Job 32:7
I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.
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32:6-14 Elihu professes to speak by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and corrects both parties. He allowed that those who had the longest experience should speak first. But God gives wisdom as he pleases; this encouraged him to state his opinion. By attention to the word of God, and dependence upon the Holy Spirit, young men may become wiser than the aged; but this wisdom will render them swift to hear, slow to speak, and disposed to give others a patient hearing.I said, Days should speak - The aged ought to speak. They have had the advantage of long observation of the course of events; they are acquainted with the sentiments of past times; they may have had an opportunity of conversing with distinguished sages, and it is to them that we look up for counsel. This was eminently in accordance with the ancient Oriental views of what is right; and it is a sentiment which accords with what is obviously proper, however little it is regarded in modern times. It is one of the marks of urbanity and true politeness; of the prevalence of good breeding, morals, and piety, and of an advanced state of society, when respect is shown to the sentiments of the aged. They have had the opportunity of long observation. They have conversed much with people. They have seen the results of certain courses of conduct, and they have arrived at a period of life when they can look at the reality of things, and are uninfluenced now by passion. Returning respect for the sentiments of the aged, attention to their counsels, veneration for their persons, and deference for them when they speak, would be an indication of advancement in society in modern times; and there is scarcely anything in which we have deteriorated from the simplicity of the early ages, or in which we fall behind the Oriental world, so much as in the lack of this. 7. Days—that is, the aged (Job 15:10). Days, i.e. multitude of days, by comparing the next clause of the verse. Or men of days, i.e. of many days or years, old men.

Should speak, to wit, wisely and pertinently, as the next words limit it.

Should teach wisdom; should instruct us that are younger in the paths of wisdom, and concerning the wise counsels and ways of God, about which the present controversy lay.

I said, days should speak,.... That is, men of days, of many days, who have lived many days and years in the world: man in common is but of few days, even the most that men arrive to are but few; and some indeed are very few, in comparison of whom others may be said to be men of days, or to have lived many days; and to such it belongs to speak, it is their place, nor should they be prevented or interrupted; it should be allowed them to speak, nor should they be hindered; and it is their duty to speak and instruct juniors, and all that are under them; and it might be reasonably expected, that when they speak it will be to the purpose, and to profit and edification:

and multitude of years should teach wisdom; that is, such over whom many have passed; these it may be thought, having had an opportunity of making their observation on things, and of increasing experience, and of treasuring up a stock of knowledge, they should be very capable of, and indeed the only fit persons to teach others wisdom; either natural wisdom, or the knowledge of natural things; or divine wisdom, the knowledge of God, of his perfections and providences; and inward, spiritual, and evangelical wisdom, which lies in the knowledge of a man's self; in the knowledge of God in Christ; in the knowledge of Christ and of the Gospel of Christ, and the truths of it: this was a sentiment Elihu had entertained of ancient men, and this had restrained him from entering sooner into this debate between Job and his friends; they all being his superiors in age, and, as from thence he judged, in wisdom and knowledge also.

I said, Days {e} should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom.

(e) Meaning, the ancient, who have experience.

Verse 7. - I said; i.e. "I kept saying to myself, when the desire to interrupt came upon me." Days should speak. Age should give wisdom, and the speech of the old should be most worthy of being attended to. Elihu had been brought up in this conviction, and therefore refrained himself. And multitude of years should teach wisdom. "Old experience should attain to something of prophetic strain." "One ought to give attention," says Aristotle, "to the mere unproved assertions of wise and aged men, as much as to the actual demonstrations of others" ('Eth. Nit.,' 6:11, ad fin. comp. also Job 10:12; Job 15:10; Proverbs 16:31). Job 32:7 6b I am young in days, and ye are hoary,

Therefore I stood back and was afraid

To show you my knowledge.

7 I:thought: Let age speak,

And the multitude of years teach wisdom.

It becomes manifest even here that the Elihu section has in part a peculiar usage of the language. זחל in the signification of Arab. zḥl, cogn. with Arab. dḥl, דּחל, to frighten back;

(Note: The lexicographers explain the Arab. zḥl by zâla (זול), to stand away from, back, to retreat, or tanahha, to step aside; Piel, Hiph., to push any one aside, place anything back; Hithpa., to keep one's self on one side; adj. זחל, זחיל, זחוּל, etc., standing back. Thus the town of Zahla in the plain of the Lebanon takes its name from the fact that it does not stand out in the plain, but is built close at the foot of the mountain in a corner, and consequently retreats. And zuhale (according to the Kamus) is an animal that creeps backwards into its hole, e.g., the scorpion; and hence, improperly, a man who, as we say with a similar figure, never comes out of his hole, always keeps in his hole, i.e., never leaves his dwelling, as zuhal in general signifies a man who retires or keeps far from active life; in connection with which also the planet Saturn is called Zuhal, the retreating one, on account of its great distance from the rest. Slippery (of ground) is זחלוּל, because it draws the foot backwards (muzhil) by its smoothness, and thus causes the walker to fall. A further formation is זחלק, to be slippery, and to slip in a slippery place; beside which, זלק, a word of similar meaning, is no longer used in Syria. According to this Arabic primary notion of zḥl, it appears זחלי ארץ, Micah 7:17, is intended to describe the serpents not as creeping upon the earth, but as creeping into the earth (comp. the name of the serpent, achbi' at el-ard, those that hide themselves in the earth); but in Talmud. and Aram. זחל used of animals has the general signification to creep, and of water, to glide (flow gently down). The primary notion, to glide (to slip, creep, flow gently, labi), is combined both in the derivatives of the root זח and in those of the root זל with the notion of a departing and retreating motion. - Wetzst. and Fl.)

and דּע for דּעת (here and Job 32:10, Job 32:17; Job 36:3; Job 37:16) occurs nowhere else in the Old Testament; על־כּן (comp. לכן, Job 42:3) is used only by Elihu within the book of Job. ימים, days equals fulness of days, is equivalent to advanced age, old age with its rich experience. רב with its plural genitive is followed (as כל sa( d usually is) by the predicate in the plur.; it is the attraction already described by מספר, Job 15:10; Job 21:21, Ges. 148, 1.

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