Furthermore Elihu answered and said,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(1) Furthermore Elihu.—Elihu here hardly makes good the profession with which he starts, for he begins immediately to accuse Job in no measured language. Elihu makes, indeed, a great profession of wisdom, and expressly addresses himself to the wise (Job 34:2), and insists upon the necessity of discrimination (Job 34:3-4). It is to be observed that Job himself had given utterance to much the same sentiment in Job 12:11.Job 34:1. Furthermore Elihu answered and said — Job making no reply to what Elihu had said, probably because he saw that he had touched the particular point in which he was especially defective, Elihu carries the charge a little higher, and tells him, with more sharpness than before, that there were some words in his discourse which sounded in his ears as if he accused God’s justice and goodness: for what else did he mean when he complained that God did not do him right, and that he destroyed alike both good and bad? Which rash assertions Elihu overthrows from the consideration of the sovereign dominion, power, righteousness, and wisdom of God. That it was impossible God could act unjustly: for were he so disposed, what could hinder him from annihilating the whole human race at once? He needed only withdraw his preserving power, and they would instantly fall into dust. Since, then, he did not act in this manner, but his ways were perfectly agreeable to righteousness, he was not to be addressed in so rude a manner as Job had made use of. Reverence and respect were due to earthly princes; how much more to Him in whose sight the prince and beggar were the same! for he was the Maker of them all. That though God would look with a merciful eye on the infirmities of human nature, when accompanied with humility, yet the arrogant were sure to find no favour at his hands; he would not fail to execute his vengeance on them, that they might be an example to others. That submission and resignation were the behaviour fit for man in the presence of God; and therefore, toward the conclusion of the chapter, he represents to Job what behaviour and discourse would have better become him than that which he had used.Job 3:2; Isaiah 14:10; Zechariah 1:10; Zechariah 3:4; Zechariah 4:11-12. Sometimes it is used with reference to a subject, meaning that one replied to what could be suggested on the opposite side. Here it maybe understood either in the general sense of beginning a discourse, or more probably as replying to the sentiments which Job had advanced in the debate with his friends.
1. answered—proceeded.He accuseth Job for charging God with injustice, Job 34:1-9. God, the almighty Disposer, Governor, and Judge of the world, cannot be unjust, Job 34:10-17. It is not fit to say of kings and princes they are unjust, much less of God: his power over and observance of man, who cannot hide from God, Job 34:18-22. He exerciseth his power and justice over them, Job 34:23-30. Man’s duty under God’s afflictions, Job 34:31,32. He reproveth Job’s words against God, Job 34:33-37.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verses 1-37. - In this chapter Elihu turns from Job to those whom he addresses as "wise men" (ver. 2), or "men of understanding" (ver. 10). Whether these are Job's three special friends, or others among the company which had perhaps gathered to hear the debate, is uncertain. He makes the subject of his address to them Job's conduct - scarcely a polite thing to do in Job's presence. Job, he says, has scorned God and charged him with injustice (vers. 5-9). He will vindicate him. This he proceeds to do in vers. 10-30. He then points out what Job's course ought to be (vers. 31-33), and winds up by an appeal to the "men of understanding" to endorse his condemnation of Job as a sinner and a rebel (vers. 34-37). Verses 1, 2. - Furthermore Elihu answered and said, Hear my words, O ye wise men. Having, as he may have thought, reduced Job to silence by the fame of his reasonings, Elihu, wishing to carry with him the general consent of his audience, makes an appeal to them, or, at any rate, to the wise among them, to judge Job's conduct and pronounce upon it. It is probable, as Schultens remarks, that a considerable number of influential persons had by this time collected together to hear the discussion which was going on. To these Elihu specially addresses himself: Give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge.
He returneth to the days of his youth.
26 If he prayeth to Eloah, He showeth him favour,
So that he seeth His face with joy,
And thus He recompenseth to man his uprightness.
27 He singeth to men and saith:
"I had sinned and perverted what was straight,
"And it was not recompensed to me.
28 "He hath delivered my soul from going down into the pit,
"And my life rejoiceth in the light."
Misled by the change of the perf. and fut. in Job 33:25, Jer. translates Job 33:25 : consumta est caro ejus a suppliciis; Targ.: His flesh had been weakened (אתחלישׁ), or made thin (אתקלישׁ), more than the flesh of a child; Raschi: it had become burst (French אשקושא, in connection with which only פשׁ appears to have been in his mind, in the sense of springing up, prendre son escousse) from the shaking (of disease). All these interpretations are worthless; נער, peculiar to the Elihu section in the book of Job (here and Job 36:14), does not signify shaking, but is equivalent to נערים (Job 13:26; Job 31:18); and רטפשׁ is in the perf. only because the passive quadriliteral would not so easily accommodate itself to inflexion (by which all those asserted significations, which suit only the perf. sense, fall to the ground). The Chateph instead of the simple Sehev is only in order to give greater importance to the passive u. But as to the origin of the quadriliteral (on the four modes of the origin of roots of more than three radicals, vid., Jesurun, pp. 160-166), there is no reason for regarding it as a mixed form derived from two different verbs: it is formed just like פּרשׁז (from פּרשׁ, by Arabizing equals פּרשׂ) with a sibilant termination from רטף equals רטב, and therefore signifies to be (to have been made) over moist or juicy. However, there is yet another almost more commendable explanation possible. In Arab. ṭrfš signifies to recover, prop. to grow green, become fresh (perhaps from tarufa, as in the signification to blink, from tarafa). From this Arab. tarfasha, or even from a Hebr. טרפּשׁ,
(Note: The Talmud. טרפשׁא דליבא (Chullin, 49b) signifies, according to the customary rendering, the pericardium, and טרפשׁא דכבדא (ib. 46a) the diaphragm, or rather the little net (omentum minus). Originally, however, the former signified the cushion of fat under the pericardium on which the heart rests, especially in the crossing of the furrows; the latter the accumulation of fat on the porta (πύλη) and between the laminae of the little net. For טרפשׁ is correctly explained by שׁומן, fat. It has nothing to do with τράπεζα (an old name for a part of the liver), with which Ges. after Buxtorf connects it.)
pinguefacere (which may with Frst be regarded as springing from טפשׁ, to be fleshy, like כּרבּל, כּרסם), רטפשׁ might have sprung by transposition. In a remarkable manner one and the same idea is attained by all these ways: whether we regard וטפשׁ as a mixed form from רטב and טפשׁ, or as an extended root-form from one or other of these verbs, it is always according to the idea: a superabundance of fresh healthfulness. The מן or מנּער is chiefly regarded as comparative: more than youth, i.e., leaving this behind, or exceeding it, Ew. 221, a; but Job 33:25, according to which he who was hitherto sick unto death actually renews his youth, makes it more natural to take the מן as causal: it swells from youth or youthfulness. In this description of the renovation which the man experiences, it is everywhere assumed that he has taken the right way announced to him by the mediating angel. Accordingly, Job 33:26 is not intended of prayer that is heard, which resulted in pardon, but of prayer that may be heard continually, which results from the pardon: if he prays to Eloah (fut. hypotheticum as Job 22:27, vid., on Job 29:24), He receives him favourably (רצה, Arab. raḍiya, with ב, Arab. b, to have pleasure in any one, with the acc. eum gratum vel acceptum habere), and he (whose state of favour is now established anew) sees God's countenance (which has been hitherto veiled from him, Job 34:29) with rejoicing (as Psalm 33:3 and freq.), and He (God) recompenses to the man his uprightness (in his prolonged course of life), or prop., since it is not ויּשׁלּם, but ויּשׁב, He restores on His part his relation in accordance with the order of redemption, for that is the idea of צדקה; the word has either a legal or a so-to-speak evangelical meaning, in which latter, used of God (as so frequently in Isaiah II), it describes His rule in accordance with His counsel and order of redemption; the primary notion is strict observance of a given rule.
In Job 33:27 the favoured one is again the subj. This change of person, without any indication of the same, belongs to the peculiarities of the Hebrew, and, in general, of the Oriental style, described in the Geschichte der jd. Poesie, S. 189 [History of Jewish Poetry;] the reference of ויּרא, as Hiph., to God, which is preferred by most expositors, is consequently unnecessary. Moreover, the interpretation: He causes his (the favoured one's) countenance to behold joy (Umbr., Ew.), is improbable as regards the phrase (נראה) ראה פני ה, and also syntactically lame; and the interpretation: He causes (him, the favoured one) to behold His (the divine) countenance with joy (Hirz., Hahn, Schlottm., and others), halts in like manner, since this would be expressed by ויּראהוּ (ויּראנּוּ). By the reference to psalmody which follows in Job 33:27 (comp. Job 36:24), it becomes natural that we should understand Job 33:26 according to such passages in the Psalms as Psalm 90:2; Psalm 67:2; Psalm 17:15. ישׂר is a poetically contracted fut. after the manner of a jussive, for ישׁוּר; and perhaps it is a dialectic form, for the Kal שׁוּר equals שׁיר occurs only besides in 1 Samuel 18:6 as Chethb. With על (comp. Proverbs 25:20) it signifies to address a song to any one, to sing to him. Now follows the psalm of the favoured one in outline; Job 33:28 also belongs to it, where the Keri (Targ. Jer.), without any evident reason whatever, gets rid of the 1 pers. (lxx, Syr.). I had sinned - he says, as he looks back ashamed and thankful - and perverted what was straight (comp. the confession of the penitent, Psalm 106:6), ולא שׁוה לי, et non aequale factum s. non aequatum est mihi,
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