I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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. Romans 15:32; and whether it be so, one or the other, yet a faithful minister eases his mind, discharges his conscience, and is clear from the blood of all, when he truly and fully declares the whole counsel of God, so far as he is acquainted with it:
I will open my lips and answer; speak freely and boldly what was upon his mind, and he had to say, and which he judged would be a sufficient answer to Job; the opening of his lips is a phrase used by him in allusion to the opening of a bottle, full of new wine, the metaphor before expressed by him.I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)20. be refreshed] Rather, find relief; lit. get air or vent. The figure is still that of fermenting wine, Job 32:19.Verse 20. - I will speak, that I may be refreshed; rather, that I may obtain relief; or, according to some, "that I may be able to breathe" (Cook, Rosenmuller). Elihu feels almost suffocated by conflicting feelings of rage (vers. 1-3), disappointment (vers. 11, 12), and anxiety to vindicate God's honour (ver. 2). I will open my lips and answer. In the remainder of Elihu's discourse the attempt is made to "answer" Job (see ch. 33-37), with what success will be considered elsewhere.
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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