|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
33:14-18 God speaks to us by conscience, by providences, and by ministers; of all these Elihu discourses. There was not then, that we know of, any Divine revelation in writing, though now it is our principal guide. When God designs men's good, by the convictions and dictates of their own consciences, he opens the heart, as Lydia's, and opens the ears, so that conviction finds or forces its way in. The end and design of these admonitions are to keep men from sin, particularly the sin of pride. While sinners are pursuing evil purposes, and indulging their pride, their souls are hastening to destruction. That which turns men from sin, saves them from hell. What a mercy it is to be under the restraints of an awakened conscience!
Verse 16. - Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction. At such times, Elihu holds, God gives men spiritual wisdom, instructs them, makes them understand his dealings with them and his purposes with respect to them. If Job is perplexed concerning the Almighty's ways with himself, and desires explanations, let him have his ear open to the Divine teaching on such occasions, and seriously lay it to heart. He will thus, it may be, find his perplexity diminished.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then he openeth the ears of men,.... Not the ears of his body, which remaining shut while things are presented to his mind in a dream or vision, but his internal ears; it is the same with opening the heart or understanding to attend to and receive the things delivered in this visionary way:
and sealeth their instruction; sends home the instruction given in this manner, and imprints it upon the mind, so that it is well remembered when awake, not only the dreams themselves, but the lessons taught and learnt there, as may be observed in the cases of Abimelech and Laban, Genesis 20:3; the word signifies "chastisement" (l) as well as instruction, that being one way in which God teaches and instructs men, Psalm 94:12; and so the sense may be, that God in a dream or vision makes it known to men, that if they regard not what he says to them, and repent not of their evils, and turn from them, he will correct and chastise them, and this he assures them of; and they may look for the certain performance of it, that he will visit their transgressions with a rod, and their iniquities with stripes; things that are sealed being sure and firm. Mr. Broughton renders the words, "and imprints why they are chastised."
(l) "disciplinam eorum", Tigurine version; "castigationem eorum", Beza, Vatablus, Drusius, Mercerus, Piscator, Michaelis, Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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).
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