Job 34:32
That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
34:31-37 When we reprove for what is amiss, we must direct to what is good. Job's friends would have had him own himself a wicked man. Let will only oblige him to own that he spoke unadvisedly with his lips. Let us, in giving reproof, not make a matter worse than it is. Elihu directs Job to humble himself before God for his sins, and to accept the punishment. Also to pray to God to discover his sins to him. A good man is willing to know the worst of himself; particularly, under affliction, he desires to be told wherefore God contends with him. It is not enough to be sorry for our sins, but we must go and sin no more. And if we are affectionate children, we shall love to speak with our Father, and to tell him all our mind. Elihu reasons with Job concerning his discontent under affliction. We are ready to think every thing that concerns us should be just as we would have it; but it is not reasonable to expect this. Elihu asks whether there was not sin and folly in what Job said. God is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works, Ps 145:17. The believer saith, Let my Saviour, my wise and loving Lord, choose every thing for me. I am sure that will be wisest, and the best for his glory and my good.That which I see not, teach thou me - That is, in regard to my errors and sins. No prayer could be more appropriate than this. It is language becoming every one who is afflicted, and who does not see clearly the reason why it is done. The sense is, that with a full belief that he is liable to error and sin, that he has a wicked and deceitful heart, and that God never afflicts without reason, he should go to him and ask him to show him "why" he has afflicted him. He should not complain or repine; he should not accuse God of injustice or partiality; he should not attempt to cloak his offences, but should go and entreat him to make him acquainted with the sins of heart and life which have led to these calamities. Then only will he be in a state of mind in which he will be likely to be profited by trials.

If I have done iniquity, I will do no more - Admitting the possibility that he had erred. Who is there that cannot appropriately use this language when he is afflicted?

32. (Job 10:2; Ps 32:8; 19:12; 139:23, 24).

no more—(Pr 28:13; Eph 4:22).

I will no longer maintain mine innocency, but from thy judgments I will conclude and have reason to believe that there are some secret sins in me, for which thou dost chastise me, and which I through mine ignorance or partiality cannot yet discover, and therefore do beg that thou wouldst by thy Spirit manifest them to me. If I have done iniquity, I will amend my former errors.

That which I see not teach thou me,.... Which may be understood either of the chastisements of God, and his dealings with his people in a providential way, and of the design and use of them, which are sometimes unsearchable, and at most but a part of them only seen and known; it is meet to say to God, it is but a small part and portion of thy ways that is known by me; I can see but little into them: teach me more of thy mind and will in them, or else of sins and transgressions, the cause of chastisement; it is proper for an afflicted man to say unto God, I am conscious to myself of many sinful failings and infirmities, but there may be secret sins committed by me which have escaped my notice and observation; point them out to me, that I may be humbled for them, and make a free confession of them;

if I have done iniquity, I will do no more; that is, if I have committed any capital crime, any foul offence or gross enormity, for otherwise no man lives without sin, I sincerely repent of it, and will take care for the future, through divine grace, to do so no more.

{a} That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.

(a) Thus Elihu speaks in the person of God, as it were mocking Job, because he would be wiser than God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 32. - That which I see not, teach thou me; i.e. "If in anything I fail to see thy will, teach thou it me. Make thy way plain before my face." If I have done iniquity, I will do no more. The hypothetical form seems to be preferred, as more acceptable to Job, who maintained his righteousness, than a positive confession of sin. Job 34:3229 If He, however, maketh peace, who will then condemn?

And if He hideth His countenance - who then can behold Him? -

Both concerning numbers and individuals together:

30 That godless men reign not,

That they be not nets to the people.

31 For one, indeed, saith to God,

"I have been proud, I will not do evil;

32 "What I see not, show Thou me;

"If I have done wrong, I will do it no more"!? -

If God makes peace (ישׁקיט as Psalm 94:13, comp. Isaiah 14:7, הארץ שׁקטה כל־, viz., after the overthrow of the tyrant) in connection with such crying oppression of the poor, who will then condemn Him without the rather recognising therein His comprehensive justice? The conjecture ירעשׁ

(Note: Vid., Grtz in Frankel's Monatsschrift, 1861, i.)

is not required either here or 1 Samuel 14:47 (where הרשׁיע signifies to punish the guilty); ירשׁע is also not to be translated turbabit (Rosenm.), since רשׁע (Arab. rs‛, rsg) according to its primitive notion does not signify "to be restless, to rage," but "to be relaxed, hollow" (opposite of צדק, Arab. ṣdq, to be hard, firm, tight). Further: If God hides His countenance, i.e., is angry and punishes, who can then behold Him, i.e., make Him, the veiled One, visible and claim back the favour withdrawn? The Waw of וּמי, if one marks off the periods of the paratactic expression, is in both cases the Waw of conclusion after hypothetical antecedents, and. Job 34:29 refers to Job's impetuous challenging of God. Thus exalted above human controversy and defiance, God rules both over the mass and over individuals alike. יחד gives intensity of the equality thus correlatively (et-et) expressed (Targ., Syr.); to refer it to אדם as generalizing (lxx, Jer. et super omnes homines), is forbidden by the antithesis of peoples and individuals. To the thought, that God giveth rest (from oppressors) and hides His countenance (from the oppressors and in general those who act wrongly), two co-ordinate negative final clauses are attached: in order that godless men may not rule (ממּלך, as e.g., 2 Kings 23:33, Keri), in order that they may no longer be (מ( e equals מהיות, under the influence of the notion of putting aside contained in the preceding final clause, therefore like Isaiah 7:8 מעם, Isaiah 24:2 מעיר, Jeremiah 48:2 מגוי, and the like) snares of the people, i.e., those whose evil example and bad government become the ruin of the community.

In Job 34:31 the view of those who by some jugglery concerning the laws of the vowel sounds explain האמר as imper. Niph. ( equals האמר), be it in the sense of להאמר, dicendum est (Rosenm., Schlottm., and others, after Raschi), or even in the unheard-of reflexive signification: express thyself (Stick., Hahn), is to be rejected. The syncopated form of the infin. בּהרג, Ezekiel 26:15, does not serve as a palliation of this adventurous imperative. It is, on the contrary, אמר with ה interrog., as Ezekiel 28:9 האמר, and probably also העמוּר Micah 2:7 (vid., Hitz.). A direct exhortation to Job to penitence would also not be in place here, although what Elihu says is levelled against Job. The כּי is confirmatory. Thus God acts with that class of unscrupulous men who abuse their power for the destruction of their subjects: for he (one of them) says (or: has said, from the standpoint of the execution of punishment) to God, etc. Ew. differently: "for one says thus to God even: I expiate what I do not commit," by understanding the speech quoted of a defiance which reproachfully demands an explanation. It is, however, manifestly a compendious model confession. And since Elihu with כי establishes the execution of punishment from this, that it never entered the mind of the עדם חנף thus to humble himself before God, so נשׂאתי here cannot signify: I have repented (put up with and had to bear what I have deserved); on the contrary, the confession begins with the avowal: I have exalted myself (נשׂא, se efferre, in Hosea 13:1; Psalm 89:10), which is then followed by the vow: I will not (in the future) do evil (חבל synon. עוה, as Nehemiah 1:7, and probably also supra, Job 24:9), and the entreaty, Job 34:32 : beside that which I behold (elliptical object-clause, Ew. 333, b), i.e., what lies beyond my vision ( equals נסתּרות or עלמים, Psalm 19:13; Psalm 90:8, unacknowledged sins), teach me; and the present vow has reference to acknowledged sins and sins that have still to be acknowledged: if I have done wrong, I will do it no more. Thus speaking - Elihu means - those high ones might have anticipated the punishment of the All-just God, for favour instead of wrath cannot be extorted, it is only reached by the way of lowly penitence.

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