Job 33:22
Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
33:19-28 Job complained of his diseases, and judged by them that God was angry with him; his friends did so too: but Elihu shows that God often afflicts the body for good to the soul. This thought will be of great use for our getting good from sickness, in and by which God speaks to men. Pain is the fruit of sin; yet, by the grace of God, the pain of the body is often made a means of good to the soul. When afflictions have done their work, they shall be removed. A ransom or propitiation is found. Jesus Christ is the Messenger and the Ransom, so Elihu calls him, as Job had called him his Redeemer, for he is both the Purchaser and the Price, the Priest and the sacrifice. So high was the value of souls, that nothing less would redeem them; and so great the hurt done by sin, that nothing less would atone for it, than the blood of the Son of God, who gave his life a ransom for many. A blessed change follows. Recovery from sickness is a mercy indeed, when it proceeds from the remission of sin. All that truly repent of their sins, shall find mercy with God. The works of darkness are unfruitful works; all the gains of sin will come far short of the damage. We must, with a broken and contrite heart, confess our sins to God, 1Jo 1:9. We must confess the fact of sin; and not try to justify or excuse ourselves. We must confess the fault of sin; I have perverted that which was right. We must confess the folly of sin; So foolish have I been and ignorant. Is there not good reason why we should make such a confession?Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave - That is, he himself does, for the word soul is often used to denote self.

And his life to the destroyers - - לממתים lammitiym. literally, "to those causing death." The interpretation commonly given of this is, "the angels of death" who were supposed to come to close human life; compare 2 Samuel 24:16-17. But it probably refers to diseases and pangs as having power to terminate life, and being the cause of the close of life. The meaning is, that the afflicted man comes very near to those acute sufferings which terminate life, and which by personification are here represented as the authors of death.

22. destroyers—angels of death commissioned by God to end man's life (2Sa 24:16; Ps 78:49). The death pains personified may, however, be meant; so "gnawers" (see on [534]Job 30:17). He seems to himself and others to be lost, and past all hopes of recovery; which he adds for Job’s comfort in his desperate condition.

To the destroyers; to the instruments of death or destruction, whether it be angels, whom God sometimes useth in those cases; or devils, who have the power of death. Hebrews 2:14; or diseases, which by God’s appointment are ready to give the fatal blow.

Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave,.... Not the soul, strictly and properly speaking, for that does not, nor is it laid in the grave at death, but returns to God that gave it; rather the body, for which it is sometimes put, and of which what is here said is true, see Psalm 16:10; or the person of the sick man, whose disease being so threatening, all hope is gone, and he is given up by his physicians and friends, and seemingly is at the grave's mouth, and that is ready for him, and he on the brink of that; which were the apprehensions Job had of himself, Job 17:1; see Psalm 88:3;

and his life to the destroyers; the destroying angels, as Aben Ezra, and so the Septuagint version: or destroying diseases, and so Mr. Broughton renders it, "to killing maladies"; or it may be to worms, which destroy the body in the grave, and which Job was sensible of would quickly be his case, Job 19:26; though some interpret it of those that kill, or of those that are dead, with whom they are laid that die; or of deaths corporeal and eternal, and the horrors and terrors of both, with which persons in such circumstances are sometimes distressed.

Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life {l} to the destroyers.

(l) To them that will bury him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. the destroyers] that is, perhaps, the angels that bring death; 2 Samuel 24:16; 1 Chronicles 21:15; Psalm 78:49.

Verse 22. - Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers. "The destroyers" are probably the angels to whom the task is assigned of ultimately inflicting death, if minor chastisements prove insufficient (comp. 2 Samuel 24:16, 17; Psalm 78:49, etc.). Job 33:22The contracted future form יכל, again, like ישׂם, Job 33:11, is poetic instead of the full form: his flesh vanishes מראי, from sight, i.s. so that it is seen no longer; or from comeliness, i.e., so that it becomes unsightly; the latter (comp. 1 Samuel 16:12 with Isaiah 53:2, ולא־מראה) might be preferred. In Job 33:21 the Keri corrects the text to ושׁפּוּ, et contrita sunt, whereas the Chethib is to be read וּשׁפי, et contritio. The verb שׁפה, which has been explained by Saadia from the Talmudic,

(Note: He refers to b. Aboda zara 42a: If a heathen have broken an idol to pieces (שׁפּה) to derive advantage from the pieces, both the (shattered) idol and the fragments (שׁפּוּיין) are permitted (since both are deprived of their heathenish character).)

signifies conterere, comminuere; Abulwald (in Ges. Thes.) interprets it here by suhifet wa-baradet, they are consumed and wasted away, and explains it by כּתּתוּ. The radical notion is that of scraping, scratching, rubbing away (not to be interchanged with Arab. sf', ספה, which, starting from the radical notion of sweeping away, vanishing, comes to have that of wasting away; cognate, however, with the above Arab. sḥf, whence suhâf, consumption, prop. a rasure of the plumpness of the body). According to the Keri, Job 33:21 runs: and his bones (limbs) are shattered (fallen away), they are not seen, i.e., in their wasting away and shrivelling up they have lost their former pleasing form. Others, taking the bones in their strict sense, and שׁפה in the signification to scrape away equals lay bare, take לא ראו as a relative clause, as Jer. has done: ossa quae tecta fuerant nudabuntur (rather nudata sunt), but this ought with a change of mood to be לא ראו...וישׁפּוּ. To the former interpretation corresponds the unexceptionable Chethib: and the falling away of his limbs are not seen, i.e., (per attractionem) his wasting limbs are diminished until they are become invisible. ראוּ is one of the four Old Testament words (Genesis 43:26; Ezra 8:18; Leviticus 23:17) which have a Dagesh in the Aleph; in all four the Aleph stands between two vowels, and the dageshing (probably the remains of a custom in the system of pointing which has become the prevailing one, which, with these few exceptions, has been suffered to fall away) is intended to indicate that the Aleph is here to be carefully pronounced as a guttural (to use an Arabic expression, as Hamza), therefore in this passage ru-'û.

(Note: Vid., Luzzatto's Grammatica della Lingua Ebraica (1853), 54. Ewald's (21) view, that in these instances the pointed Aleph is to be read as j (therefore ruju), is unfounded; moreover, the point over the Aleph is certainly only improperly called Dagesh, it might at least just as suitably be called Mappik.)

Thus, then, the soul (the bearer of the life of the body) of the sick man, at last succumbing to this process of decay, comes near to the pit, and his life to the ממתים, destroying angels (comp. Psalm 78:49; 2 Samuel 24:16), i.e., the angels who are commissioned by God to slay the man, if he does not anticipate the decree of death by penitence. To understand the powers of death in general, with Rosenm., or the pains of death, with Schlottm. and others, does not commend itself, because the Elihu section has a strong angelological colouring in common with the book of Job. The following strophe, indeed, in contrast to the ממיתים, speaks of an angel that effects deliverance from death.

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