Job 33:22
Yes, his soul draws near to the grave, and his life to the destroyers.
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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.

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.). Elihu now describes the first mode in which God speaks to man: He Himself comes forward as a witness in man's sleep, He makes use of dreams or dream-like visions, which come upon one suddenly within the realm of nocturnal thought (vid., Psychol. S. 282f.), as a medium of revelation - a usual form of divine revelation, especially in the heathen world, to which positive revelation is wanting. The reading בּחזיון (Codd., lxx, Syr., Symm., Jer.), as also the accentuation of the בחלום with Mehupach Legarme, proceeds from the correct assumption, that vision of the night and dream are not coincident notions; moreover, the detailing Job 33:15, is formed according to Job 4:13. In this condition of deep or half sleep, revelat aurem hominum, a phrase used of the preparation of the ear for the purpose of hearing by the removal of hindrances, and, in general, of confidential communication, therefore: He opens the ear of men, and seals their admonition, i.e., the admonition that is wholesome and necessary for them. Elihu uses חתם בּ here and Job 37:7 as חתם בּעד is used in Job 9:7 : to seal anything (to seal up), comp. Arab. ḥı̂m, σφραγίζειν, in the sense of infallible attestation and confirmation (John 6:27), especially (with Arab. b) of divine revelation or inspiration, distinct in meaning from Arab. chtm, σφραγίζειν, in the proper sense. Elihu means that by such dreams and visions, as rare overpowering facts not to be forgotten, God puts the seal upon the warning directed to them which, sent forth in any other way, would make no such impression. Most ancient versions (also Luther) translate as though it were יחתּם (lxx ἐξεφόβησεν αὐτούς). מסר is a secondary form to מוּסר, Job 36:10, which occurs only here. Next comes the fuller statement of the object of the admonition or warning delivered in such an impressive manner. According to the text before us, it is to be explained: in order that man may remove (put from himself) mischief from himself (Ges. 133, 3); but this inconvenient change of subject is avoided, if we supply a מ to the second, and read אדם ממעשׂה, as lxx ἀποστρέψαι ἄνθρωπον ἀπὸ ἀδικίας αὐτοῦ (which does not necessarily presuppose the reading ממעשׂהו), Targ. ab opere malo; Jer. not so good; ab his quae fecit. מעשׂה signifies facinus, an evil deed, as 1 Samuel 20:19, and פּעל, Job 36:9, evil-doing. The infin. constr. now passes into the v. fin., which would be very liable to misconstruction with different subjects: and in order that He (God) may conceal arrogance from man, i.e., altogether remove from him, unaccustom him to, render him weary of. the sin of pride (גּוה from גּוה equals גּאה, as Job 22:29, according to Ges., Ew., Olsh., for גּאוה equals גּאוה). Here everything in thought and expression is peculiar. Also חיּה, Job 33:18 (as Job 33:22, Job 33:28), for חיּים rof ,) (Job 33:30) does not occur elsewhere in the book of Job, and the phrase עבר בּשּׁלח here and Job 36:12 (comp. עבר בּשּׁחת, Job 33:28) nowhere else in the Old Testament. שׁלח (Arab. silâh, a weapon of offence, opp. metâ‛, a weapon of defence) is the engine for shooting, from שׁלח, emmittere, to shoot; and עבר בשׁלח is equivalent to נפל בעד השׁלח ot tnelaviuqe s, Joel 2:8, to pass away by (precipitate one's self into) the weapon for shooting. To deliver man from sin, viz., sins of carnal security and imaginary self-importance, and at the same time from an early death, whether natural or violent, this is the disciplinary design which God has in view in connection with this first mode of speaking to him; but there is also a second mode.
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