Job 36:2
Suffer me a little, and I will show you that I have yet to speak on God's behalf.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 36:2-4. Suffer me a little — Give me thy patient attention but a little longer, and I have done. I will show I have yet to speak on God’s behalf — That I have not yet said all that can be said to justify God’s dispensations toward thee. I will fetch my knowledge from afar — From remote times, and places, and things. I will not confine my discourse to any particular case, but will justify God by declaring his great and glorious works of creation and providence, both in the heaven and the earth, and the manner of his dealings with men in other parts and ages of the world. These are the chief heads of the following discourse, and therefore the best comment upon this general expression. And will ascribe righteousness to my Maker — I will prove and maintain this truth, that God is righteous in all his ways. My words shall not be false — Neither contrary to truth, nor to my views and apprehensions of it. I will admit into my discourse no kind or degree of flattery, calumny, or sophistry; he that is perfect in knowledge is with thee — He that is sincere and upright in his use of his knowledge, who will deliver his opinion honestly and truly, unbiased by fear or favour, passion or prejudice; and who believes that, as he has accurately considered, so he fully understands the matters about which he will speak. Bishop Patrick’s paraphrase on the verse is, “Assure thyself I will not seek to baffle thee with sophistical arguments: he that discourses with thee is none of those subtle disputers, but loves sincere and solid reason.” The latter clause, however, may be considered as connected with what follows, and understood as spoken of God. The meaning then will be, Thou hast to do with a God of perfect knowledge, by whom all thy words and actions are weighed.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.Suffer me a little - Even beyond the regular order of speaking; or, allow me to go on though I have fully occupied my place in the "number" of speeches. Jarchi remarks that this verse is "Chaldaic," and it is worthy of observation that the principal words in it are not those ordinarily used in Hebrew to express the same thought, but are such as occur in the Chaldee. The word rendered "suffer" (כתר kâthar) has here a signification which occurs only an Syriac and Chaldee. It properly means in Hebrew: to "surround," in a hostile sense; Judges 20:43; Psalm 22:12; then in the Hiphil to crown oneself. In Syriac and Chaldee, it means "to wait" - perhaps from the idea of going round and round - and this is the meaning here. He wished them not to remit their attention, but to have patience with what he would yet say.

And I will show thee that - Margin, "there are yet words for God." The Hebrew is, "And I will show you that there are yet words for God;" that is, that there were yet many. considerations which could be urged in vindication of his government. The idea of Elihu is not so much that "he" had much to say, as that in fact there was much that "could be" said for him. He regarded his character and government as having been attacked, and he believed that there were ample considerations which could be urged in its defense. The word which is here rendered "I will show thee" (אחוך 'achâvekā), is also Chaldee in its signification. It is from חוה châvâh (Chaldee) not used in the Qal, but it occurs in other forms in the Chaldee portion of the Scriptures; see Daniel 2:11, Daniel 2:16, Daniel 2:24, Daniel 2:27. The use of these Chaldee words is somewhat remarkable, and perhaps may throw some light on the question about the time and place of the composition of the book.

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.

Suffer me a little; give me thy patient attention but a little longer; and I

will show thee that I have not said all that can be said to justify God’s proceedings against thee. Suffer me a little,.... Bear with me a little longer, and allow me to say a few words more. I have but little more to say, and it will take but a little time to say it in; thus, proposing brevity, he hoped to be heard with patience, since he should not long trespass upon it. The word used has the signification of a crown; but not to be understood in the sense of surrounding, as a crown surrounds the head, as some, who interpret it, stand about me, surround me, in order to hear; for this cannot with propriety be said to a single person; but rather in the sense of doing honour, as Aben Ezra; and so the meaning may be, do me the honour of giving; me thy presence a little longer, and hearing me out patiently;

and I will show thee: make things clear, manifest, and plain to thee: clearness of expression, with brevity, recommends a discourse. Something may be here supplied; for a greater stop is here to be made than in our version, as either "my opinion", as in Job 32:10; his sentiment concerning God and his righteousness in his dealings with the sons of men; or "truth", as Ben Gersom; truth in general, plain naked truth, without any colouring, just as it is, cordially, sincerely, in love, and by clear manifestations of it; and particularly the truth of the righteousness of God in all his ways and works. He proposed to make it clear to him that God did all things well and right, and to lay before him in the plainest manner what were the ends God had in view in dealing thus with Job, and what was his duty to do in his present circumstances;

that I have yet to speak in God's behalf: or "for I have yet to speak" (g), &c. Elihu had said much for God already, in vindication of his sovereignty, purity, holiness, and justice, and he had yet more to say; out of the abundance of his heart his mouth spake for God; he set out with this, that he was full of matter, and wanted to vent himself, that he might be eased, Job 32:18; and he had vented much, but he had yet more to deliver; and since it was not for himself, in his own behalf, nor of any other but God, he hoped he should be heard: it may be rendered, "for yet God has words" (h), to put into my mouth, and speak by me; signifying, that he had spoken by him already, and had still more to say by him; and since it was not so much he that spoke, as God that spoke in him and by him, it might be expected he would be heard.

(g) "quia", Pagninus, Montanus; "nam", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (h) "adhue Deo sermones", Montanus; "habit enim Deus adhue quod dicet", Castalio; so some in Michaelis.

Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God's behalf.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. The verse reads,

Suffer me a little and I will shew thee;

For I have somewhat still to say on God’s behalf.

The first words are lit. wait for me a little. 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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