|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 17. - That he (i.e. God) may withdraw man from his purpose; literally, from his work, assumed to be a wrongful work. Elihu regards the Divine teaching through visions as intended to elevate and purify men. Sometimes God so works upon them as to make them abandon an evil course on which they had entered. Sometimes his object is to save them from indulgence in an evil temper into which, without his help, they might have fallen. In this latter case he may occasionally hide pride from man. Elihu, perhaps, thinks that Job is unduly proud of his integrity.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That he may withdraw a man from his purpose,.... Or "work" (m), his wicked work, as the Targum; either which he has begun upon, or which he designed to do. Thus Abimelech and Laban were restrained from their intentions by a divine admonition in a dream, the one from taking Abraham's wife, as he intended, and the other from doing harm to Jacob, which he designed:
and hide pride from man; by pardoning his sins, in which there is always pride, so some; pardon of sin being expressed by covering it, Psalm 32:1; or rather by repressing, weakening, and preventing it; and that by not suffering vain and proud men to perform their enterprises, but obliging them to submit to the will of God, and humble themselves under his mighty hand. These are the ends proposed, and which are effected through the Lord speaking to men in dreams, opening their ears, and sending instructions to them; and others also for their good follow.
(m) "opere", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, &c.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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."
Job 33:17 Parallel Commentaries
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