Job 33:8
Surely you have spoken in my hearing, and I have heard the voice of your words, saying,
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Job 33:8-11. Surely thou hast spoken in my hearing — I shall not charge thee with hypocrisy, as thy friends do, which God only can discern; but with those words which I myself have heard from thee; I am clean without transgression, &c. — Job had not affirmed this simply and absolutely, for he had often confessed himself to be a sinner; but no such transgression as might give God just occasion to punish him so severely, as is signified, where he blames God for finding occasions against him, implying that he had given him none by his sins. And thus far Elihu’s charge was just, and herein it differs from the charge of Job’s three friends, who often accuse him for asserting his own innocence; but they did it because they thought him a hypocrite; whereas Elihu does it upon other grounds, even because Job’s justification of himself was accompanied with reflections upon God. Behold, he findeth occasions against me — Thou hast said, Behold the Almighty, who, I thought, would have vindicated my innocence, severely marks my defects and faults, that from thence he may take occasion to punish me, notwithstanding my integrity. He counteth me for his enemy — Though I have endeavoured to be his faithful servant all my days, yet he treats me like an enemy. He putteth my feet in the stocks — He so confines me in the prison of this affliction that I cannot stir: he marketh all my paths — Watches me so narrowly that I can find no way to escape. Elihu, though less partial than the other speakers, is, however, too severe in the construction which he puts upon Job’s words. The first branch of this passage, Behold, he findeth occasions against me, or, as Heath and others render it, He inventeth cruelties against me, is not to be found in Job’s speeches; and as for the other branch, which occurs Job 13:24, we have there observed, that though there may be something faulty in the expostulation, yet it is much alleviated by the expressions of humility which precede and follow it. See the note on that place.33:8-13 Elihu charges Job with reflecting upon the justice and goodness of God. When we hear any thing said to God's dishonour, we ought to bear our testimony against it. Job had represented God as severe in marking what he did amiss. Elihu urges that he had spoken wrong, and that he ought to humble himself before God, and by repentance to unsay it. God is not accountable to us. It is unreasonable for weak, sinful creatures, to strive with a God of infinite wisdom, power, and goodness. He acts with perfect justice, wisdom, and goodness, where we cannot perceive it.Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing - Margin, as in Hebrew "ears." This shows that Elihu had been present during the debate, and had attentively listened to what had been said. He now takes up the main point on which he supposed that Job had erred - the attempt to justify himself. He professes to adduce the very words which he had used, and disclaims all design of judging from mere hearsay. 8. thy words—(Job 10:7; 16:17; 23:11, 12; 27:5, 6; 29:14). In Job 9:30; 13:23, Job had acknowledged sin; but the general spirit of his words was to maintain himself to be "clean," and to charge God with injustice. He went too far on the opposite side in opposing the friends' false charge of hypocrisy. Even the godly, though willing to confess themselves sinners in general, often dislike sin in particular to be brought as a charge against them. Affliction is therefore needed to bring them to feel that sin in them deserves even worse than they suffer and that God does them no injustice. Then at last humbled under God they find, affliction is for their real good, and so at last it is taken away either here, or at least at death. To teach this is Elihu's mission. I shall not charge thee with hypocrisy, as thy friends do, which God only can discern; but with those words which I have heard from thee. Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing,.... After the above preface, Elihu proceeds to the point in hand, and enters a charge against Job; which he took up, not upon suspicion and surmisings, nor upon report, nor upon accusations received from others, but what he had heard with his own ears, unless he was greatly mistaken indeed, which he thought he was not:

and I have heard the voice of thy words; the sound of them, clearly and distinctly, and took in the sense of them, as he really believed:

saying; as follows.

Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing, and I have heard the voice of thy words, saying,
8–12. To Job’s complaint that God shewed a hostility to him which was arbitrary and without cause Elihu replies that such a thing was unbecoming God and not to be thought of, for God is greater than man.Verses 8-12. - His exordium over, Elihu proceeds to point out what he blames in Job's discourses, and at present notices two departures from truth and right only. Job, he says, asserts his absolute innocence (ver. 9); he also maintains that God deals with him harshly, as an enemy (vers. 10, 11). Neither assertion is justifiable. Verse 8. - Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing, and I have heard the voice of thy words, saying. Elihu does not quote exactly what Job had said. He probably intended to be perfectly fair and just, but in reality he greatly overstates the truth. Job had never said the words he ascribes to him in ver. 9; at best they are an inference, or deduction, from what he had said. And he had said a great deal on the other side, which Elihu overlooks (see the comment on ver. 9). 1 But nevertheless, O Job, hear my speeches,

And hearken to all my words.

2 Behold now, I have opened my mouth,

My tongue speaketh in my palate.

3 Sincere as my heart are my utterances,

And knowledge that is pure my lips declare.

The issue of the impartial discussion which Elihu designs to effect, is subject to this one condition, that Job listens to it, and observes not merely this or that, but the whole of its connected contents; and in this sense ואוּלם, which is used just as in Job 1:11; Job 11:5; Job 12:7; Job 13:4; Job 14:18; Job 17:10, in the signification verumtamen, stands at the head of this new turn in his speech. Elihu addresses Job, as none of the previous speakers have done, by name. With הנּה־נא (as Job 13:18), he directs Job's observation to that which he is about to say: he has already opened his mouth, his tongue is already in motion, - circumstantial statement, which solemnly inaugurate what follows with a consciousness of its importance. Job has felt the absence of אמרי־ישׁר, Job 6:25, in the speeches of the three; but Elihu can at the outset ensure his word being "the sincerity of his heart," i.e., altogether heartily well meant: and - thus it would be to be translated according to the accentuation - the knowledge of my lips, they (my lips) utter purely. But "the knowledge of the lips" is a notion that seems strange with this translation, and בּרוּר is hardly intended thus adverbially. דּעת, contrary to the accentuation, is either taken as the accusative of the obj., and בּרוּר as the acc. of the predicate (masc. as Proverbs 2:10; Proverbs 14:6): knowledge my lips utter pure; or interpreted, if one is not willing to depart from the accentuation, with Seb. Schmid: scientiam labiorum meorum quod attinet (the knowledge proceeding from my lips), puram loquentur sc. labia mea. The notions of purity and choice coincide in ברור (comp. Arab. ibtarra, to separate one's self; asfa, to prove one's self pure, and to select). The perff., Job 33:2, describe what is begun, and so, as relatively past, extending into the present.

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