|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
34:16-30 Elihu appeals directly to Job himself. Could he suppose that God was like those earthly princes, who hate right, who are unfit to rule, and prove the scourges of mankind? It is daring presumption to condemn God's proceedings, as Job had done by his discontents. Elihu suggests divers considerations to Job, to produce in him high thoughts of God, and so to persuade him to submit. Job had often wished to plead his cause before God. Elihu asks, To what purpose? All is well that God does, and will be found so. What can make those uneasy, whose souls dwell at ease in God? The smiles of all the world cannot quiet those on whom God frowns.
Verse 18. - Is it fit to say to a king, Thou art wicked? and to princes, Ye are ungodly? Would any subject of an earthly king deem it fitting to accuse his sovereign of wicked and unjust conduct? Would he even tax those who stood next to the king - the princes and great officers of the court - with ungodliness? If a sense of what is becoming and seemly would restrain a man from the use of language of this sort towards his earthly ruler, can it be right that he should allow himself in such liberty or speech towards his heavenly King, his absolute Lord and Master? Job had not really used such language of God, though the complaints which he had made with respect to God's treatment of him might not unreasonably be held to imply some such accusation.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Is it fit to say to a king, thou art wicked?.... Not even to a bad king; for though he may be reproved for his sins, yet not by any or everyone, but by a fit and proper person: and generally speaking, if not always, the Scriptural instances of reproving such kings are of men that were prophets, and sent in the name of the Lord to do it; and when done by them, was done with decency: and much less should this be said to a good king; as to say to him, Belial, the word here used; or thou art Belial; or a son of Belial, as Shimei said to David, 2 Samuel 16:7; a name given to the worst of men, and is the devil himself; and signifies either one without a yoke, or lawless, which a king is not; or unprofitable, whereas a king is a minister of God for good; is for the punishment of evildoers, and for a praise to them that do well;
and to princes, ye are ungodly? Who have their name from being generous, munificent, and liberal, and therefore should not be treated in such a manner; who are the sons of kings, or subordinate magistrates to them, and execute their will and pleasure, laws and precepts. And if now such language is not to be used to earthly kings and princes, then surely not to the King of kings and Lord of lords; so Jarchi interprets it of God the King of the world; and some Christian interpreters, as Schmidt, understand by "princes" the three Persons in the Godhead; which can hardly be made to bear: though, could the whole be understood of God in the three Persons of the Deity, the connection with Job 34:19 would run more smoothly without the supplement that is made; so Broughton,
"to the King, the King of nobles, that accepteth not,'' &c.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. Literally, (Is it fit) to be said to a king? It would be a gross outrage to reproach thus an earthly monarch, much more the King of kings (Ex 22:28). But Maurer with the Septuagint and Vulgate reads, (It is not fit to accuse of injustice Him) who says to a king, Thou art wicked; to princes, Ye are ungodly; that is, who punishes impartially the great, as the small. This accords with Job 34:19.
Job 34:18 Parallel Commentaries
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