Job 36:10
He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.
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36:5-14 Elihu here shows that God acts as righteous Governor. He is always ready to defend those that are injured. If our eye is ever toward God in duty, his eye will be ever upon us in mercy, and, when we are at the lowest, will not overlook us. God intends, when he afflicts us, to discover past sins to us, and to bring them to our remembrance. Also, to dispose our hearts to be taught: affliction makes people willing to learn, through the grace of God working with and by it. And further, to deter us from sinning for the future. It is a command, to have no more to do with sin. If we faithfully serve God, we have the promise of the life that now is, and the comforts of it, as far as is for God's glory and our good: and who would desire them any further? We have the possession of inward pleasures, the great peace which those have that love God's law. If the affliction fail in its work, let men expect the furnace to be heated till they are consumed. Those that die without knowledge, die without grace, and are undone for ever. See the nature of hypocrisy; it lies in the heart: that is for the world and the flesh, while perhaps the outside seems to be for God and religion. Whether sinners die in youth, or live long to heap up wrath, their case is dreadful. The souls of the wicked live after death, but it is in everlasting misery.He openeth also their ear to discipline - To teaching; or he makes them willing to learn the lessons which their afflictions are designed to teach; coral). See the notes at Job 33:16. 10. (Job 33:16-18, 23). i.e. He enableth and inclineth them to hearken to what God speaks by the rod, who would not hear in the time of their prosperity; like them Jeremiah 22:21.

To discipline; or, to instruction, i.e. to receive instruction; or, to chastening, i.e. to hear the rod, and who hath appointed it, as is said, Micah 6:9.

Commandeth, either by his word or Spirit accompanying the affliction, and discovering the mind and will of God in this dispensation.

That they return from iniquity, which is the chief cause of their calamity.

He openeth also their ear to discipline,.... Or "to correction" (o); to the rod of correction; to hear the voice of it and him that has appointed it; its reproving voice for sin, its directing voice to duty, and its commanding voice to return from iniquity, as in the next clause. Or "to instruction" (p); God's corrections of his people being instructions to them, whereby they learn more of their duty, and of the rich experiences of grace; their faith, hope, love, and patience, are tried and increased hereby; and more of the love of God, of his care and faithfulness, of his covenant, of his gracious presence, and communion with God, what it is; and even of the doctrines of the everlasting Gospel: sometimes more is learned by an affliction than by a sermon. Now in order to hearken hereunto, to the voice of God in an affliction, the ear must be opened; which is first done in conversion by the mighty power of God: but sometimes good men fall asleep, and are inattentive to divine things; and this is one way God takes to awaken them, to arouse their attention; he speaks to them out of a whirlwind; he sends some terrible startling affliction, which fetches them out of their slumber, and so their ears are opened to hear what he says in it: at the noise of his waterspouts, and his billows one after another rolling over them, they are awakened to a sense of their sin and duty, Psalm 42:7;

and commandeth that they return from iniquity; repent of their sin, turn from it and forsake it: such a strong voice has an affliction in it, when sanctified and attended with the spirit and power of God; then it effectually teaches men to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, as the word of God, the Gospel of the grace of God does, when accompanied with the same; as there is a commanding voice in the one, so there is in the other; and happy it is when such ends as these are answered by afflictions.

(o) "ad correptionem", Montanus; "ad correctionem", Beza, Michaelis, Schultens. (p) "Ad eruditionem", Cocceius.

He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity.
Verse 10 - He openeth also their ear to discipline. It is the especial merit of Elihu's theory of suffering that he views it as far less penal than disciplinary and restorative. Job's sufferings especially he views in this light. Instead of looking upon Job, like his other friends, as a heinous sinner, upon whom Go, I is taking vengeance, he regards him as a person who is being chastised, in love, for some fault or faults that he has committed, to his ultimate advantage and improvement. This, though not exactly the truth, is far nearer the truth than the view taken by the other three "friends." And commandeth that they return from iniquity. God's chastisements are to be viewed as commands to men to "go and sin no more." Job 36:10 8 And if they are bound with chains,

Holden in cords of affliction:

9 Then He declareth to them their doing

And their transgressions, that they have been vainglorious;

10 Then He openeth their ear to warning,

And commandeth them to turn from iniquity.

The subj. is in no case the רשׁעים (Hahn), but the צדיקים, or those who are as susceptible to discipline as it is needful to them, just as in Psalm 107, which in general presents many instances for an extensive comparison with the speeches of Elihu. The chains, Job 36:8, are meant literally, and the bands, Job 36:8, figuratively; the Psalmist couples both in אסירי עני וברזל, Psalm 107:10. The conclusion begins with Job 36:9, and is repeated in another application, Job 36:10. פּעל in the sense of maleficium, as Arab. fa‛alat, recalls מעשׂה, facinus, Job 33:17. כּי, Job 36:9, as in Job 36:10, an objective quod. It is not translated, however, quod invaluerint (Rosenm.), which is opposed to the most natural sense of the Hithpa., but according to Job 15:25 : quod sese extulerint. מוּסר, παιδεία, disciplina, interchanges here with the more rare מסר used in Job 33:16; there we have already also met with the phrase גּלה אזן, to uncover the ear, i.e., to open. אמר כּי corresponds to the Arab. amara an (bi-an), to command that. The fundamental thought of Elihu here once again comes unmistakeably to view: the sufferings of the righteous are well-meant chastisements, which are to wean them from the sins into which through carnal security they have fallen - a warning from God to penitence, designed to work their good.

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