Job 9:12
Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou?
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(12) What doest thou?—Putting the case even that God were, so to say, in the wrong, and the assailant, yet even then He would maintain His cause from sheer might, and crush His adversary.

Job 9:12. Behold, he taketh away — If he determine to take away from any man his children, or servants, or estate, who is able to restrain him from doing it? Or, who dare presume to reprove him for it? And, therefore, far be it from me to quarrel with God, whereof you untruly accuse me.

9:1-13 In this answer Job declared that he did not doubt the justice of God, when he denied himself to be a hypocrite; for how should man be just with God? Before him he pleaded guilty of sins more than could be counted; and if God should contend with him in judgment, he could not justify one out of a thousand, of all the thoughts, words, and actions of his life; therefore he deserved worse than all his present sufferings. When Job mentions the wisdom and power of God, he forgets his complaints. We are unfit to judge of God's proceedings, because we know not what he does, or what he designs. God acts with power which no creature can resist. Those who think they have strength enough to help others, will not be able to help themselves against it.Behold, he taketh away - Property, friends, or life.

Who can hinder him? - Margin, turn him away. Or, rather, "who shall cause him to restore?" that is, who can bring back what he takes away? He is so mighty, that what he removes, it is impossible for us to recover.

Who will say unto him, What doest thou? - A similar expression occurs in Daniel 4:35. The meaning is plain. God has a right to remove any thing which we possess. Our friends, property, health, and lives, are his gift, and he has a right to them all. When he takes them away, he is but taking that which is his own, and which has been lent to us for a little time, and which he has a right to remove when it seems good to him. This truth Job fully admits, and in the calm contemplation of all his losses and his sorrows, he acknowledges that God had a right to do as he had done; see note, Job 1:21.

12. If "He taketh away," as in my case all that was dear to me, still a mortal cannot call Him to account. He only takes His own. He is an absolute King (Ec 8:4; Da 4:35). If he determine to take away from any man his children, or servants, or estate, as he hath done from me, who is able to restrain him from doing it? or who dare presume to reprove him for it? And therefore far be it from me to quarrel with God, whereof you untruly accuse me.

Behold, he taketh away,.... There are some things God never takes away from his people; he never takes away his love from them, he always rests in that towards them, let them be in what condition they will; he never takes away his grace from them, when once bestowed on them, or wrought in them; he never takes away his special gifts of grace, particularly the unspeakable gift of his son Christ Jesus, which is that good part, when chosen, which shall not be taken away; nor any of the spiritual blessings wherewith they are blessed in Christ; these are irreversible and irrevocable: but temporal blessings he takes away at pleasure; so he had taken away the children, the servants of Job, his substance, wealth, and riches, and also his bodily health, to which he may have a particular respect; yea, when it pleases him, he takes a man out of the world, as the Targum and Gersom interpret it:

who can hinder him? he does what he pleases in heaven and earth; his will is irresistible, his power is uncontrollable; there is no turning his mind, nor staying his hand, nor turning it back; when he works, none can let or hinder. Mr. Broughton translates it, "who shall make him restore?" (l) if a man takes away what he has no right to, he may be obliged by law to restore it; but whatever God takes away he has a right unto, be it relations and friends, health or wealth; if he pleases he can restore, and does; and as he did to Job, to whom he after gave twice as much as he had before; but then he is not obliged to do it, none can force him to it:

who will say unto him, what doest thou? not one that knows what God is, or that knows himself a creature of his; no person will choose or dare to ask what God does, or why he does this and not another thing, or why this in the manner he does it; for he gives no account of his matters to the sons of men, nor is he obliged to it, and it would be insolent in them to require it, see Job 33:13; this expresses his sovereignty.

(l) So Beza, Pagninus, Montanus, Bolducius, Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius.

Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? {f} who will say unto him, What doest thou?

(f) He shows that when God executes his power, he does it justly, as no one can control him.

12. It is irresistible and irresponsible.

taketh away] Carries off, as a beast of prey its booty.

who can hinder him] Or, turn him back.

Verse 12. - Behold, he taketh away; rather, he seizeth the prey (see the Revised Version). The expression is much stronger than that used in Job 1:21. Job seems to be smarting under the recollection of all that he has lost, and takes an aggrieved tone. Who can hinder him? (comp. Isaiah 45:9; Jeremiah 18:6; Romans 19:20). Who will say unto him, What doest thou? To have to do with such an irresistible Being, alone in his might, would indeed be terrible if, while absolutely powerful, unchecked and uncontrolled from without, he were not also absolutely good, and therefore controlled and checked by a law from within. This, however, Job, in his present mood, does not seem clearly to see. Job 9:1211 Behold, He goeth by me and I see not,

And passeth by and I perceive Him not.

12 Behold, He taketh away, who will hold Him back?

Who will say to Him: What doest Thou?

13 Eloah restraineth not His anger,

The helpers of Rahab stoop under Him -

14 How much less that I should address Him,

That I should choose the right words in answer to Him;

15 Because, though I were right, I could not answer, -

To Him as my Judge I must make supplication.

God works among men, as He works in nature, with a supreme control over all, invisibly, irresistibly, and is not responsible to any being (Isaiah 45:9). He does not turn or restrain His anger without having accomplished His purpose. This is a proposition which, thus broadly expressed, is only partially true, as is evident from Psalm 78:38. The helpers of Rahab must bow themselves under Him. It is not feasible to understand this in a general sense, as meaning those who are ready with boastful arrogance to yield succour to any against God. The form of expression which follows in Job 9:14, "much less I," supports the assumption that רהב עזרי refers to some well-known extraordinary example of wicked enterprise which had been frustrated, notwithstanding the gigantic strength by which it was supported; and שׁחהוּ may be translated by the present tense, since a familiar fact is used as synonymous with the expression of an universal truth. Elsewhere Rahab as a proper name denotes Egypt (Psalm 87:4), but it cannot be so understood here, because direct references to events in the history of Israel are contrary to the character of the book, which, with remarkable consistency, avoids everything that is at all Israelitish. But how has Egypt obtained the name of Rahab? It is evident from Isaiah 30:7 that it bears this name with reference to its deeds of prowess; but from Psalm 89:11; Isaiah 51:9, it is evident that Rahab properly denotes a sea-monster, which has become the symbol of Egypt, like tannn and leviathan elsewhere. This signification of the word is also supported by Job 26:12, where the lxx actually translate κητος, as here with remarkable freedom, ὑπ ̓ ἀυτοῦ ἐκάμφθησαν κήτη τὰ ὑπ ̓ οὐρανόν. It is not clear whether these "sea-monsters" denote rebels cast down into the sea beneath the sky, or chained upon the sky; but at any rate the consciousness of a distinct mythological meaning in רהב עזרי is expressed by this translation (as also in the still freer translation of Jerome, et sub quo curvantur qui portant orbem); probably a myth connected with such names of the constellations as Κῆτος and Πρίστις (Ewald, Hirz., Schlottm.). The poesy of the book of Job even in other places does not spurn mythological allusions; and the phrase before us reminds one of the Hindu myth of Indras' victory over the dark demon Vritras, who tries to delay the descent of rain, and over his helpers. In Vritras, as in רהב, there is the idea of hostile resistance.

Job compares himself, the feeble one, to these mythical titanic powers in Job 9:14. כּי אף (properly: even that), or even אף alone (Job 4:19), signifies, according as the connection introduces a climax or anti-climax, either quanto magis or quanto minus, as here: how much less can I, the feeble one, dispute with Him! אשׁר, Job 9:15, is best taken, as in Job 5:5, in the signification quoniam. The part. Poel משׁפטי we should more correctly translate "my disputant" than "my judge;" it is Poel which Ewald appropriately styles the conjugation of attack: שׁופט, judicando vel litigando aliquem petere; comp. Ges. 55, 1. The part. Kal denotes a judge, the part. Poel one who is accuser and judge at the same time. On such Poel-forms from strong roots, vid., on Psalm 109:10, where wedorschu is to be read, and therefore it is written ודרשׁוּ in correct Codices.

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