Job 23:13
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does.

King James Bible
But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

American Standard Version
But he is in one mind , and who can turn him? And what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For he is alone, and no man can turn away his thought: and whatsoever is soul hath desired, that hath he done.

English Revised Version
But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

Webster's Bible Translation
But he is in one mind, and who can turn him? and what his soul desireth, even that he doeth.

Job 23:13 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The question arises here, whether the שׁם which follows is to be understood locally (Arab. ṯamma) or temporally (Arab. ṯumma); it is evident from Job 35:12; Psalm 14:5; Psalm 66:6; Hosea 2:17; Zephaniah 1:14, that it may be used temporally; in many passages, e.g., Psalm 36:13, the two significations run into one another, so that they cannot be distinguished. We here decide in favour of the temporal signification, against Rosenm., Schlottm., and Hahn; for if שׁם be understood locally, a "then" must be supplied, and it may therefore be concluded that this שׁם is the expression for it. We assume at the same time that נוכח is correctly pointed as part. with Kametz; accordingly it is to be explained: then, if He would thus pay attention to me, an upright man would be contending with Him, i.e., then it would be satisfactorily proved that an upright man may contend with Him. In Job 23:7, פּלּט, like מלּט, Job 20:20 (comp. פּתּח, to have open, to stand open), is intensive of Kal: I should for ever escape my judge, i.e., come off most completely free from unmerited punishment. Thus it ought to be if God could be found, but He cannot be found. The הן, which according to the sense may be translated by "yet" (comp. Job 21:16), introduces this antithetical relation: Yet I go towards the east (הן with Mahpach, קדם with Munach), and He is not there; and towards the west (אחור, comp. אחרנים, occidentales, Job 18:20), and perceive Him not (expressed as in Job 9:11; בּין ל elsewhere: to attend to anything, Job 14:21; Deuteronomy 32:29; Psalm 73:17; here, as there, to perceive anything, so that לו is equivalent to אתו). In Job 23:9 the left (שׂמאול, Arab. shemâl, or even without the substantival termination, on which comp. Jesurun, pp. 222-227, sham, shâm) is undoubtedly an appellation of the north, and the right (ימין, Arab. jem̌̂n) an appellation of the south; both words are locatives which outwardly are undefined. And if the usual signification of עשׂה and עטף are retained, it is to be explained thus: northwards or in the north, if He should be active - I behold not; if He veil himself southwards or in the south - I see not. This explanation is also satisfactory so far as Job 23:9 is concerned, so that it is unnecessary to understand בּעשׂתו other than in Job 28:26, and with Blumenfeld to translate according to the phrase עשׂה דרכּו, Judges 17:8 : if He makes His way northwards; or even with Umbr. to call in the assistance of the Arab. gšâ (to cover), which neither here nor Job 9:9; Job 15:27, is admissible, since even then שׂמאול בעשׂתו cannot signify: if He hath concealed himself on the left hand (in the north). Ewald's combination of עשׂה with עטה, in the assumed signification "to incline to" of the latter, is to be passed over as useless. On the other hand, much can be said in favour of Ewald's translation of Job 23:9: "if He turn to the right hand - I see Him not;" for (1) the Arab. gṭf, by virtue of the radical notion,

(Note: The Arab. verb ‛ṭf signifies trans. to turn, or lay, anything round, so that it is laid or drawn over something else and covers it; hence Arab. ‛ṭâf, a garment that is cast round one, Arab. ta‛aṭṭafa with Arab. b of a garment: to cast it or wrap it about one. Intrans. to turn aside, depart from, of deviating from a given direction, deflectere, declinare; also, to turn in a totally opposite direction, to turn one's self round and to go back. - Fl.)

which is also traceable in the Heb. עטף, signifies both trans. and intrans. to turn up, bend aside; (2) Saadia translates: "and if He turns southwards (‛atafa gunûban);" (3) Schultens correctly observes: עטף significatione operiendi commodum non efficit sensum, nam quid mirum is quem occultantem se non conspiciamus. We therefore give the preference to this Arabic rendering of יעטף. If יעטף, in the sense of obvelat se, does not call to mind the חדרי תּמן, penetralia austri, Job 9:9 (comp. Arab. chidr, velamen, adytum), neither will בעשׂתו point to the north as the limit of the divine dominion. Such conceptions of the extreme north and south are nowhere found among the Arabs as among the Arian races (vid., Isaiah 14:13);

(Note: In contrast to the extreme north, the abode of the gods, the habitation of life, the extreme south is among the Arians the abode of the prince of death and of demons, Jama (vid., p. 421) with his attendants, and therefore the habitation of death.)

and, moreover, the conception of the north as the abode of God cannot be shown to be biblical, either from Job 37:22; Ezekiel 1:4, or still less from Psalm 48:3. With regard to the syntax, יעטף is a hypothetical fut., as Job 20:24; Job 22:27. The use of the fut. apoc. אחז, like אט, Job 23:11, without a voluntative or aoristic signification, is poetic. Towards all quarters of the heavens he turns, i.e., with his eyes and the longing of his whole nature, if he may by any means find God. But He evades him, does not reveal Himself in any place whatever.

The כּי which now follows does not give the reason of Job's earnest search after God, but the reason of His not being found by him. He does not allow Himself to be seen anywhere; He conceals Himself from him, lest He should be compelled to acknowledge the right of the sufferer, and to withdraw His chastening hand from him.

Job 23:13 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

who can

Job 9:12,13 Behold, he takes away, who can hinder him? who will say to him, What do you...

Job 11:10 If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him?

Job 12:14 Behold, he breaks down, and it cannot be built again: he shuts up a man, and there can be no opening.

Job 34:29 When he gives quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hides his face, who then can behold him?...

Numbers 23:19,20 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: has he said, and shall he not do it...

Ecclesiastes 1:15 That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that, whatever God does, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God does it...

Romans 9:19 You will say then to me, Why does he yet find fault? For who has resisted his will?

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no ficklenss...

and what

Psalm 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he has done whatever he has pleased.

Psalm 135:6 Whatever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

Proverbs 19:21 There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

Isaiah 14:24-27 The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand...

Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand...

Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he does according to his will in the army of heaven...

Ephesians 1:9-11 Having made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he has purposed in himself...

Cross References
Job 10:7
although you know that I am not guilty, and there is none to deliver out of your hand?

Job 10:13
Yet these things you hid in your heart; I know that this was your purpose.

Job 23:12
I have not departed from the commandment of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.

Job 23:14
For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind.

Isaiah 14:24
The LORD of hosts has sworn: "As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand,

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