King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Job 23

Job complains that God has withdrawn. (1-7) He asserts his own integrity. (8-12) The Divine terrors. (13-17)

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Job complains that God has withdrawn

1 Then Job answered and said,

2 Even to day is my complaint bitter: my stroke is heavier than my groaning.

3 Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat!

4 I would order my cause before him, and fill my mouth with arguments.

5 I would know the words which he would answer me, and understand what he would say unto me.

6 Will he plead against me with his great power? No; but he would put strength in me.

7 There the righteous might dispute with him; so should I be delivered for ever from my judge.

He asserts his own integrity

8 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him:

9 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:

10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.

12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.

The Divine terrors

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

14 For he performeth the thing that is appointed for me: and many such things are with him.

15 Therefore am I troubled at his presence: when I consider, I am afraid of him.

16 For God maketh my heart soft, and the Almighty troubleth me:

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

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Bitterness. Instead of comfort, he only meets with insult from his friends. He therefore appeals to God, (W.) but with fear. C. — Scourge, is not in Heb. M. — But it explains the meaning of “my hand,” (H.) or the heavy chastisement (S. Greg.) which I endure. M.

Ver. 6. Nor. Prot. “No, but he would put strength in me.” He would enable me to stand my trial. H. — He would lay no falsehood to my charge.

Ver. 7. Victory. Before such a judge I should hope to be acquitted. Job must have been well convinced of his innocence. For woe to man, if God treat him according to the rigour of his justice! C. — Sept. “For truth and reproof are with him. But, oh! that he would bring my judgment to an end.” H.

Ver. 8. East, or Heb. “before…if behind I cannot perceive him.” C. — Where, then, shall I find this just judge? v. 3. H.

Ver. 9. Right, southward. — See. The southern part of the heavens, or the antarctic stars would not be discerned in Idumea. C. ix. 9. C. — Job speaks in a human manner, as he was not ignorant of God’s immensity. M.

Ver. 10. Fire. They had not a stone, like the Greeks, to try gold. C.

Ver. 12. Lips, given to Noe, (Gen. ix. 5.) or to Moses. This work was written by a Jew, who dresses up the sentiments of Job in his own style. The holy man was also acquainted with the Mosaic dispensation, though he was not bound to observe the ceremonial part of it. C. — His words, may, however, be verified, though he speak only of the natural law, or of that which was preserved by tradition of the patriarchs, as both proceeded from God. H. — Hid. Prot. “esteemed…more than my necessary food.“ H. — Sept. agree with the Vulg. The ancients placed in their bosom what they greatly esteemed. The Turks still use it as a pocket. Thevenot xxii. C.

Ver. 13. Alone. Self-existent. Heb. “in one thing,” or resolution. He is immutable: all I could say would avail nothing. C.

Ver. 14. With him, to punish me afresh. Heb. “when he shall have appointed me my portion, he shall still have many such.” He may treat me as a slave, allowing me only a certain portion of meat. Prov. xxx. 8. and xxxi. 15. C.

Ver. 17. Face. My afflictions have not yet taken away my life, as might have been expected. H. — I am less affected with my miseries, than with the dread of God’s presence, v. 15. 16. C.