Job 36:1
Elihu also proceeded, and said,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
XXXVI.

(1) Elihu also proceeded.—It is not easy to acquit Elihu of some of the “arrogance” he was so ready to ascribe to Job. He professes very great zeal for God, but it is hard to see that some of his great professions are warranted. For instance, he says—

Job 36:1. Elihu also proceeded — Having reprehended some of the unwarrantable expressions in Job’s discourses, Elihu comes closer to the business, and speaks to the very cause itself, showing, from the nature of God, and the methods of his providence, that he will administer impartial justice to all men. That the general course of his providence is to favour the righteous; that though he may sometimes correct them in love, yet, if they submit patiently to his fatherly correction, and amend their ways, they shall enjoy all manner of prosperity; but, if they are stubborn, and will not submit, they only draw down greater degrees of his vengeance on themselves. That, if Job had, instead of disputing, submitted himself humbly to God’s corrections, he would have delivered him, (it being as easy for him to lift up as to cast down.) And that his not discerning the reason of his corrections (which Job had made a great cause of his grief, Job 19:7) ought not to have hindered his humble submission; because we are not able to comprehend any of the works of God, which we see every day, and acknowledge to be most excellently contrived. He therefore warns him to make use of the present opportunity, lest God should cut him off while in a state of rebellion. That God was infinitely powerful; that there was therefore no resisting him; infinitely wise, as sufficiently appeared by his works; there was therefore no escaping out of his hand; that his purity was so great, that the sun in his presence was more dim than the smallest ray when compared to that bright luminary; that his holiness was manifest from his aversion to iniquity, and his goodness in supplying the wants of his creatures. That man was utterly incapable of accounting for the least of his works; how then dared he to attempt to penetrate the secrets of his providence, and to call him to an account for his dealings with men? This could proceed only from an unjustifiable self-conceit; a crime which the Almighty would not fail severely to punish. Upon the whole, the difference between the argument of Elihu and that of the three friends seems to be this; they suppose Job to be guilty of great crimes, which had drawn down the divine vengeance on him, and infer his guilt merely from his sufferings; on the contrary, Elihu takes it for granted his plea of innocence was true, nevertheless, thinks him exceedingly blameworthy for his behaviour under his afflictions: that he did not sufficiently consider the infinite distance between a weak, frail, sinful creature, and an all-powerful, wise, just, and good Creator; that, instead of submitting himself, as was his duty, and owning the justice of God’s providence toward him, he acted the part of the hardened sinner, and flew in the face of the Almighty; accusing him of injustice and severe treatment; rudely challenging him to answer for his conduct, and pretending to erect himself into a judge of his actions. He tells him, as long as he continued in those dispositions, there was no hope of an abatement of the correction he was under; but he might rather expect an increase of affliction, if not an utter destruction. Job himself is so sensible of the truth of what Elihu had said, that he doth not so much as attempt to answer; and, though he doth not absolutely give up the point — for it was God must convince him, and not man — yet it undoubtedly laid the foundation of that disposition, which ended in an entire submission to God’s will, and a thorough conviction of his own vileness.36:1-4 Elihu only maintained that the affliction was sent for his trial; and lengthened because Job was not yet thoroughly humbled under it. He sought to ascribe righteousness to his Maker; to clear this truth, that God is righteous in all his ways. Such knowledge must be learned from the word and Spirit of God, for naturally we are estranged from it. The fitness of Elihu's discourse to the dispute between Job and his friends is plain. It pointed out to Job the true reason of those trials with which he had been pointed out to Job the true reason of those trials with which he had been visited. It taught that God had acted in mercy towards him, and the spiritual benefit he was to derive from them. It corrected the mistake of his friends, and showed that Job's calamities were for good.Elihu also proceeded - Hebrew added - ויסף vayâsaph. Vulgate "addens;" Septuagint, Ηροσθεὶς Eerostheis - "adding, or proceeding." The Hebrew commentators remark that this word is used because this speech is "added" to the number which it might be supposed he would make. There had been "three" series of speeches, by Job and his friends, and in each one of them Job had spoken three times. Each one of the three friends had also spoken thrice, except Zophar, who failed to reply when it came to his turn. Elihu had also now made three speeches, and here he would naturally have closed, but it is remarked that he "added" this to the usual number. CHAPTER 36

Job 36:1-33.

1, 2. Elihu maintains that afflictions are to the godly disciplinary, in order to lead them to attain a higher moral worth, and that the reason for their continuance is not, as the friends asserted, on account of the sufferer's extraordinary guilt, but because the discipline has not yet attained its object, namely, to lend him to humble himself penitently before God (Isa 9:13; Jer 5:3). This is Elihu's fourth speech. He thus exceeds the ternary number of the others. Hence his formula of politeness (Job 36:2). Literally, "Wait yet but a little for me." Bear with me a little farther. I have yet (much, Job 32:18-20). There are Chaldeisms in this verse, agreeably to the view that the scene of the book is near the Euphrates and the Chaldees.God is first in all his ways; towards the wicked, Job 36:1-6, the godly, Job 36:7-11, the hypocrite, Job 36:12-14, the poor, Job 36:15. Job’s sins hindered God’s salvation to him: he admonisheth him, Job 36:16-21. God’s power, and sovereignty, and all his perfections to be magnified, Job 36:22-33.

No text from Poole on this verse.

Elihu also proceeded, and said. Or "added" (f) what follows to his former discourses; pausing a while to see whether Job would make any reply to what he had already said; but perceiving he had no inclination to do it, and having more upon his mind to deliver, went on with his discourse.

(f) "et addidit", Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius, Mercerus, Michaelis.

Elihu also proceeded, and said,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1–4. Introductory: Elihu desires Job to hear him still further. He has still more to say in God’s behalf; and it is not trivial or commonplace, either in its object—for he will ascribe right to his Maker; nor in itself, for he is one perfect in knowledge.Verses 1-33. - The two chapters, ch. 36. and 37, form a single discourse, and ought not to have been separated; or, at any rate, not so unskilfully as they are, in the middle of a description of a thunderstorm. They constitute a final appeal to Job, who is exhorted to submission, resignation, and patience, in consideration of God's inscrutability, and of his perfect justice, wisdom, and strength. Ch. 36 begins with a short preface (vers. 1-4), in which Elihu seeks to prove his right to offer counsel to Job, after which God's justice is demonstrated (vers. 5-16), and Job warned that his petulance may lead to his complete destruction (vers. 17-25). Finally, in illustration of God's might and unsearchableness' the description of a thunderstorm is commenced (vers. 26-33), which is carried on into the next chapter. Verses 1, 2. - Elihu also proceeded, and said, Suffer me a little, and I will show thee that I have yet to speak on God's behalf; literally, that there are yet words for God. The controversy, i.e., is not exhausted; there is yet much that may be urged on God's behalf, in respect of the charges thou hast made against him. 9 By reason of the multitude of oppressions they raise a cry,

They call for help by reason of the arm of the great,

10 But none saith: Where is Eloah my Creator,

Who giveth songs of praise in the night,

11 Who teacheth us by the beasts of the earth,

And maketh us wise by the fowls of heaven?

12 Then they cry, yet He answereth not,

Because of the pride of evil men.

13 Vanity alone God heareth not,

And the Almighty observeth it not.

In Job 35:9 the accentuation of מרוב with Dech, according to which Dachselt interprets: prae multitudine (oppressionum) oppressi clamabunt, is erroneous; it is to be written מרב, as everywhere else, and this (according to Codd. and the editions of Jablonski, Majus, Michaelis, and others) is to be accented with Munach, which is followed by עשׁוּקים with a vicarious Munach: prae multitudine oppressionum (עשׁוקים like Ecclesiastes 4:1, and probably also Amos 3:9) edunt clamorem (Hiph. in the intensive Kal signification, as e.g., הזנה, to commit fornication, Hosea 4:10). On זרוע, Job 35:9; רבּים are the great or lords (Arab. arbâb). The plur. with a general subj. is followed by the sing. in Job 35:10: and no one says (exactly as in האמר, Job 34:31). Elihu weakens the doubt expressed by Job in Job 24:12, that God allows injustice to prevail, and oppressed innocence remains without vindication. The failure of the latter arises from the fact of the sufferers complaining, but not seeking earnestly the only true helper, God their maker (עשׂים, intensive plur., as Isaiah 22:11; Isaiah 54:5; Psalm 149:2), who gives (to which may be compared a passage of the Edda: "Wuodan gives songs to the Scalds") songs (זמרות, from the onomatopoetic זמר) in the night, i.e., who in the night of sorrow puts songs of praise concerning the dawning light of help into the mouth of the sufferers. The singing of the glory of the nightly heavens (Stick., Hahn) is to be as little thought of as the music of the spheres; the night is, as Job 34:20, Job 34:25, the time of unexpectedly sudden change.

In Job 35:11 most expositors (last of all Schlottm.) take the two מן as comparative. Elihu would then, since he feels the absence of the asking after this God on the part of the sufferers, mean the conscious relation in which He has placed us to Himself, and in accordance with which the sufferer should not merely instinctively complain, but humbly bow himself and earnestly offer up prayer. But according to Job 12:7 (comp. Proverbs 6:6, וחכם), it is to be translated: who teaches (מלּפנוּ equals מאלּפנוּ, comp. 2 Samuel 22:40, Psalter i. 160) us from the beasts of the earth (so that from them as a means of instruction teaching comes to us), and makes us wise from the birds of heaven. The fut. interchanging with the part. better accords with this translation, according to which Job 35:11 is a continuation of the assertion of a divine instruction, by means of the animal creation; the thought also suits the connection better, for of the many things that may be learned from the animal creation, prayer here comes under consideration, - the lions roar, Psalm 104:21; the thirsty cattle cry to God, Joel 1:20; the ravens call upon God, Psalm 147:9. It we now determine the collective thought of Job 35:10, that affliction does not drive most men to God the almighty Helper, who will be humbly entreated for help: it is more natural to take שׁם (vid., on Job 23:7) in the sense of then (τότε), than, with reference to the scene of oppression, in the sense of there (lxx, Jer.: ibi). The division of the verse is correct, and H. B. Starcke has correctly interpreted: Tunc clamabunt (sed non respondebit) propter superbiam (insolentiam) malorum. מפּני is not to be connected with יענה in the sense of non exaudiet et servabit, by which constr. praegnans one would expect מן, Psalm 22:22, instead of מפני, nor in the sense of non exaudiet propter (Hirz., Schlottm.), for the arrogant רעים are not those who complain unheard: but, as the connection shows, those from whom the occasion of complaint proceeds. Therefore: not allowing themselves to be driven to God by oppression, they cry then, without, however, being heard of God, by reason of the arrogance of evil men which they have to endure. Job 35:13 gives the reason of their obtaining no answer: Only emptiness (i.e., mere motion of the lips without the true spirit of prayer) God heareth not, and the Almighty observeth it not. Hahn wrongly denies אך the significations certo and verumtamen; but we prefer the restrictive signification (sheer emptiness or hollowness) which proceeds from the affirmative primary signification

(Note: Vid., Hupfeld in the Zeitschr. fr Kunde des Morgenl. ii.441f.)

continued...

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