Job 35:6
If you sin, what do you against him? or if your transgressions be multiplied, what do you to him?
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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.If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? - This should not be interpreted as designed to justify sin, or as saying that there is no evil in it, or that God does not regard it. That is not the point or scope of the remark of Elihu. His object is to show that God is not influenced in his treatment of his creatures as people are in their treatment of each other. He has no "interest" in being partial, or in treating them otherwise than they deserve. If they sin against him his happiness is not so marred that he is under any inducement to interpose "by passion," or in any other way than that which is "right." 6. what doest—how canst thou affect Him?

unto him—that can hurt Him? (Jer 7:19; Pr 8:36).

Thy sins do him no hurt, and therefore thy righteousness brings him no benefit, as it follows. If thou sinnest, what dost thou against him?.... Sin is expressly said to be against God, Psalm 51:4; it is contrary to his nature, as any opposites can be to each other: it is against his law, a breach and violation of it; and so against his supreme legislative power and authority, and a contempt of it; it is what he is angry with and is provoked by, being what he hates and abhors, and is abominable in his sight. But then he cannot be supposed to be so affected with it to be ruffled and discomposed, or his peace be disturbed, and his happiness in the least broke in upon; for affections are only attributed to him after the manner of men; much less is he so affected hereby as to be hurt or in danger of being destroyed, nor even of being dethroned: men can no more reach him by any hostile action of theirs, such as sin is, than they can reach the sun and stop its course, lessen its light or pluck it from its orbit. Or, "what canst thou work for him?" as Mr. Broughton; by way of atonement or satisfaction for sin? Nothing at all; see Job 7:20; but the other sense is best;

or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what dost thou unto him? As he is not hurt by a slight single sin, a failing or infirmity, an error or mistake, common to men, as the preceding word may signify; so not by greater sins, presumptuous ones, gross enormities, rebellions against God, overt acts of treason against the Almighty, and these multiplied and heaped up even unto heaven; for though by these the name of God is profaned and blasphemed, and he is dishonoured and despised, and his manifestative glory is eclipsed, or he has not the honour given him that is due unto him; yet his essential glory is untarnished, unsullied, and unhurt, no more than the sun by an eclipse; he is the same without any variableness or shadow of turning, as well as is over all blessed for ever. And, indeed, his manifestative glory in many instances receives a lustre, through his power, wisdom, and goodness, overruling the sins of men for the display of it; as the fall of the first Adam made way for the sending of Christ the Saviour, in which God has shown forth the exceeding riches of his grace; and as his mercy and grace are displayed in the pardon of sin, and his power and justice in the punishment of sin and sinners; and his patience and longsuffering in bearing with them.

If thou sinnest, what doest thou {d} against him? or if thy transgressions be multiplied, what doest thou unto him?

(d) Neither does your sin hurt God, nor your justice profit him: for he will be glorified without you.

Verse 6. - If thou sinnest, what doest thou against him? Man's sins against God cannot injure him, diminish from his power, or lower his dignity. They can only injure the sinner himself. God does not punish them because they harm him, but because they are discords in the harmony of his moral universe. Or even if thy transgressions be multiplied; i.e. if thou persistest in a long course of sin, and addest "rebellion" to transgression, and self-complacency to rebellion, and "multipliest thy words against God" (Job 34:37) - even then, what doest thou unto him?.. what hurt dost thou inflict upon him? None. 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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