Job 32:19
Behold, my belly is as wine which has no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.
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(19) New bottles.—Or wine-skins. (Comp. Matthew 9:17.)

Job 32:19-20. Behold, my belly — That is, my mind or heart; is as wine which hath no vent — Is as a bottle filled with wine. Or, my thoughts and affections work within me, like fermenting wine in a bottle, and must have utterance. An elegant similitude, as Mercer observes. The wine is here put, by a metonymy, for the bottle in which it is contained. It is ready to burst like new bottles — That is, bottles of new wine; for otherwise, the bottles being made of leather, those that were old were more liable to burst than such as were new. I will speak, that I may be refreshed — That I may ease my mind of those thoughts which now oppress it. I will open my lips, and answer — I will not utter impertinent words, but solid answers to Job’s arguments.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.Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent - Margin, as in Hebrew, "is not opened" - לאיפתח lo' yipâthach. The repherence is to a bottle, in which there is no opening, or no vent phor the phermenting wine to work itselph ophph. It is usual to leave a small hole in barrels and casks when wine, cider, or beer is phermenting. This is necessary in order to prevent the cask phrom bursting. Elihu compares himselph to a bottle in which new wine bad been put, and where there was no vent phor it, and when in consequence it was ready to burst. That new wine is here intended is apparent phrom the connection, and has been so understood by the ancient versions. So Jerome renders it, Mustum, must, or new wine. The Septuagint, ἀσκὸς γλεύκους ζέων δεδέυενος askos gleukous zeōn dedemenos - "a bottle filled with sweet wine, fermenting, bound;" that is, which has no vent.

It is ready to burst like new bottles - The Septuagint renders this, "As the torn (ἐῤῥηγώς errēgōs) bellows of a smith." Why this version was adopted. it is not easy to say. The comparison would be pertinent, but the version could not be made from the present Hebrew text. It is possible that the copy of the Hebrew text which the Septuagint had may have read: הרשים - "artificers," instead of: הדשים - new, and then the meaning would be, "as the bottles, or skins of artificers;" that is, as their bellows, which were doubtless at first merely the skins of animals. The reference of Elihu, however, is undoubtedly to skins that were used as bottles, and new skins are mentioned here as ready to burst, not because they were more likely to burst than old ones - for that was by no means the case - but because new and unfermented wine would naturally be placed in them, thus endangering them. Bottles in the east, it is well known, are usually made of the skins of goats; see the notes at Matthew 9:17.

The process of manufacturing them at present is this: The skins of the goats are striped off whole except at the neck. The holes at the feet and tail are sewed up. They are first stuffed out full, and strained by driving in small billets and chips of oak wood; and then are filled with a strong infusion of oak bark for a certain time, until the hair becomes fixed, and the skin sufficiently tanned. They are sold at different prices, from fifteen up to fifty piastres. Robinson's Bibli. Research. ii. 440. Elihu, perhaps, could not have found a more striking illustration of his meaning. lie could no longer restrain himself, and he gave utterance, therefore, to the views which he deemed so important. The word "belly" in this verse (בטן beṭen) is rendered by Umbreit and Noyes, bosom. It not improbably has this meaning and the reference is to the fact that in the East the words are uttered forth much more ab imo pectore, or are much more guttural than with us. The voice seems to come from the lower part of the throat, or from the bosom, in a manner which the people of Western nations find it difficult to imitate.

19. belly—bosom: from which the words of Orientalists in speaking seem to come more than with us; they speak gutturally. "Like (new) wine (in fermentation) without a vent," to work itself off. New wine is kept in new goatskin bottles. This fittingly applies to the young Elihu, as contrasted with the old friends (Mt 9:7). My belly, i.e. my mind or heart, which is oft called a man’s belly, as Job 15:35 Psalm 40:8 Habakkuk 3:16 John 7:38.

As wine; as new wine pent up close in a bottle, as the following words explain it and determine it. The

wine is here put for the bottle in which it is, by a common metonymy.

New bottles, i.e. bottles of new wine, by the same general figure; for otherwise old bottles are most apt to burst, Matthew 9:17. Behold, my belly is as wine, which hath no vent,.... Or, "is not opened" (a), like a bottle of wine, as Ben Gersom, which is stopped close, and the wine in it new; which is most apt to ferment, and should have vent given it; so the Targum,

"as new wine, which is not opened:''

in the same manner Jarchi and Bar Tzemach interpret it; in these words Elihu illustrates, by a metaphor taken from new wine put into bottles and tightly stopped, what he had before more literally and properly expressed, and so in the following clause:

it is ready to burst like new bottles; or perhaps it may be better rendered, "like bottles of new wine" (b); for new bottles are not so apt to burst as old ones, and especially when they have new wine in them; the bottles of the ancients, and in the eastern countries, being made of skin, which better agrees with what our Lord says, Matthew 9:17; by his belly he means his mind, which was full of matter, and that matter he compares to new wine in bottles, tightly stopped, which need vent, and are in danger of bursting: the doctrine of the Gospel is like to wine, Sol 7:9; to wine neat and clean, being free from all human mixtures; to wine of a good flavour and pleasant taste, as the Gospel is to those whose taste is changed; to generous wine, which revives, and refreshes, and comforts; all which effects the doctrines of the Gospel have, when attended with a divine influence: and it may be compared to new wine; not that it is a new and upstart doctrine, it is the everlasting Gospel, made known immediately on the fall of Adam, and was ordained before the world for our glory; but because it is newly, or of late, under the Gospel dispensation, more clearly revealed: ministers of the word are like vessels, into which it is put; they are but vessels, even earthly vessels, and have nothing but what is put into them; and they are like vessels stopped up, when they are straitened in themselves, or shut up by the Lord, that they cannot come forth freely in their ministry, and when any outward restraint is laid upon them by persecuting magistrates, and when there is no open door for them in Providence; which gives them great pain and uneasiness, and, let the consequence be what it will, they are weary of forbearing, and cannot stay, but must speak the things they see and know; see Jeremiah 20:9.

(a) "quod non est apertum", Pagninus, Michaelis, Schultens. (b) "sicut utres vino nova repleti", Piscator.

Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles.
Verse 19. - Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent. The process of fermentation properly takes place in the vat, from which the gas evolved in the operation can freely escape. When wine was put into skins before fermentation was complete, and gas continued to be evolved, the effect was that the skins became distended, as the gas had no vent, and then not unfrequently the skins would burst, especially if they were old ones (see Matthew 9:17). It is ready to burst like new bottles. Even if the skins were new, they would undergo distension, and would appear as if "ready to burst," though the actual catastrophe might be avoided. Elihu's pent-up feelings seem to him, if they do not obtain a vent, to threaten some such a result. 11 Behold, I waited upon your words,

Hearkened to your perceptions,

While ye searched out replies.

12 And I attended closely to you,

Yet behold: there was no one who refuted Job,

Who answered his sentences, from you.

13 Lest ye should say: "We found wisdom,

God is able to smite him, not man!"

14 Now he hath not arranged his words against me,

And with your sentences I will not reply to him.

He has waited for their words, viz., that they might give utterance to such words as should tend to refute and silence Job. In what follows, עד still more emphatically than ל refers this aim to that to which Elihu had paid great attention: I hearkened to your understandings, i.e., explanations of the matter, that, or whether, they came forth, (I hearkened) to see if you searched or found out words, i.e., appropriate words. Such abbreviated forms as אזין equals אאזין (comp. מזין equals מיזין for מעזין, Proverbs 17:4, Ges. 68, rem. 1, if it does not signify nutriens, from זוּן) we shall frequently meet with in this Elihu section. In Job 32:12, Job 32:12 evidently is related as an antecedent to what follows: and I paid attention to you (עדיכם contrary to the analogy of the cognate praep. instead of עדיכם, moreover for עליכם, with the accompanying notion: intently, or, according to Aben-Duran: thoroughly, without allowing a word to escape me), and behold, intently as I paid attention: no one came forward to refute Job; there was no one from or among you who answered (met successfully) his assertions. Every unbiassed reader will have an impression of the remarkable expressions and constructions here, similar to that which one has in passing from the book of the Kings to the characteristic sections of the Chronicles. The three, Elihu goes on to say, shall not indeed think that in Job a wisdom has opposed them - a false wisdom, indeed - which only God and not any man can drive out of the field (נדף, Arab. ndf, discutere, dispellere, as the wind drives away chaff or dry leaves); while he has not, however (ולא followed directly by a v. fin. forming a subordinate clause, as Job 42:3; Psalm 44:18, and freq., Ew. 341, a), arrayed (ערך in a military sense, Job 33:5; or forensic, Job 23:4; or even as Job 37:19, in the general sense of proponere) words against him (Elihu), i.e., utterances before which he would be compelled to confess himself affected and overcome. He will not then also answer him with such opinions as those so frequently repeated by them, i.e., he will take a totally different course from theirs in order to refute him.

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