Job 33:23
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Yet if there is an angel at their side, a messenger, one out of a thousand, sent to tell them how to be upright,

New Living Translation
"But if an angel from heaven appears--a special messenger to intercede for a person and declare that he is upright--

English Standard Version
If there be for him an angel, a mediator, one of the thousand, to declare to man what is right for him,

New American Standard Bible
"If there is an angel as mediator for him, One out of a thousand, To remind a man what is right for him,

King James Bible
If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his uprightness:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If there is an angel on his side, one mediator out of a thousand, to tell a person what is right for him

International Standard Version
"If there's a messenger appointed to mediate for Job —one out of a thousand— to represent the man's integrity on his behalf,

NET Bible
If there is an angel beside him, one mediator out of a thousand, to tell a person what constitutes his uprightness;

New Heart English Bible
"If there is beside him an angel, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show to man what is right for him;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"If they have a messenger for them, a spokesman, one in a thousand, to tell people what is right for them,

JPS Tanakh 1917
If there be for him an angel, An intercessor, one among a thousand, To vouch for a man's uprightness;

New American Standard 1977
“If there is an angel as mediator for him,
            One out of a thousand,
            To remind a man what is right for him,

Jubilee Bible 2000
If there is a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show unto man his uprightness;

King James 2000 Bible
If there be a messenger with him, a mediator, one of a thousand, to show unto man his uprightness:

American King James Version
If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show to man his uprightness:

American Standard Version
If there be with him an angel, An interpreter, one among a thousand, To show unto man what is right for him;

Douay-Rheims Bible
If there shall be an angel speaking for him, one among thousands, to declare man's uprightness,

Darby Bible Translation
If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his duty;

English Revised Version
If there be with him an angel, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man what is right for him;

Webster's Bible Translation
If there is a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show to man his uprightness:

World English Bible
"If there is beside him an angel, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show to man what is right for him;

Young's Literal Translation
If there is by him a messenger, An interpreter -- one of a thousand, To declare for man his uprightness:
Study Bible
Elihu Rebukes Job
22"Then his soul draws near to the pit, And his life to those who bring death. 23"If there is an angel as mediator for him, One out of a thousand, To remind a man what is right for him, 24Then let him be gracious to him, and say, 'Deliver him from going down to the pit, I have found a ransom';…
Cross References
Genesis 40:8
Then they said to him, "We have had a dream and there is no one to interpret it." Then Joseph said to them, "Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell it to me, please."

Isaiah 59:16
And He saw that there was no man, And was astonished that there was no one to intercede; Then His own arm brought salvation to Him, And His righteousness upheld Him.
Treasury of Scripture

If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to show to man his uprightness:

a messenger

Judges 2:1 And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, …

2 Chronicles 36:15,16 And the LORD God of their fathers sent to them by his messengers, …

Haggai 1:13 Then spoke Haggai the LORD's messenger in the LORD's message to the …

Malachi 2:7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek …

Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before …

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech …

an interpreter

Job 34:32 That which I see not teach you me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.

Psalm 94:12 Blessed is the man whom you chasten, O LORD, and teach him out of your law;

Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed …

Acts 8:30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, …

1 Corinthians 11:30-32 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep…

Hebrews 12:5-12 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to …

one

Job 9:3 If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand.

Ecclesiastes 7:28 Which yet my soul seeks, but I find not: one man among a thousand …

Romans 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the …

to

Job 11:6 And that he would show you the secrets of wisdom…

Job 34:10,12 Therefore listen to me you men of understanding: far be it from God, …

Job 35:14 Although you say you shall not see him, yet judgment is before him; …

Job 36:3,8-13 I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe righteousness …

Job 37:23 Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out: he is excellent in …

Nehemiah 9:33 However, you are just in all that is brought on us; for you have …

Psalm 119:75 I know, O LORD, that your judgments are right, and that you in faithfulness …

Lamentations 3:22,23,32,39-41 It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his …

Ezekiel 18:25-28 Yet you say, The way of the LORD is not equal. Hear now, O house …

Daniel 9:14 Therefore has the LORD watched on the evil, and brought it on us: …

(23) To show unto man his uprightness.--Some render, "to show unto man what is right for him," but it seems rather to mean, to declare concerning that man his uprightness, to plead his cause before God and be his advocate. (Comp. 1Kings 14:13; 2Chronicles 19:3, &c.)

This angel, who is one among a thousand, and discharges the function of an interpreter, is a remarkable anticipation of the existence of that function with God which is discharged by the Advocate with the Father (1John 2:1; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25). It is impossible for us who believe that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God not to see in this an indication of what God intended afterwards to teach us concerning the intercession and mediation of the Son and the intercession of the Holy Spirit on behalf of man (Romans 8:26). (Comp. John 14:16.)

Verse 23. - If there be a messenger with him; rather, an angel (see the Revised Version). It is generally supposed that "the angel of the covenant" is meant, and that the whole passage is Messianic; but much obscurity hangs over it. The Jews certainly understand it Messianically, since they read it on the great Day of Atonement, and use in their liturgies the prayer, "Raise up for us the righteous Interpreter; say, I have found a ransom." Elihu's knowledge of an Interpreter, or Mediator, one among a thousand, who should deliver the afflicted man from going down to the pit, and find a ransom for him (ver. 24), is certainly very surprising; and we can scarcely imagine that he understood the full force of his words; but it cannot be right to denude them of their natural signification Elihu certainly did not mean to speak of himself as an "angel-interpreter, one among a thousand;" and it is not probable that he intends a reference to any merely human helper. To show unto man. his uprightness; either "to show to a man what it is right for him to do," or "to indicate to a man in what true righteousness consists." If there be a messenger with him,.... Or angel, either with God, as some think; or rather with the sick man; by which messenger is meant not an angel by nature, a created angel, though sometimes such are God's messengers, sent by him on errands to men, are interpreters of things to them, as Gabriel was to Daniel; of whom there are thousands, and who may be of service to sick men for their comfort and instruction, since it is certain they attend saints in their dying moments; yet this proves not that they are to be invoked as mediators between God and men: but rather a minister of the word is designed, who is by office an angel, a "messenger" of Christ, and of the churches; an "interpreter" of the Scriptures, and of the mind of God in them; and a spiritual, evangelical, faithful minister, is scarce and rare, one among a thousand; and his business is to visit sick persons, and to observe the "uprightness" and faithfulness of God in afflicting them, that they may quietly submit to and patiently bear the affliction; and to direct them for their peace and comfort to the uprightness or righteousness of Christ, for their justification before God; and to show them what is right for them to do in their present circumstances; whether the sick man be stupid and insensible of his case, and his need of righteousness, or whether he be a truly gracious man, yet labouring under doubts and fears about the truth of grace in him, the uprightness of his heart, and his interest in the righteousness of Christ: but it seems best to understand this of Christ himself, the angel of God's presence, the messenger of the covenant, who is with the sick man, and favours him with his spiritual presence; or is "for him" (q) as it may be rendered, is on his side, an advocate and intercessor for him with God;

an interpreter of his Father's mind, and with which he is long acquainted, he lying in his bosom; and of the sacred Scriptures, as he was to his disciples concerning himself; or an "orator" (r), an eloquent one, never man spake like him, having the tongue of the learned given him as man; and who as a divine Person is the eternal and essential Word of God; who spake for his people in the council of peace and covenant of grace; and also as Mediator is the antitypical Aaron, can speak well for them on all occasions:

one among a thousand: the chiefest among ten thousand, angels or men; see Sol 5:10;

to show unto man his uprightness; which to do is his office as Mediator, and especially as a prophet, even to show the uprightness of God, the rectitude of his nature, the righteousness required in his holy law; and this Christ has shown forth and declared in his being the propitiation for the sins of his people, Romans 3:25; by his Spirit he shows to man, and so to a sick man, his want of uprightness in himself, his need of righteousness from another; and brings it near him, and shows it to be perfect, complete, and suitable; as well as teaches to live soberly, righteously, and godly.

(q) "pro eo", V. L. Pagninus, Mercerus. (r) "eloquens", Pagninus, Montanus; "orator", Tigurine version, Bolducius. 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 (Job 5:1), and Job (Job 9:33) had wished for such a "daysman" or umpire between him and God. The "messenger" of good is antithetical to the "destroyers" (Job 33:23).

with him—if there be vouchsafed to the sufferer. The office of the interpreter is stated "to show unto man God's uprightness" in His dealings; or, as Umbreit, "man's upright course towards God" (Pr 14:2). The former is better; Job maintained his own "uprightness" (Job 16:17; 27:5, 6); Elihu on the contrary maintains God's, and that man's true uprightness lies in submission to God. "One among a thousand" is a man rarely to be found. So Jesus Christ (So 5:10). Elihu, the God-sent mediator of a temporal deliverance, is a type of the God-man Jesus Christ the Mediator of eternal deliverance: "the messenger of the covenant" (Mal 3:1). This is the wonderful work of the Holy Ghost, that persons and events move in their own sphere in such a way as unconsciously to shadow forth Him, whose "testimony is the Spirit of prophecy"; as the same point may be center of a small and of a vastly larger concentric circle.33:19-28 Job complained of his diseases, and judged by them that God was angry with him; his friends did so too: but Elihu shows that God often afflicts the body for good to the soul. This thought will be of great use for our getting good from sickness, in and by which God speaks to men. Pain is the fruit of sin; yet, by the grace of God, the pain of the body is often made a means of good to the soul. When afflictions have done their work, they shall be removed. A ransom or propitiation is found. Jesus Christ is the Messenger and the Ransom, so Elihu calls him, as Job had called him his Redeemer, for he is both the Purchaser and the Price, the Priest and the sacrifice. So high was the value of souls, that nothing less would redeem them; and so great the hurt done by sin, that nothing less would atone for it, than the blood of the Son of God, who gave his life a ransom for many. A blessed change follows. Recovery from sickness is a mercy indeed, when it proceeds from the remission of sin. All that truly repent of their sins, shall find mercy with God. The works of darkness are unfruitful works; all the gains of sin will come far short of the damage. We must, with a broken and contrite heart, confess our sins to God, 1Jo 1:9. We must confess the fact of sin; and not try to justify or excuse ourselves. We must confess the fault of sin; I have perverted that which was right. We must confess the folly of sin; So foolish have I been and ignorant. Is there not good reason why we should make such a confession?
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