Job 33:5
If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
33:1-7 Job had desired a judge to decide his appeal. Elihu was one according to his wish, a man like himself. If we would rightly convince men, it must be by reason, not by terror; by fair argument, not by a heavy hand.If thou canst answer me - The meaning of this verse is this: "The controversy between you and me, if you choose to reply, shall be conducted in the most equitable manner, and on the most equal terms. I will not attempt, as your three friends have done, to overwhelm you with reproaches; nor will I attempt to overawe you as God would do, so that you could not reply. I am a man like yourself, and desire that if anything can be said against what I have to advance, it should be offered with the utmost fairness and freedom."

Stand up - That is, "maintain your position, unless you are convinced by my arguments. I wish to carry nothing by mere authority or power."

5. Images from a court of justice.

stand up—alluding to Job's words (Job 30:20).

I shall allow thee all freedom of discourse; I cannot terrify thee, as God would: I shall not reproach thee, nor cavil at thee, as thy friends have done.

Stand up, to contend with me as thing adversary in this cause.

If thou canst answer me,.... That is, when he had done speaking, after he had heard him out; if he thought he could make a reply to him, he gave him full liberty so to do, and tacitly suggests that he should give him an attentive and candid hearing, as he had requested of him:

set thy words in order before me; put them into the best form and order thou canst for thy self-defence, and level them at me; set them, as it were, in battle array against me; give them all the poignancy, strength, and three thou art capable of:

stand up; not out of veneration to him, but to denote freedom and boldness in himself; a presentation of himself with boldness, and standing and keeping his ground: the expressions are military; Mr. Broughton renders it, "stand to it".

If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5–7. Full of this feeling Elihu invites Job to measure himself with this wisdom (Job 33:4). Let the matter be reasoned out as it may be on equal terms, for in Elihu a man like himself Job will have no reason to complain of being overawed and hindered from pleading his cause.

Verse 5. - If thou canst answer me; rather, if thou canst answer thou me (see the Revised Version). Set thy words in order before me, stand up (comp. Job 23:4). Job 33:5 4 The Spirit of God hath made me,

And the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

5 If thou canst, answer me,

Prepare in my presence, take thy stand!

6 Behold, I am like thyself, of God,

Formed out of clay am Ialso.

7 Behold, my terror shall not affright thee,

And my pressure shall not be heavy upon thee.

He has both in common with Job: the spirituality as well as the earthliness of man's nature; but by virtue of the former he does not, indeed, feel himself exalted above Job's person, but above the present standpoint taken up by Job; and in consideration of this, Job need not fear any unequal contest, nor as before God, Job 9:34; Job 13:21, in order that he may be able to defend himself against Him, make it a stipulation that His majesty may not terrify him. It is man's twofold origin which Elihu, Job 33:4, Job 33:6, gives utterance to in harmony with Genesis 2:7 : the mode of man's origin, which is exalted above that of all other earthly beings that have life; for the life of the animal is only the individualizing of the breath of the Divine Spirit already existing in matter. The spirit of man, on the contrary (for which the language has reserved the name נשׁמה), is an inspiration directly coming forth from God the personal being, transferred into the bodily frame, and therefore forming a person.

(Note: God took a small piece of His own life - says the tradition among the Karens, a scattered tribe of Eastern India - blew into the nostrils of His son and daughter, and they became living beings, and were really human.)

In the exalted consciousness of having been originated by the Spirit of God, and being endowed with life from the inbreathed breath of the Almighty, Elihu stands invincible before Job: if thou canst, refute me (השׁיב with acc. of the person, as Job 33:32); array thyself (ערכה for ערכה, according to Ges. 63, rem. 1) before me (here with the additional thought of מלחמה, as Job 23:4, in a forensic sense with משׁפּט), place thyself in position, or take thy post (imper. Hithpa. with the ah less frequent by longer forms, Ew. 228, a).

On the other side, he also, like Job, belongs to God, i.e., is dependent and conditioned. הן־אני is to be written with Segol (not Ssere); לאל is intended like לו, Job 12:16; and כּפיך signifies properly, according to thine utterance, i.e., standard, in accordance with, i.e., like thee, and is used even in the Pentateuch (e.g., Exodus 16:21) in this sense pro ratione; כפי, Job 30:18, we took differently. He, Elihu, is also nipped from the clay, i.e., taken from the earth, as when the potter nips off a piece of his clay (comp. Aram. קרץ, a piece, Arab. qurs, a bread-cake, or a dung-cake, vid., supra, p. 449, from qarasa, to pinch off, take off, cogn. qarada, to gnaw off, cut off, p. 512). Thus, therefore, no terribleness in his appearing will disconcert Job, and his pressure will not be a burden upon him. By a comparison of Job 13:21, it might seem that אכפּי is equivalent to כּפּי (lxx ἡ χείρ μου), but כּבד is everywhere connected only with יד, never with כּף; and the ἁπ. γεγρ. is explained according to Proverbs 16:26, where אכף signifies to oppress, drive (Jer. compulit), and from the dialects differently, for in Syr. ecaf signifies to be anxious about anything (ecaf li, it causes me anxiety, curae mihi est), and in Arab. accafa, to saddle, ucâf, Talmud. אוּכּף, a saddle, so that consequently the Targ. translation of אכפּי by טוּני, my burden, and the Syr. by אוכפני, my pressing forward (Arabic version iqbâli, my touch), are supported, since אכף signifies pressure, heavy weight, load, and burden; according to which it is also translated by Saad. (my constraint), Gecat. (my might). It is therefore not an opponent who is not on an equality with him by nature, with whom Job has to do. If he is not able to answer him, he will have to be considered as beaten.

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