Job 34:7
What man is like Job, who drinks up scorning like water?
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(7) Who drinketh up scorning?—The same word had been applied to Job by Zophar (Job 11:3), “And when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed?” and the same reproach by Eliphaz (Job 15:16).

Job 34:7-9. Who drinketh up scorning like water — That is, abundantly and greedily: who doth so break forth into scornful expressions, not only against his friends, but, in some sort, even against God himself. The Hebrew may be interpreted, What man, being like Job, would drink up scorning? &c. That a wicked or foolish man should act thus, is not strange; but that a man of such piety, gravity, wisdom, and authority, as Job, should be guilty of such a sin, this is wonderful. Which walketh with wicked men — Although I dare not say he is a wicked man, yet in this matter he speaks and acts like one of the wicked. For he hath said — Not absolutely, and in express terms, but by consequence, It profiteth a man nothing. &c. —

That though a man study to please God, he shall not be profited by it. For he said that good men were no less, nay, sometimes more miserable here than the wicked, Job 9:22; Job 30:26. And that, for his part, he was no gainer, as to this life, by his piety, but a loser, and that God showed him no more kindness and compassion than he usually did to the vilest of men.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.What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water? - A similar image occurs in Job 15:16. The idea is, that he was full of reproachful speeches respecting God; of the language of irreverence and rebellion. He indulged in it as freely as a man drinks water; gathers up and imbibes all the language of reproach that he can find, and indulges in it as if it were perfectly harmless. 7. (Job 15:16). Image from the camel.

scorning—against God (Job 15:4).

i.e. Abundantly and greedily; who doth so oft and so easily break forth into scornful and contemptuous expressions, not only against his friends, but in some sort even against God himself, whom he foolishly and insolently chargeth with dealing rigorously with him. The words may be thus read,

What man, being like Job, would drink up?..? That a wicked or foolish man should do thus is not strange; but that a man of such piety, gravity, wisdom, and authority as Job should be guilty of such a sin, this is wonderful. What man is like Job,.... This is said as wondering at the part he acted, that a man so wise and good as Job was esteemed to be should behave in such a manner as he did;

who drinketh up scorning like water? For a foolish and wicked man to do so is not strange nor uncommon; but for a man of such sense and grace as Job was to do this was astonishing; to have no more regard to his character than to expose himself to the scorn and ridicule of men: for a man to become a laughing stock to profane and wicked men for his religion and piety, it is no disgrace, but an honour to him; but by unbecoming words and gestures to make himself justly jeered and scoffed at is great indiscretion. Or it may be understood actively of his dealing very freely and frequently in scoffs and jeers, which he poured out very liberally and plentifully, and seemingly with as much delight as a man drinks water when thirsty; see Job 11:3.

What man is like Job, who drinketh up {f} scorning like water?

(f) Which is compelled to receive your reproach and scorns of many for his foolish words.

7. Elihu cannot restrain his abhorrence of Job’s sentiments. By scorning is meant impiety and scepticism. On the figure comp. ch. Job 15:16.Verse 7. - What man is like Job, who drinketh up scorning like water? This comment is not only unnecessary, but unfair. It was not for Elihu, who professed a desire to "justify" (or completely exonerate) Job, to aggravate his guilt by means of rhetorical comment; and the comment itself was unfair, for Job had not indulged in scorn to any extent, much less "drunk it up like water" (comp. Job 15:16). He had in no respect scorned God; and if he had occasionally poured some scorn upon his "comforters" (Job 6:21; Job 12:2; Job 13:4-13; Job 16:2; Job 21:2-5; Job 26:2-4), must it not be admitted that they had deserved it? It was the duty of Elihu to act as moderator between Job and the "comforters," whereas he here seeks to exasperate them, and lash them up to fury against their afflicted friend. Perhaps Job's impassive attitude has embittered him. 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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