Behold, now I have opened my mouth, my tongue has spoken in my mouth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Job 33:2-3. Behold, now I have opened my mouth — Now I have begun to speak, and intend, with thy good leave, to proceed in my discourse with thee. My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart — I will not speak passionately or partially, as one resolved to defend what I have once said, whether true or false, but what I verily believe to be true and important, and from a sincere desire to profit thee. My lips shall utter knowledge clearly — What I speak will be plain, not hard to be understood.
hath spoken—rather, "proceeds to speak."
In my mouth, Heb. in or with my palate; for both tongue and palate are instruments of speech; and, that a man should speak plainly and distinctly, (which he designed to do,) it is necessary that his tongue should ofttimes touch the palate or roof of the month.
my tongue hath spoken in my mouth: but does not every man's tongue speak in his mouth when he speaks? is there anything singular and peculiar in this, that can excite attention? it may be rendered, "in my palate" (d); which, as it is an instrument of speech, so of tasting and trying food, see Job 6:30; and Elihu's sense is, that he had thoroughly considered what he should say, he had well weighed what he should speak, and should not deliver anything raw, crude, and undigested; he had palated his words, in order to discern whether there was anything in them perverse or not.Behold, now I have opened my mouth, my tongue hath spoken in my mouth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)2. The somewhat formal and circumstantial way in which he intimates that he is going to speak indicates his feeling of the importance of what he is going to say, and bespeaks Job’s attention.Verse 2. - Behold, now I have opened my mouth. (On the solemnity of the phrase, "opened my mouth," see the comment upon Job 3:1.) My tongue hath spoken in my mouth; literally, in my palate (comp. Job 6:30). Each word has been, as it were, tasted; that is, seriously considered and examined beforehand. My remarks will not be crude, extempore remarks; so may they be the better worth attending to.
The spirit of my inner nature constraineth me.
19 Behold, my interior is like wine which is not opened,
Like new bottles it is ready to burst.
20 I will speak, that I may gain air,
I will open my lips and reply.
21 No, indeed, I will accept no man's person,
And I will flatter no man.
22 For I understand not how to flatter;
My Maker would easily snatch me away.
The young speaker continues still further his declaration, promising so much. He has a rich store of מלּים, words, i.e., for replying. מלתי defective for מלאתי, like יצתי for יצאתי, Job 1:21; whereas מלוּ, Ezekiel 28:6, is not only written defectively, but is also conjugated after the manner of a Lamed He verb, Ges. 23, 3, 74, rem. 4, 75, 21, c. The spirit of his inner nature constrains him, since, on account of its intensity and the fulness of this interior, it struggles to break through as through a space that is too narrow for it. בּטן, as Job 15:2, Job 15:35, not from the curved appearance of the belly, but from the interior of the body with its organs, which serve the spirit life as the strings of a harp; comp. Arab. batn, the middle or interior; bâtin, inwardly (opposite of zâhir, outwardly). His interior is like wine לא יפּתח, which, or (as an adverbial dependent clause) when it is not opened, i.e., is kept closed, so that the accumulated gas has no vent, lxx δεδεμένος (bound up), Jer. absque spiraculo; it will burst like new bottles. יבּקע is not a relative clause referring distributively to each single one of these bottles (Hirz. and others), and not an adverbial subordinate clause (Hahn: when it will explode), but predicate to בטני: his interior is near bursting like new bottles (אבות masc. like נאדות, Joshua 9:13), i.e., not such as are themselves new (ἀσκοὶ καινοὶ, Matthew 9:17, for these do not burst so easily), but like bottles of new wine, which has to undergo the action of fermentation, lxx ὥσπερ φυσητὴρ (Cod. Sinait.1 φυσητής) χαλκέως, i.e., חרשׁים whence it is evident that a bottle and also a pair of bellows were called אוב). Since he will now yield to his irresistible impulse, in order that he may obtain air or free space, i.e., disburdening and ease (וירוח לּי), he intends to accept no man's person, i.e., to show partiality to no one (vid., on Job 13:8), and he will flatter no one. כּנּה signifies in all three dialects to call any one by an honourable name, to give a surname, here with אל, to speak fine words to any one, to flatter him. This Elihu is determined he will not do; for לא ידעתּי אכנּה, I know not how to flatter (French, je ne sais point flatter), for כנּות or לכנּות; comp. the similar constructions, Job 23:3 (as Esther 8:6), Job 10:16, 1 Samuel 2:3; Isaiah 42:21; Isaiah 51:1, Ges. 142, 3, c; also in Arabic similar verbs, as "to be able" and "to prepare one's self," are thus connected with the fut. without a particle between (e.g., anshaa jef‛alu, he began to act). Without partiality he will speak, flattery is not his force. If by flattery he should deny the truth, his Maker would quickly carry him off. כּמעט followed by subjunct. fut.: for a little (with disjunctive accent, because equivalent to haud multum abest quin), i.e., very soon indeed, or easily would or might ... ; ישּׂני (as Job 27:21) seems designedly to harmonize with עשׂני.
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