Job 23
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1  Iyov said in reply:

א  וַיַּעַן אִיּוֹב וַיֹּאמַר׃

2  Today again my complaint is bitter; My strength is spent on account of my groaning.

ב  גַּם־הַיּוֹם מְרִי שִׂחִי יָדִי כָּבְדָה עַל־אַנְחָתִי׃

3  Would that I knew how to reach Him, How to get to His dwelling-place.

ג  מִי־יִתֵּן יָדַעְתִּי וְאֶמְצָאֵהוּ אָבוֹא עַד־תְּכוּנָתוֹ׃

4  I would set out my case before Him And fill my mouth with arguments.

ד  אֶעֶרְכָה לְפָנָיו מִשְׁפָּט וּפִי אֲמַלֵּא תוֹכָחוֹת׃

5  I would learn what answers He had for me And know how He would reply to me.

ה  אֵדְעָה מִלִּים יַעֲנֵנִי וְאָבִינָה מַה־יֹּאמַר לִי׃

6  Would He contend with me overbearingly? Surely He would not accuse me!

ו  הַבְּרָב־כֹּחַ יָרִיב עִמָּדִי לֹא אַךְ־הוּא יָשִׂם בִּי׃

7  There the upright would be cleared by Him, And I would escape forever from my judge.

ז  שָׁם יָשָׁר נוֹכָח עִמּוֹ וַאֲפַלְּטָה לָנֶצַח מִשֹּׁפְטִי׃

8  But if I go East—He is not there; West—I still do not 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   But if I go East—He is not there

Throughout the book, Iyov’s bitterness at God’s apparent abandonment of him has been very noticeable. Until now it seemed that Iyov was upset because he knew that he did not deserve the punishment he received. Now, however, he expresses concern over his distance from Hashem. For a God-fearing person, distance from Hashem is unbearable. Similarly, when Yeshayahu proclaims to the inhabitants of Yerushalayim: “Though you pray at length, I will not listen.” (1:15), this was meant to motivate them towards repentance. As a truly righteous man, Iyov could bear a test from the Almighty, but he cannot bear the lack of response to his prayers.1 comment

9  North—since He is concealed, I do not behold Him; South—He is hidden, and I cannot see Him.

ט  שְׂמֹאול בַּעֲשֹׂתוֹ וְלֹא־אָחַז יַעְטֹף יָמִין וְלֹא אֶרְאֶה׃

10  But He knows the way I take; Would He assay me, I should emerge pure as gold.

י  כִּי־יָדַע דֶּרֶךְ עִמָּדִי בְּחָנַנִי כַּזָּהָב אֵצֵא׃

11  I have followed in His tracks, Kept His way without swerving,

יא  בַּאֲשֻׁרוֹ אָחֲזָה רַגְלִי דַּרְכּוֹ שָׁמַרְתִּי וְלֹא־אָט׃

12  I have not deviated from what His lips commanded; I have treasured His words more than my daily bread.

יב  מִצְוַת שְׂפָתָיו וְלֹא אָמִישׁ מֵחֻקִּי צָפַנְתִּי אִמְרֵי־פִיו׃

13  He is one; who can dissuade Him? Whatever He desires, He does.

יג  וְהוּא בְאֶחָד וּמִי יְשִׁיבֶנּוּ וְנַפְשׁוֹ אִוְּתָה וַיָּעַשׂ׃

14  For He will bring my term to an end, But He has many more such at His disposal.

יד  כִּי יַשְׁלִים חֻקִּי וְכָהֵנָּה רַבּוֹת עִמּוֹ׃

15  Therefore I am terrified at His presence; When I consider, I dread Him.

טו  עַל־כֵּן מִפָּנָיו אֶבָּהֵל אֶתְבּוֹנֵן וְאֶפְחַד מִמֶּנּוּ׃

16  Hashem has made me fainthearted; Shaddai has terrified me.

טז  וְאֵל הֵרַךְ לִבִּי וְשַׁדַּי הִבְהִילָנִי׃

17  Yet I am not cut off by the darkness; He has concealed the thick gloom from me.

יז  כִּי־לֹא נִצְמַתִּי מִפְּנֵי־חֹשֶׁךְ וּמִפָּנַי כִּסָּה־אֹפֶל׃

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Job 22
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Job 23

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