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12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips;
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my allotted portion.[a]
13 But he is unchangeable,[b] and who can change[c] him?
Whatever he[d] has desired, he does.
14 For he fulfills his decree against me,[e]
and many such things are his plans.[f]

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  1. Job 23:12 tc The form in the MT (מֵחֻקִּי, mekhuqqi) means “more than my portion” or “more than my law.” An expanded meaning results in “more than my necessary food” (cf. Prov 30:8). HALOT 346 s.v. חֹק 1 indicates that חֹק (khoq) has the meaning of “portion” and is here a reference to “what is appointed for me.” The LXX and the Latin versions, along with many commentators, have בְּחֵקִי (bekheqi, “in my bosom”).
  2. Job 23:13 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 (veʾekhad, here “unchangeable”) to בָּחָר (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 ב (bet) is a bet essentiae—“and he [is] as one,” or “he is one” (see GKC 379 §119.i).
  3. Job 23:13 tn Heb “cause him to return.”
  4. Job 23:13 tn Or “his soul.”
  5. Job 23:14 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.”.
  6. Job 23:14 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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