Job 32:16
When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;)
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(16) When I had waited.—Or, as some render it, “And shall I wait because they speak not?” But they stand still and make no further reply.

32:15-22 If we are sure that the Spirit of God suggested what we are about to say, still we ought to refrain, till it comes to our turn to speak. God is the God of order, not of confusion. It is great refreshment to a good man, to speak for the glory of the Lord, and to edify others. And the more we consider the majesty of God, as our Maker, and the more we dread his wrath and justice, the less shall we sinfully fear or flatter men. Could we set the wrath Lord always before us, in his mercies and his terrors, we should not be moved from doing our duty in whatever we are called to do.They were amazed - There also are the words of Elihu, and are designed to express his astonishment that the three friends of Job did not answer him. He says that they were completely silenced, and he repeats this to call attention to the remarkable fact that men who began so confidently, and who still held on to their opinion, had not one word more to say. There is some reason to suppose, from the change of person here from the second to the third, that Elihu turned from them to those who were present, and called their attention to the fact that the friends of Job were completely silenced. This supposition, however, is not absolutely necessary, for it is not uncommon in Hebrew poetry to change from the second person to the third, especially where there is any censure or rebuke implied; compare Job 18:4.

They left off speaking - Margin, "removed speeches from themselves." The marginal reading accords with the Hebrew. The sense is the same as in the common version, though the Hebrew is more poetic. It is not merely that they ceased to speak, but that they put words at a great distance from them. They could say absolutely nothing. This fact, that they were wholly silent, furnished an ample apology for Elihu to take up the subject.

15. Here Elihu turns from the friends to Job: and so passes from the second person to the third; a transition frequent in a rebuke (Job 18:3, 4).

they left off—Words were taken from them.

Which he repeats as a strange and unreasonable thing, that they should be silent when they had such obligations to speak for the vindication both of God’s justice, and of their own truth and reputation.

When one had waited,.... To observe whether they would make any reply to what he had said, or any objection to his engaging in the controversy:

for they spake not; were as mute as fishes:

but stood still; like statues, had no power to move, neither to sit down nor to depart, but were as if all life, sense, and motion, were gone from them:

and answered no more; or not at all; for it does not appear that they had given him any answer before, as well as not now.

When I had waited, (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more;)
16–17. Job 32:16 is most naturally to be taken as a question,

16.  And shall I wait because they speak not,

Because they stand still and answer no more?

17.  I will answer also my part, &c.

The discomfiture and silence of the three friends shall not have the effect of imposing silence on him.

Verse 16. - When I had waited (for they spake not, but stood still, and answered no more); rather, as in the Revised Version, and shall 1 wait because they speak not, because they stand still and answer no more? Am I to wait until they shall have recovered themselves, and found something to answer? Surely this is not necessary. Neither courtesy nor etiquette prescribes it. Especially when I have waited so long, and have so much to say, and am so exceedingly anxious to say it (see vers. 18-20). Elihu shows all the impatience and ardour of a young speaker (see ver. 6), and feels the confidence that young men so often feel in the wisdom and persuasiveness of their words (comp. Job 33:1-6). Job 32:1615 They are amazed, they answer no more,

Words have fled from them.

16 And I waited, for they spake not,

For they stand still, they answer no more.

17 Therefore I also will answer for my part,

I will declare my knowledge, even I.

In order to give a more rapid movement and an emotional force to the speech, the figure asyndeton is introduced in Job 32:15, as perhaps in Jeremiah 15:7, Ew. 349, a. Most expositors render העתּיקוּ passively, according to the sense: they have removed from them, i.e., are removed from them; but why may העתיק not signify, like Genesis 12:8; Genesis 26:22, to move away, viz., the tent equals to wander on (Schlottm.)? The figure: words are moved away (as it were according to an encampment broken up) from them, i.e., as we say: they have left them, is quite in accordance with the figurative style of this section. It is unnecessary to take והוחלתּי, Job 32:16, with Ew. (342, c) 2 and Hirz. as perf. consec. and interrogative: and should I wait, because they speak no more? Certainly the interrog. part. sometimes disappears after the Waw of consequence, e.g., Ezekiel 18:13, Ezekiel 18:24 (and will he live?); but by what would והוחלתי be distinguished as perf. consec. here? Hahn's interpretation: I have waited, until they do not speak, for they stand ... , also does not commend itself; the poet would have expressed this by עד לא ידברו, while the two כי, especially with the poet's predilection for repetition, appear to be co-ordinate. Elihu means to say that he has waited a long time, surprised that the three did not speak further, and that they stand still without speaking again. Therefore he thinks the time is come for him also to answer Job. אענה cannot be fut. Kal, since where the 1 fut. Kal and Hiph. cannot be distinguished by the vowel within the word (as in the Ayin Awa and double Ayin verbs), the former has an inalienable Segol; it is therefore 1 fut. Hiph., but not as in Ecclesiastes 5:19 in the signification to employ labour upon anything (lxx περισπᾶν), but in an intensive Kal signification (as הזעיק for זעק, Job 35:9, comp. on Job 31:18): to answer, to give any one an answer when called upon. Ewald's supposedly proverbial: I also plough my field! (192, c, Anm. 2) does unnecessary violence to the usage of the language, which is unacquainted with this הענה, to plough. It is perfectly consistent with Elihu's diction, that חלקי beside אני as permutative signifies, "I, my part," although it might also be an acc. of closer definition (as pro parte mea, for my part), or even - which is, however, less probable - acc. of the obj. (my part). Elihu speaks more in the scholastic tone of controversy than the three.

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