Job 32:21
Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles to man.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 32:21-22. Let me not accept any man’s person — So as, either from fear of, or respect to, any man, to speak otherwise than I think. Do not expect me to speak partially, or by way of flattery, to any one, but bear with my free and plain dealing. As he found himself under a strong impulse to speak, so he would deliver his opinion with all freedom, and without partial inclination to either side. For I know not to give flattering titles — That is, I have neither skill nor inclination to flatter Job nor any man, so as to corrupt the truth, or speak falsely for his sake. In so doing, &c. — If I should be guilty of that sin; my Maker would soon take me away — Namely, out of this world: God would quickly and sorely punish me for it. Or, without supplying the words, in so doing, which are not in the Hebrew, the sense is, I dare not flatter any man, because I must shortly die and go to judgment, to give an account of all my words and actions. “The more closely we eye the majesty of God,” says Henry, “as our Maker, and the more we dread his wrath and justice, the less danger shall we be in of a sinful fearing or flattering of men.” 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.Let me not, I pray you - This is not to be regarded as an address to them, or a prayer to God, but as an expression of his determination. It is similar to the phrase which we use when we say, "may I never do this;" implying the strongest possible purpose not to do it. Elihu means to say that on no account would he use partiality or flattery in what he said.

Accept any man's person - Treat any with partiality. That is, "I will not be influenced by rank, age, wealth, or personal friendship, in what I say. I will state the truth impartially, and will deliver my sentiments with entire freedom;" see the phrase explained in the notes at Job 13:8.

Neither let me give flattering titles unto man - The word used here (כנה kânâh - not used in the Qal, but found only in the Piel), means to address in a friendly and soothing manner; to speak kindly to anyone, Isaiah 44:5; Isaiah 45:4; and then to flatter. That is, undoubtedly, its meaning here. Elihu says he did not know how to flatter anyone. He meant to state the exact truth; to treat each one impartially; and not to be influenced by the rank or wealth of those whom he addressed. He meant to deal in plain and simple truth.

21. "May I never accept," &c. Elihu alludes to Job's words (Job 13:8, 10), wherein he complains that the friends plead for God partially, "accepting His person." Elihu says he will not do so, but will act impartially between God and Job. "And I will not give flattery," &c. (Pr 24:23). Do not expect that I should out of fear or respect to any of you speak partially, but bear with my free and plain dealing with you all. As I shall not censure and reproach Job as a hypocrite or profane person, which you have done; so neither shall I flatter him, but faithfully reprove him for his exorbitant speeches of God. Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person,.... Neither the person of Job, because of his poverty and affliction, indulging too much to pity and commiseration, and affecting to get a good name from others for it; nor the persons of his three friends, on account of their wealth and grandeur; for neither the persons of the poor, nor of the rich, are to be regarded in judgment, or in the decision of any matter between them, but truth and justice are to be attended to; see Exodus 23:3. Elihu was determined with himself not to respect the person of any, and he hopes that Job and his friends would bear with him, and excuse him on that account:

neither let me give flattering titles unto men; he does not mean titles of civil honour and respect, which belong to men, and are in common use among men, according to the different stations of life, men are in; for honour is to be given to whom it is due; and it is no piece of flattery to give men their proper and usual titles, as it was not in the Evangelist Luke, and in the Apostle Paul, Luke 1:3; but he means such titles that do not belong to men, and are unsuitable unto them, and only given them by way of flattery; as to call a man wise and prudent when he is the reverse; or a holy, just, and good man, when he is a very wicked one. Elihu was resolved not to act such a part, and he hopes the persons he had to deal with would not take it amiss that he spake his mind plainly and freely, and called a spade a spade; not must they or any other expect to be complimented by him with the characters of wise and prudent, just and good, if they did not appear to him to be so. According to Ben Gersom the sense is, that he would not hide a man's name under epithets, but call him by his proper name; he would not do as they had done by Job, who, under covert names, meant him; as when they described a wicked man, and an hypocrite, designed him, but did not say so express words; now Elihu suggests, that, should Job or they appear to him to have acted a wrong part, he should tell them plainly of it, and say, thou art the man.

Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, {m} neither let me give flattering titles unto man.

(m) I will neither have regard for riches, credit, nor authority but will speak the very truth.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. neither let me give] Rather, neither will I give flattery. The words express the speaker’s resolution to be sincere and fearless, to have regard to the question itself solely, and not to allow himself to be influenced by respect to the persons interested in it. Elihu does not refer here to impartiality between Job and the three friends. There is no allusion to the friends. He speaks generally, saying that he will have respect to truth only; comp. the language, ch. Job 33:3, Job 34:2-4. Coverdale goes far enough when he renders: “no man wil I spare.” Hitzig oversteps the line when he says that Elihu “intimates his intention of being rude to Job.”Verse 21. - Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person. Elihu hopes that, in what he is about to say, he will not permit himself to be swayed by any personal bias; that he will neither unduly favour the upper classes nor the vulgar (see Professor Lee, on the difference between אישׁ and אדם 'Book of Job,' p. 444), but will treat all fairly and equitably. Neither let me (he says) give flattering titles unto man. Professor Lee observes on this: "The Oriental practice of giving long and fulsome titles is too well known to need anything beyond the mere mention of the fact." Elihu certainly, in the whole of his address, flatters no one. 15 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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