Job 13, Exegetical Notes from Abner Chou

Job continues his rebuttal of his three friends by telling them what they should do.

Job 13:1

Job recaps: I’ve seen everything you have; you haven’t told me anything new.

Job 13:3

Job wishes to speak with (bring his case before) God. Job’s friends can’t solve his problem, only God can. Human ability is absolutely incapable.

Job 13:4

He says they are just a bunch of worthless liars, and…

Job 13:5

He just wishes they would be quiet.

Job 13:6-8

They are trying so hard to defend God that they condemn Job as guilty, but they actually don’t speak what is true. (The danger we may have is that in trying to justify God we twist Him. Process philosophy or Open Theism all tries to justify God from evil, for example, but both totally twist the Truth.) Job’s friends twist who God is in order to protect Him from what we consider to look like guilt or evil.

Job 13:9-11

What will you say when God confronts you? “Good job for defending me even though you totally perverted me in the process”?

Job 13:12-13

Human wisdom, age, etc. is nothing. It’s better to be silent because at least then you would be considered wise. How profound coming from a man who is suffering. If you don’t know, don’t talk. Why would you try to out-God God? If you’re finding that your worldview doesn’t work maybe you should just be quiet and admit you’re wrong and incapable of understanding.

Job 13:14

Job is risking his own life to say these kinds of things. If they were right, why would Job be taking his life in his hands to make sense of it more?

Job 13:15

The text here has a textual error which is probably better translated, “behold, He will slay me, and I have no hope; yet, I will argue my ways to His face.” In the end, both this and the traditional translation mean something quite similar, but…

Job said to Bildad that God is so complex that to go before Him would be intellectual suicide. So Job wants a Mediator. Job has no hope because he knows he can’t win against God, but he still has hope because deep down he also knows he’s right.

His hopelessness is right because he doesn’t know the Gospel, but he’s wrong because the Gospel is True. All Job’s wishes come true in the Gospel.

Job 13:16

“Salvation” being deliverance and vindication from all of this. What would make everything OK would be if he knew that no one could raise a case to God who wasn’t right with Him, that God was fair and just in the end. This is quoted in Phil 1:19, where Paul says that like Job he wishes for deliverance from those attacking him, but unlike Job, Paul has every confidence in the Gospel, that Christ will save him.

Job 13:20

Job has just concluded the argument against his friends, that they should be careful of what they say because in their attempt to defend him they could actually be saying things that are not correct. They’re worldview can’t handle the truth. Now Job turns his thoughts to God.

He asks two things from God:

Job 13:21

1) Make your hand far from me (stop picking on me)

2) Don’t terrorize me anymore (have compassion on me)

They are two sides to the same coin. Job is synthesizing everything he has said in this section.

Job 13:22

“To call out” is a summons, like what a King would give. Job wants to be summoned to court so he could defend himself and get the verdict from a reasonable God.

Job 13:23

Job just wants to know why, what went wrong to cause all this disaster and pain.

Job 13:25-28

Job is just confused. Why would God cause him to grow up and yet still be so frail God could crush him in a moment.

Purpose and compassion. Those are the main things Job wants.