|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
36:5-14 Elihu here shows that God acts as righteous Governor. He is always ready to defend those that are injured. If our eye is ever toward God in duty, his eye will be ever upon us in mercy, and, when we are at the lowest, will not overlook us. God intends, when he afflicts us, to discover past sins to us, and to bring them to our remembrance. Also, to dispose our hearts to be taught: affliction makes people willing to learn, through the grace of God working with and by it. And further, to deter us from sinning for the future. It is a command, to have no more to do with sin. If we faithfully serve God, we have the promise of the life that now is, and the comforts of it, as far as is for God's glory and our good: and who would desire them any further? We have the possession of inward pleasures, the great peace which those have that love God's law. If the affliction fail in its work, let men expect the furnace to be heated till they are consumed. Those that die without knowledge, die without grace, and are undone for ever. See the nature of hypocrisy; it lies in the heart: that is for the world and the flesh, while perhaps the outside seems to be for God and religion. Whether sinners die in youth, or live long to heap up wrath, their case is dreadful. The souls of the wicked live after death, but it is in everlasting misery.
Verse 5. - Behold, God is mighty. The preface over, the argument to prove God's justice begins. First, he "is mighty." How unlikely that any one who is mighty - nay, almighty - should be unjust! Next, he despiseth not any. Job has wrongly charged him with "despising the work of his own hands." In truth, he despises nothing that he has made. "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered" (Matthew 10:29, 30). Much less, then, is any man despised. Moreover, God is mighty in strength and wisdom; or rather, in strength of undertaking and therefore above the weakness of being unjust.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, God is mighty,.... This is a clear plain truth, easy to be discerned, and worthy of notice, and therefore introduced with a "behold"; that God is mighty, the most mighty, the Almighty, as appears from his works of nature and providence; making all things out of nothing, upholding them by the word of his power, and governing and overruling all things in the world, and doing in it whatever he pleases: and from the works of redemption and grace; ransoming his people out of the hands of them that are stronger than they; converting them by the power of his grace; assisting them to do all they do in a spiritual way; supporting them under all their troubles; protecting and defending them from all their enemies; supplying all their wants, and preserving them safe to his kingdom and glory;
and despises not any; not the meanest of his creatures, clothing the grass of the field, feeding the fowls of the air, and preserving man and beast; and particularly he despises not any of the sons of men: not the mighty through fear of them, nor envy at them, whose power and grandeur are from him, which he gives and can take away at his pleasure; nor the mean and miserable the poor and the afflicted, to whom he has a merciful regard; much less the innocent and harmless, as the Septuagint; or the just and righteous man, as the Targum: he does not despise his own people, whom he has loved and chosen, redeemed and called; nor any, as Aben Ezra observes, without a cause; for though there are some whose image he will despise, it is because of their own sins and transgressions; and since, therefore, though he is mighty, yet despises not any of his creatures, he cannot do any unrighteous thing; he does not and cannot use or abuse his power to the in jury of any of his creatures;
he is mighty in strength and wisdom, as there is a pleonasm, a redundancy in the expression, "mighty in strength", it denotes the abundance of his strength, that he is exceeding strong, superlatively and all expression so; and also strong in wisdom, his strength is tempered with wisdom, so that he cannot employ it to any bad purpose, or be guilty of any unrighteousness. Some men have strength, but not wisdom to make a right use of it; but God abounds as much in wisdom as in strength; he is the only wise and the all wise God, and therefore can do no injustice; and thus Elihu, as he promised, ascribes righteousness to his almighty Maker.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. Rather, "strength of understanding" (heart) the force of the repetition of "mighty"; as "mighty" as God is, none is too low to be "despised" by Him; for His "might" lies especially in "His strength of understanding," whereby He searches out the most minute things, so as to give to each his right. Elihu confirms his exhortation (Job 35:14).
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