Job 33:28
He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.
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(28) He will deliver his soul.—There are two readings in the Hebrew here, of which one is represented by the Authorised Version; but the better one is, “He hath redeemed my soul from going into the pit, and my life shall see the light”—this is part of the restored man’s confession, which appears to be continued till the speaker resumes in Job 33:29.

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?He will deliver his soul - Margin, "He hath delivered my soul." There are various readings here in the text, which give rise to this diversity of interpretation. The present reading in the text is נפשׁי nepheshay - "my soul"; and according to this, it is to be regarded as the language of the sufferer celebrating the mercy of God, and is language which is connected with the confession in the previous verse, "I have sinned; I found it no advantage; and he hath rescued me from death." Many manuscripts, however, read נפשׁו nepheshô - "his soul"; and according to this, the language would be that of Elihu, saying, that in those circumstances God would deliver him when he made suitable confession of his sin. The sense is essentially the same. The Vulgate has, "He will deliver his soul;" the Septuagint, "Save my soul."

From going into the pit - Notes Job 33:18.

And his life shall see the light - Here there is the same variety of reading which occurs in regard to the word soul. The present Hebrew text is (חיתי chayātay) "my life"; many manuscripts read (חיתו chayātô), "his life." The phrase "to see the light" is equivalent to live. Death was represented as going down into regions where there was no ray of light. See Job 3:5; Job 10:21-22.

28. (See on [535]Job 33:24); rather, as Hebrew text (English Version reads as the Margin, Hebrew, Keri, "his soul, his life"), "He hath delivered my soul … my life." Continuation of the penitent's testimony to the people.

light—(Job 33:30; Job 3:16, 20; Ps 56:13; Ec 11:7).

He, i.e. God, whose work alone this is.

His soul; himself; or, as it follows,

his life. His life: See Poole "Job 33:18".

Shall see the light, i.e. shall enjoy, either,

1. Prosperity, which is oft called light, as darkness is put for affliction; or,

2. The light of the living, as it follows, Job 33:30; the light of this world, i.e. his life, which was endangered, shall be restored and continued. This is opposed to his going down into the pit, in the former branch. He will deliver his soul from going into the pit,.... Into the pit of the grave; and then the soul is put for the man or for the body; or into the pit of hell or perdition:

and his life shall see the light; or he shall live and enjoy outward prosperity here, and the light of eternal happiness hereafter; and so the Targum interprets it of superior light, or the light above, even the inheritance of the saints in light. These words have a double reading; the "Keri", or marginal reading, is what we follow; but the "Cetib", or textual reading, is, "he hath delivered my soul from going into the pit, and my life sees the light"; and which seems to be the better reading; and so the words are a continuation of the address of the man recovered from illness to his friends; setting forth and acknowledging, with joy and thankfulness, the great goodness of God unto him, that he had delivered him from the grave, and spared his life, and given him to enjoy great prosperity, both temporal and spiritual.

{u} He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light.

(u) God will forgive the penitent sinner.

28. The light which the sinner sees is the light of life (Job 33:30), for he is redeemed from the darkness of the pit. The A. V. has followed the Heb. margin and read his soul, his life. If this reading were adopted the words would be a general statement by Elihu, but this unnaturally anticipates Job 33:29-30.Verse 28. - He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light; rather, as in the margin, he hath delivered my soul from going into the pit (comp. ver. 24), and my life shall see the light. The restored penitent is still speaking. The 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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