Is it good that he should search you out? or as one man mocks another, do you so mock him?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)As one man mocketh another.—As one man, with mingled flattery and deception, seeks to impose upon another.Job 13:9-10. Is it good that he should search you out? — Will it be to your credit and comfort, that he should narrowly examine your hearts and discourses, whether you have uttered truth or falsehood, and whether your speeches have proceeded from true zeal for the glory of God, or from your own prejudices and passions? Do ye so mock him? — By covering your uncharitableness and corrupt affections with pretences of piety, as if God could not discern your artifices; or, by pleading his cause with weak and foolish arguments, which is a kind of mockery of him, and an injury to his cause; or, by seeking to flatter him with false praises, as if he distributed the things of this world with exact justice, prospering only the good, and severely afflicting none but wicked men. He will surely reprove you — Hebrew, הוכח יוכח, hocheach, jocheach, redarguendo redarguet, in confuting, he will confute you; that is, he will surely confute, or punish you, as the word often means. “He will severely chastise you, for designing to gratify him by condemning me.” — Bishop Patrick. If ye do secretly accept persons — Though it be concealed in your own breasts, and no eye see it; yea, though your own minds and consciences, through ignorance or inadvertency, do not perceive it; yet he, who is greater than your consciences, sees and knows it.Galatians 6:7.
mock—(Ga 6:7). Rather, "Can you deceive Him as one man?" &c.Is it good? will it be to your credit and comfort?
Search you out, i.e. narrowly examine your hearts and discourses, whether you have uttered truth or falsehood, and whether your speeches proceed from true zeal for God, or from your own prejudices and passions, and from a desire to curry favour with him.
Do ye so mock him, to wit, by covering your uncharitableness and corrupt affections with pretences of piety, as if God could not discern your artifices; or by pleading his cause with weak and foolish arguments, which is a kind of mockery to him, and an injury to his cause; or by seeking to flatter him with false praises, as if he did distribute the things of this world with exact justice, prospering only the good, and severely afflicting none but wicked men? Proverbs 18:17, "seemeth just"; to himself and others; it looks upon the representation he makes of things as if he was in the right: "but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him"; traverses his arguments in his own vindication, and shows the fallacy of them; so Job's friends, making the worst of his cause, and the best of their own, seemed right in their own eyes; but God, who is the searcher of hearts, and who knows all things, could see through their coverings of things, and could not be deceived by them, but would find them out, and expose them; as he did afterwards, when he gave judgment against them, and declared they had not said that which was right, as his servant Job had, Job 42:7; and therefore it was not to their profit and advantage, and to their honour and credit, to be searched out by him, or to run the risk of it, as they did, which is the amount of this question:
or as one mocketh another, do ye so mock him? men may be mocked by their fellow creatures, either by words or gestures, as good men usually are in all ages, especially the prophets of the Lord, and the ministers of his word; or they may he deceived and imposed upon by the false glosses and colourings of artful men, as simple men are deceived by the fair speeches of false teachers, which is no other than an illusion of them, or mocking them: in the first sense God may be mocked, though he should not; there have been and will be such bold and daring creatures as to mock at his promises and his providence, to mock at his word, ordinances, and ministers, which is interpreted by him a mocking and despising himself; but in the latter sense he cannot be mocked, and it is a vain thing to attempt it; "be not deceived, God is not mocked", Galatians 6:7; he sees through all the fallacious reasonings of men; he judges not according to outward appearance; he sees and knows the heart, and all the views and designs of men, and can detect all their sophisms and false glosses; he is not to be deceived by specious pretences of doing such and such actions for his glory, as casting out good men, and their names, or traducing their characters that he may be glorified, or killing them to do him service, Isaiah 66:5; he is not to be flattered as one man may flatter another; to do this with him, is to mock him, he is not to be mocked in this way.Is it good that he should search you out? or as one man mocketh another, do ye so mock him?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. Is it good] The words may mean, will it be well (for you) that He should search (or, when He shall search)? or as ch. Job 10:3, do you like that He should search you out? The second clause should read,
Or as one deceiveth a man will ye deceive Him?
When God searches you out and looks into the secret springs of your actions do you expect to be able to deceive Him by representations or demeanour or look as one imposes on a man, who cannot “read the mind’s construction in the face”?Verse 9. - Is it good that he should search you out? "Are your motives in thus acting," Job asks his opponents, "so pure that they will stand the severity of God's judgment when he turns his scrutiny upon you and searches out the grounds of your proceedings? Is not your real motive to carry favour with him because he is so great and powerful?" Or as one man mocketh another, do ye so meek him? You may impose on a man by so acting, but you will not impose on God.
And I long to reason with God.
4 And ye however are forgers of lies,
Physicians of no value are ye all.
5 Oh that ye would altogether hold your peace,
It would be accounted to you as wisdom.
6 Hear now my instruction,
Ando hearken to the answers of my lips!
He will no longer dispute with the friends; the more they oppose him, the more earnestly he desires to be able to argue his cause before God. אוּלם (Job 13:3) is disjunctive, like ἀλλά, and introduces a new range of thoughts; lxx ου ̓ μήν δὲ ἀλλά, verum enim vero. True, he has said in Job 9 that no one can maintain his cause before God; but his confidence in God grows in proportion as his distrust of the friends increases; and at the same time, the hope is begotten that God will grant him that softening of the terror of His majesty which he has reserved to himself in connection with this declaration (Job 9:34, comp. Job 13:20.). The infin. absol. הוכח, which in Job 6:25 is used almost as a substantive, and indeed as the subject, is here in the place of the object, as e.g., Isaiah 5:5; Isaiah 58:6 : to prove, i.e., my cause, to God (אל־אל, like Job 13:15, אל־פּניו) I long. With ואוּלם (Job 13:4) the antithesis is introduced anew: I will turn to God, you on the contrary (καὶ ὑμεῖς δὲ). Since the verb טפל, from its primary meaning to spread on, smear on (whence e.g., Talmudic טפלה, the act of throwing on, as when plastering up the cracks of an oven), cogn. תּפל (whence תּפל, plaster, and perhaps also in the signification tasteless, Job 6:6 equals sticky, greasy, slimy), does not signify, at least not at first, consuere, but assuere (without any relation of root with תּפר), we explain, not with Olshausen and others, concinnatores mendacii, such as sew together lies as patchwork; but with Hirzel and others, assutores mendacii, such as patch on lies, i.e., charge falsely, since they desire throughout to make him out to be a sinner punished according to his desert. This explanation is also confirmed by Job 14:17. Another explanation is given by Hupfeld: sarcinatores false equals inanes, inutiles, so that שׁקר signifies what lies equals what deceives, as in the parallel member of the verse אלל,
(Note: In the Talmudic, the jugular vein, the cutting of which produces death, is called אלל (later עצב, Arab. ‛ṣb), according to which (b. Chullin 121a) it is explained: healer of the jugular artery, i.e., those who try to heal what is incurable, therefore charlatans, - a strange idea, which has arisen from the defective form of writing אלל. The lxx translates ἰαταὶ κακῶν.)
nothingness, and also עמל (Job 16:2) in a similar connection, is not an objective but attributive genitive; but Psalm 119:69 is decisive against this interpretation of שׁקר טפלי. The parallelism is not so exactly adjusted, as e.g., even רפאי does not on account of the parallel with טפלי signify patchers, ῥάπται, but: they are not able to heal Job's wounds with the medicine of consolation; they are medici nihili, useless physicians. Proverbs 17:28, "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise," applies to them, si tacuisses, sapiens mansisses; or, as a rabbinical proverb of similar meaning, quoted by Heidenheim, says, השׂגה בהשׂגה הלאות, "the fatigue of comprehension is comprehension," i.e., the silent pause before a problem is half the solution. The jussive form וּתהי, it would be (Ges. 128, 2), is used in the conclusion of the wish. Thus he challenges them to hear his תּוכחת (תּוכחה) and his רבוה. Hirzel is quite right when he says the former does not mean defence (justification), nor the latter proofs (counter-evidence); תוכחת is, according to his signification (significatus, in distinction from sensus), ἔλεγχος, correptio (lxx, Vulg.), and here not so much refutation and answer, as correction in an ethical sense, in correspondence with which רבות is also intended of reproaches, reproofs, or reprimands.
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