Job 34:5
For Job has said, I am righteous: and God has taken away my judgment.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) For Job hath said.—See Job 13:18-19; Job 27:2, especially.

Job 34:5-6. Job hath said, I am righteous — I am so far righteous that I have not deserved, nor had any reason to expect, such hard usage from God. God hath taken away my judgment — So Job had said, Job 27:2; that is, he denies me that which is just and equal, namely, to give me a fair hearing. Should I lie against my right — Thus Job had spoken in effect, Job 27:4-6. Should I falsely accuse myself of sins of which I am not guilty? Should I betray mine own cause, and deny that integrity which I am conscious I possess? My wound is incurable without transgression — Without any such crying sin as might reasonably bring down such terrible judgments upon my head.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.For Job hath said, I am righteous - see Job 13:18, "I know that I shall be justified;" compare Job 23:10-11, where he says, if he was tried he would come forth as gold. Elihu may have also referred to the general course of remark which he had pursued as vindicating himself.

And God hath taken away my judgment - This sentiment is found in Job 27:2; see the notes at that place.

5. judgment—my right. Job's own words (Job 13:18; 27:2). I am righteous; either,

1. I am perfectly righteous. But this Job did not say, but the contrary, Job 9:2,3 14:4. Or,

2. I am a sincere person, no hypocrite, as my friends made me. But this Elihu doth not deny. Or,

3. I am so far righteous, and have been so holy and blameless in my life, that I have not deserved, nor had any reason to expect, such hard usage from God. And this Job had oft intimated, and Elihu doth justly blame him for it, that he blazoned his own righteousness with tacit reflections upon God for dealing so severely with him.

God hath taken away my judgment; for so Job had said, Job 27:2; i.e. he denies me that which is but just and equal, to give me a fair hearing, to suffer me to plead my cause with or before him, to show me the reasons of his contending with me, and what sins besides common infirmities I have been guilty of, whereby I have deserved such extraordinary judgments; which Elihu justly taxeth him with as a very irreverent and presumptuous expression. For Job hath said, I am righteous,.... Not in express words, but what amounted to it: no doubt he was a righteous man in an evangelic sense, being justified by the righteousness of Christ, as all the Old Testament saints were, who looked to him and believed in him as the Lord their righteousness, and said, as the church in those times did, "surely in the Lord have I righteousness and strength"; Isaiah 45:24. And moreover he was an upright man, to which the Lord himself bore testimony, Job 1:8; and had the truth of grace in him, that "new man which is created in righteousness and true holiness"; and also lived an holy life and conversation; but then he did not say or think that he was righteous in or of himself, or so as to be free from sin: Job could not judge or speak thus of himself, which would be contrary to what he expressly declares, Job 7:20; though it must be owned, that he thought himself so righteous, holy, and good, that he ought not to have been afflicted in the manner he was; in which sense it is probable Elihu understood him: and besides, these words are not to be taken separately, but in connection with what follows, which shows Job's sense, and how Elihu understood him, that though he was a righteous person, he had not justice done him:

and God hath taken away my judgment; which words he did say; see Gill on Job 27:2; or, as Mr. Broughton renders the words, "the Omnipotent keeps back my right"; does not vindicate my cause, nor so much as give it a hearing, nor lets me know why he contends with me; and, though I call for justice to be done, cannot be heard, Job 19:7; a like complaint of the church in Isaiah 40:27.

For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken {c} away my judgment.

(c) That is, has afflicted me without measure.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. I am righteous] Or, in the right, I have right on my side.

my judgment] As before means my right, what is rightly due to me—God has dealt with me unjustly; comp. Job 9:15; Job 9:20, Job 13:18, Job 27:2; Job 27:6.

5–9. Elihu recites Job’s statement of his cause against God, expressing his abhorrence of Job’s sentiments.Verse 5. - For Job hath said, I am righteous. Job had maintained his "righteousness" in a certain sense, i.e. his integrity, his honesty, his conviction that God would ultimately acquit him; but he had not maintained his sinlessness (see the comment on Job 33:9). He had not even said, in so many words, "I am righteous." The nearest that he had come to saying it was when (in Job 13:18) he had exclaimed, "I know that I shall be held righteous," or "justified." And God hath taken away my judgment. Job had said this (Job 27:2), but in the sense that God had withheld from him the judgment on his cause which he desired, not that he had perverted judgment, and wrongfully condemned him (see the 'Speaker's Commentary,' vol. 4. p. 97). 29 Behold, God doeth all

Twice, thrice with man,

30 To bring back his soul from the pit,

That it may become light in the light of life.

31 Listen, O Job, hearken to me;

Be silent and let me speak on.

32 Yet if thou hast words, answer me;

Speak, for I desire thy justification.

33 If not, hearken thou to me;

Be silent and I will teach thee wisdom.

After having described two prominent modes of divine interposition for the moral restoration and welfare of man, he adds, Job 33:29, that God undertakes (observe the want of parallelism in the distich, Job 33:29) everything with a man twice or thrice (asyndeton, as e.g., Isaiah 17:6, in the sense of bis terve) in order to bring back his soul from the pit (שׁחת, here for the fifth time in this speech, without being anywhere interchanged with שׁאול or another synonym, which is remarkable), that it, having hitherto been encompassed by the darkness of death, may be, or become, light (לאור, inf. Niph., syncopated from להאור, Ew. 244, b) in the light of life (as it were bask in the new and restored light of life) - it does not always happen, for these are experiences of no ordinary kind, which interrupt the daily course of life; and it is not even repeated again and again constantly, for if it is without effect the first time, it is repeated a second or third time, but it has an end if the man trifles constantly with the disciplinary work of grace which designs his good. Finally, Elihu calls upon Job quietly to ponder this, that he may proceed; nevertheless, if he has words, i.e., if he thinks he is able to advance any appropriate objections, he is continually to answer him (השׁיב with acc. of the person, as Job 33:5), for he (Elihu) would willingly justify him, i.e., he would gladly be in the position to be able to acknowledge Job to be right, and to have the accusation dispensed with. Hirz. and others render falsely: I wish thy justification, i.e., thou shouldst justify thyself; in this case נפשׁך ought to be supplied, which is unnecessary: חפץ, without a change of subject, has the inf. constr. here without ל, as it has the inf. absol. in Job 13:3, and צדּק signifies to vindicate (as Job 32:2), or acknowledge to be in the right (as the Piel of צדק, Job 33:12), both of which are blended here. The lxx, which translates θέλω γὰρ δικαιωθῆναί σε, has probably read צדקך (Psalm 35:27). If it is not so (אם־אין as Genesis 30:1), viz., that he does not intend to defend himself with reference to his expostulation with God on account of the affliction decreed for him, he shall on his part (אתּה) listen, shall be silent and be further taught wisdom.

Quasi hac ratione Heliu sanctum Iob convicerit! exclaims Beda, after a complete exposition of this speech. He regards Elihu as the type of the false wisdom of the heathen, which fails to recognise and persecutes the servant of God: Sunt alii extra ecclesiam, qui Christo ejusque ecclesiae similiter adversantur, quorum imaginem praetulit Balaam ille ariolus, qui et Elieu sicut patrum traditio habet (Balaam and Elihu, one person - a worthless conceit repeated in the Talmud and Midrash), qui contra ipsum sanctum Iob multa improbe et injuriose locutus est, in tantum ut etiam displiceret in una ejus et indisciplinata loquacitas.

(Note: Bedae Opp. ed. Basil. iii. col. 602f. 786. The commentary also bears the false name of Jerome Hieronymus, and as a writing attributed to him is contained in tom. v. Opp. ed. Vallarsi.)

Gregory the Great, in his Moralia, expresses himself no less unfavourably at the conclusion of this speech:

continued...

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