Job 13:20
Only do not two things unto me: then will I not hide myself from thee.
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(20) Will I not hide myself from theei.e., “I shall not be hidden”—quite a different word from that in Genesis 3:10, though the comparison of the two places is not without interest.

Job 13:20-22. Let me only beg, O great Judge of all, that thou wilt forbear to make use of two things against me. Then will I not hide myself from thee — Then will I appear confidently to plead my cause before thee. Withdraw thy hand from me — Suspend my torments during the time of my pleading with thee, that my mind may be at liberty. And let not thy dread make me afraid — Do not present thyself to me in terrible majesty, neither deal with me in rigorous justice. Then call thou, and I will answer — Then choose thy own method: either do thou charge me with hypocrisy, or more than common guilt, and I will defend myself. Or let me speak, &c. — I will argue with thee concerning thy extraordinary severity toward me; and do thou show me the reasons of it. This proposal savours of self-confidence, and of irreverence toward God; for which, and the like speeches, he is reproved by God, Job 38:2-3; Job 40:2.

13:13-22 Job resolved to cleave to the testimony his own conscience gave of his uprightness. He depended upon God for justification and salvation, the two great things we hope for through Christ. Temporal salvation he little expected, but of his eternal salvation he was very confident; that God would not only be his Saviour to make him happy, but his salvation, in the sight and enjoyment of whom he should be happy. He knew himself not to be a hypocrite, and concluded that he should not be rejected. We should be well pleased with God as a Friend, even when he seems against us as an enemy. We must believe that all shall work for good to us, even when all seems to make against us. We must cleave to God, yea, though we cannot for the present find comfort in him. In a dying hour, we must derive from him living comforts; and this is to trust in him, though he slay us.Only do not two - things "unto me." The two things which are specified in the following verse. This is an address to God as Job argues his cause before him, and the request is, that he would remove every obstacle to his presenting his cause in the most favorable manner, and so that he may be on equal terms with him. See the notes at Job 9:34-35. He was ready to present his cause, and to plead before God, as Job 13:18 he had the utmost confidence that he would be able so to present it as to vindicate himself; and he asks of God that he would withdraw his hand for a time Job 13:21 and not terrify him Job 13:21, so that he could present his case with the full vigor of his mind and body, and so that he need not be overawed by the sense of the majesty and glory of the Most High. He wished to be free to present his cause without the impediments arising from a deeply distressing and painful malady. He wished to have his full intellectual and bodily vigor restored for a time to him, and then he was confident that he could successfully defend himself. He felt that, he was now enfeebled by disease, and incapacitated from making the effort for self-vindication and for maintaining his cause, which he would have been enabled to make in his palmy days.

Then will I not hide myself from thee - From God. I will stand forth boldly and maintain my cause. I will not attempt to conceal myself, or shun the trial and the argument. See Job 9:34-35.

20. Address to God.

not hide—stand forth boldly to maintain my cause.

Which two he expresseth Job 13:21. Then shall I boldly present myself and cause before thee.

Only do not two things unto me,.... This is an address not to Zophar as in the place of God, as to me, but to God himself; by this it appears, that though in modesty he does not mention him, yet he it is he has the chief, if not the sole regard unto in Job 13:19; for his desire was to speak to the Almighty, and reason with God, and have nothing more to do with his friends, Job 13:3; but before any pleadings begin on either side, he is desirous of settling and fixing the terms and conditions of the dispute; he requests that two things might be granted him, which are mentioned in Job 13:21,

then will I not hide myself from thee; through fear or shame, but boldly appear before God, and come up even to his seat, and plead with him face to face.

Only do not two things unto me: then will I not hide myself from thee.
20, 21. Yet the thought recurs before whom he is to appear and against whom he has to maintain his plea, and he begs God to grant two conditions, cf. ch. Job 9:34-35.

Verse 20. - Only do not two things unto me. Before beginning his plea, Job has two requests to make of God.

(1) That he will put an end for a time to his bodily sufferings - suspend them, at any rate, while the pleading continues;

(2) that he will during the same space abstain from terrifying him mentally, as he had done on previous occasions (Job 6:4; Job 7:14; Job 9:14; see below, ver. 21). Then will I not hide myself from thee; literally, from thy face (comp. Job 9:34, 35, "Let him take his rod away from me, and let not his fear terrify me: then would I speak, and not fear him "). Job 13:2020 Only two things do not unto me,

Then will I not hide myself from Thy countenance:

21 Withdraw Thy hand from me,

And let Thy fear not terrify me -

22 Call then and I will answer,

Or I will speak and answer Thou me!

He makes only two conditions in his prayer, as he has already expressed it in Job 9:34 : (1) That God would grant him a cessation of his troubles; (2) That He would not overwhelm him with His majesty. The chastening hand of God is generally called יד elsewhere; but in spite of this prevalent usage of the language, כּף cannot be understood here (comp. on the contrary Job 33:7) otherwise than of the hand (Job 9:34 : the rod) of God, which lies heavily on Job. The painful pressure of that hand would prevent the collecting and ordering of his thoughts required for meeting with God, and the אימה (Codd. defectively אמתך) of God would completely crush and confound him. But if God grants these two things: to remove His hand for a time, and not to turn the terrible side of His majesty to him, then he is ready whether God should himself open the cause or permit him to have the first word. Correctly Mercerus: optionem ei dat ut aut actoris aut rei personam deligat, sua fretus innocentia, sed interim sui oblitus et immodicus. In contrast with God he feels himself to be a poor worm, but his consciousness of innocence makes him a Titan.

He now says what he would ask God; or rather, he now asks Him, since he vividly pictures to himself the action with God which he desires. His imagination anticipates the reality of that which is longed for. Modern expositors begin a new division at Job 13:23. But Job's speech does not yet take a new turn; it goes on further continually uno tenore.

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