Job 28:23
God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.
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(23) God understandeth the way thereof.—God is the author of wisdom, and His fear is the beginning thereof; so with His infinite knowledge of the universe He cannot but be cognisant of the place and way thereof. It is to be observed that while the foundation of wisdom is said to be coeval with that of the world, the very existence of wisdom in relation to man implied the existence of evil, because except by departing from evil there could for man be no wisdom, though evil itself may undoubtedly involve and imply the deflection from a previously existing right. Wrong, for example, is what is wrung aside from the right. The two ideas which Job starts with are man’s ignorance of the price and the place of wisdom. Neither he nor nature knows the place of it: neither all living, nor the deep, nor the sea; and as for its price, though man is prepared to give any high price for the costly stones and jewels of the earth, yet all that he has to give is not to be mentioned in comparison with the value of wisdom. Wisdom, however, is to be purchased by the poor, as we may infer from the language of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 55:1), or, at all events, that which ranks with wisdom; and in like manner Christ represented the kingdom of heaven as a pearl of great price, which would demand all that a man had to buy it, and yet he represented the poor as those especially to whom it was preached. It is true that the wisdom of which Job speaks (Job 28:28) is in no way connected with the Gospel of the kingdom; but yet, if the words of the wise are indeed given from one Shepherd, it is impossible not to recognise a central thought underlying all such words, if not in the separate minds of the wise at heart, in the original mind of the one Shepherd. So we can see that that which is true of wisdom as described by Job receives its illustration from that which is true of the Gospel of the kingdom and of the evangelical promises of Isaiah.

Job 28:23-24. God understandeth the way thereof — God alone knows and can make known the nature and properties, the rules and measures, the plans and designs, the operations and effects, of this wisdom which we inquire after; or, the methods which he takes, in the management of all affairs in the world, together with its reasons, and the ends he has in view in them. And he knoweth the place thereof — Where it dwells, which is only in his own mind. For he looketh to the ends of the earth — He, and he only knows it, because his providence is infinite and universal, reaching to all places and times, past, present, and to come; whereas the most knowing men have narrow understandings, and the wisdom, and justice, and beauty of God’s works are not fully seen till all the parts of them be laid together.

28:20-28 There is a two-fold wisdom; one hid in God, which is secret, and belongs not to us; the other made known by him, and revealed to man. One day's events, and one man's affairs, have such reference to, and so hang one upon another, that He only, to whom all is open, and who sees the whole at one view, can rightly judge of every part. But the knowledge of God's revealed will is within our reach, and will do us good. Let man look upon this as his wisdom, To fear the Lord, and to depart from evil. Let him learn that, and he is learned enough. Where is this wisdom to be found? The treasures of it are hid in Christ, revealed by the word, received by faith, through the Holy Ghost. It will not feed pride or vanity, or amuse our vain curiosity. It teaches and encourages sinners to fear the Lord, and to depart from evil, in the exercise of repentance and faith, without desiring to solve all difficulties about the events of this life.God understandeth the way thereof - These are doubtless the words of Job. The meaning is, that the reason of the divine dispensations could be known only to God himself. He had given no clew by which man could discover this. He might carry his investigations far into the regions of science; he could penetrate the earth, and look on the stars, but still all his investigations fell short of disclosing the reasons of the divine dispensations. The secret was lodged in his bosom, and he only could communicate it where and when he pleased. It may be added here, that this is as true now as it was in the time of Job. Man has carried the investigations of science almost infinitely further than he had then, but still by the investigations of science he has by no means superseded the necessity of revelation, or shed light on the great questions that have, in all ages, so much perplexed the race. It is only by direct communication, by his word and by his Spirit, that man can be made to understand the reason of the divine doings, and nothing is better established by the course of events than the truth on which Job here so much insists, that science cannot answer the questions of so much interest to man about the divine government. 23. God hath, and is Himself, wisdom. God, i.e. God alone; as appears by the denial of it to all other things.

The way thereof; either the way how it is to be obtained; or rather, the methods or courses which it takes in the management of all affairs in the world, together with its grounds and ends in them.

The place thereof; where it dwells, which is only in his own breast and mind, and in the best of men but in part, and only as far as it pleaseth him to afford it.

God understandeth the way thereof,.... And he only; not the way that men can come at the knowledge of wisdom, which at present appears to be past finding out; but rather the way which wisdom itself takes, and is in the deep, and its footsteps not known by any other, and the grounds and reasons of its taking such a course it does; which are only understood by the Lord: it may be applied to spiritual wisdom in men, and the way to come at it; which God only knows and instructs in, and is his special and peculiar gift; and to Christ, the wisdom of God, and the way which he has taken in the council and covenant of grace and peace, for the salvation of his people; and which he took in time, in the assumption of human nature, and by sufferings and death to obtain it for them:

and he knoweth the place thereof; the seat of wisdom within himself, the source of all his dealings with men, his sovereign will and pleasure in his own heart; the place of spiritual wisdom and knowledge, the heart of a regenerate man, where his Gospel is, and has come with power, and took place and works effectually; and where Christ, the Logos, the Wisdom of God is, even with himself, and in his bosom, as in the times of Job, and now at his right hand, in human nature.

God understandeth the {n} way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof.

(n) He makes God the only author of this wisdom, and the giver of it.

23. God understandeth the way thereof] i. e. the way thereto (ch. Job 24:18, Genesis 3:24). The word God stands emphatically first in the sentence, in opposition to “all living” (Job 28:21); He is in possession of Wisdom. It need not be said that the words “place” and “way” are merely parts of the figure; the verse means, Wisdom is with God alone.

23–28. Wisdom can nowhere be found either by man or by any creature (Job 28:21), only by the Creator. God knoweth the place of it and is in possession of it, for He is the maker and upholder of the universe with all its agencies. And He has assigned to man as his wisdom the fear of the Lord.

Verse 23. - God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof. God only understands what true wisdom is. It is a part of his being, an essential element of his nature. He knows "the way" of it, i.e. how it works and manifests itself; and he knows "the place' of it, i.e. where it dwells, what limits it has, if any, and how far it is communicable to any beside himself. The highest knowledge is all hid in God (Colossians 2-3); and, except so far as God imparts it to him, man can know nothing of it. Job 28:2321 It is veiled from the eyes of all living,

And concealed from the fowls of heaven.

22 Destruction and death say:

With our ears we heard a report of it. -

23 Elohim understandeth the way to it,

And He - He knoweth its place.

24 For He looketh to the ends of the earth,

Under the whole heaven He seeth.

No living created being (כּל־חי, as Job 12:10; Job 30:23) is able to answer the question; even the birds that fly aloft, that have keener and farther-seeing eyes than man, can give us no information concerning wisdom; and the world at least proclaims its existence in a rich variety of its operations, but in the realm of Abaddon and of death below (comp. the combination שׁאול ואבדון, Proverbs 15:11, ᾅδου καὶ τοῦ θανάτου, Revelation 1:18) it is known only by an indistinct hearsay, and from confused impressions. Therefore: no creature, whether in the realm of the living or the dead, can help us to get wisdom. There is but One who possesses a perfect knowledge concerning wisdom, namely Elohim, whose gave extends to the ends of the earth, and who sees under the whole heaven, i.e., is everywhere present (תּחת, definition of place, not equivalent to אשׁר תּחת; comp. on Job 24:9), who therefore, after the removal of everything earthly (sub-celestial), alone remains. And why should He with His knowledge, which embraces everything, not also know the way and place of wisdom? Wisdom is indeed the ideal, according to which He has created the world.

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