XXIII Here seems to be a struggle throughout this chapter between nature and grace, Job complains of his condition, yet with an assurance of God's clemency, ver. 1-7. He cannot understand God's dealings, nor hope for relief, yet holds fast his integrity, ver. 8-14. He is in deep trouble, ver. 15-17
Verse 2. Today - Even at this time, notwithstanding all your pretended consolations. Stroke - The hand or stroke of God upon me. Groaning - Doth exceed my complaints.
Verse 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.
Verse 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.
Verse 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.
Verse 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.
Verse 8. Is not - As a judge to hear and determine my causes, otherwise he knew God was essentially present in all places.
Verse 10. Gold - Which comes out of the furnace pure from all dross.
Verse 11. Steps - The steps or paths which God hath appointed men to walk in.
Verse 14. Performeth - Those calamities which he hath allotted to me. And - There are many such examples of God's proceeding with men.
Verse 16. Soft - He hath bruised, and broken, or melted it, so that I have no spirit in me.
Verse 17. Because - God did not cut me off by death. Before - These miseries came upon me. Covered - By hiding me in the grave.