|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
36:1-4 Elihu only maintained that the affliction was sent for his trial; and lengthened because Job was not yet thoroughly humbled under it. He sought to ascribe righteousness to his Maker; to clear this truth, that God is righteous in all his ways. Such knowledge must be learned from the word and Spirit of God, for naturally we are estranged from it. The fitness of Elihu's discourse to the dispute between Job and his friends is plain. It pointed out to Job the true reason of those trials with which he had been pointed out to Job the true reason of those trials with which he had been visited. It taught that God had acted in mercy towards him, and the spiritual benefit he was to derive from them. It corrected the mistake of his friends, and showed that Job's calamities were for good.
Verse 3. - I will fetch my knowledge from afar (compare the declaration of Bildad, Job 8:8). In neither case does the performance justify the pretentious character of the preface. Elihu's arguments are, for the most part, trite and commonplace. And will ascribe righteousness to my Maker. I will show, i.e., that God is righteous and just (comp. Job 34:10, 12).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I will fetch my knowledge from afar,.... Not from himself; for it is but a small share of knowledge that a man gets of himself, or attains to by the light of nature, and especially concerning God and divine things; but from others, either from persons that lived in former ages, and in foreign countries; it being usual for men desirous of acquiring knowledge to travel into distant parts for it; and such were generally much esteemed of, and the knowledge they professed to have got and published; as the queen of Sheba came from the further parts of the earth to hear and learn the wisdom of Solomon, 1 Kings 10:1, or rather the sense is, he would fetch the knowledge he should now communicate concerning God from God himself, from the nature and perfections of God, who, and his knowledge, are high as heaven; and from the works of God, which are far above men; or should treat of things deep and sublime, and not common; though perhaps it is best of all to read the words, "I will bring forth knowledge concerning", or "with respect to him that is afar off" (i); that is, God, who is in the highest heavens, and inhabits the high and holy place; a God both at hand and afar off; with which agrees what follows; though some interpret it of lifting it up, and causing it to be heard afar off so some, as Aben Ezra;
and will ascribe righteousness to my Maker: God is the Maker of all men; Elihu considered him as his Maker with gratitude, while many have no regard of him, Job 35:10; and therefore thought himself obliged to speak for him, and on his behalf; and particularly in vindication of his righteousness; assert this to be an essential attribute and perfection of his nature; own, acknowledge, publish, and declare it; give him the glory of it, and demonstrate that he is righteous in all his ways and works; and clear him from all imputation of unrighteousness.
(i) "ei, vel de eo qui est longinquus"; so Aben Ezra, Bar Tzemach.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. from afar—not trite commonplaces, but drawn from God's mighty works.
ascribe righteousness—whereas Job ascribed unrighteousness (Job 34:10, 12). A man, in enquiring into God's ways, should at the outset presume they are all just, be willing to find them so, and expect that the result of investigation will prove them to be so; such a one will never be disappointed [Barnes].
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