|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
34:10-15 Elihu had showed Job, that God meant him no hurt by afflicting him, but intended his spiritual benefit. Here he shows, that God did him no wrong by afflicting him. If the former did not satisfy him, this ought to silence him. God cannot do wickedness, nor the Almighty commit wrong. If services now go unrewarded, and sins now go unpunished, yet there is a day coming, when God will fully render to every man according to his works. Further, though the believer's final condemnation is done away through the Saviour's ransom, yet he has merited worse than any outward afflictions; so that no wrong is done to him, however he may be tried.
Verse 13. - Who hath given him a charge over the earth? The argument seems to be that if God had "received a charge," and were in possession of a mere delegated authority, like the subordinate gods of heathen nations, he might have an interest apart from that of those whom he governs, and so be tempted to be unjust; but as he is the Author of all and the sole Ruler of all, his interest must be bound up with the true interests of his creatures, and cannot clash with them. He can thus never be unjust, since he can have no temptation to be unjust. Or who hath disposed the whole world? rather, Who hath laid upon him the whole world? (see the margin of the Revised Version). Elihu repeats the idea of the previous clause in other words.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Who hath given him a charge over the earth?.... Or who hath committed the earth unto him, and made it his care and charge? Is there any above him that has put him into this post and office? Under whose direction and command is he, and to whom is he accountable? None at all; he is no deputy or sub-governor: the kings of the earth are under him, and they have others subordinate to them; but he above all, higher than the highest: he is sole Governor of the world in his own right, by right of creation, and which he has from himself and not another; he has no rival, nor partner with him, none to whom he is accountable, or can control him; and since he is the Judge of all the earth, he will do right. Subordinate governors sometimes do unjust things in obedience to their superiors, or to please them, or through fear of them; but nothing of this kind is or can be the case with God; as he cannot do any injustice through inclination of nature, nor through ignorance, as men may; so neither through fear of any, there being none above him from whom he has received a charge, or that rules over him; and, as Jarchi expresses it, can say to him, what dost thou? as, I did not command thee so and so. And though he is sovereign and independent, and his power uncontrollable, it is contrary to his nature to make an ill use of it; and was justice perverted by him, the world would soon be in the utmost confusion: but it is a plain case there is a God that judgeth in the earth, and cannot commit iniquity. Or this may be said with respect to man; who has committed the earth to man, to be his charge, to be governed by him? if so, it would soon come to nothing; all creatures in it would be destroyed, as in the following verses; but this is not the case. Or who has given it to man to possess it, and to enjoy all things in it, and has put all things into his hands, and in subjection to him, to make use thereof, and for his good, delight, and pleasure, and visits him in it in a providential way, in great kindness and goodness? It is the Lord; and can it be thought that he that is so good and beneficent to men will do them any injustice? no, surely! Yea, should he take away all these good things he has given them, and even life itself, it could be no injustice, since he would only take away what he had given and had a right unto;
or who hath disposed the whole world? or created it, as Aben Ezra; that stored it with all the good things in it for the use of men? or put it in the beautiful order it is, so suitable and convenient for the good of his creatures? or made it the habitable earth it is for man and beast? so Mr. Broughton renders the whole,
"who before him looked to the earth, or who settled all the dwelt land?''
Or who made it the fruitful earth it is, abounding with plenty of food for man and beast? or who disposes of all things in it by his wise providence, so that everything is beautiful in its season? None but the Lord has done all this; how then can it be thought that he who has filled the earth with his goodness should do wickedly or pervert judgment?
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. If the world were not God's property, as having been made by Him, but committed to His charge by some superior, it might be possible for Him to act unjustly, as He would not thereby be injuring Himself; but as it is, for God to act unjustly would undermine the whole order of the world, and so would injure God's own property (Job 36:23).
disposed—hath founded (Isa 44:7), established the circle of the globe.
Job 34:13 Parallel Commentaries
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