Job 34:2
Hear my words, O ye wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge.
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Job 34:2-4. Hear my words O ye wise men — Who are here present: do you judge whether what I have said, and have still further to say, be not reasonable and true. For the ear trieth words — Man’s mind judgeth of the truth and propriety of things spoken and heard; as the mouth tasteth meat — And distinguishes what is sweet and palatable from what is otherwise. The ear is put for the mind, to which things are conveyed by it. Let us choose to us judgment — Let us agree to examine the business, that we may be able to pronounce a righteous judgment. Let us not contend for victory, but for truth and justice. Let us know among ourselves what is good — Let us show one another who hath the best cause.

34:1-9 Elihu calls upon those present to decide with him upon Job's words. The plainest Christian, whose mind is enlightened, whose heart is sanctified by the Spirit of God, and who is versed in the Scriptures, can say how far matters, words, or actions, agree with true religion, better than any that lean to their own understandings. Job had spoken as if he meant wholly to justify himself. He that say, I have cleansed my hands in vain, does not only offend against God's children, Ps 73:13-15, but gratifies his enemies, and says as they say.Hear my words, O ye wise men - Addressing particularly the three friends of Job. The previous chapter had been addressed to Job himself. He had stated to him his views of the design of affliction, and he had nothing to reply. He now addresses himself to his friends, with a particular view of examining some of the sentiments which Job had advanced, and of showing where he was in error. He addresses them as "wise men," or sages, and as endowed with "knowledge," to conciliate their attention, and because he regarded them as qualified to understand the difficult subject which he proposed to explain. 2. This chapter is addressed also to the "friends" as the thirty-third chapter to Job alone. O ye wise men, who are here present, do you judge of the truth and reason of what I have said, and am further to say; for I am willing to submit all to the judgment of the truly wise.

Hear my words, O ye wise men,.... This is not an address to Job's three friends, as some think; for Elihu had expressed his displeasure at them, in condemning Job without convicting him, and returning solid answers to him; and therefore he should not take their method of dealing with him, but take another; and plainly suggests that wisdom was not with them, nor taught by them; and therefore, as he could not give flattering titles to men, it could not well be thought that he should address them as wise and understanding men, unless indeed in an ironic way, as some choose to interpret it; see Job 32:3. Rather therefore some bystanders are here spoken to, whom Elihu knew to be men of wisdom and knowledge, &c. as it follows,

and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge; and as they were endued not only with natural and political wisdom and knowledge, but with that which is divine and spiritual, they were proper judges of the affair in controversy, and could best discern whether what Elihu delivered was right or wrong, and to the purpose or not. And besides, though they had a large share of wisdom and knowledge, yet it was but imperfect; and the most wise and knowing may become more so, and that sometimes by means of their inferiors and juniors: and therefore Elihu craves their attention to what he had said or should say, though he was but a young man, and they aged, and men of great geniuses and abilities; and the rather he might be pressing on them to be his hearers and judges, because, generally speaking, such, as they are the most judicious, so the most candid hearers.

Hear my words, O ye {a} wise men; and give ear unto me, ye that have knowledge.

(a) Which are esteemed wise by the world.

2. The wise men are not the three friends, but the bystanders who hear Elihu; cf. Job 34:34.

2–4. Elihu invites the wise among those who listen to him to attend to what he further says, and to unite with him in seeking to discover the right in this cause between Job and God.

Job 34:2 1 Then began Elihu and said:

2 Hear, ye wise men, my words,

And ye experienced ones, give ear to me!

3 For the ear trieth words,

As the palate tasteth by eating.

4 Let us find out what is right,

Let us explore among ourselves what is good.

After his first speech Elihu has made a brief pause; now since Job is silent, he begins anew. ויען ויאמר, lxx correctly, here as in all other instances where the phrase occurs: ὑπολαβὼν λέγει, taking up the word he said. The wise and the knowing (Arab. ‛ulamâ), whose attention he bespeaks, are not Job and the three (Umbr., Hahn), who are indeed a party, and as such a subject for the arbitrative appearance of Elihu; also not every one capable of forming a judgment (Hirz.); but those in the circle of spectators and listeners which, as is assumed, has assembled round the disputants (Schlottm.). In Job 33:4 Elihu does not expressly mean his own ear, but that of the persons addressed: he establishes his summons to prove what he says by the general thought brought over from Job 12:11, and as there (comp. Job 5:7; Job 11:12), clothed in the form of the emblematic proverb, - that as there is a bodily, so there is also a mental organ of sense which tries its perceptions. לאכל is not intended as expressing a purpose (ad vescendum), but as a gerundive (vescendo). The phrase בּחר משׁפּט, occurring only here, signifies neither to institute a search for the purpose of decision (Schult. and others), since בחר does not signify to decide upon anything, nor to investigate a cause (Hahn), which would be נבחנה, but to test and choose what is right, δοκιμάζειν καὶ τὸ καλὸν κατέχειν, 1 Thessalonians 5:21, after which the parallel runs: cognoscamus inter nos (i.e., in common) quid bonum.

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