Job 23:17
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
yet I am not silenced because of the darkness, nor because thick darkness covers my face.

King James Bible
Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither hath he covered the darkness from my face.

American Standard Version
Because I was not cut off before the darkness, Neither did he cover the thick darkness from my face.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For I have not perished because of the darkness that hangs over me, neither hath the mist covered my face.

English Revised Version
Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither did he cover the thick darkness from my face.

Webster's Bible Translation
Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither hath he covered the darkness from my face.

Job 23:17 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

10 For He knoweth the way that is with me:

If He should prove me, I should come forth as gold.

11 My foot held firm to His steps;

His way I kept, and turned not aside.

12 The command of His lips - I departed not from it;

More than my own determination I kept the words of His mouth.

13 Yet He remaineth by one thing, and who can turn Him?

And He accomplisheth what His soul desireth.

That which is not merely outwardly, but inwardly with (אם) any one, is that which he thinks and knows (his consciousness), Job 9:35; Job 15:9, or his willing and acting, Job 10:13; Job 27:11 : he is conscious of it, he intends to do it; here, Job 23:10, עם is intended in the former sense, in Job 23:14 in the latter. The "way with me" is that which his conscience (συνείδησις) approves (συμμαρτυρεῖ); comp. Psychol. S. 134. This is known to God, so that he who is now set down as a criminal would come forth as tried gold, in the event of God allowing him to appear before Him, and subjecting him to judicial trial. בּחנני is the praet. hypotheticum so often mentioned, which is based upon the paratactic character of the Hebrew style, as Genesis 44:22; Ruth 2:9; Zechariah 13:6; Ges. 155, 4, a. His foot has held firmly

(Note: On אחז, Carey correctly observes, and it explains the form of the expression: The oriental foot has a power of grasp and tenacity, because not shackled with shoes from early childhood, of which we can form but little idea.)

to the steps of God (אשׁוּר, together with אשּׁוּר, Job 31:7, from אשׁר Piel, to go on), so that he was always close behind Him as his predecessor (אחז( ro synon. תּמך, Psalm 17:5; Proverbs 5:5). He guarded, i.e., observed His way, and turned not aside (אט fut. apoc. Hiph. in the intransitive sense of deflectere, as e.g., Psalm 125:5).

In Job 23:12, מצות שׂפתיו precedes as cas. absolutus (as respects the command of His lips); and what is said in this respect follows with Waw apod. ( equals Arab. f) without the retrospective pronoun ממּנּה (which is omitted for poetic brevity). On this prominence of a separate notion after the manner of an antecedent. The Hiph. המישׁ, like הטּה, Job 23:11, and הלּיז, Proverbs 4:21, is not causative, but simply active in signification. In Job 23:12 the question arises, whether צפן מן is one expression, as in Job 17:4, in the sense of "hiding from another," or whether מן is comparative. In the former sense Hirz. explains: I removed the divine will from the possible ascendancy of my own. But since צפן is familiar to the poet in the sense of preserving and laying by (צפוּנים( y, treasures, Job 20:26), it is more natural to explain, according to Psalm 119:11 : I kept the words (commands) of Thy mouth, i.e., esteemed them high and precious, more than my statute, i.e., more than what my own will prescribed for me.

(Note: Wetzstein arranges the significations of צפן as follows: - 1.((Beduin) intr. fut. i, to contain one's self, to keep still (hence in Hebr. to lie in wait), to be rapt in thought; conjug. II. c. acc. pers. to make any one thoughtful, irresolute. 2.((Hebr.) trans. fut. o, to keep anything to one's self, to hold back, to keep to one's self; Niph. to be held back, i.e., either concealed or reserved for future use. Thus we see how, on the one hand, צפן is related to טמן, e.g., Job 20:26 (Arab. itmaanna, to be still); and, on the other, can interchange with צפה in the signification designare (comp. Job 15:22 with Job 15:20; Job 21:19), and to spy, lie in wait (comp. Psalm 10:8; Psalm 56:7; Proverbs 1:11, Proverbs 1:18, with Psalm 37:32).)

The meaning is substantially the same; the lxx, which translates ἐν δὲ κόλπῳ μου (בּחקי), which Olsh. considers to be "perhaps correct," destroys the significance of the confession. Hirz. rightly refers to the "law in the members," Romans 7:23 : חקּי is the expression Job uses for the law of the sinful nature which strives against the law of God, the wilful impulse of selfishness and evil passion, the law which the apostle describes as ἕτερος νόμος, in distinction from the νόμος τοῦ Θεοῦ (Psychol. S. 379). Job's conscience can give him this testimony, but He, the God who so studiously avoids him, remains in one mind, viz., to treat him as a criminal; and who can turn Him from His purpose? (the same question as Job 9:12; Job 11:10); His soul wills it (stat pro ratione voluntas), and He accomplishes it. Most expositors explain permanet in uno in this sense; the Beth is the usual ב with verbs of entering upon and persisting in anything. Others, however, take the ב as Beth essentiae: He remains one and the same, viz., in His conduct towards me (Umbr., Vaih.), or: He is one, is alone, viz., in absolute majesty (Targ. Jer.; Schult., Ew., Hlgst., Schlottm.), which is admissible, since this Beth occurs not only in the complements of a sentence (Psalm 39:7, like a shadow; Isaiah 48:10, after the manner of silver; Psalm 55:19, in great number; Psalm 35:2, as my help), but also with the predicate of a simple sentence, be it verbal (Job 24:13; Proverbs 3:26) or substantival (Exodus 18:4; Psalm 118:7). The same construction is found also in Arabic, where, however, it is more frequent in simple negative clauses than in affirmative (vid., Psalter, i. 272). The assertion: He is one (as in the primary monotheistic confession, Deuteronomy 6:4), is, however, an expression for the absoluteness of God, which is not suited to this connection; and if הוא באחד is intended to be understood of the unchangeable uniformity of His purpose concerning Job, the explanation: versatur (perstat) in uno, Arab. hua fi wâhidin, is not only equally, but more natural, and we therefore prefer it.

continued...

Job 23:17 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

cut off

Job 6:9 Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!

2 Kings 22:20 Behold therefore, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered into your grave in peace...

Isaiah 57:1 The righteous perishes, and no man lays it to heart: and merciful men are taken away...

the darkness from

Job 15:22 He believes not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for of the sword.

Job 18:6,18 The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him...

Job 19:8 He has fenced up my way that I cannot pass, and he has set darkness in my paths.

Job 22:11 Or darkness, that you can not see; and abundance of waters cover you.

Cross References
Job 10:18
"Why did you bring me out from the womb? Would that I had died before any eye had seen me

Job 10:19
and were as though I had not been, carried from the womb to the grave.

Job 19:8
He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass, and he has set darkness upon my paths.

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