Job 35:4
I will answer you, and your companions with you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(4) And thy companions.—Elihu professes to answer Job’s friends as well as himself, but what he says (Job 35:5, &c.) is very much what Eliphaz had said before (Job 15:14, &c., Job 22:3, &c., and Bildad in Job 25). It is indeed true that God is too high to be affected by man’s righteousness or unrighteousness, but it does not follow therefore that He is indifferent, for then He would not be a righteous judge. (See Note on Job 34:9.)

Job 35:4-8. I will answer thee, and thy companions — That is, those who are of thy opinion. Look unto the heavens, &c. — Cast up thine eyes to the heavens; look upon the clouds and the sky; and consider that, high as they are, they are not so much above thee, as God is above them. If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? — Thy sins do him no hurt, and therefore thy righteousness brings him no benefit, as it follows. What receiveth he of thy hand? — He gaineth nothing by it, nor can indeed receive any good from thee, but all thy good comes from him: and therefore thou hast no reason to boast of, nor to upbraid God with, thy piety, which is much to thy advantage, but nothing to his. Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art — Thy wickedness will prove hurtful to thyself and others of mankind, and thy righteousness will do thee and them great service; but God, being an infinite, independent, and self-sufficient being, is far exalted above all thy good or evil.35:1-8 Elihu reproves Job for justifying himself more than God, and called his attention to the heavens. They are far above us, and God is far above them; how much then is he out of the reach, either of our sins or of our services! We have no reason to complain if we have not what we expect, but should be thankful that we have better than we deserve.I will answer thee - Margin, "return to thee words." Elihu meant to explain this more fully than it had been done by the friends of Job, and to show where Job was in error.

And thy companions with thee - Eliphaz, in Job 22:2, had taken up the same inquiry, and proposed to discuss the subject, but he had gone at once into severe charges against Job, and been drawn into language of harsh crimination, instead of making the matter clear, and Elihu now proposes to state just how it is, and to remove the objections of Job. It may be doubted, however, whether he was much more successful than Eliphaz had been. The doctrine of the future state, as it is revealed by Christianity, was needful to enable these speakers to comprehend and explain this subject.

4. companions—those entertaining like sentiments with thee (Job 34:8, 36). Thy companions, i.e. those who are of thy opinion, or with whom thou dost associate thyself in those speeches and carriages; which seems to be meant not of Job’s three friends, (as many understand it, for their opinions were contrary to Job’s in this point,) but of wicked men, with whom Job is said to walk and go in company for this same opinion or assertion, Job 34:8,9. And these men he here calls Job’s companions, partly because they are very forward to harp upon the same string, and to accuse God and justify themselves upon all occasions; and partly that he might awaken Job to a more serious review of his former assertions, by representing to him whose cause he pleaded, and who were his confederates and colleagues in this opinion. I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee. Meaning not his three friends, as the Septuagint version expresses it; for they were not on the side of Job, and of the same sentiment with him, but rather on the side of Elihu; especially Eliphaz, who expresses much the same sentiment he does, Job 22:2; but all that were of the same mind with Job, whether present or absent, or in whatsoever part of the world; the answer he should return to him would serve for them all, and sufficiently confute such a bad notion of God, let it be embraced by whomsoever. I will answer thee, and thy {b} companions with thee.

(b) Such as are in the same error.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. The “companions” of Job referred to in this verse can hardly be the three friends, for Eliphaz (ch. Job 22:2) had advanced substantially the same answer to Job as is here given, which even Job himself had touched upon, ch. Job 7:20, though with a different purpose. Most probably Job is considered here the centre of a circle of persons who cherished the same irreligious doubts in regard to God’s providence as he did.Verse 4. - I will answer thee, and thy companions with thee; i.e. "thy comforters, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar." Elihu has pledged himself to confute their reasonings, no less than those of Job (Job 32:5-20), and now proposes to carry out this intention. But it is not very clear that he accomplish, s his purpose. In point of fact, he does little more than repeat and expand the argument of Eliphaz (Job 22:2, 3). 33 Shall He recompense it as thou wilt? For thou hast found fault,

So that thou hast to determine, not I,

And what thou knowest speak out!

34 Men of understanding will say to me,

And a wise man who listeneth to me:

35 "Job speaketh without knowledge,

"And his words are without intelligence."

36 O would that Job were proved to the extreme

On account of his answers after the manner of evil men;

37 For he addeth transgression to his sin,

Among us he clappeth

And multiplieth his speeches against God.

The question put to Job, whether then from him or according to his idea (עם in מעמּך as Job 23:10; Job 27:11, which see) shall God recompense it (viz., as this "it" is to be understood according to Job 34:32: man's evil-doing and actions in general), Elihu proves from this, that Job has despised (shown himself discontented with it) the divine mode of recompense, so that therefore (this second כּי signifies also nam, but is, because extending further on account of the first, according to the sense equivalent to ita ut) he has to choose (seek out) another mode of recompense, not Elihu (who is perfectly satisfied with the mode with which history furnishes us); which is then followed by the challenge (דּבּר not infin., but as Job 33:32): what (more corresponding to just retribution) thou knowest, speak out then! Elihu on his part knows that he does not stand alone against Job, the censurer of the divine government of the world, but that men of heart (understanding) and (every) wise man who listens to him will coincide with him in the opinion that Job's talk is devoid of knowledge and intelligence (on the form of writing השׂכּיל as Jeremiah 3:15, vid., Ges. 53, rem. 2).

In Job 34:36 we will for the present leave the meaning of אבי undecided; יבּחן is certainly intended as optative: let Job be tried to the extreme or last, i.e., let his trial by affliction continue until the matter is decided (comp. Habakkuk 1:4), on account of the opposition among men of iniquity, i.e., after the manner of such (on this Beth of association comp. בּקּשׁשׁים, Job 36:14), for to חטּאת, by which the purpose of his affliction is to be cleared up, he adds פּשׁע, viz., the wickedness of blasphemous speeches: among us (therefore without fear) he claps (viz., his hands scornfully together, יספּוק only here thus absolute instead of ישׂפּק כּפּיו fo dae, Job 27:23, comp. בשׂפק Job 36:18 with ספקו Job 20:22)

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