Job 33:24
Then he is gracious to him, and said, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) Then he is gracious unto himi.e., God is gracious; He accepts the mediation of the mediating angel. These words of Elihu’s must have fallen on Job’s ear with a grateful and refreshing sound, confirming to him his longing for the daysman (Job 9:33).

And saithi.e., to the destroying angels of Job 33:22. It is remarkable that it is God who finds the ransom, as it was by God’s grace that the interpreting angel was forthcoming. It is not man’s righteousness that has saved him, but the ransom that God has found, even though God, who judgeth the actions, may have justly recognised what of righteousness there was in man.

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?Then he is gracious unto him - That is, on the supposition that he hears and regards what the messenger of God communicates. If he rightly understands the reasons of the divine administration, and acquiesces in it, and if he calls upon God in a proper manner Job 33:26, he will show him mercy, and spare him. Or it may mean, that God is in fact gracious to him by sending him a messenger who can come and say to him that it is the divine purpose to spare him; that he is satisfied, and will preserve him from death. If such a messenger should come, and so announce the mercy of God, then he would return to the rigoar of his former days, and be fully restored to his former prosperity. Elihu refers probably to some method of communication, by which the will of God was made known to the sufferer, and by which it was told him that it was God's design not to destroy, but to discipline and save him.

Deliver him - Hebrew, פדעהו pâda‛hû, "redeem him". The word used here (פדע pâda‛) properly means "to let loose, to cut loose"; and then "to buy loose"; that is, "to redeem, to ransom for a price." Sometimes it is used in the general sense of freeing or delivering, without reference to a price, compare Deuteronomy 7:8; Jeremiah 15:21; Psalm 34:22; Job 6:23; but usually there is a reference to a price, or to some valuable consideration, either expressed or implied; compare the notes at Isaiah 43:3. Here the appropriate idea is expressed, for it is said, as a reason for redeeming or rescuing him, "I have found a ransom." That is, the "ransom" is the valuable consideration on account of which he was to be rescued from death.

From going down to the pit - The grave, the world of darkness. Notes, Job 33:18. That is, he would keep him alive, and restore him again to health. It is possible that by the word pit here, there may be a reference to a place of punishment, or to the abodes of the dead as places of gloom and horror especially in the case of the wicked but the more probable interpretation is, that it refers to death alone.

I have found - That is, there is a ransom; or, I have seen a reason why he should not die. The idea is, that God was looking for some reason on account of which it would be proper to release the sufferer, and restore him to the accustomed tokens of his favor and that such a ransom had now appeared. There was now no necessity why those sufferings should be prolonged, and he could consistently restore him to health.

A ransom - Margin, or, "an atonement." Hebrew, כפר kôpher. On the meaning of this word, see the notes at Isaiah 43:3. The expression here means that there was something which could be regarded as a valuable consideration, or a reason why the sufferer should not be further afflicted, and why he should be preserved from going down to the grave. What that price, or valuable consideration was, is not specified; and what was the actual idea which Elihu attached to it, it is now impossible with certainty to determine. The connection would rather lead us to suppose that it was something seen in the sufferer himself; some change done in his mind by his trials; some evidence of acquiescence in the government of God, and some manifestation of true repentance, which was the reason why the stroke of punishment should be removed, and why the sufferer should be saved from death. This might be called by Elihu "a ransom" - using the word in a very large sense.

There can be no doubt that such "a fact" often occurs. God lays his hand on his erring and wandering children. He brings upon them afflictions which would consign them to the grave, if they were not checked. Those afflictions are effectual in the case. They are the means of true repentance; they call back the wanderer; they lead him to put his trust in God, and to seek his happiness again in him; and this result of his trials is a reason why they should extend no further. The object of the affliction has been accomplished, and the penitence of the sufferer is a sufficient reason for lightening the hand of affliction, and restoring him again to health and prosperity. This is not properly an atonement, or a ransom, in the sense in which the word is now technically used, but the Hebrew word used here would not be inappropriately employed to convey such an idea. Thus, in Exodus 32:30, the intercession of Moses is said to be that by which an atonement would be made for the sin of the people.

"Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin; and now I will go up unto the Lord; peradventure I shall make an atonement (אכפרה 'ekâpharâh, from כפר kâphar), for your sin." Here, it is manifest that the act of Moses in making intercession was to be the public reason, or the "ransom," why they were not to be punished. So the boldness, zeal, and fidelity of Phinehas in resisting idolatry, and punishing those who had been guilty of it, are spoken of as the atonement or ransom on account of which the plague was stayed, and the anger of God removed from his people; Numbers 25:12-13, "Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace - because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement (ויכפר vaykâphar) for the children of Israel." Septuagint, ἐξιλάσατο exilasato. In this large sense, the sick man's repentance might be regarded as the covering, ransom, or public reason why he should be restored.

That word literally means that which covers, or overlays any thing; and then an atonement or expiation, as being such a covering. See Genesis 20, 16; Exodus 21:30. Cocceius, Calovius, and others suppose that the reference here is to the Messiah, and to the atonement made by him. Schultens supposes that it has the same reference by anticipation - that is, that God had purposed such a ransom, and that in virtue of the promised and pre-figured expiation, he could now show mercy. But it cannot be demonstrated that Elihu had such a reference; and though it was undoubtedly true that God designed to show mercy to people only through that atonement, and that it was, and is, only by this that release is ever given to a sufferer, still, it does not follow that Elihu fully understood this. The general truth that God was merciful, and that the repentance of the sick man would be followed by a release from suffering, was all that can reasonably be supposed to have been understood at that. period of the world. Now, we know the reason, the mode, and the extent of the ransom; and taking the words in their broadest sense, we may go to all sufferers, and say, that they may be redeemed from going down to the dark chambers of the eternal pit, for God has found a ransom. A valuable consideration has been offered, in the blood of the Redeemer, which is an ample reason why they should not be consigned to hell, if they are truly penitent.

24. Apodosis to Job 33:23.

he—God.

Deliver—literally, "redeem"; in it and "ransom" there is reference to the consideration, on account of which God pardons and relieves the sufferers; here it is primarily the intercession of Elihu. But the language is too strong for its full meaning to be exhausted by this. The Holy Ghost has suggested language which receives its full realization only in the "eternal redemption found" by God in the price paid by Jesus Christ for it; that is, His blood and meritorious intercession (Heb 9:12). "Obtained," literally, "found"; implying the earnest zeal, wisdom, and faithfulness of the finder, and the newness and joyousness of the finding. Jesus Christ could not but have found it, but still His seeking it was needed [Bengel], (Lu 15:8). God the Father, is the Finder (Ps 89:19). Jesus Christ the Redeemer, to whom He saith, Redeem (so Hebrew) him from going, &c. (2Co 5:19).

ransom—used in a general sense by Elihu, but meant by the Holy Ghost in its strict sense as applied to Jesus Christ, of a price paid for deliverance (Ex 21:30), an atonement (that is, means of selling at once, that is, reconciling "two" who are estranged), a covering, as of the ark with pitch, typical of what covers us sinners from wrath (Ge 6:14; Ps 32:1). The pit is primarily here the grave (Isa 38:17), but the spiritual pit is mainly shadowed forth (Zec 9:11).

Then; in that case, or upon the sick man’s knowledge and practice of his duty.

He; either,

1. The messenger or interpreter last mentioned, who is pitiful unto the sick man, and in companion to him doth all that he can for him, counselling and comforting him, and praying to God for his recovery in the following words,

Deliver him, & c. for the sake of that ransom which thou hast revealed and I have discovered to him. Or rather,

2. God, who is oft in this book designed by this particle he, or him; whose property and prerogative it is to be gracious unto man, and who alone can speak the following words with power and authority.

Is gracious unto him; pardoning his sins, and delivering him from his dangerous disease, and from death and from the hell which attends upon it.

And saith, to the angel or messenger.

Deliver him, to wit, ministerially and declaratively; in which sense the acts of forgiving sins, and reconciling sinners, and saving souls, are ascribed to God’s ministers; as John 20:23 2 Corinthians 5:19,20 1 Timothy 4:16. Declare to him that I have pardoned and will heal him.

I have found a ransom: although I might justly destroy him, and should do it, if I were severe to mark what is amiss in him; yet I will spare him, for I have found out an expedient and a way of ransoming and redeeming sinners from death, both temporal and eternal, which they by their sins have deserved, which is by the death of my Son, the Redeemer of the world, which shall be in the fulness of time, and with respect to which I will pardon this sick man, and others that shall repent and sue to me for mercy, as he hath done. Then he is gracious to him,.... To the sick man; either the messenger or the minister that is with him, who pities his case and prays for him; and by some the following words are supposed to be a prayer of his, "deliver me", &c. since one find in the Gospel there is a ransom for such persons. Rather Christ, who is gracious to man, as appears by his assumption of their nature and becoming a ransom for them, and who upon the foot of redemption which he has "found" or obtained, see Hebrews 9:12; pleads for the present comfort and future happiness of his people, in such language as after expressed, "deliver him", &c. Or rather God the Father is gracious to the sick man for his Son's sake,

and saith, deliver him from going down to the pit; addressing either the disease, so Mr. Broughton renders the word, "spare him (O killing malady) from descending into the pit", the grave, for the present his disease threatened him with. Or the minister of the word attending the sick man, who is bid to declare to him, as Nathan to David, and Isaiah to Hezekiah, that he should live longer, and not die for the present: or rather the address is to law and justice, to let the redeemed of the Lord go free, and particularly the sick man being one of them; and not thrust him down into the bottomless pit of everlasting ruin and destruction, for the reason following:

I have found a ransom; which is no other than Christ the Son of God; whom Jehovah, in his infinite wisdom, found out and settled upon to be the ransomer of his people; to which he agreed, and in the fulness of time came to give his life a ransom for many, and for whom he has given himself as a ransom price, which has been testified in due time: and this ransom is for all the elect of God, and is of them from sin, Satan, law, hell, and death; and the finding of it is not of man, nor is the scheme of propitiation, peace and reconciliation by Christ, or of atonement and satisfaction (s) by the sacrifice of Christ, as the word here used signifies, an invention of men; but is the effect of infinite wisdom, and a scheme drawn in the eternal mind, and formed in Christ from everlasting; see 2 Corinthians 5:19. Some take these words to be spoken by the Father to the Son, upon his appointment and agreement to be the ransomer and Redeemer, saying, "go, redeem him", &c. for so the words (t) may be rendered; and others think they are the words of the Son the messenger to his Father, the advocate with him for his people, as before observed.

(s) "propitiationem", Beza, Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Bolducius, Vatablus; "expiationem", Tigurine version; "lytrum", Cocceius; "satisfactionem", Schmidt. (t) "redime eum", Pagninus, Montanus &c.

Then he is {o} gracious unto him, and saith, {p} Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom.

(o) He shows that it is a sure token of God's mercy toward sinners, when he causes his word to be preached to them.

(p) That is, the minister will by the preaching of the word pronounce to him the forgiveness of his sins.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. then he is gracious] God is gracious; God, not the angel, is the speaker in the rest of the verse. It is assumed that when the sufferer is shewn what is right (Job 33:23) he follows it; then God is gracious unto him, and commands that he be delivered from his affliction and saved from death. It is hardly of consequence to enquire what the ransom is which God has found. It may be the sinner’s repentance and return to rectitude; or it may be that the affliction is held sufficient (Isaiah 40:2; Job 36:18); or possibly the words may mean nothing more than that God is pleased of His goodness to hold the sinner as ransomed and delivered from the consequences of his sin.Verse 24. - Then he is gracious unto him; and saith. Some interpret, "Then he (i.e. God) is gracious unto him, and he (i.e. the angel) saith. Others make God the subject of both clauses. But the angel is the natural subject. Deliver him from going down to the pit. The mediating angel thus addresses God, and adds, I have found a ransom, leaving the nature of the ransom unexplained. Some notion of ransom, or atonemeat, underlay the whole idea of sacrifice, which appears to have been universally practised from the remotest times, by the Oriental nations. 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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