Job 33:7
Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, neither shall my hand be heavy upon thee.
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(7) Neither shall my hand be heavy upon theei.e., I will deal gently with thee, and not be harsh.

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 my terror shall not make thee afraid - Job had earnestly desired to carry his cause directly before God, but he had expressed the apprehension that he would overawe him by his majesty, so that he would not be able to manage his plea with the calmness and self-possession which were desirable. He had, therefore, expressed it as his earnest wish, that if he were so permitted, God would not take advantage of his majesty and power to confound him; see the notes at Job 13:21. Elihu now says, that the wish of Job in this could be amply gratified. Though he spake in the name of God, and it might be considered that the case was fairly carried before him, yet he was also a man. He was the fellow, the equal with Job. He was made of the same clay, and he could not overawe him as the Almighty himself might do. There would be, therefore, in his case all the advantage of carrying the cause directly up to God, and yet none of the disadvantage which Job apprehended, and which must ensue when a mere man undertook to manage his own cause with the Almighty.

Neither shall my hand be heavy upon, thee - Alluding, evidently, to what Job had said, Job 13:21, that the hand of God was heavy upon him, so that he could not conduct his cause in such a manner as to do justice to himself. He had asked, therefore (see the notes at that place), as a special favor, if he was permitted to carry his cause before God, that his hand would be so far lightened that he could be able to state his arguments with the force which they required. Elihu says now that that wish could be gratified. Though he was in the place of God, yet he was a man, and his hand would not be upon him to crush him down so that he could not do justice to himself. The noun rendered "hand" (אכף 'ekeph) does not elsewhere occur. The verb אכף 'âkaph occurs once in Proverbs 16:26, where it is rendered "craveth" - "He that laboreth, laboreth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him" - where the margin is boweth unto.

The word in Arabic means to lead a beast of burden; to bend, to make to bow under a lead; and then to impel, to urge on; and hence, it means, "his mouth, that is, hunger, impels, or urges him on to labor." In like manner the meaning of the word here (אכף 'ekeph) may be a lead or burden, meaning "my lead, i. e., my weight, dignity, authority, shall not be burdensome or oppressive to you." But the parallel place in Job 13:21, is "hand," and that meaning seems to be required here. Kimchi supposes it is the same as כף kaph - hand, and the Septuagint has so rendered it, ἡ χείρ μου hē cheir mou. In the view of the speech of Elihu thus far, we cannot but remark that there is much that is unique, and especially that he lays decided claim to inspiration. Though speaking for God, yet he was in human nature, and Job might speak to him as a friend, unawed and unterrifled by any dread of overwhelming majesty and power.

On what grounds Elihu based these high pretensions does not appear, and his claim to them is the more remarkable from his youth. It does not require the aid of a very lively imagination to fancy a resemblance between him and the Lord Jesus - the great mediator between God and man - and were that mode of interpretation which delights to find types and figures every where a mode that could be vindicated, there is no character in the Old Testament that would more obviously suggest that of the Redeemer than the character of Elihu. His comparative youth, his modesty, his humility, would suggest it. The fact that he comes in to utter his sentiments where age and wisdom had failed to suggest the truth, and when pretending sages were confounded and silenced, would suggest it. The fact that he claims to be in the place of God, and that a cause might be managed before him as if it were before God and yet that he was a man like others, and that no advantage would be taken to overawe by mere majesty and power, are all circumstances that would constitute a strong and vivid resemblance. But I see no evidence that this was the design of the introduction of the character of Elihu, and interesting as the comparison might be, and desirable as it may seem that the book of Job should be found to contain some reference to the great work of mediation, yet the just and stern laws of interpretation exclude such a reference in the absence of proof, and do not allow us to luxuriate in the conceptions of fancy, however pious the reflections might be, or to search for typical characters where the Spirit of inspiration has not revealed them as such, however interesting or edifying might be the contemplation.

7. hand—alluding to Job's words (Job 13:21). Which was the condition of that disputation which thou didst offer to undertake with God, Job 9:34 13:21.

Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid,.... To come near, join issue in a debate, and speak freely; this Job had wished for, and desired of God that his fear might not terrify him, and his dread not make him afraid, and then he could talk and reason freely with him, Job 9:34; now Job had nothing to fear from Elihu, he was a man and not God, with whom there was no terrible majesty, as with God; he was but a clod of clay, and had nothing in him or about him to strike terror into him; he was no great personage, as a king or prince, nor in any civil authority, nor had so much as age to command an awe, much less could inject dread and terror:

neither shall my hand be heavy upon thee; which is not to be literally understood; Job could be in no fear of that, nor Elihu guilty of such rudeness; but figuratively, that he should not seek to afflict and distress him, or add to his affliction, and make it heavier, by hard words, severe reflections, and cruel reproaches; he seems to refer to Job 13:21; the Targum is,

"my burden upon time shall not be heavy;''

he promises not to aggravate things, but make them as easy as they would admit of.

Behold, my terror shall not make thee afraid, neither shall my hand {c} be heavy upon thee.

(c) I will not handle you so roughly as these others have done.

7. Job had often complained that the terror and majesty of God overpowered him and made it impossible for him to plead his cause and shew his rectitude; comp. ch. Job 9:34, Job 13:21.

my hand be heavy] The term hand may be an uncommon form of the Heb. word having that sense, or it may perhaps mean burden, pressure; comp. ch. Job 13:21.

Verse 7. - My terror shall not make thee afraid. Thou canst feel no alarm at me; I cannot terrify thee, as God would (Job 6:4; Job 7:14; Job 9:34. etc.). Neither shall my hand (literally, my pack-saddle) be heavy upon thee. Thou wilt not feel my presence a burden, or be crushed under the weight of my words. Job 33:7 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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