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2. mouth--rather, "palate," whereby the taste discerns. Every
man speaks with his mouth, but few, as Elihu, try their words
with discrimination first, and only say what is really good
(Job 6:30; 12:11).
3. I will speak according to my inward conviction.
4. The Spirit of God hath made me--as He did thee: latter clause of Job 33:6 (Ge 2:7). Therefore thou needest not fear me, as thou wouldest God (Job 33:7; Job 9:34). On the other hand, "the breath of the Almighty hath inspired me" (as Job 32:8); not as English Version, "given me life"; therefore "I am according to thy wish (Job 9:32, 33) in God's stead" to thee; a "daysman," umpire, or mediator, between God and thee. So Elihu was designed by the Holy Ghost to be a type of Jesus Christ (Job 33:23-26).
6. (See on
Job 31:35; 13:3, 20, 21).
8. thy words-- (Job 10:7; 16:17; 23:11, 12; 27:5, 6; 29:14). In Job 9:30; 13:23, Job had acknowledged sin; but the general spirit of his words was to maintain himself to be "clean," and to charge God with injustice. He went too far on the opposite side in opposing the friends' false charge of hypocrisy. Even the godly, though willing to confess themselves sinners in general, often dislike sin in particular to be brought as a charge against them. Affliction is therefore needed to bring them to feel that sin in them deserves even worse than they suffer and that God does them no injustice. Then at last humbled under God they find, affliction is for their real good, and so at last it is taken away either here, or at least at death. To teach this is Elihu's mission.
10. occasions--for hostility; literally, "enmities" (Job 13:24; 16:9; 19:11; 30:21).
12. in this--view of God and His government. It cannot be that God should jealously "watch" man, though "spotless," as an "enemy," or as one afraid of him as an equal. For "God is greater than man!" There must be sin in man, even though he be no hypocrite, which needs correction by suffering for the sufferer's good.
14. Translate, "Yet, man regardeth it not"; or rather, as UMBREIT, "Yea, twice (He repeats the warning)--if man gives no heed" to the first warning. Elihu implies that God's reason for sending affliction is because, when God has communicated His will in various ways, man in prosperity has not heeded it; God therefore must try what affliction will effect (Joh 15:2; Ps 62:11; Isa 28:10, 13).
15. slumberings--light is opposed to "deep sleep." Elihu has in view Eliphaz (Job 4:13), and also Job himself (Job 7:14). "Dreams" in sleep, and "visions" of actual apparitions, were among the ways whereby God then spake to man (Ge 20:3).
16. Literally, "sealeth (their ears) to Himself by warnings," that is, with the sureness and secrecy of a seal He reveals His warnings [UMBREIT]. To seal up securely (Job 37:7).
17. purpose--Margin, "work." So Job 36:9. So "business" in a bad sense (1Sa 20:19). Elihu alludes to Job's words (Job 17:11). "Pride," an open "pit" (Job 33:18) which God hides or covers up, lest man should fall into it. Even the godly need to learn the lesson which trials teach, to "humble themselves under the mighty hand of God."
18. his soul--his life.
19. When man does not heed warnings of the night, he is chastened,
&c. The new thought suggested by Elihu is that affliction is
for the good of the godly.
20. life--that is, the appetite, which ordinarily sustains "life"
The taking away of desire for food by sickness symbolizes the removal
by affliction of lust, for things which foster the spiritual fever of
21. His flesh once prominent "can no more be seen." His bones once
not seen now appear prominent.
23. Elihu refers to himself as the divinely-sent
(Job 32:8; 33:6)
"messenger," the "interpreter" to explain to Job and vindicate God's
righteousness; such a one Eliphaz had denied that Job could look for
had wished for such a "daysman" or umpire between him and God. The
"messenger" of good is antithetical to the "destroyers"
24. Apodosis to
25-28. Effects of restoration to God's favor; literally, to Job a
temporal revival; spiritually, an eternal regeneration. The striking
words cannot be restricted to their temporal meaning, as used by Elihu
(1Pe 1:11, 12).
26. Job shall no longer pray to God, as he complains, in vain
(Job 23:3, 8, 9).
True especially to the redeemed in Jesus Christ
27. he looketh--God. Rather, with
UMBREIT, "Now he
(the restored penitent) singeth joyfully
(answering to "joy,"
before men, and saith," &c.
Ps 66:16; 116:14).
28. (See on
rather, as Hebrew text (English Version reads as the
Margin, Hebrew, Keri, "his soul, his life"), "He hath delivered
my soul . . . my life." Continuation of the
penitent's testimony to the people.