|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 25. - Therefore (i.e. to that end or with that object in view) he knoweth (rather, taketh knowledge of) their works. As God governs the world, and governs it, to a large extent, by exalting some men and depressing others, he is bound to take strict account of their conduct, that he may exalt the worthy and depress the unworthy. And he overturneth them in the night (comp. ver. 20). So that they are destroyed; literally, crushed. God's judgments fall on men suddenly, either "in the night," or as "In the night, i.e. suddenly, unexpectedly, when they are quite unprepared; and fall on them with "crushing" force, with a might that is wholly irresistible,
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore he knoweth their works,.... Being God omniscient, or rather takes notice of them, weighs and considers them, and gives to man according to them; or rather makes them known, for of his omniscience Elihu had spoken before; he makes them known to themselves, fastens convictions of their evil ways and works on their consciences, and obliges them to confess them, as the instances of Cain, Pharaoh, and others, show; and he makes them known to others by the judgment he executes, as on the old world, Sodom and Gomorrah; and the works of all will be made manifest at the day of judgment;
and he overturneth them in the night; literally taken, as the firstborn of the Egyptians were slain in the night, Exodus 12:30; and Pharaoh and his host were drowned in the Red sea in the night, Exodus 15:4; and the Assyrian army were destroyed by an angel in one night, 2 Kings 19:35; and Belshazzar was killed in the night, and the Babylonian empire translated to the Medes and Persians at the same time, Daniel 5:30, or figuratively, that is, suddenly, at unawares, and by surprise, and as quickly and easily as the night is turned into day; and such a revolution is made, as when he turns the night into day, and discovers and makes known all their secret actions committed in the dark; or he turns the night of calamity upon them, and puts an end to their light of temporal happiness and prosperity; or turns the night of death and everlasting wrath and justice on them, the blackness of darkness upon them:
so that they are destroyed; both in a temporal sense, on every side, with an utter destruction; and in a spiritual sense, with an everlasting one.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. Therefore—because He knows all things (Job 34:21). He knows their works, without a formal investigation (Job 34:24).
in the night—suddenly, unexpectedly (Job 34:20). Fitly in the night, as it was in it that the godless hid themselves (Job 34:22). Umbreit, less simply, for "overturneth," translates, "walketh"; that is, God is ever on the alert, discovering all wickedness.
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