Isaiah 45:9

Hebrew Bible

7 I am the one who forms light and creates darkness; the one who brings about peace and creates calamity. I am the Lord, who accomplishes all these things. 8 O sky, rain down from above! Let the clouds send down showers of deliverance! Let the earth absorb it so salvation may grow and deliverance may sprout up along with it. I, the Lord, create it.’” 9 One who argues with his Creator is in grave danger, one who is like a mere shard among the other shards on the ground! The clay should not say to the potter, “What in the world are you doing? Your work lacks skill!” 10 Danger awaits one who says to his father, “What in the world are you fathering?” and to his mother, “What in the world are you bringing forth?” 11 This is what the Lord says, the Holy One of Israel, the one who formed him, concerning things to come: “How dare you question me about my children! How dare you tell me what to do with the work of my own hands!

Job 9:12

Hebrew Bible

10 he does great and unsearchable things, and wonderful things without number. 11 If he passes by me, I cannot see him; if he goes by, I cannot perceive him. 12 If he snatches away, who can turn him back? Who dares to say to him, ‘What are you doing?’ 13 God does not restrain his anger; under him the helpers of Rahab lie crushed. 14 “How much less, then, can I answer him and choose my words to argue with him.

 Notes and References

"... Job, continuing to lament God’s transcendent imperviousness to complaint in chapter 9, says, “He snatches away; who can stop him? Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’” (9:12). The first of Job’s questions appears in Isaiah 43:13 and the second in Isaiah 45:9. Terrien does not address the former parallel, but he notes that Job, by denying the second question (“What are you doing?”) evidently considers inquiring into God’s behavior futile, as he here associates God’s transcendence with malevolence. However, in Isaiah 45:9, Terrien claims, the question is considered legitimate as an inquiry into the highly moral quality of God’s providence with respect to the nations. But if the intent of Isaiah 45:9 is to inspire trust in God, an allusion to Job’s complaint is an inappropriate resource. Through parodying this verse, however, Job would display the ambiguity of human inability to question God and entreat the deity to turn his oppression to the type of comfort promised to Israel in Isaiah 40–55 ..."

Kynes, Will "Job and Isaiah 40-55: Intertextualities in Dialogue" in Dell, Katharine Julia, and Will Kynes (eds.) Reading Job Intertextually (pp. 94-105) Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2013

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.