Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)) They had found no answer.—They could not reply unto Job, nor deny that he had been in conduct such as he said he had been, and yet they concluded that he must be wicked because God had smitten him.They had found no answer to Job’s allegations and arguments, as to the main cause.
Had condemned Job as a hypocrite or ungodly, man.
because they had found no answer; they were at a loss for one, for a sufficient one; they had all of them been answering him in their turns again and again, but with nothing to the purpose, not with anything conclusive and convincing; and particularly they could find and give no answer to Job's last vindication of himself:
and yet had condemned Job; as a very wicked man, and an hypocrite, for no other reason but because he was afflicted; and they still persisted in their sentiment, though Job had so fully cleared himself, and put them to entire silence; this exasperated Elihu, to observe these men to retain so unreasonable a sentiment, to pronounce such a rash sentence, and yet could make no reply to Job's defence of himself. Jarchi says, this place is one of the corrections of the Scribes, it having been formerly written "God" instead of "Job"; as if the sense was, that Elihu was provoked with them, because by their silence they had condemned the Lord, not vindicating his honour and glory as became them; but Aben Ezra declares his ignorance of that correction, and observes, that they that say so knew what was hid from him.Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. had found no answer, and yet had condemned] Rather, had not found an answer and condemned, i. e. found no answer wherewith to condemn Job. Elihu’s anger was kindled against the three friends because they had not found such an answer as effectively to put Job in the wrong in his charges against God; comp. Job 32:5; Job 32:12. Elihu is more deeply pained and offended by Job’s charges against God than even the three friends were (ch. Job 34:7 seq., Job 34:35 seq.); he is far from blaming them for condemning Job; neither does he hold the balance between Job and them and blame them for condemning him without good reasons; he blames them for not finding such good reasons as effectively to condemn him, as he deserves. Coverdale: because they had found no reasonable answer to overcome him.Verse 3. - Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer. Elihu thought that Job's reasonings and complaints admitted of being satisfactorily answered, and was vexed that the three "friends" had not made the right replied It is the main object of his speech to supply them. And yet had condemned Job. They had condemned him on wrong grounds and of sins that he had not committed (Job 22:6-9). Elihu condemns him as much (Job 33:9-12; Job 34:7-9, etc.), but for entirely different reasons.
Behold my signature-the Almighty will answer me -
And the writing which my opponent hath written!
36 Truly I will carry it upon my shoulder,
I will wind it about me as a crown.
37 The number of my steps I will recount to Him,
As a prince will I draw near to Him.
The wish that he might find a ready willing hearer is put forth in a general way, but, as is clear in itself, and as it becomes manifest from what follows, refers to Him who, because it treats of a contradiction between the outward appearance and the true but veiled fact, as searcher of the heart, is the only competent judge. It may not be translated: et libellum (the indictment, or even: the reply to Job's self-defence) scribat meus adversarius (Dachselt, Rosenm., Welte) - the accentuation seems to proceed from this rendering, but it ought to be וכתב ספר; if כּתב governed by יענני were intended to be equivalent to יכתּב, and referred to God, the longing would be, as it runs, an unworthy and foolish one - nor: (O that I had one who would hear me ... ) and had the indictment, which my adversary has written (Ew., Hirz., Schlottm.) - for וספר is too much separated from מי יתּן by what intervenes - in addition to which comes the consideration that the wish, as it is expressed, cannot be referred to God, but only to the human opponent, whose accusations Job has no occasion to wish to hear, since he has already heard amply sufficient even in detail. Therefore הן (instead of הן with a conjunctive accent, as otherwise with Makkeph) will point not merely to תּוי, but also to liber quem scripsit adversarius meus as now lying before them, and the parenthetical שׁדּי יענני will express a desire for the divine decision in the cause now formally prepared for trial, ripe for discussion. By תּוי, my sign, i.e., my signature (comp. Ezekiel 9:4, and Arab. tiwa, a branded sign in the form of a cross), Job intends the last word to his defence which he has just spoken, Job 31:1; it is related to all his former confessions as a confirmatory mark set below them; it is his ultimatum, as it were, the letter and seal to all that he has hitherto said about his innocence in opposition to the friends and God. Moreover, he also has the indictment of the triumvirate which has come forward as his opponent in his hands. Their so frequently repeated verbal accusations are fixed as if written; both - their accusation and his defence - lie before him, as it were, in the documentary form of legal writings. Thus, then, he wishes an observant impartial hearer for this his defence; or more exactly: he wishes that the Almighty may answer, i.e., decide. Hahn interprets just as much according to the syntax, but understanding by תוי the witness which Job carries in his breast, and by ספר וגו the testimony to his innocence written by God in his own consciousness; which is inadmissible, because, as we have often remarked already, אישׁ ריבי (comp. Job 16:21) cannot be God himself.
In Job 31:36 Job now says how he will appear before Him with this indictment of his opponent, if God will only condescend to speak the decisive word. He will wear it upon his shoulder as a mark of his dignity (comp. Isaiah 22:22; Isaiah 9:5), and wind it about him as a magnificent crown of diadems intertwined and heaped up one above another (Revelation 19:12, comp. Khler on Zechariah 6:11) - confident of his victory at the outset; for he will give Him, the heart-searcher, an account of all his steps, and in the exalted consciousness of his innocence, he will approach Him as a prince (קרב intensive of Kal). How totally different from Adam, who was obliged to be drawn out of his hiding-place, and tremblingly, because conscious of guilt, underwent the examination of the omniscient God! Job is not conscious of cowardly and slyly hidden sins; no secret accursed thing is cherished in the inmost recesses of his heart and home.
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