|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
37:14-20 Due thoughts of the works of God will help to reconcile us to all his providences. As God has a powerful, freezing north wind, so he has a thawing, composing south wind: the Spirit is compared to both, because he both convinces and comforts, So 4:16. The best of men are much in the dark concerning the glorious perfections of the Divine nature and the Divine government. Those who, through grace, know much of God, know nothing, in comparison with what is to be known, and of what will be known, when that which is perfect is come.
Verse 20. - Shall it be told him that I speak? rather, that I would speak (comp. Job 31:35). Job had expressed the wish that God would "hear him, and answer him." Elihu, intending to rebuke this presumption, yet shrinking from doing so directly, puts himself in Job's place, and asks, "Would it be fitting that I should demand to speak with God?" If not, it cannot be fitting that Job should do so. If a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up. This is probably the true meaning, though another has been suggested by some commentators, who prefer to render, "Or should a man wish that he were destroyed?" (So Ewald, Dillmann, Canon Cook, and our Revisers.) If we adopt this rendering, we must understand Elihu as appending to his first rebuke a second, levelled against Job's desire to have his life ended.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Shall it be told him that I speak?.... And what I speak? there is no need of it, since he is omniscient, and knows every word that is spoken by men; or is anything I have said concerning him, his ways, and his works, worthy relating, or worthy of his hearing, being so very imperfect? nor can the things I have spoken of, though common things, be fully explained to any; or should it be told him, the Lord, that he, Elihu, had spoke as Job had done, and arraigned his justice, and complained of his dealings? God forbid; he would not have it said they were spoken by him for all the world: or "shall it be recorded unto him what I speak?" as Mr. Broughton, or that I speak; shall it be recorded in a book, and that sent to God; that I will speak in thy cause, and be an advocate for thee, and endeavour to justify thee in all thou hast said? no, by no means;
if a man speak, surely he shall be swallowed up; if he speaks of the being and perfections of God, he is soon lost; his essence, and many of his attributes, are beyond his comprehension; if he speaks of his works of nature and providence, he is presently out of his depth; there is a bathos, a depth in them he cannot fathom: if he speaks of his love, and grace, and mercy, in the salvation of man, he is swallowed up with admiration; he is obliged to say, what manner of love is this? it has heights he cannot reach, depths he cannot get to the bottom of, lengths and breadths immeasurable: or should he undertake to dispute with God, to litigate a point with him concerning his works, he could not answer him in one thing of a thousand; and particularly Elihu suggests, was he to undertake Job's cause, it would soon be lost and all over with him; so Mr. Broughton renders the words, "would any plead, when he should be undone?" who would engage in a cause he is sure would be lost, and prove his utter undoing?
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. What I a mortal say against God's dealings is not worthy of being told Him. In opposition to Job's wish to "speak" before God (Job 13:3, 18-22).
if … surely he shall be swallowed up—The parallelism more favors Umbreit, "Durst a man speak (before Him, complaining) that he is (without cause) being destroyed?"
Job 37:20 Parallel Commentaries
Job 37:20 NIV
Job 37:20 NLT
Job 37:20 ESV
Job 37:20 NASB
Job 37:20 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible