Job 42:3 MEANING

Job 42:3

(3) Who is he that hideth counsel?--It is quite obvious that the right way of understanding these verses is, as in Isaiah 63:1-6, after the manner of a dialogue, in which Job and the Lord alternately reply. "Who is this that hideth counsel without knowledge?" were the words with which God Himself joined the debate in Job 38:2; and therefore, unless we assign them to Him here also, we must regard them as quoted by Job, and applied reflectively to himself; but it is far better to consider them as part of a dialogue.

Verse 3. - Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? As these are nearly the words of God in Job 38:2, some suppose that they must be his words again here, and imagine a short dialogue in this place between Job and the Almighty, assigning to Job ver. 2, the latter half of ver. 8, and the whole of vers. 5 and 6, while they assign to God ver. 4 and the first clause of ver. 8. But it is far more natural to regard Job as bringing up the words which God had spoken to him, to ponder on them and answer them, or at any rate to hang his reply upon them, than to imagine God twice interrupting Job in the humble confession that he was anxious to make. We must understand, then, after the word "knowledge," an ellipse of "thou sayest." Therefore have I uttered that I understood not. Therefore, because of that reproof of thine, I perceive that, in what I said to my friends, I "darkened counsel," - I "uttered that I understood not," words which did not clear the matter in controversy, but obscured it. I dealt, in fact, with things too wonderful for me - beyond my compre-hension - which I knew not, of which I had no real knowledge, but only a semblance of knowledge, and on which, therefore, I had better have been silent.

42:1-6 Job was now sensible of his guilt; he would no longer speak in his own excuse; he abhorred himself as a sinner in heart and life, especially for murmuring against God, and took shame to himself. When the understanding is enlightened by the Spirit of grace, our knowledge of Divine things as far exceeds what we had before, as the sight of the eyes excels report and common fame. By the teachings of men, God reveals his Son to us; but by the teachings of his Spirit he reveals his Son in us, Ga 1:16, and changes us into the same image, 2Co 3:18. It concerns us to be deeply humbled for the sins of which we are convinced. Self-loathing is ever the companion of true repentance. The Lord will bring those whom he loveth, to adore him in self-abasement; while true grace will always lead them to confess their sins without self-justifying.Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge?.... It may be understood, and supplied, as it is by Cocceius, "thou didst say"; as the Lord had said, or to this purpose; see Gill on Job 38:2; to which Job here replies, I am the foolish man that has done it, I own it with sorrow, shame, and confusion: or it may be interpreted as condemning every other man that should act the like part. Schultens understands this as spoken by Job of God, and renders the words,

"who is this that seals up counsel, which cannot be known?''

the counsels, purposes, and decrees of God are sealed up by him, among his treasures, in the cabinet of his own breast, and are not to be unsealed and unlocked by creatures, but are impenetrable to them, past finding out by them, and not to be searched and pried into; and so the secret springs of Providence are not to be known, which Job had attempted, and for which he condemns himself;

therefore have I uttered that I understood not; concerning the providential dealings of God with men, afflicting the righteous, and suffering the wicked to prosper, particularly relating to his own afflictions; in which he arraigned the wisdom, justice, and goodness of God, as if things might have been better done than they were; but now he owns his ignorance and folly, as Asaph did in a like case, Psalm 73:22;

things too wonderful for me, which I knew not; things out of his reach to search into, and beyond his capacity to comprehend; what he should have gazed upon with admiration, and there have stopped. The judgments of God are a great deep, not to be fathomed with the line of human understanding, of which it should be said with the apostle, "O the depth", Romans 11:33, &c. Job ought to have done as David did, Psalm 131:1; of which he was now convinced, and laments and confesses his folly.

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