Pristine Grace

Job 11:7-10, (GILL)
7  Canst thou by searching find out God?.... God is not to be found out by human search; that there is a God may be found out by inquiring into the book of nature, by considering the creatures that are made, who all proclaim some first cause or maker of them, who is God; but then it cannot be found out what God is, his nature, being, and perfections: an Heathen philosopher [i], being asked by a certain king what God was, required a day to give in his answer; when that was up he desired a second, and still went on asking more; and being demanded the reason of his dilatoriness, replied, the more he had considered the question, the more obscure it was to him: the world by wisdom, or the wiser part of the Heathen world, knew not God; though they knew there was one, they knew not who and what he was; and therefore in some places altars were erected to the unknown God, Ac 17:23: and though some of the perfections of God may be investigated from the works of nature, such as the power, wisdom, and goodness of God, Ro 1:19; yet not all his perfections, such as his grace, mercy, &c. proclaimed and displayed in Christ; nor indeed his counsels, purposes, and decrees, which lie in his eternal mind, are the thoughts of his heart, the deep things of God, which none but the Spirit of God searches, knows, and reveals; and since Zophar's request was, that God should show to Job "the secrets of wisdom", these may be meant here, either evangelical wisdom, the wisdom of God in a mystery hid in his heart from everlasting, and the mysterious truths and doctrines or it, things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man to conceive of; these are not to be found out by human search, but are by the revelation of God; or else the reasons of the proceedings of God in Providence, which are out of the reach of men, dark, intricate, mysterious, unsearchable, and past finding out:

canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? to the uttermost of his nature and perfections; all his attributes, the last of them, and the extremity thereof: that God is perfect and entire, wanting nothing, and is possessed of all perfections, may be found out, or otherwise he would not be God; but his essence and attributes, being infinite, can never be traced and comprehended by finite minds; there are some perfections of God we have no idea of, but are lost in confusion and amazement as soon as we think of them and reason about them, as his eternity and immensity particularly; for, when we have rolled over in our minds millions and millions of ages, we are as far off from eternity as when we began; and when we have pervaded all worlds, and every space and place, we have got no further into immensity than at first; we are confounded when we think of a Being without beginning and without bounds, unoriginated, and unlimited; yea, even it is but a small part of the works of God in creation that is known by men, or of God in and by them; nay, by divine revelation, which gives the clearest and most enlarged view of him, whereby he has proclaimed his name, a God gracious and merciful, &c. yet it is only his back parts that are shown, not his face; it is only through a glass, darkly, we now see; indeed, in the other world, we shall see him face to face, and as he is, yet then never comprehend his essence: and, after all, it is only in Christ that God is to be found, to saving purposes; in him is the most glorious display of him; being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person; and not only all his perfections are in him, as a divine Person, but they are glorified by him as Mediator; every step in salvation is taken in Christ, and every blessing of grace comes through him; what of the divine Presence and communion with God is enjoyed is by him; and he will be the medium of the enjoyment of God, and of all the glory and happiness of the saints in the world to come.

[i] Simonides, apud Cicero, de Nat. Deor. l. 1.

8  [It is] as high as heaven; what canst thou do?.... Or, "is higher than the heavens" [i]; either the wisdom of God and the secrets of it; the perfection of his wisdom, by which he has made the heavens; or evangelical wisdom, hid in his heart, and which the highest of creatures, the angels, come at the knowledge of only by revelation; and therefore, what can man do to find it out, unless God reveals it? or wisdom displayed in dark providences, which can never be accounted for until the judgments of God are made manifest: or else, "he [that is] God", as the Vulgate Latin version, is "higher than the heavens"; the heaven is his throne on which he sits, and therefore he must be higher than that; the heavens, and heaven of heavens, cannot contain him; he fills up the infinite space beyond them; how is it possible therefore to find him out, to comprehend him?

deeper than hell; what canst thou know? meaning, neither the grave nor the place of the damned, for both which "Sheol" is sometimes used, but the centre or lowest part of the earth; there is a depth in God, in his essence, in his thoughts, in his wisdom, displayed in nature, providence, and grace, that is unfathomable; we can know nothing of it but what he is pleased to make known; see Ps 92:5; the Targum of the verse is,

"in the height of heaven, what canst thou do? in the law, which is deeper than hell, what canst thou know?''

[i] Mymv yhbg "altior est altissimis coelis", Junius & Tremellius.

9  The measure thereof [is] longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. Length is generally ascribed to the earth, and width to the sea; the ends of the earth are used for a great distance, and the sea is called the great and wide sea; see [k] Ps 72:1; but God and his perfections, particularly his wisdom and understanding, are infinite, Ps 147:5; and will admit of no dimensions; as his love, so his wisdom, has an height which cannot be reached, a depth that cannot be fathomed, and a length and breadth immeasurable; see Eph 3:18; from hence it appears that God is omniscient, omnipresent, and incomprehensible; and since he is to be found in Christ, and in him only, it is in vain for us to seek for him elsewhere: next the sovereignty of God is discoursed of.

[k] "Quid oceano longius inveriri potest", Cicero. Orat. 36.

10  If he cut off,.... The horns, power, dominion, and authority of the wicked; or the spirits of princes, or kingdoms and states, whole nations, as he did the seven nations of Canaan; or families, as Job's, his servants, and his children; or particular persons, by diseases, or by judgments, by famine, sword, and pestilence; there is none can hinder him; he will do what he pleases: or, as others render it, "if he changes" [l]; if he makes revolutions in governments, changes in families, and in the estates of men, as in Job's; or changes men's countenances by death, and sends them out of time into eternity, there is no opposing him: or, "if he passes through" [m], as the word is sometimes used; see Isa 8:8; if he comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth, and goes through a kingdom and nation, making or suffering to be made devastations everywhere, as he went through the land of Egypt and smote all the firstborn in it, there is no stopping him: or, "if he passes on" [n], or "from" hence, or goes away; see 1Sa 11:3; or departs from a people or particular person, even his own people, and hides his face from them, and is long, at least as they think, before he returns; who can behold him, or find him out, or cause him to show himself? see Job 23:3; or, "if he subverts" [o] and overturns things, or should reduce the world and all things in it to a chaos, as at the deluge, or as he overturned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, or should set on fire the whole course of nature, and burn up the whole world and all in it, and reduce it to ashes, as he will; there is none can stay his hand, and obstruct him in his designs and measures:

and shut up; should he do so; shut up in a civil sense, either in a prison, as Gersom, or in the hands of an enemy, by giving them unto them, to be enclosed and straitened by them, there is none can deliver; Ps 31:8; or to shut them up as he did Noah in the ark, by protecting them by his power and providence, and so appear to be on their side, and for them; who then can be against them? or what does it signify if any are, if the Lord shuts them up and keeps them close? or in a spiritual sense, if he concludes men in sin, and shuts them up in unbelief, and under the law; who but himself can set them free? or, if good men are shut up in their frames, and straitened in their souls, that they cannot come forth in the lively exercise of grace, and free discharge of duty; there is no opening for them till he pleases, Ps 88:8;

or gather together, then who can hinder him? either gathers them into one place, in a civil sense; or in a gracious manner, with great mercies and everlasting kindness to himself, to have communion with him; to his son, to participate of the blessings of his grace, and to his church and people, to enjoy all spiritual privileges with them; or, gathers men at and by death; see Job 34:14; and as he will gather them at the last day, even all nations, before him, the tares, and burn them and his wheat, and put them into his garner; and when he does any and every of these things, who can hinder him or turn him back from doing what he pleases: Job says much the same in Job 9:12; the Targum is,

"if he passes through and shuts up the heavens with clouds, and gathers armies, who can turn him back?''

[l] Pwlxy Ma "si permutet proprie", Mercerus, Heb. "si mutabit locum", Piscator. [m] "Si transmeabit", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "si pervadat", Cocceius; "si transiverit", Michaelis. [n] "Si abierit", Schmidt. [o] "Si subverterit omnia", V. L.

Compare passage in all translations or view KJV MKJV NASB LITV

Passage Lookup:
Examples: Rev 3 | John 1:1 | Eph 2:8-9

Verses: -
Abbreviate Book Name(s)?
Strip Verse Numbers?
Collapse Passage Text?
Create Chapter Links?
Hide Interface When Displaying Results?


Search Terms:
Hint: Enter your search in "quotes like this" to search for an exact phrase.

And / Or:
Restrict Search to:
Start Search at:
End Search at:
Abbreviate Book Name(s)?
Display Results as References Only?
Display Results in Descending Order?
Highlight Search Terms?
Create Chapter Links?
Hide Interface When Displaying Results?