World Wide Study Bible
a Bible passage
34. Elihu Speaks
Furthermore Elihu answered and said, 2Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge. 3For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat. 4Let us choose to us judgment: let us know among ourselves what is good. 5For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment. 6Should I lie against my right? my wound is incurable without transgression. 7What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water? 8Which goeth in company with the workers of iniquity, and walketh with wicked men. 9For he hath said, It profiteth a man nothing that he should delight himself with God. 10Therefore hearken unto me, ye men of understanding: far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity. 11For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways. 12Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment. 13Who hath given him a charge over the earth? or who hath disposed the whole world? 14If he set his heart upon man, if he gather unto himself his spirit and his breath; 15All flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again unto dust. 16If now thou hast understanding, hear this: hearken to the voice of my words. 17Shall even he that hateth right govern? and wilt thou condemn him that is most just? 18Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly? 19How much less to him that accepteth not the persons of princes, nor regardeth the rich more than the poor? for they all are the work of his hands. 20In a moment shall they die, and the people shall be troubled at midnight, and pass away: and the mighty shall be taken away without hand. 21For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. 22There is no darkness, nor shadow of death, where the workers of iniquity may hide themselves. 23For he will not lay upon man more than right; that he should enter into judgment with God. 24He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead. 25Therefore he knoweth their works, and he overturneth them in the night, so that they are destroyed. 26He striketh them as wicked men in the open sight of others; 27Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways: 28So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted. 29When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only: 30That the hypocrite reign not, lest the people be ensnared. 31Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more: 32That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more. 33Should it be according to thy mind? he will recompense it, whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose; and not I: therefore speak what thou knowest. 34Let men of understanding tell me, and let a wise man hearken unto me. 35Job hath spoken without knowledge, and his words were without wisdom. 36My desire is that Job may be tried unto the end because of his answers for wicked men. 37For he addeth rebellion unto his sin, he clappeth his hands among us, and multiplieth his words against God.
2. This chapter is addressed also to the "friends" as the thirty-third chapter to Job alone.
4. judgment—Let us select among the conflicting sentiments advanced, what will stand the test of examination.
6. Were I to renounce my right (that is, confess myself guilty), I should die. Job virtually had said so (Job 27:4, 5; 6:28). Maurer, not so well, "Notwithstanding my right (innocence) I am treated as a liar," by God, by His afflicting me.
without transgression—without fault of mine to deserve it (Job 16:17).
7. (Job 15:16). Image from the camel.
scorning—against God (Job 15:4).
8. Job virtually goes in company (makes common cause) with the wicked, by taking up their sentiments (Job 9:22, 23, 30; 21:7-15), or at least by saying, that those who act on such sentiments are unpunished (Mal 3:14). To deny God's righteous government because we do not see the reasons of His acts, is virtually to take part with the ungodly.
9. with God—in intimacy (Ps 50:18, Margin).
13. If the world were not God's property, as having been made by Him, but committed to His charge by some superior, it might be possible for Him to act unjustly, as He would not thereby be injuring Himself; but as it is, for God to act unjustly would undermine the whole order of the world, and so would injure God's own property (Job 36:23).
disposed—hath founded (Isa 44:7), established the circle of the globe.
14, 15. "If He were to set His heart on man," either to injure him, or to take strict account of his sins. The connection supports rather [Umbreit], "If He had regard to himself (only), and were to gather unto Himself (Ps 104:29) man's spirit, &c. (which he sends forth, Ps 104:30; Ec 12:7), all flesh must perish together," &c. (Ge 3:19). God's loving preservation of His creatures proves He cannot be selfish, and therefore cannot be unjust.
16. In Job 34:2, Elihu had spoken to all in general, now he calls Job's special attention.
17. "Can even He who (in thy view) hateth right (justice) govern?" The government of the world would be impossible if injustice were sanctioned. God must be just, because He governs (2Sa 23:3).
govern—literally, "bind," namely, by authority (so "reign," 1Sa 9:17, Margin). Umbreit translates for "govern, repress wrath, namely, against Job for his accusations.
most just—rather, "Him who is at once mighty and just" (in His government of the world).
18. Literally, (Is it fit) to be said to a king? It would be a gross outrage to reproach thus an earthly monarch, much more the King of kings (Ex 22:28). But Maurer with the Septuagint and Vulgate reads, (It is not fit to accuse of injustice Him) who says to a king, Thou art wicked; to princes, Ye are ungodly; that is, who punishes impartially the great, as the small. This accords with Job 34:19.
20. they—"the rich" and "princes" who offend God.
the people—namely, of the guilty princes: guilty also themselves.
23. (1Co 10:13; La 3:32; Isa 27:8). Better, as Umbreit, "He does not (needs not to) regard (as in Job 34:14; Isa 41:20) man long (so Hebrew, Ge 46:29) in order that he may go (be brought by God) into judgment." Literally, "lest his (attention) upon men" (Job 11:10, 11). So Job 34:24, "without number" ought to be translated, "without [needing any] searching out," such as has to be made in human judgments.
in the night—suddenly, unexpectedly (Job 34:20). Fitly in the night, as it was in it that the godless hid themselves (Job 34:22). Umbreit, less simply, for "overturneth," translates, "walketh"; that is, God is ever on the alert, discovering all wickedness.
26. He striketh them—chasteneth.
as—that is, because they are wicked.
make trouble—rather, "condemn" (Ro 8:33, 34). Maurer, from the reference being only to the godless, in the next clause, and Job 34:20 translates, "When God keeps quiet" (leaves men to perish) Ps 83:1; [Umbreit] from the Arabic (strikes to the earth), "who shall condemn Him as unjust?" Job 34:17.
it be done—Whether it be against a guilty nation (2Ki 18:9-12) or an individual, that God acts so.
31. Job accordingly says so (Job 40:3-5; Mic 7:9; Le 26:41). It was to lead him to this that Elihu was sent. Though no hypocrite, Job, like all, had sin; therefore through affliction he was to be brought to humble himself under God. All sorrow is a proof of the common heritage of sin, in which the godly shares; and therefore he ought to regard it as a merciful correction. Umbreit and Maurer lose this by translating, as the Hebrew will bear, "Has any a right to say to God, I have borne chastisement and yet have not sinned?" (so Job 34:6).
offend—literally, "to deal destructively or corruptly" (Ne 1:7).
33. Rather, "should God recompense (sinners) according to thy mind? Then it is for thee to reject and to choose, and not me" [Umbreit]; or as Maurer, "For thou hast rejected God's way of recompensing; state therefore thy way, for thou must choose, not I," that is, it is thy part, not mine, to show a better way than God's.
36. Margin, not so well, "My father," Elihu addressing God. This title does not elsewhere occur in Job.
answers for wicked men—(See on Job 34:8). Trials of the godly are not removed until they produce the effect designed.