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2 posted on 10/02/2012 10:28:05 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Job 9:1-12, 14-16

Man cannot defend himself against God


[1] Then Job answered:
[2] Truly I know that it is so:
But how can a man be just before God?
[3] If one wished to contend with him,
one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
[4] He is wise in heart, and might in strength
—who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?—
[5] he who removes mountains, and they know it not,
when he overturns them in his anger;
[6] who shakes the earth out of its place,
and its pillars tremble;
[7] who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
who seals up the stars;
[8] who alone stretched out the heavens,
and trampled the waves of the sea;
[9] who made the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
[10] who does great things beyond understanding,
and marvellous things without number.
[11] Lo, he passes by me, and I see him not;
he moves on, hut I do not perceive him.
[12] Behold, he snatches away; who can hinder him?
Who will say to him, ‘What doest thou’?

[14] How then can I answer him,
choosing my words with him?
[15] Though I am innocent, I cannot answer him;
I must appeal for mercy to my accuser.
[16] If I summoned him and he answered me,
I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

9:1-10:22. This new speech of Job’s takes up what Bildad has said about divine
justice (cf. 8:3, 20) and is a sort of direct appeal to God to act as a judge between
the two of them and to come down on Job’s side and vindicate him. Job makes
no mention here of the three friends. However, he speaks boldly, almost irrever-
ently, against God’s own way of operating, while staying within the bounds of or-
thodox teaching as regards the creative work and providence of the Lord – which
he contrasts with the way God ill-treats the human being (9:11-24); he ends by
lamenting the lowly position of man, who is quite unable to assess the probity of
God’s actions (9:25-35). The second part of the speech is a supplication similar
in content to that of his previous speech (cf. 7:16-21). Here Job complains that
God is treating him too harshly (10:1-7) despite the care he took in creating him
in the first place (10:8-12). He ends by begging God to leave him in peace and
not to be constantly causing him to suffer (10:15-22).

The use of terminology to do with a legal trial serves to emphasize that God does
not act in the way men do, and that human criteria cannot explain his actions.
On the contrary, human standards should be set in accordance with God’s way
of acting.

9:4. Wisdom and omnipotence are two divine attributes that are praised con-
stantly in the Psalms and wisdom books (cf. Ps 115:3; 135:5-6; Prov 8:22-31)
as guiding God’s actions both in creation and in salvation history. When discus-
sing the justice of God, St Thomas Aquinas says: “Justice can be corrupted in
two ways — by the cunning of the wise or the violence of the powerful. But since
in God is found perfect wisdom and omnipotence, his justice cannot he perverted
by his wisdom since he acts without guile, nor can it he harmed by his omnipo-
tence because he does not violently destroy what is just’’) Expositio super lob, 8,
3). But he goes on to say: “In both qualities God is greater than anyone else, for
his wisdom surpasses all human knowledge, and his power all human strength”
(ibid. 9, 4).

9:9. This reference to the constellations shows that God’s power embraces all
created things that our senses can perceive, such as mountains, stars, the hea-
vens, the seas, including those entities of a mythological type regarded by Israel’s
neighbours as divinities.

The Fathers often stressed that this verse 9 and also 38:31-32 show that all
things, even those which some people thought had power over men, were created
by God and are subject to his rule. Thus, St Gregory of Nyssa, in his controversy
against the Arians, taught that the names of the constellations do not imply that
they have any power over human beings: “God has not only counted the number
of the stars, he knows each one of them by name. This means that his knowledge
extends even to the smallest of things, and he knows each thing as intimately as
he does man” (Contra Eunomium, 2, 435-436). Quite clearly. God is above every-
thing.

The names of the stars, the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades, which derive from
Greek mythology, are used in the Greek version and in the Vulgate to translate
the Ais, Quesil, Qimah of the Hebrew — names that come from Babylonian my-
thology. The “chambers of the south” refer to another constellation not found in
Greek mythology.

9:13. “Rahab” is a mythical figure of evil, connected with the sea (cf. 26:12) and
sometimes used to symbolize Egypt (cf. Is 30:7).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 10/02/2012 10:28:50 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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