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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Job 33

Verses 1-33

The Speeches of Elihu (continued)

1-13. Elihu blames Job for regarding himself as sinless, and complaining that’ God is his enemy and will not answer him.

4. Elihu feels that God is inspiring his mind to speak aright.

6. RV ’Behold, I am toward God even as thou art.’ Job need have no fear in facing a man like himself, such as he had felt about God: cp. Job 9:32; Job 13:21.

9. Cp. Job 9:21; RV Job 10:7; Job 16:17; Job 27:4-6. But Elihu exaggerates Job’s protestation of innocence: cp. Job 7:21; Job 13:26.

10, 11. Cp. Job 13:24, Job 13:27; Job 19:11; Job 30:21.

12b. God is too great to have His actions questioned by mortals: to do so is presumptuous.

13. For] i.e. ’because.’ Why does Job complain because God does not explain His treatment of him? God does answer man, as he proceeds to point out in two ways.

14-30. Elihu especially insists that the purposes of God’s visitations are often to teach and to discipline; Job 15-18 represent one method of God’s training, Job 33:19-24 another. ’In the first Elihu probably had Eliphaz in his eyes, in the second it is all but certain he had Job’ (Cox).

15. Cp. the vision of Eliphaz in Job 4.

16. Sealeth] Impresses on the mind like a seal.

18. He keepeth back] RM ’That he may keep back.’

22. The destroyers] or, ’the slain.’

23, 24. An angel messenger, interpreting God’s will, comes to the sufferer and shows him what right conduct is. Thereupon God declares that He has found a means of reconciliation (ransom), perhaps the man’s repentance, and pardons him. Some regard the angel as a mediator who comes between man and God and pleads his cause. ’Jewish prayers show that the “interpreter” of this verse was always identified in their minds with the expected Redeemer of Israel’: thus, ’Raise up for us the righteous Interpreter, say, I have found a ransom’ (Cook).

26. He will render, etc.] God restores to the penitent his righteousness, i.e. a position of acceptance with Him.

27. Render, ’He (the penitent) singeth before men and saith, I have sinned and.. it was not requited to me.’

29, 30. Elihu has now shown Job the loving purposes of God in chastening man. Job himself had only advanced to the idea of his own vindication after death. Elihu teaches the use of evil in this present life.

32. I desire to justify thee] I am ready to admit you are right if you can prove it.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Job 33". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.