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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Job 36

Verses 1-33

The Speeches of Elihu (continued)

1-15. Elihu maintains the wisdom and impartial justice of the rule of God. His purpose is to discipline and improve men, even by their afflictions.

3. From afar] from a review of the whole universe.

4. He] RV ’one’; i.e. Elihu.

7b. RV ’But with kings upon the throne he setteth them for ever.’

9. Their work] i.e. their faults. Exceeded] RV ’behaved themselves proudly.’

12. Without knowledge] without learning God’s lessons.

13. Hypocrites] RV ’godless.’ Heap up wrath] RV ’lay up anger’; they cherish rebellious feelings. They cry not] in submission. The way the godless take God’s chastening is contrasted with that of the righteous, Job 36:7.

14. Is among] render, ’perisheth like.’

15. RM ’He delivereth the afflicted by their afflictions, and openeth their ears by adversity.’ Such are the effects of God’s discipline when taken in the right spirit.

16-21. Elihu applies these remarks to Job, urging him to humble himself instead of remaining rebellious.

17. Hast fulfilled] RV ’art full of.’ Job acts like the wicked under affliction: cp. Job 36:13.

18. Render, ’For beware lest wrath lead thee away into mockery: neither let the greatness of the ransom (Job’s sufferings) turn thee aside,’ i.e. into rebellion.

19. Nothing but affliction can save him.

20. The night] probably, of judgment.

People] rather, ’nations.’

21. Iniquity] i.e. rebelliousness.

22- Job 37:24. The wonders of the heavens testify to the majesty and unsearchableness of God. Let Job refrain from judging Him.

22. Exalteth by] RV ’doeth loftily in.’ Who teacheth like him] This is Elihu’s great point, that afflictions are intended to teach, to discipline, and to purify even the good.

23. Iniquity] RV ’unrighteousness.’

26-37:13. Elihu illustrates the marvellous workings of God by a vivid description of a rising storm.

27. The formation of rain. RV ’He draweth up the drops of water which distil in rain from his vapour.’

29b. RV ’The thunderings of his pavilion’; i.e. of the clouds.

30. Render, ’Behold, He spreadeth His light around Him, and covereth it with the deeps’ (lit. ’roots’) ’of the sea’: see on Job 26:5 and cp. Psalms 104:2, Psalms 104:3. Modern scholars generally correct the text; some read with Duhm, ’Behold, He spreadeth His mist about Him, And He covereth the tops of the mountains.’

31. The people] rather, ’the peoples.’ The purpose of storms may be either punishment or a bountiful provision.

32. RV ’He covereth his hands with the lightning’ (to conceal them): ’and giveth it a charge that it strike the mark.’

33. The present text is difficult. The vowel-points should probably be somewhat altered, and the v. should run, ’The noise thereof telleth concerning Him as one that kindles His wrath against wickedness.’

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Job 36". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.