Job 36:25
Every man may see it; man may behold it afar off.
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36:24-33 Elihu endeavours to fill Job with high thought of God, and so to persuade him into cheerful submission to his providence. Man may see God's works, and is capable of discerning his hand in them, which the beasts are not, therefore they ought to give him the glory. But while the worker of iniquity ought to tremble, the true believer should rejoice. Children should hear with pleasure their Father's voice, even when he speaks in terror to his enemies. There is no light but there may be a cloud to intercept it. The light of the favour of God, the light of his countenance, the most blessed light of all, even that light has many a cloud. The clouds of our sins cause the Lord to his face, and hinder the light of his loving-kindness from shining on our souls.Every man may see it - That is, every man may look on the visible creation, and see proofs there of the wisdom and greatness of God. All may look on the sun, the moon, the stars; all may behold the tempest and the storm; all may see the lightning and the rain, and may form some conception of the majesty of the Most High. The idea of Elihu here is, that every man might trace the evidences that God is great in his works.

Man may behold it afar off - His works are so great and glorious that they make an impression even at a vast distance. Though we are separated from them by a space which surpasses the power of computation, yet they are so great that they fill the mind with vast conceptions of the majesty and glory of their Maker. This is true of the heavenly bodies; and the more we learn of their immense distances from us, the more is the mind impressed with the greatness and glory of the visible creation.

25. See—namely, with wondering admiration [Maurer].

man may behold—rather, "(yet) mortals (a different Hebrew word from 'man') behold it (only) from afar off," see but a small "part" (Job 26:14).

May see it, to wit, his work, last mentioned. The power, and wisdom, and greatness of God is so manifest in all his works, that all who are not blind or stupid must needs see and acknowledge it.

Man may behold it afar off; the works of God are so great and conspicuous, that they may be seen at a great distance; whereas little things cannot be seen, unless we be near them. This translation and interpretation seems better to agree with the context than that which is more common, man doth behold it (i.e. God’s work or works)

afar off, i.e. they see them darkly and imperfectly, as things at a great distance, but not clearly and plainly, as things near at hand; and therefore they are so apt to mistake them, and misjudge of them. Every man may see it,.... Not only was to be seen by the wise and learned, the just and good, but by the common people; whether it is to be understood of the works of creation, or of the afflictive providences of God in general, or of Job's afflictions in particular;

man may behold it afar off; as to time, from the creation of the world to the present time, as Jarchi; or as to place, from the heaven, so distant, where are the sun, moon, and stars; and which, though so far off, are easily beheld; or as to the manner of seeing them, not darkly, imperfectly, and in a confused manner, as things at a distance are seen, so some understand it; but rather clearly and plainly, as things easy to be seen are clearly discerned at a distance; and it signifies that the work of God here meant is so visible, that he must be quite blind and stupid that cannot see it; it may be seen, as it were, with half an eye, and a great way off; he that runs may see and read.

Every man may see it; man may behold it {q} afar off.

(q) The works of God are revealed, that a man may see them afar off, and know God by the same.

25. The verse is better without the “may” of the A. V.

All men look thereon,

Man beholdeth it afar off.

Men look on God’s work, His operations, with wonder and awe.Verse 25. - Every man may see it; rather, sees it, or has seen it. Man may behold it afar off; rather, beholds it, or has beheld it, from afar. Job's afflictions have drawn all eyes upon them - not only those of his neighbours, but of many who look on "from afar." 19 Shall thy crying place thee beyond distress,

And all the efforts of strength?

20 Long not for the night to come,

Which shall remove people from their place!

21 Take heed, incline not to evil;

For this thou hast desired more than affliction.

Those expositors who found in Job 36:18 the warning, that Job should not imagine that he would be able to redeem himself from judgment by a large ransom, go on to explain: will He esteem thy riches? (Farisol, Rosenm., Umbr., Carey, Ebr., and others); or: will thy riches suffice? (Hirz., Schlottm.); or some other way (Ew.). But apart from the want of connection of this insinuation, which is otherwise not mentioned in the book, and apart from the violence which must be done to היערך to accommodate it to it, שׁוּע, although it might, as the abstract of שׁוע, Job 34:19, signify wealth (comp. Arab. sa‛at, amplitudo), is, however, according to the usage of the language (vid., Job 30:24), so far as we can trace it, a secondary form of שׁוע (שׁועה), a cry for help; and Job 35:9., Job 36:13, and other passages, also point to this signification. What follows is still less appropriate to this thought of ransom; Hirz. translates: Oh, not God and all the treasures of wealth! But בּצר is nowhere equivalent to בּצר, Job 22:24; but צר, Job 36:16, signifies distress; and the expression לא בצר, in a condition devoid of distress, is like לא בחכמה, Job 4:21, and לא ביד, Job 34:20. Finally, אמּיץ כּח signifies mighty in physical strength, Job 9:4, Job 9:19, and מאמצּי־כח strong proofs of strength, not "treasures of wealth." Stick. correctly interprets: "Will thy wild raging cry, then, and all thine exertions, as a warrior puts them forth in the tumult of battle to work his way out, put thee where there is an open space?" but the figure of a warrior is, with Hahn, to be rejected; ערך is only a nice word for שׁית שׂים, to place, set up, Job 37:19.

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