Wesley's Notes on the Bible
Then Job answered and said,
Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.
23:2 To - day - Even at this time, notwithstanding all your pretended consolations. Stroke - The hand or stroke of God upon me. Groaning - Doth exceed my complaints.
Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!
23:3 O - I desire nothing more than his acquaintance and presence; but alas, he hides his face from me. Seat - To his throne or judgment - seat to plead my cause before him.
I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.
I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.
23:5 Know - 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.
Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.
23:6 No - He would not use his power against me, but for me; by enabling me to plead my cause, and giving sentence according to that clemency, which he uses towards his children.
There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.
23:7 There - At that throne of grace, where God lays aside his majesty, and judges according to his wonted clemency. Dispute - Humbly propounding the grounds of their confidence. So - Upon such a fair and equal hearing. Delivered - From the damnatory sentence of God. This and some such expressions of Job cannot be excused from irreverence towards God, for which God afterwards reproves him, and Job abhorreth himself.
Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:
23:8 Is not - As a judge to hear and determine my causes, otherwise he knew God was essentially present in all places.
On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him:
But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
23:10 Gold - Which comes out of the furnace pure from all dross.
My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.
23:11 Steps - The steps or paths which God hath appointed men to walk in.
Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.
For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.
23:14 Performeth - Those calamities which he hath allotted to me. And - There are many such examples of God's proceeding with men.
Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him.
For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me:
23:16 Soft - He hath bruised, and broken, or melted it, so that I have no spirit in me.
Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither hath he covered the darkness from my face.
23:17 Because - God did not cut me off by death. Before - These miseries came upon me. Covered - By hiding me in the grave.