English Standard Version
for the ear tests words as the palate tastes food.
King James Bible
For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth meat.
American Standard Version
For the ear trieth words, As the palate tasteth food.
For the ear trieth words, and the mouth discerneth meats by the taste.
English Revised Version
For the ear trieth words, as the palate tasteth meat.
Webster's Bible Translation
For the ear trieth words, as the mouth tasteth food.
Job 34:3 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
29 Behold, God doeth all
Twice, thrice with man,
30 To bring back his soul from the pit,
That it may become light in the light of life.
31 Listen, O Job, hearken to me;
Be silent and let me speak on.
32 Yet if thou hast words, answer me;
Speak, for I desire thy justification.
33 If not, hearken thou to me;
Be silent and I will teach thee wisdom.
After having described two prominent modes of divine interposition for the moral restoration and welfare of man, he adds, Job 33:29, that God undertakes (observe the want of parallelism in the distich, Job 33:29) everything with a man twice or thrice (asyndeton, as e.g., Isaiah 17:6, in the sense of bis terve) in order to bring back his soul from the pit (שׁחת, here for the fifth time in this speech, without being anywhere interchanged with שׁאול or another synonym, which is remarkable), that it, having hitherto been encompassed by the darkness of death, may be, or become, light (לאור, inf. Niph., syncopated from להאור, Ew. 244, b) in the light of life (as it were bask in the new and restored light of life) - it does not always happen, for these are experiences of no ordinary kind, which interrupt the daily course of life; and it is not even repeated again and again constantly, for if it is without effect the first time, it is repeated a second or third time, but it has an end if the man trifles constantly with the disciplinary work of grace which designs his good. Finally, Elihu calls upon Job quietly to ponder this, that he may proceed; nevertheless, if he has words, i.e., if he thinks he is able to advance any appropriate objections, he is continually to answer him (השׁיב with acc. of the person, as Job 33:5), for he (Elihu) would willingly justify him, i.e., he would gladly be in the position to be able to acknowledge Job to be right, and to have the accusation dispensed with. Hirz. and others render falsely: I wish thy justification, i.e., thou shouldst justify thyself; in this case נפשׁך ought to be supplied, which is unnecessary: חפץ, without a change of subject, has the inf. constr. here without ל, as it has the inf. absol. in Job 13:3, and צדּק signifies to vindicate (as Job 32:2), or acknowledge to be in the right (as the Piel of צדק, Job 33:12), both of which are blended here. The lxx, which translates θέλω γὰρ δικαιωθῆναί σε, has probably read צדקך (Psalm 35:27). If it is not so (אם־אין as Genesis 30:1), viz., that he does not intend to defend himself with reference to his expostulation with God on account of the affliction decreed for him, he shall on his part (אתּה) listen, shall be silent and be further taught wisdom.
Quasi hac ratione Heliu sanctum Iob convicerit! exclaims Beda, after a complete exposition of this speech. He regards Elihu as the type of the false wisdom of the heathen, which fails to recognise and persecutes the servant of God: Sunt alii extra ecclesiam, qui Christo ejusque ecclesiae similiter adversantur, quorum imaginem praetulit Balaam ille ariolus, qui et Elieu sicut patrum traditio habet (Balaam and Elihu, one person - a worthless conceit repeated in the Talmud and Midrash), qui contra ipsum sanctum Iob multa improbe et injuriose locutus est, in tantum ut etiam displiceret in una ejus et indisciplinata loquacitas.
(Note: Bedae Opp. ed. Basil. iii. col. 602f. 786. The commentary also bears the false name of Jerome Hieronymus, and as a writing attributed to him is contained in tom. v. Opp. ed. Vallarsi.)
Gregory the Great, in his Moralia, expresses himself no less unfavourably at the conclusion of this speech:
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
mouth. Heb. palate
Does not the ear test words as the palate tastes food?
"Hear my words, you wise men, and give ear to me, you who know;
Let us choose what is right; let us know among ourselves what is good.
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.