of his glorious majesty, and sovereign, irresistible power, by which he can do whatsoever pleaseth him, without giving any account of his matters. There is, indeed, that in God which, if we consider, we shall see cause to be afraid of him: his infinite justice and purity, compared with our sinfulness and vileness; but if, withal, we consider his grace in a Redeemer, and are conscious of our compliance with that grace, the fears will vanish, and we shall see cause to hope in him.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.For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me - "I am now meeting only what has been determined by his eternal plan. I know not what is the "reason" why it was appointed; but I see that God had resolved to do it, and that it is vain to resist him." So when we suffer, we may say the same thing. It is not by chance or hap-hazard that we are afflicted; it is because "God" has "appointed" that it should be so. It is not by passion or caprice on his part; not by sudden anger or wrath; but it is because he had determined to do it as a part of his eternal plan. It is much, when we are afflicted, to be able to make this reflection. I had rather be afflicted, feeling that it is "the appointment of God," than feeling that it is "by chance" or "hap-hazard." I had rather think that it is a part of a plan calmly and deliberately formed by God, than that it is the result of some unexpected and uncontrollable cause. In the one case, I see that mind and thought and plan have been employed, and I infer that there is a "reason" for it, though I cannot see it; in the other, I can see no proof of reason or of wisdom, and my mind finds no rest. The doctrine of divine purposes or decrees, therefore, is eminently adapted to give consolation to a sufferer. I had infinitely rather be under the operation of a plan or decree where there "may" be a reason for all that is done, though I cannot see it, than to feel that I am subject to the tossings of blind chance, where there can possibly be no reason.

And many such things are with him - The purpose does not pertain to me alone. It is a part of a great plan which extends to others - to all things. He is executing his plans around me, and I should not complain that in the development of his vast purposes I am included, and that I suffer. The idea seems to be this, that Job found consolation in the belief that he was not alone in these circumstances; that he had not been marked out and selected as a special object of divine displeasure. Others had suffered in like manner. There were "many" cases just like his own, and why should he complain? If I felt that there was special displeasure against "me;" that no others wcre treated in the same way, it would make afflictions much more difficult to bear. But when I feel that there is an eternal plan which embraces all, and that I only come in for my share, in common with others, of the calamities which are judged necessary for the world, I can bear them with much more ease and patience.

14. many such—He has yet many more such ills in store for me, though hidden in His breast (Job 10:13). Or, he will perfect or finish my appointed portion, i.e. those calamities which he hath allotted to me for my portion, which as he hath begun to lay on me, so he is resolved to make a full end of them.

And many such things are with him; there are many such examples of God’s proceeding with men in way of absolute sovereignty and severity, and his counsels and providences, though always just, yet are oft secret, and we cannot discern the reasonableness or equity of them, which is my case. For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me,.... The same word is used as at the end of Job 23:12; where it is rendered, "my necessary food"; or appointed food a certain portion of it; food convenient, daily bread; and this has led some interpreters to take it in the same sense here, and render it, "he performeth my necessary things" (e), or things necessary for me; supplies me with the necessaries of life, to which agrees the Targum, and so Mr. Broughton;

"because he hath furnished me with my daily bread, and many such graces are with him;''

and which he did according to his unchangeable purposes and decrees, and according as his soul desired, and it pleased him; and this laid Job under greater obligation still to have regard to his commandments, and the words of his mouth; but rather it is to be understood of the decrees and purposes of God relating to Job, to his person, case, and circumstances, throughout the whole course of his life hitherto: and indeed all things relating to every individual person, as to him, are appointed of God; and whatever he appoints he performs: all things relative to their temporal life, the birth of persons into the world, and their continuance in it; all the incidents in life, the places of their abode, their employments, callings, and occupations; their riches and poverty, prosperity and adversity; all their afflictions, and which Job has a special regard to, the kind and nature of them, their measure and duration, and the end and use of them; and death itself, which closes all things here, that is appointed of God, the time and circumstances of it, see Ecclesiastes 3:1; and so all things relative to the spiritual and eternal salvation of men; to save men is the determinate will of God; the persons saved are appointed by him to it, and Christ is ordained to be the Redeemer and Saviour of them; whose coming into the world for that purpose was at the appointed time, called the fulness of time, and his going out of it, or his sufferings and death, by which salvation was accomplished, were in due time, and by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. The conversion of men is according to the appointment of God; they that are called are called according to his purpose; the time of conversion, the place where, and means whereby, are all fixed in the decrees and purposes of God, and have their sure and certain accomplishment; and the several vicissitudes of distress and comfort in spiritual things are as God has determined; all the times of his people are in his hands, and disposed by him; times of temptation, darkness, and desertion, and times of peace, joy, and comfort; the everlasting happiness itself is a kingdom prepared in the purposes of God from the foundation of the world, and is an inheritance obtained according to the purpose of him who has predestinated unto it; and seeing God is all wise, all knowing, all powerful, faithful and true, what he appoints must certainly be performed:

and many such things are with him; besides what were appointed for Job, and performed upon him, there were innumerable instances in the world of God's appointments, and the performance of them, both with respect to good things and evil things, mercies and blessings, afflictions and troubles: or besides what God had performed with respect to Job, especially with regard to his afflictions and sufferings, there were still many more things to come, which were secret in his breast, and which he had decreed and appointed, and would in due time be performed, though Job knew not as yet what they, were, whether good or evil things, though he supposed the latter.

(e) "quia perfecit necessaria mea", Vatablus; so Nachmanides, Ben Gersom, Sephorno.

For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and {i} many such things are with him.

(i) In many points man is not able to attain to God's judgments.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. For he performeth] Or, Yea He will perform, or, accomplish. The “thing appointed” for Job is his death through his malady, which the Almighty has resolved upon. This is the profound enigma to Job; but it is far from being a solitary one: “many such things are with Him”—the instance is but one out of many similar ones that happen under God’s rule of the world of mankind; comp. ch. Job 21:23 seq.Verse 14. - For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me; i.e he will assuredly accomplish whatever he has decreed for me. I cannot expect that he will blench or change. And many such things are with him. He has many other weapons in his armoury, many other woes with which he might afflict me. The question arises here, whether the שׁם which follows is to be understood locally (Arab. ṯamma) or temporally (Arab. ṯumma); it is evident from Job 35:12; Psalm 14:5; Psalm 66:6; Hosea 2:17; Zephaniah 1:14, that it may be used temporally; in many passages, e.g., Psalm 36:13, the two significations run into one another, so that they cannot be distinguished. We here decide in favour of the temporal signification, against Rosenm., Schlottm., and Hahn; for if שׁם be understood locally, a "then" must be supplied, and it may therefore be concluded that this שׁם is the expression for it. We assume at the same time that נוכח is correctly pointed as part. with Kametz; accordingly it is to be explained: then, if He would thus pay attention to me, an upright man would be contending with Him, i.e., then it would be satisfactorily proved that an upright man may contend with Him. In Job 23:7, פּלּט, like מלּט, Job 20:20 (comp. פּתּח, to have open, to stand open), is intensive of Kal: I should for ever escape my judge, i.e., come off most completely free from unmerited punishment. Thus it ought to be if God could be found, but He cannot be found. The הן, which according to the sense may be translated by "yet" (comp. Job 21:16), introduces this antithetical relation: Yet I go towards the east (הן with Mahpach, קדם with Munach), and He is not there; and towards the west (אחור, comp. אחרנים, occidentales, Job 18:20), and perceive Him not (expressed as in Job 9:11; בּין ל elsewhere: to attend to anything, Job 14:21; Deuteronomy 32:29; Psalm 73:17; here, as there, to perceive anything, so that לו is equivalent to אתו). In Job 23:9 the left (שׂמאול, Arab. shemâl, or even without the substantival termination, on which comp. Jesurun, pp. 222-227, sham, shâm) is undoubtedly an appellation of the north, and the right (ימין, Arab. jem̌̂n) an appellation of the south; both words are locatives which outwardly are undefined. And if the usual signification of עשׂה and עטף are retained, it is to be explained thus: northwards or in the north, if He should be active - I behold not; if He veil himself southwards or in the south - I see not. This explanation is also satisfactory so far as Job 23:9 is concerned, so that it is unnecessary to understand בּעשׂתו other than in Job 28:26, and with Blumenfeld to translate according to the phrase עשׂה דרכּו, Judges 17:8 : if He makes His way northwards; or even with Umbr. to call in the assistance of the Arab. gšâ (to cover), which neither here nor Job 9:9; Job 15:27, is admissible, since even then שׂמאול בעשׂתו cannot signify: if He hath concealed himself on the left hand (in the north). Ewald's combination of עשׂה with עטה, in the assumed signification "to incline to" of the latter, is to be passed over as useless. On the other hand, much can be said in favour of Ewald's translation of Job 23:9: "if He turn to the right hand - I see Him not;" for (1) the Arab. gṭf, by virtue of the radical notion,

(Note: The Arab. verb ‛ṭf signifies trans. to turn, or lay, anything round, so that it is laid or drawn over something else and covers it; hence Arab. ‛ṭâf, a garment that is cast round one, Arab. ta‛aṭṭafa with Arab. b of a garment: to cast it or wrap it about one. Intrans. to turn aside, depart from, of deviating from a given direction, deflectere, declinare; also, to turn in a totally opposite direction, to turn one's self round and to go back. - Fl.)

which is also traceable in the Heb. עטף, signifies both trans. and intrans. to turn up, bend aside; (2) Saadia translates: "and if He turns southwards (‛atafa gunûban);" (3) Schultens correctly observes: עטף significatione operiendi commodum non efficit sensum, nam quid mirum is quem occultantem se non conspiciamus. We therefore give the preference to this Arabic rendering of יעטף. If יעטף, in the sense of obvelat se, does not call to mind the חדרי תּמן, penetralia austri, Job 9:9 (comp. Arab. chidr, velamen, adytum), neither will בעשׂתו point to the north as the limit of the divine dominion. Such conceptions of the extreme north and south are nowhere found among the Arabs as among the Arian races (vid., Isaiah 14:13);

(Note: In contrast to the extreme north, the abode of the gods, the habitation of life, the extreme south is among the Arians the abode of the prince of death and of demons, Jama (vid., p. 421) with his attendants, and therefore the habitation of death.)

and, moreover, the conception of the north as the abode of God cannot be shown to be biblical, either from Job 37:22; Ezekiel 1:4, or still less from Psalm 48:3. With regard to the syntax, יעטף is a hypothetical fut., as Job 20:24; Job 22:27. The use of the fut. apoc. אחז, like אט, Job 23:11, without a voluntative or aoristic signification, is poetic. Towards all quarters of the heavens he turns, i.e., with his eyes and the longing of his whole nature, if he may by any means find God. But He evades him, does not reveal Himself in any place whatever.

The כּי which now follows does not give the reason of Job's earnest search after God, but the reason of His not being found by him. He does not allow Himself to be seen anywhere; He conceals Himself from him, lest He should be compelled to acknowledge the right of the sufferer, and to withdraw His chastening hand from him.

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