|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
35:9-13 Job complained that God did not regard the cries of the oppressed against their oppressors. This he knew not how to reconcile the justice of God and his government. Elihu solves the difficulty. Men do not notice the mercies they enjoy in and under their afflictions, nor are thankful for them, therefore they cannot expect that God should deliver them out of affliction. He gives songs in the night; when our condition is dark and melancholy, there is that in God's providence and promise, which is sufficient to support us, and to enable us even to rejoice in tribulation. When we only pore upon our afflictions, and neglect the consolations of God which are treasured up for us, it is just in God to reject our prayers. Even the things that will kill the body, cannot hurt the soul. If we cry to God for the removal of an affliction, and it is not removed, the reason is, not because the Lord's hand is shortened, or his ear heavy; but because we are not sufficiently humbled.
Verses 9-14. - Job had made it a frequent subject of complaint that God did not hear, or at any rate did not answer, his prayers and cries for relief. Elihu answers that Job's case is not exceptional. Those who cry out against oppression and suffering frequently receive no answer, but it is because they "ask amiss." Job should have patience and trust. Verse 9. - By reason of the multitude of oppressions they make the oppressed to cry; rather, by reason of the multitude of oppressions, men cry out. It is not Job only who cries to God. Oppressors are numerous; the oppressed are numerous; everywhere there are complaints and outcries. They cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty. The oppressors are, for the most part, the mighty of the earth - kings, princes, nobles (see Isaiah 1:23; Isaiah 3:14, 15; Hosea 5:10; Amos 4:1, etc.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
By reason of the multitude of oppressions, they make the oppressed to cry,.... Which is either an illustration by an instance of what is before said, that wickedness hurts men, as particularly oppression does, which makes then cry; or this refers to something new, to another complaint of Job, or an undue expression of his. Elihu undertakes to answer; that men cry unto God, as he himself had, but are not heard and answered; the place or places referred to may be Job 24:12. To which Elihu replies, by granting that men oppressed cry because of their oppression, and are not heard; for which reasons may be given, as in the following verses. The poor are often oppressed by the rich, whose wealth gives them power, and that they abuse; and the weak and feeble by the mighty; and their oppressions are many, there is a multitude of them: men in power and authority have various ways of oppressing others, who like the Israelites cry by reason of them, and are made to cry by their oppressors;
they cry out by reason of the arm of the mighty; which falls with weight, and lies heavy upon them, and crushes them; meaning the power they have, and which they abuse to the injury of them; nor are they able to help themselves or deliver themselves out of their hands, they being mighty, if not in body, yet through wealth; and by means of that authority over them which gives it them: now on account of the pressure upon them, they cry, not to God, but to men: and if they cry to God, it is in a murmuring and complaining way, through impatience under their burden, through envy at the riches and power of others, in a passionate manner, in a revengeful spirit, calling and seeking for vengeance on their oppressors; not in an humble penitent manner, acknowledging their sins, and owning their unworthiness to be heard and regarded, and submitting all to the will of God: for which reasons they are not heard, their cries and, prayers being reckoned no other than howlings, Hosea 7:14.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. (Ec 4:1.) Elihu states in Job's words (Job 24. 12; 30. 20) the difficulty; the "cries" of "the oppressed" not being heard might lead man to think that wrongs are not punished by Him.
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