Job 23
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1  Then Iyov answered and said:

א  וַיַּעַן אִיּוֹב וַיֹּאמַר.

2  Even to-day is my complaint bitter; my hand is become heavy because of my groaning.

ב  גַּם הַיּוֹם מְרִי שִׂחִי יָדִי כָּבְדָה עַל אַנְחָתִי.

3  Oh that I knew where I might find Him, that I might come even to His seat!

ג  מִי יִתֵּן יָדַעְתִּי וְאֶמְצָאֵהוּ אָבוֹא עַד תְּכוּנָתוֹ.

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

ד  אֶעֶרְכָה לְפָנָיו מִשְׁפָּט וּפִי אֲמַלֵּא תוֹכָחוֹת.

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

ה  אֵדְעָה מִלִּים יַעֲנֵנִי וְאָבִינָה מַה יֹּאמַר לִי.

6  Would He contend with me in His great power? Nay; but He would give heed unto me.

ו  הַבְּרָב כֹּחַ יָרִיב עִמָּדִי לֹא אַךְ הוּא יָשִׂם בִּי.

7  There the upright might reason with Him; so should I be delivered for ever from my Judge.

ז  שָׁם יָשָׁר נוֹכָח עִמּוֹ וַאֲפַלְּטָה לָנֶצַח מִשֹּׁפְטִי.

8  Behold, I go forward, but He is not there, and backward, but I cannot perceive Him;

hayn KE-dem e-he-LOKH v’-ay-NE-nu v’-a-KHOR v’-LO a-VEEN lo

ח  הֵן קֶדֶם אֶהֱלֹךְ וְאֵינֶנּוּ וְאָחוֹר וְלֹא אָבִין לוֹ.

23:8   I go forward, but He is not there

Job’s bitterness at God’s apparent abandonment of him throughout the book has been very noticeable. Until now it seemed that Job was upset because he did not deserve the punishment which he received. Now, however, he expresses concern over his distance from God. For a God-fearing person, distance from the Lord is unbearable. As such, when Isaiah proclaims to the inhabitants of Jerusalem: “when ye make many prayers, I will not hear” (1:15), this was meant to motivate the people towards repentance. A truly righteous man, Job could bear a test from the Almighty, but he can not bear the lack of response to his prayers.


9  On the left hand, when He doth work, but I cannot behold Him, He turneth Himself to the right hand, but I cannot see Him.

ט  שְׂמֹאול בַּעֲשֹׂתוֹ וְלֹא אָחַז יַעְטֹף יָמִין וְלֹא אֶרְאֶה.

10  For He knoweth the way that I take; when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

י  כִּי יָדַע דֶּרֶךְ עִמָּדִי בְּחָנַנִי כַּזָּהָב אֵצֵא.

11  My foot hath held fast to His steps, His way have I kept, and turned not aside.

יא  בַּאֲשֻׁרוֹ אָחֲזָה רַגְלִי דַּרְכּוֹ שָׁמַרְתִּי וְלֹא אָט.

12  I have not gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured up the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

יב  מִצְוַת שְׂפָתָיו וְלֹא אָמִישׁ מֵחֻקִּי צָפַנְתִּי אִמְרֵי פִיו.

13  But He is at one with Himself, and who can turn Him? And what His soul desireth, even that He doeth.

יג  וְהוּא בְאֶחָד וּמִי יְשִׁיבֶנּוּ וְנַפְשׁוֹ אִוְּתָה וַיָּעַשׂ.

14  For He will perform that which is appointed for me; and many such things are with Him.

יד  כִּי יַשְׁלִים חֻקִּי וְכָהֵנָּה רַבּוֹת עִמּוֹ.

15  Therefore am I affrighted at His presence; when I consider, I am afraid of Him.

טו  עַל כֵּן מִפָּנָיו אֶבָּהֵל אֶתְבּוֹנֵן וְאֶפְחַד מִמֶּנּוּ.

16  Yea, God hath made my heart faint, and the Almighty hath affrighted me;

טז  וְאֵל הֵרַךְ לִבִּי וְשַׁדַּי הִבְהִילָנִי.

17  Because I was not cut off before the darkness, neither did He cover the thick darkness from my face.

יז  כִּי לֹא נִצְמַתִּי מִפְּנֵי חֹשֶׁךְ וּמִפָּנַי כִּסָּה אֹפֶל.

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Job 23