Job 33:6
Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay.
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Job 33:6-7. Behold, I am, &c., in God’s stead — I will plead with thee in God’s name and stead, and on his behalf, which thou hast often wished that some one would do. I also am formed out of the clay — I am God’s creature, like thyself. Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid —

Look upon me: the contest is not unequal, as thou didst complain when thou thoughtest upon God, Job 9:34; Job 13:23. Thou seest no dreadful majesty in me to affright thee, nor any power to oppress thee.

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.Behold, I am according to thy wish in Gods stead - Margin, as in Hebrew "mouth." The mouth is that by which we express our desires, and the word here is equivalent to wish. Some have, however, rendered this differently. Umbreit translates it, ich bin, wie du, von Gott - I am, as thou art, from God. So Noyes, "I, like thee, am a creature of God." Wemyss, "I am thine equal in the sight of God." Coverdale, "Behold, before God am I even as thou, for I am fashioned and made even of the same mould." The Vulgate renders it, "Behold God made me as he made thee; and of the same clay am I formed." So the Septuagint, "From clay am I formed as well as thou, and we are formed from the same." This interpretation seems to be demanded also by the parallelism, where he says that he was made of the same clay with Job; that is, that he was a man like him. Still, it seems to me, that the fair and obvious meaning of the Hebrew is that which is expressed in our common version. The Hebrew is, לאל כפיך הן־אני כפי hēn'ănı̂y kepiykā lā'ĕl - "lo, I am, according to thy mouth (word, or wish) for God;" that is, I am in his place; I speak in his name; I am so commissioned by him that you may regard yourself as in fact speaking to him when you address his ambassador. This will also accord with what is said in Job 33:7, and with what Job had so earnestly desired, that he might be allowed to bring his cause directly before God; see the notes at Job 13:3.

I also am formed out of the clay - Margin, "cut." The figure is taken from the act of the potter, who cuts off a portion of clay which he moulds into a vessel, and there is manifest allusion here to the statement in Genesis, that God made man of the dust of the ground. The meaning in this connection is, "Though I am in the place of God, and speak in his name, yet I am also a man, made of the same frail material as yourself. In me, therefore, there is nothing to overawe or confound you as there would be if God spake himself."

6. (See on [533]Job 33:4; Job 31:35; 13:3, 20, 21).

formed—Though acting as God's representative, I am but a creature, like thyself. Arabic, "pressed together," as a mass of clay by the potter, in forming a vessel [Umbreit]. Hebrew, "cut off," as the portion taken from the clay to form it [Maurer].

I will plead with thee in God’s name and stead, and on his behalf, which thou hast oft wished that God would do upon equal terms, and laying aside his terrible majesty, &c. Or, I am as thou art with or towards God, i.e. God’s creature like thyself, as the next words explain it.

Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead,.... So some persons are, as civil magistrates, the ministers of the word, the prophets of the Old Testament, and the apostles of the New; see 2 Corinthians 5:20; and so in some sense was Elihu; he undertakes to be an advocate for God, to vindicate his justice in his dealings with the children of men, and clear him from the charge of severity towards them, and hard usage of them, and particularly Job; and whom he besought, as in God's stead, to be reconciled to his providential dealings with him; to bear his afflictions patiently, and wait the issue of them: or "I am as thou art"; so the Targum and Ben Gersom interpret it; one that belongs to God, a creature of God's, a sinful frail mortal creature, as Job was, and accountable to God; one that belonged to him both as the God of nature and providence, and of grace; and such an one Job seemed to have wished for, to dispute the point in question with; see Job 9:32;

I also am formed out of the clay; or "cut out" (e) of it; alluding to the potter, who, out of a mass or lump of clay before him, cuts a piece out of it to make a vessel of God is the potter, men are as clay in his hands, their bodies are bodies of clay, houses of clay, which have their foundation in the dust; reference may be had to the original formation of man, Genesis 2:7, and may denote not so, much the pollution of his nature, clay being defiling, but the frailty of man, a vessel made of clay being brittle, and easily broken; see Job 4:19, Isaiah 64:8.

(e) "excisus", Montanus, Munster, Mercerus, Cocceius, Michaelis.

Behold, I am according to thy wish in {b} God's stead: I also am formed out of the clay.

(b) Because Job had wished to dispute his cause with God, Job 16:21 so that he might do it without fear, Elihu says, he will reason in God's stead, whom he does not need to fear.

6. according to thy wish in God’s stead] Rather, as already Cover-dale, behold, before God I am even as thou; that is, in relation to God in the same position as Job, a man like himself. The words in God’s stead suggest the false conception that Elihu was in some extraordinary way the representative of God.

Verse 6. - Behold, I am according to thy wish in God's stead; i.e. I am the antagonist for whom thou hast asked (Job 9:33; Job 13:19), ready to enter into controversy with thee, instead of God. I am thine equal, a creature like thyself. I also am formed out of the clay (comp. Genesis 2:7). Therefore - Job 33:6 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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