|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
36:15-23 Elihu shows that Job caused the continuance of his own trouble. He cautions him not to persist in frowardness. Even good men need to be kept to their duty by the fear of God's wrath; the wisest and best have enough in them to deserve his stroke. Let not Job continue his unjust quarrel with God and his providence. And let us never dare to think favourably of sin, never indulge it, nor allow ourselves in it. Elihu thinks Job needed this caution, he having chosen rather to gratify his pride and humour by contending with God, than to mortify them by submitting, and accepting the punishment. It is absurd for us to think to teach Him who is himself the Fountain of light, truth, knowledge, and instruction. He teaches by the Bible, and that is the best book; teaches by his Son, and he is the best Master. He is just in all proceedings.
Verse 17. - But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked; i.e. but, as thou hast not so acted, the result has been different. Thy hardness and impenitence have brought upon thee the judgments reserved by God for the wicked - judgment and justice take hold on thee - thou art suffering the just penalty of thy obstinacy.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But thou hast fulfilled the judgment of the wicked,.... Some (w) take this to be a continuation of the happiness Job would have enjoyed, had he behaved in his affliction as he ought to have done; then he would have been filled to satisfaction, by seeing the judgments of God exercised on wicked men, as on the Chaldeans and Sabeans, who had injured him: "and judgment and justice would have upheld thee"; when they should be cast down. But these words rather seem to be expressive of his present state, and the reason of it, he not being sufficiently humbled: and the sense is, not that he had lived a vicious course of life, as the wicked do, and filled up the measure of his wickedness as they; and so deserved to be filled with the like judgments as inflicted on them. Mr. Broughton reads the words,
"as thou hast fulfilled the sentence of the wicked, sentence and judgment have laid hold:''
but rather the meaning is, that he had "fulfilled the contention of the wicked" (x); pleaded as they did, argued with God after their manner: and therefore is said to go in company and walk with them, and make answers for them, Job 34:8. Wherefore
justice and judgment take hold on thee; afflictions in righteousness, or the chastening hand of God, in righteous judgment, had taken hold upon him, and would hold him until he was sufficiently humbled under them.
(w) Schmidt, Michaelis. (x) "et litem improbi implevisti", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. Rather, "But if thou art fulfilled (that is, entirely filled) with the judgment of the wicked (that is, the guilt incurring judgment" [Maurer]; or rather, as Umbreit, referring to Job 34:5-7, 36, the judgment pronounced on God by the guilty in misfortunes), judgment (God's judgment on the wicked, Jer 51:9, playing on the double meaning of "judgment") and justice shall closely follow each other [Umbreit].
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