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Job 23:13-14

Context

23:13 But he is unchangeable, 1  and who can change 2  him?

Whatever he 3  has desired, he does.

23:14 For he fulfills his decree against me, 4 

and many such things are his plans. 5 

1 tc The MT has “But he [is] in one.” Many add the word “mind” to capture the point that God is resolute and unchanging. Some commentators find this too difficult, and so change the text from בְאֶחָד (bÿekhad, here “unchangeable”) to בָחָר (bakhar, “he has chosen”). The wording in the text is idiomatic and should be retained. R. Gordis (Job, 262) translates it “he is one, i.e., unchangeable, fixed, determined.” The preposition בּ (bet) is a bet essentiae – “and he [is] as one,” or “he is one” (see GKC 379 §119.i).

2 tn Heb “cause him to return.”

3 tn Or “his soul.”

4 tn The text has “my decree,” which means “the decree [plan] for/against me.” The suffix is objective, equivalent to a dative of disadvantage. The Syriac and the Vulgate actually have “his decree.” R. Gordis (Job, 262) suggests taking it in the same sense as in Job 14:5: “my limit.”.

5 tn Heb “and many such [things] are with him.”

sn The text is saying that many similar situations are under God’s rule of the world – his plans are infinite.



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