Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)) Oh that I knew where I might find him.—The piteous complaint of a man who feels that God is with him for chastisement, but not for healing.Job 23:3-5. O that I knew where I might find him! — Namely, God, as his friends well knew. Thou advisest me to acquaint myself with him, I desire nothing so much as his acquaintance and presence; but, alas! he hides his face from me, that I cannot see or come near him. That I might come even to his seat — To his throne or judgment-seat, to plead my cause before him. I would order my cause — Declare in order the things which concern my cause, would set it in a true light, and show the justice of it, and that before him, who searches my heart. And fill my mouth with arguments — To prove my sincerity and innocence toward him, and consequently, that my friends accuse me falsely. I would know what he would say to me — If he should discover to me any secret sins, for which he contendeth with me, I would humble myself before him, and accept of the punishment of mine iniquity.Job 13:3, note; Job 13:20, notes. But this he had not yet been able to do. The argument had been with his three friends, and he saw that there was no use in attempting further to convince them. If he could get the cause before God, and be allowed go plead it there, he felt assured that justice would be done him. But he had not been able to do this. God had not come forth in any visible and public manner as he wished, so that the cause could be fairly tried before such a tribunal, and he was in darkness. The "language" used here will express the condition of a pious man in the times of spiritual darkness. Hc cannot find God. He has no near access as he once had to him. In such a state he anxiously seeks to find God, but he cannot. There is no light and no comfort to his soul. This language may further describe the state of one who is conscious of uprightness, and who is exposed to the suspicion or the unkind remarks of the world. His character is attacked; his motives are impugned; his designs are suspected, and no one is disposed to do him justice. In such a state, he feels that "God" alone will do him justice. "He" knows the sincerity of his heart, and he can safely commit his cause to him. It is always the privilege of the calumniated and the slandered to make an appeal to the divine tribunal, and to feel that whatever injustice our fellow-men may be disposed to do us, there is One who will never do a wrong.
That I might come even to his seat - To his throne, or tribunal. Job wished to carry the cause directly before him. Probably he desired some manifestation of God - such as he was afterward favored with - when God would declare his judgment on the whole matter of the controversy.
Seat—The idea in the Hebrew is a well-prepared throne (Ps 9:7).Where I might find him, to wit, God, as his friends well knew, and the thing itself showeth. Thou biddest me acquaint myself with him, Job 22:21. I desire nothing more than his acquaintance and presence; but, alas, he hides his face from me that I cannot see him, nor come near him.
To his seat, i.e. to his throne or judgment-seat, to plead my cause before him, as it here follows, Job 22:4, not upon terms of strict justice, but upon those terms of grace and mercy upon which God is pleased to deal with his sinful creatures: see before, Job 9:34,35 16:21 17:3. And this my confidence may be some evidence that I am not such a gross hypocrite as you imagine me to be. Psalm 87:1; Jarchi supplies, and interprets it, "my Judge", from Job 23:7; and certain it is Job did desire to find God as a judge sitting on his throne, doing right, that he might have justice done to him: indeed he might be under the hidings of God's face, which added to his affliction, and made it the heavier; in which case, the people of God are at a loss to know where he is, and "how" to find him, as Mr. Broughton renders the words here; they know that he is everywhere, and fills heaven and earth with his presence; that their God is in the heavens, his throne is there, yea, the heaven is his throne; that he is in his church, and among his people, where they are gathered together in his name, to wait upon him, and to worship him; and that he is to be found in Christ, as a God gracious and merciful; all which Job knew, but might, as they in such circumstances are, be at a loss how to come at sensible communion with him; for, when he hides his face, who can behold him? yet they cannot content themselves without seeking after him, and making use of all means of finding him, as Job did, Job 23:8; see Sol 3:1;
that I might come even to his seat; either his mercy seat, from whence he communes with his people, the throne of his grace, where he sits as the God of grace, dispensing his grace to his people, to help them in time of need; the way to which is Christ, and in which all believers may come to it with boldness, in his name, through his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice; they may come up even to it, in the exercise of faith and hope, though the distance is great, as between heaven and earth, yet by faith they can come into the holiest of all, and by hope enter within the vail; and though the difficulties and discouragements are many, arising from their sins and transgressions: or else his judgment seat, at which no man can appear and stand, without a righteousness, or without a better than his own, by which none can be justified in the sight of God; who, if strict to mark iniquity, the best of men cannot stand before him, at his bar of justice; indeed, in the righteousness of Christ, a believer may come up to the judgment seat of God, and to him as Judge of all, and not be afraid, but stand before him with confidence, since that is sufficient to answer for him, and fully acquit him: but Job here seems to have a peculiar respect to his case, in controversy between him and his friends, and is so fully assured of the justness of his cause, and relying on his innocence, he wishes for nothing more than that he could find God sitting on a throne of justice, before whom his cause might be brought and heard, not doubting in the least but that he should be acquitted; so far was he from hiding himself from God, or pleasing himself with the thoughts that God was in the height of heaven, and knew nothing of him and his conduct, and could not judge through the dark clouds, which were a covering to him, that he could not see him; that he was not afraid to appear before him, and come up even to his seat, if he knew but where and how he could; see Job 22:12.Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. his seat] i. e. His judgment-seat, or tribunal.
3–7. Job ardently desires that he could come to God’s judgment-seat to plead his cause before Him; and that God would give heed to him and answer him. Then assuredly his innocence would be established.Verse 3. - Oh that I knew where I might find him! This is the cry of the desolate human soul, feeling its need of God, and yet not knowing how to approach him. God seems to be very far removed from us. He is in heaven, and we are on earth; nay, he is in the highest heaven, or outside it, walking on its circumference (Job 22:14). How are we to approach near to him, so near as to be sure that he can hear us? How are we to "find" him? So, in all ages, has the human heart gone out to God, aspiring towards him, seeking after him, but, for the most part, baffled and disappointed. Job, like most other men in the olden times, though he has faith in God, though he serves him and prays to him, has yet the feeling that he is remote, distant, well-nigh inaccessible. It needed revelation to let man know that God is not far off, but very near to each one of us; that "in him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28). That I might come even to his seat! Job's idea of bridging the distance between himself and God is that he should rise to the region where God is, not that God should condescend to come down to him. He wishes to "come to God's seat" - to that awful throne in the heaven of heavens, where God sitteth, surrounded by his hosts of angels, dealing out justice and judgment to mortal men (comp. Psalm 9:4, 7; Psalm 11:4; Psalm 45:6; Isaiah 6:1).
And lift up they countenance to Eloah;
27 If thou prayest to Him, He will hear thee,
And thou shalt pay thy vows.
28 And thou devisest a plan, and it shall be established to thee,
And light shineth upon thy ways.
29 If they are cast down, thou sayest, "Arise!"
And him that hath low eyes He saveth.
30 He shall rescue him who is not guiltless,
And he is rescued by the purity of thy hands.
כּי־אז might also be translated "then indeed" (vid., on Job 11:15), as an emphatic resumption of the promissory והיה (tum erit), Job 22:25; but what follows is really the confirmation of the promise that God will be to him a rich recompense for the earthly treasures that he resigns; therefore: for then thou shalt delight thyself in the Almighty (vid., the primary passage, Psalm 37:4, and the dependent one, Isaiah 58:14; comp. infra, Job 27:10), i.e., He will become a source of highest, heartfelt joy to thee (על as interchanging with בּ by שׂמח). Then shall he be able to raise his countenance, which was previously depressed (נפלוּ, Genesis 4:6.), in the consciousness of his estrangement from God by dearly cherished sin and unexpiated guilt, free and open, confident and joyous, to God. If he prays to Him (תּעתּיר may be thus regarded as the antecedent of a conditional clause, like יברח, Job 20:24), He will hear him; and what he has vowed in prayer he will now, after that which he supplicated is granted, thankfully perform; the Hiph. העתּיר (according to its etymon: to offer the incense of prayer) occurs only in Exodus 8-10 beside this passage, whereas גּזר (to cut in pieces, cut off) occurs here for the first time in the signification, to decide, resolve, which is the usual meaning of the word in the later period of the language. On ותגזר (with Pathach, according to another reading with Kametz-chatuph), vid., Ges. 47, rem. 2. Moreover, the paratactic clauses of Job 22:28 are to be arranged as we have translated them; קוּם signifies to come to pass, as freq. (e.g., Isaiah 7:7, in connection with היה, to come into being). That which he designs (אמר) is successful, and is realized, and light shines upon his ways, so that he cannot stumble and does not miss his aim, - light like moonlight or morning light; for, as the author of the introductory Proverbs, to which we have already so often referred as being borrowed from the book of Job (comp. Job 21:24 with Proverbs 3:8), ingeniously says, ch. Job 4:18 : "The path of the righteous is as the morning light (כּאור נגהּ, comp. Daniel 6:20), which shineth brighter and brighter into the height of day (i.e., noonday brightness)."
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