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132. Job 13:13-28, Making His Case, Introduction
This is an enormously important section for the development of the Job’s argument. Job summons up all his courage, come what may, and addresses God directly. Although he previously had addressed God directly (e.g., 7:13-20; 10:2-22), those passages stressed more his pique at God or incomprehension at what had transpired rather than a desire to engage with God in argument. Now, however, Job will, as he says, “take my flesh in my teeth” (v 14; i.e., regardless of the dangers) and make his case directly to God. His major question will be, ‘Why do you treat me like an enemy, even like a prisoner, when I have done nothing to merit that kind of treatment?’
This passage brilliantly explores issues:
a) Job’s fear at approaching God (vv 13-17);
b) Job’s confidence in his future vindication (vv 18-19);
c) Job’s requirements for a workable procedure (vv 20-22);
d) Job’s substantive questions to God (vv 23-28).
I will divide my treatment, beginning in the next essay, into those four categories. I will also deal with the translation problem of Job 13:15.