|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
32:1-5 Job's friends were silenced, but not convinced. Others had been present. Elihu was justly displeased with Job, as more anxious to clear his own character than the justice and goodness of God. Elihu was displeased with Job's friends because they had not been candid to Job. Seldom is a quarrel begun, more seldom is a quarrel carried on, in which there are not faults on both sides. Those that seek for truth, must not reject what is true and good on either side, nor approve or defend what is wrong.
Verses 1-5. - The discourse of Elihu is prefaced by a short introduction in plain prose, explaining who he was, and giving the reasons which actuated him in coming forward at this point of the dialogue. Verse 1. - So these three men ceased to answer Job. Zophar had been silenced earlier. Eliphaz and Bildad now felt that they had no more to say. They had exhausted the weapons of their armoury without any effect, and were conscious that nothing would be gained by mere reiteration. All their efforts had aimed at convincing Job of sin; and he was still unconvinced - he remained righteous in his own eyes.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
So these three men ceased to answer Job,.... His three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, who came to visit and comfort him under his afflictions; but unawares were led into a controversy with him, occasioned by some rash and impatient expressions of his; which controversy had been carried on between them a considerable time, but now dropped; they grew weary of it, and now rested themselves as men do on a sabbath, as the word signifies; they set themselves down, and made no reply to Job's vindication of himself, not caring to give themselves any further trouble, or labour the point any more and longer, perceiving it was all to no purpose: or "and these three men ceased", &c. the last words of the preceding chapter are, "the words of Job are ended", Job 31:40; and the copulative "and" connects these with them, and shows that these men also had done speaking; so that the dispute was closed between Job and them, and the way was clear for another disputant that might think fit to enter, as Elihu did, after mentioned
because he was righteous in his own eyes; some take this to express the state of the question between them, rendering the words, "that he was righteous", &c. (f). The notion his friends had of him was, that he was righteous in his own account, and as he professed to be, and might so seem to others; but was a wicked man, and an hypocrite, as his afflictions showed; this point they had been labouring to prove, but, upon Job's long and clear vindication of his integrity, they ceased to defend it: others suppose the words to be an inference of Job's from their silence: "therefore he was righteous", &c. they making no reply to him, he concluded himself to be quit and clear of the charge they had brought against him; but they rather, according to our version, contain a reason why they ceased to answer him; because they thought him self-conceited, self-willed, obstinate, and incorrigible; not open to conviction, stiffly insisting on his own innocence, not allowing that he was guilty of any sin or sins, which were the cause of his afflictions; otherwise, in the article of justification before God, Job was no self-righteous man, nor was he so charged by his friends; to say he was is to abuse his character, and is contrary to that which God himself has given of him; nor would he have so highly commended him as to suggest there was none like him on earth, when of all men in the world there are none more abominable to God than a self-righteous man; see Isaiah 65:4. It is contrary to Job's knowledge of and faith in Christ, as his living Redeemer, Job 19:25; and to many clear and strong expressions, confessing his sin, disclaiming perfection, and declaring himself no self-justiciary, Job 7:20.
(f) "quod ille (tantum) justus in oculis suis", Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Job 32:1-37:24. Speech of Elihu.
1-6. Prose (poetry begins with "I am young").
because, &c.—and because they could not prove to him that he was unrighteous.
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