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Bible Commentaries
Job 34

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole BibleCommentary Critical




Verse 1

1. answered—proceeded.

Verse 2

2. This chapter is addressed also to the "friends" as the thirty-third chapter to Job alone.

Verse 3

3. palate—(See on :-; Job 34:3).

Verse 4

4. judgment—Let us select among the conflicting sentiments advanced, what will stand the test of examination.

Verse 5

5. judgment—my right. Job's own words (Job 13:18; Job 27:2).

Verse 6

6. Were I to renounce my right (that is, confess myself guilty), I should die. Job virtually had said so (Job 27:4; Job 27:5; Job 6:28). MAURER, not so well, "Notwithstanding my right (innocence) I am treated as a liar," by God, by His afflicting me.

my wound—literally, "mine arrow," namely, by which I am pierced. So "my stroke" ("hand," Job 6:28- :, Margin). My sickness (Job 6:4; Job 16:13).

without transgression—without fault of mine to deserve it (Job 16:13- :).

Verse 7

7. ( :-). Image from the camel.

scorning—against God (Job 15:4).

Verse 8

8. Job virtually goes in company (makes common cause) with the wicked, by taking up their sentiments (Job 9:22; Job 9:23; Job 9:30; Job 21:7-15), or at least by saying, that those who act on such sentiments are unpunished (Malachi 3:14). To deny God's righteous government because we do not see the reasons of His acts, is virtually to take part with the ungodly.

Verse 9

9. with God—in intimacy ( :-, Margin).

Verse 10

10. The true answer to Job, which God follows up ( :-). Man is to believe God's ways are right, because they are His, not because we fully see they are so (Romans 9:14; Deuteronomy 32:4; Genesis 18:25).

Verse 11

11. Partly here; fully, hereafter (Jeremiah 32:19; Romans 2:6; 1 Peter 1:17; Revelation 22:12).

Verse 12

12. ( :-). In opposition to Job, :-, will not—cannot.

Verse 13

13. If the world were not God's property, as having been made by Him, but committed to His charge by some superior, it might be possible for Him to act unjustly, as He would not thereby be injuring Himself; but as it is, for God to act unjustly would undermine the whole order of the world, and so would injure God's own property ( :-).

disposed—hath founded (Isaiah 44:7), established the circle of the globe.

Verse 14

14, 15. "If He were to set His heart on man," either to injure him, or to take strict account of his sins. The connection supports rather [UMBREIT], "If He had regard to himself (only), and were to gather unto Himself (Psalms 104:29) man's spirit, c. (which he sends forth, Psalms 104:30 Ecclesiastes 12:7), all flesh must perish together," &c. (Genesis 3:19). God's loving preservation of His creatures proves He cannot be selfish, and therefore cannot be unjust.

Verse 16

16. In :-, Elihu had spoken to all in general, now he calls Job's special attention.

Verse 17

17. "Can even He who (in thy view) hateth right (justice) govern?" The government of the world would be impossible if injustice were sanctioned. God must be just, because He governs ( :-).

govern—literally, "bind," namely, by authority (so "reign," :-, Margin). UMBREIT translates for "govern, repress wrath, namely, against Job for his accusations.

most just—rather, "Him who is at once mighty and just" (in His government of the world).

Verse 18

18. Literally, (Is it fit) to be said to a king? It would be a gross outrage to reproach thus an earthly monarch, much more the King of kings ( :-). But MAURER with the Septuagint and Vulgate reads, (It is not fit to accuse of injustice Him) who says to a king, Thou art wicked; to princes, Ye are ungodly; that is, who punishes impartially the great, as the small. This accords with :-.

Verse 19

19. (Acts 10:34; 2 Chronicles 19:7; Proverbs 22:2; Job 31:15).

Verse 20

20. they—"the rich" and "princes" who offend God.

the people—namely, of the guilty princes: guilty also themselves.

at midnight—image from a night attack of an enemy on a camp, which becomes an easy prey (Exodus 12:29; Exodus 12:30).

without hand—without visible agency, by the mere word of God (so Job 20:26; Zechariah 4:6; Daniel 2:34).

Verse 21

21. God's omniscience and omnipotence enable Him to execute immediate justice. He needs not to be long on the "watch," as Job thought (Job 7:12; 2 Chronicles 16:9; Jeremiah 32:19).

Verse 22

22. shadow of death—thick darkness (Amos 9:2; Amos 9:3; Psalms 139:12).

Verse 23

23. (1 Corinthians 10:13; Lamentations 3:32; Isaiah 27:8). Better, as UMBREIT, "He does not (needs not to) regard (as in Job 34:14; Isaiah 41:20) man long (so Hebrew, Genesis 46:29) in order that he may go (be brought by God) into judgment." Literally, "lest his (attention) upon men" (Job 11:10; Job 11:11). So Job 11:11- :, "without number" ought to be translated, "without [needing any] searching out," such as has to be made in human judgments.

Verse 24

24. break in pieces— (Psalms 2:9; Job 12:18; Daniel 2:21).

Verse 25

25. Therefore—because He knows all things (Job 34:21). He knows their works, without a formal investigation (Job 34:21- :).

in the night—suddenly, unexpectedly (Job 34:20). Fitly in the night, as it was in it that the godless hid themselves (Job 34:22). UMBREIT, less simply, for "overturneth," translates, "walketh"; that is, God is ever on the alert, discovering all wickedness.

Verse 26

26. He striketh them—chasteneth.

as—that is, because they are wicked.

sight of others—Sinners hid themselves in darkness; therefore they are punished before all, in open day. Image from the place of public execution (Job 40:12; Exodus 14:30; 2 Samuel 12:12).

Verse 27

27, 28. The grounds of their punishment in Job 34:26. Job 34:26- : states in what respect they "considered not God's ways," namely, by oppression, whereby "they caused the cry," &c.

Verse 29

29. (Proverbs 16:7; Isaiah 26:3).

make trouble—rather, "condemn" (Romans 8:33; Romans 8:34). MAURER, from the reference being only to the godless, in the next clause, and Job 34:20 translates, "When God keeps quiet" (leaves men to perish) Psalms 83:1; [UMBREIT] from the Arabic (strikes to the earth), "who shall condemn Him as unjust?" Psalms 83:1- :.

hideth . . . face— (Job 23:8; Job 23:9; Psalms 13:1).

it be done—Whether it be against a guilty nation (Psalms 13:1- :) or an individual, that God acts so.

Verse 30

30. Ensnared—into sin (1 Kings 12:28; 1 Kings 12:30). Or rather, "enthralled by further oppression," 1 Kings 12:30- :.

Verse 31

31. Job accordingly says so (Job 40:3-5; Micah 7:9; Leviticus 26:41). It was to lead him to this that Elihu was sent. Though no hypocrite, Job, like all, had sin; therefore through affliction he was to be brought to humble himself under God. All sorrow is a proof of the common heritage of sin, in which the godly shares; and therefore he ought to regard it as a merciful correction. UMBREIT and MAURER lose this by translating, as the Hebrew will bear, "Has any a right to say to God, I have borne chastisement and yet have not sinned?" (so Job 34:6).

borne—namely, the penalty of sin, as in Leviticus 5:1; Leviticus 5:17.

offend—literally, "to deal destructively or corruptly" (Leviticus 5:17- :).

Verse 32

32. (Job 10:2; Psalms 32:8; Psalms 19:12; Psalms 139:23; Psalms 139:24).

no more— (Proverbs 28:13; Ephesians 4:22).

Verse 33

33. Rather, "should God recompense (sinners) according to thy mind? Then it is for thee to reject and to choose, and not me" [UMBREIT]; or as MAURER, "For thou hast rejected God's way of recompensing; state therefore thy way, for thou must choose, not I," that is, it is thy part, not mine, to show a better way than God's.

Verse 34

34, 35. Rather, "men . . . will say to me, and the wise man (Job 34:2; Job 34:10) who hearkens to me (will say), 'Job hath spoken,'" &c.

Verse 36

36. Margin, not so well, "My father," Elihu addressing God. This title does not elsewhere occur in Job.

tried—by calamities.

answers for wicked men—(See on Job 34:3). Trials of the godly are not removed until they produce the effect designed.

Verse 37

37. clappeth . . . hands—in scorn (Job 27:23; Ezekiel 21:17).

multiplieth . . . words— (Job 11:2; Job 35:16). To his original "sin" to correct which trials have been sent, "he adds rebellion," that is, words arraigning God's justice.

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 34". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfb/job-34.html. 1871-8.
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